You buy a new car; you’re so excited and in awe of how much you adore it! You want to show it off to all your friends and you are so proud it’s yours. It looks shiny and smells great… the engine practically purrs and it feels so smooth on the road. Even the bumps and rough patches in the road are barely noticeable all of a sudden.
And so it is with a new relationship… that first shiny phase when all is wine and roses and everything else in your life just rolls off you as you bask in the glow of your new relationship and the love/lust that you have with your new partner. Ahhhhh…..
The reality is though that relationships, like cars take maintenance and regular care and upkeep if they’re going to last and be around for a long time.
Your car is going to need oil changes and tire rotations and air pressure checks, spark plugs, fan belts, fluid changes and even car washes to get the grime and salt off that could corrode the shiny J. You don’t begrudge these things; in fact, they’re expected and planned for. Some people take great pride in the care and attention they give their cars and the fact that, because of this attentiveness, their car continues to run smoothly and have fewer problems over the long run. Sure, repairs may be needed, sometimes big and expensive ones, but that too is taken in stride. After all, you took on the responsibility when you bought that vehicle.
So why is it that so many people neglect the care and time it takes to maintain and grow their relationships? Why do people decide that they won’t put in the time or the attention needed to check in and ensure that the little pings and clunks are attended to and dealt with before they become bigger issues that are harder to fix. Why the lack of regular maintenance? It’s far too easy to put our “significant” other (or others) on the back burner time and time again… all the while expecting them to be there waiting for when we glance in that direction and want to pick it up again. Think of the attention you give when you ask how they are – and really listen and want to hear the reply – as those oil changes. Date nights and *making* time for your partner(s) as those routine check-ups that keep you up to date on making sure that all is well.
And if something isn’t all well and good? Would you go to the garage, see that your car has a flat tire and jump in and drive it anyways? Destroying the wheel and causing massive damage that will cost a small fortune to fix… The “check engine” light comes on and you drive it anyway, hoping the light will go out; and when it does (it always seems to!) then you pretend it was ok anyways and put it out of mind.
How often do we do that with our relationships? The little warnings signs are always there…we ignore them, consciously or subconsciously…we pretend we don’t see them, or worse, we actively choose to ignore them and hope for the best – raging at the injustice when it not only doesn’t get better but actually has the nerve to get worse!
Neglect the care and maintenance of your car and the reality is that it’ll drive great for a while, not so great for a while after that and eventually it’ll just be one issue after the other until it simply gives up and packs it in.
Not a surprise that relationships go the same route.