When we fall in love, we use our hearts, thoughts and actions to learn everything we can about our special person. We delight in discovering what colors they like, what foods they love, what apps are on their phones, what movies and TV shows they enjoy, what songs are on their playlists, what books they treasure, what dreams they have and what they are looking for in a life partner. From a business viewpoint, we provide the utmost in customer service. We focus on our "customer" and do everything we can to keep him/her thinking about us and continuing to have a relationship with us. Think about the best customer service you have ever received and how to apply that to your relationship. How can you take the extra steps to give beyond what is expected? How can you do that for someone you have been with for several years or more?
When we get married, we vow to love and cherish one another for life, but how many of us really think about how to translate that to every single day? How do we show our partners that we are glad we married them, especially when it's the 11,680th day of our marriage? Dennis and I came up with a Love Equation to help us remember.
GIVE = GET
We believe that endless love can only be fully realized through reciprocation. By giving love to our partners, we get love in return. Reciprocation can be carefully planned or it can be a spontaneous gift. Sometimes it means just listening. It's a way of training ourselves to love every day and to look for opportunities to express that love. The giving is done freely without a pricetag. There is no "You owe me one!" attached. Keeping score is a sure way to destroy a relationship. We want to delight our customers and keep them.
It doesn't have to take a lot of time or tremendous effort to gift one another each day. When one partner cooks dinner, a compliment and a show of gratitude doesn't sound like much, but it is amazingly conspicuous by its absence. Likewise the partner who clears the table and washes the dishes or cleans and loads the dishwasher could use a kiss on the cheek and a thank you. When we turn routine chores into opportunities for affection, it reinforces our love for each other each day. It reminds us that we are more than roommates.
It is important to remain interested in our partners. Beyond sex, it is how we speak to our partners, how we listen to them, how we praise them and laugh with them and honor their wishes for alone time sometimes. It is how we manage to find something to love about each other every single day and communicate that love to the most important person in our lives. It is the quality of our lives together that creates the deep bonds of mutual love, trust and hope for a bright future together.