Your alarm goes off and you begrudgingly arise out of your warm bed and let your feet hit the cold floor.
You brush your teeth. You take a shower. You make some coffee, pour some coffee, and have the same breakfast day in and day out.
You hop in the car and tune into the same radio station you always do. You arrive at work with no recollection of the stop signs, stop lights, or streets that you’ve navigated on the commute.
How much thought goes into each and every move you make on an average morning? Not much at all, right?
It’s because your entire morning is an exhaustive list of habits; things you’ve done so many times that you don’t need much brain power to make it through.
It’s not just our mornings that are littered with habits. Most of our day is habitual and routine. This serves us well most of the time, because it allows us to be efficient. We don’t have to get caught up in critical decision making when we can just let autopilot take over, saving us time and energy.
Habits are a gift that allow us to live life effectively. But it can be the downfall of one very important piece of our lives:
Our relationships with those we love.
Like a morning routine that is robotic and unemotional, when we get used to someone’s company, we don’t take much time to think about it. To appreciate it. To acknowledge it.
Just like when you learn a new skill, a fresh relationship causes you to be intentional and present as it begins. You’re still getting to know the person and their ins and outs. Much like when you were learning to drive a car, you have to be conscious in your actions and thoughts to be successful in the process.
But over time, as you get to know someone to their core, your habitual nature starts shifting into autopilot. You aren’t intentional with complimenting your wife. You don’t think to thank your husband when he takes care of something for you.
In most cases, habits are necessary. They make life easier.
In the instance of love and relationships, though, habits do the opposite. You may appreciate your spouse, but you forget to show it, because you’d have to be conscious in the expression. You may deeply love the person you’ve been dating, but you don’t tell them as much as you should; you’ve been together for years, they should know it by now, right?
Be more intentional with the person sitting across from you. Consciously appreciate them and thank them for who they are. The more you slip into autopilot and disconnect from your ability to consciously decide how to act, the more your relationship will lose the luster it had in the beginning.
Break the habit of love in your life. Shake the robot that you’ve become and awaken the person who fell in love in the first place.
Until next time,
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