Maintaining the Butterflies in Your Relationship

In the beginning of a relationship, romance comes easily. Just the fact that she smiled makes your heart go all a flutter. The way he holds your hand in public excites the butterflies in your stomach, making you feel like you’re walking on air. You could stay up all night talking, just happy to be in each other’s company. When you’re exhausted at work the next day, you look back on the evening with no regrets.

What Happened?

Many of these exciting factors begin to fade as time progresses. Although her smile is brilliant, you’re starting to see that she frowns at you more than she smiles, and that’s irksome. You now hate it when he has to hold your hand everywhere you go, like you’re a prized possession that might escape. A full night’s rest means an early goodnight for the two of you. Even missing half an hour of missed sleep makes you grumpy.

So what happened to quell your heart and quiet the butterflies? Why did everything slow down? More importantly, how can you get them back? Many fear that the romance butterflied have fluttered onto a new person and the only way to get them back is to find that new person (meaning you both will soon be on the market again). Those that leave in pursuit of the romance find it, it’s true: but only for awhile. More often than not, they quickly find themselves in the same rut as they were before, searching for romance.

Romance Never Left, You Did

The truth is, romance never leaves a relationship (whether marriage, engagement, or dating). It doesn’t fly away. It’s a part of you. You attach it to the people you care about. It is nurtured by selfless interest in the other person. It’s simply hard to find when you change your focus from the other person in the relationship to yourself.

If you put things like prideful motives and work ahead of the person you care about, you begin to see how that person simply interferes with the way you live your life. You see yourself as nothing more than their “tool” to gain honor or possessions. Or you see your significant other as simply putting up with you. It’s easy to feel used, and then resentful from that perspective. Romance cannot thrive in these conditions because you end up worrying more about your own happiness than the happiness of the other. Self-centered thoughts cage the romance and hide it in the attic.

A Change of Focus

Romance increases as the importance of your significant other increases. When you can say that you honestly care about the other person more than yourself, you’ll do the things that will make his or her heart flutter again. You will go out of your way to make that person happy, making him or her love you even more than they did before. In return, you’ll notice an increased effort to make you happy. No good deed goes unpunished. The more you try to put them at the top of your priority list, the happier you will be together. Suddenly you’ll want to smile at him again. She’ll want to hold onto your hand again. You’ll be happy to spend all your time with each other again.

Romance is built on your sincere ability to think of the other’s welfare before your own. It works from both the man’s and woman’s perspectives. Start with the small and simple things first. Wash the dishes that aren’t your responsibility. Make breakfast when you don’t have to. Bring her flowers. Talk to her instead of watching a movie. Talk to him of your dreams and interests instead of your friends. Do little things for each other. Get interested in each other’s hobbies.

Make it a Habit

As time goes on, you’ll think of more you can do. You’ll find yourself wanting to do more. The more you want to help the other, the more interested you’ll be in him or her again. Romance returns as he or she makes it to the top of your priority list.

Familius is a publisher focused on helping couples be happy. They offer books for couples to find happiness in the things society would call “mundane.” These books for couples talk often of serving each other to find happiness. Sometimes your pride has to take a fall for it, but you’ll be happier for your choices.

Is no homework the answer to smarter kids?

There’s a no homework movement out there and your kids might be caught up in it.  According to this story on Parenting.com http://www.parenting.com/blogs/mom-congress/melissa-taylor/should-schools-abolish-homework  elelemntary schools and middle schools are dropping homework – instead asking kids to read instead.  In other less extreme cases, the some scholls have a no homework on vacation rule.  The policy of no homework is supposed to give kids more time to become better readers, and to do that, they need more time to read – not more time doing worksheets.

In many instances, this no homework policy has had no impact on test scores – they’ve held steady (note, this is not to say they’ve improved, but it just goes to show that the kids may be getting all the test prep they need in class.)

The no homework policy leaves more time, theoretically, for kids to have unstructured play time.  However, I wonder if it just leaves more time – which might be spent watching tv (I know I use ‘homework first’ as the incentive for tv time) or on structured sports – I heard that our rec lacrosse league (which is a spring sport) now has “optional” practices, year round, three days a week.

And while these are optional and a chance to for kids to get better at a s sport, I also suspect that any kid who doesn’t avail him or herself of these practices will find themselves at a disadvantage come the spring.  So would no homework be a good deal in this case, because it would let a kid play an organized sport all year round, all the time.  Seems to defeat the “unstructured” or “reading” time behind the no homework policy.

So what do you think – should there be a no homework policy for our kids?  Will this make them smarter?  What would you do to make sure this time didn’t get transferred over to more ‘activities’ or tv/video game time.  Would you make your kids read?  Play outside?  Would no homework mean you’d have a family dinner more often?

Let us know what you think below.