I was tending to my garden today and thinking how bad I feel for neglecting it for so long. Many of the plants were in serious need of immediate care as the leaves were dying and flowers were unable to bloom. The cold winter weather sometimes brings me down and I just don’t have it in me to take care of the garden in the way it really needs.
Pruning plants, clearing away dead leaves and aerating the soil feels all too hard when the rain is beating down and it’s so cold outside. It’s also hard to feel motivated to clear away dead leaves day after day, when you know tomorrow a freshly fallen batch will effortlessly re-appear…only requiring me to do the same thing all over again.
It got me thinking that gardening is so much like tending to a relationship. Initially it’s beautiful and we feel motivated to tend to each other. Because it’s new and fresh tending to the relationship early on takes little work.
We talk endlessly in the beginning, send each other texts throughout the day of romantic little memes and pick me ups. It gives each of us a smile along with a boost- like a caffeine injection that motivates us to push through the hard parts of the day.
As time wears on, we get bogged down by practicalities… the never-ending stream of dishes and laundry and needing to clean and tidy our home. We occasionally get so bogged down by the banalities of life that we lose sight of the reason we even have a life partner. We forget that we still need to nourish each other and be there in an emotional way. Some of us mistakenly believe that because we have daily chats with our partner about logistics that we’re connecting. We forget that there are many ways in which we need to connect and to keep our love blossoming.
Mikvah night can be that constant reminder, that opportunity to switch gears and to go from a relationship on autopilot to something more conscious, so that the specialness can be maintained.
The period of physical separation can be an opportunity for us to reflect on how to make our time together more special. Having a good balance between togetherness and separation can create a healthy balance between longing and desire and fulfillment, by the culmination of coming back together anew.
If you’re in a relationship, what are some of the things you do to remind your partner that they’re special to you?
A few good examples to achieve these are writing little love notes, or making a special something together or for one another. Create a list of things you love about each other, or devise a “love map” – a scavenger hunt combined with charades where you hide notes around the house and you have to act things out (use your imagination).
If you feel like your relationship needs a boost, rather than feeling down about it, consider what you’d like to change and make it happen. Instead of waiting for your spouse to make a difference – you be the difference.
I’d love to hear some of your ideas. What are some of the things you do to connect with your partner – consciously and especially because you love them?
Drop me a line and let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org