What Next?

So what next?

People in relationships probably don’t think this consciously, but they certainly reach this point.  A bland relationship, is probably a huge relationship killer.  Conversely, a relationship filled with turmoil will lead to the same place.  A place where you end up alone.  However, it’s the “what next” break up that’s hardest for people to understand.  They find themselves in a good relationship, and things are going well, yet they no longer feel that spark toward the other person.
Why does this happen?

From what I can gather, people are goal oriented.  They always want to accomplish something, and whether it be on purpose or by accident, they give themselves new goals everyday.  “Please let me finish this project on time.”  “I’m going to save money to go on that vacation I deserve.”  “I hope today is not the day I have to punch my boss in the face.”  Whatever it is, we set goals.  We thrive off of it, and it’s what gets a lot of us out of bed in the morning.  So what happens when you have no set goals in a relationship?  To put this into perspective, what would you do if you were able to go to work everyday, and do almost nothing?  In theory, it may sound like a great idea, especially if you are currently overworked.  Eventually, however, you would get bored.  You would create little projects for yourself to keep your sanity.  I promise you, you couldn’t possibly sit there for eight hours everyday doing little to nothing and be fulfilled.  Sure, the promise of a paycheck is motivating, but you can get a paycheck somewhere else, right?

Same thing happens in a relationship.  At the beginning, it’s fun because you are getting to know one another.  The you find yourself trying to make the relationship work…trying to find ways to make your lives work in harmony with one another.  It’s a goal.  After that goal is reached, you set another one.  Maybe you both want to travel, make money, produce wine, save animals, or whatever.  You have now given yourself another reason to be together.  Another goal to be met.

If you spend your days not having to actually work at it, then you become bored.  Sure sex or companionship may motivate, but you can get that somewhere else, right?  If you fight a lot, your goal is to get the relationship stable.  At some point, you look to get married (goal).  Then you look to have kids (goal).  And then raise those kids properly (goal).  Send them to college (goal).  Retire with money to do what you want (goal).  These are all goals that you set together, and therefore reach for them together.  There may be other sub-goals along the way, but each is about keeping a fire lit in the relationship.  As soon as things get to auto pilot, trouble is right around the corner.  Couples married for sometime, have said they have difficulty keeping the spark in the relationship.  That’s because things are on auto…there are no real goals that challenge you.

I’m not married, so I can’t say I’m the best person to give this point of view, but it seems logical to me.  There are many things that can make or break a relationship, but one of them….especially for two people who actually should be together…is how/if you keep trying to do things to make the relationship better and more exciting. That’s why tumultuous relationships last too…not forever, but longer than an outsider would expect.  It’s exciting.  It gives you a reason to believe that things can be better, and therefore you hopelessly try to make it work.  Maybe her goal is to “change” him, or his goal is to “break” her.  It may not be healthy but it does excite.

On the flip side, some of these arguments are sparked by boredom.  If one person is bored in the relationship, they may find reasons to fight with you; lighting an artificial spark that allows the blood to get going.  That allows the emotions to reappear.  However, it’s important to eventually see what the root cause is, or the relationship may never recover.  Keeping a spark in a relationship may sound hard to some, but it doesn’t have to be.  The spark doesn’t have to be monumental.  Something as simple as food tours, or small home improvement projects might be enough.  Just find something you both are interested in, and can share together.  Life is about growth, and so are relationships.  If you plateau, you will become useless..same applies to a relationship.  Never allow you or your relationship to reach the mountain top and relax, because there is always another mountain you can attempt to conquer.



2 thoughts on “What Next?

  1. heartbreaker

    “They find themselves in a good relationship, and things are going well, yet they no longer feel that spark toward the other person.
    Why does this happen?”– Every relationship will face this because that level of “feeling” cannot be sustained. If a couple has based their relationship purely on emotion, how he or she “feels,” it will be a difficult relationship to maintain. If the foundation of a relationship is instead based on something deeper, more sustainable, then the relationship has a better chance of surviving. The underlying goal in a relationship should be how each partner can care for and love the other. Once a relationship becomes more of “what can you do for me” instead of “what can I do for you,” it is headed in the wrong direction.

    1. gtwhitfield Post author

      Thank you for your feedback Heartbreaker. I like to look at life as a balance. I agree that the level of “feeling” as described cannot be maintained. I think that the goal you mentioned (caring and loving one another) is key, but in my mind those are also feelings. You can’t continue to feed the relationship by just saying you’re going to care for and love the other person. That’s where the actions come into play. That’s where doing things together, and feeding that “feeling” takes place. It’s a mindset, that requires action, and I think that is the balance. Thanks again for your thoughtful feedback.


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