Step Your Game Up

If you cannot tell, I have a passion for relationship stuff.  Why?  Perhaps I am disturbed by the dysfunction I see every day.  Or it may be because I am disgusted with American society’s approach to love, friendships and relationships.  It could be because 90%of the disconnect between people are not that important at the end of the day.  Whatever it is, I am intrigued by the challenge of trying to make sense of it all. 

 What has been on my mind lately is how complacent people can be in their relationships.  It is disgusting.  When they are single, they go to the gym, shower regularly, make sure they are tight.  Then, once they have someone and they been together for awhile, they let their standards slip.  They stop doing those things to keep the passion alive and to keep the other person interested.  They settle into what I call the “Comfort Spiral.” 

 In the “Comfort Spiral”, an individual believes that their significant other is not going anywhere, so they get so comfortable they slip almost to the point of taking the other person for granted.  If I said it once, I have said it a thousand times, relationships take a tremendous amount of work.  It is a process of creating and becoming. 

 One person cannot carry the water alone, it takes two people working together to constantly keep that fire and passion burning.  It takes two to make the relationship worthwhile.  You have to continually step your game up. 

I did not understand this at first.  I remember when my girlfriend in college asked me why I did not do the things I did when we first started dating.  And in my ignorance, I responded, “I just want us to be comfortable.”  Wrong answer.  I did not realize that it makes that person feel like they are not worth the continued effort, even if that is not the message you wish to convey. 

The fellas are guilty of this normally when it comes to the romance and intimacy department.  We tend to get caught up in hanging out or pursuing our careers instead of taking care of home.  The ladies might not hit that gym like they should (men being visual creatures and all) or do the little things that make a man feel like a man (read: cook).  No one is innocent.

What is the point of obtaining something if you are not going to maintain it.  If you buy a Ferrari but cannot afford the oil changes, then you had no business buying a Ferrari.  The same goes for relationships.  You must keep upgrading and maintaining.  You must be better today than you were yesterday.  Life is too short to settle.  And you know what, once putting in the time becomes second nature, you wont even realize it is work and you will just enjoy the journey. 

 So ask yourself and your significant other: How can I be better?  How can we be better?  Am I really keeping your interest?  Do that checkup to make sure both of you are on the same page.  By humbling yourself and having some real talk, your relationship will be that much more enjoyable. 

 With all that said, share with me and our readers what you do to keep your significant other interested?  How do you stay in love? 

 Truth and Peace,

Steven M DeVougas

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11 responses to “Step Your Game Up”

  1. Adrienne says :

    Hey Steve,
    I like the Ferrari part 🙂 Nice article. The comfort spiral… to real. Talk to you soon!!!

  2. Sharece says :

    I’m feeling this article DeVougas! You definitely have to keep up onthe maintenance of any relationship… Doing the same things you did to get them, to keep them.

  3. Tait says :

    In terms of how I try not to “fall off”: I try to keep my looks maintained, especially when we’re in public. Nothing fancy, just well groomed. I also try to remember to do the things I know he likes and not get too caught up in the routine. It’s important to let your significant other know that they’re special and why you chose them. Little reminders go a long way…..

  4. super_mujer06 says :

    Well as a single person I have really been trying to wrap my mind around the idea of God as my mate. At first I thought this was a far fetched spiritual idea, but once I tried to work at it, I am starting to understand. I can’t send God cute little text messages in the middle of the day, buy Him flowers, or cook Him dinner. But when you think about it I really can. I can cook for a friend and spend some time with someone else helping them out. I sometimes I find my mind free for a second and I use that time to thank God for the things I have been praying for and confessing over. A big part of a relationship is communication. So I talk to God, and yes sometimes I struggle at trying to hear the clear message of what he is saying back to me but I keep at it. I read the Word, which helps me get to know God and understand his ways (just as you would with a mate). I try to grow and develop as a person as God reveals more to me of the things I can use work on. I figure the better I have the spirit of love cultivated in my life, the better mate I will make for my husband. I think what keeps me for getting in the comfort spiral with God is that I know there are higher levels I can go with our relationship and the glory revealed in my life. I suppose that could spill over into being motivated to continuously making things better for you and your boo as well! The attitude of humilty and serving works well in a relationship if the two are on the same page…With people I think that it takes the little things. Popping up with a movie they said they wanted to see or taking them to a restaurant they casually mentioned they wanted to go to. It really makes someone smile when they know that someone is listening to them and taking action.

  5. Garlin II says :

    Here’s a relatively easy way to keep your significant other clear that you still care about them in the same ways: regularly tell them WHY you don’t take them for granted.

    Being un- or underappreciated and/or being taken for granted is a fear that most people have whether they admit it or not. Maybe it is just part of being human to want to be wanted. This does not change when we enter into relationships. In fact, I’d argue that this need is amplified in this case.

    It is something that I try to do as consistently and consciously as I can. Prayerfully, I am doing a good job of it.

  6. Anonymous says :

    “The ladies might not hit that gym like they should (men being visual creatures and all) or do the little things that make a man feel like a man (read: cook). No one is innocent.”

    this is an extremely sexist and distrubing (on many levels) comemnt. it is scary if this is black thought at the highest level…

  7. Steven M DeVougas says :

    First off, I apologize if my jest or any of my words offended any of the readers. That was not my intent. As a young man, those are the most common complaints I hear from both parties in my age demographic.

    Furthermore, that is simply my opinion. I cannot speak for the other contributors, I can only speak for myself.

    However, the message is the same, there are things in a relationship that both people can work on, individually and collectively. These were generic examples. Would the result have been different if I switched it? The point is, every couple and every team, has there unique set of challenges but for the sake of illustration, I picked those two things.

    And by no means do I mean to lump all women into that category or all men into the other. But in the words of Bob Marley, “if the cap fit, let him wear it.”

  8. Anonymous says :

    I definitely agree with you Steve. Whether people admit it or not, we do get complacent sometimes. A relationship takes a lot of hard work and dedication. We must constantly assess and attack our bad habits. Keep up the good work.

  9. Superfly says :

    My question is this: What’s wrong with catering to your man/woman? What bothers me is how power struggles creep into relationships. I aint sayin a woman automatically has to be the one cooking, but if she wants to make a meal every once and a while cuz her man like it, then she should not have to be concerned about it. It is not like the dude expects it, it is a gesture. We should both be doin things we like. Lets cater to each other and make the ladies feel extra special and the ladies do the same. Because if you with them, then they worth it.

  10. Anonymous says :

    There is nothing wrong with doing things for your mate. Selflessness, especially out of love, is a beautiful things. But having your major contributions to the upkeep of a relationship be cooking and looking good by going to gym are stifling.

  11. Superfly says :

    I would hope that the contributions would excel that. But if we talking about the total package, that may be part of the total package. Indeed, things can get pretty flat if all you have is a trophy wife at the crib or a boy toy. However, for some, that might be the threshold. I will not lie, I like the woman I deal with to be health conscious and to know how to cook a meal, because that is how I am. However, she dang sure better be bringing more to the table than that. I dont ask or expect anything that I would not be willing to give and or do myself. And that is about as fair as fair can get.

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