Photo Credit: Mahkeo,

What Kind of Relationship Do You Want to Have With Your Sweetheart?

How long do you think your mutual joyousness will last? A year? Five years? Has it already hit the doldrums?

Are you a little bit worried? There’s hope.

Let me tell you about “entropy” — the tendency of all things to stagnate or decay over time. It’s when enough energy isn’t spent on progress and things suffer.

Entropy equals benign neglect.

Have you ever worked on a project by stacking papers or materials neatly on your desk? The neatness feels good and orderly, right?

Life happens, though, and sometimes a project has to be put on hold. You might even stop thinking about those materials. There’s a relationship between you and the materials on your desk, too.

At some point, though, the pile won’t be able to resist some subtle change in airflow and things will slide down, covering all your other work. The balance in your work-life relationship just changed! Then you remember that next step you were supposed to take to finish the project! If it hasn’t happened to you yet, you just haven’t lived enough.

Entropy in a relationship’s usually brought on by boredom.

After you do the same things with the same people for a while, you develop an efficient routine, and daily life can become a series of habits. You get everything on your list accomplished but might forget to kiss Sweetheart goodnight once or twice. Sweetie might even be too tired or preoccupied to notice. No big deal, right? Remember the relationship between you and the materials on your desk?

Entropy exists where sameness exists and sameness is a perception. Every sunrise is different, even though we often only see the same one repeated.

It doesn’t matter what state your relationship’s in now.  The only thing that matters is your desire to be happy with the ones you love and how much energy you make available for progress, like spotting things that make you smile.

Create a Ritual

Make an annual ritual just for you and your love, and then set your intentions to build each other up by saying two things every day. You brush your teeth two times a day (and I hope you go to the bathroom even more often) so you can certainly do this to keep the love lights burning!

If you don’t already have a ritual to mark an annual new beginning, why not create one? Choose a day. You can hold hands, or pray at midnight (or daybreak), do a slow dance to a specific song, make a toast and take a drink from special glasses (or in a special place), take a walk in the moonlight, or anything else you can do every year together.

Speak of true hope or encouragement for each other every morning that focuses on the other person. Your intention’s to build the other person up, not to satisfy something in yourself, so you don’t need to say it so you can get a response. It’s a gift.

“I hope your morning walk’s fun” is a good one. “I hope you remember to do whatever you need to do to lose that fat” isn’t a good one.

“I hope you remember not to burn dinner” isn’t a good one. “I hope you can relax tonight. I’ll help cook,” is a good one.

“I hope your meeting goes well,” “I hope the baby lets you sleep,” “I hope you feel my love while you have your interview,” are all good starts.

Other positive words might follow. Words are free! You can be generous. Now, to fight entropy and make this happen daily, think of a reminder.

Keep the spark in your relationship!

Can you text your encouragement before you brush your teeth or say it before you get up and go to the bathroom or put on your underwear?

Find something for which you can thank your beloved before you close your eyes at night.

If you’re rolling your eyes right now, here’s a reminder — most mammals repeat behavior that is praised and/or rewarded. That’s how TV animal trainers teach their charges, and it’s how happy families often rear their children.

I was an educational consultant using Direct Instruction Reading Materials for a while and that method enabled me to help children catch up to grade level in reading when they were two years behind. Catch them doing something good and praise them for it.

Again, what can you do to make sure this happens 365 times before this time next year?

Down with entropy! Can you begin thinking about it at lunchtime?

Suppose you write the things you can praise about your sweetie on a regular basis so you have buckets of things to choose from each night? “Thank you for calling to remind me about my appointment,” “I love it when you put the cornbread under the broiler so it’s crusty on top and the butter melts in the nooks and crannies,” “I feel really good knowing that you’ll always take out the trash,” “I feel like you take care of me,” “After you wash my back in the shower, I feel so good my toes tingle.”

Showing gratitude can help develop an inner glow!

What will be different this next year? Call me and together we can create a future that helps you wake up happy on a regular basis!

 Photo Credit: Mahkeo,