When you take a trip down memory lane and think back to how you and your parter fell in love, do you remember it lovingly? Or is your love story clouded in a negative light?
Memories are not static- they paint the way for an ever-evolving narrative based on past and current life events and circumstances.
If your relationship has added up to more negative moments than blissful ones, there’s a reason why your love story doesn’t sound so romantic anymore. According to marriage researcher John Gottman, when couples misunderstand each other often, fight more than they get along and lose respect for one another, these events leave a negative imprint that paves the way for a gloomy and pessimistic outlook of the relationship overall. And not only are current circumstances unfavorable, but the tale of how you fell in love is no longer seen as affectionate but marred with regret and cynicism. “He only asked me to marry him because I was pressuring him to,” or “Looking back, she was always on my case. I don’t know how we got this far to be honest. We should have known we weren’t right for each other from the get go.”
Conversely, Dr. Gottman suggests that struggling couples revisit their “falling in love” story in an attempt to write a more positive and memorable narrative. Remembering moments of happiness together may help change current circumstances into more positive ones. It’s a jumpstart to a more refreshing, promising and optimistic future.
This week, spend some time together recalling your journey. Use mementos, photos and videos to spark the moments and events that led up to your never-ending love story. All relationships go through seasons of love, affection, hardship and doubt. Take the necessary steps now to ensure your story is a happy one.