The importance of connection
In acting on our self-care, it's easy to lose focus on those around us and the importance our relationships have on our well-being. Few people want to live in isolation, and whether the relationships are romantic or platonic, they're essential to maintaining our sanity.
There are many meaningful relationships in our lives, and they all require a particular portion of our attention lest they end up no more than a bitter memory. On occasion, there can even be relationships that need to end up in this category due to toxic or dangerous behaviour.
Today isn't the day to discuss those relationships. Today is a day to celebrate love & connection. For some, Valentine's day is a Hallmark holiday for "lovers" and a poor excuse to sell overpriced flowers, chocolate, wine and jewellery. For others, it can be a great reminder to do something special for someone special. To us, it falls somewhere in between.
After April, our relationship will be 9 years strong, with just shy of 90% of that being engaged or married. In that time, we've had our ups and downs, and we've gone through many significant life changes together. We went through college, started a chip truck and turned it into a restaurant. We shared homes with our parents and other roommates before finally having a place to call our own. In the beginning, when we were much younger and more naive big days like Valentine's day and now irrelevant anniversaries meant something because they were a way to highlight the love and connection we desired to share. While enjoying life with the responsibilities of a beautiful little 10-month-old, and a family-run business, we see things a little differently.
On days like these, we can see the importance of it for creating the sparks. The beginning of any great relationship is formed first by laying a foundation for success. It starts by seeking opportunities to develop meaningful connections and share memories that encourage us to share our vulnerabilities until we realize nothing is left worth hiding.
Once reaching that point, days like today should become less of an obligation and more of a beacon on a hill. A reminder to cherish and maintain the connection we share through routine habits and creative spontaneity not derived from corporate marketing campaigns.
That's why our self-care habit this week is to plan to make a date night habit, so we don't neglect our relationship as we get overwhelmed by our responsibilities.
While sparks are essential for starting a flame, a raging fire well fed contains a bed of coals not quickly or easily put out, so too in a well-maintained relationship, it's easier to restore the passion if we're mindfully tending to it. While we have yet to go through such a trial, we'd be willing to bet it's more intricate work to rebuild a neglected relationship than it is to keep it alive through the most challenging times, so long as we're building into it in the right seasons.
We're lucky enough to work side by side daily, yet our focus is on building into our business, so our relationship tends to take a back seat. We've been mindful of it and routinely take time to have the conversations needed to maintain a healthy growing relationship, but as the seasons of our lives change, that might not always remain the case by default. In our minds, a date night habit isn't just about the romantic aspect of our relationship. It doesn't matter if it consists of a nice dinner and a drive-in movie, taking the dog for a walk, or turning off our devices and enjoying a few card games with tea and our favourite sweets. It's about creating routines that bolster the importance of our connection on a regular basis.
What are some of your (pg rated) favourite date night activities?