How To Keep Love Alive In The Bad Times

When winter sets in, and the snow and frost come, we can feel the need to batten down the hatches and go into hibernation. Things can be much the same in relationships. When love grows cold, and communication breaks down, we have a tendency to give up and let the relationship die. However, it needn’t be that way. Every relationship goes through seasons and when times are tough you have to remember a new season is on its way.

Spring: When two people meet, and find a connection, it feels like the world is a wonderful place. Then comes the first kiss, the holding of hands, the hugs and caresses. Life is brimming with romance, and it feels like nothing can ever go wrong again. Like the blooming of flowers after the winter snow, the ground is fertile and everything is growing with new gusto. Relationships are watered and grow rapidly in this season.

Summer: Now the romance is in full swing. Love seems to overcome everything. The object of your desire only wants to spend time with you and your happiness knows no bounds. You are spending joyful hours learning all about each other, and you have heard nothing bad as yet. Like the blossoming of summer flowers, all is as it should be and your partner is the most wonderful person in the world. You realize your lover has flaws, but they seem endearing and not able to trouble the beauty of your love. Relationships strengthen greatly in this season.

Autumn: At some point the initial infatuation will begin to wear off. Now reality sets in and you begin to see your lover for who they really are. This is often the make or break point for some couples. We may feel that those small flaws, that used to seem so fetching, are grating on us, and are getting too large to overcome.  Perhaps we just grow bored and long for that frisson of excitement that lasts such a short while, when our new-found love was fresh and wonderful. Whatever the reason, like the first leaves to fall from the tree, or the blooms that wither and die at the first touch of frost, some couples see no point in continuing and move on with separate lives during this season.

Winter: For the many couples that have a strong enough bond to make it to this season it can be the hardest to bear. Those same flaws we glossed over in the beginning can now become mighty issues. The way he never says please or thank you; the way she fills the bathroom with beauty products. All these things can build chasms between us, if we choose. When the frost rolls in, and we stop talking, then the snowy winter takes its toll.

However, this is often a time of change. As the caterpillar cocoons itself while transforming into a butterfly, the frosty relationship can be an opportunity for self reflection. All of us have differences that can cause friction in a relationship. No two people can be so compatible that there can never be any issues between them. Sometimes we must accept that our partners will change, we may even want them too, but we also have to realize that the process of change is not always comfortable. We have to hold on tight to our love until the process is complete.

The seasons of love also go through more than one revolution. In long term relationships the seasons turn again and again, giving us new insights into our partners, and revealing fresh facets of our love.  Thus, winter will return more than once always making us question whether the relationship is worth continuing. Invariably, a relationship is always worth fighting for, even though we struggle to see it. At these times we have to work hard at keeping the relationship alive although it may be the last thing we wish to do. Keeping the memory of your early infatuation with your partner at the foremost of your thoughts is crucial in these dark days. If you can’t remember what you first saw in them, you will struggle to keep the passion burning.

Romance is a beautiful and special thing. Early on in a relationship we become infatuated with our lover and believe they are perfect, but this emotion will inevitably pass. It is at this point that we begin to see our partner for their true selves. We can then either let our love wither and die, like a neglected flower, or hold on through the tough times, like a dormant bulb, knowing that our love will be stronger, truer and deeper on the other side. For a relationship to last we have to work at rebuilding the passion whenever we can even through the frigid winter. To keep love alive we must always remember that after winter, spring must come again.  — by Tim O’Dell

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