What's important is not saying "I love you" or "I'll always be there for you". Showing it to you is what really matters.
No matter how much you care about each other, love is simply not enough to carry you both into a happy, long-term relationship. It takes time and effort from both sides to keep your relationship running. And when your partner gets caught up in the web of complacency, they stop putting in enough effort and it starts to show through their actions. If you notice these signs, you can tell that your partner is starting to become lazy about holding up their end of the relationship.
You deserve to feel like a priority in your partner's life rather than a choice. "If you notice the time together diminishing on a regular basis, with excuses of work or family commitments, your partner just isn’t putting in the effort anymore," Julie Spira, online dating expert, told Elite Daily. When they start to neglect your time together, you miss out on chances to laugh away together, cuddle on the couch, and be intimate with each other. Over time, the feelings you have for each other can start to dim down.
The feeling of being taken for granted can quickly turn into resentment in a relationship. When you feel like your partner barely does any of the work, doesn't bother to share the chores, and, worst of all, doesn't show that they're grateful for all that you do, it shows how they don't stop to acknowledge you and make you feel seen. A simple "thank you" or "I love you for ___" or "you do this so well" are the kind of words that you need to hear to feel valued.
"You had [special] songs, nicknames, foods, movies and more when you first got together," Rich Bracken, motivational speaker and relationship/communication coach, told Bustle. "You dressed up a little more, held their hand a little longer, sent texts just because." These little things had a huge impact in strengthening your bond. It's these things that stitch your relationship together and if they start to disappear, the strings become loose.
Even after years together, it's important that you both still pay attention to the constantly-changing needs and desires that you both have. The burning curiosity of wanting to know every little thing about each other, from the silliest thoughts to the deepest fears, shows how you both will never tire of each other. Bracken said, "Life is an ongoing story and there is always something new to learn about the person you’re with. But if you don’t want to keep turning the pages, then I think it’s safe to say this may be the final chapter."
It does take the extra bit of effort to talk about things that bother you, but as a couple, you come out stronger at the end of those conversations. "Couples who stay together have uncomfortable conversations where they share difficult emotions," marriage and family therapist, Jennifer Chappell Marsh told HuffPost. "When couples feel their expression of distress is seen and heard, their bond strengthens, they become more resilient and their capacity for overall happiness increases."
If they were actively putting in their best effort in the relationship, then you wouldn't have to feel like you need to struggle to get their attention or beg them to show you their emotional support. What's important is not saying, "I'll be there for you"; showing it to you is what really matters. You deserve to know that your partner will be there for you when you need them, will pick up the phone when you're in deep trouble, and that you can count on them no matter what.
Disclaimer: This article is based on insights from different sources. The views expressed here are those of the writer.