Guest Author - Meghann Hodges
Love is patient, kind and thoughtful, it is not selfish, rude or irritable, and it believes the best. All of these words depict the core values that every relationship should be built on. During the first seven days, The Love Dare asks you to look at each of these values and implement them in some way into your relationship.
By being patient, we are reminded to not say anything negative to our partner and if for some reason we find it difficult, then we are asked to choose to say nothing at all.
*This seems like a very simple thing to do, however I found that I had to remind myself quite a few times not to respond too quickly and keep things positive.
Being kind to your partner means being careful and sensitive about the things you say and do, helpful with their needs, whether it is someone to talk to or housework, then you should lend an ear to listen or get busy doing the dishes. By showing that you are willing to accommodate and compromise, as well as take the initiative instead of waiting to be asked, you are indicating that your partner and his/her feelings are important to you. After this thought, you are then asked to do something kind for your partner that is unexpected, as well as continue saying nothing negative.
*After realizing how many things that I overlook every day, mostly due to our busy schedules, it wasn’t hard for me to pick something to do for her!
We are selfish by nature, and it is very hard to love a selfish person. Putting things in perspective we are asked if we truly want what is best for our partner, want them to feel loved by us, do our partners believe we have their best interest at heart or only see us looking out for ourselves first. The challenge, continuing saying nothing negative, and invest time, energy, and money into your partner…buy or do something for them that says “I was thinking of you today.”
*Generally I think of myself last. Having 3 kids in our house, two of which are special needs, doesn’t really allow much time for me to be selfish. That does not mean that I always make sure that my partners needs are met either, so I was more than happy to get her a card and small gift to show her I care and make her smile.
When was the last time you actually put some thought into showing your partner you love them? We are asked to call our partner sometime during the day, just to simply ask how they are and if they need anything.
*Although we were together all day, I still made sure to take time and ask her how she was and if I could do anything for her. She sort of answered unsure of why I was going out of my way to ask her, and that fact alone makes me glad I am taking the time to do The Love Dare.
The Golden Rule is learned from the time we are in preschool, yet we still tend to be rude to people who are close to us. You should treat your partner with the same respect you would anyone else. The challenge, ask your partner to tell you three things about you that makes them uncomfortable or irritated, you cannot get defensive, it is from their perspective only.
*I tried, but couldn’t really get a straight answer, it was almost awkward.
React with love instead of irritation, list what is causing you to be irritable, like stress, and let go of whatever is motivating you to act out of irritation.
*I think that this dare is more complicated, and will probably need to be initiated over a few days, because it is impossible to just let go of everything all at once.
Love believes the best, meaning love chooses to appreciate the best of our partners. Does that mean that there aren’t negative things about our partner? No, but we acknowledge that they have flaws, and continue loving them for all the good things, instead of focusing on all the bad. The last dare of the week asks us to take to sheets of paper, and on one write all the good things you can think of about your partner, and on the other write all the bad things. Fold up the two papers and put them in separate locations and save them for another dare on a later day. Choose one of the positive things and thank your partner for having that quality.
*This was the first time I felt emotional about what I am doing. My partner and I have had our up’s and down’s, but I have always tried to think of our relationship in a positive light. Sitting down and actually putting pen to paper, I was surprised at how much more easily the negative things came out than the positive.
The first seven dares of The Love Dare, at first glance might not seem all that challenging, but it was more about getting you to look inward at what you are contributing to your relationship. In return for evaluating and adjusting your efforts, you can see a positive difference in how your relationship functions and how your partner responds to you.