I was putting on my shoes this morning, and thought to myself how comfortable they are. How much they fit to the contours of my feet, and how easy they are to put on, wear, and most importantly, take off. Then I looked at my favourite office shoes, and realized what a terrible state of care they are in. I’ve worn these shoes into the ground, because I’ve taken them for granted.
I’ve put on my shoes every day, worn them mercilessly through mud, over stones, into a river, and in the dust. I’ve thrown them into my car, stepped on them, scuffed them, and generally abused them with neglect. It’s not that I don’t love them. Anyone who knows me knows I love my shoes, and all shoes for that matter with an unhealthy passion. But these shoes, the ones I claim to be my favourite, are the most mistreated.
When I kissed my lover goodbye, I couldn’t help but realize we as people don’t just do that to our favourite shoes, but we do the same type of thing in our relationships too. We get complacent, comfortable. We stop dressing up. We stop trying to impress and surprise those who are the closest to us.
Before long, couples find themselves in a routine they can’t break free of. Work, school, social engagements all take a higher priority than the relationship. Boredom and resentment follow quickly afterwards. A decline in intimacy, if it hasn’t occurred already, will be happening soon as well.
It’s what I call “Old Shoe Syndrome”. The only way to fight it, is to focus on caring for your significant other more than you care for your tennis shoes. So what is the proper way to start fighting this affliction? Note: These are not only preventetive measures, but also cures for this malady.
1: Think of one thing you love about your significant other. Tell them what it is. Find any way to compliment them, that day. Make it sincere.
2: Kiss each other. This is not excused by a peck on the cheek or on the nose. Make an excuse to really kiss your partner.
3: Hug for at least 15 consecutive seconds. This stimulates endorphins and dopamine. It helps the body to relax and creates a closer connection, and more intimacy.
4: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate. If you stop talking to your significant other, you are alienating them and yourself. Make time to talk.
5: Go to bed at the same time.
1: Spend at least one hour together talking with no distractions. Yes, that’s right. No cell phones, no TV, tablet, gaming, etc. I highly recommend taking a bath together, or snuggling in bed. Big rule here though: No complaining.
2: Hash out the weekly schedule so you can plan and schedule your date night. Yes, I said it. Weekly date night / day / time. Make it a priority.
3: Do something unexpected. Did you know that predicatbility is the biggest killer of successful relationships? Get out of your shell and do something weird, exciting, strange, or unpredictable. Brownie points if they make your significant other laugh.
4: Make sex a priority. Schedule your intimate encounters if you have to. My cubemate informs me that as a parent he has to schedule his lovin’ time with his wife. I actually had to schedule mine last weekend. But never let a week go by without physical intimacy. Unless there are medical problems preventing it, do the horizontal mambo every week.
5: Tell your significant other what they mean to you. Not just “I love you.” Define your love for them in interesting ways. Even if it’s a small gesture like making french toast for your love while they sleep, or coming over to make chicken soup if they are sick.
I think if I had taken the time to care for my shoes the way I strive to care for my lover, the soles wouldn’t be seperating from the shoe, I wouldn’t be feeling a hole in the toe, and I wouldn’t be needing new shoes.