The biggest risk to your relationship right now: That you just can’t be arsed

I know, I know — you’re tired.

If we didn’t have to go to work or cook food or do washing then we’d have all the energy in the world for fun and frivolity, 24 hours a day.

It’s why the start of relationships are so amazing. You don’t just eat, you have dinner out together in restaurants by candlelight. You don’t just cook, you make them a meal that features more than one course, more than one recipe book, and you leave the washing up until the morning. And you just don’t do laundry. You buy new clothes. You’re dating, you haven’t got time for fabric softener.

But long term relationships are different. You go from living separate lives that coincide on assigned dates and times for no other reason than to have fun, to sharing a home, where you learn how to live real life side by side.

And inevitably after years as a couple you don’t get to just conserve all of your energy for parties and date nights and giggling at how you each pronounce words. You have to live.

You have to do the weekly shop, clean the fridge, sort your post into piles: to file, to shred, to recycle, to return to sender for the billionth time — no, Mrs Richards does. not. live. here. To do all the things that make a house a home.

Rather than big romantic gestures, you show a daily interest. You talk about his day, you recount yours, you tackle the big questions of the week — what are you doing with your life? How much longer can you realistically live in this house? How long do you need to defrost mince before you can eat it? What does Google say? Does it smell alright?

And though this is all the most glorious fun in its own way, it can also make you unintentionally lazy. You can get so caught up in the day to day, and so knackered by it all, that if you’re not careful you forget to make some time just to enjoy yourselves.

I’m conscious all the time of getting too comfortable, of letting myself get away with just not being arsed to go outside because it’s cold and because we spent four years paying off this DFS sofa so shouldn’t I be allowed to sit on it?!

Of course, sometimes you just need to do nothing. Hell, I’m all in favour of diarising that. And there is nobody better to do nothing with than a person who loves you even though your ideal night in involves cheese puffs, stretchy trousers, and falling asleep in front of Coronation Street.

But other times, you need to get out there and give your relationship the attention it deserves. Go eat burgers, drink cocktails, see a film and chat about it all the way home. You’ll never regret the quality time you’ve spent together — only that you didn’t have more of it.

I’ve written this all down because it dawned on me this week how very sad it would be for my energy levels to be the reason why the best element of my life started to fail.

Because it would be so horribly ironic if the thing about which I feel the most enthused, the most passionate, and for which I would leave all of the washing up on the side forever if that’s what it took, (*shudders*) were to crumble because I couldn’t be arsed to put the effort in.

And because learning these things and then writing them down is exactly what blogs are for.

Every now and then we all need a little reminder to put our time into what really matters — because hey, guess what, whatever happens, the sofa will still be there for us when we get home.

I guess we’d all best pop our coats on then, hadn’t we?

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