“Tell me about when you first met?”
“When did you know that him or her was the one?”
“Tell me about your first date.”
“Where was your first kiss?”
If you came into my office for marital counseling, you are going to be asked a question along these lines fairly quick. I see them as shortcuts. For, if I can help a couple relive those initial powerful feelings and once again sense the spark of when they first fell in love, then positive love deposits are instantly made. William Harley the counseling genius behind the book His Needs Her Needs writes how we should look at relationships in terms of a checking account. When there are positive interactions then deposits are made, but when negative interactions occur withdrawals occur. The issues for couples come when the withdrawals surpass the deposits. It is when each party’s love bank account hits in the red.
It’s funny, but when a couple is deep in love debt, I find reflecting on the start of their relationship is like one trying to build up their empty checking account by robbing a bank and not getting caught. Beneficial deposits build up instantly.
This happens because our love and our relationships have roots. Relationships aren’t merely linear, but roots are being built, especially in the beginning. Your marriage, your friendship, your parent – child relationship, your team relationship, and the list goes on, all have roots. Those roots are strong and secure us for the future.
Right now, as I write this, memories from the beginning of my relationship with my wife is flooding back, and those memories are providing deposits into our love banking account. Our first date. Our first kiss in the library of our college with strict PDA rules. From those magical moments in our relationships roots have been laid down. We need to remember them.
When we get to the point that most couples are when they seek counseling, it becomes very hard to even remember any positives. So why not walk down that memory lane when things are great or at least not terrible. Remembering the positives never hurt, that’s for sure. And why not cash in on some residual deposits your spouse or significant other made years before?
I encourage you to think back.
When did you first meet? When did you know, they were the one? Think back to that date, first kiss, or any other milestone.
You were in love, weren’t you? Your heart burned. You couldn’t quit thinking about him or her. You couldn’t wait to see one another.
Now before you start asking what happened — pause — don’t go down that road just remember how you loved them and remember how much you were loved. Those roots are attached to your relationship now. Let them hold you.
This doesn’t just apply to couples. Maybe you are a parent and you are pretty hacked at your child, or they’re driving you nuts. Think back to the roots of that relationship. When you held them for the first time or when they melted your heart with a “I love you Mommy” or “I love you Daddy”. The same with that friend you aren’t speaking to right now — remember that story you both have retold a million times. Your boss, to whom you just cursed under your breath — remember when you were broke and he or she graciously gave you a job. Again, this list could go on.
Relationships are built over time. We don’t need to let the current moments crush them. Your love and relationships have roots — remember them. And smile for those roots are good!