“What you appreciate will grow, what you don’t appreciate will go.”
Jac and Ellie has been together for 7 years, on and off. They were young, only 22 when they met. Ellie had been in several relationships, but there was something about Jac that made her want to settle down with him: his child-like faith about love.
Jac had never been in a relationship and it was his first. He was excited and thought it would be the relationship for the rest of his life.
After they got together, Jac slowed down in passion, took things for granted, and turned passive in gardening the relationship. Ellie was deeply hurt, sad and helpless. He was the one she really wanted, though no matter what she did, she was not able to turn on the engine of Jac to attend to the relationship problems at risk. Frustrated, she left him.
The leaving of Ellie left Jac shattered and shocked. It was his first relationship and he had never expected his loved one would leave him. Jac did what he could to salvage the relationship. It was too late.
Ellie left the country and found someone new.
It is human instinct to devote our attention to getting what we want, the love of our lives. However, it is also as easy as human instinct to think what we have will always be there. It is almost like bringing a plant home and expecting it to grow on itself without watering or fertilising it. The plant won’t grow without water, it will wither and eventually die.
Same with our loved ones, our partner. Our partner is like a plant we brought home to build a life together. Without watering our partner with care and attention, when we neglect our partner’s needs, their hearts wither and weaken.
The next question is, how do we water our partner with care and attention? Know what they need to make them feel alive. They want to feel noticed by you, their existence, their change, their effort. They feel noticed when you acknowledged and commented positively on their change, their effort.