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When you first meet someone that you would like to get to know more personally, everything is exciting. It’s new. Everything is fresh and nothing is predictable. That’s dating. Dating is the thrill of the hunt. Once you actually decide to Like a person… To keep a person around, you entertain the idea of being exclusive…to maybe fall in love. So you decide to proposition that person and form a relationship.

The relationship-relationship stage.

You like them, they like you. You haven’t Shocked each other into not staying for any particular reason as of yet. All surprises have been, good sway. Annoying habits have been able to be put to “I can deal with that” or “it’s annoying but it’s cute” categories and everyone moves on.

Moving on… Getting to know you… Getting to know all about you…. (somehow I always hear those words in song, lol)

When you spend enough time with someone, you learn a lot about them. How they slurp their soup and when they prefer to watch TV… What they prefer to watch, or if they are a chronically late person or not. Some of these things might seem like annoying habits. They are all, however, patterns of behavior. We all have them. It’s an inescapable fact of life. Whether we know it or not, we all live in patterns. We all have annoying habits.

My personal favorite is my husband Cliff doesn’t like the toothpaste lid off the toothpaste so when I used to be really irritated at him, I used to leave it off on purpose. It’s just a little tiny thing. I was being passive-aggressive. It’s something I decided not to do anymore. Why? Why should I? How does that help me to be vindictive in my marriage? It really doesn’t. It just feeds a cycle that becomes a much bigger problem. People do these things. Subconsciously, even, sometimes.

Our annoying habits and ticks can be bothersome to others. However, as people, we look for them because they tell us…. Well, Everything. Patterns show me how my partner is feeling without me asking sometimes. In any relationship, a partner requires consistency. It does not really matter what it is.

Consistency can happen in many ways, as every couple is different. No couple exists without it. Every couple has “things”. A movie, a song. One person knows the other is on time, the other knows that the other is always late. It’s these patterns of behavior that become a part of the relationship. The couple itself relies on it to exist. You take away the consistency, you take away the couple.

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Several things can come in and mess with the consistency… A new baby, an affair, addiction, a new job. You have to make the time to show your relationship that it’s still your relationship. That as you are evolving through life, you are growing together. This is sometimes happy, painful or sad. Life is going to have its ebbs and flows. When people don’t, they drift apart. Often by being selfish. People would rather put themselves above the relationship than be consistent in it. This is “trending” as the cool kids call it.

Often¬†after life rocks the relationship boat, and it will, you can’t avoid it, one partner will go looking for consistency in the other when it’s needed the most. This is usually when it’s make or break time. Lack of consistency at this junction, to do whatever is needed, is often the tell-tale sign that the relationship or the other person isn’t a priority. Considering the fact that it takes two to be a team and nothing in life is going to stay the same for both people constantly, all the more reason to find out how best to be consistent for your partner.

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Being consistent doesn’t mean never changing routine. It means that as life is changing, never failing to show up. To never let your partner down. When new things develop, being a team player. Being unselfish.

Being passive aggressive when things get rocky isn’t being consistent. It’s only adding more stress. It’s poking and pulling. I’m not in competition with my husband. I see lots of my friends who speak and talk like the person they sleep next to is the enemy. We aren’t all in these mini-wars unless we create them. Why did we choose these people? Why are we still eating dinner with them? Do we still care? Where is that caring? Are we just waiting for the next thing? Why the need for extra drama? Is it just the next level of attention seeking? What has us needing that? Why not just need our partners… And why aren’t they needing us back?

I have asked for constancy in my relationship. I want to know I’m cared for. I think being consistent is a wonderful way to show your love for another. I am also working on being consistent back. Proof is in the pudding, actions speak louder than words.

– Chloe

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