Before we dive straight into why intentional relationships are better, we need to establish what exactly they are. The dictionary defines intentional as “done on purpose; deliberate.” This meaning plays a role in what an intentional relationship is. It involves being active instead of passive and making things happen instead of waiting for them to happen to you.
Intentional relationships are not convenient relationships. They aren’t short term and they are not dictated by the surface level stuff: physical attraction, monetary reasons, friends with benefits, etc. When you enter into an intentional relationship you are proving that you’re in it for the long run.
You fight the hard fights and learn how to work and grow together as a couple. This type of relationship means not giving up when things get tough. Conflict is inevitable, and instead of running away from it, you run towards it, ready to tackle it together.
This sounds like a lot of work, right? So why are intentional relationships better?
Like anything, hard work pays off. The following are just a few of the many benefits that accompany intentional relationships:
They are more successful in the long run:
It’s common for relationships to drift, even romantic ones. After so many years and children together, drifting can be natural. But those who aren’t in intentional relationships don’t care enough to prevent the emotional separation. Part of being in an intentional relationship is noticing when distance begins and finding a way to combat it. These unions have a much better chance at longevity than others.
Intentional relationships are stronger:
As mentioned earlier, conflict and arguments are inevitable, but in intentional relationships, you work through the conflict by practicing appropriate conflict management. You learn how to be open and honest with one another. The more you communicate through your problems instead of letting them win, the more you’ll grow closer to one another.
Intentional relationships make both partners happier:
Your partner is the person who you likely spend most of your time with. They’re the person whom which you share everything– they know your secrets, your fears, your good stuff and your bad stuff– and they love you regardless. But they can only be THAT person for you if your relationship is intentional. Having somebody you love this much and can rely on to that extent, leads to an overall healthier and happier lifestyle.
Wanting an intentional relationship is great, but maintaining one is the hard part. Here are some tips on how to ensure your relationship stays intentional:
Bring the best of yourself into the relationship.
Continue to uphold your values and morals. Listen well, love well and show gratitude and appreciation for your partner.
Support your partner in their dreams and ambitions.
Believe in and support your partner. Use your time and energy to invest in them.
Give more than you take.
If the two of you continually do this, you will both constantly strive to be better for the other.
Make time for each other.
Life will inevitably get in the way and something will always come up. Set a weekly date night that you aren’t allowed to miss, no matter the excuse.
Establish daily rituals together.
While the big things are important, it’s the little things that add up. Find time every day to spend together – read the paper and enjoy a cup of coffee each morning or go on an evening stroll through the neighborhood.
Intentional relationships can be extremely rewarding and fulfilling when you and your partner actively prioritize your life together. Interested in more ideas and tools regarding intentionality? To enhance your relationship, consider couples counseling for additional relationship care and support.