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The Gratitude Project: Building a Healthy Relationship

The Gratitude Project: Building a Healthy Relationship Jolene Kaneshige PhotographyBy, Tabitha Miki Floral Designer

It’s easy to be incredibly romantic when the relationship is going well, but the true “measure of a partner;” is when issues arise and we don’t see eye to eye! It is learning to sort through the miscommunication, the hurt feelings, and ego and to love one another completely, the beautiful, the ugly,everything. That is the true test of love!  There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child, but I feel that same amount of care and aid needs to be given to a couple on their journey towards marriage! We have marriage counselors for when people are having problems, but why not be proactive and start encouraging healthy relationship habits before discontent or any sort of threat to the relationship takes place? Most of the time, myself included, it is all too easy to be caught up in the romance of the proposal, the planning of the wedding, and the wedding itself.

We overlook a key component to any proposal, the couple themselves. So as couples, young, old, first marriage or on their third walk down the path towards marriage; we, the family, friends, coworkers can be actively and objectively be preparing them to face the challenges of the journey before them that they may emerge triumphant and strong! To those considering marriage, be proactive! Be sure you see all the beauty in each other as well as realistically understanding and accepting one another’s faults. Go for relationship counseling before the marriage to equip yourselves with many of the tools you can use to make your relationship strong. Each person in a relationship invests so much into it, your heart, your emotions, time, resources, finances, doesn’t it make sense to use the right tools for the right project? For flowers, you seek out a florist; for photos, a photographer; for relationships, a counselor before the wedding bells sound! It will be the best investment of your life!

I was reading several articles on proposals, marriage, marriage success rates; and all these thoughts were racing through my brain. It was then that I thought about some of the little reasons we get hurt. (I am not a professional marriage counselor, these are simply reflections from my own experiences. Consult a professional counselor or therapist for any counseling needs).

Miscommunication, feelings of abandonment, or being underappreciated and then contemplated what we could do to fix them, and combat them. I thought about when I am feeling sad or upset, a few times I reached out to friends, not to complain of my circumstances, but instead to bring them cheer and just to say I appreciate them. It may not have fixed the problem I was having at that point; but my point of view changed. I began being grateful for the things I did have and I was able to put myself in another person’s shoes and look at things from their eyes. It is that type of attitude that allows more openness and for situations to be resolved.

Then it came to me, a little exercise to do with that someone special when issues arise. Write down 10 things about that person, without repeating items, that you are grateful for. Whether it be their sense of humor, their thoughtfulness, or the way they hug you; then see if you can still be mad. It’s a way to NOT focus on WHO is in the right,but rather WHAT is right. I then began to think that this type of gratitude project not only plays out in this arena, but in the very start of the journey to marriage! In fact, can you imagine building a relationship on an attitude of gratitude? What if there was a path of single roses with hand written reasons the person was grateful for their loved one, tied onto each rose with a ribbon, leading up to the area where the proposal will take place? Maybe their family hiding out nearby to surprise them to show them their support to help “raise” a healthy relationship!!! It would be absolutely divine! There are so many ways to incorporate little notes and expressions of gratitude into daily life with your special someone as well as into that romantic, destination proposal! Building it on love, trust, and gratitude working on putting someone else first over yourself! The ultimate gift! Have you taken your steps to properly work towards a healthy, happy journey through life with that special someone and are ready to “pop the question”? Seeking out that perfect professional proposal team to accomplish that vision? Contact us. Let us help you tell your love story!

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