Be Attentive & Self-disciplined

What’s with that? Do I think you are out of control or something? You are consistent and predictable and are certainly attractive and fun to be around. You give your relationship your best shot as well. Now what am I talking about with this being attentive and self-disciplined stuff?

I assume you are responsible, considerate, reliable, thoughtful, and all of those kinds of things. There is a potential glitch though. In quality, serious relationships, your comfort zone increases, you are very familiar with your significant other, and there is little need to consciously attend to the relationship. It is not something you think about much and there is minimal need to “stay sharp.” You assuredly are in a safe place. Nonetheless, you need to beware of what I call “attention drift.”

Here is the problem. In a serious relationship, you and your significant other gradually adjust and accommodate to each other. You are each attractive to the other and pay little to no attention to quirks, habits, and behavior that is slightly annoying or irritating. You get used to each other.

All would be fine were it not that you both change over time. Each of you behaves a little differently here and has a slightly shifted attitude there. For a while, you just accommodate with no conscious awareness of doing so. At some point, you become aware but do not make an issue of it. More time passes and annoyance and irritation appear with no specific focus. This grows and begins to take on more importance than your attraction to each other. You have drifted apart.

What happened? One or both of you were not attentive enough to your changing behavior and attitudes. You experienced attention drift. The result is that your relationship is in jeopardy.

What is my suggested strategy for preventing attention drift? Here it is, simple and straight up. Have the self-discipline needed to continuously be attentive to subtle changes and shifts and to deal with them immediately.