Why is it that we spend so much time comparing our lives to other peoples? What is it that seems to drive us to want more? Is it just a part of our DNA?

Let’s think about our relationships.  Are we already in the perfect partnership without realising or appreciating it?

To start with, let’s be honest with ourselves, I want you to consider:

Have you ever felt a little tinge of envy, when your friend’s husband has bought them a surprise trip to an exotic country?  Or maybe they surprised them with a beautiful bouquet of flowers for no apparent reason?  If so, have you secretly wished that your partner was just a little bit more like theirs?

If the answer to this is yes, I don’t want you to feel bad about it, this is such a normal sentiment.  However, what I do want you to think about, is what small words, acts or gestures your husband or partner has made. 

Maybe he got up and made you a cup of tea this morning, perhaps he whispered “I love you” before he got in the car to work, or casually took your hand.  Or maybe he just took time, to really listen, when you were telling him about how stressful your day was. These are all small gestures but ones that you should hold on to and cherish.

Loving couple

Nobody really knows what goes on behind the four walls of another couple’s home and I don’t care what anyone says. “There is no such thing as a perfect relationship”.   I’m going to give you some “maybes”:

  • Maybe the lady that just received the most beautiful bouquet of flowers is wishing that her husband didn’t have to work so many hours.
  • Maybe the man that treated his wife to a luxurious trip away was trying to make up after a horrible argument.
  • Maybe the man’s wife wishes that rather than lavishing her with gifts he would just hold her tight and tell her how much he loves her.

These are of course imaginary scenarios but ones with an underlying message.  Gifts and extravagant trips away, don’t bring you happiness, not without the important acts and gestures that money can’t buy.

AA Milne wrote some beautiful words when writing the Winnie the Pooh books, one of my favourites is:

“How do you spell love?” said Piglet

“You don’t spell it, you feel it” said Pooh

So very true, love isn’t something that needs to look correct, like an expensive gift.  It is something that needs to be felt, like a hand caressing your cheek and making you glow inside.

Couple in love

What I’d like you to do is ask yourself these questions:

  • Can you be your own true self when you and your partner are together?
  • Does he truly listen to you with interest?
  • Do you feel you can rely on his support?
  • Is he sensitive to the way you feel?
  • Are you treated with respect?

I could go on and on, as there are many ways to recognise true love.  Mark Darcy got it right in Bridget Jones Diary, when he said, “I love you, just the way you are”. 

Just because your partner hasn’t lavished you with extravagant gifts, it doesn’t mean they aren’t the perfect one for you. It just means they may be expressing their love in different ways.  Ways, that in fact, should be treasured and held tight, because they are part of the beautiful path to true love and happiness.

“A true love story is not a fairy tale”, as John Gottman says.  “It takes vulnerability and effort.  The reward is that you love your partner more on your 50th anniversary than you did on your wedding day.”