Did you brush your teeth today?
Did you brush your teeth this morning?
My guess is that you did... at least I hope so.
You've probably brushed your teeth almost every day of your life since you had teeth. It's a pretty logical thing to do. It prevents cavities, bad breath and gum disease (obviously) as well as a bunch of other great health benefits like preventing heart disease, dementia, and diabetes.
But you probably don't think about all those things when you brush, do you? You just do it because it's a good habit you've developed (or it feels gross if you don't).
I was talking to my friend who's a dental hygienist today. I asked her if she's ever met someone who never brushes their teeth.
"Yes," she said.
"What's that like?"
She sent me a picture of teeth that were so gross I couldn't bring myself to include them in this blog post. Here's a funny gif instead:
Suffice it to say, brushing your teeth is important! You can't just go to the dentist once every 6 months and get a really intense, professional cleaning and call it good.
When it comes to the things that matter, consistency ALWAYS beats intensity.
In less than a month, the Winter Olympics will start. I love the Olympics. The best athletes in the world gather for a few weeks to compete on a stage and at a level that is beyond anything else (except for maybe the World Cup).
I love hearing the athlete's stories about how they struggled and fought and practiced morning, noon, and night for years so they could get this one chance to compete at the Olympics.
Sometimes I watch them and think, "Huh... I'll bet if I was more dedicated I could have gone to the Olympics."
(Then I see something like this and I'm like, "Uh... never mind")
So, consistency. It's the key to impeccable oral health and becoming an Olympian (well... consistency and talent); so how does it apply to marriage? What's the "brushing your teeth" equivalent that keeps it healthy and worthy of a gold medal?
Here are a few ideas:
- Give each other a foot massage before you go to bed every night
- Kiss each other before you leave for the day and when you come home... make the kiss passionate
- Ask the question every day, "How can I be a better partner for you tomorrow?"
- Give your partner a sincere compliment every day
- Write your partner a love note every week
- Ask each other the question, "What's your favorite thing about me today?" every day
They're small things. But over time, they add up and make a difference.
For example, yesterday I got a phone call from my wife at 5:20 AM. She said, "Where are you?!"
I was exactly where I am every day of the week at 5:20... on my way to the gym.
"You forgot to kiss me goodbye! I didn't think you'd left. It's the first day you've ever missed it!"
Honestly, what you choose to do is up to you. JUST BE CONSISTENT!
The best advice I could give is to take some time and think about what you want more of in your relationship (laughter, date nights, understanding, empathy, money, massages, making out, travel, etc.) and what you want less of (fighting, farting under the sheets, TV dinners, insults, anger, etc.) and figure out what things you can do CONSISTENTLY to start giving yourself more of what you want and less of what you don't!
If you can make investing in your marriage as ritualistic as brushing your teeth, your marriage will be INVINCIBLE!
It's like that Bruce Lee quote:
"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times."
I'd love to hear what things you do consistently to ensure you have an incredible, strong, gold-medal relationship. Leave your ideas in the comments!