Why your relationship is like a plant
The relationship that needs hard work
Some plants require a lot of work. They need to be watered twice a day and won't grow unless you give them special fertilizer that cost an arm and a leg. Sometimes you treat them exactly like the garden centre recommended, but no matter what you do, they die anyway. The plant looked good, healthy and flourishing (which is why you bought it) but as soon as you brought it home, the very sound of your voice seemed to send it bowing its head.
Some relationships are better off not started. The romance you think is there has always only been in your head. These relationships only flourish when a lot of work is put in. As soon as you turn your back - even fleetingly, they fall down and die.
In your relationship: you have to ask yourself, is this hard work sustainable? Will I always be there to water and add special fertiliser? What will happen when I'm ill or have to go away over night? Do I have all this time to spare?
The relationship that needs perpetual light
Some plants (and I have one like this in my bathroom) need to always be placed in the light. If you were (painting, for example) and moved them to a darker place for a week they'd be falling over themselves, getting ready to splutter and die on you.
Some relationships flourish when the couple is out and about. Everyone thinks they're great together and they're the best couple ever. As long as the lights are shining and people are looking, things are great. When there's money to spend and there are parties to go to, love is also splendid. However, once the darker, more difficult times hit, the relationship turns sour because only the light of ongoing fun sustains it.
In your relationship: you have to ask yourself, are I going to be able to sustain the fun times forever? What will happen when I run out of money/health or youth? Will I want to be in the light forever or will I sometimes prefer the quite and peace just sitting on the sofa? Will my relationship survive the darker times?
The relationship that needs dead-heading
Some plants will happily flower in their season. They don't need you to do anything. It's their season to flower and fruit, so they just get on with it - whether it's dry or wet, sunny or rainy. Other plants won't flower properly unless you dead-head them (pick off the dead flowers to encourage new ones to take their place).
Some relationships are stop - start. They only keep chugging on if there are drama stuffed in at every interval. Fights and arguments are the things that keep these relationships 'interesting' because there's nothing else going for them. The fights 'dead -head' these relationships so that the make-ups can be sweeter. Of course, there's a place for healthy arguments in marriage, but these are not healthy in the least.
In your relationship: you have to ask yourself, is this what you had in mind when you envisioned your lasting relationship? Is this the life you want to keep on living? Is this happiness? Is this what you want for your future? For your kids? Where is all this going to lead and when it gets worse how far will it go?
The relationship that's just right
Some plants are great to have around. As long as you feed them now and then and water them when they're dry they'll serve you faithfully for years to come. I've sought these plants out and have resolved to raise only them and their counterparts in our home. They need a bit of work, but are reasonable with their demands. They have to be watered, but if you're away they'll keep for an extra day or two without dropping dead on you. They need a bit of light, but can survive in darkness for a while. They're quite forgiving. They don't really need dead-heading, and will happily shed their own dead flowers and bring new ones on without requiring you to take action.
You don't need to say it here, but which type of plant is your relationship like? Is your relationship the kind of plant you love to keep?
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