The Dynamics of Attention, Intention, and Investment in a Relationship.
When was the last time that you went on a date and felt fireworks? The date was everything! You had a great connection; the conversation was flowing and all you could think about was WOW this could be THE ONE. You continue to date and then poof! just like that he’s gone, or he gives you the dreaded “we need to talk” talk. So now you sit here asking what happened, where did it all go left? My name is Sarai, your certified relationship coach and modern-day Hitch, and I am here to answer your questions and bring you some clarity in this situation.
When we start dating, attention, intention and investment are 3 distinctive pillars that uphold the foundation of a thriving relationship. These 3 elements create that emotional connection and growth, BUT a lot of us don’t even know what these mean or what they look like!! So, let’s explore how attention, intention, and investment play their unique roles in a developing relationship.
Attention: Fueling the Flame
Attention is the spark that everybody feels in the beginning. It's the art of being present, fully engaged, and genuinely interested in your partner's world. In a world full of distractions, offering your undivided attention is an invaluable gift. When you actively listen, seek to understand, and respond with empathy, you communicate that your partner's thoughts, feelings, and experiences truly matter to you.
You might be thinking well duh Sarai, of course attention is important! But hear me out, this is where a lot of us get stuck in and confuse attention with real connection. We base our future relationship of off just this interaction, and we get so lost in this phase that we forget to check in on everything else which truly makes a relationship.
So, think about it this way: just as a delicate flower needs sunlight to thrive, a relationship requires attention to bloom. Regular conversations, date nights, and shared activities create opportunities to deepen that bond. The quality of attention you give reflects your commitment to nurturing the emotional connection that sets the foundation for intimacy and trust. Again, the key word here is QUALITY time. Texting for days is not quality time, making plans and not sticking to them is not quality time, showing excessive amount of attention is not quality time. It is a red flag by the way, which leads to love bombing but that is a whole other topic for another day.
What I am trying to say is, do not get blinded by this phase, there is more that makes a relationship, than just quality attention, which leads me to identifying intention in a relationship.
Intention: Guiding the Path
Intention is the compass that directs the journey of a relationship. It's about setting clear goals and consciously working toward shared dreams. If you’ve worked with me before we have talked about creating a vision of your relationship and the importance of it. When you have a vision for your relationship, you pave the way for growth and mutual understanding. Identifying intentions helps you align your actions and decisions with the values that are important to both of you.
How can you tell if your partner has good intentions in your developing relationship? Well intentions involve open communication about your values, desires, aspirations, goals, and what your boundaries are. And it's not just about the present, but also about planning for the future, your future together. Whether it's building a family, traveling the world together, or supporting each other's individual goals, intentions provide a roadmap for your joint adventure. Understanding this key element is what brings you back to earth from the attention la-la-land that you have been in. With this element in mind, you can avoid future heartbreak. You know want to know how, continue reading.
Investment: Cultivating the Garden
Hey you’re still here!! Which means you are invested… 😉. Investment is the nurturing care that allows love to thrive over time. It incorporates emotional, physical, and even material efforts that demonstrate your commitment to the relationship. Investing in your relationship involves consistent care, effort, and dedication. You know that old saying relationships are ‘hard work’, well this is the hard work. If your new partner is showing you that their words are indeed followed by actions, then they are truly investing.
Investment comes in many forms, it could be by supporting each other's personal growth, showing affection, tackling challenges together, and demonstrating unwavering support through the difficult times. Just because you have gotten to a point in your relationship where routine has set in, does not mean that you stop investing into this relationship. Remember any type of relationship still needs effort and care. So, small gestures like surprise gifts or handwritten notes can remind your partner that they are truly cherished. If you are aware of their love language use this information to make them feel acknowledged and cherished in the relationship, that’s what they are there for. Investing time in shared experiences and creating lasting memories strengthens your emotional bond, setting your relationship into a strong foundation. Hey you’re still here!! Which means you are invested… 😉.
Investment is the nurturing care that allows love to thrive over time. It incorporates emotional, physical, and even material efforts that demonstrate your commitment to the relationship. Investing in your relationship involves consistent care, effort, and dedication. You know that old saying relationships are ‘hard work’, well this is the hard work. If your new partner is showing you that their words are indeed followed by actions, then they are truly investing.
The Synergy of Attention, Intention, and Investment.
The beautiful thing in all of this is understanding how all these elements intertwine and work together. Attention without intention might lead to superficial connections, aka getting ghosted after a certain number of dates. While intention without investment could lead you to being victim of a situationship, and investment without genuine attention could become a hollow routine. When these three elements work in harmony, they form a strong foundation for your developing relationship, that in the long run sustains the test of time.
There you have it, now think about the last time you were ghosted or ended up in a situationship. Which one of these elements was missing in that situation? If you are still wondering and asking, “well can’t anyone just pretend the entire time and I end up getting hurt at the end?” Well, the answer is yes anyone can pretend…even you.
But if you're asking me, how can I avoid being heartbroken again? Well reader it is not guaranteed and that is the gamble that you take with love. A safe way to avoid future heartbreak is to invest and then test. So, in that investment ‘test’ give the energy that you want to give in the relationship and then test it out, and if your partner is not reciprocating that energy and you’ve communicated this with them, then its safe to walk away, avoiding you to stay in a relationship where you won’t be valued in the long run and get heartbroken. One last thing, these elements work for ANY type of relationship not just romantic ones!!
I hope this helped you and I wish you the best of luck in finding your true compatible partner.
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Written by Sarai Tave Certified Singles & Relationship Coach