There that Simon goes again. What does he think, that 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 is he talking about with this being attentive and self-disciplined
Simon assumes you are responsible, considerate, reliable, thoughtful,
and all of those kinds of things. There is a potential glitch, though. In
quality, long-term 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 Simon calls “attention
Here is the problem. In a long-term 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 Simon’s strategy for preventing attention drift? Have the self-discipline
needed to continuously be attentive to subtle changes and shifts and to deal
with them immediately.