That’s What Love Is For and the Habits of Ineffective Couples

Indeed, all couples want to have a successful and rewarding relationship, yet it is normal for couples to have ups and downs. When problems keep resurfacing in a relationship, it’s often because we jump into the deep end of a romance too soon.  On the other hand, it’s the lack of communication, which is known to be the biggest relationship sin of all.

Relationships take work. It needs love and attention in order to survive.

I stumbled upon thecurableromantic.com’s SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY INEFFECTIVE COUPLES and reading it is breather. The article teaches a lot and I highly recommend it. Here’s a copy:

lovebox

Relationships take work. Much like a goldfish won at a county fair, your relationship needs love and attention in order to survive. Assuming you want it to survive. Without the right amount of nurturing, your relationship and the goldfish will be found belly up by morning.

In the spirit of Stephen Covey and his highly effective habits I have found seven common bad habits of couples and maybe a few suggestions on how to repair and salvage your floundering goldfish… er, relationship.

1. Getting too close, too quick. Whirlwind romances, no matter how magical they seem, don’t always have those fairytale endings. The old “commit first, ask questions later” may have serious repercussions. If a man (men being non-committal by nature) is anxious to get into a binding relationship with you after a week, he could be running from something. Trade your romanticisms for cynicism and discover his dark secrets. If it’s really love, elopement can wait a week or until those police reports come back.

Seriously, jumping into the deep end of a romance too soon could lead to the drowning of sorrows later. Slow down and take the time to reveal annoying habits and psychotic tendencies before making major decisions. Speed dating may be all the rage these days, but like the song says, you can’t hurry love. Give yourself a little breathing room or at least sleep on your side of the bed.

2. Dishonesty. We’re all guilty of a few little white lies. There’s no harm in hiding prematurely gray hair or fibbing about that few extra pounds, right? Sure, if they don’t have any effect on your relationship. But once you decide to spend every waking moment with someone, it‘s time to wield the truth stick. Telling a girl in a bar that you’re a neurosurgeon to impress her into a one-night stand is one thing, neglecting to tell your girlfriend that you’re still married until after you’ve moved in with her is quite different. Building a relationship on lies is unhealthy and tiresome. It can prevent you from experiencing real love because your trusting partner believes in something you’re not.

Be upfront with your partner from the beginning. If you’re uncertain of your feelings for her, let her know. Share any details that may be pertinent to the relationship such as any children, diseases, or fetishes you may have. Give your lover the chance to decide whether he can handle the fact that you have six kids, had a bout of the clap, and you want him to wear your undergarments. If you don’t feel comfortable telling your partner the truth, get out and find someone you will be comfortable with. Lying didn’t work for Jon Lovitz’s liar character and it’s not going to work for you.

3. Jealousy. Maybe she has a lot of male companions. Maybe he works in an office full of women. Just the thought of your partner in the same room with someone of the opposite sex has you turning green. Don’t use your jealousy as an excuse to become inseparable as a couple. Chances are, your beau isn’t going to spring for elective conjoining surgery and insurance definitely won’t cover it.

This is one of those cases where you need to trust that your man isn’t going to jump every woman who asks to borrow his stapler. Yes, men are going to find your girl attractive and yes, you will catch your guy’s eyes drifting to body parts that don’t belong to you. Accept it gracefully and don’t overreact. Possessiveness is such an ugly trait and can lead to nasty breakups and restraining orders.

Allow your partner to see his or her friends and use the time apart to visit some of your own neglected chums. If you’re afraid that your love might meet someone one else while you’re in separate rooms, learn a few unique tricks that will surely return him to your arms at the end of the night.

4. Cheating. Survival of the fittest drives us to seek out greener pastures, especially if the current relationship has grown stale. Doesn’t make it right nor is it fair to the other people involved. By becoming emotionally involved with someone, you temporarily surrender your right to partake of the flesh of others. To stray means to endure the wrath of the significant other’s best friends.

So, your romance has run ashore. Before dipping your rod back into the pond, you have to do something with the dead fish rotting in the floor of your boat. Discuss the new developments with your current and fish around for possible solutions. If you still have feelings for your lover, but have some wild oats you’d like to sow, try mutually agreeing to see other people on the side. Suggest the polyamorous lifestyle if you’d like your partner to participate with you. If you insist on being unfaithful, your partner should be allowed to get in on the fun somehow. Should swinging not be to your lover’s liking, give one last shot at rekindling your romance. If all else fails, move on and pull some other defenseless fish from the water.

5. Loss of sexual interest. Relationships are comprised of many phases. The Formal (getting to know one another) phase, the Honeymoon (can’t tear away from each other) phase, the Comfort (finally able to say you dislike his mother) phase, and the Deterioration (why did you even bother) phase. The comfort stage is very tricky territory and often leads to discomfort. Being comfortable with your partner indicates the pressure to impress is off, but it also leads to ruts, particularly of the sexual variety.

Sexual desire can wane once you’ve been together a certain amount of time. You have familiarized yourself with all your lover’s parts and moves. So familiar that they may not excite you like before. When this happens, the woman’s doubts of sexual desirability soar and the man goes in search of excitement elsewhere.

You don’t need a tow truck to get out of a sexual rut. Simply pick up a copy of Kama Sutra, grab some massage oil and Saran Wrap and surprise your partner with a few new twists. This would be a key time to reveal those secret fantasies.

6. Neglecting your partner. Even if you’re married, there’s no guarantee that your beloved will stick around forever. Obviously you can’t spend 24/7/365 together (well, you shouldn’t) and sometimes work, friends, family, pets, or a paper cut can distract you. Once you get into that comfort zone and ease back into your regularly scheduled life, it’s easy to leave your lover behind. Remember that goldfish?

Paying attention to your partner doesn’t necessarily mean being in each other’s faces, though that can’t hurt. No, it’s the small doses of tenderness that count and rack up the most points. Leave a note on her pillow, slip an article of your clothing into his briefcase, or hide inexpensive (yet meaningful) trinkets around the house. Doing something to show your special person that you don’t wish him dead can help prolong your romance a couple more weeks.

7. Lack of communication. This is the biggest relationship sin of all. Without communication, you basically have a steady, mediocre booty call. You might as well point to some stranger on the street, decide he’s your boyfriend, and keep walking. Communication is more than sitting down to discuss problem areas and issues you may have with one another. It’s the mindless drivel and the chit chat during television commercials about music and world events.

Body language plays a major role in communication and not just in the bedroom. The way you behave and carry yourself can clue your partner in on how you’re feeling, even if you’re not willing to vocalize. A snarl is worth a thousand grumbles.

In order to have any decent, productive relationship, you must emerge from the shadows where you’ve been lurking and stop avoiding your significant other. Not big on words? Do you best Marcel Marceau. If you don’t communicate with your lover, how will you ever finish each other’s sentences or know when he‘s ready to leave a boring party? You’ll just look silly in your matching sweat suits and be the laughing stock, rather than the envy, of all your friends. And isn’t making your friends jealous the reason you started dating in the first place?

Avoiding these seven problem areas requires strength, motivation, and a little something called love. We are guilty of basing our romantic beliefs on fairy tales. The problem with happily ever after is there’s more to ever after than meets the eye. To hold on to Prince Charming, Snow White has to be willing to do more than sing with the bluebirds. If you are willing to put forth the effort to keep the relationship alive, then you’ll have a healthy goldfish for a while. Should it die, don’t dwell too long. There’s always the county fair next year.

heartmusic

Okay, I rarely post something about love and relationship but for what it’s worth, I’d like to share this beautiful song by Amy Grant that  would totally set the mood after reading the article above. 

I’m hooked to listening to Amy Grant’s That’s What Love Is For. Enjoy the lyrics, the video and the mp3.

That’s What Love Is For lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Amy Grant

Sometimes we make it harder than it is

We’ll take a perfect night
And fill it up with words we don’t mean
Dark sides best unseen
And we wonder why we’re feeling this way

Sometimes I wonder if we really feel the same
Why we can be unkind
Questioning the strongest of hearts
That’s when we must start
Believing in the one thing that has gotten us this far

That’s what love is for
To help us through it
That’s what love is for
Nothing else can do it

Melt our defenses
Bring us back to our senses
Give us strength to try once more
Baby, that’s what love is for

Sometimes I see you
And you don’t know I am there
And I’m washed away by emotions
I hold deep down inside
Getting stronger with time
It’s living through the fire
And holding on we find

That’s what love is for
To help us through it
That’s what love if for
Nothing else can do it

Melt our defenses
Bring us back to our senses
Give us strength to try once more
Baby, that’s what love is for

Believing in the one thing
That has gotten us this far
That’s what love is for
To help us through it
That’s what love if for
Nothing else can do it

Round off the edges
Talk us down from the ledges
Give us strength to try once more
Baby, that’s what love is for
That’s what love is for

That’s what love is for
Melt our defenses
Bring us back to our senses
Give us strength to try once more
Baby, that’s what love is for
That’s what love is for
That’s what love is for
That’s what love is for

Copyright 1991 All Nations Music (ASCAP)/MooMaison (ASCAP)/MCA Music, a div. of MCA, Inc. (ASCAP)/Age To Age Music, Inc. (ASCAP), adm. by Reunion Music Group, Inc.

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