A Bit On Relationships

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I don’t normally write on relationships, but after a wonderfully long talk with one of my very best friends this morning, I decided to write a little about it. After all, I do have my psychology degree and I have been in my fair share of relationships – some great, and some not-so-great.

In any relationship there must be some give and take, some compromise, some concessions made in order to make the relationship work. Relationships are hard work. And when I say ‘work’ I really do mean work.

Let’s start from the beginning, when a man is wooing a girl he is chasing her, doing everything he can to make her fall in love with him – from candy, to flowers, to love notes, to actually listening to her, to making her feel sexy and special all the time, to ensuring her every need is met to the best of his ability. This is a fun game…for both. He’s chasing and she’s getting the attention and love that she rightfully deserves. They are falling in love.

But then what happens? He successfully gets the girl and then he’s no longer chasing her. They both start showing their ‘real’ selves, not the cute, cuddly, affectionate selves. There’s no need to do all those cute things because he has what he wants and she has someone she can have a family with. Now he can kick back, watch some TV, tend to his hobbies, drink beer with his buddies, and just let the relationship ‘be’. She is now busy with kids, housework, work – for some, and taking care of the everyday things in life. The little arguments about kids, money, getting things done around the house, etc. start to set in. Neither of them are working very hard at their relationship anymore. The relationship becomes static, content, just ‘there’.

Wait just a minute! What happened to everything they both did before? What happened to the wooing? Well, there’s no need for it anymore, right? WRONG! There is always a need for it. As I said before, relationships take hard work – from both. The key words are – Showing and Proving. Both must continuously Show and Prove that they love, respect, care, and above all are still deeply attracted to the other. Just saying ‘I love you’ or offering the occasional shows of affection are not enough. Both must constantly go above and beyond to ensure the other is happy, satisfied, and feel a sense of belonging, attraction, and commitment.

Now, you might say, ‘But I do! I show / give her what I would like to receive.’ Guess what…wrong answer! What you might like may not be what she likes. You have to find out what makes her tick, what makes her feel special, what makes her feel attractive. Once you find this out (usually by trial and error – and you could even, heaven forbid, ask her what she wants), then do these things. Just because you might like cookie dough ice cream doesn’t mean that she does. You have to give her what she likes to make her happy.

Men, please don’t think this is all about you, either. Women, you must do the same for your man. This all works both ways. Most relationships go through their ups and downs. That is just how life works.

If you have difficulty with figuring out how to communicate what you want, or figuring out what s/he wants, a great suggestions would be to seek out couples therapy. This type of therapy will help both parties to open up and express their needs and wants in an environment that is on mutual grounds, helping strengthen the relationship.

Choosing the right counselor may be challenging, which is why it’s always good to interview a few counselors before deciding on one. You don’t have to stick with the first counselor you visit. Sometimes his or her experience isn’t right for you as a couple, or maybe your personalities don’t work well with a particular counselor. Here’s a great article about different types of counselors.

Now get out there and make him or her feel like the most special person in the world. Work on that relationship and make it what it was meant to be.  After all, you two chose each other – make every moment special and memorable!

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