Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse


Online edition of India’s National Newspaper
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Metro Plus Bangalore

Making love work

A liberal dose of give and take is what will help 
a relationship last

Okay, you saw each other across a crowded room, you met,
dated, fell in love, not necessarily in that order. And now, the
two of you get along superbly. You share ideas, emotions, insights. 

Except colour-coordinating your clothes, you try and do everything
in perfect synchronisation. The future dazzles in its promise. 

Not to play Cassandra, but you two have just got across the
smallest hurdle in embarking on a relationship. Now come the
toughies — the hurdles that may seem small but can be deadly
in the path to lasting love. 

Then again, once you have established that your relationship
is not transitory but for keeps, it can be strengthened, it can
fly high — good times and bad. All you need is to adopt some

Sound idea

Don’t ever qualify your love. Statements such as ‘I love you
but…’ are fraught with dangers. Emotions should not come
with a qualifier. 

Remember? ‘I love you warts and all’. That is a sound idea, now.
Don’t attempt to try and change your loved one, learn to love the
traits, instead. Give up at least two major or minor peeves about
your loved one. For good. 

By which, we mean list out the two biggest bugbears in the
relationship. It could be a habit of turning up late, carelessness
or insensitivity. 

After you make the list, tear it up and let it go — from your
hands, from your life. Never put your partner in a spot. All
too often, unwittingly or otherwise, one puts one’s partner in
an uncomfortable place, causing anger or embarrassment. 

Don’t for a moment think that if you reserve accusations for
when the two of you are alone, then it is all right. It is not.
Love, really, is letting the other off the hook. Hold on to the
thought that the two of you are better together than apart. 

Talk and listen —talk lightly and listen intently. Don’t over-analyse
your partner. Okay, there will be differences but that, too, can
be worked out.
While on disagreements, don’t lay down ultimatums, you
will just be pushing yourself into a corner.Stand up for each
other — whether with friends, family, or others. 

Being thoughtful

Think of the other’s needs, desires, dreams and aspirations,
and you’ll be helping him / her achieve some of it. Make an
honest attempt to like your partner’s family — it’s a myth that
there are only two people in a relationship. 

 It’s okay to sacrifice
Marriage counsellors say couples who experience adversity
together tend to stay strongly committed.
And, in conclusion, keep an even keel. Don’t lose your head anytime,
despite the euphoria of falling  in love, of finding your soul mate,
of being part of a couple.



Sheila Kumar • May 26, 2009

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