Feature: Making Love Work for You
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 tenets.
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.
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.
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.
This ran in THE HINDU of 26 May 2009.