Thursday, January 22, 2009

Real Simple's "Love Rules" - Part 2

Continuing where I left off in my last post…

5. Never go to bed angry.
While it might be hard to sleep if there is something upsetting you, I agree with the "experts" that trying to talk about emotional subjects when you are very tired often ends up making the situation worse. I think psychologist Nancy Kalish has it right when she says, "You shouldn’t go to bed angry, but that doesn’t mean you have to solve every problem before you nod off. Even if an issue isn’t resolved, people who love each other should be able to put it aside and get some sleep, but with the understanding that it will be addressed in the near future with a time specified."

6. There is such a thing as love at first sight.
I've never experienced it—at least with animate objects (handbags on the other hand…). I think what sociologist Pepper Schwartz has the right idea: "It’s a romantic story when it works out, but you don’t hear about the relationships that end badly. Relationships start slow and build; they aren’t necessarily wonderful from the start."

7. Always keep him guessing.
This is very much like #3 (Always play hard to get). This phrase could mean a range of things, from spontaneously buying theatre tickets for an evening out to being outright dishonest. Clearly the latter is a bad thing, but random romantic acts are not. Dating-site co-founder is spot on in my book: "There’s good guessing and bad guessing, and it’s really about what kind of guessing you’re making him do. Try to keep the relationship fresh by being unexpectedly romantic."

8. You can never be too close.
I think at some point we've all felt smothered by the person (people) we love. Everyone needs some space in order to keep the relationship strong. Also, there's definitely the risk of taking another person for granted. As Ellen Wachtel, couples therapist, states: "Many marriages are damaged by partners thinking that closeness means not having to censor what they say or do. Some couples take each other for granted. Metaphorically speaking, they never get out of their sweat suits at home. If you don’t make an effort to be well mannered or attractive to your partner, then you’re too close."

I'll stop there for now. Tomorrow I'll work through the last three points:

9. Love conquers all.
10. Everyone experiences the seven-year itch.
11. The way to a man's heart is through his stomach.

7 comments:

Ily said...

I think hindsight is 20/20, so people who fell in love gradually might think later that it had been love at first sight. But I do know that sometimes, you can realize you love someone suddenly. So it must be possible for this to happen in the first few minutes, although I'm sure that relative to how much people talk about it, it's really rare.

When I read your part about couples smothering each other, I was just thinking, "Thomas smothers me!" At least now that I have a job, we no longer spend too much time together. Now I miss him (and Roooosie!) during the day, so maybe short absences DO make the heart grow fonder...(I just realized that if someone reading this didn't know me, they'd have no idea that Thomas is a cat.)

Superquail said...

I had a friend who told me that "long distance relationships are good because they allow you to develop more as an individual." For people who struggle for individual development, I can see how this makes sense. For people who have a strong need to be in control of everything in their environment, it can be very difficult to let another person in where they might mess things up. In circumstances such as these, a little distance is good.

It is nice to think that there is one person out there in the world with whom you can share everything, but I'm not sure how often it works that way. Even more so, I wonder just how hard it is for people who can share 99% of their lives with each other, but there are some small things that they somehow can't relate to. How big does that 1% become?

These are delicate negotiations that I do not think conform easily to a rule of thumb.

nieve said...

well when a partnership works it's all about balance and you respect the strengths of your partner and he respects yours. my partnerand i have been marries 3 years are raising a family and bussiness partners. we met through an online dating at www.lovestruck.com which deals with proffesionals so we were on an equal setting from the start. neither of us were needy or clingy but we both felt an uncontrolable passion for each other an were engaged after 3 months, i truly believe that when you know it's your partner for life you just know, and it's a bit scary but you know.

nieve said...

well when a partnership works it's all about balance and you respect the strengths of your partner and he respects yours. my partnerand i have been marries 3 years are raising a family and bussiness partners. we met through an online dating at www.lovestruck.com which deals with proffesionals so we were on an equal setting from the start. neither of us were needy or clingy but we both felt an uncontrolable passion for each other an were engaged after 3 months, i truly believe that when you know it's your partner for life you just know, and it's a bit scary but you know.

Superquail said...

I agree with Nieve. When you meet the person you know is right for you, it's scary and it's wonderful, and there is absolutely no doubt in your heart.

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