Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Proving any New Relationship should be A Walk in the Mud

I read about so many people caught in the perception of a "fairy tale romance" or that "fairy tale wedding."
Let's not allow what we THINK we want, to mask what we KNOW we need.

I'll admit, meeting that person with the perfect set of eyes or heart-warming smile is a great way to lure you into the beginning of a relationship. But months down the road, is that all you can rely on when the going gets tough?

Today, so many people are caught up in the notion behind image...the made-up, classy car driving, smooth talking, wealthy, charming lifestyle that has become through advertisement, the apparent goal of all happiness.
But few media venues point out that the true test of a great relationship, is built on the foundation of fundamental communication and problem solving.

My cousin had his share of relationships, and his last girlfriend became his loving wife, to whom he has been happily married to for years. He shared a secret with me that I deem genius when it comes to the testing of a relationship's very fabric...

When he dated his then girlfriend, they decided to get a part time evening job together, in addition to their own full time day jobs. This way, they not only spent time together, but formed an understanding of obligation and responsibility-TOGETHER. They spent a few years doing part time custodial work and agreed to bank their pay so that if they decided to get married, they'd have enough to buy a few appliances for their home....

...Fast forward a few more years...and the two decided to get married, as they found their relationship to be strong and meaningful. They knew that spending leisure time was easy, taking in a movie or sharing a nice dinner out. But by working together, they learned how to problem solve and observe guidelines together, and share obligations and hard work toward a common goal.

When they got married, they found they had accumulated enough money from their joint job to make a small down payment on a home. The rest, became history!

Several years later, they are still together and happy- with a child and a paid mortgage!

Sure, not every relationship can wind up this financially gifted, but what we can take from my cousin's story is this...

It requires almost no brain power to choose a movie or consume food, or share kisses with your partner. And if you are really serious about making it work, really load up the strain on your relationship, to see if you both truly work well together under some pressure. There is nothing wrong with doing this, because future stresses WILL OCCUR! Why not test your joint problem solving skills now, before you commit yourself to a life with that person, so that you don't waste anyone's time!

It may sound rude, but I guarantee you, its absolutely vital to test the depths of both your management skills.

So before you decide to laze around for months with your boyfriend/girlfriend,
why not test how to handle some scenarios that likely will occur in the future:
-Meeting potential inlaws
-Managing pets, bills
-Dealing with habits, like smoking, drinking, or gambling
-Deciding where to live
-Having the "how many kids would you like to have" talk

I understand that not all of these things are necessary right out of the gate when entering a relationship, but a couple would be absolutely silly NOT to have these discussions at some point well before initiating a marriage or solemn lifelong commitment.

Remember that in many countries, divorce rates are as high as 50%. So why not make REALLY sure that he or she is the one for you.
It DOESN'T matter how good she looks or how sweet he talks when you both have a crisis on your hands. What you want to discover early in the game, is how well BOTH of you handle conflict and resolve problems.
Anything short of that, is just a fairy tale!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Multi-tool We All Own: The Incredible Power of a Hug

Our arms are more than just extensions of our physical capabilities. Though we use them daily at work and play, the secret power of a hug is one of the must underestimated means of communication used by individuals.

Think about it. The decision to embrace someone else is a conscious action often initiated by the heart. But hugging someone does not always convey the same intention. It is extremely powerful and should be preserved in a society that often discourages physical contact under certain situations.

If you think about it, there are several reasons for which wrapping your arms around someone are warranted...

When a parent hugs their child at bedtime, they are reinforcing a sense of security to their child, reaffirming their place in a close-knit and supportive family, thankful for the privilege of another day together.

When a friend or family member experiences a loss or is saddened for some reason, a hug provides comfort to a weary soul and a light of optimism in an otherwise dark time in that person's life.

A hug can also offer a simple moment of warmth and acknowledgement when welcoming someone to a special event. A hug of welcome can make a guest feel comfortable during an evening party or an important meeting. This hug shows compassion in the most platonic manner.

There is also the type of hug that is prompted during long moments of intimate tension. That first romantic embrace between lovers can release an furious explosion of feelings from deep within their hearts. This hug can, under the right conditions, confirm the love between two people and set the stage for further displays of affection and intimacy.

Taken further, a romantic hug can morph into the carnal, selfishly lewd conveyance of sexual desire that catapults two people into blissful intimacy. Grasping your lover tightly in your arms during sex while your gazes meet hungrily can exude the purest intentions of desire and elation.

Lastly, one of my favourite types of hugs has the most potential, yet goes rarely seen by today's societal standards. It is the type of deep hug shared by any two close friends who have an extremely respectful type of love and regard for the other. An esteeming hug, administered correctly, is remembered for years. It is tight, warm and long lasting; during which time, each person values the embrace of someone in their life whom they have a deep respect and admiration for.
This type of hug speaks one of the kindest tones. It often says "I have respect for you. I value you in my life, and I value you in the lives of others."

Whether gentle or intense, all hugs begin with a simple clutch of the arms around another person whom you esteem to some degree.
Hugs are an important part of life on earth. It radiates loves. It reaffirms security. It offers support. And at it's core, a hug demonstrates respect.

Seek to hug someone each and every day. It is with a kind embrace that we spread all forms of love throughout the world, and change it for the better... with this one simple, powerful tool.


A. W.

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