I am not a subject matter expert on "Relationships." I leave that to the real experts and so-called "Therapists." I am, however, very versed in cultural communications, subcultures and social anthropology. I have been studying the human race, communities, kinships and; the disengaged for over twenty years.
This year alone, I have received enough emails about the subject of "Relationships" to warrant its own shelf in my library. It is true that in order to be authentic, all subject matters related to the "Human condition" must be a relevant topic to be explored here.
In the basal form, ALL species have a need to connect, partner and procreate. In humans, the latter is up for debate. Each generation puts a different spin on the meaning of relationship. In our grandparents era, it was not an uncommon idea to support "arranged" marriages. Divorce was also frowned upon and; males dominated their species.
Today, women make up at least 51% of the divorce populace. They are twice as likely then men to initiate the divorce. One might say we have come a long way...BUT I am a proponent of traditional simplicity.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
There is nothing wrong with a man opening the door for you, ladies! Do not get rattled about him pulling out the chair for you either. In a study of over 300 women last year, we discovered that women ages 25-30 years old wanted to bring back the traditional ideas of dating and marriage, with some modifications, of course. Women 45-50 did not think it ideal or necessary. The women in the former group sought out women like Duchess Catherine (nee Middleton) as a role model.
The modifications women wanted in their relationships were career and business driven. More women start businesses today. More women are making more money than their counterparts in life and at home. More women are also sitting at the table as CEOs and "Captains of Industry." All this success, however is not always well received.
It takes a self assured man or woman (depending on the relationship dynamics) to accept and continually support a woman with a high powered career and/or ambitions. Therefore, it is VERY relevant to select your mate as if you were buying a house or a new car.
Try renting first and exploring the neighbourhood before a major purchase (unless it is an investment property) and; test driving a vehicle BEFORE signing the contract. By this, I mean marriage.
LOVE IS LOVE
I heard arguments of "love" vs. being "in love." Here is one more case why relationships fail. If you are analysing EVERY little thing and looking at every different angle, your mind will be overloaded with so many false/positives that you will sabotage your own relationship. Women have a propensity to do this more often than men, however; both sexes are NOT excused from doing it.
The "best" partner is the one that closely matches your ideal and virtue. You could be polar opposites, i.e. he/she is extroverted and you are introverted; but you share a common thread such as volunteerism, fiscal responsibility, family etc.
A LESSON FROM OMA AND OPA
The most important aspect of ANY relationship is to accept your mate for who they are and NOT what you want them to be. If they are the kind that needs their "alone time," let them be.
I remember my Oma would go off on her own and Opa would let her. They would pickup thereafter, have dinner and retire early. One evening, my Oma did not come back and Opa got worried and called on the radio to the coast guards, thereby EVERYONE on the island with a radio heard all the commotion. Oma, being a proud and private lady, got so angry and almost chewed his head off. My Opa shivered and said meekly, "I was so worried about you, darling!" My Oma affectionately replied, "You silly goose, don't you know I always come back to you?" That evening, Oma was over a neighbour's house making Rosehip jam, my Opa's favourite!
HOW TO MAINTAIN A SUSTAINABLE RELATIONSHIP
1. Avoid false/positives by shutting down the noise and STOP making up stories.
2. Communication is key. Talk it out...DON'T shout it out.
3. Space matters. Even if they say they don't need it, give it to them anyways.
4. NO ONE is perfect, neither me, you or anyone else. ACCEPT IT!
5. Opposites can attract, but the common thread is the bond.
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