Why would I think that I could give any kind of dating/relationship advice when I have been married three times and have had tons of girlfriends and boyfriends? Well, because I’ve been married three times and have had tons of girlfriends and boyfriends of course! I love being in a relationship. Strike that…I love being in a GOOD relationship. When they no longer become “Good” for either party it is time to move on. For the most part I am very good friends with my ex’s. Only on rare occasion have things ended so badly that we do not stay in touch. On those few occasions that I have not stayed in touch there have been common denominators, such as lack of respect in the first place for each other.
Ok back to the keys…The main key on my key ring has got to be respect. Why would you stay with someone that you don’t respect or that does not respect you?
Sometimes it takes a while to figure this one out. The saying that love is blind is so very true and those blinders will fool you into many things!
The second key on my ring is trust. To trust your partner is important but it is just as important if not more to trust yourself. Trust that you will not do anything to hurt the relationship. Trust those built in instincts of right and wrong.
The third key is communication. This is a big key for me. Every so often my partner, Vic, and I check in with each other. We ask and answer the questions “Is this relationship everything you want?, Is there anything that you want that you are not getting from our relationship? Anything you’d like us to try and do more of? Are you Happy? And so on…and we are very honest with our answers. There are things we’d love to have change but we know they probably won’t so we put those in the “learn to live with” category. For example I know that Vic would like for me to cook more. I would like for me to cook more. Will it happen? Probably not, but I will make an effort to try and cook from time to time. If we didn’t talk about this I could see where it may become a resentment and cause problems down the road but because we constantly check in with each other there are no big surprises.
A key that is often forgotten about is kindness. We try and always say please and thank you to each other. We all have bad days, and I am guilty of snapping my answers back when I’m in the middle of something. Vic is good about giving me a look that lets me know I’ve been less than kind in my response and I try to correct it. I’ve been around other couples that do not speak kindly to each other and it is uncomfortable to be with them. I would be embarrassed if Vic or anyone else that I was close to talked to me in the tone I’ve heard some of my friends use with their mates.
A rule I learned a long time ago from a very happily married couple was to never bring others into your relationship. I’m not talking threesomes or anything like that (been there done that..another really BAD idea..lol) But what I am talking about is when there is a problem do not go to your family/friends and talk about it. In most cases whatever the problem is will work it self out and by talking about it to someone other than your partner you give it more energy and life than it deserves. My sister told me that even thou I never talk about anything negative about my relationships she can tell when things are “off” because I just won’t say anything. I change the subject or say “everything’s fine” and move on to another subject. People outside the relationship do not NEED to know the details of the latest misunderstanding or fight.
Always , always, always be sweet and loving to each other when you are around other people. No one likes to be around a fighting couple..it makes EVERYONE uncomfortable. If you can’t act like you are at least friends maybe you should not attend whatever get together is happening. I found with my ex when we would act friendly in front of company by the time they were gone we would have forgotten about what we were fighting about and things would stay loving and friendly.
I read in Cosmo one time about a couple that would agree before parties on little signals they could give each other across a crowded room to say I love you, I’m thinking about you, or let’s leave soon. I’m not the most comfortable in crowds so this has always worked for me. The ride home is a great time to compare notes on what you see other couples doing right and wrong. It’s not really gossiping, you are keeping it between the two of you, but it gives a platform for what you want and don’t want in your relationship. I think we are doing something right because we usually leave saying “I love US!”
What are some of your relationship keys and deal breakers?
Deal breakers for me:
Getting Physical with me, anyone in my family, or the furchildren
I can’t think of any other deal breakers that would make me say “the end”..