Read on how to enrich your life by purpose, i.e. to find depth and, a reason to get out of bed each morning, your own Ikigai.
It is February, the month that thanks to St. Valentine, is now known as the month of love. It is the month when people try to get hooked and couples try not to fight, so that they don’t have to be alone on 14th February.
Love, I believe, is the most complicated feeling as well as the simplest. Everyone wants true love, but nobody wants to work at it. Every second day, I see couples fighting. The sad part is they don’t even know clearly why they are fighting and what they are fighting for.
While commuting in the metro, I hear girls fighting with their partners; on the road and in stations, I see couples fighting; at home, I learn my dear ones are fighting with their partners; I hear about people who are saddest at home and so spend more time at their workplaces, couples who go into the no-talk zone every other day. It is so, so, so sad to see people in love fighting like cats and dogs.
Aren’t we supposed to be the happiest in our partner’s company? Aren’t we supposed to be each others’ solace? Why do we forget that it is only we who can make our relationships work and grow? Why don’t we remember what brought us together in the first place?
Like fingerprints, every individual is unique. And with each unique person, each relationship is unique. Of course, there is no perfect recipe for a romantic relationship. Every couple has to add their own dash of ingredients. But I believe some basic ingredients are always the same. I am no expert on love or relationships. But I know for sure that relationships are hard work. It’s not a cakewalk or a fantasy novel. Also, age and observing couples around me has made me a little wiser.
I have learned that the harder we work on our relationship, the sweeter it will get. Looking at couples around me, I felt the need to share my insights on love. Here are some relationship tips that I feel are a must for any romantic relationship.
Crystal clear communication is perhaps the most important part. Communication gaps, miscommunication or communication based on assumptions can create havoc. We need to communicate to our partner as much as possible…how they make us feel, our appreciation towards their gestures, our fears, when and how they hurt us, how we need them, what we are going through, why we are happy, why we are sad, why we are pissed off…anything and everything. The more we communicate, the better.
The more we keep things pent up, the more we get suffocated and as a result we suffocate the relationship. Unless and until we know what’s going on with the other, it’s impossible to go ahead. And we have to help each other with that. It’s useless and unfair to assume or expect that the other will know how we are feeling like a mind reader.
We need to try to get into the skin of the other; try to learn and comprehend why the other behaves in a certain manner….the background, the environment and culture they grew up in, the fears they have, what are they passionate about, what brings out the best and worst in them.
Also understand that he/she is an individual. They have their own strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes they need some space too. They also need to do what they like and enjoy doing. We also need to understand the state of mind the other is and act accordingly. We need to be empathetic.
We may love the other like anything, but if we don’t respect them then all our love has no meaning. We need to respect their existence, their individuality, their love and concern for us. We should respect each others’ strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. We should not push or compel the other to do something which he/she doesn’t wish to.
We can’t keep our care and concern for the other in our heart. We need to show them that we care. And it is our actions that display that. If our actions speak otherwise, then our care and concern can very well go to hell!
Ego is a relationship killer. If we want a healthy relationship, we have to let go of our ego. It’s easy to confuse ego with self-respect. So people often ruin things with their ego thinking they are defending their self-respect. The first step of foregoing ego is accepting our mistakes and our weaknesses. And we should not hesitate to take the first step.
We need to forgive our partner when they are wrong especially when they admit they are. And we also need to forgive ourselves. To settle scores is a bad, bad idea. After all, it’s truly said that ‘To err is human. To forgive, divine’.
Love and marriage is not a competition. Either we win together or lose together. When we hurt the other, we both hurt. When we make the other happy, we both are happy. Hence it’s a partnership. We should celebrate each others’ successes and support each other in the case of failure. We laugh with them and cry with them. We are their soothing balm as well their shining light when they are down.
Each one of us is different. But when we decide to spend our lives together, we need to adapt to each others’ ways, behaviour, personality as well as eccentricities. If we are not able to do this, we shall never be at peace and will always be irritated. So the first step is to accept the other as he/she is.
We have to accept each others’ strengths and weaknesses. But first we have to accept our own strengths and weaknesses. We have to help each other to overcome the weaknesses and become each others’ strengths.
I personally feel that being in love brings out the best in us. We can learn and adapt the positive things in our partners, and work on our negative issues. We become more responsible because morally we are responsible for our partner’s well-being. Immaturity, short-temper, impatience, lack of understanding and empathy will take us nowhere. Such vices will hinder us from becoming a responsible and better person. So they have to be done away with.
A couple of days back, I received a forwarded text on true love. You too might have read the lines before, but these lines deserve to be shared again. Here they go:
“What is true love ?
Before I answer this question let me start with what it is not :
It is not rainbows and sunshine
It is not finding the perfect partner
It is not about your better half
It is not about romancing on the beaches
It is not about beauty brains and chemistry
It is not about holding hands forever
True love is about:
Knowing that you are whole and complete so is your partner
Knowing that you are imperfect and so is your partner
Knowing that you at times will be mean and hurt your partner and your partner may also do it to you
True love is embracing your partner in his or her darkest hours
True love is about your loving your partner when he or she least deserves it
True love is about discovering why this person has come into your life and learning those lessons
True love is at times saying sorry even when it is not your mistake because love is bigger than ego
True love is getting wet in the rain together crying together eating candy floss together having pillow fights
True love is not saying anything but understanding
True love is about having empathy and not anger wen your partner messes up
True love is about 100 percent acceptance and zero expectations
True love is about giving 52 and expecting 48
True love is wanting to grow old together
True love is about healing each other
True love is about caressing and kissing your partners scars some from previous relationships some from childhood and some from the previous lifetimes
True love is about spaces not possessiveness
True love is knowing that wherever your partner may go, he or she will come back not because you are the prettiest, sexiest or most successful; but because you know nowhere will he or she find such unconditional acceptance, such friendship, such freedom, such space, such togetherness, such care, such understanding.”
With marriage, we take our relationship forward. Together we are supposed to become whole; two halves that complete each other. We cannot become each others’ cause of pain and unhappiness. And if that is so, it does not remain a marriage anymore. It will only ruin us as well as our families. So it’s up to us whether we want to live a life or live a lie.
With marriage, we are no longer just a couple. We have official relationships and roles to play in each others’ families. There are responsibilities and expectations from each of us. The well-being of two families are connected to ours for this relationship is no longer ours alone.
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Bibliophile. Book Reviewer. Woman of Letters. Plant Person. Romanticist.
Believe, and you can.
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