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Sailing The Seven C's Of Love!

Apr 9, 2008
I thoroughly enjoy my role as an advice columnist! The letters I receive are always thought provoking, and I love sharing my insight into difficult situations with my readers.

Advice seekers often submit questions requesting guidance on saving relationships on the brink of destruction. In many instances these problems could have easily been prevented had the couple shared better communication.

In an effort to prevent that from happening to YOU, let's go over what I call "The Seven C's of Love and Communication," which covers the things I believe we should consider when exchanging opinions, ideas, emotions and frustration within our romantic relationships.

(1) Careful Consideration.
Consider the fact that someone's ideas differ from yours, and are just as valid and just as important to them as your ideas are to you. Never put down your partner, or their thoughts or feelings. You must be cautious about what you say and how you say it; there is no room in a romantic partnership for rudeness. Respect the fact that this person has blessed you and your life with their love. Keep that thought in the forefront of your mind in all communications.

(2) Calm.
In the midst of a spirited disagreement, take the time to count to 20 (or 100 if you need to!) to calm yourself down and maintain your composure. Your goal is to avoid saying things you don't really mean, or that will escalate the disagreement or hurt feelings unnecessarily. Remember that old saying "Love means never having to say you're sorry. There is a lot of truth in it.

(3) Courtesy.
"Please," "would you mind," "excuse me," and "thank you" are great words to use freely at home as well as with the general public. During discussions with your loved one, express your thoughts and then give the floor over to your partner to share their thoughts and feelings. Don't interrupt or talk over your partner. Such behavior communicates that you really don't care about their feelings and you come across as belittling and condescending. Some couples find it helpful to use a 3 minute egg timer to limit their exchanges and fairly exchange roles of speaker and listener. While your partner talks, you are to extend the common courtesy of truly listening, not thinking about what you are going to say to shoot them down! Ask your partner to politely do the same for you.

(4) Cooperation.
In the spirit of cooperation, the couple agrees to respect each other, not to call each other names, and not to bring up old stuff that has nothing to do with the situation at hand. An example? "Well, yeah, I may have done thus and so, but what about when YOU did such and so?" Blame throwing is not going to get the problem solved that you two have right now. You must commit to listening with your ears and hearts without becoming defensive. You cooperate by telling the truth about what you feel and what you need. You give your partner the chance to give you what you need without making him or her jump through hoops to guess at what you need.

(5) Call.
Call to say "hello baby!" from work. Call to say "I was thinking about how much I love you." Call to say you will be late but are on your way. Call to give advance notice that you are bringing home a guest. Call to ask if there is anything needed from the store while you are still out. Call to apologize for last night or this morning. Call to say how great last night or this morning was. Call her mother to get advice. Call his friends to come and cheer him up when he is sick. Call and leave your thought of the day on the answering machine. Call for no reason at all but to keep the lines of communication wide open.

(6) Commitment.
Make a commitment to finding a solution that works for the relationship. Your goal is to have a long-term, happy union. Demanding that you be right at all cost and at all times means your ego is talking, not your heart. If you are angry at your partner for not having sex with you, or because he didn't get the diamond anniversary bracelet you wanted, you don't retaliate and get it on with someone else. You may sometimes have to "lose a battle to win the war" (of love). Keep your eye focused on the goal, which is the sanctity and happiness of your relationship.

(7) Compromise.
You give something to get something. You may choose to forego your desires sometimes for no reason other than it makes your partner happy, and s/he does the same for you. It is good for your relationship, so you do it without grumping and without keeping a score sheet. Maybe your mother wants to come for dinner and your man hates to miss the Sunday golf game with his buddies. You negotiate a compromise... he misses golf THIS Sunday to visit with you and your mother (gritting his teeth the entire time), and you agree to go fishing with him next weekend (although you hate the smell, dirt and the worms). You get my drift?

Those are my suggestions for maintaining great communication, a spirit of sharing, respect and love within an intimate relationship. Enjoy sailing the "C's" of love!
About the Author
(c) 2008 Deborrah Cooper. Deborrah has authored dozens of relationship articles and advice columns on Ask HeartBeat!, which focuses on modern relationships for teens and adults. Her dating guide Sucka Free Love! provides street-smart, hilarious insight into the toughest issues facing singles today. Check out The Sucka Free Dating Radio Talk Show on Wednesday night at 8:00 pm PST.
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