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Made In Heaven, Finished In Hell

Aug 17, 2007
Thinking of tying the knot but not sure if it's a case of Mr/Miss Right? Before waltzing down the aisle hear what's in the heart of the matter and what matters to the heart.

Since that fateful removal of one rib, scientists have been trying to decipher the chromosome pattern that would explain the difference between men and women and John Gray has been publishing one volume after the other in his attempt to align Mars and Venus in a single constellation. And since the similarly apocalyptic biting of the apple, women have been pointing their accusatory fingers at the lads who, whenever they hear the word 'commitment' run away to a
different time zone. On the other hand, men continue to attribute madness to the female sex. Even to their mothers. Especially to their mothers.

Despite all this and the singles' devotion to the joys of singledom and cynicism towards love, people do want to be together and form relationships. But good liaisons are rare and relationships are hard for everybody. The reason is that love is truly, madly and deeply a complicated situation the symptoms of which are very close to those of mental disturbances. Even the language of love has the unhinged ring of a psychiatrist's notes about it - I'm crazy about him; she drives me nuts; I want you so bad; it's driving me mad.

Indeed, falling in love is madness. But so is staying in a relationship which is not working. Thankfully, relationships are no longer seen as obligations to keep at all costs. When your ties with someone start to tie you up and a relationship turns from a bond to a burden, you can very well pack your bags and leave. After all, life is too short to waste it on a toxic partner.

On the other hand, if you want to keep your soulmate, love is sometimes not enough and you have to work on romance, quality time, commitment and acceptance.

The Flirting Queen
Wooing and flirting are normally associated with a relationship's first few months or until you assume that you know everything about the likes, dislikes and relationship history of your partner. Then the flowers go out of the window and the slow rituals of courtship are replaced by instant demands and cut and dried conversations.

Romance has two requisite ingredients. The first is the pleasure of seeing your partner as an interesting person about whom there are new things to discover. The second is the adventurous spirit and the occasional dragon-slaying that hit the refresh button on a relationship. So ask your partner out for dates (there is the added bonus of not fearing a total rebuff), buy them gifts and woo them, because if you give up on romance, the fantasy in your relationship will disappear. And, since flirting is the froth of love, smooch like a couple of teenagers and seduce your partner with romantic gestures.

A Healthy Dose of Narcissism
Romance has the added benefit of letting us share the other person's delight in getting to know or rediscover us. It also makes us feel accepted which in turn adds to the self-esteem that is so important for a solid relationship.

When you like and accept yourself, you will feel confident and secure enough to overcome your own shortcomings and take responsibility for your own feelings. You make yourself angry or sad and not your partner. And this should help you give your partner the benefit of the doubt and admit any mistakes you might have made.

Thus, you will be able to appreciate your partner for who they really are and what they do instead of feeling that you need to hang on to them in order to survive in the big, bad world. And unless you love and appreciate yourself, it is hard to imagine that anyone else will.

Taking care of yourself and looking good is also a sign of respect both for yourself and your partner. Having nose hair, a unibrow and a bad haircut is like saying to your partner that you do not really care how you or they look.

Curiosity doesn't always kill the cat
As Isaac Asimov wrote in his New Guide to Science, 'almost in the beginning was curiosity'. Now, relationships are as far removed from science as a Van der Graaf generator is from a blender, but the same rule applies.

Being inquisitive is a relationship's carrot on a stick. Showing zeal and believing that the other can still intrigue you with new things is essential for a relationship's growth. You need to yearn for your partner, ask questions, call or message when apart and show interest when together.

Curiosity should not be mistaken for nosiness, and if your partner calls you every two seconds to ask for the exact latitude and longitude of your position, then probably you are going out with a stalker. So do not poke your nose into delicate affairs such as who has he phoned lately, otherwise, curiosity may kill the cat.

Do things together
The most successful couples are those who, even if they have a busy schedule and their diary is choc-a-block with appointments, make spending time together a priority.

Share your hopes, fears and dreams with your partner and keep in touch with what is happening in your lives. Make sure that every second with your partner counts because being together is about quality time rather than rotting in front of the telly without saying a word. Of course, making time entails sacrificing other activities, but quality time is an investment in your future happiness.

Spending time with each other, exploring new things and doing favours for your partner are important. A successful relationship is a tennis-like exchange of favours; a back and forth of reciprocity because it is just nice to do things for your partner.

Does it need fixing?
YOU KNOW YOUR RELATIONSHIP WORKS IF:
a) Both of you accept change as an inevitable part of life and adapt to it together
b) You do not look at other people's relationships for solutions
c) You are both committed to each other
d) There is a mild and healthy level of jealousy which protects your relationship
e) You look after your partner and give each other confidence.

YOU SHOULD LEAVE YOUR PARTNER IF:
a) You are no longer able to communicate your feelings
b) You are willing to let your relationship suffer in order to dedicate more time to work, business or friends
c) Your relationship has become a conflict cycle and arguing leaves you hurt and wondering if you want to stay
d) You are being emotionally or psychologically bullied
e) There is violence or threats of violence and your partner is aggressive - remember that there is life after an abusive relationship.

Be your own PR agent
Good communication is the only way you can openly and honestly tell your partner who you are, what you want and how you feel. When we talk and listen, we are giving each other the entry pass for our private thoughts and emotions. Make sure you sit down and have a nice talk not only when trouble looms ahead but also as part of your relationship maintenance routine.

It is also important to accept that we all have our differences and that arguments are a normal part of every relationship. However, stick to productive rather than destructive arguing - a good argument is an opportunity to share feelings, strengthen your bond and compromise while admitting that your partner may have different opinions than yours.

Effective communication is also when we are polite and show respect to each other. Being in a relationship with someone does not mean that you or they should throw 'please' and 'thank you' out of the window.
About the Author
Sandro Azzopardi is a professional author who writes articles on his web site and local newspapers. http://www.theinfopit.com/society/relationship/madeinheavenfinishedinhell-1.php
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