Bits and bites of everyday life

 

The lovebirds are back and spring is the ultimate mating season

“If we are to understand and accept each other with all the complexity, self-doubt, feelings, guilt and joy... we have to know all we can about each other and be willing to show our true feelings.”

 
True North Perspective

Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair is the author of The Neglected Garden and two French novels. Visit her website to learn more www.albertevilleneuve.ca.

The robins are back. First, the males showed up, securing the territory around their old nest. At this time of the year, you’ll see robins bobbing along, looking for food and courting. They will soon refurbish the old mud and grass nest or build a new one. At dusk, you can hear their sweet evening song. Some make the pine trees their home; others prefer the Boston ivy vines that climb along my porch walls or its ledge.
 
In the animal kingdom, few mate for life: the grey wolf, coyotes, beavers, certain foxes, a few hoofed mammals and certain primates to name a few. And of course, the lovebirds!
 
With animals, it’s more a question of survival and practicality but with humans, monogamy most often has to do with love and choosing the right person. Mismatches are common, often lead to heartache and can leave psychological scars.
 
A friend thought she had met Mr. Right. He was handsome, charming, fit, ambitious and a perfect ladies’ man. There was chemistry between them. She laid her heart on the line, only to find out he was interested in someone else. Situations like these usually leave a person second-guessing his or her capacity to attract and choose a proper mate.
 
According to JM Kearns, author of Better Love Next Time, there are several factors to consider when assessing a new relationship and making sure it’s the right fit.
 
Friendship: “Someone once said, if sex is half of compatibility, then friendship is the other 90 per cent.” says Kearns. Personally, I have learned that if you want your relationship to last, you have to make sure your partner is also your best friend because once the initial infatuation is over and your ship is tossed about on the high seas of life, a solid friendship will see you through.
 
Personality: The old adage “Opposites attract” is not always the greatest when you are looking for a stable relationship. Finding a partner with similar family and social background, life patterns, emotional makeup and outlook to life makes it far easier.
 
Intellect: “Even though there are many kinds of intellect – and it’s good to bring different skills to a relationship – in core areas of your mentality”, says Kearn, “you need not just good, but great communication. It’s up to you to decide what those core areas are, and your past relationship can help you.” So asking the right questions and analyzing whether your intellectual interests mix and match to a fine degree will make the relationship much more interesting. I think if both partners are open and willing to learn from one another, a continuum of interesting times will be experienced.
 
Abuse: Physical, mental abuse and incompatibility are components that can ruin a relationship. Kearns says that not liking key aspects of a partner, then not hiding it from them, can be a type of neglect. “A person who doesn’t like you the way you naturally are is the perfect person to make you feel bad about yourself.” My first husband was a pro at using this kind of mental abuse, all the while relishing the compliments other people would send my way.
 
Life goals: Children, grandchildren, career, retirement, money, social life… Ideally, your partner should inspire and support you and make you feel you are part of the team. I find that has always been the ultimate strength with successful couples… something I experienced in my second marriage and hope to find again some day.
 
Values: Although these are not always clearly laid out at the very beginning and are sometimes difficult to put into words for certain people, they are the glue of relationships. “Ideally, you should be able to find a bedrock in your partner that you can lean on and count on,” says Kearns.
 
And once you have found that special person, how do you keep the flame alive?
 
Don’t transfer discontent: If you have had a bad day or someone has just made you lose your cool, don’t take it out on your partner. I love this story of the man who, every day, caressed the branches of a tree in his front yard when he came home from work. One day, his wife asked him why he did that. He explained that he chose to leave his worries there so he could concentrate on family and be more loving when he came home.
 
Rein in conflict: Every couple will deal with disagreements and situations that cause friction. “The key is to resolve them without hostility. Allow the other person to disagree with you, remembering it’s not a personal attack,” says Kearn.
 
Frivolous straying: Flirting and playing mind games to satisfy your ego, confirm your sex appeal or make your partner react is always a two-edged sword where you can end up being the wounded one. “Long shots are fun to bet on,” warns Kearns, “but they have a nasty habit of not coming in. Picture life without your partner, before you slip out the back door!”
 
Make time: A good relationship takes time. Carla Wills-Brandon, author of Beyond the Chase warns, “The problem is too many people give up too soon. They pack up and leave a relationship before the real magic can happen because they fail to realize that life is full of ups and downs, they don’t want to bother with those bumps, or they use addictive behaviors to deal with them. Hard times between couples are normal – in fact they’re necessary in order to start building intimacy, the next phase of a healthy relationship.”
 
Keep the faith: Learn to appreciate the positive aspects of your relationship. Don’t sabotage the positive by focusing on a few trouble spots. Nothing is perfect in this ever-changing world and the fairy tales only capture the initial rapture. We all know life is much more than that! JM Kearns reinforces that view: “Life involves a lot of soldiering on. And being with a partner doesn’t change that. The best thing is to be in the presence of someone who admires and celebrates you.”
 
So let Mother Nature be your guide! Like the lovebirds, you may find true and lasting love, but you must be willing to work at it and believe in it.
 
“Be flexible, open and willing to let the new come to you.” Cheers!

Comments

J'ai adoré, il a déjà 27 ans queje suis marié et je poserais le meme geste aujourd'hui.  Chaque jour je demande au bon dieu de me protéger ce grand amour.  L'article est tellement vrai.

 

Félicitations............................

Merci Alberte!

Des fois, j'ai l'impression que l'amour est le plus grand mystère de la vie... mais il est pourtant le plus simple: être soi-même et s'aimer soi-même d'abord, puis faire confiance à la vie... J'ai hâte que tu nous parles de ton grand amour : ) Merci de ta grande générosité!

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