Friday, June 10, 2011

Secret(s) to a Happy Relationship

Do you remember the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indiana Jones finally finds the treasure and puts in the stone?  The stone was the final missing piece that unlocks the treasure.   The entire movie he battled bad guys and snakes to find the piece that mysteriously unlocked the ancient treasure.
I feel like I’ve found a missing piece to make my relationships work.  My path the past few years feels a little akin to our hero, Mr. Jones.  I’ve battled snakes and bad guys of my own on this long quest for love.   Every “bad guy” who has crossed my path, fortunately has taught me a lesson.    I’m not going to sugarcoat it and say it’s all sunny because that’s not true.  The road was paved with a lot of heartbreak and pain.  Literal pain.  I don’t get too heavy in my blog, but I want you to know that I’ve been beaten up, stolen from, cheated on and worse.    I only share this because if you are currently struggling with abuse, I want you to have hope and strength to make a change.
What makes me qualified to give relationship advice?   Let’s see, zero PhD’s on my wall, I haven’t written any Mars /Venus books, or been on Dr. Phil spewing my wisdom.  In fact, I have one failed marriage and 6 years of relationship pileups.  Ya, I’d say I have a crappy relationship track record.  However, what I do have is a lot of lessons learned through trial and error.  That’s what sets me apart, a whole mess of wrecked trains all over the place.   Yet each one came with a lesson, eventually I started learning from them, doh!  
This isn’t just relationship advice, because it although it is It’s also more.  (But wait there’s more… feels like a Shamwow commercial, huh?)   It’s simple really and that’s what exactly makes it so profound, its simplicity. 
What I think I have uncovered is a real treasure, magic beans, something that I think could really help a lot of women.    Ok, so men skip down (5 ) paragraphs, this is just for the ladies.  We are gonna talk nasty period stuff, menstruation so…  nothing to see here…    Ok ladies, that works every time, it’s just us.  Huddle up and take a knee.     This isn’t a sex tip or a beauty secret or how to look 10 lbs. thinner, yet I think it’s more key to your relationship than any of those things.
This is it, and it’s really simple.  Make your relationship with him fun and playful.   Especially in the beginning, don’t ask a lot of “down the road” questions.    It’s ok to gently lay a foundation about what you’re looking for but not necessarily throw out a lot of ultimatums and definitely no finger shaking.   Let the rest take care of itself, at least for a little while.    Be his “soft place to land” at the end of the day.
This is exactly what I’m trying to do, is just to keep it fun, keep it light, definitely talk about deep stuff, but not even THINK about china patterns and shared mortgages.   I want to have fun, tickle, play, and have pillow fights.  Eventually, the days add up to weeks and years and the future takes care of itself.   Is this realistic?  Not exactly, there will always be reality, loss, sadness and trials.  It’s a given of life, no doubt. 
If I overthink things and ask “Where are things going”, they won’t.   He’ll cross his arms, get defensive and retreat.  If it’s fun, the chances are so much better of it working out.  Is it a guarantee?  Hell NO.   But, I truly believe the chances are better.
Do you remember your first boy playmate?   Maybe you played doctor, maybe you cut each other’s hair or he taught you how to grip the laces when you throw a football.   It didn’t matter that he was a boy, he was fun and you were yourself, but a different version of yourself than with your girlfriends.   Be that playmate with your lover, your boyfriend, your husband.    At the core of each of our adult selves is a child, curious and wanting to happily skip rocks and cause just a little bit of trouble.    I’m not writing this to have you create a man centered world.  I’m saying this because no doubt the happiness you give will be returned to you in many ways.    
Here’s a dose of reality, you are going to have a boss who's an ass, the car is going to need a repair when you don’t have the money and the kids are going to get sick.  It’s reality, unfortunately.     Your relationships, as much as possible should be your safe harbor from all that, your retreat.    
You don’t have to spend a lot of money just send a surprise flirty text, build a fort in the family room and watch a movie or get a bottle of wine and candles and have a romantic night in the backyard.    This is the stuff of life, my friends.    It isn’t the exotic vacation or the dinner at the 5 star restaurant;  it’s the simple pleasures in life.  If you appreciate them, it will make him happier.  Ultimately, he wants to make you happy.    Cough, cough…  so ladies that’s what you need to know to have better menstrual cycles.   ;)
Ok, men thanks for coming back..
I’ve ruined many relationships by overthinking them, looking into the future, paging through bridal magazines after a few months.  Looking back, I feel foolish and also relieved that I didn’t don a white lace dress and make promises to any of the men in my past.  Whew!  However, I’m open to the idea of it, someday.
I received one of the most incredibly rewarding comments yesterday about my blog.  It always makes me happy when I’ve made you laugh, smile or given you a sexy glimpse of my boom-chicka-wa-wa.   But yesterday’s comment struck a deeper chord with me.   Someone wrote me thanking me for inspiring them to make a change in their relationship.    After reading my blog, it made them realize that settling for less than what they deserved wasn’t going to work for them anymore.
Was it a single mom?  No.
Was it a single dad?  Nope
It was a single, never married man in an unhappy long distance relationship.

In my writing, I make a point to give advice indirectly.  God knows I’ve made every mistake, some of them twice.  However, today I’m going to give advice directly and simply.  These are the three main things I’ve learned through my dating life.

1.       Create fun relationships, as much as possible
2.       Know your own worth and don’t settle for someone who doesn’t treat    you accordingly.  Don’t let ANYONE depreciate you.
3.       If a relationship is 80% happy, stick it out and work on the 20% that isn’t.

Have a wonderful, playful weekend!

The Single Mom

If you want to be loved, be lovable.  Ovid


Anonymous said...

I really love that Ovid quote. Wonderful one. Isn't it incredible how much can be learned from so-called failure? I think you've touched on something here that often gets lost because men and women tend to express themselves freely. I'm pretty sure if you have a man and a woman sit down and write the top ten things their partner can do to show they love them, they'd be insanely different.

singlemom said...

Thank you, I appreciate you sharing your comment. From my experience, men are a whole lot more simple than women. Women overthink things a lot, which can cause trouble. Although this is a somewhat simple idea, I'm hoping it's true and that men agree.

I truly think both sexes want to be loved, its just how we go about it that is different, to your point about how we show it. Thanks again for your comment! Smooches!

Jenniffer said...

:) Very nice :D I've found that too many people want too much serious too soon, and I realized about 2 years ago.. I was one of them. Since then, filing separation and moving out, I gone over my entire life, seen my mistakes, the men I choose, and have resolved to do better. And the last two years of my life have been the BEST ever!!
I really hope more men & women read this entry, even more so than the rest of your WONDERFUL blog!!
Thank you for being such an inspiration!! :)

singlemom said...

~Jenniffer, Wow your comment took my breath away, thank you. Firstly, I'm happy for you that you've made a change and it's been a good thing for you. It takes a lot of guts to do that, especially with children and I have a lot of respect for you.

As far as being an inspiration, that is a lot to take in. I feel like I'm trying to find my way and share whatever I can, not to be preachy, but hopefully to get people laughing and seeing their own situation. It takes a lot to leave a relationship, even a bad one.

As far as the serious part goes, I have a hard time separating physical intimacy with my heart. They go hand in hand and that's tricky because it isnt always like that for men. I am trying to be different and ask for honesty and just enjoy it for what it is. I guess we shall see if it makes things work out any better. Thank you so much for your comments and your support, they inspire me to keep doing this craziness. So, thank you from my heart! Smooches!!!

bleu said...

Good post singlemom. And I agree and I tell my friends that too, stop with the interview questions. Yes they are important, but what I have found if you are quiet, relax and take it easy and let a man talk... you will get ALL the answers you want and more without asking a question and he will show and tell you who is he. So no need to shine an interrogation light in his face.... lol.

I also, agree with the ovid quote, you really have to love yourself and have standards in order to be loved proprerly in return.

I cannot wait to start really dating. I've been so wrapped up in DS that I haven't had the time.

singlemom said...

Thank you so much Bleu!! I wish I'd met you a long time ago or figured this out on my own before. I couldn't agree more, and I think it's better to let someone else talk anyway. When the time is right you will know it and you'll be so smart - hopefully avoid a lot of the stupid things I've done. ~ Smooches!!!