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My honey and I just celebrated our first anniversary. It took a full week and involved food that nearly made me cry, oversized martini glasses, and sunset views of Puget Sound.
For most of my life I’ve been terrible at romantic relationships. I was the poster child for poor decisions, poor timing and poor communication. I had buffed the whole rest of my life into a shiny gloss, but this area was bleak and pock-marked.
My darling gave me the high-level, immersive, intensive course in relationships. (Sort of like an Executive MBA in love.) We have it seriously going on. (Not to brag or anything… but… yeah.)
The whole thing left me pondering… why?
Why was this working?
What had I decided and/or done differently?
What did this all mean? (I generally spend a lot of time on this question. An embarrassing amount, really.)
Which, of course, led me to making a list and chronicling what I’ve learned so far.
Many of our friends are celebrating upwards of 20 (mostly happy) years together. Perhaps they should be writing this, but alas, you’ve got me. So, here goes…
Pascale’s Year One Roundup of Love Rules
- Swallowing resentments is like swallowing car keys. No good will come of it.
- Assume love first. (Assuming evil or wrong-doing first makes for a lot of grumpiness.)
- Striking the right balance between similarities and polarities (differences) keeps things sweet AND spicy. (Kung Pao, anyone?)
- If you can’t even think of a single good thing about your partner, don’t speak again until you do. Mean words are ouchy.
- Find out your love languages. Ask for and offer the right stuff.
- Encourage outside interests. It gives you something to share at dinner.
- Stop taking it all so personally. (Actually this one applies to anything and everything. Just ask Don Miguel Ruiz.)
- The stuff you used to love, that you now hate, just decide to love it again. Or stop being offended by it. Love transcends dirty socks.
- Don’t try to create two halves. Be two wholes.
Lest you think our story is some fairy tale woo woo nonsense, let me add we have the normal dose of health problems, money problems, family shenanigans (teenagers!!), challenging exes and hot buttons. We worship Science and Spirit (respectfully and respectively) and don’t always share the same language.
- A cool Caribbean girl and a fiery Latin guy
- A talker and a listener, although we keep working on switching that up
- An early bird and a night owl
- A germaphobe and a sneezer
- A city girl and a nature boy
- Realistic commitment wrapped in a daydreamy love-fest
There it is, folks.
I would love to know… what’s working in YOUR relationship?
What keeps the love alive through the daily slog?
What choices feed the soul of your relationship?
Sending you a virtual group hug,