On Love and Life

The Proposal

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My life thus far has involved many ups and downs. I have experienced the joy of love in many different forms and at different times in my life. I have also got it wrong more than once or twice!

When I was younger, I thought the best thing to do was to share everything with each other with total honesty. Now, that may work for some people, but it didn’t work well for me. You see, I am a fairly sensitive person and cannot handle “constructive criticism” very well. For example, if I asked the  question, “Does my butt look big in this dress?”, I didn’t ever want the answer to be “Yes, it is enormous!”

I thought that resolving conflict was about telling my partner everything wrong with him and he would do the same with me. I thought if we knew those things that bothered each other, we could end them and have the perfect relationship. NO, it didn’t work like that.

Now that I am a little older, I realise some of my past mistakes. There is no doubt that I still have faults that I am unaware of, however life seems to go more smoothly today. I don’t know what the recipe is but I believe I have learnt a thing or two along the way and I would like to share a few things with you today.

  • For me, relationship counselling has never helped better my relationships. That doesn’t mean it can’t work for some other people. Often the relationship counsellor focuses on the problems in the relationships and this can drag everyone down to feeling worse than before. I can recommend a book,  The Relationship Handbook by George S Pransky, PhD as one of the most helpful books I have ever read on relationships.
  • Becoming aware that we all experience love in different ways. Someone may have bought me lots of expensive gifts but I still may not feel loved because what I really wanted was some quality time with my partner. Another book, The Five Love Languages helped me understand these different ways of showing love to each other. These include: quality time; words of affirmation; gifts; acts of service; and physical touch.
  • Sometimes love is not reciprocated. All is not lost though, because a friendship can continue and develop between two people without the physical intimacy. The friendship may last longer than a relationship would have done, perhaps.
  • Losing people we love through death is devastating however, once over the initial shock, we can still hold that person close to our heart. No one can ever take the memories away.
  • In my experience, one of the most necessary characteristics in a relationship is respect. I believe it can’t be over rated. It is about being nice and kind to each other (all the time). It doesn’t allow for times to be insulting or rude. Find ways to express your feelings in a way that will not hurt the one you love (even if you feel really angry). I know this is not easy but it is wonderful to live in the safety of knowing I won’t be verbally abused at any time.
  • Lastly, the most important way to show love to me is to spend quality time with me (I have no objection to receiving gifts – especially at Christmas 🙂 )

Until next time…


4 thoughts on “On Love and Life

  1. Hi! very good advice on the books. In fact I would like to send a copy of The Relationships handbook by George Pransky to a friend of mine, currently living in Australia, who’s getting married this week. But I don’t seem to find any online book store to purchase it from and send it has a gift… I am in Portugal by teh way 🙂 Any help?

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