Wouldn't it be easier if a relationship came with a Use & Care Manual? It would make things so much simpler.
All great designs & products come with instruction manuals to ensure you get optimum performance, maximum value and the best satisfaction for your investment.You can also expect a lengthy warranty, subject to conditions, of course. And in the event of anything going wrong, there is a returns policy that rewards the proper use & care of your valuable asset.
So why is it that the most precious investment we can make, the biggest risk we take, entering into a relationship, gets very little thought. Relationships require time, commitment, passion and dedication, yet we approach it in an almost nonchalant way, then struggle to understand why it didn't work out.
A mutual understanding built on love and commitment is a good place to start. It acts as a guide, a road map for the years ahead, it helps to resolve conflict easier and clarifies the obligations of each partner so there are fewer misunderstandings.
Mutual understanding needs to be based on:
BIGGER ISSUES eg.
- Number of kids
- Fidelity, etc.
SMALLER ISSUES (nonetheless important) eg.
- Daily affections & gestures
- Date nights
- Eating dinner together
- Celebrating holidays
- Never going to bed angry
- Who controls the remote, takes out the trash,etc.
Some might feel that this kills the romance and has very little to do with chemistry. If you are building a relationship (not just having a fling) then the harder questions will have to be addressed at some stage.
Yes, enjoy the bloom of a new romance, do ride the wave of passion that comes with discovering each other. Enjoy the honeymoon phase in all it's deliciousness. But the real value, the gems, only gets uncovered when the first layer is breached and you get to the substance, the heart of a couple and the things they value most.
My relationship "use and care manual" is unwritten, but cast in stone. I've referenced it a number of times throughout the years, I understand the conditions of my contract, I know without a doubt that I will never make a claim against my returns policy, I'm in it for the long haul, will do the necessary to handle it with care, and when things aren't running that well, will give it the attention it deserves.
Falling in love, is great!
Having love, friendship & great chemistry, is extraordinary!
Growing old together... mmmm...now that's true romance!