There’s a reason why rom-coms make gazillions at the box office. Whether they are good, great or epic (re- The Notebook), they don’t stop making them for a reason: everyone is in love with the idea of being in love. But falling in love is one thing (the high of feeling like you’re floating, elation, overall giddiness) but staying in love is the true test of how you fair in your pairing. So why are divorce rates so ridiculously high. Do we not value marriage like we used to? We asked sexologist Dr.Nikki Goldstein:
“The downside to divorce being such a popular option is it is now a somewhat easier process making it an easier choice to make. Where once you had to prove “fault” in order to end a marriage and really work at it, now when the times get tough it might not be a matter of till death do us part.
Forget What Everyone Says – Sarah & Dom: Together for 3 Years
Sarah: You know those people who tell you that relationships should be easy? They are lying. If this is the person you’re meant to be bearing all your flaws and all to and vice versa, your bound to get annoyed or disagree once in awhile. Otherwise, you’d just be dating yourself. How boring would that be.
Dom: There are times when Sarah and I drive each other nuts. But even when I’m hating her behaviour I still love her. The point of having a relationship is that you’re merging two lives together…sometimes it’s not so easy and if you have this in mind you won’t be disappointed when you find your relationship is less than perfect.
Like a bank account, it takes time and effort to invest and watch your relationship grow.
Talk to Each Other – Shonagh & Sam: Engaged
Shonagh: It’s simple advice and yet I often forget to disengage with daily distractions to be present and listen to what Sam is actually saying. I’m not saying I ignore what he says all the time, I should be more present. My best advice is to turn your phone on silent when you get home. Calls, texts and emails can wait.
Sam: Women are complicated creatures. It’s taken me years to learn how to read between the lines in a face to face conversation. You can imagine how much harder it is to read between the lines via text…without knowing tone or body language. Call and don’t text. Try to speak to each other face to face.
Have Fun: Ben & Audrey – Dating 1 year
Ben: Relationships begin with a lot of fun until a couple gets into the nesting phase. It’s so easy to stay in that cosy nook, it’s easy to get caught up in routine and the day to day and let things get dull. Make the time to explore, be adventurous and fun. Playfulness is great for our relationship.
Audrey: Ben makes me laugh all the time with his goofiness. That’s the thing I think – you have to laugh and laugh lots…make each other laugh.
Be Happy On Your Own: Julie & Mike Dating 5 years
Julie: Last year I went through a tough phase and our relationship was a ripple effect of that. I tried to blame everything that went wrong on Mike but I realised ‘our’ issues were really my own. You are responsible for your own happiness.
Mike: Find things you love to do. Just because you’re in a relationship, it doesn’t mean you have to be joint at the hip. Happiness comes from having a strong network in addition to a great relationship. I love Julie but she isn’t my whole reason for being. That would be so much pressure to handle. Know what I mean?
It’s Actions Not Words That Count: Anne & Derek Married 1 year
Anne: I used to tell Derek I love him all the time but I confess, sometimes I say it out of habit. I love him a lot but sometimes saying it too much loses its meaning. I make a conscious effort to mean what I say but it’s also important to show him what I mean. Mean what you say, say what you mean.
Derek: Agreed. I know if I say I’ll do something, I better deliver or it means nothing. =)
Photo Credit: Daniele Martinie