Originally posted on Feb. 14, 2019 on Zoot580.blogspot.com.
Ok, it’s Valentine’s Day and I’m still laughing at all of the people that I saw rushing into the Dollar Tree store to find last-minute V-Day gifts for their significant others. Wow. I could go so many different places with that, all revolving around “going through the motions”, but I won’t. Maybe it’s something I’ll cover another day.
So while sitting in the parking lot, I happened to catch this couple walking back to their car, not together; one walking much faster than the other. Of course, the woman was in the lead (Y’all are always the pissed ones. Yeah, I said it! And don’t go telling me that us guys are always screwing up. You all are just quick to anger, for the littlest things!!! So much for me running for President in 2024, now that this is in print.). The guy was trying to talk, or plead about something, but she was NOT hearing it or having it. I usually mind my own, but curiosity made me reach to turn down my radio to find out why he was walking with outstretched hands like Frankenstein’s Monster. I didn’t get there in time, but it did remind me of something I learned years ago, which is the reason I decided to write this today.
During our pre-interview and consultation for marriage in 1992, the pastor told us that in order for a relationship to survive and thrive it must have two things: Compromise and Communication.
Compromise, and communication.
I remember thinking to myself that several givens went unmentioned. Things like Passion, Chemistry, Commonality and Sex… … sex so earth-shakingly intense that the child conceived as a result is born with a mild concussion.
But he mentioned none of these things, just Compromise… …and Communication. Let’s discuss the latter first. And remember, what I’m about to say should already be self-explanatory.
If you don’t communicate your desires, likes/dislikes, needs, questions & concerns, etc you will constantly find yourself frustrated with the other party not knowing how to address or accommodate you. That guy with the outstretched, palms up hands? It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that he was in “What did I do?” mode. His ignorance was sad, but her unwillingness to tell him was even worse. I know this sounds a little too simple for some, and yeah, I guess it is. But TALK! That’s all you need to do. Let them know what’s going on with you. This doesn’t necessarily mean that both of you will agree on the topic of discussion, but you don’t want to walk away not knowing. Me, I’m not overly analytical, but if I go too long without input or understanding, my mind tends to wander and wonder. Too often, I’ve been my own worst enemy, convincing myself of things that weren’t true. Believe you-me, that can be quite embarrassing as it has been, time and time again. Still, I may not love the truth, but I can work with it.
See how easy that was? Next point.
So what do you do when communication occurs? And what if you have different positions on the matter? This is where the other half comes into play: Compromise. You must be willing to meet that person somewhere in the middle, if you know that’s what they desire (or detest). Telling someone to “deal with it because that’s who you are and you’re not going to change” is NOT the solution and if you ask me, quite insensitive. So you don’t like romance movies, but she loves them. Take one for the team. Sit with her and watch a few movies and, this is important, pay attention (stay off of your phone). Hold her when the tears fall (you just got plus “+” points). Discuss the movie with her after. Big Daddy Kane knows what he’s talking about when he raps the line: Forget about “Goodfellas” and take her to see “Ghost”.
I didn’t watch the show “Desperate Housewives” much, but I did during the opening season. I caught it every now and then after losing interest, but I did catch an episode that really applies here. If you remember the character, Bree van de Kamp (Marcia Cross), you remember that she was the show’s uptight, obsessive-compulsive, perfectionist that was more concerned with public image than what was really going on in her personal life. One of the craziest moments was when she discovered that her husband was not sexually responsive to her because his secret fetish was sadomasochism (in short, giving or deriving pleasure from acts of infliction). She was shocked and insulted because not only had she not known that her marriage wasn’t as perfect as she believed and displayed, but he never trusted her or felt comfortable enough to come out with the truth about it. Of course, being the “perfect, all-American, picket fence wife that she was, Bree (despite her disgust in the practice) radically changed her approach in the bedroom to accommodate him. That look on her face the first time was classic.
Passion, Chemistry and all of the other items are very important. But let’s face it, you need compromise and communication to make them work. I can’t say it enough.
Most of you know the Five “Love Languages”: (1) Receiving Gifts, (2) Quality Time, (3) Words of Affirmation, (4) Acts of Service and (5) Physical Touch. If you can’t figure them out, then you need that person to tell you. And once you know, you have to be willing to provide those things. If that’s not you, be willing to sacrifice and again, take one for the team. Don’t worry, I’ll be blogging about that as well, and soon. People say I don’t talk about love in my blogs. I have heard you…
I look back on the failed relationships of friends and after considerable discussion and thought, most often I found these two to be the common denominator. I know many will say that emotional/physical infidelity and financial difficulty are the two greatest and most destructive reasons, but if you give me a case in either category, with enough information, I can find where the need for one of “The Two Cs” could have helped prevent or reduce the likelihood and impact of them.
So please (and I just can’t say it enough), TALK. If you’re upset with one-another, then go to your neutral corners and come back when you can do so without shouting (or God forbid, putting hands on each other, unless it’s for creating that concussed baby).
And learn what makes each other tick, if not sick. If you ain’t doin’ it, you’ll ruin it (I made that up, just now. Gotta put that in a song). Show them that you care because you are WILLING to do any and everything to make them smile, giggle, wiggle or speak in ancient Cimmerian and reach for things that ain’t even there! I promise, you’ll both be better off.
And remember, my friends, my word is never the gospel. You can take this post with a grain of salt, if you like. Just know that I’ve seen success and some failure in my own travels down the road of romance. More of the former. But the latter? Chalk them up to Compromise and/or Communication (the lack thereof).
I hope it’s never happened to you. If it has, I hope you can extract valuable learning points to make the next one magic.
I hope you have love and I hope you keep it.
I hope you only know happiness and harmony from this day forth…
…and oh yes, I hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day!
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