If I can sum this up for you, I will. Having been through a couple long-term relationships and some short ones, I am by no means an expert. However, I feel slightly qualified to speak about this after analyzing my own failed relationships and those that I have been privy to with my friends.
We, as a society, rely in fiction to dictate our non-fictional lives. We do not live within the confines of the curtain rising and the curtain falling. We all want our significant other to be like a character in a movie. We see the type of person portrayed on film and that is our expectation—unrealistic as it may be. Let’s not forget that those scripts are written and edited and re-written for perfection. Our lives and interactions with others is yet unscripted.
It seems like people do not want to work at relationships anymore. The moment there is a flaw, we kick that person to the curb. We are all too busy to work on our relationships except in the very beginning when we are getting to know someone else and we will stay up all night talking about silly little things. We spend all this time nurturing and coveting each other for the first six months and then we simply and plainly just stop.
If you speak to anyone that has been in a long-term relationship the unanimous reason for keeping their relationship flourishing is communication. If you stop talking to one another, your relationship is over. Spending time together is also at the top of the list. How can you be a couple if you never spend time with one another? Sex is so important as intimacy pulls us together, makes us feel like a cohesive unit and loved. My Psychology 200 prof once said,
"There's no problem if someone wants lots of sex or just a little; but the two of them should not be together"
It's funny that that quote resonates with me....
Being tolerant is necessary in any relationship. Understanding that your partner is a different person with different life experiences and that is what makes each of you choose different outcomes and ways to deal with different situations is vital.
If you have kids, you better get on the same page with parenting damn quick. This is a marriage wrecker. The first year of a baby’s life is hardest on parents. If you can’t agree on how to parent, you will always be at odds with one another. There is no such thing as common understanding between people, so when you’re fighting over what brand name of mayonnaise makes the best potato salad, does it really matter?
Helmann’s is the right answer here…
At the end of day, do you want to be happy or do you want to be right?
Magic is fleeting and I’d rather know what I’m likely to encounter in the long run. I am certainly no Blanche Dubois from Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, in which she utters:
“I don’t want realism, I want magic”
This mindset will always, bar none, get us into trouble.
RantingnRaven on twitter