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Healthy and Happy Love Relationships. Originally written in 1986, and a free online guide to time-tested attitudes & tips since 2001.

Life Will Throw a Curve Ball At You

Sooner or later, the possibility exists that life will throw a curve ball at you. Sorry to be the bearer of sad yet true tidings, but it is a fact of real life. When this happens, some couples split, and some don’t. The couples who split up are those who didn’t feel there was enough in the relationship to make it worth hanging on to. Usually this is simply due to the fact that the foundations of the relationship were not sturdy enough to handle some 'weather'. In some cases, such may be the case because they got together for the wrong reasons in the first place. However, in many other cases it’s because when they do a mental review of the relationship, what comes to mind is a long stretch of "routine" -- only sporadically punctuated with something special to remember, or something warm to recall. It won’t matter a whit how good their sex life was when it comes down to the wire. They will remember the relationship having been a lot of work -- usually perceiving themselves to have done most of it, and off they’ll go in search of `something better’ on the "greener side of the hill" (again?). These couples very likely could have made it had they employed romance on a consistent basis, and if they’d made more of a conscious effort to appreciate one another. They would have had those "gift wrapped memories" mentioned earlier. The real potential between them will never have the chance to blossom. You could think of "gift wrapped memories" as a sort of a `relationship insurance policy’ -- except the premiums are a joy to pay! Of the couples who stay together, there are two basic groups. The first group are those who stay together because they "have to" -- because of finances, children, image, or whatever. The problem with feeling you "have to" do something is the corresponding feeling of being compelled or forced against your will or preference. Most people react negatively to that feeling, and it tends to cause them to become overly critical of their partner (the perceived source of the feeling) -- and therefore often tend to make mountains out of molehills. This is done to ‘justify’ the inevitable split by creating rationalizations which outweigh the original reasons why they felt they "had to" stay in the relationship. The mind is only capable of concentrating on one thing at a time. Therefore, when the mind is preoccupied with negative thoughts, it will attract and dwell upon other negative thoughts. The only thing which can be expected, then, is a vicious cycle leading to a continuously worsening situation. Once again, romance and appreciation may have salvaged the situation by creating a store of good memories, of loving gestures, and of feeling important and worthwhile to each other. The second group, of those who stay together, are those who ‘wanted to’ -- because their relationship is valuable to them. They are the ones who always feel like a team; the ones who have always felt appreciated by each other; the ones with too many "gift wrapped memories" to give up the relationship without a fight. They are therefore in a positive frame of mind about each other, and the relationship as a whole. This allows them to approach the problem as a team, with a definite pre-assumption of conquering the difficulty together. Being in a positive frame of mind causes them to act and react in positive ways -- thereby resolving the situation more quickly, with less stress, and most importantly with much less potential damage to the relationship itself. Afterward, the problem is looked back upon as a success -- resolved together, and therefore another source of stronger bonding. The next time they face a challenge of any sort at all, it will be even easier for them because they have become yet more accustomed to thinking in terms of success. These couples are consistently supportive of each other emotionally and otherwise. When two people know they can count on each other, there’s a great deal less pressure on each of them, and therefore in the relationship as a whole. People reserve a special respect for couples who stick by each other through adversity. If you genuinely appreciate each other, you’re likely to be one of those couples. But let’s not forget it’s most important what you think of each other -- as opposed to what anyone else at all may think of you at any time. You are the important factors to each other.  
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Love doesn't make the world go 'round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile. — Franklin P. Jones