Which is most important, sex or cuddling?
If that’s the choice, it’s cuddling.
But really it is touch
– in all its forms –
that makes or breaks relationships.
WANTING A NEW PARTNER
In order to find a new partner you must first be certain that you are available!
Many people complain long and loud about how hard it is to find a partner
but will admit that they are not absolutely sure (“down deep”) that they even want one.
When they finally get to the point that they are sure,
they usually find a new partner within months.
So do whatever it takes to make up your mind
about this extremely important question.
“You hurt my feelings”
aims to arouse guilt
and leads to more hurt feelings especially for the accuser.
“I’m angry about what you did”
aims to assign responsibility
and leads to real problem solving for both people.
COMPETITION VS. COOPERATION
“I want to go bowling,” says one.
“I want to watch TV,” says the other.
In most relationships the communication stops there
and both people try to “win” while trying to make the other person “lose.”
These are called competitive relationships.
They are based on the all-American ideal of winning and losing!
In a healthy relationship it goes like this:
“I want to go bowling.”
“I want to watch TV.”
“How can we both get what we want tonight?”
These are cooperative relationships.
Both people win and nobody loses.
(But it might be un-American!)
DO WE NEED A PRIMARY RELATIONSHIP?
It is definitely possible to be happy without a primary, sexual relationship.
It just isn’t easy.
It takes an immense amount of hard work
to get enough attention and love from friends alone.
WHO’S PROBLEM IS IT?
“I feel sad and blue today and I don’t know why….”
This is a manipulative statement (except in therapy).
It begs your partner to help you to solve your problem.
And, since the partner can’t possibly know you as well as you know yourself,
it usually leads to an argument and mutual feelings of being misunderstood.
“I feel sad and blue today and I don’t know why, but I’m working on it….”
This is an intimate statement which can bring people together.
The responsibility for solving the problem remains where it belongs,
on the person who is feeling bad.
And your partner can feel free to be supportive and loving
without feeling responsible for your problem.
SEX ROLE BIGOTRY
When someone says something about “men” or “women” during a disagreement,
they would accomplish more if they’d just stop the discussion completely
and focus on their own childhood beliefs.
Our bigoted ideas of men and women are well established by age ten.
Our general beliefs about each sex are irrelevant
to any discussion of real-life problems we are having today
with this particular man or this particular woman.
If you really want to have a clear, productive argument
insist that you and your partner “stick to the video camera”!
This means, talk about what you want and don’t want from each other
in such a clear way that a video camera would be able to “see” what you are talking about.
Instead of saying “You don’t love me” or “I want you to love me”
tell your partner the actual behaviors you want to see more of from them.
Don’t ask to be “loved” (which is too general)
when you can ask for a warm hug with a smile
(which will help you to get the feeling of love that you want).
HAPPINESS FROM A RELATIONSHIP
The most important relationship in your life
is the one you have with yourself!
Happiness comes from treating yourself well,
not from finding someone else to do it for you.