life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Cherish

It’s good to get little attentions from our lover, isn’t it? It makes us feel special to his/her eyes. These little attentions can be spectacular, or just modest, but these are proofs of love. And if these come as a surprise, it can bring a little spice into your love life. But I guess there are some rules to respect in this.

Too much of attentions can have the reverse effect. And also, we can get bored easily if there’s too much attention. You won’t get any chance to surprise him/her anymore if you surprise him/her all of the time.

But this doesn’t mean too little attentions is great either. And this got to be mutual. If only one part of the couple makes all the efforts, sooner or later, this imbalance can weigh a lot and cause the couple to go on shaky grounds.

I’ve asked around me what kind of attentions they have for their significant other, and it goes something like this:

I select random activities we can do together, behind his back of course, otherwise, it wouldn’t be a surprise anymore. This is how we ended up in a ballroom dancing club,  a karaoke restaurant, a paintball activity, cycling together on the sea shore, driving the Nürburing , … But I don’t do this every year. Just when I feel his mood is hitting a low. So far, this has worked. And I’m happy I can cheer him up like that“, C., 35, said.

It goes from multiple messages to small gifts, all of the time. But sometimes, I try something more spectacular, like for instance kidnapping him at work and taking him on a week-end where we could just relax and enjoy some great food” O., 38, said.

Usually, I don’t cook. Not because I don’t know how, but because I don’t have time. But sometimes, and it’s very seldom, I take my day off and spend the day cooking for him. He really likes this. Otherwise, I try to give him a massage from time to time” U., 36, said.

I spot whenever one of his favorite groups is in town for a show. And invite him to all of these events” P., 30, said.

“I try to take care of his kids, from a previous marriage, and his old mother who’s sick” L., 35, said.

I send him flowers, show at his place wearing nothing under my coat, invite him to good restaurants, surprise him with citytrips,...” M., 40, said.

It’s better, though, if there’s a little bit of imagination. But the most important in this, is the intention itself, not the act. It can happen we fail in the surprise we try to make. But that doesn’t mean the other wouldn’t find that sweet.

So, do you like to be cherished?

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broken heart, celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Everybody’s changing

Yesterday, I had a lunch with an old classmate, who ended a year ago her long-term relationship. She told me that since her separation, she hasn’t recognised her former lover anymore. “How could I be so blind? How come I didn’t see how he was from the beginning” she said. The truth is, when love is gone, reality comes back into force, and this landing can be hard. A friend of mine says there’s nothing worse than to see how ordinary is our old lover. But I don’t agree totally with him on this.

When it’s over, we can adopt an opposite behavior. It’s a  natural reaction. After years of being commanded by their lover, some people feel the need to decide on their own and do whatever they want, without having to justify it anymore. My old classmate told me so. This behavior can be temporary. It’s part of the process of mourning our old relationship.

But it can also lay the path to a new equilibrium. When you don’t jump straight away into a new relationship, you ponder a little bit what went wrong in your previous one. To avoid making the same mistakes. A friend of mine decided to start a therapy after her breakup, and she decided she would never let someone tear her down like her ex did. So far, in her new relationship, she has stuck to this decision.

Another friend of mine went into a transitional period like that. But he never learned from his past mistake. With his ex, they used to barely see each other. They only saw each other on weekends. He’s doing exactly the same with his new lover.

To come back to what my old classmate said at the beginning, I also think that we do change over time. I’m not the same person I was when I was 20. My tastes have evolved. She also admitted this.

Love is a common path. But it can happen those paths head to the opposite direction. Unfortunately.

So, do you feel you’re changing?

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broken heart, celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Don’t go away

What makes us stay in a relationship? In a world where we can say divorce as quick as we can say ‘I do’ and where couples are disposable, staying with the same partner can be really tricky. The temptation to seek for the greener grass has never been so easy today with internet and the multiple networks we can get thanks to our job and other various activities. Yet, as we can get bored of a long-term relationship, we can also get bored in multiplying partners. Some of my single friends, who have a long list of conquests, are starting to want a long term relationship. But it doesn’t come easily. On the other hands, some of my married friends envy my single friends in their no-string attached relationship. We’re never satisfied with what we have…

As women become more and more independent, they do have the choice of leaving a relationship or a marriage that doesn’t work. It wasn’t the case fifty years ago. Poverty makes us stay together, that’s one reason. After the 1929 krach, people couldn’t afford to get a divorce so they stay together.

Mentality has also evolved. Not so long ago, a woman couldn’t do anything without her husband’s approval. She couldn’t open a bank account on her own. She wasn’t allowed to vote. Now, women don’t necessarily need a man in their life. They only have a man because they want to. That’s a huge difference.

My generation grew up very very spoiled. This has a lot of consequences in our love life. We are not taught anymore how to please a man. We’re just taught to think for ourselves. We have also learned that marriage isn’t an insurance for life anymore. Therefore, it’s important to get independent.

Yet, people still get married, as they believe love can last forever. Most of us still carry that hope. And this may be the reason why we stay together, after all. Because of hope.

But we set a list of expectations the other has to meet by doing so. When I ask my married friends why they choose to marry, some of them told me that it was because their significant other met all their expectations, or at least, the most important ones. One of them told me she knew she would marry her husband because he was the only one to handle her difficult character. Before him, no other man could keep up with her.  But she married late, after 32, and she admitted it helped her a lot in her decision and to see what she wanted in a marriage.

Another friend of mine, who’s 52, married last year his very long-term girlfriend. They had been together for 27 years before getting married. He explained he never wanted to get married. But enjoyed a lot his wife’s company. Together, they crossed many hurdles. They managed to build a strong couple. He admitted it took him a long time to realize she was the one. And as they’re getting old, he only wanted to thank her for staying for so long with her by making her an honest woman.

I guess it’s all about expectations. Isn’t it?

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broken heart, celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

From the clouds

“How was their love,  free, unusual, incomparable! They thought like others would have sung. If they loved each other, it wasn’t out of necessity, of succumbing to the flame of passion, according to a false image. If they loved each other, it was because around them, everything wants it that way: the earth beneath their feet, the sky above their heads, the clouds, the trees. Their love suited  their closed friends perhaps even more than  themselves;  the strangers in the street,  those who would move aside in front of them when they walked,  the rooms where they lived and met”

Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago.

This may be a strange definition of love. But when you think about it, it can make sense. Some couples appear as obvious to their entourage. Even before they actually got together. Among my acquaintances, there were two of a kind who had to be together. Everyone was convinced they could make a great couple long before they started dating for real. And now, we can’t see them without each other. It’s like they were meant to be.

When so many people are convinced you could make a great match, they can’t be wrong, can they? Of course, if this is only based on how good looks your couple, it’s silly. It’s not because both of you are beautiful that you would make a good match. You can have very opposite characters and fight all of the time. You can have nothing in common.

And if your couple only exists in the eyes of other people, you should ask yourself a big question: does your couple exist to your own eyes? A couple is something we have to build together, it doesn’t come for free and it’s not obvious. When I started dating my man, he asked me several times what I was expecting from him and our couple. A couple only exists if there is a project behind it. It’s not just two people hand in hand. Otherwise, we could make a couple with a lot of people.

So, do you care about what people say about your couple?

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broken heart, celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Invaders of the heart

When I was in College, I had a roommate who had a very high turnover of girlfriends. And some of them had the habit of leaving some of their stuffs in his place. It went from a toothbrush to various panties, tee-shirts, sweatshirts,… My roommate didn’t want to pursue any relationship further, so he stored those things in a box. And if one of the girls asked for her things, he just told her to go and see in that box. So, the poor girl had the humiliating experience to find her stuffs among the other ones. This acted as a reminder she wasn’t alone in his life. And generally, it was enough to make her leave immediately. Some of them, but there were very few, didn’t see this as a problem, and wanted to pursue the relationship further. But then, my roommate just told them he didn’t want  to.

I hope he’s not acting like that anymore now.

But I wonder: what does it means when you leave something at your lover’s place, even the most insignificant thing?

I had another roommate who dated a guy not very sure he wanted to be with her. Yet, he left a coat at her place after they spent the night together. And two days later, he disappeared, leaving my roommate very very upset. I told her he would definitely come back. After all, who would have left without a coat? Three days later, he was there, waiting for her, miserable. And asked her to forgive him. She did.

It was Jacques Lacan who described those bungled actions. Basically, the act we commit unintentionally are the expression of our unconscious desire. So, by leaving his coat, my roommate’s boyfriend did express he wanted to be in her life. And so did all the girls with my other roommate.

Two of my friends have been secretly seeing each other. Yet, no one knows except a few of their friends, including me. But even if they try to stay in the shadow, they have made several mistakes so far. How many times did she call me since the start of their relationship because this or that person saw them together, and not just talking? He has come several times at her office to see her and kissed her in the parking lot. This is way too risky, because people in her company can arrive at any time of the day. The first time they kissed each other, it was near the office of one of the tabloids of my country. I forgot to mention that they’re quite famous, and none of them is actually divorced, just freshly separated. And for sure, when this would be make public, this will cause quite a stir.

I guess they want it to be public.

So, have you ever acted unconsciously?

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broken heart, celibacy, life, love, men, relationships, thoughts, women

Black eyed

At one point in my life, I wasn’t faithful at all. I didn’t trust women. In my head, this was a way not to get hurt again by one of them. Until I realized I hurt the woman who loved me, and that I was making her pay for my ex, who left me abruptly, after telling me she aborted because she didn’t want to have my baby“.

This is what admitted a dear friend of mine recently.

We never get out of a relationship without any bruises. We don’t get out of a relationship without causing any bruises either. So, when we jump into a new relationship, it’s hard not to feel these old scars. Unconsciously, we can even react to our new partner as if he/she was our ex, and cause him/her pain he/she doesn’t deserve at all.

Another friend of mine admitted she was systematically chasing married men because her ex cheated on her. She didn’t realize this at all at the beginning.  She discovered his affair and left him immediately. Two months later, she started dating a married man. She fell in love madly with him, and wanted him to leave his wife for her. When he left their apartment to live with her, she called it quit two days after. And began another affair with another married man, repeating the same pattern. I asked her why she treated herself like this, if she found any form of revenge by dating married man. she looked at me with horror when I said this. The next day, she dumped her married man, and promised herself to stay single for a while, until she got her act back together. So far, her love life has been quiet. She prefers to spend her time devoting to others.

But it’s hard to admit we’re doing a mistake like that. And sometimes, we need the help of others to forgive ourselves and the one who hurt us. The key is to forgive.

When I met P., we both got out of a relationship that didn’t end up well. He left his wife because he had enough of her constant critics. I left my husband because he kept on bringing me down. And the first months of our relationship was shaky because of that. I was in constant panic, like if I was still with my ex-husband, and so was he. We had to talk about this several times to realize we shouldn’t fear each other like we were, and decided to take it without fear“K., 36, said.

We’re not forever black eyed. Black eye disappears with time, and things return the way they were before.

So, do you forgive easily?

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Crowded house

Recently, one of my friends had the unpleasant surprise of meeting with his ex. Just right in front of his house. She was there, waiting for him. He hadn’t heard about her for two years since their separation. And she told him she realized she couldn’t live without him. The problem is my friend has moved on, and he’s now married and a father of an adorable little boy. So, there was no way he could run back to her.

Yet, when he told me about this story, he admitted he had mixed feelings about this. He loved her, and was devastated when she left him for another man two years ago. But since I know him, he’s not really himself when she’s around. They have broken several times during their time together, and each time, they would come back to each other. Until two years ago, when she met another man. Obviously, she’s not the right person for him. I really believe that love is not about suffering. This is passion, not love. And passion doesn’t last. It can even ruin you, make you lose your mind.

Since this meeting, his couple has started to evolve on shaky grounds. His wife got angry about his ex, and he hasn’t done anything to comfort her about his feelings. I told him he should be clear to everyone, including him. But I can clearly see he doesn’t have a clue about what he has to do right now.

We all have a past. And the past is never far. Yet, we don’t advance in life if we stick to the past. I have another friend of mine who’s in the same situation than his wife. she started dating her man while he was separating. But he hasn’t launched the full divorce procedure yet. When they met, he swore to her he would never get back with his wife, that his feeling for her has completely changed. Yet, this whole separation thing isn’t clear at all in his mind. And as a result, my friend feels a little bit secondary left in this relationship. Since the beginning, she said, they had a slow relationship. They don’t see each other that much. They have to keep their relationship secret because he doesn’t want to offend his wife. And she told me many times she wished she would see him more often. Their relationship isn’t starting at all because he’s constantly hesitating.

I told her that if she complains about this relationship, then it’s not worth it. After all, relationships are there for enjoying each other’s company. If you feel better alone than in his/her company, then you should ask yourself why are you staying with him/her.

Being in a relationship where the ex is still very much present in your partner’s life is difficult to bear. The key is to know why his/her ex is still very much present. The answer says it all.

So, what would you do if his/her ex was still present in your lover’s life?

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