Aidy Thomas

One of the measurements for a truly progressive journey is looking at where it started. Without knowing where you are coming from, the question of how far you have travelled may never be dully answered. People boast of relationships/marriages of many years/months but today, we are not just concerned with time and distance, but also performance; how well you have behaved in the course of this journey (relationship).

Dr. Robert Gilbert has a story of a conversation which ensued between a young girl and her mother about a nice young man in their neighbourhood.

The mother was totally shocked at her daughter’s response. “Mom, you were right. When I am with John I feel like he’s the most wonderful person in the world. But I’m not getting married to him,”

“I don’t understand,” said her mom. “Mom, it’s simple. I don’t want to marry the most wonderful person in the world. I want to marry a guy who makes me feel like I’m the most wonderful person in the world.”

It is so natural and enjoyable to know the disposition of this innocent girl in relationship matters. Truly, everyone wants to be treated as the most wonderful person in the world. The irony of the whole situation is, your partner desires as much as you do to be treated specially. So what do we do? Somebody once told me a story of a beautiful bird that lived on the tallest tree close to where a house was being built.

“Each morning at the site was a time to laugh and admire nature. The colourful bird would come perching on ladders and blocks looking very attractive and lively, one after the other, we displayed our hunting skills just to catch the little bird. The more we tried, the farther it went. But one day, someone came up with a suggestion; ‘I’ll catch this bird within the next two days’ he bragged and we laughed and mocked him, knowing how long it has taken all of us put together to trap this lovely creature. Our aim was not to kill the bird but to have it alive for admiration. The next morning, the man appeared at the site with a chick he had taken time to colour almost like the bird. He placed it in a cage with some grains, while we all left that part of the compound. Before long, the chick had attracted the bird to the cage and once the bird entered, the cage closed according to the setting and we all were surprised that the bird we couldn’t catch by force was simply attracted to its kind.”

The good virtue you desire to see in others should first of all be found in you. It is not just enough to make a shopping list of what you want others to do for you in life; go the extra mile, be your desire. “He that wants friends should first of all show himself friendly” Let’s consider a simple check list of a love filled relationship.

•Appreciate your spouse: It is so common to hear all sorts of complaint about a spouse who doesn’t care about the need of the other party. Sincerely speaking, the problem may not be lack of care, but rather inability to appreciate the previous effort could have made him/her cold. To win back this attention, try showing appreciation even in little things.

•Less criticism: Nobody appointed you a teacher to your partner, you are in the relationship together to have fun. Spare him/her the unending lessons of what your mother does not tolerate and what your father votes for. Criticism will most likely make your partner to be defensive and argumentative. There may not even be interest of hearing what you have to say because it is assumed you are always out to bruise.

•Closeness: How close are you to your loved one? Relationships should naturally be growing by the day and the more you stay together, the greater the chances of knowing each other better. The truth here is also the likelihood of seeing more fault in each other than when you were staying apart. Closeness involves doing things together, talking and sharing your feelings, trying as much as practicable to be there for each other.

•Personal outings: We have discovered that couples value that special time set aside for them to stare each other in the eye, where children and other family members are not there to demand and compete for the attention of these love birds. How often do you plan for this kind of healthy exercise? Some marriages are still in the claws of parent in-laws and couples hardly have the pleasure of standing on their decision without interference. Social factors like the kind of house you live can also hinder a good love atmosphere, so getting out becomes necessary. As I am encouraging spending time alone, couples should be careful not to put pressure on their finances. Your outings must not only be when you travel abroad, you can explore the serenity of your neighbourhood and catch all that there is to love.

•Responses: After some years of blissful union, my husband and I have come to the conclusion that the word LOVE dissolves into RESPONSES as the marriage grows older. ‘It is assumed that we married basically because of love, now, let me see your love in the way you treat me,’ how have you been treating your partner? You can’t say there’s love while you call him/her derogatory names and behave rudely even in the presence of friends and relatives.

Take time today and consider the way you have loved. If your best is not good enough, make amends and have a love filled relationship.