Monastic Mom

Making Relationships Work - or how not to end up a monastic mom

I wanted to write about what makes relationships succeed.  But being a failure at every male/female relationship in my life, I don't feel I'm in position to comment.   So I've searched elsewhere for comments.  I think the following  excerpt from The Tao of Negotiation by Joel Edelman and Mary Beth Crain is a wonderful look at what makes relationships work.

...there are three key elements to any enduring relationship that, when present, form a triangle of love.   ... the overriding difference between those relationships that work over a long period of time and those that don't has to do with the presence or absence of the following characteristics:

1. The spark.  There is usually an almost intuitive, energetic connection between two people that is unexplainable on any logical basis.  This connection can be instantaneous, or it can come with time.  It is commonly known as  “chemistry,” and it is a necessary ingredient to any long-term relationship.

2.  The intention and the willingness to be aware of  and process everything of significance.  In order for two people to live and grow together, they must be in real, active human communication with each other.  They must be willing to explore what's working and what isn't.  They must have the desire and intention to resolve any disputes, or, on the more positive side, to make life wonderful for each other.
... The “feeling” of love, of passion, of desire will quickly fade without the corresponding commitment to the growth and happiness of both the one you love and yourself.

3.  Commonality of purpose, values and interests.   In order for a love relationship to grow and deepen, certain common life themes must be shared.  These themes can involve spiritual or religious matters, a philosophy of life, marriage and family, a business or profession or creative and artistic activities.  Whatever the common ground, both parties have to till the soil, making sure that it doesn't become parched through neglect.    Shared values or activities provide the basis for years of mutual enjoyment, interaction and growth, whereas if two people are too dissimilar and come together primarily out of sexual attraction, chances are that they will eventually drift apart.

When love relationships ... get into difficulty it's usually because one or two of these three essential elements is missing.  Instead of a cohesive, committed relationship, you get two people operating from their own perspectives without joining together in a true partnership.

Additional thought from Monastic Mom:
 My only personal insight into relationships is that relationships are a lot like sitting meditation.  In sitting practice if you establish a strong practice before rough times arrive, then your sitting will be there for you to see you through.  If you wait until the rough times arrive, then sitting can become a problem in itself. The same with a relationship, if you don't establish a strong relationship before rough times arrive, then the relationship may not withstand the rough waters.  Ask me I know. 


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