Have you ever noticed that when you are either on your very first “barely hit puberty” crush, your tenth boyfriend/girlfriend 2 years out of college or your third marriage that the “experts” have ALL of the answers?? Yea, me too! I do not even remotely pretend to have all of the answers, but in my 35-ish years of relationship experience, I have learned a LOT.
I asked my husband and one of my sons what do they automatically think of when being asked for relationship advice and this is SOME of what they came up with…….Some I couldn’t publish because I am trying to keep a semi- G-rated blog here. In fairness, I did laugh pretty hard at what they said but I attribute that to having a sense of humor that was severely stunted in growth by getting married VERY young and raising 3 boys and having been married a few times. Essentially my sense of humor can be equated to an 8-13 year old boy mixed in with a nifty side of post menopausal wicked and there you go…..If Bart Simpson and Betty White had a baby – BAM! That would be my sense of humor spirit baby 🙂
So, let’s get to it. Here is my list of the TOP 5 worst relationship advice I have ever gotten…..
1.) Don’t go to bed angry – Sometimes in my world that has seemed like such a tall order…..don’t go to bed angry….but what if (fill in the blank with whatever irks you to no end) that happened and I want to be angry????? Going to bed angry is what you might choose in the moment and if so, that’s your choice but it seems a bit unfair when your significant other is left with a feeling of being inadequate or sad, so instead of just not going to bed angry, be angry if you want to be BUT the advice given by a couple that has been married 76 years is, it shouldn’t matter how angry or sad you are, you don’t have to say anything but you always, always touch toes. It’s just a little reminder that I’m here and I still love you no matter what…….
2.) Love is blind – There are a lot of people who would argue this is true for those involved in the relationship but the truth is that those AROUND the relationship are not blind. They don’t have a “dog in the hunt” so to speak so carefully and methodically consider their input. Consider that if nobody likes your partner, there may be good reasons for it. So if your loved ones have lots of reservations, don’t get defensive but listen to why they feel that way and then make up your mind.
3.) Don’t play games – Really??? Oh yes, yes I say, do play games!!!! Probably not the kind that you may be thinking but how about a good old fashioned game of Monopoly, or Cards Against Humanity, or the best yet “What do you meme“…..When you play a real game with someone you get a chance to observe how they behaves under stress, whether they’re honest, how they handle those embarrassing topics, and how they handle defeat.
4.) For women – “go for the strong silent type” – While that theory may work when we want to binge watch The Bachelor or in my case The Food Network but research finds constant communication is the key to a lasting relationship. Don’t just talk about if you want to have kids—discuss how you will raise them. Talk about money—how you plan to afford things and when you want to retire. Then, once you’re married, communicate when you’re happy and unhappy, what feels good and what doesn’t, what turns you on and off. Don’t just talk about “surface” things, say what is there and do it with love 🙂 If the conversation doesn’t go the way you want it to, then touch toes……..At the end of all of this the sentiment is still the same “I love you no matter what”
5.) Don’t hang wallpaper together – I always found this advice rather odd….I thought it meant to literally not hang wallpaper together but then I realized that it meant, can you do the crazy hard things together and still laugh? To me that is the TRUE mark of a great relationship…the fact of the matter is we all have to do the most mundane and sometimes not so pleasant things in our lives but if you can find someone who makes you laugh then you are golden!!!!! The flip side is be sure that you find the same things funny or at least relatively close……If he thinks a whoopee cushion is funny and you don’t, it certainly won’t get funnier for you 30 years from now. I promise…….
So,now that I have gone over what I think is bad advice, let’s talk about what is my go to top 5 best advice that I would give anyone in a new relationship:
1.) Live -Live your truth. Whatever or wherever or with or without someone or whatever else you can think of, just do you!!!!! Just do you!!!!! Some of the best 3 words in the English language is just do you……
2.) Laugh – ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS have a sense of humor (yes even a Bart Simpson/Betty White sense of humor works) I have told my husband many times “make me laugh and you have me at HELLO”.
3.)Love – Simply said, love hard love often. I don’t know if anyone else has had this experience but the older we get the faster things go…..we don’t know when our first day of something or last day will be so just love hard and love often and most importantly, LEAVE NOTHING UNSAID…….
4.) Eat – Food is love. It really is just that simple. Let me say it again….Food is love. Feed your soul and feed your body. Those 2 ideas are not mutually exclusive of each other either….Read my post “Fredericksburg – Our Way” and you will see how we were feeding our souls by getting out of town and away from work and also feeding our bodies by having the BEST hamburger in Texas at The Pig Pen in Albert TX. Food is love……
5.) Everything in between – I know it sounds corny to some but embrace everything that is “in between”. Is it annoying sometimes that you come home to dishes in the sink or dog hair everywhere, laundry not done, or dinner not cooked but I go back to rule #3 and love what is there for you because tomorrow may be very different…..and it could be in a great way or a not so great way….You choose!
Be safe out there and be kind to each other!!!!