Best Kind of Wonderful

#Relationships

Mon, Aug 24th, 1998 04:00 by Lilith DemHareIs ARTICLE

The Best Kind of Relationships, I believe, are the monogamous marriages. You know the kind, the ones that last forever, and you see a little old man kiss a little old lady every time he leaves the house, even if the reason behind leaving the house is to go pick her a flower from the garden.

They exist, I've seen 'em, and I'm going to have one myself. I am determined.

We've all had relationships go bad. Goodness, I've had five of them go bad on me before I found my husband. (Four of the guys left me for another woman; one left me for another man.) But the hindsight lesson which I learned from all of them was that ya can't expect anything better than what you're willing to give.

As time progressed, I found myself looking for relationships more with my common sense, instead of just with my heart. And, as time progressed, the relationships were deeper, and lasted longer.

Love makes the world go round, but it's physics that keep it all together and functioning. Just because you fall in love with someone doesn't mean the relationship would work. Certainly love makes a relationship easier to manage, but it should, by no means, be the only glue which holds it together.

An enduring relationship is one that doesn't hold together love, but holds together LIVES. I'm sure everyone know some couple that has broken up because their lives don't fit together. Sure, they loved each other, but "it just wouldn't have worked out."

So you want an enduring relationship. If so, you must start with yourself. Are you the sort of person with whom someone will want to spend the rest of their life (and beyond) with? If not, what would you change? (And don't just acknowledge it; change it.)

You can only ask of someone that which you yourself are willing to give. No more. And no less.

If you are unwilling to make a few lifestyle changes, make a few sacrifices and compromises, you can't expect someone else to, yet still be truly happy in a relationship. We all have had some experience in the past with someone who was a little bit more selfish, a little less strong, a little less committed.

If you are unwilling to stand up for what's *really* important in your life (and I don't just mean your cat), they you're going to either end up with someone who'll walk all over you, or who'll be so weak that the relationship won't go anywhere. How many of us have been in a relationship that "fizzled out"? How many of us have been in an abusive relationship, and tried to get out?

The lasting relationships, the ones that work, the ones that make you both happy are relationships of balance. You can only ask for what you are willing to give.

Now, don't complain that all you can ever find are losers. Either something is wrong with you, or something is wrong with where you are.

Something wrong with you: there are losers in the world, guaranteed. But they are getting attracted to you (or vice versa) for some reason. Change that thing that attracts them. Better yet, foster qualities in yourself that are attractive and good. Then, instead of losing losers, you'll be attracting the winners. (And as we all know, the winners are the ones who get snatched up into good relationships.)

Something wrong with where you are: If you can't find what you are looking for where you are, expand your search. If your main hunting ground is the singles' bar scene, then your chances of finding someone exciting (who doesn't drink) are very low. Get out into the world. Go someplace other than your usual hunting ground. Leave the Singles' Ward, and join a club somewhere. Expand out. For all you know, the person with whom you could hit it off perfectly could indeed be doing all the things you do, and going to all the places you go, but in a different city. I ended up looking on the literal other side of the planet.

But I did find him. We've just celebrated another anniversary. We're planning on buying a house this year, and having babies. And he loves to read my novels. In about fifty or sixty years time, I expect his eyes will be too weak to read, and his fingers too deft to handle garden shears, so I'll have to trim the dirt and roots off of the flower he pulled up for me out of the garden and put it in a vase.

I still have the rose he first gave me.

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