I've done a lot of thinking about relationships these past couple of months. According to a psychologist friend, spending more time at home because of the COVID restrictions has some interesting effects on a number of patients. In some cases, people who had been feeling like two strangers co-sharing a home fell in love again. Others, who were seemingly fine, discovered that the reason they got along with their partner was because they didn't spend time together!
As I thought about the conversation, Amy Winehouse's song 'love is a losing game' kept popping in my mind and it made me wonder: is love a game you can win ... or lose?
Here is the thing, if you treat the person you love as your opponent, even if only occasionally, you've already lost the game. The idea of a game implies that there are winners and losers but I like to think of relationships as two people playing for the same team and here is why:
It is virtually impossible to be in a happy relationship if one person feels or is treated as a loser ie. Someone who's needs are irrelevant to their other half. The 'loser' will resent the other and eventually get so fed up that they will behave in ways, consciously or not, that will lead to collective misery. But here is what's even more important to remember: when it comes to games, sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. You might be thinking, "duh Fadela, this is hardly insightful" but think about it! When you're done 'prosecuting 'your other half, what do you think will happen next? THEY will (predictably) jump at the first opportunity to put YOU on the stand, even if it's just for a fleeting moment of victory. I'm obviously simplifying things a little but you get the idea...
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
1. Think of your couple as a team:
You can be the best football or basketball player in town but you CANNOT win or even play without a team. The same applies to your relationship: practice, bond, support, encourage and celebrate.
2. Ditch negative prophecies:
Or they may become real or continue to be self-fulfilling. Expect the worst from your partner and you will get...the worst.
3. Use your memory with a positive intent:
NOT to list your partner's history of wrongdoings. Remember the times you felt great in your relationship and ask yourself what was different about you (it always starts from within) and about them? Your behaviours and beliefs might have changed, but you are still the same people who fell in love with each other. It's up to you to keep the spark, love and romance going.
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