“So, I’m dating a widower. And, it feels like a competition.”

Whoa.

If you are competing with his deceased wife, YOU WILL LOSE!

In death, most people become saints. Her sins have been forgiven, and he’s going to mourn her forever.

You are still around to make mistakes. You lose.

This was all prompted by a conversation I had with a friend recently. She’s involved with a single dad who lost his wife during child birth. And although she does what she can to support them, it’s often met with accusations of wanting to replace the deceased, primarily by her family.

Step back. If you love him, and this child, you will wait when needed and give them the time necessary…all parties involved (this means her family). This doesn’t mean you leave the relationship or take unnecessary hits. It merely means that you tuck your feelings in, and don’t make the mourning about you.

Easier said than done? Quite possibly.

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10 Habits of Happy Couples…

I recently read this article about the 10 Habits of Happy Couples. Interesting.

1. Go to bed at the same time.

This one is hard for me. I have a really strange sleeping pattern. I think #8 is more essential in my relationships.

6/17: Wait. I was watching, couldn’t find the remote, RHOC (I think that’s the right abbreviation for the Real Housewives of Orange County) and saw another side of this. One of the husband goes to bed REALLY early. I don’t know if this is attributed to his work schedule or what. I’m not really into this franchise anymore. But the wife was shown just kinda hanging out in their house alone. He goes down at their kids bed time. That changed things for me. I may not always go to bed when my partner does, but I’m gonna try much harder. It was sad watching her tuck her ENTIRE family into bed, grab her glass of wine, and go play solitaire on the family computer.

2. Cultivate common interests.

We should find things we enjoy doing together. Even things separate from our own personal interests. This could be simple or complex, but it will give us a common bond with an enjoyable experience, together.

3. Walk hand in hand or side by side.

Duh! Human contact is so important, and often it’s the little things that mean the most. Remember how much we loved holding our boyfriends hands when we were in junior high. It’s similar, and it’s a great Segway into #10.

4. Make trust and forgiveness your default mode.

Have you ever been friends or involved with someone who never gave you benefit of the doubt? Have you ever been forced to defend yourself against ridiculous lies and accusations? We all know how that feels. How would it feel to be in that position with someone you loved?

5. Focus more on what your partner does right than what he or she does wrong.

It’s so easy to focus on the negative. We are so quick to give it our attention. But what about all the positive. We barely acknowledge it. We probably appreciate the perfection in our lives, but fail to focus on it, point it out, and comment on it. But, the negative will evoke conversations, arguments, and two-cent comments from friends. Why?

It’s important to voice your concerns and issues, but don’t make that the only thing you have a voice on.

6. Hug each other as soon as you see each other after work.

For me, it’s not an actual hug, but I think it’s a great practice to ensure you’re acknowledging each other at the end of the day. When your partner comes home, or when you come home, both of you should make a point to seek out and acknowledge the other in your most comfortable way. For me, I need and give a quick smooch on the lips or cheek. It may be different in each relationship, but this speaks to human contact and connection every day when you get back together.

Doing it immediately when you get back to one another, ensures that you don’t miss this point of contact.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in household responsibilities and never physically acknowledge each other.

7. Say “I love you” and “have a good day” every morning.

Because we don’t know what the day may hold, it’s essential to send your loved ones out into the world with love and assurance each day.

8. Say “good night” every night, regardless of how you feel.

Is this meant to be the old don’t go to bed angry? Forcing you to say something to avoid going to bed as a two mutes. Maybe…

Saying goodnight, closes the day for both of you. Like #7, this should be a no-brainer. It’s the most basic contact with your partner. If you can’t start and end the day speaking to one another, when those options are available, you aren’t in an adult relationship anyway.

9. Do a weather check during the day.

AKA “check in” on each other throughout the day. The article speaks on making adjustments for the evening based on how your partner is feeling midday. Agreed. But, I think you check in just to check in. My day has been positively altered by hearing from “my guy” during both typical and difficult times.

10. Be proud to be seen with your partner.

Additional information: Most blog post take a couple revisions before I post them. No one wants to look like a fool on the internet.

I started this blog on 6/15, and had to revise it on 6/17 after seeing something that changed my view point.

Roles and Responsibilities

Do we not have roles anymore?

I’m kinda confused.

I’m kinda old school. I think there are some preferred male and female roles. It’s not that there are things either of us are unable to do. There are things we excel at.

My design is primarily that I’ll handle the house, and he can have everything outside. I can do most of the cooking and cleaning, laundry, organizing the points of our lives that overlap, and general household stuff, my domain. He can maintain the outside of our homes, lawn care, kill the bugs, take care of our vehicles, and all the other stuff that the 1950s suggested men do.

This was how I was raised. I never saw women catering to men in a docile way. I saw two people managing where their interest and strengths lie. My mother seldom stepped foot outside, unless it was to get the mail. And, I can’t remember my father ever doing any laundry. They weren’t incapable of doing certain things. But, they certainly weren’t interested. And, they didn’t ask extra of each other. They played to their strengths.

And my grandparents, married 1000 years, had roles and responsibilities too. Their marriage ran like a fine oiled machine. I appreciated that.

Naturally, I expected this in my life. So imagine my surprise to be talking to a man OFFENDED, by my desire to do OUR laundry, iron OUR clothes, and even pick and lay out OUR coordinating outfits when we have events to attend. Your only accessory is a tie. We were disagreeing over me picking the tie. Huh?

Where I’m from, this is what we do. It doesn’t mean he is anymore incapable of doing this than I am at getting my own oil changed. I’m just probably better at this. Much like he’s probably better at avoiding putting divets in the yard while mowing.

Despite me being sure I’m right, he disagreed. He said I was being controlling.

Well do everything yourself then, and I’m still gonna expect you to kill the bugs!

The breakdown: I want to feel needed and appreciated for more than just sexual favors and his standing plus one. I want a role in our relationship that solidifies him needing me in his life. Because I’m offering that, Captain Bug Slayer.

I know this understanding and arrangement takes time and an understanding. I’m not naive about that. I just like the end game.

Wedding Dresses

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I was on a lunch date. Cute guy, and he’s interesting.

He took a call, business or something he deemed important. I’m an only child. I’m more than equipped to entertain myself, especially with a smart phone and a gazillion apps.

I decided to browse Pinterest. Why not?

(Backstory. I’m obsessed with wedding stuff. Probably missed my calling as a wedding planner, or a bride. I love wedding dresses. And although I can’t imagine a groom, wedding, or marriage for myself, I dream about wedding dresses.)

That’s what I was pinning. Well, I was liking them. I didn’t officially pin them until today. Folks think the single girl, with the relationship blog about failures, pinning wedding dresses, might be crazy. Today, I don’t care though.

When he peeked over my shoulder, he seemed a little taken aback by what I was doing. He didn’t spark this interest. A fellow pinner, pinning dresses, prompted me to look at more dress pins. No biggie.

Maybe. Maybe not.

Now, we’re kinda awkward. Oops!

Thanks for the lunch, though.