Relationship advice for couples
In order to live with someone for a long time you have to have the three Cs: the really important attributes which attract and hold people together. These are:
- Chemistry: defined (for lack of a better definition) as physical and personality attractiveness plus sexual desirability.
- Compatibility: defined as shared interests and shared social-economic-cultural status.
- Common values: defined as character and ethics.
Think of these attributes as forming a three-legged stool.
You can lust after someone who does not share your interests or values. You have no chance of a long-term relationship here.
You can share interests with someone who sends nary a spark flying. You have a better chance here as desire (chemistry) can grow.
The last leg of our stool is common values. It is hard to respect and trust someone who does not share your values. Without respect and trust, love eventually dies.
Successful dating and relating is shared by two people who have something to offer each other. If you make a fairly accurate inventory of where you stand in each of these three key dimensions, you will know what you have to offer.
Frequently, however, the unrealistic of both sexes begin their dating efforts by either/or
Greatly underestimating themselves
Greatly overestimating themselves.
The inflated ones often think they should be dating the reigning beauty queen or some rich and handsome Adonis. In time, the realistic ones learn that water seeks its own level and that only a Richard Gere gets a Cindy Crawford and vice-versa. The unrealistic usually spend a lot of time alone or with a few dates who quickly move on to Crawford-Gere types.
The deflated singles often go out with people demonstrating behavior patterns and other characteristics that are unacceptable to them. They might make an effort to change this person into acceptable relationship material or come to the conclusion that “the good ones are gone.”
The unrealistic repeat unacceptable relationships or spend time with their VCR and same-sex friends.
So, right now, before we go further, complete the inventory of you below. After you list your attributes, try to put them in the perspective of the opposite sex. Bear in mind that men rarely understand what women consider physically attractive or sexually desirable and vice versa. Men often think women want the same things they want and women make the same mistake. Maybe an opposite-sex friend could help you get a better perspective.
Look at the personal ads for guidance. Men often describe their appearance; women rarely describe their appearance because they don’t consider it as important as men do. Women often describe emotional attributes; men rarely do. Again, men don’t realize how important these traits are to women. Women rarely understand just how visual and sexual men are.
Once you have an accurate inventory of what you have to offer, you are ready to embark on a realistic search for a special person.
Take a few minutes to take inventory by determining your strengths and weaknesses.
Divide a sheet of lined paper into three columns. Label the columns “Strengths,” “Weaknesses,” “Perspective.”
Divide the sheet into six categories:
Character & Values,
List several strengths and weaknesses for each category. List equal number of strengths and weaknesses for each category.
After you list your attributes, try to put them in the perspective of the opposite sex. Maybe an opposite-sex friend could help you get better perspective.