Rules of engagement!

The 5 rules of engagement

Actually, I thought I’d call this post, “matters of the heart”. And then I changed my mind. Didn’t want to sound too cheesy, right?

Someone was telling me how I don’t write too many personal posts nowadays. And then I thought I should make some changes. I didn’t really intend this to become a food and travel blog. It just turned out that way. But that doesn’t mean I can’t talk about other stuff. Other interesting stuff. And vent.

Yes – I need to vent sometimes. Get things out of my mind. Sometimes, I have all these things to say. But I can’t really find someone to say it to. Well – you know how it is. No one wants to sit around you sipping coffee and be lectured :-) And then I realized, I do have a blog. A place I can actually talk about things that I think are important. And hopefully, that you’ll enjoy reading too.

So here you go. The 5 rules of engagement (in no particular order):

a) Laughing
We don’t laugh enough – this is a fact. And absolutely true. There’s research done to prove it (just don’t ask for the link). But the reality of the matter is that we don’t laugh enough. At the world, at each other, and at ourselves. So try humour – it’s really the best medicine for your relationship. And develop the ability to laugh at yourself (especially, if you don’t have it). You’re not the best, you have faults, you are not perfect. And it’s actually not a bad thing. So please – go ahead, laugh at yourself. No one is going to think less of you. I know someone who usually pales and develops this really constipated expression when his leg is being pulled. Like he’s actually in severe pain and someone is twisting his lower abdomen or other important organs. Get rid of that expression. Please! Have some fun, lighten up and you’ll be a much happier person. Rather than look like someone who is carrying the world’s burden. Seriously.
Link: Laughter is the best medicine

b) Tolerance and patience
So this is important – just remember that you live with the person. Let me rephrase – you have chosen to live with this person (for whatever reason made sense at that point of time). The least you can do is be tolerant and not lose your patience over everything – especially the small inconsequential stuff. Like they say – don’t sweat the small stuff! And I find this is always an issue with relationships. You can stand in the queue for hours, not honk at anyone on the road (even that motorbike driver who cut right in front of you), but with your partner, your patience is always on the edge. Like you’re a live bomb waiting to blow up. You need to ask yourself why. And do your goddamned best to develop some of it. It’s good for everyone all around. And especially your partner.
Link: Be patient!

c) Hygiene!
I can’t even stress how important this is. You might have been living and sleeping in the same clothes for days, you hate washing, you use the same towel for a month, you don’t mind sleeping with stale breath (after that dinner of onion rings and a steak). Or a full pack of cigarettes in your breath. But guess what? You’re not single anymore. You share your living space with another human being. Respect the fact. Canoodling with someone with stale breath or who hasn’t washed up for a few days, is not fun. I am not going to say more, except… Wear clean clothes, brush your teeth (yes, twice a day!), change your towels (not once in 15 days, but every 2nd day), have your daily bath and don’t ask too many questions about hygiene. It’s a basic need if you want to keep your partner near you. Unless, you really, really want to drive your partner a few miles away, of course. Then your strategy will work perfectly.
Hygiene is important, and it’s not just me saying it!

d) Where’s the affection?
You fell in love, took your vows, spent years trying to get everyone to accept you. Showered your partner with endless affection. And lots of lurrrve. And then a few years later. Kaboom! Everything’s forgotten? And I find this the case with more men than women (who don’t usually have any issues with words). If you’re verbally constipated, and can’t get a single word of endearment out of your mouth (like ever), show some affection in your actions. Do something nice, extend a complimentary gesture. Your partner didn’t sign up for the lifelong lease only to feel they’re in a desert alone. Without water. Or a camel.
Link: The importance of affection

5) Getting rid of the incredible sulk
I can’t even begin to tell you how unattractive a trait this is. And in adults it’s an absolute “no-no”. Maybe, if you were five years old. But hey, that was 20-30 years ago. So get rid of it. Pronto. This should be the ground rule. Just don’t do it! Say something. Vent. Get over it. Learn to face it like a man (or woman, as the case might be). But don’t… just don’t pull that face. Please. Your partner will be forever grateful, for the rest of his/her life. Really.

And I know I said 5, but I can’t even begin to stress how important it is to exchange ideas, discuss, even have debates and talk out things. I don’t think most of us talk enough and especially men (though I’ve seen exceptions too, which are rather heart-warming). I know sometimes it seems like a waste of energy and petty conversation. But I’ve also seen the other extreme happen. A lot of bitterness, angst and anger build up and one day it all hits you like a cyclone. It’s bound to happen. So talk – whether about your day, about what you like/don’t like, things that are important to you. I know a couple who keep up a banter about even the silliest things (and this is hard to do!) but finally it works out for them, because they always know what each other feels about things and are less likely to end up hurting each other.

And lastly, be nice! (Link: Are you being nice?) Do your stuff. Clean your mess. Get the household chores done (and don’t wait to get asked; no one like them; especially your partner, but they don’t go away!). And you’ll have a happier, more appreciative partner forever. Now wouldn’t that be a win-win situation for everyone?

So there you have it. Some advise ground in reality and experience. Please don’t take it to heart. Take action instead :-)

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