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The Relationship Game
by devs711 March 2nd 2009, 05:41 PM

The Relationship Game
Written by: devs711

Here is my long awaited (or not so awaited) sequel to my article from a while ago entitiled "The Dating Game".

OMG! You have a boyfriend/girlfriend! Congratulations!!! Now, I would love to tell you that the hard part is over, but, to be honest, I would be lying. Relationships can and usually will test your inner thoughts and emotions. In order to keep it all going smoothly, you are going to have to be completely steadfast on what you want and/or are comfortable with. While reading countless threads here in the TH R&D forum, I noticed a few themes that follow through most questions about being in a relationship, so, I will use those the outline for this article.

1) Are you ready for this!?! In ways this should have been in my previous article, but I forgot it so here it is. Before you get into a relationship, make sure you are ready for it. What do I mean by that? I mean that you should avoid one if a)you feel lonely and just want anyone to be there for you, b)you want someone else to validate you, c)they love you but your not sure you feel the same, d)you have ANY doubts whatsoever about the relationship. As much as you may think a relationship will solve these problems, it won't, in fact, it will only make them worse.

2) Communication Ask just about anyone, and they will tell you that communication is the number 1 most important element of any relationship. With it, just about all other problems manage to solve themselves and everything falls into perfect order. Without it, all hell inevitably breaks loose. Any relationship involves 2 people. TWO, not ONE, TWO! That means that in order to be successful you must be open and comfortable with the other person (by comfortable I do not mean sexually, we will discuss that later, I mean willing to be painfully honest and indubitably open with them). Don't try to hold secrets from them, don't lie to them, just be open. If they fully know what you are thinking and you fully know what they are thinking you will avoid countless problems that could tear a relationship without communication apart. On top of that, you will have someone that you can talk to and who can be there for you whenever you are feeling down.

3) What about when they don't agree with you? Good question! If they don't agree with you, and you are open with each other, it should be relatively easy to find a safe compromise between your opinions. Except, what if you don't agree with the others core values? For example, what if one of your partner is into drugs, and you are Straight Edge? Even in this case, with open communication, you should be able to compromise somewhere. Maybe they will agree never to pressure you into drug use and to stay clean while they are around you. Still, if the disagreements come often and you basic values are constantly in conflict, maybe you should think again about whether or not you really want to be in the relationship.

4) Love or not love. That is the question. In non-Shakespearean rip-off language, how do you know if you love them? Before I answer that, I want to make something very clear: just because you are in a relationship doesn't mean you have to love. You can be together for years, happily, and never say "I love you". Basically, just be honest with yourself and don't say it if you don't mean it.

But how do you know if you mean it? For goodness sake, how do you know what love is anyway? Well, I guess you don't. There is a reason artists, authors, musicians, and fimmakers alike have been struggling for centuries on end to answer that question. This is complicated...I guess the best place to start is to sort out a couple of confused terms; lust, infatuation, crush, and love.

Lust According to the American Heritage Dictionary, lust is an "intense or unrestrained sexual craving". In fact, this definition is well put and accurate. Lust is purely sexual, no other emotions involved.

Infatuation According to the American Heritage Dictionary, infatuation is "a foolish, unreasoning, or extravagant passion or attraction". Wow, this dictionary is pretty good. I like to think of infatuation as an obsession that is very often completely unfounded. This is when they are all you can think about for a certain period of time, and then (while it doesn't seem like this when you are going through it) it passes on and you sometimes even wonder why you liked them so much in the first place.

Crush According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a crush is "a usually temporary infatuation." Exactly as it sounds, a crush is a slang term for infatuation, no more than that.

Love Before I go for the dictionary definition, I want to make clear that love is different than all the other terms listed. It is not, in any way, purely sexual. It is not, in any way, an obsession. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, love is "A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness." Wow, even the dictionary definition is romantic. I think the last part, "a sense of underlying oneness", really sums it up. If you notice, most of the definition is rather confusing and vague ("a feeling of affection and solicitude), but that is because they are arguably defining an undefinable term. The exact meaning of the word love, while it almost always fits under this umbrella definition, is different for everyone. It is your responsibility to discover what love truly is for you. Maybe, you are in love with someone when your definitions of love compliment rather than conflict. Here are a few nice quotes I found that may help in our understanding of "love" (they are all from this site: http://www.quotegarden.com/love.html):
  • Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own. ~Robert Heinlein
  • The hardest-learned lesson: that people have only their kind of love to give, not our kind. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
  • Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity. ~Henry Van Dyke
  • Love is a game that two can play and both win. ~Eva Gabor
  • Infatuation is when you think he's as sexy as Robert Redford, as smart as Henry Kissinger, as noble as Ralph Nader, as funny as Woody Allen, and as athletic as Jimmy Conners. Love is when you realize that he's as sexy as Woody Allen, as smart as Jimmy Connors, as funny as Ralph Nader, as athletic as Henry Kissinger and nothing like Robert Redford - but you'll take him anyway. ~Judith Viorst, Redbook, 1975
  • Trip over love, you can get up. Fall in love and you fall forever. ~Author Unknown
I understand that these quotes are very fantastical and romanticized, but maybe there is some truth to them.

5) Now for the fun part...SEX. Those three letters are second only to a set of three words that we just discussed in the amount of trouble they can cause. The thing is, almost all the trouble they can cause can easily be averted with...you guessed it!...open communication! If you are not comfortable with doing something, say so, and don't hide it. If he doesn't respect that then maybe he isn't the right guy for you. In a relationship, you should be fully comfortable to talk to your partner about anything, no matter how risque it is.

Okay, I think that's all for now. If you have any questions, comments, or criticisms, please post them. I will read all of them and respond. Assuming there are still people interested in these articles, I will write and post "The Breakup Game" as soon as I get the chance.

Last edited by Katrina; September 5th 2009 at 12:30 PM.
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