IS LOVE BY ITSELF ENOUGH TO GET MARRIED?


I enjoy discussing my topics with people before writing, just to gain a wider perspective. I did the same for this topic, I’m sure you would not be surprised to learn that majority of the people I spoke with said yes, love by itself is enough reason to get married. Someone even responded saying ‘what other reasons are there to get married for?’

Interestingly majority of the people who said love by itself would be enough are not yet married, the married ones felt other things should be considered. Being a married man myself, I can understand both sides.

All our lives, we’ve been shown in movies and on TV that love is all we need, nothing else matters. Once we have love, we have our one way ticket to happily ever after. I feel this is in our DNA, which is why majority of us are willing to do and sacrifice everything to find love. Social media is also a major contributor, we get front row seats to other couples’ relationship highlights; the romantic proposals, glamorous engagement parties and beautiful weddings. Couples in matching outfit, chemistry filled videos and photos, holidays together. Seeing other people’s love grow in front of our eyes makes it even more believable that love is the ultimate. This is probably why after we find someone we love, marriage is a no brainer.

This is fair, I mean it would be insane to marry someone we don’t love. All that said, the question I ask people from time to time is if love is everything, why is the divorce rate so high? Did these people not get married because they loved each other, what went so wrong that they could not work it out or live together?Read More »

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HAPPINESS IN RELATIONSHIP: ARE WE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR PARTNER’S HAPPINESS?


Lately I have been speaking with a number of people who have broken up or going through tough periods with their partners and one reason that often comes up is ‘not being happy.’

Being the reflective person I am, it really got me thinking about happiness in relationships and how it works. Should each person in the relationship be responsible for their own happiness or should we be responsible for our partner’s happiness?

Personally, I feel that we should each be responsible for our own happiness. Relationship can be a bubble so moods become easily infectious so I am accountable for my happiness and my wife does the same, chances are we’ll have a happy relationship. At the end of the day, it is difficult to be happy with someone else, if you are yet to find happiness as a person, which of course should start from when you are single. I have spoken with a number of people who go into relationships looking to find happiness or with expectation that the person they are with should be kind of responsible for their happiness. I have been that person and apart from it being unfair to the other person, relationships like that tends to end up with someone getting frustrated either because of the pressure or their expectations not being met.

Then you have people who were happy as singles but get into a guy/girl and get so lost in the chemistry of their relationship that they lose themselves. Rather than maintaining their own happiness, they invest 100% into their partners. They are willing to do anything to make their partner happy even when it makes them unhappy. They’ll say it’s what relationship should be about and put up a ‘relationship goal’ front but they are unfulfilled and drained. This rarely has happy endings

It took a long time but my wife and I have learnt and still learning that our commitment to one another is to facilitate each other’s happiness as oppose to making each other happy. Something that works for us is giving each other time and space to do our own thing. I like to call it ‘Me time’.  We use this time to reflect on our respective journeys in life and pursue things we enjoy doing that brings us fulfilment. I also use it as the chance to improve myself and learn new skills that can make me a better person. The thing to not forget is that we are all on different, individual journeys and advantage of being in a relationship is having someone to share it with.

It is also necessary to create a relationship it is easy to share and express thoughts and feelings. So if something is not going well at work or in other areas of life, you can share feelings with one another. The issue is when one person is expecting the other person to work some magic that will bring them happiness. I remember when I used to expect my wife to say certain things to make me happy, which always leads to arguments because my expectations weren’t met and then she gets frustrated because she feels I’m asking for too much.

When all is said and done, I feel people who experience happy relationships are those that understand how to be happy as individuals and can present and combine that energy with each other in the relationship.

I would like to hear your thoughts on this, please share and comment below

Thanks for reading

 

PHYSICAL ATTRACTION IN RELATIONSHIPS – ‘WHEN YOU LOVE SOMEONE, SHOULD IT MATTER HOW THEY LOOK?’


‘Joshlovetalk – My partner keeps telling about the need to look a certain way so we find each other physically attractive. I believe relationships should be about love and when you love someone it should not matter how they look, what do you think?’ – Sarah T

 

I feel there are 2 main perspectives when it comes to this topic;

  • On one hand you have the people who feel that relationships should be about connecting with the other person on a deeper level and loving them for who they are as a person. This group of people pay minimum attention physical attraction and tend to focus mainly on personality, with the view that if you truly love the person you are with, it should not matter how they look.

 

  • Whilst on the other hand, you have the ones who see love and attraction as two separate things and feel both things should be worked on to enjoy a fulfilled relationship. These people tend to pay attention to how they look and make a conscious effort to look as good as possible for their partners, whilst still working on the love aspect.

I would say I belong to the second group; I get this might make me sound shallow but I completely think physical attraction although a very minor part of the whole relationship, is still very much needed. Don’t get me wrong, I 100% agree that love should be unconditional and our feelings should not only centre or be driven by the physical.

I know there are people in the second group who have beautiful relationships and would argue that the physical will always fade away. Absolutely! Naturally as good relationships evolve, the personalities become more important anyway and the physical less so. but does that mean it should be overlooked? Surely if I’m looking at my partner and not stimulated, I’d feel something is missing and address it.

To answer the question, where there is true love, how your partner looks should matter less but not completely overlooked. I feel that love and attraction are two different things and should complement one another to make the relationship fun, exciting without lacking substance. The thing about long-term relationships is that it is very easy to get complacent after a while. Even though the couples love each other, it could still become a routine – repetitive and boring, which cause so many people to step outside their relationships in search for excitement. If you think about it, people rarely cheat for lack of love but rather hunt for adventure and stimulation, which is what physical attraction brings.

Also for a lot of men, physical attraction matters to us because we are visual creatures and stimulated by what we see. So naturally most of us would need attraction as part of our relationship.

Ideally we want to have a healthy combination of attraction and love in our relationships, so both parties are not just in the relationship out of necessity. I was speaking with a colleague of mine who gave what I thought was an interesting perspective. She said she said when you’re single, you are not responsible for anyone so you can look however you want. When in a relationship though, your partner becomes your responsibility, how you look should matter and stimulate your partner. What I’ve found is a lot of people tend to do this the other way round.

As always it would be great to hear your thoughts – please subscribe, share, comment and follow me on social media.

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WOULD YOU WANT YOUR PARTNER TO TELL YOU IF YOU WERE PUTTING ON WEIGHT?


Before giving my opinion on this, let me share with you the post working hour conversation or maybe even debate some colleagues and I had about this subject.

Libby

Would not like her partner to mention anything about her weight.  This would make feel insecure and question the core of their relationship. She feels women are under huge pressure from society and Instagram to look a certain way and wouldn’t want that additional pressure from her partner. That said, she is open to an indirect approach that addresses her overall wellbeing; something like “I feel like we’ve not been very active / not been eating very healthily recently, I think we should do something about it / go to the gym.”

Thomas G

Feels it is somewhat selfish for one partner to look how they want without considering how it affects the other person. He also said if one person is gaining weight, it should definitely be talked about as it’s both partners’ responsibility to deal with it.

Annabel

Feels that the most important thing is the intention of the person (irrespective of gender) bringing up the topic. Is it an ego booster for them because they do not want to be seen with a fat person or are they trying to help the other person because there might be a deeper reason for the weight gain?

Cristal

Was more direct, if it is an issue then it should be talked about because you should be able to discuss anything with your partner in a relationship. She has no issue being told she’s gaining weight. She admits it would hurt but that would push her to do something about it.

Nikita

She feels that it’s important for partners to look good for another. If your partner met you at a certain size and over few years, the size increase excessively, then they should have the right to bring it up because it’s not what they ‘signed up for.’

I get that due to the sensitivity of the subject and its ties with self-esteem and confidence, people are reluctant to have or entertain conversations about their weight. In a relationship setting, like Cristal, I’m fan of relationships where we can be honest and open with one another regardless of the sensitivity. I would even go as far as saying a couple’s ability or inability to have a difficult and sensitive conversation to a large extent determines the strength of their relationship.

Thomas G and Nikita made a good point about looking good for one another. I feel it is important for partners to look as good as they can for one another. Physical attraction in a relationship is often overlooked, especially in long term relationships because people feel their partner should love them irrespective of how they look. I completely agree, true love should be unconditional and should definitely go beyond the physical because attraction alone is not enough to sustain a relationship. That said I feel there is a difference between love and attraction. Being physically attracted to ones partner brings excitement and maintains the chemistry in the relationship. I’d compare it to icing on a cake; although it’s not the main body of the cake, it beautifies as well as make the cake taste better.

Annabel made a good point when she talked about intentions; are you bringing it up for your ego or trying to address the other persons struggle?

About a year ago, my wife and I had an uncomfortable period following the birth of our son. She had form an eating habit over the course of her pregnancy, which she was struggling to break out of. Initially I was understanding of the fact that she had just given birth, but after some months I felt she was letting herself go and no longer felt looking good for me was important. So I brought up the conversation which didn’t go down too well.

I have to admit, my approach was not the best because I was in my feelings about her letting herself go and I put that ahead of the challenge she was having. So even though my intention was right, I still came across as unloving and unsupportive and that led to arguments, affected her confidence as well as the dynamics of our relationship.

I had to change my approach and this is where I agree with Libby. I started talking from the perspective of her wellbeing, such as suggesting healthier diet options, joining the gym and asking if she would like to come with me. She felt more encouraged and more importantly loved and cared for. She has since joined a fitness group and is now on her way to her body size goal.

So would I like my partner to tell me if I was gaining weight? Absolutely, because personally I would rather know the truth so I could do something about it. I feel that the issue of weight gain is not necessarily a question of whether it should be discussed but rather how it is put across. As long as it’s done in a supportive and loving way, I feel most people would be fine with it.

I would love to read your views and experience on this topic, please  comment below. Thanks for reading

IS ARGUING A NATURAL PART OF RELATIONSHIPS OR SIGN OF A FAILING RELATIONSHIP?


I have noticed that the word ‘Argue’ is one a lot of people try to avoid when talking about their relationships. I guess that’s because it sounds like their relationship is in crisis. I happen to talk to a lot of people about relationships and I’ve heard people say they never argue with their partners, they only have disagreements. I guess it’s about perspectives and how people want their relationships to come across.

I feel that from time to time arguments occur in every relationship, it is the complexion and frequency that differs. I have been around couples who look like they never argue but on hearing their stories, it is amazing what they go through behind closed doors. That’s the thing about relationships, people tend to only talk about the highlights, rarely telling the full story.Read More »

FIRST DATES – WHO SHOULD PAY?


The other day at work, I sparked an interesting conversation asking my colleagues who they feel should pay on the first date. I got more than I bargained for with some of the opinions that came out.

Bianca

Feels it’s wrong to go on a date expecting the man to pay, she would rather go half’s on the bill. This way she does not feel in debt to the man and he does not feel entitled to sexual privileges. She has her own money and can pay her own way.

AJ

Claims he’s old school and thinks the man should always pay on the first date. That said, he expect the woman to at least offer some contribution towards the bill. If she doesn’t, he’ll still pay but the chance of a second date is slim because he’d have the impression that she came on the date with the assumption that it’s his responsibility to pay the bill and that’s not right.

Liz

Thinks the man should always pay on the first date. She feels a man paying on the first date shows that he’s thoughtful and able to take care of a lady, which to her is endearing. She would bring along her own money to avoid any awkward situation and happy to go half’s if necessary but there probably won’t be a second date on the cards.

James

Feel it should depend on ‘Ratings’. Basically he would rate his date on a scale of 1 – 10, 10 being most beautiful, and would only pay if she’s a 6 and above. If she’s a 5 or less, chances are he won’t be seeing her again so he’s unbothered about how she feels about going half’s.

Josh (ME):

I feel the man should pay for the first date because as men, it is healthy for our ego and it leaves a good impression that can be built on.

I agree with Liz, one of the reasons I always paid for first dates was to show that I am man enough right from the start. Not in an arrogant way, but in a way that says that I’m able to show you a good time at the same time take care of you. It’s not saying you as a woman cannot care for yourself, it’s more that when we men find a woman attractive, it is natural for us to take the lead and want to make her feel like a queen. On a first date, paying for the bill is one way to show this, and it is our way of showing interest.

Also I see the man paying as just a gentlemanly thing to do. It is no different from holding the door for a woman to walk through or pulling out a chair for her to sit, it is a nice touch and I’m yet to meet a woman who is too independent to appreciate nice gestures.

Should the woman at least offer to contribute to the bill? In my opinion – Absolutely. Most men would see you as independent and that you hold yourself in high regards, which is a good standard to set.

I appreciate Bianca’s point, and it’s cool that she would come on the date with that mind set. That said, it is possible that if as a woman you insist on paying your share of the bill, some men would assume lack of interest – I know I would. It’s an ego thing! Same way a man would come across as a d*** if he’s arrogant or feels entitled because he’s paying for the date. I always say – let me get this one and if you’re happy to do this again, you can get the next one. That tends to work and bag me a second date.

There’s more to a date than who pays, but I think it is still important for the woman to let the man show he is into you, and a man that’s into you gives in totality both his time and money. I would even go as far as saying that more times than not, if a man allows you to go half’s on the first date, he’s probably not that into you.

I would love to hear your first date experiences, please comment below or get in touch anonymously on the ‘contact me’ page.

Thanks for reading

SHOULD IT MATTER IF YOUR PARTNER DOES NOT SHARE THEIR PHONE/ EMAIL PASSWORD WITH YOU?


Following my last post, a reader emailed me asking for my thoughts on whether partners or married couples should share phone passcode or email password with each other.

Thankfully my wife and I are now at a level where we know each other’s phone passcodes and email passwords, and we are comfortable giving that access to each other. That said, it didn’t happen for us overnight, we had our challenges along the way.

At the beginning of our relationship, we had several arguments over phone access. For me it was an expectation thing; relationships should be about sharing and openness, and I could not get my head round why she would not want to share her phone passcode with me. For her it was a case of this is my space and I don’t have to share my details if I didn’t want to.

Neither of us were wrong in our perspective but still, I had suspicions in my head – ‘What could she possibly be hiding?’ There was this time, I figured out her password and went through her phone just to satisfy my curiosity, she found out and it led to a massive argument that almost broke the relationship. I can still remember her saying in this still, cold voice – ‘If you don’t trust me, there’s no point of you being here.’

That incident made me question my motive. My issue was not necessarily trust, although that was how it came across. Rather it was expectation that was not being met; based on my idea of what the qualities of a good relationship are – openness, sharing and being a team. I expected something like sharing phon­­e access to come as part of the relationship. My problem was that I wanted that immediately, and that’s common for a lot of relationships. Over the years however, I’ve learnt that not everything we expect or look forward to in a relationship comes as part of it, there are some things we have to work on and earn or just be patient about, especially when it has to do with the other person’ space or privacy.

If you are having issue about phone or social media access in your relationship, you have to ask yourself, is it that you do not trust your other half or is it something you just feel you’re entitled to as part of the relationship of expectation?

If it is a question of trust, talk about why you’re struggling to trust your partner. Do not feel guilty about being called ‘insecure’ if your partner’s behavioural patterns are causing you to question trust in your relationship – such as not opening their messages when they are next to you, or if they are not comfortable leaving their phone around. . I’ve always said trust is not an entitlement, it’s something you earn. Rather than playing detective and piecing together clues on your partner’s phone, have an open conversation with your partner about it and make your decision based on the outcome of your conversation.

Do I think partners should share their phone passcode with each other? Absolutely! I feel openness in every aspect is vital to the growth of every relationship especially marital relationships. I appreciate the need to both partners to have their respective spaces but not at the expense of making your other half feel like you’re hiding something from them, therefore making them feel insecure. That said, if your partner trusts you with their details, it is equally important to respect their space. I dated my wife for about 5 years and within that period we have grown comfortable to respect each other’s space. I wouldn’t go into her girls group chat, and if I did, I know it’s at my own peril, same goes for her. This way the relationship doesn’t feel like a prison sentence where one party feels they are being monitored.

If your partner is not sharing their details, pestering is not the way forward. It just makes you look insecure. Focus on building friendship within the relationship; good communication, openness and trust would follow. At least that was what I found in my situation.

How have you tackled the issue of phone, email or social media password in your present or past relationship? I would love to hear your thoughts – comment below or anonymously leave a message in the contact us page.

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