After working with celebs for many years, I’ve learned to turn a deaf ear to most gossip. But the Rihanna/ Chris Brown saga was simply too powerful to turn away from. After ten months Rhianna finally had some choice words for her fans…”F love! Come out of the situation and look at it third person for what it really is, and then make your decision.” That “F” turned out to be the loudest cuss word I’ve ever heard, it kept resounding in my head for days. But not for the reason many of you might think.
That interview started me to think about how once we fall in love our emotions can really cloud our judgment. Sometimes it takes a third party perspective to see things clearly. I recommend the approach both before and after falling in love.
For the record, I’ll start by saying I think that LOVE is a beautiful thing! Beau-T-FULL indeed with the exception of one little flaw, it defies logic. As a self proclaimed, hopeless romantic I just love to hear stories of whimsical love and floating fairies with ribbons of romance…yada, yada, yada. And FALLING in love is the best part of it all…which is why many folks are already head over heels before they recognize trouble. Many times I advise couples during some of the most turbulent times in their relationships. A time when their decisions are clouded by emotions that keep them from communicating clearly. Other times the pain keeps them from seeing reason. Its MY place to give both parties a glass of ‘act right’ and get down to the raw honest communication.
PARACHUTE OR JET PACK?
So here’s the part where I become a wet blanket on the beach. People often say “you can’t help who you fall in love with”, but I just simply don’t agree. Love is just like any other drug you really need to think about it before you take it. Cause once you swallow that pill you lose your ever-loving mind. To say we “can’t help it” absolves us of any responsibility for issues that arise later. We simply say “Well I was in love”. Poor love, it gets blamed for all kinds of crazy things. Many things depend on your approach to the matter. Do you dive off and float slowly into the abyss then yank the parachute when you are in trouble? Or do you power on your jet pack and shoot for the moon? While both experiences could be exciting, neither is conducive to longevity.
So before diving off he launching pad of love you should have a clear snapshot in your head of what you want in a partner, and even better a clearer photo of what you DON’T want. I know its supposed to be all about fun, mystery and intrigue; but that can’t be ALL there is. I mean that approach makes sense if you’re 16 but not if you’re 40.
(WET BLANKET ALERT)
Once you meet a potential partner, then there should be a series of conversations on goals, expectations, values, commonalities and ideals. If either party has trouble with open, honest communication it becomes a really big problem later. I’m well aware that ‘real talk’ can destroy the fantasy, but in the end we can’t live a fantasy.
Additionally it is important to clearly understand your needs and those of your partner. Much of attraction is about having our emotional needs met. NOT having needs met is largely what sends us seeking to find comfort elsewhere.
SIDE NOTE: I am not justifying cheating here. The REASON never justifies the ACTION. And there are people who are so damaged that their emotional needs will never be completely fulfilled.
Here’s a tip: Beauty fades, love morphs but feelings never die. After all feelings are what love is all about, right? We are addicted to the feeling of euphoria. Much of love’s sustainability is predicated on the continuance of emotional needs being met. I’m sure we have witnessed situations where sexual, financial or social needs go unfulfilled, yet both parties remain…well that would be the emotional needs thing I just mentioned.
MADE IN HEAVEN OR BOUND IN HELL?
Sadly, many important conversations only take place when the relationship is in trouble. Couples often have a lot of unspoken expectations, assumptions and anticipated mind-reading. Where there should be verbal requests, mutual understandings and agreements. For some reason people tend to forget we are human, which means assumptions can only be made when both parties have the same understanding. Often it is that lack of understanding that leads to frustrations.
During the honeymoon period of the relationship we focus on all the wonderful things about a person that make us happy. Early on even the most unlikely pair seems like a match made in heaven. But when the heavenly clouds lift and reality sets in, things start to look more like a dance in Hades. Now just because things get bumpy doesn’t mean we should abandon the relationship. It simply means its time for some ‘real talk’. There are some simple rules for really seeing what the relationship is built on.
1. The first step is to dial down the emotions and amp up the logic. I know, easier said than done, right? Well duh, that is why you need a 3rd party.
2. Be completely open to hearing what your partner has to say and how they feel. Especially how they feel.
3. Communicate honestly, no matter how painful the truth may be. I once told a couple they too worried with being polite to be honest, there was no wonder they couldn’t resolve their issues.
4. Preserve the dignity of your partner. There is not need to belittle or disrespect each other. It is counter productive to resolution.
5. Be prepared for ongoing, consistent work towards the resolution. Rome was not built in a day.
6. Both parties have to feel the relationship is worth fighting for. A one-sided battle always ends badly.
7. Lastly, know when its time to call it quits. Staying in the wrong situation too long can damage you and create baggage that you might find hard to unload.
Now I am officially removing the wet blanket. Go forth and fall in love!!