And yes, I am kidding! I am in no way actually able to give any proper relationship tips, at all, however, here is a jokey list made up by Elder and I at the weekend whilst out after 6pm without the children. In a pub. Playing pool!
Elder and I have been together for 11 years. Christ only knows how we've managed that. So, maybe I do know something about relationships. Although prior to Elder the longest I'd been "out" with someone was 10 months!
So, here's some ideas!
It may seem like a weird starting point, but Elder and I argue. Not to the point of scaring the children, but we do quite enjoy a lively disagreement. Fellow bloggers think I'm bad at not letting a subject go if I feel I'm in the right, but they should ask Elder really how far that will go. Like waiting until he's asleep before covering him in make up. Or by taking a picture of him made to look like he is cuddling a toy and has just let a baby bottle fall from his mouth. Then posting said pics on Facebook for his friends to laugh at.
I do think that, as a couple, if you spend too much time biting your tongue and agreeing, its not healthy, and you'll end up hating each other for not being able to have your own opinion. I'd hate for anyone to have to agree with me for appearances sake.
- Have shared interests
We do. In fact, it was, on day 1 of meeting, we had fun discussing music, comedy and food. Even though on that day I had no TV nor stereo, much less records, he was very impressed at my knowledge of "cool" (in our view) music, such as the Beatles and the Stones. If you have nothing in common, well, it's surely going to make for limited conversation?
- Make sure you both have friends the other likes
I have to admit that, unfortunately, I am not the biggest fan of all of Elder's friends, and there are some of mine he's not too keen on either. But we do have mates who we both like, in fact we have a few who started off as an individual friend and who have ended up being liked by both.
- If you don't like something, say
Surprisingly (not) I have no problems with telling Elder if I am unhappy about something (usually, like today I call him a rude name in my Facebook status). If you feel like you can't be honest with each other, then you really need to ask why.
- Share some separate interests
Yes, in the same way as you should have interests in common, I find its always good to have somethings just for you. Its not rude, but sometimes you need a bit of space, elsewise, we'd drive each other mad! Its in the same way as David Walliams and Matt Lucas showed in their Come Fly With Me couple who were both Pilots, steadily driving each other mad. Elder has his fogey raves in cold and damp fields. I have my blog conferences and such in nice warm buildings not requiring the wearing of wellingtons. Do we resent each others interests? Nope. Bit of space is a grand thing.
- Be understanding of the little things
By little things I mean the little eye contacts which you can make and the other half will know that the eye flick means " I'm so bored of this conversation, help". Or "I'm really annoyed that the kids have made a mess, please tell them before my head combusts". Or "when you go to the shops, I'll tell you not to buy sweets for me, but please say you forgot and buy some anyway". This can also manifest itself in the things we say. Definitely one for the boys to learn.
- Don't over analyse
In other words, if after the first couple of years he doesn't buy you a Valentines card, or forgets your birthday, don't stress it. Men are useless at remembering dates. Even though the TV and shops have had pink hearts on them since late December, he will still forget. Men don't think they need to provide trinkets etc to prove their worth to you. A nice cup of coffee of an afternoon says the same to me as a card, any day!
So, there you have it. Some tips from me to you. And trust me, if I can manage to stay with the same man for 11 years without driving him mad, anyone can!
Image: Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net