Category Archives: Relationships

Anyone who has been in a serious relationship for a while asks the question, “Is this person ‘the one’?” While there are comprehensive instruction manuals on how to assemble everything from IKEA furniture to videos on how to properly apply smoky eye shadow, no one provides us with a guideline on the important things in life like how to choose a partner.

Anyone who has been in a serious relationship for a while asks the question, “Is this person ‘the one’?” While there are comprehensive instruction manuals on how to assemble everything from IKEA furniture to videos on how to properly apply smoky eye shadow, no one provides us with a guideline on the important things in life like how to choose a partner.

There are a few things that most people tend to avoid like the plague: anything with a runny nose or a cough, sticky chairs, and getting into arguments with your partner. The former has terribly banal consequences (catching cold and getting a sticky seat), but the latter is often wildly unpredictable which is probably why we tend to avoid it. Who knows exactly how a supposedly innocent conversation turns into a full-blown screaming match? Who can predict exactly how we or our partners will react after hearing criticism?

When looking for a partner we often bring a list of requirements or “wants” such as: must be faithful, must have stable employment, or must love dogs. Once you’ve found someone who catches your attention and meets your list of requirements, you begin the first wonderful lovey-dovey stage in a romantic relationship where you can’t get enough of each other and where your partner can do no wrong. It’s only when the love dust settles that you begin to see clearly and notice some of the more undesirable characteristics in him.

We often focus so much on romantic relationships that we tend to overlook those other folks in our life—our friends. Unlike our family which we’re born into, we get to choose who we want to be friends with. Sometimes we need to take a closer look at the people we surround ourselves with to see if they are enriching our lives or bringing us down.

A typical dating scenario goes something like this: boy meets girl and they hit it off. They date long enough for boy to develop serious feelings for girl. Then girl suddenly drops what feels like a knee to the gut—she discloses one of those horrible relationship-altering things that should have been mentioned earlier. This can be summed up as the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” conundrum as in, “If only you woulda told me this earlier, I coulda dated other people and moved on with my life. Gee, you really shoulda told me…”

I recently wrote about “The Mistake of Settling in a Relationship” and how, many times, people make a huge relationship mistake by settling for “Mr. Okay” instead of “Mr. Right.”  In that post, I also laid out the signs you … Continue reading

Your friends like him and your family already sees him as, well, family. But the problem is that you feel lukewarm about him. You often beat yourself up about not liking him more because he’s just an all-around nice guy, and what’s not to like about him? Unfortunately love works in funny ways and this particular decent guy isn’t tugging at your heart strings.

Breaking up with anyone is tough, but it’s even harder when that person is a nice person. After all, nobody wants to look like the bad guy. Last week I wrote about The Mistake of Settling in a Relationship and examined a few reasons why people settle and some signs you may be settling. So if you know you are in fact settling, now what? You can either stick it out in hopes that somehow this person will magically transform into the man/woman of your dreams, or you can do something about it.

I recently went to a friend’s 30th birthday. Christina was happy, making plans for the future, and freshly single after breaking up with her long-term boyfriend. She could have been depressed at the thought of being alone on her birthday, but instead she seemed relieved that she finally found the courage to break up with him after feeling rather blah about him and their whole relationship for the past while.

Doug was a nice enough guy, but when it all boiled down, he just wasn’t right for her and she knew it. Christina wasn’t ready to give up hope in finding the real Mr. Right by settling for a Mr. Okay for Now.

He thinks he’s showing you love by buying you flowers. You think flowers are better left in the garden and just want him to help you fix the kitchen sink. In love language terms, he may as well be speaking Swahili to you. While his efforts at romance are admirable, he’s wasting his money on Gifts while he really should be engaging in Acts of Service.

One of the most useful wedding presents I received is the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. While the book’s Christian overtones may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the book is filled with real examples of couples with problems and practical advice on how to make sure you and your partner are communicating effectively.