The Relationship Saga

And in a world more connected than ever, most people find themselves more disconnected than they have ever been. We can connect on WhatsApp, Social media, the phone- all the time and yet in this fast paced world though we’re always seeming to be connected we’re often more alone than we have ever been.

This was the discussion a girl friend of mine and I had for more than a few hours this week. And it wasn’t even the first time I had heard this complaint. It was far too often, from far too many people for this to be a coincidence.

Connection requires work. Connection requires commitment and Connection requires both parties to keep at it!

And when I felt the same way a few years ago.. I set out to make a Commitment Cheat Sheet… to help me keep and nurture relationships that meant something to me…

So here’s a peak-:

  1. Make a list of just the closest friends (CFs) you’d like to have in you life and make sure you call or meet them once every 2 weeks at least.
  2. Do Date night. Even if you’ve been with your husband for tons of years…date him, reconnect. The only thing constant is change- so both of you will keep changing. Get to know the new him.
  3. Be social. Get out at least once a week with one set of your CFs so you can do a face to face reconnect.
  4. Laugh more. Play games rather than watch TV. Connect, talk and have fun with your friends. TV is a wonderful medium for stories but real stories happen only when you actually participate in them. Be a part of your own life story not a spectator.
  5. Put a schedule together which forces you to challenge yourself to connect. Make it a routine, till it becomes a habit.
  6. Find common hobbies/ activities. I hate the morning walk… or actually hate getting up at 5 am… but the plus is I get a leisurely coffee chat with the uncrabby husband (he’s a morning sparrow, I am not) and a walk where we find tons of puppies and lots to chat about.
  7. Be present. Your CFs have something major happening in their life/ they aren’t well- check up, be present- care.
  8. Don’t look at your phone during dinners/ events. Respect the person/people you are with.
  9. Give yourself a break. All relationships change. Some change so much they become unrecognisable. Try as hard as you can, but remember sometime you need to let go. Reward yourself when you try. Don’t berate yourself.

Relationships are hard and connections even harder. In a world of a few billion- you just need a handful of connections but even those take work. Remember, it may look easy from watching a good relationship but both people work very hard with many off days to make that work. Instagram and Facebook stories are just that- stories. They are not reality.

P.s. (Palat says)-: At the end of the day, all the fame and money make for comfortable beds and homes but homes are only homes when you can fill them with people you love.

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Confessions of a Commitment-Phobe

Commitment-phobes come in all shapes, sizes and colours…! The nicest of people when in fear of finding something meaningful and lasting become like a caged animal and attack all that is good, caring and protective suddenly…and you , who only wanted to look after and love them are suddenly snapped at, scratched and even bitten. Hurt- you retire wounded and the commitment-phobe rests in a corner ready to attack again if asked to commit!

A self confessed commitment-phobe, it took a while for my Cancerian boy to break thru all the many boundaries I set up for him. If ever he came close to asking for a commitment , I ran the other way blindly and he quickly learnt how to wait for me to get tired and stop running so I could run straight back to him.

He listened to my silly fears. He allowed me the freedom to run away never being more than an arms distance away…so when I knew it was a bad idea I could collapse into his open arms and complain about the freedom that I had demanded!

And that’s how you deal with us….!

I am Divya and I am a commitment-phobe. I am afraid of getting hurt, afraid of sharing, afraid of caring and terrified of love. But when I do care- i give you my heart and my soul. I promise you love, loyalty and trust and a life time of adventure! I won’t be tied down… but if you give me freedom, I won’t abuse it…I just need to know you trust me enough to let me go and are smart enough to realise that if you let me fly, I’ll keep flying close to you and keep checking that you’re still around to look after me, love me and stay with me.

Treat her like a lady!

Stop wishing me ‘Happy Women’s Day!’ Don’t fill your offices with balloons or give me a free cookie with a cup of coffee! Don’t give me chocolates or roses. Don’t smile at me unnecessarily or create lunches to felicitate me!

Instead treat me as an equal. Treat me with respect. Pay me the same as you would a man for the same job. Do not doubt my commitment to work because I have a family and do not doubt my commitment to my family because I work. Don’t comment on me as if I were an object. You don’t own me . You never will. I own me. Listen to me. Talk to me. Hear me. Believe in me. Fight for me. Love me.

Don’t lust for me. Don’t abuse me. Don’t hurt me. Don’t demean me. Don’t laugh at my dreams. Don’t mock my ambition. Don’t think of me as weaker. Don’t lie to me.

I may not be your sister, your wife, your mother or related to you. But I still am a woman. I am the glue in a family. I am the strength in a home. I can bear your children and raise them with love and care. I create. I nurture. I give love. I give life. I give strength.

So don’t wish me ‘Happy Women’s Day-‘ treat me the way a woman should be treated- with care and love; with respect and awe. Treat me special every day, all the time because I give you the respect of being a man… give me the respect of being a lady!

 

Relationship 201- What to do when the honeymoon period is over?

So you’ve met someone and the ‘honeymoon phase’ of the relationship is now kinda over. You disagree. You argue. He has an opinion (shocker) often different to yours (double shocker!). She stops dressing up. He’s not shaving that often. She’s stopped the heels… He’s stopped opening doors…And suddenly it seems like this isn’t going to work out any more…! I mean he/she seemed perfect till they stopped pretending and became who they are!

So how do you make it work?

How can it keep being fun/ fun-ish…?

How do you not become…(dreaded word here!) b-o-r-i-n-g!?

So as a self confessed commitment-phobe… yes I really HATED RELATIONSHIPS and most of my long ‘relationships’ lasted 3 days,4 days and one… an awful week…(I didn’t see him for 3 out of those days, so that helped!), these are my tips and tricks to keep your relationship in the ‘dating phase’ for a whole lot longer!

  1. Do a lunch date once a week… Escape from the humdrum of work/ normal life and just meet up for an hour… Once near your place of work/home and once near his… This makes the week less mundane and gives you a welcome break to spend with your partner. Have a quick meal and linger over coffee and dessert and just chat…! Take turn making the plans so it gives you something to look forward to! You’ll have a better afternoon at work after that for sure too!
  2. Dress up for dinner and go out once a week… Dress up! This is important because you can’t take your partner for granted. Don’t just dress up for the parties and the social do’s – make an effort and dress up for your partner – heels, straightened hair et all…girls and men- shave, suit up and take your lady out! Enjoy the dinner. Talk. Ask questions. Make travel plans. Laugh.
  3. Hold hands….seemingly easy…actually very hard. Hold hands when you are together. Hold hands when you fall asleep. Re-establish intimacy. HOLD HANDS.
  4. Share a hobby or a sport…OUTSIDE HOME! Go for a run! Go join a language class… Go gym together- Get out. Get out TOGETHER!
  5. Fight and finish your fights. Don’t change who you are or what you believe in. Fight for who you are. Fight about the death penalty, Lance Armstrong… whatever…. argue and then listen to each other. You fell in love with someone not because they were a clone of you…You fell in love with their differences…So listen to them.
  6. Ask about each other’s day- once in the morning where you hear all the plans. Then make a quick phone call at lunch to check on your better half and then at the end of the day ask how the day went and share. Sharing makes the other person realise that you value their opinion and also they get to hear how much you do. Talk and share!
  7. Make a few big dates… for me it’s out First Date Anniversary, Valentines Day, Wedding Anniversary, My birthday and his… and make those days super special… Take time to plan them together and make a day of it! Spa days, dinners, flowers…make the day special!
  8. Surprise each other- flowers, favourite foods, a CD… gift a gift – a no occasion ‘just because I love you’ gift. You used to do that when you dated…so don’t stop!
  9. Travel together…but most importantly PLAN THE TRAVEL together…! That’s all the excitement and so much happiness… so PLAN TOGETHER!
  10. Watch TV together and go to the movies… you may not like all his choices and he may not love all your rom-coms but watching something together , holding hands and just being… that relaxes the stress of a relationship and allows you to have opinions as a couple on silly tv shows and forgettable movies!

These are just 10 tips… there are so many more… But all I’m saying if you’ve found the right one… Don’t give up on him/ her because you think the ‘romance is over’ just change your definition of romance… The honeymoon may end but the love starts then…. And that period can be way better than the honeymoon ever was!

Have a romantic week ahead!

…cos it’s all in my head! ( aka what women want!)

that’s the difference often between happiness and the IDEAL of happiness….my husband taught me very early in life ( by default of course) that men have absolutely NO IDEA what you want, what you’re thinking or why you are in that obnoxious mood….you want to him to learn, you want him to know- TELL HIM!!!

Men are less complicated than we give them credit for and actually pretty straight forward. yes, sure some of them still have the wait 3 days before calling rule or the ‘pretending’ that their cool with you not being committed to them is kind of their only games and since we girls know the rules; these games are not the fairest of games!

So what do women want– men just ask them and women stop playing the ‘if you knew me, you would know…’ game and just blurt it out! stop imagining that one day he’s going to get it all ‘just right’, because he doesn’t know what ‘just right’ is unless you tell him at least once!!! And yup, just tell them. no games. i want commitment. i want coffee. i want to go to see a rom- com! i like birthdays!!! tell them what you want…its a heck of a lot easier and you’ll be a heck of a lot happier…because in time your man will keep it in mind and get everything ‘JUST RIGHT!’ …just the way you had it up in your head!!!

on the flip side maybe you’re both wanting different things..isn’t it easier you know now than 5 years down the line!!! so talk, shout, COMMUNICATE!

it’s not their fault for screwing it up…if you don’t tell them what they screwed up in the first place…right!

ps-: i love you ADITYA!

i still remember this day 5 years ago. i was crying incessantly after a sleepless night and the makeup just wouldn’t stick with the tears. ravi, the makeup dada kept trying to pacify me saying ” he’s a good guy…don’t worry!” and yet the tears kept flowing…

i have no idea why i kept weeping but the idea in indian society of the girl leaving her home is so prevalent and my love for soapy hindi love stories so incredible; that it just seemed the right thing to do and the only way weddings were started! my eyes didn’t dry till much later that evening where after 2 weddings and lots of kibbe from souk at the taj i collapsed in an exhausted heap in to bed!

i didn’t want to be married. i was still commitment phobic and it still took me almost 8-9 months to introduce you as my husband….i just said …and “that’s my…..–aditya”- when being asked to introduce you!

cut to 5 years earlier where you first asked me to date you…my only question was if that would be exclusive? if it were to be exclusive , i would have to only go out with you…would that really even work???

i was a commitment-phobe and you were my best friend. i had loads of boys after me…but very few who were as important to me as you were…did i really want to risk that?? i was bad at relationships but a really good friend…i was scared!

cut to 5 years prior to that. i had never laid eyes on you but heard about you as mr. sydenham and a hottie. you were competition in a theatre festival during malhar. you walked up to me in the middle of the quad and said ” hi,i’m aditya. and you have beautiful eyes!”

i remember glowering at you for trying to get my defences down. i remember scurrying away shielding myself from random women glaring angrily at me wanting to scream out- ” i don’t know him…he’s competition… p.s.- i may even hate him!”

it’s been 15 years and you’ve stuck it out with me through my madness ( which there is a lot), my commitment phobia (which doesn’t seem to bother you) and my bluntness (which i seem to be proud of cos i never seem to change)—and these are my positive qualities!

so today on our 5th anniversary i must say…i didn’t wake up crying. i’m very much exclusive and  i’m proud that you are my husband. we’ve been through many downs together and we’ve made highs of some awful lows. i never thought it’s be wise to date my best friend , forget marry him… but you seemed to know what we were doing and i’m glad i trusted one person ( YOU!) with my life!

you make me a better person…you make me smile more…you make me laugh more… you made me learn how to love!

and i…..

well i…keep your life interesting 😉

here’s to the next 100!

and ps-: i love you!