Relationships - The Unlocked Life

I know a forty-something woman who I’ll call Bonnie. For lack of a better adjective, the best way I can describe her is simply “cool.” She’s well-educated (holds multiple degrees), has traveled and lived abroad, is smart, funny, kind, and is an interesting conversationalist. She’s also single as single can be — as in never been married. I’ve often wondered why she’s not in a relationship. I mean, if I were a guy I would probably want to date her.
The longest recorded kiss in the world was set a couple of days ago on Valentine’s Day. The smooch clocked in at 46 hours and 24 minutes by a couple in Pattaya, Thailand, in a Kissathon contest in which they won a diamond ring and cash. This couple must really, really like each other to be joined at the lips for over a day, or they are the most competitive people I know.
According to Hallmark and several of those bizarre national holiday websites, January 26 is Spouses Day. This is a day meant to honor your significant other and show him or her how much you appreciate them. Some of you are probably thinking, “Isn’t that what Valentine’s Day is for?” Yes and no. While Valentine’s Day might have started off with noble and honorable intentions, it has turned into an over-commercialized holiday where you get a pat on the back for buying your spouse a box of chocolates and a mushy card. Spouses Day is all about doing something (not necessarily spending money) to show your better half you care.
When I was pregnant with my first baby, my doctor told me that she didn’t go watch a movie with her husband for two years after their first child. I thought this was absurd…until I experienced first-hand the late-night feedings, round-the-clock diaper changing, and all-around exhaustion that comes with being a new parent. Your little bundle of joy demands so much attention and care that it’s easy to neglect other areas of your life, namely your relationship with your partner.
As a kid, a friend was that special someone who shared her lunch with you, passed you top-secret notes and played with you at recess. In high school, a friend was that shoulder to cry on, to share laughs, and to get into trouble with. As adults, friends are those people that we play phone tag with and see a few times a year. The sad thing about adults is that we become so consumed with our own lives that friendships often get neglected and become a mere afterthought only once we have finished with our work and family obligations.
There are so many morsels of bad relationship advice floating around that I thought it best to address some of the most common relationship myths. People have the tendency to dish out love advice like yesterday’s leftover goulash—it’s well-intentioned, but nobody really wants it. Bridal showers and bachelor parties are breeding grounds for ill advice. Here are a few of my favorites that I’ve heard.
Last night I met my brother’s new girlfriend for the first time. My parents, my husband and I were all excited that he found someone, (someone nice we all hoped). Well his new girlfriend didn’t disappoint and gave a pretty good first impression. I remember thinking that I didn’t envy being in her position – being the new kid on the block. It’s like high school all over again with the nervous butterflies and worries about whether people will like you, all while trying to show the best possible ‘you’ you can.
We’ve all seen them: the old married couples sporting matching track suits, similar hairdos and even eerily speaking the same way. I suppose that after years, or even decades of living with someone that time has the magical ability to transform two separate individuals into one analogous life-form. Luckily I have not been married all that long yet, but I’ve witnessed it in my friends who have been with their partners for years, and am beginning to notice slight changes within my own relationship.
You make a mistake, say sorry, then move on, right? Wrong. Sometimes ‘I’m sorry’ is not enough. Forgiveness is most difficult when damage is done and it’s even more difficult when the apology is insincere or half-hearted. Sorry, not sorry is very easy to hear when someone says he's sorry and doesn't mean it.
In the past few years my life has changed a lot. I went from being a single full-time working professional with disposable income to being a married mother with a whole lot more financial responsibilities. My husband and I were one of the first from our group of friends to settle down and have kids which means that many of our friends are still having a great carefree social life that often includes spending more money than we would like.