Tuesday, 28 September 2010

...Considers The Rules Of Love.

I want to meet someone wonderful, a male someone wonderful in my case, and I want to fall in love and get married. In that order. I’m very clear on the order. I don’t want to get married first and hope the love will follow, and I don’t want to meet someone and liaise with them casually without having a shared intention to get married (even if that doesn’t necessarily happen). But the truth of the matter is that the order in which it happens is not the real problem.

It’s all the rules that we attach to our perception of the perfect partner and the perfect relationship that get in the way of having the relationship that’s perfect for you.

You know what I’m talking about here, don’t you? Yes you do...admit it. You have a mental “tick-box questionnaire” in your head that you complete without your date’s knowledge. Guess what? They’re doing it too! The reassuring part is that we all do it.

I wonder how many of my readers feel the same way? Come on be honest! And how many of you feel there are so many rules out there, that in the end the whole relationship malarkey looks exhausting so you give up before even trying? We convince ourselves that the single life is far more appealing and we tell ourselves we’re happy being single, that the mere thought of being in a relationship is suffocating. Our new mantra is “...I don’t want to lose my freedom/friends/space for a wo/man no matter how gorgeous/rich/tall/handsome s/he is. Na-ah. No way. Not. For. Me...” Sound familiar? I thought so.

Here are some of the rules that I’ve come across (not all mine I hasten to add):

1. The Age Rule. Im not in my 20’s any more, Im not even in my 30’s any more...does that mean I can’t look at potential partners from those age groups? Men don’t seem too worried about this rule when it comes to looking at younger partners, but no matter what Demi says, it still provokes a reaction when an older woman steps out with a younger man. It never bothered me, I must say. In my opinion, it’s stage not age that matters. Delete this rule.

2. The Race Rule. He’s got to be athletic & be able to run a 1 minute mile. Barefoot. No, but seriously, many communities are more open-minded than ever before about interracial marriages and they are very common-place now. In my own family we have a wide variety of countries represented, including Bangladesh, Morrocco, England, Norway, Iran and Pakistan. Delete this rule.

3. The Geography Rule. I don’t know about you but I really don’t like long distance relationships (Affectionately known as the LDR!) How can I get to know someone if they live in another country or at the other end of this one? Even with the technological advances that have brought us mobile phones, email, skype and webcams, when it comes to relationships, I see these as fake methods of communication. It’s sort of cheating in my opinion. That is to say, if you’re relying on text messages and emails as a main method of interaction, then you’re cheating your partner out of real meaningful communication which can only happen when you’re in the same room. It’s said that 93% of communication is non verbal. That means if you’re emailing or texting or only talking on the phone, you’re both missing out on tone of voice, body language, eye-contact to name but a few non-verbals. I strongly believe you will never know if you’re truly compatible with someone if your postcodes are in different languages. The LDR is not for me. Uphold this rule.

4. The Approval Rule. My parents didn’t like my first husband initially, then they loved him so much that they were more upset at our divorce than me! (Don’t worry that all changed when they found out why I left him, but I digress...). We all want our family & friends to like our partner as much as we do, and we do place peer & family approval high on our lists. However I’m a firm believer that when your family see how much in love you both are, they will love her/him just as much as you. So I don’t worry too much about this one. Delete this rule.

That means there’s only one of the above rules I really need to obey. Phew! Of course my intended has to have shared values and principles, be kind, loving, loyal, respect my boundaries & respect my children and want to spend the rest of his life with me. Oh and he’s got to share the housework, the cooking, the duvet...oh no...more rules!

What rules do you have that are stopping you from enjoying the relationship that’s perfect for you? Notice how I said the relationship that’s perfect for you, not the perfect relationship. Because the truth is that there are no perfect relationships.The best we can hope for is a gorgeous heady mixture of two people’s fixtures, fixations & foibles, all working together in imperfect harmony.

Wouldn’t it be simpler to throw out the rule book and just prepare for the perfection that is to love and be loved? Now there’s a rule worth sticking to!


  1. Another insightful post ... Personally I find women MUCH more prescriptive than men when deciding on moving things on.


  2. Thank you for your comment & yes I agree...we women do tend to analyse far more than men don't we. Its all part of the balance that has to be struck between the sexes to achieve the harmony that both men & women are looking for.