From an MSN Relationship article:
John Gottman, the famed psychologist and researcher who runs The Love Lab, says he can predict how long a couple will last, not by studying how well a couple gets along, but by studying how well a couple doesn’t get along. A relationship is only as strong as its weakest link — how a couple handles their challenges.
The good news: If you’re involved in what my favorite philosopher buddy Aristotle called a “Relationship of Shared Virtue” — you will both want to deal with conflict by facing up to it with “strong character values” and viewing it as “a laboratory for growth.”
Basically, you must accept right here — right now — if you are going to be in happily ever after love, then your relationship must have a duo function.
1. “Den of pleasure” — for fun, companionship, sex, laughter, etc. which you as a human need — so you can keep your soul alive with passion!
2. “Laboratory for growth” — the ultimate place of challenge for your soul to be nurtured to grow—where you inspire one another’s “character development” — so you can both grow into your most esteemed selves – which is what Aristotle put forth was what true happiness was all about!
Unfortunately, many people solely view a relationship as a place to experience pleasure — leaving out the soul-ly aspects of love — where you nurture each other to grow!
I thought this was a pretty healthy perspective on relationships. I love the topic of relationships, since it’s the basis for restorative justice. I sometimes blog on my personal relationships. It seems my personal relationships allow me room for great “growth”.
I am being courted by a YMF (Young Male Friend). He says age is a number, he doesn’t care much about mine. As our friendship is growing I am finding some interesting perspectives about his relationship to his world, and the relationship with me. It has me thinking. Thinking about dating someone much younger. Thinking about what I want in a relationship.
YMF pointed out that I don’t have to act like I have to find that one last person for the rest of my life. Since’s he’s much younger it’s obvious he will have many ‘loves’ and a dating life lays ahead of him. I decided to take on his perspective. Instead of pressuring the relationship to be “THE ONE”, we could simply enjoy and explore the relationshp. Hmmm, compare this to the duo listed above (pleasure den and growth lab). That makes sense.
I’ve got a major life transistion ahead of me. As a single Mom, my daughter is graduating in May, that’s 5 months away. She plans to move out over the summer, community college and employement are her plans. This leaves me with a shift in responsiblities. This leave me open for changes. Hmmm, in the meantime, I’ll go to the lab . . . or the den. YMF makes me feel alive with passion.