Lessons Life Teaches Us

Here are some of the unspoken lessons our lives and intimate relationships teach us when we have the presence of mind to pay attention:

  • Despite what most people may believe, men fall in love faster than women do.  Why?  Men, on the whole, fall for the visual, whereas women are more focused on the whole picture.
  • A good man may be hard to find, but typically he’s not that hard to keep.  If a woman treats a man respectfully and tries hard to meet his needs, he will respond in kind.  If he doesn’t, confront that discrepancy immediately.
  • Writer Sharon Randell suggests that most of what you thought you wanted at 20 you will achieve or acquire by 50, or you will come to the conclusion that you don’t really want it.   Most of what you knew at 20, you will forget by 50, or you’ll relearn in entirely different ways.  Most of the things you feared would happen at 20 won’t occur.  The truly scary things are those you never even dreamed would happen.
  • The thing about dishonesty and infidelity is that trust gets broken.  Once trust is broken, you’re never fully believed or trusted again.
  • Picking a good partner to be with in a committed intimate relationship is largely a matter of luck.  Once chosen, however, you can optimize your chances of having a great relationship by regularly communicating how you’re feeling and what you’re needing, having good conflict resolution, negotiating and compromising skills, fighting fairly and benevolently, being responsive, unselfish, listening extremely well and cleaning up problems and irritations in a timely, effective and positive way.
  • Sometimes not saying something is an act of true grace and kindness.
  • Empathy, the ability to see and understand things from someone else’s perspective, is one of the main keys to living effectively and happily with others.
  • With age comes an increased capacity for intimacy.  Women have more of a self to offer, and men are less threatened by having an equal relationship with a woman.
  • When you quit trying in a relationship, as most people do, the intimate connection and closeness will deteriorate.
  • Whatever your intimate partner feels most insecure about is precisely what s/he needs lots of reassurance about.  Whatever your intimate partner feels most proud of is what s/he craves approval and praise about.
  • The man who regularly puts forth effort to keep the flame going in a relationship—constantly stoking the fire with romantic words or gestures—keep  him.  He’ll be hard to replace.
  • You must figure out how to handle life’s ups and downs in stride.  Life is about ebb and flow.  Almost always, when things look down, you’ll bounce back again.  In the meantime, don’t do anything to sabotage your long-range goals, don’t be self-destructive, keep your important relationships as vital and as close as you can, and make sure you’re occasionally doing things that are interesting, challenging and fun.

It is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.  Make sure you’re not just growing older.

“Life engenders life.  Energy creates energy.  It is by spending one’s self that one becomes rich.”  Sarah Bernhardt

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