Category Archives: Love

Re-Inventing The Wheel In Relationships

Funny how we would always expect to be taught or learn from others in a job, but the same often doesn’t apply in our relationships?

Being recently married I’m discovering faults I never knew I had.  Bit like doing a new exercise and discovering muscles you didn’t know existed.  But messier.

If I was really lost for a solution at work I’d put a question out to one of the teams, ask my boss, put a question on Quora… as you do.  Relationships though are another story.  It seems we either say nothing (pride or embarrassment?) or just moan to our friends.  Neither of these solutions I’ve found to be particularly helpful in the past.

Last Saturday night we had friends round for the evening and I decided to ask the two other couples what wisdom they had on a particular issue my husband and I are working through currently.  Nothing too private, but I figure if they’ve been married a while longer than we have maybe they have some quick-win tips?  They had a couple, but really it was just nice to get our challenge out in the air and ‘normalise’ it.

I’m determined to not re-invent the wheel in my marriage.  Surrounded by dozens of happily married couples who are obviously doing something right, I’m certain we could really gain from just being honest and asking questions.  The honesty has been strengthening our friendships too…. funny.  A little transparency goes a long way.  Even if our friends have nothing to give, sometimes it’s worth hearing that you’re not alone in your quest to figure out the mystery that is relationship.

What’s Weighing You Down?

personal development, relationships, leadership

Flip Flippen (his name – really!) recently tweeted that “We all have constraints. What is important is that you’re not the same person, constrained by the same things, year after year”.

I’ve had to recently look at my life as new additions (husband & job) meant that a ‘spring clean’ of my plans and habits was in order.  Painful.  Just the accumulated hours of television watching over a week makes me cringe.

More than just time poorly spent though are the habits – actions & reactions – that weigh me down and hold me back.

Image the one thing that you know is your greatest weakness.  Not chocolate (unless it really is a struggle and harming your health!), but a real weakness.  Now imagine life without it.  Imagine how it hurts the people in your world and how making a change would benefit them.  Or how it hurts you, and making a change would benefit you.  Or both.

Try working on just that one thing.  Don’t try to quit smoking as well, or lose weight, or cut out sugar and alcohol.  Don’t overwhelm yourself to the point of defeat.  Just face this one weakness, knowing you are absolutely able to defeat this if you truly put your mind to it, and go for it.  Give it up, let it go, stop.

I will if you will.

 

Is Marriage Back In Style?

We’re at a wedding tomorrow – the 3rd one (including ours) in 3 months.  And that’s just our close friends.

Maybe it’s because I’m married that I now notice all the women my age on the tubes in the morning with wedding rings.  Half my co-workers though – most of whom are younger than me – and most of my friends are married too.  Is it that marriage is coming back in style?

London, the single man’s mecca, is growing up it seems.  Or maybe it’s just that we are.  Either way, I like it.

It seems the taboo on ‘giving up your freedom’ turned out to be a little ridiculous, and girls everywhere are back to dreaming about  weddings and their lives as part of a duo. Turns out ‘freedom’ and ‘loneliness’ can often be interchangeable.  One month in and I can not state enough how much fun it is waking up next to your best friend every morning.

Hey – if even Kate Moss is doing it, it must be cool.

And there you have it.  For once in my life, I’m in the ‘in’ crowd.

 

 

The Beauty In Community

One week, 40 people, 6 Countries.

We all met in Costa Rica for the wedding that would take place 5 days later; the group committed to the next 7 days with each other for better or for worse.

What ensued was truly the most joyous occasion.  Each individual party – most not knowing each other – took time to get to know the others, with there never being the same combination twice at a meal it seemed.

Regardless of what the day held we would all gather for ‘happy hour’ (most of which was taken up simply waiting for your drink from the poor inexperienced barman) as the greater group, spending time convalescing over our days.

Come the day of the wedding the group had grown to know and love each other.  The wedding party was truly that – a real party.  Not needing to make the small talk necessary in groups of strangers, the entire group truly let their hair down and enjoyed the day and each other.

Needless to say the dance floor was truly something else.

What resulted was 2 families who will always feel they hold relationship with the other regardless of the fact we live on different continents, and friendships that we deepened as dear friends were brought in to the family fold.

I’ve realised from this once again that when it comes to building community, nothing can replace the value of time.

Ode To Those That Were Never Sure

To all those that were never sure

To those that were waiting with bated breath to see if I would fail

To the past that is firmly behind me

To the mistakes I’ve made – and thankfully learned from

To being single

To having lots of space and free time ;)

To all that comes to an end when I marry the man of my dreams:

The Wedding Countdown Part 2

The Happiness Within
Creative Commons License photo credit: Arghya a.k.a Orgho

23 days.

Things are looking up considerably from the last time I counted.

We have good friends who are getting married a week or so before we are, and talking to them makes me realise how very normal the pre-wedding crazies truly are.  It’s the balancing act of trying to stay completely calm to things out of our control (they also are getting married out of the country) and involved enough that the detail isn’t missed.  Less “balancing act” and more “bloody miracle”.

I wish I had the golden key to give but unfortunately I don’t.  I would however recommend not underestimating just how much time and emotional energy a wedding actually takes, and definitely marrying a man (or woman) who is exceptionally patient.  Remarkably so in my case.

We still don’t have the detail sorted.  The food is quasi-sorted.  As in we know we’re having some.  The flowers are almost there, as in “yes there will be flowers”.  The wine we are doing a mission for when we get there.  Not a moment too soon, but we’re getting there.

I love it when a plan comes together :)

The Proof Is In The Pudding

I would like to start this post with a disclaimer – not all posts on my mistakes in love have anything to do with the gorgeous man I’m engaged to.  This post does not.

This is a lesson I learned the hard way to such an extent that I’m still working on taking people at their word again.

That little niggling feeling when the gorgeous honey-slicked words don’t line up with the actions?  That’s not cynicism that’s wisdom.

There’s a big difference between a goofy well-intentioned partner who can’t quite pull it together on the much-anticipated date night and the one who doesn’t turn up until late that night, long after the promised pick-up time, with flowers, gifts and a story that could rival Gone With The Wind.

It’s easy to dismiss great big six-foot frantically waving red flags as ‘being over-emotional’.  On the flip-side, maybe you are.   Learning to trust my gut – and also learning to not act immediately on every gut notion – have been two of my greatest lessons in both love and business.  Learning to trust with eyes wide-open maybe.

If you’re just not sure give it time… the proof is always in the pudding.

The Wedding Countdown

50 days.

3 weeks ago people were asking me “how many days” and I had no idea.  I must admit I felt a little guilty I’d not been counting.  Then, I realised why people count.

50 days to organise the day – the wedding planner is still missing and the hotel is still refusing to take our calls.

50 days to ensure everyone has hotel bookings, travel arrangements, suits, shirts, ties, dresses.

50 days to get my dress back, have it altered, and not lose weight whatsoever to ensure it doesn’t slide down my front forever ruining the best day of my life. Actually 20 days as it doesn’t arrive for another month.

30 days to gym incessantly to finally get in one month the body I have wanted all of my life, all in time for the arrival of the dress.

50 days to get the rings back that were due to be finished 3 months ago.

50 days to plan a honeymoon – though currently the option of ‘winging it’ is currently getting the highest vote.  Leo concurs.

45 days to our arrival in Costa Rica – leaving 5 days to somehow guide 40 tourists 5 hours to the coast, get them all situated in the casitas we’ve booked – the address of which on the website is ‘1.5 kilometers South of Ventanas Beach and 500 meters North of the entrance of Tortuga Beach’ (so.. we’ll just drive around till we find it with a bus of 40 tourists) to view the venue for the first time, find a suitable restaurant for the night before the wedding dinner (not a rehearsal dinner as we’re not rehearsing; heck we can totally pull this off) and have at least 1 major breakdown as all my sound minded businesswomen friends are telling me will be totally ok if it happens.  Apparently it happens to all of us.

Maybe I’ll leave out the counting.

The 5 Love Languages

 

This week I’ve been learning about Love Languages.  If you’ve never had the chance, “5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman is worth a read.

Leo (my fiance) and I have been attending a marriage prep course for the past 4 weeks.  It’s raised a few “discussions with purposes” (previously know as domestics) since then.  All part of the learning curve : )

So my love language is quality time.  I for some reason in believing I know my other half sooo well assumed (ass out of u and me) that his was too.

Nope.  His is gifts.  I’m now racking my brains for the last time I bought him a gift –  I’ve got nothing.

Oh. Except the Christmas present that I got him last year that he promptly left on the floor and that is the source of a number of our disagreements.  Crap.

An hour later we are sitting with our completed exercise sheets on “3 ways we are going to look to show love to the other this week  in their love language” and I can see top of his list “arrange a date night” (nice – the last one he arranged was when he proposed 6 months ago).  Good call, that was definitely a “discussion with a purpose” brewing.

I then glance down at my own:

  1. Surprise Leo with a thoughtful gift  (Check – piece of cake.)
  2. Buy a thoughtful birthday present (lucky for me I needed to do that this week)
  3. Make a surprise for Leo – maybe bake something (Who am I kidding?????  When is the last time you even cooked much less baked????)

It is at this point that I realize this relationship stuff may take a little more effort….

Love

Ah.. I could write a book on what not to do in love.

Maybe I’ll start small and get to the bigger stuff later on in.  So lesson #1 – don’t project all the anger you have for all the others that have gone before on to the poor puppy-eyed shell-shocked man who is currently stood in front of you thinking who-the-hell-are-you-and-where-is-the-pretty-girl-from-the-1st-date?

On  the flip-side – if he doesn’t run a mile he might be the one.