Thursday, May 24, 2012

Relationship Rules Worth Breaking


THEY SAY RULES WERE MADE TO BE BROKEN.

And when it comes to relationships, they were absolutely right. Single and attached people alike; we’re all guilty of letting relationship rules close off new possibilities or make us believe our current relationships aren’t going to work out.  Maybe you think your marriage is doomed because you’re not having sex every night like a healthy married couple should. Or maybe you’re thinking of breaking it off with your boyfriend because you just don’t feel that spark anymore and that feeling should last forever.

Well, it’s time to stop letting these lame relationship rules dictate your love life! Here are some of the best ones to break:

LAME RELATIONSHIP RULE #1: DON’T DATE A COWORKER.



Why you should break it:

Hey, if Jim and Pam can make it work on The Office, why can’t you?!  Especially when 40% of workplace dating relationships end in marriage.  Obviously you may want to think twice if your job has a strict rule about inter-office romance. But nowadays many workplaces are willing to let it slide if it doesn’t interfere with day to day activities. Relationship expert Jim Duzak, AKA “The Attorney at Love,” says the only real rule ought to be Proceed with Caution.

“Realistically, people are going to date co-workers, not only because they're easier to meet than total strangers, but because we get to see them in a lot of different situations and thus get to ‘pre-screen’ them for both good and bad qualities. “

The only catch is the type of co-worker you hook up with.

"Don't date a co-worker if he's married or if he's your supervisor,” adds Duzak, “Even when there's no sexual harassment in a work romance or no hint of favoritism, there's still the question of what happens if and when the relationship ends.”

LAME RELATIONSHIP RULE #2: BLIND DATES/DATING SITES ARE FOR DESPERATE PEOPLE



Why you should break it:

‘Aint no shame in taking chances! Sometimes you have to get creative and find new ways to connect with someone. My best friend, Jill, agreed to go on a blind date with her roommate’s co-worker.  She trusted that her roommate knew her well enough to know what type of guy would make her happy. Guess what... one year later they are still together and she’s moving in with him! Had she turned the date down she would have missed the opportunity and gained nothing. What did she have to lose?

Same goes with online dating, speed dating, Meetup groups, etc. You never know where it can lead. And even if you don’t make a romantic connection, you could end up making a new friend (who may know someone perfect for you!)

If anything, Duzak says finding creative ways to meet people makes you that much more interesting. “Blind dates and online dating are really for people who are optimistic and adventurous. They're not just sitting there waiting for lightning to strike. They're willing to take the initiative and, if things go badly, learn from their experiences.”

LAME RELATIONSHIP RULE #3: IF IT’S MEANT TO HAPPEN, IT WILL



Why you should break it:

Listen, the whole concept of fate is sweet and all, but you can’t just sit around feeling sorry for yourself and waiting for that perfect guy to come waltzing into your life. Wake up! Get out there! Make something happen! If you meet a genuinely nice guy and the first date isn’t as perfect as you’d hoped, give the dude another chance. Research shows that it takes women nearly 14 dates before they can truly decide if they’re falling for a man.

Also ladies, if there’s someone out there who just can’t get the hint that you’re digging him, go ahead and take the reins. If you’re waiting for him to read your mind, you’ll be waiting a long time!

“If you like him, don't play games - forget everything you learned in The Rules book.  Be direct and tell him.,” says Manhattan-based psychotherapist and advice columnist  Jonathan Alpert, “He'll feel flattered and motivated for subsequent dates.”

LAME RELATIONSHIP RULE #4: WE SHOULD ALWAYS HAVE THAT FUZZY FEELING



Why you should break it:

It happens to the best of us. The honeymoon phase fizzles out and you just don’t feel that same “spark” you once had for each other. The same concept as the last rule applies here. Relationships aren’t easy. It’s not going to be all rainbows and butterflies forever. When things get tough you have to work on it to keep the love alive!

Duzak says it’s all about baby steps. “The only way the ‘feeling’ will last beyond a few weeks or months is to MAKE it last. The simplest and best way to do that is to live by the mantra: ‘Little things, repeated often.’ A few nice words, smiles, and compliments every day, a few minutes of undivided and uncritical attention, a little non-sexual touching, can keep the relationship going a very long time.”

Which brings us to the next rule...

LAME RELATIONSHIP RULE #5: HEALTHY COUPLES HAVE SEX EVERY NIGHT



Why you should break it:

Well first of all, good luck finding anyone who actually follows this rule! If you believe  this relationship exists, you’ve been lied to.  And besides, just because a couple does the deed every day doesn’t mean they’re happy. Alpert makes a good point when he says, “Earth-shattering sex won't make up for problems outside the bedroom. Closeness, intimacy, cuddles and affection will go a long way.” But if you want to pinpoint that magic number, Duzak says to base it solely on your own relationship.

“With sex, the only rule should be that if the two of you are happy, then that's all that matters. Don't compare yourselves to other couples, and don't be influenced by what you hear or read (much of which is distorted or exaggerated.) If once a week or once a month is working for you, then enjoy it. Actually, there should be a second rule: If one of you isn't happy with your sex life, don't suffer in silence. Learn to express your needs in a way that's loving and non-accusatory, but which still gets your message across. It can be done.”

LAME RELATIONSHIP RULE #6: OPPOSITES ATTRACT



Why you should break it:

This should really be more of a half rule. No, you don’t want to like all of the same things. Where’s the fun in that? A shy person may work well with an outgoing partner to bring her out of her shell. Different tastes in things like music, movies, and sports can open you both up to new activities and help you learn a lot about each other.

The problem is when those opposite views apply to core values and life goals. You want to be on the same page (or at least agree to disagree) on issues like religious beliefs, money, and children. Otherwise it could come back to bite you when a problem arises.

IF THERE’S ANY ONE RULE TO ABIDE BY, IT SHOULD BE: FORGET THE RULES!

You can read every love column and ask everyone you know for advice. But in the end it all comes down to staying open. If you’re single, stay open to new possibilities. If you’re attached, stay open to new solutions. What worked last time may fail this time and vice versa. But you’ll never know what truly makes you happy unless you take a chance on love. It may be a huge risk, but it’s totally worth the reward.