Relationships With The Opposite Sex

Relationships With The Opposite Sex: The Life Cycle

The Beginning

I'm sure we can all agree that the beginning of a relationship is the toughest part of it. This is a period of time characterized by instability in emotions and thoughts. Sometimes the idea of a relationship can cause people to completely lose track of necessary daily functions. (Ex. Eating or working at your job.) According to TopDatingTips.com, many people can end up losing track of feelings and have what would appear to be mood swings. Many of us have different perception of what a relationship is and what it means to be in one. The dictionary definition for a relationship is the connectivity between two beings. Relationships also cover different dimensions such as physical and emotional.

What Can Cause Relationship Failure

You search so hard for that perfection and the perfect person (which none of us are perfect so you will never find that)Even that perfect friend has their flaws. Unfortunately, that search for perfection either keeps us single or keeps us in an unhealthy relationship that is destined for relationship failure.

Why does this happen? Simple truth is you are simply avoiding facing reality. We never want to admit that we once again made a bad relationship choice and that is absolutely normal. Nobody likes to admit failure of any kind. Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes so you need to ask yourself this question- How do I avoid making that same relationship failure mistake again and again?

Fact is relationship failure is one of the biggest causes of unhappiness and stress in life and learning to have a successful relationship is one of the most important skills we can learn. Is it easy to learn? Not necessarily. With learning, there needs to be change. A lot of us don't like change but change can be a great thing and can be the key to a lot of happiness.

The most common reasons why relationships fail are as follows (aside from finances and stress of raising children):

* Jealousy and Possessiveness- Everybody needs their own personal space. Every relationship needs trust- Without trust; you will almost surely have relationship failure. Once trust is broken, it is very hard- damn near impossible- to get back.

* Selfishness- Don't always put your own needs first. Try to always put yourself in your partner's shoes. Always try to look at situations from both sides (yours and his) and give yourself some constructive criticism. Remember, true love should be a selfless act- given without the expectation of receiving anything back (now of course, you don't want to be with a person who is completely selfish either- You don't want to be the only one giving in the relationship) Relationships are two way streets.

*No time or too much time-Make time for each other but also allow each of you your own personal space. Create dreams and goals together but allow each other to also pursue their dreams and goals(as we all don't have the same desires)

Agree to disagree. Love with your complete heart. (Bivens 2010)

The First Date

The first date is one of the most nerve-wrecking experiences in the formation of a healthy relationship with the opposite sex. Most people agree with the fact that the first impression is key but sometimes we have to draw the line on what is too much. Men tend to do what is considered to be “peacocking.” Simply put, it is the idea of making yourself look better than any other person. This is where we tend to overdo it on the first date.

First of all, make sure the date will be something you will enjoy. Don't be afraid suggest an alternatives. Suggest that the two of you check out the latest art exhibition or that new scary movie that just opened. Try to choose something that is fun and exciting for both you. This will definitely take the pressure off you to entertain or amuse your partner with conversation. But do try to have some sort of interaction with your date. While on the date, try and keep the conversation going as best as you can. The best way to do this is ask your blind date polite questions such as "So how was your day?" and "Did you see that television show the other night...?" Although you are very curious about your date, it is best to save the heavy interrogation. (M. Feenstra & Den Haag, 2004-2009)

Keeping It Going

Once most people settle into a relationship, they would like it to last. After all, having a long-term relationship usually has advantages. In our society, for example, the pooling of resources may make it easier to afford material possessions such as a desired house, and to raise children. Being in a long term relationship may provide a meaningful psychological resource in terms of having a partner with whom to share life events and to whom to turn for emotional support and comfort. However, it has been reported that nearly 50% of all marriages end up in divorce. The formality of marriage, in and of itself, is clearly not a guarantee of a happy long-term relationship. Common interests and some sense of love and commitment are the ingredients to getting into relationships in the first place. However, these are clearly not enough to make a relationship survive in the long term. Many experts cite a number of factors that are often predictors of the early termination of a relationship. These include stress, financial problems, personality conflicts and, often most importantly, the inability to resolve interpersonal conflicts. Another critical predictor of relationship demise is the thought patterns of the partners. One clinical psychologist, Albert Ellis, Ph.D., in an article entitled, “The Nature of Disturbed Marital Interactions”, describes how disturbed relationships arise from “neurotic” individuals and their disturbed thinking. A disturbed individual: (1) has unrealistic expectations about him/herself, his/her partner, and the relationship itself; and (2) holds on to and resists altering or eliminating his/her unrealistic demands on his/her partner.(Adams & Allen-Clarke,2009)

The End of a Relationship

When your spouse dies, your world changes. You are in mourning—feeling grief and sorrow at the loss. You may feel numb, shocked, and fearful. You may feel guilty for being the one who is still alive. If your spouse died in a nursing home, you may wish that you had been able to care for him or her at home. At some point, you may even feel angry at your spouse for leaving you. All these feelings are normal. There are no rules about how you should feel. There is no right or wrong way to mourn.

When you grieve, you can feel both physical and emotional pain. People who are grieving often cry easily and can have:

· Trouble sleeping

· Little interest in food

· Problems with concentration

· A hard time making decisions

If you are grieving, in addition to dealing with feelings of loss, you may also need to put your own life back together. This can be hard work. During this time, you may be surprised by some of your feelings, but they are a part of mourning. Some people may feel better sooner than they expect. Others may take longer. As time passes, you may still miss your spouse, but for most people, the intense pain will lessen. There will be good and bad days. You will know that you are feeling better when the good days begin to outnumber the bad.

For some people, mourning can go on so long that it becomes unhealthy. This can be a sign of serious depression and anxiety. If your sadness stays with you and keeps you from carrying on with your day-to-day life, talk to your doctor.

In the beginning, you may find that taking care of details and keeping busy helps. For a while, family and friends may be around to assist you. But, there comes a time when you will have to face the change in your life.

Here are some ideas to keep in mind:

· Take care of yourself. Grief can be hard on your health. Try to eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. Bad habits, such as drinking too much alcohol or smoking, can put your health at risk. Be sure to take your medicines as your doctor ordered. Remember to see the doctor for your usual visits.

· Talk to caring friends. Let your family and friends know when you want to talk about your husband or wife. It may help to be with people who let you say what you're feeling.

· Join a grief support group. Sometimes it helps to talk to people who are also grieving. Check with hospitals, religious groups, and local agencies to find out about support groups.

· Try not to make any major changes right away. It's a good idea to wait for a while before making big decisions like moving or changing jobs.

· See your doctor. If you're having trouble taking care of your everyday activities, like getting dressed or fixing meals, talk to your doctor.

· Don't think you have to handle your grief alone. Sometimes short-term talk therapy with a counselor can help.

· Remember your children are grieving, too. You may find that your relationship with your children has changed. It will take time for the whole family to adjust to life without your spouse.

· Remember—mourning takes time. It's common to have rollercoaster emotions for a while. (National Institute of Health, 2010)

References

Beginning A New Relationship: “When Does Dating Turn into A Relationship” http://www.topdatingtips.com/first-four-weeks.htmk, 2003-2010.

Feenstra M. & Haag, Den, 2004-2009, Surviving The First Date: Parts 1 & 2. http://www.forbeginners.info/dating/first-date-2.htm,

Adams, John & Allen-Clarke, Constance, 2009, What Makes a Relationship Last, http://www.psychologicalassoc.com/John%20and%20Constance%20--%20What%20Makes%20Relationships%20Last.html, Acquired April 10thfrom Psychological Associates.

Bivens, Michelle, 2010, Relationship Failure-Making A Relationship Work, http://www.articlesbase.com/relationships-articles/relationship-failure-making-relationships-work-1920964.html, Acquired April 10th from ArticleBase.com Database.

National Institute Of Aging, 2010, Mourning The Death of A Spouse, http://www.nia.nih.gov/healthinformation/publications/spouse.htm, Acquired April 10th from the National Institute of Health Database

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