Do you believe in love?
Do you believe in lasting love?
You’d have to agree with me when I say that we don’t get lasting love by chance. Before I go any further, I want to let you know that I don’t believe in chance or coincidences.
Everything – good or bad, is meant to be, when you make decisions for the best and ultimately to not bring harm to anyone else in the long run. You may hurt someone in the short-term but foresight is a gift, and you may see the benefit for the person in the long-term.
Sometimes, as my grandfather used to remind me – you have to be ‘cruel to be ’kind’ or in his other words of wisdom, give ‘tough love’. People suffer a little bit in the short-term for lasting long-term benefit.
So, lasting love does not come by easily, it takes work – simple, pure hard work. In Australian lingo we say – “Hard YAKA!’, if you believe it is worth it.
Hard work strongly involves working at fairness.
How do I know?
Well, I believe in genuine, authentic relationships. I mean I have many, many acquaintances but only a few very good friends. People I can call friends for twenty, thirty or even forty years. And there are a few new ones too.
Friendship, real, genuine, long-term friendship of any kind takes time and work, hard work.
And really good friends, friends that ‘hear what you say but also hear what you don’t say’, now these are hard to come by. But, they do.
I spent a lot of time with one of my many male mentors for the first 18 years of my life – my grandfather: Mr Garrett Bola William Valentine.
I used to sit there, when he was alive and listen to him (who was like a dad to me) and his one very good friend tell stories and reminiscing of their youthful days. I loved listening to those stories. I thought of my grandfather when writing this because it seems his loving friendship and bond he had with his friend to his last days were based on an enduring friendship.
A friendship that lasted over fifty years.
A relationship, a love-affair between two men, two humans, that, I can only assume, took a lot of work and Hard Yaka. It did not just happen by chance. Certainly not.
A loving, lasting relationship of any kind, needs fairness.
In a romantic one, however, unlike my grandfather’s Bromance, the ‘romance’ can keep love alive for a shining season but unfair love will freeze by late autumn as the relationship goes through the seasons of life, so-to-speak.
Do you argue fairly?
One needs to remember to stick to the facts and don’t make personal attacks on your partner, especially ones that are generalised over a number of years? I believe fairness is at stake in every conversation, in every sharing of duties, in every argument.
In this day and age where there is an ‘opinion epidemic’ whereby people think offering their opinions willy-nilly, left, right and centre is acceptable. These opinions are heavily biased and are not thought out from ‘both sides of the argument. So, arguments are not done in a fair fashion.
We need fairness in our trust. Trust of one another.
In romantic love, we need fairness in our talk. Our communication. Experts say that our nonverbal communication accounts for almost 60 percent of the total message. Tone of voice, for example – the way we say things – makes up 35 percent of the message. The actual words we say account for only seven percent of the total message.
I know I can get very passionate and animated when I speak and so there is always fluctuations in my tone of voice and sometimes this can come across as aggressive. I do struggle with hiding my emotions sometimes and am still trying to manage and control them even now.
If I am angry, you will know it, just as sure as you will know when I am happy. My eyes and face are the windows to my heart, my soul.
So, as food-for-thought, think about the ways you and your spouse/partner communicate without using words. These are all important factors of communication but the most important question is how effective is your communication with your loved one/partner?
In my experience, it isn’t fair to use words that violate a person’s feelings or betray a person’s confidence. Refrain from saying things to personally attack the other. Stick to the facts and in saying that, the immediate or facts of a recent example.
We need fairness when we divide the chores in family life.
We need fairness when we decide who goes out to work for a living and who stays home to mind the children, in the different phases of family life. What phase of life are you or you and your partner/husband/wife in?
“So, when is love fair?” I hear you say.
Well, from my experience, I believe that –
- Love is fair when it builds up both the lover and the beloved;
- Love is fair when it increases both and diminishes neither;
- Love is fair when it brings lovers close but still lets them separate when appropriate;
- Love is fair when it nourishes both and leaves neither hungry for more;
- Love is fair when it respects the boundaries of the other person’s selfhood;
- Love is fair when it delays our most legitimate desires to meet our loved one’s needs;
- Love is fair when it does not use ancient and forgiven wrongs against us;
- Love is fair when we don’t selfishly accept current, immediate self-gratification at the price or expense of the other’s pain.
What do you think, is the above statements fair statements on what fair love is?
What do you think is a “fair” balance of closeness and separateness in your marriage?
What do you think is ‘fair’ behaviour when you are disagreeing?
Oh love … oh fairness fairy.
We seek your guidance.
Until next time,
The Old Captain Viking Pirate Muscle Monk.