IT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO DO WONDERS IN RELATIONSHIPS

Many people struggle in relationships, especially romantic ( love and marriage ) only because they aren’t being kind enough. When it comes to our parents, they don’t complain even if we are not kind to them. One might ask is being kind that important? Personally, I feel that is the most important aspect in upkeeping with  the relationship. Being kind is rather simple but works wonders in relationships. So, how do we do that?

Do you surprise your partner with small gifts at times?

Do you walk up to your partner, wrap your arms around them to say how much you love them?

Do you regularly keep a check on your partner if they are feeling fine?

Would you voluntarily ask you partner if they want to talk when they are feeling low?

Do you assist your partner in day to day chores?

When your partner is sick, do you take good care of them?

Do you also do the dishes the day your duty was only to cook?

Do you greet your partner with a smile when you see them after a long day of work?

If nothing, can you just spare the day without complaining?

The list is not limited to the above. There are various small and big things we can do for our partners.

I particularly remembered one incident when the thought of kindness in relationships pondered in my mind. In the earlier team I worked in, we had a Usability engineer. She is an elderly lady. Way back in 2013 or so when I travelled to the US for some usability tests, she and I worked together collecting feedback from prospective customers. One day she walked up to my cubicle to say that she is going to pick me up the next day evening and I should spend the night at her place. That was the first time someone invited me home on overseas travel. It might be impolite to reject, so I hesitantly agreed to that proposal. On Friday evening, she drove up to the hotel I was staying in, and then took me home along with her. I spent that evening with her, her kids, dogs and cats. She arranged for a separate guest room for me. She decorated the room herself with flowers, alluring scents and nice food to top it all. I felt very honoured by her hospitality. For a junior employee like me, she didn’t have to do anything. She also taught me that it is very important to be kind and generous to others around us. This is not romantic I know, but kindness can really nurture any relationship. Kindness is extremely powerful when put into action.

In the monotonous life we lead, we sometimes forget that our partner deserves our undivided attention regularly. We cannot divide it between weekdays and weekends like we do at work. No matter how busy we are,  it is incredibly important that we are present in the relationships we are in. The ways are numerous. A warm touch, subtle appreciation or a small gift goes  a long way. The assurance we provide to the person we love is all they might need to have happy and fulfilling relationship. It may sound like being kind is easy, but , we should consciously ensure that we are there for the other person.

There are ways of behaviour that couples need to learn to express, share and receive love. It doesn’t matter if you are an introvert or an extrovert. Just think it through and you would find things you can do for your partner to make them feel special. Many teenagers and even people in early 20’s do not realise that the easiest way to impress a person is to be kind 🙂 It is not the flowers, the compassion and the thoughtfulness behind bringing those flowers is what’s more important

Being kind also leaves us feeling very positive and is foundational to enjoying happy and healthy relationships. So, just be kind, spread love.

Caution: Don’t make the mistake of being kind in an abusive relationship. That is counter effective. Your partner might start taking more advantage of you and your emotions.

Because that’s what kindness is. It’s not doing something for someone else because they can’t, but because you can.” – Andrew Iskander

DOES YOUR PARTNER KNOW WHO EXACTLY YOU ARE?

I will start this article with a list of questions that we all can ask ourselves and answer them to ourselves only.

“Why do I put a password on my phone?”

“Am I comfortable handing over my phone to my better half?”

“Do I whisper on my phone in my spouse’s presence or talk normally?”

“Can I share where I have gone or whom I have met or what I talk with my better half?”

“Do I delete a few of my chat logs fearing my spouse can read them?”

“Am I an enigma for my spouse?”

“Do I hide anything from him or her?”

“Do I have a constant fear that something might be revealed?”

And the list can go on…

Don’t get me wrong, these questions are not only for you to answer or go through, but they are applicable for me as well. And there will be many other exceptions and situations where these questions are not applicable. But I am sure, we all understand what I am talking about.

The above questions I set keeping a marital relationship in mind and I can have different sets of questions for different kinds of relationships or friendships that exist in this world too.

They can be –

“Do I pretend to love one friend but say otherwise in front of him or her?”

“Do I gossip which about a friend without verifying the truth behind a matter?”

“Do I keep things hidden from my parents or sister or brother or any close friends?”

Again, the list can be stretched to any length possible.

All this process of question and answer mentioned above are pointing at one serious and most important attribute a person in a relationship should have is Truthfulness.

Speaking the truth or truthfulness or honesty are almost close to each other. Honesty is expressing our feelings and opinions accurately and Truth is an accurate representation of what is real. Honesty is more expressions and feelings driven. Truth is more facts and information-driven. But they both, truth and honesty go hand in hand in any sort of relationship that exists on this earth. So being truthful and honest to our spouses or friends is of utmost importance in a marital relationship or in a friendship. Although there is a flip side to this subject which we need to understand clearly. We should not mix up with the difference between secrets and privacy. We need to remember that privacy is a personal boundary around someone’s own thoughts, ideas, and information that don’t directly involve his or her better half. But a secret is something which is intentionally kept hidden from spouses for the fear of being caught or judgement.

Writing down so many preachy advises don’t really help if I don’t plunge into the root cause of people telling lies to or hiding things from their spouses or friends whom they love so much or at least claim them as own.

Let me explain it with a real case study:

A husband observed his wife to be quite secretive for a last couple of days. He has never seen her going out of the room while talking to someone over the phone before. But these days he observed she is trying to get away from him while she is on the phone. He also observed that she snatches her phone away or cover her phones when he comes close to her phone or when he tries to touch her phone. He was surprised with her recent actions and reactions because he has never seen her behaving like this before. She used to leave her phone with him all the time without a worry previously but why she was behaving like this now was really strange.

He was suspicious now about her actions and planned to check her phone once when she is either taking bath or something. One day he got the opportunity and saw the messages. He was surprised, hurt as well as upset to see her chat log with one particular person.

He confronted her and she was annoyed knowing why he had to check her phone and messages. He fought back saying why she had to hide things from him, her husband. They had a big fight over this.

He was hurt and was terribly upset and rightly so but he decided to leave her to her condition and wait. One day, he saw her depressed and troubled. He asked the reason behind her being so sad or upset. She shared that her friend is ignoring her and that has hurt her. He was patient and heard her agony and slowly she opened up. She said she was feeling very vulnerable and when this boy messaged her from nowhere and spoke well, they became good friends. The husband asked why she had to hide it from him and she said she was scared thinking about how he will react. He smiled and said how he has so many female friends and it is alright to have a friend. And soon she allowed him to handle her phone and never behaved as he was doing for some time.

If we want our partners to be honest and truthful with us, then we have to be a skilled listener and communicator because relationship demands two-way communication.

As a good listener, the husband in the above-mentioned case study displayed the following attributes to let the wife speak the truth to him. And those are vital for all of us to learn and practice in our lives as well.

    • The husband was hurt and angry but wasn’t unreasonable and impatient which allowed the wife space to understand his point of view.
    • He was non-judgmental and that’s the reason she found the courage and felt safe to discuss her heart’s matter with him.
    • He was open-minded which made her disclose everything one after the other.
    • He didn’t impose his personal views but allowed her to ask for suggestions when she felt ignored by the other person.
    • He didn’t force her to tell everything all at once but gave her time and space.
    • He never jumped to any conclusion about the relationship between his wife with that other person which made her to rely on him.

And their marital journey became smoother in respect to the issue that they encountered in their life for some time.

Friends! Remember, truthfulness and honesty are the foundation stones for the trust in a relationship, and trust is the fuel for any relationship to function, flourish and move on.

Are you ready to encounter Truth and Honesty in your relationship and friendship? Does your partner or friend know who exactly you are? Do you wear a mask of lies or something that you want to hide from him or her???

Keep reading and keep thinking about it.

Stay Blessed!

“Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.”
– THE BIBLE

EQUALITY IN LOVE

What is better than expensive gifts and dream holidays in love? An equal relationship of course!

Love and equality go hand in hand. If all the relationships shed the desire of power, I guess there won’t be bitter relations at all. Balance and equality are needed whether it’s in terms of respect, support or responsibility. Problem occurs when either of the partners is dominating.

Setting up boundaries, expecting too much, dictating what to do and how things have to be done, not consulting each other in important decisions, etc., all result in unhealthy relationships. If one is continuously being held back, the love will only get weaker. When you are in a committed relationship, you need to accept the person as is without changing him/her.

Reena and Jay were madly in love with each other, but their relationship went sour as Jay was too authoritative and dictating. Statements like “You can’t talk to that person” or “You can’t wear that skirt”, chagrinned Reena. Moreover, during any disagreement, it was only Reena who used to apologize. As a result, gradually they broke up.

Accepting one’s mistakes, giving priority to ‘our needs’ rather than focusing on ‘mine’, ensuring that being in love is not a bonded relationship is vital. Hence, there must be equality of couple who are in love.

Perfect Love Cannot Be Without Equality
-Scottish Proverb

HOW LOVE & JUSTICE WALK TOGETHER

One of the most used YET less understood word is LOVE. Probably, that’s the reason each of us has our own definition of love! Whereas it is the power of love that brought us into existence, it is the warmth of that love that made us feel secure when our mom for the first time put her arm upon us and we stopped crying, it is the language of love that we first learned, and it is the love we witness at the death bed of our dear ones. Moreover, it is the legacy of love that is indomitable and immortal. And explaining love the Bible says,

The greatest of all characters is LOVE.

Once two prostitutes came to king Solomon to have an argument settled. One of them said, “this woman and I live in the same house. I gave birth to a baby while she was with me in the house. Three days later this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there were only two of us in the house. But her baby died during the night when she rolled over on it. Then she got up in the night and took my son from beside me while I was asleep. She laid her dead child in my arms and took mine to sleep beside her. And when I tried to nurse my son, he was dead! But when I looked more closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t my son at all”. Then the other woman interrupted, “it certainly was your son, and the living child is mine”. ”No”, the first woman said, “the living child is mine, and the dead one is yours.” And so, they argued back and forth before the king. Then the king said, “Let’s get the facts straight. Both of you claim the living child is yours, and each says that the dead one belongs to the other. All right, bring me a sword.” As the sword was brought to the king, he said, “Cut the living child in two, and give half to one woman and half to the other!” Then the woman who was the real mother of the living child, and who loved him very much, cried out, “Oh no, my lord! Give her the child – please do not kill him!” But the other woman said, “All right, he will be neither yours nor mine; divide him between us. Then the king said, “Do not kill the child, but give him to the woman who wants him to live, for she is his mother!” And justice was established.

LOVE & JUSTICE GOES HAND-IN-HAND. As a child, I always complained if my father loves me how can he punish me? If he loves me, doesn’t he realize the pain of punishment? But as I grew up, I learned “Love is not in the absence of Judgment but in the very presence of it.”

TO ESTABLISH JUSTICE, LOVE HAS TO BE SACRIFICIAL. It is only the love for the child that gave courage to the real mother to give away her child to the other woman instead of dividing the child into two. Love cannot be understood without understanding the value of life.”

TO ESTABLISH JUSTICE, LOVE EXPOSES THE TRUTH. While in prison as the last wish before his execution the son demanded to meet his mother. As his mother comes closer, he whispered to her, I wish if you have scolded me that day when I brought the stolen pencils and chalks from the classroom, I won’t have ended up like this today. The story is so evidential to learn Whoever loves us they never pamper our lie rather they expose it.”

TO ESTABLISH JUSTICE, LOVE HAS TO BE SACRED. For example, involving in sex before and beyond marital boundaries seizes the sacredness of the marriage bed and is an injustice to the spouse. Sacredness is the epitome of justice. Compromising sacredness fails justice. “Sacredness in love is justice to one another.”

LOVE & JUSTICE BRINGS LIFE. From an in-depth study, the child was treated as a mere product until the sword entered the judgment room and the child’s life came to risk. As the sword was about to come out of the scabbard, love took the screen. And it is because of love, truth enfolded and justice was established. That’s why Gandhiji said, “Where there is LOVE, there is life”.      

LOVE STORY BETWEEN HE, SHE AND THE SCENE-STEALER.

Love is an Expensive Trap. 😜

Being a fresh collegian, he always believed love is an expensive trap. Why waste your day just because your partner isn’t in a good mood or has some personal tension. Whereas he had no clue that just in a couple of years gap, one day at a time he will be the prey of that expensive trap.

Falling in Love is Emotionally Upheaval. 😄

It was in a student meeting of an inter-college camp he first saw her but being lost in his world he didn’t notice her much that day. A couple of weeks later the preparation for the inter-college camp started and there they became casual friends. As the preparation was of a week-long routine they meet daily. It was his first feeling of being close enough to a girl and there he got the new naïve emotional upheaving for a particular girl. The romantic vibes were slowly peeping into them and the desire of being together become more tangible. Somewhere the subconscious mind started humming the romantic songs of the 90s. Deep inside both of them desired to seat close enough and the break hours felt the two free birds flying together in an endless blue sky. The search for excuses for the random long talk was visible to others and they became the last people return from break. Even in practice time being lost in their world, they started sharing headphones and listening to the afternoon love songs streamed by the Radio FM Radio Chocolate. It was for the first time; he sent an SMS request to Radio FM and dedicated his favourite song from the Bollywood movie Mann for her. Though the rest of the campmates started teasing them but all they excused “It’s Just Friendship”.

She loved to listen to him and He loved to tell her.🥰

It was that fine early December winter morning the camp began. It was like the day they waited for, the more they were approaching their city junction the more they felt the speed of time is too slow. They meet and their two glowing smiling faces were too loudly saying, ‘It was a too-long night, I was just waiting for you.’ Likely getting a golden opportunity, due to some technical issues the camp started too late and he seized the opportunity to unfold his life story in tits and bits. She loved to listen to him and he loved to tell her. Somehow, someway that day passed by too early and the time to depart was at the door. He left her whispering, tonight I will be in my auntie’s home so give me a missed call once you reach home. All night he was just rewinding the whole day and talks and looks they had. As the clock belled 10 AM, he sneaked to the terrace since it was the perfect time to phone her as she will be in college and they had more than an hour conversation on phone. At every quarter, there was either a call or a chat. The very next day was their first date.

That fine January winter evening.

Understanding both of their strong feelings for each other, on his birthday his cousin demanded both for a gift and the demand was “PROPOSE EACH OTHER”. Almost after a month, one fine winter evening they proposed to each other.

It’s time for the twists and turns.

Gradually dating and hanging-out happened regularly. As someone rightly said, in small towns love stories aren’t easy to hide. As a defense it is said, don’t act like a cat thinking no one can see you stealing the milk. As his parents strongly opposed them, the twists and turns appeared. Amidst long years of frequent unpleasant situations, many worries, and family oppositions he strongly defended her thinking one-day at time things going to fall into the proper place. It is rightly said, “Man proposes, God disposes”. Because the future is known to God, not to man!

There comes the scene-stealer.

Though his urge and commitments for her were visible to her yet like a little casual attitude is enough to break a glass and the saddest part is, though you glue the broken glass, the mark and threat of another break are always visible. In the later year of their love story like the scene-stealer, a third guy quietly enters one afternoon steals his prey for the night and the love story ends unfolding many bitter truths. The next day to that horrific afternoon, he meets her parents and there’s he sees her mask of pretense. He was a complete stranger to her parents. They were only aware of the scene-stealer and they warned her about him. But for her, it was her one casual attitude that was powerful enough to crop her wings and imprison her forever.

To defend a lie, you need to cook stories.

In the end, his telephonic conversations with her cousin appeared voice modulated telephonic conversation and family holidays were the dates with the scene-stealer.

P.C.: iStock

SOMETHINGS AREN’T MEANT TO BE

Imagine the late 90’s… Young me in my first job. First, brush with the Internet. Luckily nature of our organization was such that we had unlimited access to the Internet. Life was fun with loads of work spiced with chat rooms and chat friends. Visual Basic was open in one window and the chat room open in another window (I know what you are thinking we did some good amount of work also). Actually, that was our window to the outside world. Met lots of girls and boys and chatted away on every topic under the sun. But as it happens some are bound to linger on longer and become good friends.

One of them was a guy in armed forces. And I was besotted with men in uniform. If you have grown up in the vicinity of IMA or NDA you will understand why I said that. We found that these Gentlemen Cades (GCs) were always more of a gentleman as compared to the boys we used to see in college or our neighbourhood.

Coming back to the story. I chatted with him daily. Even though he belonged to the same city as me currently he was posted at some far-off location. We became very good friends. We exchanged multiple messages or emails in a day. Even though I loved chatting with him there was no romantic nature to our talks.

As days progressed, he told his younger sister about me. She was very excited to meet me. She wanted to speak to me. So, I gave my number (remember these are the days of landlines only and one of the extensions of these landlines are always in parents room). Eventually, she called. I spoke to her at length. She was a pleasant chirpy girl. What I didn’t know that my Dad had heard the conversation and couldn’t figure out who this girl was as she was not one of my friends.

Anyways I was asked about her and I blurted out the whole story. Now comes the twist. I was not admonished or anything. Since he was from the same caste or religion as us and was obviously eligible. My parents thought he could be a good match for me. My parents met his mother (his father was no more). I met his sister. Saw his photo for the first time (imagine! How naïve!). And everyone seemed to like each other. Now that the families had put the idea into our minds. Our talks obviously turned romantic. He was coming home for the holidays. The wait began. 

I suddenly started liking “Kaho na pyaar hai…” songs. All mushy mushy.

When he actually came home. He called to meet me in a restaurant. That is where he dropped the bombshell that his family was the carrier of a rare genetic disease and he was a carrier of the gene. But if I didn’t have that gene then our progeny won’t get affected. Me the forever optimistic was okay with it… He said he was worried about his sister though as she was a female carrier and so chances of it being passed on to her progeny are very high. That will make her marriage very tough. I still thought it was no big deal and we will brave out whatever life has in store for us.

So all seemed set in our relationship. When one fine evening he called and said that his whole extended family was admonishing him that how can he think of his own marriage when his sister’s future was bleak… he had responsibilities towards his family… he was being selfish… he was thinking only about himself… the list of accusations was long…

And he called it off. 

My father was livid. He just exploded on him. No amount of talking or cajoling from my side changed his stance. And he just dropped out of my life. I was really heartbroken at that time. I didn’t understand what hit me. I was wholeheartedly ready to support him then why was I being punished.

But as they say, some things are not meant to be.

It is a sweet little episode in my memory now. Maybe we both were very young at that point of time to make such huge decisions in our lives.

I got to know from a common acquaintance that he and his sister both are happily married now. And me, I too am blissfully living with my hubby and kids.

WHEN YOU GET FRIEND ZONED

An eighteen years old girl – cluelessly, hopelessly romantic, believed in celluloid romance. She met a guy through a common friend. Thanks to the well-knit colonies everyone knows everyone through someone. And when she introduced the girl to boy, the girl found him to be perfect – handsome, witty, well mannered – in short, a character right out of her favourite romantic novel and movies.

Their interaction started over the phone. Soon the conversations progressed from pleasantry exchanges to deep conversations. She fell for him. His charm swept her off her feet. And she sensed reciprocation of her feelings every time he would smile, spoke to her for hours over the phone. When they agreed to meet on 14th February… A day that needs no explanation for why it is celebrated, she was very excited and elated.

She dressed carefully, wanted to look her best for she never had confidence in her looks prior to that meeting. They met outside her college, went to a nearby restaurant. Amidst their casual conversation, he gave her a box of chocolates. She was over the moon for this was her first gift ever from a person of the opposite sex. It was all hunky dory but the feelings were still not spoken about directly. But this meant something to her.

She now looked forward to talking to him, searched for excuses to meet him. But then came the moment when her world of dreams came crashing down. In one such meeting he asked her “I think you started loving someone, isn’t it true?”. All she could do is to blush as she lowered her gaze and nods in affirmation. But without her speaking out he knew that her feelings are attached to him and he made an announcement ” but I am already seeing someone for a long time now”. And that moment of truth came as a shock to the girl who nursed dreams about “them” being together. She didn’t let a teardrop from her eye and even didn’t let the smile fade away from her lips. When her friends got to know about this they felt sad for her but she resolved not to cry though the pain was hard to contain. Her own family issues demanded a lot of her time and focus that she made sure she isn’t stopping.

Their conversations were limited now. They got busy in their respective lives. But they met casually after four years. This time she was careful of not getting carried away by emotions unnecessarily for life is giving her so many lessons to learn from. The first question she posed was “how’s she doing?”. And there was a twist in the tale – they were not together anymore. “Could this mean anything?, Could this meeting mean anything?” Questions of this nature ruffled her thoughts. But this time she wasn’t letting her imagination take over her right senses.

And her stance proved to be helpful to her as the guy she was once interested in fell for her best friend when she introduced her friend to him. Now they are happily married and this girl is also hitched and is in wedlock with a beautiful family. And of course, the girl, the boy and her best friend are very good friends. Interesting fact: best friend knows that this girl once had feelings for her husband. This seems weird on paper but their equation is as pure as it could, they all laugh now how things have taken a turn.

The questions though remain: is it a foolish thing to be hopelessly romantic? Was the girl at fault to decipher and perceive things differently? Was the boy at fault by being so nice that could give false signals? Can people still be friends after being friend-zoned? And how cool is the best friend of that girl 😁😁?

PS: true story, names confidential