The first time around I chose the wrong man. I didn’t know it at the time because I was young and believed things about relationships that turned out to be untrue. In hindsight, I can see why my husband and I were never going to work.
An intimate relationship with another person rests on four essential pillars ~ intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical.
Intellectual compatibility is a mixture of both similarities and differences. You probably want to be with someone who is as intelligent as you or perhaps smarter. It’s no necessarily a case of what degree he has or his grade point average, sometimes life experience can make someone street smart, or their job means they know a hell of a lot about something you’ve never heard of.
My boyfriend is a smart man. He has had a good private school education and knows about classical literature and astronomy. He has more emotional experience than I have and encourages me how to express my feelings without fearing a bad reaction. He tells me I know more about human behaviour and non-materialism than he does.
One of my favourite things is lying in bed on Saturday mornings and talking to him about anything and everything.
The emotional level of the relationship must be equal. You should like or love each other roughly the same amount. If someone is totally besotted with you and you sort of like them a bit then obviously the relationship is doomed. My boyfriend and I seem to love each other equally – as far as I can tell.
Personal values are important and when these are challenged or dismissed by your partner, the relationship will struggle. Although I have heard of Christians and Atheists making their marriages work, I don’t know that would work for me.
My boyfriend and I share similar philosophical and religious sensibilities (mostly just trying to figure shit out). We share a common view of what is acceptable human behaviour and what is not. If there is a place where things get blurry, we are happy to discuss the alternatives together.
Sexual chemistry is the fourth pillar. In my short dating career I met men who were right in the other areas but I didn’t want to jump their bones. Physical attraction cannot be prescribed by height, weight, age or ethnicity. It is an elusive certain something that only shows up when you meet in person.
My boyfriend is sexy, even way past the time when experts say the honeymoon glow should be fading. I could go on and on …
This also relates to your level of sex drive. If your boyfriend is insatiable and you’re a once a month girl, things might not work out. And the reverse is also true. If he keeps knocking you back because he’s too tired, there will be trouble. Choose a man who wants you as as much and as often as you want him.
Some of you have asked how to find a man on internet dating sites. My advice is to address all the four pillars of a relationship in your profile. How smart does he need to be, what kind of emotional involvement do you want, what are your spiritual beliefs and how important is physical intimacy to you?
The fifth pillar
Because my boyfriend can’t help but add his input to every advice model I come up with, there’s his fifth pillar — humour. If you don’t find the same things funny and you don’t find each other funny then you need to move on. Life is too short and relationships too complex to not have any laughter in your world.
And in this instance, it appears my boyfriend might be right.
How does your relationship measure up to this model? Did you get it right the first time or are you in a second relationship?
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