A Catchy Tune and Musings on Keeping Relationships Fresh

pina colada pix

Too many guys have dating profiles that are predictable, uninspired, and sometimes just blank. So it’s always a pleasure when a guy’s profile is a little bit different and even better when it slyly reveals something and/or gets you thinking about relationships.

Join me in a delightful Caribbean black bean dish that I made the other night while we discuss.

Mr. K’s profile on Plenty of Fish referred to the piña colada song.

pina colada pix 2

At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of his opener. It had been awhile since I’d heard that song. A quick trip to YouTube pulled up Rupert Holmes singing Escape, which is the name of “the piña colada song.” Watch the performance or read the lyrics to get the most out of this post.

You’ll find that Escape is about a couple that is a little bit tired of each other. Thanks to the personals column (remember those), they rediscover each other and learn they like some of the same things – including piña coladas and getting caught in the rain.

I imagined that Mr. K appreciated the nuances of the lyrics – that you don’t know everything about your partner and if things start to get stale you need to find a way to discover hidden shared passions that might restore the passion in your relationship.

Of course Mr. K may have simply liked the song’s melody and needed an opening line for his profile.

I often think about the unknown aspects of a partner’s thoughts and personality, whether I’m reminiscing about the end of my marriage or the relationships that came after. I recall several “aha” moments when verbal or body language clues showed me what was really going on in a partner’s head.

I’m okay with the realization that you cannot know absolutely everything about someone nor can they know all about you. With a bit of luck, you’ll know the most important things and you will feel secure in a partner’s love.

Related to the issue of knowing your partner (as much as possible) and feeling love and security is finding a way to keep things fresh. As the Escape lyrics say, long-term relationships can start to feel “Like a worn-out recording of a favorite song.”

The challenge to maintaining desire in a committed relationship, according to couples therapist and relationship expert Esther Perel, is reconciling security, predictability, safety, and permanence with the human need for mystery, adventure, novelty and the unknown.

Which brings us back to the personals ad scenario in the piña colada song. In lieu of placing an ad or signing up for a dating site, you might need to have an adventure with your partner or simply observe this person in his or her element.

As Perel says, “Because sometimes, as Proust says, mystery is not about traveling to new places, but it’s about looking with new eyes. And so, when I see my partner on his own or her own, doing something in which they are enveloped, I look at this person and I momentarily get a shift in perception, and I stay open to the mysteries that are living right next to me.”

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

Resources:

Desire in Long Term Relationships

Esther Perel

Unlocking Erotic Intelligence

Fresh Eyes, Andy Grammer

Relationships and Real Estate: A 7-part Comparison

smaller pix of home for blog-40700_640

One of my favorite things is comparing two seemingly different things – an object, for example, with a human experience such as love, a relationship, marriage and divorce. When I think about these comparisons, I often gain insights into the human condition – or at least have a good laugh. With this in mind, let’s consider whether buying a house is a good comparison for a relationship (unmarried or married). And while we’re taxing our brains in this way, let’s have some eggplant frittata.

Comparison Points 

(1) Love at First Sight

Have you ever been house shopping and experienced a love at first sight phenomenon? You walk in the front door and are immediately captivated with the space in front of you. It doesn’t matter if what you see first is an entryway or the rear deck; you just know this is THE ONE.

Similarly, seeing that new guy the first time (frontal or rear view) can invoke warm feelings of attraction (and lust) and the thought that this may be THE ONE.

Will love at first sight of house or hunk hold up? See points 2, 3, and 4.

(2) Getting to Know the Person or Home of Interest

So you think this may be the one (house or person). Don’t go too far, however, without seeing him or it in different situations and at different times of day.

You need to know if there are motorcycle gangs or drug runners going up and down the street OR if the person of interest (POI) turns into Mr. Jekyll at night (over-imbibing at the bar) or sleeps until the afternoon (a sign of circadian incompatibility).

(3) The Offer

After determining that the person or house of interest is a reasonable fit for a future residence or relationship, one can suggest an offer of purchase (house) or exclusivity (relationship).

(4) Negotiation

The seller or POI does not always meet the offer with unbridled enthusiasm. There may be a period of negotiation. The seller may ask for more money. The POI may ask for more time to decide about the offer or for certain concessions in the relationship such as a delay in starting a family, a vacation to the Super Bowl instead of the French Riviera, or a cancellation of the series of couples dancing lessons you recently purchased.

(5) The Inspection

No house should be purchased without a professional inspection. Similarly, friends and family members of the couple must inspect the relationship. In the case of a house, repairs are often suggested and bargaining may ensue. A basement may need to be waterproofed or a roof repaired.

Regarding the relationship, a family member may suggest that the POI should get a better job. A friend may suggest the POI’s clothes need to be laundered, given to the Salvation Army, or burned along with his decades old sneakers. The possibilities are endless.

(6) Closing

If you have survived all of the various stages – love at first sight, the offer, negotiation and inspection, you may proceed to closing. This means either signing away your life for a monthly mortgage payment OR securing a piece of paper that says you are married, or simply moving in with your guy.

(7) Extended Warranty 

During closing, you may purchase an extended warranty for your home to help defray the costs of future repairs. The arguable equivalent for a relationship or marriage is the couple’s efforts to make their union work. This “extended warranty” is often referred to as “working on your relationship or marriage” to help ensure its longevity.

(8) Refinancing

After a period of time, interest rates may drop and you may decide to refinance your mortgage. Refinancing is seen as evidence of a commitment to live in your home for the foreseeable future (or at least a few more years).

For the relationship, a couple may recommit to their relationship during a special vacation and/or time alone. A married couple may renew their vows. “Relationship refinancing” can also occur after a falling out and trial separation.

Insights

So are there lessons learned from this exercise in comparisons? Can we now understand relationships better? Or have we just pontificated in an effort to create a metaphor for love?

There are clearly equivalent steps to purchasing a home and finding, developing, and committing to a person of interest. And it’s fun to think that you can refinance a relationship.

The bottom line is that a good relationship IS a home for your heart. And if you’re lucky, you’ll be making those mortgage payments forever.

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Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia