relationship advice with Renzie Baluyut.
A friend and I were having coffee the other night, and she was opening up the fact that, while her relationship with her current boyfriend is generally alright, they usually end up quarreling. This usually happens when she has to go out of town, attend to some clients, or work on a photo shoot.
Now, as far as relationships go, I think I have a fairly good idea of what works and what doesn’t. While I am enjoying a very happy eight-year love affair with my girlfriend/fiancee, my current view on relationships has been shaped by a number of ex-girlfriends, numerous dates both successful and disastrous, as well as stories from other friends.
So here’s what I think: if there’s anything you, as a couple, shouldn’t be fighting about, it would have to be these three things:
3. and Money
Let’s get into all three in greater detail, shall we?
1. Work. First of all, work is what puts the proverbial food on the table. Unless you have a ridiculous trust fund going on, you (and your partner) will (both) need some form of gainful employment.
Work allows you access to cash, which then allows you to settle your obligations, take care of all your personal and conjugal needs, as well as enjoy doing things together as a couple- hobbies, travel, nights out, etc.
So when your partner has to put in some extra work, or do something that would advance his/her career, or jump at an opportunity to be better at his/her craft, be supportive.
Remember that your partner’s success is your success as well, and that it is ultimately for the good of your relationship.
2. Friends. In a relationship, there is a tendency for the couple to exist solely in a world populated by just the two of them, thereby excluding pretty much everyone else- family, friends and colleagues.
Friends are your allies for life, and represent the people who tie you to your past, and provides a valuable support system for any and all future endeavors.
If your partner maintains a good number of friends, then this can only be a good thing. As your partner draws strength from your relationship, so too does he/she draw strength from other friendships and associations. A good network of allies is of great benefit to you and your partner’s careers and personal lives.
So when your partner has to meet up with his/her friends (old high school pals, old college buddies, business partners, etc.), again, be supportive. Instead of getting all mopey and jealous, take time to get to know your partner’s friends. Your involvement in this important part of his/her life can only make your relationship better.
3. Money. A very sensitive subject for most partners. Even more so if one of you makes significantly more than the other, as it leads to insecurities and feelings of inadequacy.
Conflicts usually come up when there is a lot more spending than there is money coming in; bills just pile up and go unpaid, or perhaps a case of prolonged financial support, where one of you takes on the burden of taking on financial obligations, whether within, or outside of the relationship.
It’s probably easier said than done: money is only money- you can easily make more (or save more) if your collective will, as a couple, is strong enough.
Live within your means, come up with ways to make more money or save more money, and settle all those obligations, both to yourselves and to other people.
If you have money issues, face the problem head-on, as a couple. Support each other by empowering yourselves financially by being more productive, encourage smart spending habits, and enable yourselves to be better at managing money in general.
What do you think? Do you think this covers it all, or are there other things you believe couples should never fight about? Please, do share.