They say opposites attract, but can they last??? I guess that depends on whether they share enough core values and have a common vision of what life will be like together. We’ve all heard about realists falling for dreamers. It is quite common for extroverts to attract introverts. The one who sees the glass as half-empty is usually drawn to the one that sees the glass as half full. The city chick, who partied like a rockstar can fall for the low-key guy that loves the burbs. But, the million dollar question is will it work in the long-run?
If you can continue to respect each other’s differences, while making a commitment to always work on finding common ground, I think it can last. Rather than just winging it or waiting until the big wedding day to make certain promises, I’m in favor of an engagement contract. If we are talking about walking down that aisle, let’s seriously negotiate the rules of engagement going forward. Here would be my top 10:
1. Listen to each other’s concerns and try to provide positive feedback, realizing negative comments are not helpful;
2. Be compassionate and support one another;
3. Appreciate the efforts each has made towards building the relationship (you can never say thank you too much);
4. Be respectful of the other, refraining as much as possible from derogatory or sarcastic comments;
5. Continue to enjoy a monogamous, intimate relationship—striving for that perfect frequency that you can both enjoy– such as at least 2 times a week;
6. Promote a team spirit, relinquishing a solitary approach to life;
7. Continue building trust and demonstrate a willingness to make it all work out;
8. Never go to sleep mad, and always hug and kiss both in the morning and evening;
9. Check-in daily and maintain the positive established patterns;
10. Clear calendars, and don’t make a social commitment for the other without a discussion.
Remember, the goal is to enjoy each other’s company for the rest of your lives. Unfortunately, the engagement period can be stressful, and it is important not to lose sight of the big picture. We all want to live, love and laugh to fullest extent possible, but the journey ahead is always going to be full of challenges.
While perhaps the terms of your relationship may not be legally binding, having something to refer back to should be a source of comfort. These rules should ground you, and help you get back on track if you veer off course. Take the contract idea seriously– the choice in a life partner is one of the most important decisions that will define your life.
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.