The holiday season is now well and truly underway, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. While many of us have holidayed nearer home these past few years, particularly as the affect of the long drawn out financial crisis bit ever deeper, now that things ‘seem’ to be recovering more of us than in the past 6 years are planning to go abroad.
Although I live in Turkey most of the year, I decided to escape that heat this year by travelling to Albania, from where I am writing this blog on a thankfully cool and breezy bank of Lake Prespa, high in the mountains. Albania may be a poor country but it is rich in colour and cultural interest with a mostly warm and friendly people. So I am enjoying it more than I expected, when I first landed in that blistering heat of Tirana airport, at the start of the week.
Photo by Serge Melki
But of course most people do go abroad, precisely for the higher temperatures, sun sea and sand, while for others it can be more about tasting the culture, the food and meeting people. Inevitably, when you put these things together, with the fact you are not rushing off to work every day, this new relaxed you may just push the door slightly (or kick it wide) open, so you can contemplate a new romance? If you have had a holiday romance before, you may remember that things didn’t always last too long beyond the flight home to cooler climes and your all consuming life. Or for some, particularly middle age women who get hooked on a delusion that they could somehow make it work, despite the waiter or boat trip guy being only half their age, disappointment is never far away because the boy is usually more motivated by their bank balance than their fading looks. I originally described this phenomena last year in Vomits and Mads.
And yet, there are still some romances that blossom and endure, despite the problems of distance or even the language. So how will you know that your romance is one of the few?
A writer friend of mine, now sadly passed away, once gave me a relationship alphabet that she would recommend to her friends, whenever they entered any new romance, not just a holiday romance. Her view was that as you get older, you have less and less time to invest in relationships that may ultimately flounder, so you must find the time to stand back after about 6 months and ask yourself a simple question: does this person match most of the requirements described in the letters of the alphabet and if not, are they ever likely to? The answer to which, can either motivate them to go on or simply cut your losses and run.
So I will reproduce the list, albeit a little abridged, which you can either read as a mild amusement or if you are serious about the new person in your life, you could even quietly test what you think you have against what you actually have in them.
Photo by The Q Speaks
Listed below in alphabetic order are some of the crucial words that should be essential ingredients to any sustainable, loving relationship. Of course there are many other words that could be included but a solid basis for success should be achievable with these words:
A. Acceptance There is little point in going any further with this test if you don’t accept each other as you are. Apologies are fundamental to any relationship and saying sorry, if you really mean it, is an act of love.
B. Belief Goes hand in hand with acceptance, if you don’t believe in your partner, why bother?
C. Communication If active talking is present in your relationship then your chances of success are good.
D. Devotion I did say some of these were obvious.
E. Effort If your partner sees that you are putting in the effort it is much more likely he or she will respond positively – but be careful: You both need to put in effort not just one of you.
F. Friendship If you can’t be friends then really what is the point? Forgiveness if you are unable to forgive, especially the small things, or say that you have forgiven some of the bigger things, only to drag them back up every time you have an argument then bitterness may follow.
G. Gracious If you know you are in error with something, admit it and be gracious about it.
H. Humour A sense of humour varies from person to person but if you are able to laugh at yourselves as well as each other then this can be a life saver.
I. Identity It is important that you both respect each others identity. If you have made it this far then surely you liked something about your partner’s identity in the first place. Don’t try to prevent them being themselves, it will only build resentment if you do.
J. Joy This word may not always be ever present even in the best relationships, as life can be difficult but it is far more likely to be exist if you can say yes to most of the other letters.
K. Knowing If you truly love someone take time to know them inside out.
L. Love If you are familiar with most of these words, then it is likely you possess love, the most important word of all! Laughter, laughing together is a great sign that you are comfortable together.
M. Mutual It is healthy if you and your partner have separate pursuits but to keep things balanced it is important to share mutual interests.
N. New No matter how long you are together there will always be new things to do or to discover.
O. Open Some will say that mystery and mystique can be a magical attraction and indeed this can be true. However, if you are a closed book then your partner will struggle to really Know you, so let them in.
P. Patience Love is patient. Once you have established that you love someone, this is one of the most important words in the love alphabet, be patient with each other.
Q. Quiet In a noisy world, quiet can be a rare commodity especially if you can be comfortable in each other’s quiet moments.
R. Respect You must respect the person you plan to share a relationship with before you even go there.
S. Sensitivity Can be the miraculous string that ties all the other words together. Being sensitive to your partners needs and desire will allow you to stay in tune.
T. Truth, Trust These words cannot easily be separated, as the first so often breeds the second.
U. Unity You will never agree on everything, that is healthy and normal but if you can stand united when it really matters most you will make a powerful team.
V. Versatile If your partner’s interest don’t fill you with the same enthusiasm at least learn to politely tolerate them.
W. Wow The Wow factor is an exclamation of admiration, amazement, even. Let them know you admire them and try to compliment your lover more often.
X. X = Kisses because there should be a lot of them in any good relationship.
Y. Yearning When you are away from your partner for any length of time you will find yourself missing them, wanting them, Yearning for them.
Z. Zeal, Zest Never lose the zeal and zest for each other as you continue the adventure of your life together.
As I am currently travelling – my next post will be in 2 weeks time.