Thursday, April 9, 2009

The 3 C's that make or break a relationship

I'm writing this entry tired as hell after a long day of work. I don't know if I am ever going to adjust to the fact that for the next 40 years of my life I won't feel the fresh air till 5:30 everyday, 5 days a week. I guess I'm lucky to have a job. I now have this new found appreciation for my parents, who not only had to work the 9-5, but also had to deal with raising kids, mortgages, helping with homework, and trying to maintain a marriage. But I digress.....

I want to start off by making it clear that I don't claim, and never will claim to be an expert on relationships. Please recognize that what I'm about to say in this blog is purely opinion, and I am going to try not to generalize or stereotype as best as I can. This is simply based on my own experiences in relationships, and stories and thoughts I've heard from friends and family.

I want to start off by putting to rest this cliche that trust is the most important aspect of a good relationship. I'm not saying trust isn't important. But the fact is, if trust is the number one issue in your relationship you shouldn't even be in one. I think the three biggest issues, which I will call the 3 C's(how original) are Communication, Commitment, and Compromise. All three of these intertwine together, but I will go over each one separately. I want to concentrate on how men and women approach each of these differently.

Communication plays a crucial role in every type of relationship, but especially in a romantic one. We all have heard the old adage, "men are from Mars, women are from Venus," and it couldn't be more true. Seriously, men and women will never understand each other, but in the relationships that last, the guy and girl at least learn to reach a middle ground. A lot of times women will expect the man to know what to do in a given situation, or for the guy to read their mind. It's like women get in their head an idea of what they want the guy to do, set the expectations, and inevitably the guy lets them down. This goes both ways though. Guys, especially me, tend to be absent minded when it comes to relationships. Women tend to plan more, to know what they want to do next, while men kind of fly by the seat of their pants. That's one of the reasons women are just better at relationships in my opinion. They are naturally better communicators and relationships are all founded on good communication.

One of the most widely overlooked aspects of a relationships is compromise. Some couples do not have this problem because they simply like the same things and are the same type of person. I've never actually experienced that, but I've heard it does exist. However, most of the time one person has to participate in an activity he/she doesn't want to do to make the other happy. This creates problems, especially for men, cause generally men want to their own thing. I feel like a lot of times men compromise for the wrong reasons. They do things because they don't want to get in trouble, while women do things to make the guy happy. Again, to all the ladies out there reading this, I'm sure your man does things for you just out of the kindness of his heart, but just know that it does happen. Compromise doesn't really come into play until later on in the relationship. I always say you don't truly know a girl/guy until 6 months in, when the honeymoon period is over and the true personality comes out. After that differences become more apparent and the compromise period starts.

Lastly, and maybe the biggest obstacle to a serious relationship, are the different ways men and women see commitment. For the most part women are more likely to want a committed relationship then men. Let's just say that when the word marriage comes up guys and girls for the most part have different reactions. For a guy, commitment can be a scary thing. We tend to think with our heads in a more realistic way, and women tend to think more with their hearts, in a more emotional way. Personally, I wish I thought more with my heart. I want to get married someday, but at this point in my life the idea of committing to a lifetime with another person is down right frightening. I have been in relationships with two amazing women but I always had commitment issues. I mean the divorce rate is at 50% and I'm surprised it isn't higher. Not only do you have to deal with the day to day communication and compromise issues of being in a romantic relationship, but the older you get the more extra responsibilities you get, and the less time you have to work on that relationship. Don't get me wrong, being in a serious relationship gave me some of the best moments of my life, but I just felt like I wasn't as committed as the other person.

To be honest, you really can't blame women for wanting to be in a serious relationship. When you think about all the times women get hit on on a daily basis, you realize that commitment isn't just about love, but about protection. I think that is one thing that is often overlooked, the feeling of being safe. I think guys take advantage of this. We try to push the envelope because we know that the women will always forgive us. It is a downright crappy thing to do to a person but it happens everyday.

I think one of the biggest reasons a relationship ends is because one person, usually the guy doesn't put in the necessary effort to maintain it. Relationships are work no doubt about it. In my personal experience, relationships have taken me to highs and lows I could never experience as a single guy. The key to making it work is that both people are on the same page and want the same thing. If that isn't the case it is doomed.

I apologize for the generalizations I may have made tonight but again these are just opinions and I would appreciate any feedback from the readers on what personal experiences they have encountered. While I enjoy the single life, I admire everyone who is in a committed relationship, because while it can be extremely hard sometimes, it is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. Thanks again for listening to me blabber and I hope to write again soon. Time for my nightly walk then resting up for the last day of the work week. Good night!


  1. I couldn't agree with you more, Karl. These are key components.
    You've also opened my eyes to a few things I hadn't considered previously.
    I feel the best parts of a relationship are figuring each other out and being able to share something real. They're out there, believe me!

  2. I agree Billy D. It is all about learning from experiences and mistakes made in the past and learning from them.