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Love & Learn


Four foundations of sustaining a happy, fulfilling marriage

Oriane Lee Johnston
Feb 13th, 2013

Photo credit: Life as a Human

Young friends of mine were about to be married. The groom-to-be, Kyoshi, had been buddies with my own son since early childhood; he’d brought his fiancée, Christie, home to Cortes Island to meet close family friends before the wedding. This thoughtful and savvy young woman won our hearts around the dinner table, asking, “What advice do you have for two people beginning married life together?”

What a provocative question! How often is our wisdom invited to dinner? Christie’s question caught hold of me. Having recently uncoupled, I decided to do some more research on the subject, an informal survey of women beyond the dinner table. In all honesty, I wanted to see how my former partner had or had not measured up. The survey question that formed was this: What are the qualities of your husband that have sustained your marriage over the long term?

Singles vs. couples: who is really happier on Valentine's Day?

Jessica Kalbfleisch
Feb 6th, 2013

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and it is becoming more difficult to ignore titles from magazines, blogs, and web sites, that spit out phrases along the lines of "How To Be Single and Happy on Valentine's" or "Being Single on Valentine's Day: a Survival Guide."

The metaphorical signs are everywhere, drawing attention to the stereotype that on Valentine's Day, singles wallow in self pity while glaring at happy couples that surround them.

You may not believe this, but we are single, and OKAY

A Mother’s Day tribute to moms everywhere

Shan Goh
May 6th, 2011

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

This Mother’s Day, I write about love.

I write about a sort of love that is often felt more than it is spoken, the type that exists simply as wind beneath our wings, helping us fly higher. It exists in the simple things – the breakfast on the table, the laundry washed and folded on the bed, the listening ear when we need it most.

This Mother’s Day, I say start noticing these little things if you haven’t already. It is in these that you will find the most precious moments you’ve had with your mom.

I’ve learnt that myself, after venturing to Canada four years ago to further my studies. Some things just become clearer to you when you move away from home. In my most dire moments of helplessness, when I had dilemmas that I just couldn’t solve, the person I turn to would always be my mom.

The dangers of "keeping it vague"

Shan Goh
Mar 13th, 2011

If you're intentionally keeping your relationship "vague", it's time to rethink.

There are two reasons why people choose to keep their relationships "vague".

In the first instance, that decision is made to benefit the self. Keeping things vague is a way to keep as many doors open as possible, so that when one door closes, there will always be others that are open and welcoming. It makes us feel better that we have a safety net to fall into, and more interested parties to give us that stroke of our ego when things get rough with our partners. Life is a gamble – you put your chips down for one bet but there is always a risk that the one you set your sights on will fall through; so you keep your eyes open for other opportunities. That’s why you choose to keep it vague, because certainty may burn bridges.

Commitment is contentment

Shan Goh
Mar 7th, 2011

Commitment is a natural by-product of contentment. It's in the mind, not in material.

Commitment is a word with so many different dimensions. I think people spend too much time asking to have it, and not enough time thinking about what it actually entails.

I was speaking to a friend recently about this topic and he said it was hogwash that men are perceived to be the gender with more commitment issues. Such things relate to everyone, men AND women. Because the root of such commitment issues is tied in with a state of mind that relates to all human beings: contentment.

I thought about male friends I’ve known who were players before but had settled down with a single woman and are still with them, come hail or high water. I remembered meeting others who say they have problems committing but are constantly on the lookout for that one person who’ll fit them to perfection. It’s true – contentment is the root to commitment. If one is not contented with the one he (or she, it applies to both genders) is seeing, then he will not commit. And because contentment is a goal that so many seek and will not settle for, commitment does not come easy.

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