Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Stages of love & relationship 2, Why problems happen in your relationship? (Euphoria Dec'09)

Beginnings are said to be invigorating, filled with undefeated wills, invincible determinations and endless unexplainable joys. Then doubts arise, questioning those wills and determinations, and shattering joys into million pieces until they lose configuration. But with a little more faith and assurance, we go back to invigorations and love finds its proper way back.
So, currently you're going on exclusively steady, with no more supplementary dates because you don't need to see other options. Now you're sure you've met the one. Yet, as smooth as you wished things would continue to go, problems blossomed out of nowhere. You are confused. Did I choose wrong? Did my partner change? Have I changed? Why are we suddenly having all those problems?!
You know how people say time is capable of solving the mother of mysteries. And how mysteries signify all that is dark, can't be clearly spotted and hard to interpret?
Time is where you as a couple stand, right in the middle of commitment. And the mysteries that are being disclosed are both the human nature of you and your partner.
What happens is as you move deeply further into the relationship, both of you start to open up, talk and act completely free. There are no restrictions, no topic off the table, you no longer only share the good sides rather you share everything. Thus, problems arise as you discover each other's essences, morals and viewpoints. So, the fact that two different people are merging together alone is enough for anyone to have momentary clashes.
Other things that can cause problems between the two of you have much to do with the way you treat and get treated by your partner. Take a look…
1. Trying to change each other
The biggest mistake anyone can do is to not accept their partners the way they are. Because change cannot be enforced on people, they've to have that fire for change in them, or else it'll create constant dissatisfaction and accordingly disappointment arrives on your side as well as a firm sense of unworthiness your partner will easily detect from you. If, after you've discovered each other, you can't cope with his/her flaws, just let them be. Don't play the preacher's role and torment each other any longer.
2. Trying to control each other
While brainstorming for this point, I was astonished by how undecided I was when trying to answer who is more of a control freak, men or women? And after going through some of the problems couples sent me, I realized that it's a tie!
Women, whilst being the nurturing mothers they are, overlook the fact that men aren't their children. They can't keep on guiding them, correcting their every breath and monitoring their behavior. Men, on the other side, tend to treat women like their own private property which they've to protect and keep an eye on at all times. Both leading to the same outcome, no personal space, no room for error, no chance to be free again, thus the relationship is no use.
3. Lack of apologizing
With the male ego standing in the way, I can't even begin to tell you how many women suffer from men who can't find it in them to admit they're just wrong. The symptoms for such problem may appear with the woman feeling underappreciated, unworthy, a second-degree being and weak to the core that she has to show apologetic gestures even when it's no fault of her own. Try to picture how destructive and vulnerable a woman may feel when her own man is too arrogant, stubborn and full of himself that he can't show his remorse for anything and you'll see how this alone is enough for a relationship to end.
4. Lack of empathy
To tell you the truth, empathy takes hard concentration to happen as it's against our raw nature. Empathy, in simple terms, is to put yourself in your partner's shoes most of the time. To try to feel his pain, wellness, boredom, interest, confusion, panic, every single feeling he/she expresses on you but from their perspective and point of view. Empathy is the complete opposite of selfishness, to be able to lift the focus off yourself for a while and feel for your soul mate. To try to understand where he/she is coming from will make a hell of a difference in your relationship. Because you'll be dealing with someone who can listen, appreciate, empathize and comfort you.
5. Stubbornness
Trying to have a relationship with someone who always puts your word, action and reaction against his/hers is without a doubt harshly difficult. Trying to communicate with someone spoiled, used to having his/her needs met first thing is impossible. Trying to reach a middle ground with someone who has no other grounds but the one standing on is unreachable. And what's truly defining inflexibility is being unable to tell the difference when negotiating with a man and when talking things through with a woman. At that point the man will run away once he feels he can't win and added to that emasculated. While a woman will try to make it work once, twice and even thrice but when the pushed over puppet feeling sinks in, chances are she'll too walk away.
6. Blames
If you'd ask anyone, what's the one thing annoying about your parents? They'll automatically reply, the constant blaming. No one and I mean not even toddlers like dealing with the whys and the how could you. It's like being with the anti-sinner. We all make mistakes, some of them big that requires ear pulling and some of them are just not worth it. When he calls an hour late, big deal; when she arrives half an hour late, it's what girls do. Stop it with the constant blaming so you don't lose both your credibility and your partner.
7. Expectations
You can easily tell where relationships end by pointing out when expectations begin. Yet, the truth remains that we all have expectations on how to be loved, gestured, surprised and even comforted. But there's also such a thing as loving what you get from your partner that is self-fulfilling and satisfying. Parents- children relationships are ruined forever because of expectations. People walk through life thinking they're not good enough because of expectations. Lovers believe they don't give enough because of expectations. I can't tell you to stop expecting, but I can tell you to ask instead of assume, to see your partner through your eyes and not your heart and to love and appreciate what he/she has to offer and be.
8. Pretending
Why do people pretend to be something they're not?
a. Because they aspire to be someone else but can't afford to do that right now.
b. Because they want to be a part of a world they're fascinated by but isn't for them and they don't realize that yet
c. Because they want to escape a reality they can't change
Why do people pretend to feel something they don't?
a. Because they don't want to go through the hassles of working out their original feeling. (It's easier this way)
b. Because they're opportunists
c. Because they need extra attention.
Either ways, those people will never be trustworthy or reliable partners.
9. Money Talks
I swear I've never seen a couple with messy finances happy. I've never seen a husband happy with a money-nagging wife. And I've never seen a wife happy with a husband who is cheap. That's why I always say keep money miles away from pleasure or if you have to, keep it organized and lucid. There's nothing wrong with signing papers, committing to paying a certain amount of money even when it's less that you can give and nothing is definitely wrong with being honest about your current financial status. Trust me, it'll save you hours of fighting and preserve your image as a providing man and a humble wife.
10. Shadiness
According to John Gray, men when angry, confused or panicking, tend to hide in their caves. Leaving the world behind, especially a confused partner who, according to where they stand in the relationship, might assume he's not that into her, he's no longer interested, he fell out of love with her or the most common assumption he's cheating. Acting shady more than once will definitely place your relationship in jeopardy. Starting with a partner who is tired from trying to please you or get your attention back to the foremost mentioned scenarios. Be as opened as you can be, tell her you need space and hopefully she'll understand. Tell her that you need to figure things out regarding something other than your relationship and she'll be relieved and let you be. Just start communicating instead of evaporating…

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sadness is not the opposite of Happiness!

Terrified of my man's reckless driving, I searched my Louis Vuitton bag for a stronger distraction. My fingers crippled through tens of lip glosses, two large perfume bottles, an i-pod I desperately need to get fixed and lying under my much heavy make-up bag was a book I took along in an attempt to save it from the dusty shelves of my petite library. The Zahir by Paulo Coelho. I remember rushing into Diwan's Zamalek looking for an inspiration to snitch me out of my writer's rut, when I was puzzled by the title and the fact that I related to it the moment I read;
"I'm not running away from important things, give me an example of something important."
and she replied "Writing a book."
And I remember making a firm promise to myself to finish reading this book in two weeks. A year and a half later, I find the bookmark marking page 21 where the above mentioned conversation was stated. So, I decide to make a new patch, to finish reading the Zahir before 31.12.09
As I go by reading page after page, struggling to keep my eyes strictly focused on words and off the road, I managed to get hooked and instead of bickering with my man, the one who's trying to get us killed, I found the concept of happiness quite argument-worthy.
When Esther approached her husband to announce her leaving to be a war correspondent, the argument of are you happy? popped to bring a seperate sever traffice to my mind.

I never questioned happiness, never actually tried to set a convincing definition for the state of happiness. Because to me happiness is momentary and I can't measure things up to something fleeing, let alone my life.
A child can be made happy with a brand new toy he's forevermore craved, but shortly lose interest and the happiness is gone.
Parents can be made happy with their child's impressive performance at school yet a second later worry about getting him into college.
A mother finds joy in watching her son play and move around but is terrified of his over-activity hurting him.
A wife making love to her husband, thinking it will take his mind off work burdens, to discover she only gave him countable minutes of pleasure.
A student can be made happy with college grades but still terrified of what future may hold.
More and more people experience happiness and try to sincerely hold on to it but somehow it manages to escape and be followed by worry, panic, boredom and fear. And they know it, that's why happiness is considered a life goal worthy of respect and quest. And that's why it's never found.
What I believe in is satisfaction. What I can talk about, what I can relate to and what I can stamp as real is satisfaction. Not because of its surreality rather its ability to be measured.
When someone is feeling down or depressed, the first thing he's advised withis to look for the bright side, the filled portion of the cup. The things you have accomplished and managed to get right and done. Are they telling him to be happy? No, they're pointing him to the direction of satisfaction. That feeling where everything else looks minor and unworthy. Where a person can measure and enumerate his life achievements. The only true scale anyone can look at and evalute his time, efforts and life choices.

I can understand when someone says, I'm not satisfied with where I am today, I'm not satisfied with the rate I'm working at to achieve my goals, I'm not satisfied with the goals I chose for my life, I'm not satisfied with my career, I'm not satisfied with my marriage and I'm not satisfied with the person I see in the mirror.
But, I can't understand when people say I'm not happy.
You're not happy because nothing around you is bringing you satisfaction or at least closer to it.
You're not happy because nothing amusing is going on around you.
You're not happy because you're disappointed with yourself and those around you.
You're not happy because you can't grasp what you aim
You're not happy because you aren't capable of enjoying the moment you're at.
You're not happy because you can't see the beauty of yourself, your life and your companions
You're not happy because happiness is momentary.
You're not happy, not because you're sad. Happiness can't be the opposite of sadness, you can't base your spirit status and mood on facial expressions.
You're not happy because you're not satisfied.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cold War; when two girls fight over a guy (CONVO magazine)

Do you think guys are the only ones who check girls out? Nope, girls do that to, not for the same reasons of course or I hope not but it’s in those glares girls’ exchange that hold the true meaning of rivalry. They can greet one another warmly while holding on to their despise, however it’s their willingness to change to get that something/someone they desperately desire that portrays how deep they’re willing to go. Competing with an actual predator is nothing less of a science, even though it’s fun to watch, it requires a long list of phases players have to pass successfully to proceed with a game where nothing is allowed to go wrong as the only way to the exit door is through a humiliating walk of shame!

Phase 1: Look for details to get the big pictureWhen a girl likes a guy, she’s sensitive to everything he says to her, to other girls and everything other girls do around him. For that, a girl is capable of seeing the simplest gestures suggesting that another one is falling for the same guy. Even though he might not be that interested, if there’s one thing you should know about girls, it’s that once they want someone, they; one; consider him private property, two; they’ll get him by whichever means and three; they’ll keep it a secret until it happens! Now it’s time for the game to start but it’s much of a silent game at this point since neither of them is willing to sacrifice her desire, then why open up a discussion that will surely force one to step back! Preferably, keep a low profile and hope for the best!

Phase 2: Keep your friends close; keep your enemies even closer.
It’s out of question that she needs to know her potential guy first, listen carefully when he brags about his ex-conquests; memorize his likes and dislikes to be his perfect match from heaven. But that other girl requires technique, for no girl is that stupid to worry about winning a guy over and fighting with another girl at the same time, that’s a distraction! She needs to have them all on the same side. So, they must be best friends, really tight best friends. She needs to know her inside out, know her strengths and most importantly her flaws which will help with kicking her out of the picture. Thus they spend day and night together lunching, shopping, jogging and the heart-heart sessions are vital for their bonding. That’s when they get to talk about everything including him! While sharing their thoughts about the new guy, she starts throwing in some funny comments about how he’s weird and all, erasing every possibility that she might be into him. After these missions have been successfully accomplished, the fierce part of the game’s about to start. Since the other girl no longer thinks of her new best friend as an opponent so she lay off, thinking it’s only a matter of time before he asks her out but it only takes one signal to get her feeling confused and left out. It goes something like this…
G1- the guy: "You’re always like that; remember that time in high school?"
G2 (:-o): "I didn’t know you two go a long way back!
G1 calmly: Oh, no it’s just a story he told me"
Done and done…

Phase 3: The weakest always survive!Now that she’s got the other girl doubtful again, she goes acting like an innocent dove sticking to her fake best friend like glue, narrating every single detail that’s happening with her life excluding him of course, misleading her with the "you know everything" bit to keep her in the dark. But she doesn’t want that girl to divert her from her goal; hence she goes for the female most decisive weapon; her weakness. Yes, in nature the strongest survive, but in girls’ norms it is the weakest who survive!
So, it must seem like unintended, something as simple as illness, something that’s not her fault! That way she’ll get the special attention she needs along with the phone calls where he checks on her but usually turns into an all-nighter and they’ll get a lot closer. Consequently, they’ll be acting all yummy and cute since they can’t seem to stop talking about each other but it won’t be too long before the now outsider picks up on that. Feeling betrayed she’ll try to win him back but it’s too late now, he’s already hocked. And before she gets to plan her battle, she’s surprised with her soon to be ex-best friend talking to her about something she never wished to hear…
G1 (;-D): Guess what? He finally asked me out
G2 (:-o): Finally, Congrats!
G1 ;-): Thanks, I new you’d be happy for me. Go shopping today? I’ve to look good for our first date.
G2 slyly: sure. (I’m thinking something ugly!)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Surviving the winter Blues (CONVO magazine- Nov'08)

Summer seems to hold a special place in everyone’s heart; people are just more cheerful and colorful during summer months. Everyone is more alive, even when killer hot, it’s as if repulsed by their own homes, everyone's in the streets, and the city never sleeps. People just never seem to get tired- like they know they’re torturing themselves but they like it!- they’d work like crazy all morning and still manage to enjoy a late night out with friends. Every year people come to realize that it’s over much too soon and before you know it people turn grey. I guess it’s a common belief now that winter is for work and summer is for fun that once it’s autumn people split into two types; some refuse to wear heavy clothes because by that they’ll be admitting that summer is over. While others passively accept the fact and go through with the whole hibernation process even though it’s not January yet!
The Syndrome
And as the days get shorter, the cold nights get longer, announcing winter’s arrival and breaking the spirits of many. You see people walking down the streets silently depressed, hiding under their clothes, rushing to get home before it rains. For winter abolishes the sense of accomplishment in many, they feel that the day is over even before it begins, it seems like there isn’t much time to do anything thus they end up doing nothing. It’s no wonder why lots of people hate winter! It’s because of the rarely seen sun that they feel down but they’re not alone in this. For "Winter Blues" is a milder form of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) that’s a well spread syndrome affecting millions of people each year, women are more pretentious of course since men seem to be almost unaffected by anything. Though it’s not the same for everyone in terms of severity as for some people it comes in a severe depression form requiring medical care, it affects almost everyone but in milder forms. I bet you’re familiar with the "It’s too cold excuse" where we blame it all on the weather like we don’t attend early classes because it’s too cold, we can’t get out of bed because it’s too cold, can’t think because it’s too cold, gain weight because it’s too cold to exercise. But it’s weird that it’s never too cold to eat chocolates, pastas and every fattening food there is thus combining that with the no exercising policy we’ll be small cute elephants roaming the streets of Cairo!
What I won’t be telling you?!
There are many ways recommended on which you can beat up the winter blues but they’re all themed "re-live summer through winter" and I hate that! Sufferers are told to soak up as much sun as possible, listen to cheerful music, try outdoor activities, etc… It’s as if trying to teach affected people how to forget it’s winter. I don’t think that’s a solution, putting aside that I favor winter, change is the only constant thing in our lives; how on earth can we contradict that?! I understand that it’s difficult to move out of any comfort zone and that if possible we’d stay there forever. But when you accept change there’ll be a tiny possibility that you might like it, even if you didn’t summer is always around the corner which you’ll get to appreciate more now that you’ve lived through winter.
So how to enjoy winter as winter?!
Simply by accepting winter as it is because believe it or not winter has its good shinny side! You can start by picturing winter as a ladder through which you can reach whichever goal you’ve been trying to aim like loosing weight, you don’t have to wait for spring to shed the extra pounds, enjoy the fact that in winter one gets to wear coats that pretty much covers everything so get it over with before it’s summer again and if it’s still "too cold" to leave home you might as well work out there. Winter is a calm, dormant season where you can overlook your life, rejuvenate, read books, attend training sessions, grow on spiritual levels, I mean since winter is seen as a working season, you might as well benefit from that! And you can always invite friends over for a nice movie, walk in the rain and enjoy a hot cup of coffee mixed with the morning cold breeze, there’s nothing like it to take your mind off troubles.
But don’t hate winter, it’s as beautiful as summer and like the summer’s burning sun, winter has its biting cold. Enjoy winter as it is because it might not be the same next year, for no winter last forever and no spring ever skips its turn.