You’re the Problem: Dan Savage Shares 4 Hard Truths About LoveLifestyle The List
Springtime, flowers blooming, weddings and proms in the works – romance is everywhere! So we spoke with popular relationship columnist Dan Savage who shared a few tips on making love work.
1. You’re the Problem
First up, Dan says that you are the problem! “I’m sometimes shocked by how un-self-critical people can see,” admits Dan. “People can't see the problem is them! You are the problem! For example, Dan recently received a letter from a woman who was not invited to a destination wedding of one of her husband's family members, because the family member thought she would be disruptive…but she decided to go anyway. “She got drunk, staged a scene, punched her husband in the face…And she wanted me to side with her in this dispute,” Dan adds. “I said, no, no, this family is 100% right. You're the problem.” He says to remember that you are the common denominator in all your relationships. “If all your relationships are crazy and dramatic and chaotic, maybe it's you!” Sounds about right to us.
2. Identify the Price of Admission
Next up – identify the price of admission. “The price of admission you're willing to pay to be with that person,” Dan clarifies. And once you agree to that price, let it go and don't complain down the line. “Accepting the things you can't change. The things you can live with. My husband's a little bit of a slob – I pick up after him. That's the price of admission I pay to be with him,” Dan shares. He also says you need to be aware of your non-negotiables, so don't agree to terms you're uncomfortable with.
3. “Joy” At It
And finally, we often hear people say you have to "work "at a relationship, but Dan says it's more important to "joy" at it! “Maybe you need to work at it not so hard. There's a growing body of research that couples that have the most satisfaction are couples that don't spend every moment together,” Dan reveals. He recommends couples vacation separately from time to time, and have their own groups of friends. “This whole idea that your spouse has to be your best friend, your closest confidante…heaping all those roles on to one person's shoulders puts too much weight on the relationship. You need other people in your life,” he adds.
4. Keep the Spark Alive
Intimacy is also crucial in a relationship. If you need some tips to keep the flame burning in the bedroom, read on for Dan’s “Three Gs” of love.
Good: For many people, love-making is an important part of a relationship. So Dan’s first G refers to how good things are in the bedroom! “You have to acquire some skills,” he insists. “A human being is a lot more complicated than a violin, and no one expects to pick up a violin the first time and play it perfectly.”
Giving: The second “G” stands for giving…as in giving pleasure. “Sometimes you give pleasure without expectation of immediate return,” explains Dan. “Reciprocity is a rolling concept. It doesn't have to be right away.”
Game: And what about Dan’s third G? That stands for game – as in be game for anything…within reason! As they say, variety is the spice of life, so be open to being playful and trying new things. Be open-minded, but don’t do anything you’re totally uncomfortable with, or feel is out of the question.
What's the biggest lesson you've learned in love? Tell us in the comments below!