Everything you need to know about making a relationship work you learned in kindergarten. A lot has happened since you were five but I promise the foundation laid is solid enough to lean on.

Tell the truth-get honest with yourself. If you learn nothing else from loving and losing relationships get really honest about what you want, what you can deal with and what you really can’t stand. In spending time with different people we wish we could take tidbits from each and piece them all together-like a little potato head masterpiece.

I want an honest man, who’s honestly crazy about me…in all my imperfections. Who’s still crazy about me in 2 months, 2 years and how ever much further down the line we’re blessed to share. A man who gets it and matches my passion. I don’t mean crazy over the top romantic notions-just someone who smiles at me while he tries to figure out all the beautiful little quirks and gets excited about making me happy. The one who calls or texts me to share something he knows I’ll appreciate. I want someone delicious-to share things with. I say delicious because for me it’s the perfect word to embody him. Handsome enough to make me blush, warm and slightly gooey on the inside. Delicious because he’s a sweet spot for me and because it tastes good to smooch him.

Be honest and tell the truth-to yourself and to your person. Lies just never do anybody any good.

Be nice  Don’t go around pulling hair (or maybe do but only when you’re asked lol) Be as nice as you possibly can-to people who deserve your niceness. Then just be cordial if necessary because mean isn’t cute. Mean is just proof your not dealing with something and it’s really not my fault. And then there are people who are just bastards, and well nobody likes them. Be nice because it’s actually pretty simple. 

Share  You had to learn to share. You didn’t automatically know how or like it. Your things were yours and you protected them because they made you happy. Eventually you realized your playmate might be able to bring something to the table and their toys were kinda cool too. It takes some practice & there’s pride involved-there’s some revealing to do in baring what is yours and what you like without receiving judgment. You learned through show and tell. “This is my thing, it matters to me because….I brought it here to show you hoping you might see something similar or at least respect me enough not to make fun.” Isn’t it the same now? 

Sharing takes trust. You share your inner “stuff”, your outward things, your space and your time. Hopefully you find enjoyment in shared interests or learn to like some new ones. If you just don’t like sharing your things well then you might be out of luck because it’s part of the deal. Or maybe you can just find someone that doesn’t like your favorite cookies so you can keep them for yourself. Seriously though, share. Share what really pisses you off. Share what scares you. Share what you need help with. Show and tell is for grown ups too. 

Pay attention Probably the greatest lesson when learning to learn is that you have to focus to really get it. God knows there are many distractions…the kid picking his nose one row over, the little blond up front with her shiny pink leggings and the snack you can’t stop drooling about- the one your mom packed for you. You sit in your little desk and count down the minutes until lunch and recess. Meanwhile we all loved that hour because it satisfied our most primal instincts. Eat, breathe (fresh air) and play. And by play I mean chase after the boy or girl we liked on the playground. 

When you get in front of someone you want to learn about-you have to pay attention. Details matter, a LOT especially when you’re dealing with humans. We speak what we believe to be true based on our experiences and talk about the things we like and want. Our faces change, our bodies elicit a different energy.  We make wish and bucket lists because we might be too afraid or humble to ask for what we really want. We haven’t found a way to get them or there yet. We secretly hope someone awesome will find a way to help us make them happen. If I bring up sunflowers somewhere in a conversation it’s because they make me happy. They sell them at A & P for $6.99 and they’re really worth the investment. 

If you’re actually paying attention you learn a lot. When you show someone what you’ve come to know-it lasts. It gets really deep down under their skin. Just like everything you’ve learned, their happy things stay tucked back in some orifice of your brain. Sometimes as you progress in a relationship you’ll have to go back and dig them out to remind someone how much they matter, that you haven’t forgotten how to get to them- even if it was years ago since you first laid eyes on them in the lunch line.

Losing gracefully takes practice. Everybody wants the shiny trophy and bragging rights. We can’t win them all..over. Sometimes all you’re going to get is an A for effort. You give yourself a tiny gold star to maintain your pride. You’re only left with the satisfaction of knowing you put your best foot forward and took a leap of faith letting this person and maybe some of “their people” in. Losing doesn’t make you a loser, it means you were there and you tried. Maybe the conditions weren’t right, maybe somebody just wanted it more. Sometimes the loss is necessary to eventually make you see that maybe you’re not the one who actually lost out.

The basics aren’t hard.

You knew smart when you were five, I bet you’re even wiser now-all you need’s your who so you can practice how 😉

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