The  lovers smile and embrace, the dog runs to them eagerly and they all turn and watch the sunset, ‘and they lived happily ever after.’

Yea, whatever.

The problem with every movie is that the movie ends where love begins. Even the movies like “Hall Pass,” or “The Change-Up,” or any of those movies when the married couple finds things are not going well, the movie still ends as if everything was finally resolved and they will live happily ever after.

I have no problem with these movies, and in fact, much to my wife’s chagrin, watch them every time they come on. But they do present an unrealistic perspective, which is the mistaken notion that finding love guarantees eternal bliss (Ben-Shahar, 121). Partners tend to neglect the journey, the day-to-day issues, activities and events that shape the relationship. Ben-Sharar makes a great point, would anyone seriously entertain the notion that once he found his dream job,he would no longer need to work hard? (Ben-Sharar, 121)

The problem with most intimate relationships is the couples become too familiar. Think about how often you have told your partner the same story or the same information, not just twice, but for the 20th or 30th time, like they’ve never heard it before. However, just when I think I know my mate completely, a situation or issue will arise and she will surprise me – and sometimes I, her. Ah, now there’s the spice of life – finding out something new about your partner.

Whether you believe that there is one soul mate for you, or that there are many potential partners, once you get together you still must cultivate that relationship and continue to get to know the other person. Being too familiar with each other actually leads to decreased physical, mental and emotional excitement, truly getting to know each other can lead to higher levels of intimacy, better sex and even higher levels of intellectual stimulation and emotional fulfillment.

When you talk to people about where they experience the most pain in their lives, it is in their intimate relationships. Which is likely why people spend so much time at work. At least their, they have some ability to control what’s going on around them, but at home, control is a four-letter word – influence at best, maybe! And then the rules change again!

But, when both partners are experiencing the ultimate currency, happiness, in a relationship, they not only are enjoying that relationship but are experiencing the side benefits of improving other aspects of their lives, such as better physical health and higher levels of work productivity and satisfaction and more fulfillment in all aspects of their lives.

Ben-Sharar says that in a relationship the real, hard work begins after we fall in love. “In the context of a relationship, the hard work is about cultivating intimacy. We cultivate intimacy by knowing and being known.” “We can then deepen our intimacy by acting on our knowledge of one another and engaging in activities that are meaningful and pleasurable to ourselves and to our partner. Eventually we build a foundation that can weather the inevitable storms and provides fertile ground for love, and happiness, to blossom,” (Ben-Sharar, 121).

Ref: Ben-Shahar, T. Happier, learn the secrets to daily joy and lasting fulfillment. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, 2007. Print.

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