Is love the sole core of a happy relationships?

For centuries, stories and myths about love mesmerized young girls and women in their quest for their beloved mate. Songs like “Love makes the world go around” “All it takes is love” and “Love conquers all” guides many young females in their quest of finding the “right” man to love and be loved by. Today, the search for the “beloved” has been expanded to include a lot more than the “spell of being loved”. Many additional traits are sought by single women. How did this change occur and what are the new “norms” for the ideal mate?

Perhaps the answer to the change in courtship patterns is based on three major factors, as suggested by John Marshall Townsend in his book, “What Women Want-What Men Want: Why the Sexes Still See Love and Commitment So Differently.” The author attributes it: “1. The change in society’s views about gender roles, in which women are now being considered as top applicants by the merit of their training, knowledge and experience – rather than by their gender. 2. The inclusion of men in childcare and child-rearing. 3. The acceptance of women’s role in sex initiation, that had previously been solely relegated to men.”

The changes in societal roles, educational opportunities and aptitude of women in the job market, have significantly advanced in the last thirty years, perhaps to the degree of eliminating the gender bias in many fields. It may not have altered some individuals ongoing biases that women are inept in undertaking most jobs that men have traditionally held. Yet, the progress has been rapid and most high-level job searches abstain from stating gender preferences.

Have all these advancements both in gender equality and documented competence of women in many fields, made women more officious and men more effeminized? I do not believe so. In my practice, I have noticed that couples who are both employed and are participating parents, have wisely organized their lives to excel in both of these roles to the great benefit of their children and their employers. Children who see their parents cooperating and sharing tasks at home while also being employed outside the home are vastly enriched in being able to foresee themselves being successful in both areas.

Love is the motivator for greater connection and fun for all couples. When pairs add shared tasks at home as they are also employed outside the home, children learn that achieving all these tasks is doable and greatly enriches everyone in the family.

Enrich your love:

  • Understand that your children will imitate your conduct when they are adults.
  • Validate your mate for all he/she accomplishes within the home and at work.
  • Create a happy home for your children as you model affection, respect and admiration for each other and for them.
  • Abstain from exhibiting exhaustion or draining fatigue, whining or complaining about your burdensome life. Children may be alarmed or feel responsible for your unhappiness.

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About Author

Offra Gerstein, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in clinical practice in Santa Cruz, California for over 25 years, and specializes in relationship issues for couples and individuals for improved quality of life.

Her work includes: mate selection, marriage, long term relationships, gay and lesbian couples, work relationships, parenting issues, family interactions, friendships, and conflict resolutions.

Offra has lectured extensively to various groups, conducted support groups for several organizations, and has been writing a weekly column “Relationship Matters” for the Santa Cruz Sentinel since 2001.

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