One of my favorite comic strips growing up was "The Lockhorns." Not so much because it particularly funny (although it was), but because it seemed like a great model for how not to do love relationships.
It was not until recently when someone mentioned the phrase "lock horns or lock arms" did I realize what the title of the comic strip really meant. What occurred to me, besides the fact that I can be a little slow sometimes, is that in love relationships, we always have the choice to either lock horns or lock arms.
Let's take a quick look at how to lock horns, and then some tips for locking arms that you can take home and use.
How to Lock Horns
=>Turn your relationship into a competition and keep score.
=>Make being right the most important goal in any discussion.
=>Take the Sinatra approach: "I did it my way" - be inflexible.
=>Regularly bring up offenses of the past. Often and in detail.
=>Always fight for the absolute correctness of your perception of things and never make room for your partner's perception.
=>put your self first - make sure your needs always get met, at whatever cost.
How to Lock Arms
Learning to lock arms involves making a commitment to choosing one person and making it work. A fairly radical notion in our divorce prone culture.
=>Create a relationship vision. Most couples spend more time planning a two week vacation than they do considering how they would like their relationship to be. Which leads to the question................
=>If we could design this relationship any way we wanted it to be, and we knew we couldn't fail, how would we like it to be?
=>Design a relationship that is a "safe-place." Not just safe from physical or emotional abuse, although of course that is crucial. What I mean is create an environment where it is safe to be your self, feel and think what you feel and think, with room to grow as a person.
=>Make an ongoing, lifetime commitment to do two things:
1)As much as humanly possible, understand a totally different gender than your own. Not better or worse, just radically different. And,
2)Completely understanding one other person. Part of locking arms is the commitment to work at totally understanding one other person in life. Not always an easy thing to do, but consider how good it could feel to be completely understood by someone.
=>Remember that relationship conflict is inevitable. Fighting is optional. It is always a choice.
=>Learn to look at the world through the eyes of your partner. You don't have to agree with how they see things, or even understand it completely. You do need to be able to see through their eyes.
=>Form a partnership that uses each of your own unique skills to the fullest.
The other thing I remember about "The Lockhorns" comic strip was that neither one of them appeared to be very happy with the arrangement. Maybe I'll start a comic strip called "The Lockarms." In the meantime, carry with you the simple reminder "lock horns or lock arms", and see how conflict will go down and your relationship will improve.
Leading relationship expert Jeff Herring is a Relationship Coach, Speaker, and Nationally Syndicated Relationship columnist.
You can read more practical tips, common sense relationship advice and occasional humor at his website SecretsofGreatRelationships.com
Searching for the perfect mate can be one of life's... Read More
We've all heard the stories. The princess finds her prince... Read More
"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to... Read More
The swinging lifestyle does not discriminate against race, body type,... Read More
Looks like everyone wants to sue someone right? Well, I... Read More
One thing that women in abusive relationships and their family... Read More
It is hard to express all the emotions to somebody... Read More
Your Beloved Soldier Is Coming Home ? Now What?Laura anxiously... Read More
A lot of people have the wrong kind of love... Read More
If you don't have the time, money or energy to... Read More
Watching television's "sitcom's", I can't help but notice that most... Read More
Families are made up of individuals; men, women, and children.... Read More
This is an amazing story. It's about my friend Robert.... Read More
You are never too old and it is never too... Read More
Why is it that even though I am not positive... Read More
1. Sleepless nights are part of a victims' experience... Read More
Somewhere between the first kiss and growing old together, many... Read More
Do you want to put to rest the people and... Read More
I believe that we have all heard of the standard... Read More
Songs have been saying it for generations together. Ask anyone... Read More
You are hurt, you are angry, you are simply devastated.Things... Read More
Losing the spark - simply, if you will, falling out... Read More
Long distance relationships are dreadful. I know this because I'm... Read More
Most think that relationships exist to make them happy. When... Read More
Okay, who are we kidding. Long-distance relationships are not supposed... Read More
America has a reluctance to accept relationships between people of... Read More
Most of us who have been intimately involved with someone... Read More
What would I do without my wife? Not much. What... Read More
Accomplished women are losers in romance claims NY Times columnist... Read More
We don't like to say it and we don't always... Read More
What is supposed to be the most romantic day of... Read More
Many of us have some very definite ideas about anger.... Read More
"Know Thyself" PlatoIsn't it curious how just about everything in... Read More
How to cope with your abuser?Sometimes it looks hopeless. Abusers... Read More
In the Asian online dating world it is not uncommon... Read More
There are seven stages in a romantic relationship: avoidance, meeting,... Read More
A bond (relationship wise) is when two people have a... Read More
You hate it, but it's happened ? the love of... Read More
Does the thought of writing a love letter or poem... Read More
I say "Loneliness. Isolation. Invisibility."You ask "Eleanor Rigby?" I say... Read More
"To love, honour and cherish", easy words to say during... Read More
There are several things you can do, especially when your... Read More
Q: My wife and I have a good marriage that... Read More
I guess my soulmate wasn't all he was cracked up... Read More
Have you noticed how so many people spend their lives... Read More
It seems as if creating successful relationships with our significant... Read More
Why He May Be Cheating On YouThere could be all... Read More
Breakups can be painful and difficult on so many difficult... Read More
The other day, I was home with my sweet love... Read More
Think back to when you were a child. Pick a... Read More