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
Many of us have had a broken heart and hurt... Read More
Ahh, friends. The people we pick up along the proverbial... Read More
Liar, Liar! Pants On Fire!Today, you'll learn about 2 yellow-flag... Read More
We are here to help! With these helpful hints on... Read More
As we all know, there are many types of kiss.... Read More
How many time have you felt an instant attraction to... Read More
Have you noticed how so many people spend their lives... Read More
My sister is 45 and having an affair with an... Read More
Your best friend moves a thousand miles, your aunt retires... Read More
Being in love does not mean that you should turn... Read More
Every relationship hits a snag, or worse, a major crisis... Read More
"Know Thyself" PlatoIsn't it curious how just about everything in... Read More
Knowing her day can be dreadfully tiresome when she mounts... Read More
"The important thing to remember when it comes to forgiving... Read More
One of the most commonly asked questions, What is Love?... Read More
Losing the spark - simply, if you will, falling out... Read More
My Dear Lover,Today I am sad, I don't have good... Read More
That lover's holiday we know as Valentine's Day is coming... Read More
Here's the scenario: Julie, a hardworking secretary, lent money to... Read More
Sometimes it takes a girlfriend in order to have a... Read More
Each month after completing and fine tuning Letters on Life... Read More
If your Knight in shining armor still hasn't come galloping,... Read More
History doesn't belong in a relationship that is presentMy friend,... Read More
I believe that we have all heard of the standard... Read More
AS I STARED at the sunset, I marveled at its... Read More
I've seen a lot in my life. A lot of... Read More
Although conflict in marriage is inevitable, fighting is optional.The secret... Read More
1. WHEN WILL I SEE YOU AGAIN? You'll see him... Read More
If you are looking for it, you can find relationship... Read More
In many instances, we all are "gun shy" after a... Read More
What is it about blondes that both sexes find so... Read More
The toys are put away, homework's done and the kids... Read More
When you were little, you looked up to your parents.... Read More
Having a penpal can be fun; bringing diversity into your... Read More
Are you getting the love you deserve? Are you being... Read More
Mairi came into my life about two years ago. She... Read More
Every now and then a quarrel breaks out down at... Read More
CHESS-MATEIf you're one of those guys telling to yourself that... Read More
It happened again!I was enjoying an evening with my little... Read More
Ending a relationship is never easy. When you feel you... Read More
Relationship Tip 1My family loves movies. In the theater, on... Read More
We live in the world of the relative. What and... Read More
"You can't hold on to a dime. Do you own... Read More
Why do people have affairs? Why not do the 'right'... Read More
Glenna Trout is an international authority on face reading whose... Read More
One kind of extramarital affair revolves around sexual addiction. The... Read More
Conflict in a relationship is both normal and painful. In... Read More
Everything in life, in order to be a success, requires... Read More
Sometimes, after a relationship has ended, many of us have... Read More
Many guys are just too intimidated and full of anxiety... Read More