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 people, maybe even you, think there is only one... Read More
You know the scenario. You start dating a woman. After... Read More
We've all heard the stories. The princess finds her prince... Read More
Some of these signs of a cheating spouse are "tongue... Read More
A genuine apology contains at least four elements: apology, acknowledgment,... Read More
Some soul mate couples refuse to grow. They refuse to... Read More
We hear about it all the time - in magazines,... Read More
1) Think short term.Many people enter marriage with the same... Read More
1) Treat the family you have come from as more... Read More
The focus of this article is to explore what it... Read More
Usually we enter relationships hoping they will make us happy.... Read More
1. It's addictive. Fighting, and the anger that comes with... Read More
Sometimes, after a relationship has ended, many of us have... Read More
My Dear Lover,Soon or later, you and your beloved will... Read More
Each month after completing and fine tuning Letters on Life... Read More
It seems that no matter how much we love someone,... Read More
Actually, it's pretty simple. Deep inside the heart of every... Read More
There is one sure fire medicine that cures all difficulty... Read More
I believe that we have all heard of the standard... Read More
Extreme Breakup Recovery Maximum Healing ? Minimum TimeIf you are... Read More
'Be yourself', isn't that what you've always heard? It certainly... Read More
Now you may ask why we would write an article... Read More
Are You A 'Hopium Addict?'If the question alone was enough... Read More
1. Sleepless nights are part of a victims' experience... Read More
Work. Bills. Kids. Chores.Etc.All these things get in the way... Read More
She stares at me and then closes her eyes. A... Read More
What is Chemical Romance? It's a scientific approach to seduction... Read More
When you're searching for your Mr. Right, I want you... Read More
Mairi came into my life about two years ago. She... Read More
Whether you've been in a relationship for a long time,... Read More
"The important thing to remember when it comes to forgiving... Read More
Just think of being in front of a warm cracking... Read More
Excerpt From The Relationship Handbook: How to Understand and Improve... Read More
Many people know that the zodiac is a circle in... Read More
Living with adult ADD can be quite a challenge. Not... Read More
All too often you fall in love with someone out... Read More
Here are a few observations on marriage and relationships.Information ExplosionJust... Read More
I guess my soulmate wasn't all he was cracked up... Read More
Many relationship problems often begin with poor communication. Many couples... Read More
The other day, I was home with my sweet love... Read More
Dear Candace,I have been through a lot over the last... Read More
I want to tell you a little story. Not about... Read More
Imagine this; you have the opportunity to go away for... Read More
So many things in society today try to urge us... Read More
Finally, after all of the hard work you have done... Read More
Many cultures have customary kissing etiquettes. The French for instance... Read More
A strong, healthy relationship is one in which the partners... Read More
Create Time To Share And Time On Your Own.Establish time... Read More
Consider a person very important to you. He or she... Read More
So, you want to fall in love? You are certainly... Read More