I came across a news item about Michele Obama’s relationship advice, in which she mentioned her nineteen years with President Giveaway.

This morning, St. Valentine’s Day and also my anniversary, my wife reminded me we have been together eighteen years.  I suppose this gives me the authority, permission, and moral high ground to advance a few tips of my own.  And if not, stop reading now.

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COMMUNICATION

I truly believe one of the most important parts of a relationship is communication.  This may not be something that both parties bring to the party but it very important to have introduced to the party (by a third party, if necessary).

Mars and Venus doesn’t begin to explain the gap between men and women.  In the beginning, I used to think I’d have better luck talking to the wall (or the cat).  It was only when a friend came to visit for a week that I became satisfied there was a communication problem.

It’s nobody’s fault – remember that.  It’s just that men and women are different species suffering from a common language.  Some of the problems we bring to the party.

ME: Hi, Honey.

HER: umm… hello.  [I wonder what he means by that. Did I do something wrong?]

ME: How was your day?

HER: Oh, ok.  [Did I forget something?] Yours?

ME: [She never asks me about my day.  Something suspicious is going on.]

You get the rest.

People need to sit down and seriously work this out, lest it become a very large green, hairy monster that keeps attempting to eat your relationship and suck every last bit of life from your flaccid body.

LAUGHTER

I will echo Mrs. Obama here.   There is simply nothing like laughter.  It’s always appropriate, especially when it’s inappropriate.

BOOM BOOM

Now we hit the heart of it.  Sex is important.  Really important.  At the risk of being terribly obvious, it is something that will bring you together.  Repeatedly.  It produces endorphins. It just plain old makes you feel GOOD.   And if it doesn’t, you’re not doing it right.

APPRECIATION

This is underdone but still very important.  Speak and show your honest appreciation for your spouse and what they do.  Don’t take them for granted.

LISTEN

The flipside of communication is listening.  This is crucial.  Sometimes you must also interpret but you must always listen.  If you’re not sure what you’re hearing, ask.  Communicate.

SURPRISE

Keep it new and fresh.  Be weird if necessary (works for me at home and work).

Let me hear your tips!