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
What is the basic difference between loving someone and being... Read More
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles have loved each other... Read More
Infidelity studies indicate that the percentage of cheating wives is... Read More
Direct Answers - Column for the week of July 5,... Read More
I say "Loneliness. Isolation. Invisibility."You ask "Eleanor Rigby?" I say... Read More
If your Knight in shining armor still hasn't come galloping,... Read More
As a betrayed partner this was one of the first... Read More
Long distance relationships are dreadful. I know this because I'm... Read More
We are meant to live a life of love. However,... Read More
Many males complain that they don't understand females. Many females... Read More
When we think of precious gems, we usually spare little... Read More
What does real love look like? The way we act... Read More
Isn't that the million dollar question? How can I tell... Read More
Hey all, I feel that need to reach out and... Read More
This is one of the most difficult parts of a... Read More
If you have ever read teen magazines you will be... Read More
Hamlet has given this generation an awfully amazing and defensive... Read More
My Dear Lover,Soon or later, you and your beloved will... Read More
Do you ever disagree with your spouse? Or your boyfriend... Read More
"You can't hold on to a dime. Do you own... Read More
So often in a new relationship we learn the dynamic... Read More
"To love, honour and cherish", easy words to say during... Read More
Millions of singles across the world are looking to create... Read More
I have been counseling couples for 35 years. Quite often... Read More
"We strengthen a muscle by using it, and that is... Read More
Actually, it's pretty simple. Deep inside the heart of every... Read More
Enhance Romance today.When Men and Women enter into a relationship,... Read More
A few years back I was on a radio talk... Read More
Relationships are really what makes the world go 'round, aren't... Read More
What is Chemical Romance? It's a scientific approach to seduction... Read More
What do you do when a long term relationship goes... Read More
People decide to have an affair for many reasons. They... Read More
We are meant to live a life of love. However,... Read More
Picture yourself at a bar with some of your buddies.... Read More
The word infidelity brings with it fear to every woman... Read More
Why do some relationships last forever and others fall apart?... Read More
He hasn't called in hours. You call and get the... Read More
Do not use what you find on your cheating spouse... Read More
The fifth affair I outline in my book, "Break Free... Read More
I asked Dave how he was doing since it was... Read More
How "powerful" are you?Do you ever cover up how you... Read More
There are two golden rules for choosing underwear for the... Read More
Direct Answers - Column for the week of June 14,... Read More
The greatest asset we have in human existence is our... Read More
Most women say they want a strong religious man who... Read More
Why do people have affairs? Why not do the 'right'... Read More
Have you noticed the trend?You ever notice how on programs... Read More
THIS AGREEMENT is made and entered into this Third day... Read More
"The only difference between a rut and a grave are... Read More
Staying close in your relationship does not just happen.Staying close... Read More