Saturday, January 29, 2005

Keep the fun in love

Keep the fun in love

By Bob Garon
TODAY Newspaper
Saturday, January 29, 2005 1:02 AM

Why is it that new love is so exciting? Why is it that new lovers always seem to be floating on air with hardly a care in the world?

For a number of reasons, I’m sure. One very obvious reason is their having so much fun. Because the relationship is so new, there are few obstacles that stand in the way.

The newness of it all, the lack of conflict, the thrill of falling in love and, what seems at first glance, to have unlimited potential for great happiness in the future: all this makes new love so much fun.

Which brings me to the point of this column. If you want to keep and cause your love to grow, you must be sure to keep the fun in it. When love isn’t fun anymore, it is because something is very wrong and it is perhaps dying. Those whose love has thrived over the years are people who continue to have fun. It might not be the same kind of fun, but it is nonetheless still a lot of fun.

Couples that cannot have fun together are couples in trouble. When you cannot laugh together anymore and enjoy each other, it is time to check out your relationship because something is wrong somewhere.

It was the great Jack Nicklaus who said: “I’m a firm believer in the theory that people only do their best at things they truly enjoy. It is difficult to excel at something you don’t enjoy.”

If this is true of a sport, a pastime, how much more is it so of relationships, when you have to spend a lifetime together. A lifetime can be very long indeed, especially when it isn’t fun anymore.

We all have our ups and downs in relationships, but the ups had better be fun. Otherwise, a marriage can become a real hell when there is no longer any hope of having a happy life.

When lovers no longer enjoy being together, they put less and less energy into the relationship, thereby condemning it to failure. It is precisely when the joy is going out of a relationship that the couple has to exert more effort to get it back on the track. And what better way to do that than to find ways of bringing back the joy that was lost?

The couple needs to address the problems, the issues that are getting in the way of their happiness. They need to be brave and courageous enough to risk getting hurt even more in the hope of stabilizing the situation and then setting the scene to put fun back into the relationship.

Lovers commit to each other because they fully expect to have an inexhaustible supply of joy in the future. Nobody will commit unless there is such a promise. It is the fun, the joy that makes the inevitable pain easier to bear.

The successful football coach, Joe Gibbs, said it well: “People who enjoy what they are doing invariably do it well.” True of football. True of love.


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