In the film ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’, Toula says to her Mum. “Ma, Dad is so stubborn. What he says goes. Ah, the man is the head of the house!” Her Mum, Maria responds, ”Let me tell you something, Toula. The man is the head, but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the head any way she wants.“

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Let’s imagine that Mum knows best and you are the one in charge. You decide which battles are important to fight with your partner and which ones are better to leave alone. Bear in mind that you really don’t want to pick your man up on absolutely everything, because he will stop feeling free around you. I am not necessarily keen on fighting metaphors, but here’s a good one for you, “loose the battle to win the war.” When it comes to your relationship, you must think long term.

Where do you want your relationship to be in 5 years, 10 years and 30 years from now? In 30 years from now, Oli and I want to be living in a glorious house overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, with all our faculties in mint condition. Maybe you fancy something similar or perhaps you prefer to be playing cards at the Boca Raton Bridge Club in Florida!

Whatever your joint vision is, bring it swiftly to the forefront of your mind when you are about to give him an earful for the fifteenth time for leaving his dirty socks trailing around the house or for leaving his dinner plate on the table for you to clear up. Hold that vision of him in his little dinghy trying to catch a ‘petit poison’ at the crack of dawn or of you both winning the over 80’s Bridge Tournament!

If you honestly think there is a battle worth fighting and what you are upset about is detrimental to your long term vision for your relationship then go ahead and let him know, otherwise, if it’s not, don’t be shortsighted and just let it go.

Your man isn’t perfect and you don’t want to wear him down to the point where he always feels like he can never make you happy, no matter what he does. A man really needs to feel appreciated for what he is providing, because if he doesn’t, the alarm bells will go off and he will throw his hands in the air and say something along the lines of “I never seem to be able to make you happy, I don’t know why you’re with me!“ At that point, he may start looking for someone who will appreciate him. So, instead of letting it get to that point, take the opportunity to praise him for everything that he does that’s great, whether he massages your shoulders, butters your toast, takes out the trash or buys you diner. If a man feels appreciated he is ultimately a very happy man and a happy man, with a little loving coxing will also clear up after himself.

When you enter into a new relationship you can experience growing pains. What I mean is there is so much to learn about your partner and their behavior and it’s affect on you. I believe when your with the right person there is learning curve. We each bring into the relationship our past behavior and reactions that are in place to protect our hearts.

Some of us test our partners to see how committed they are to us and the new relationship. This can be done to make sure that this relationship will be different. Most of the time we are aware of what we’re doing but some times we are just repeating patterns and are not aware. What is most important is to just be yourself and show your true feelings for better or worse. I can’t hide a thing from anyone. I wear my heart on my sleeve and need someone who can just accept me for who I am. And I need to do the same for him.

Some of us go from relationship to relationship repeating the same patterns over and over. That is when you need to refocus on what type of relationship works best for you. When your with the right person there is a comfort that I describe as peaceful. Love can come to you when you least expect it but you have to stay open to it. Too many people have been hurt from past relationships and they are very guarded. Trust only comes over time as your love grows stronger and deeper. I believe everyone comes into our lives for a reason and to teach us things about ourselves.

So allow a new relationship to blossom and nurture and care for it. None of us are perfect and we shouldn’t expect our partner to be. Time will tell where the relationship is going. I don’t believe in timelines when it comes to love because each of us move at the pace that is best suited for us. Stay open and above all be honest with yourself and your partner.