Relationships 101

By Staff
Kim West
Franklin County Times
When I was in high school, I signed up for classes in genetics, literature, algebra and drama.
In college, I majored in recreation and business but took several courses outside my field of study, including philosophy, Spanish and military history.
But I never registered for Relationships 101, which wasn't offered at my high school or university. I did take psychology in seventh grade and sociology my sophomore year in college, but neither class focused on interpersonal relationships.
When learning to drive, there are plenty of guidelines and laws to let you know if you're making the right or wrong decision. And in school you are constantly being quizzed and tested. But there isn't really a concrete way to grade a relationship.
With the No Child Left Behind Act and Annual Yearly Progress reports, there's probably not room to squeeze a seminar on relationships into the high school curriculum, and maybe it isn't academic enough for the college setting.
But I think we could all benefit from learning more about relationships, whether it's with your religious deity, significant other, parents, friends, co-workers, boss or even yourself.
Other than the parent-child dynamic during adolescence, I think the most frustrating relationships are the romantic ones. The Beatles said, "Love is all you need," but I question the validity of that lyric. For a relationship to succeed, don't you need a lot more than that?
When I think about the ingredients to a good romantic relationship, I think they have to include love, trust, respect, shared life goals and mutual attraction to withstand all those inevitable peaks and valleys that occur in a lifetime.
My parents have been married for over 40 years, and my grandparents have been married for more than 60.
Those relationships amaze me, especially since I have a few friends and family members my age who have already been married and divorced.
Ending a marriage isn't supposed to be an option but it does happen, unfortunately. When two people love and respect each other, how do you know whether to fight for a roller-coaster relationship that hasn't reached that point of commitment?
I guess that's where advice from people wiser than you comes in handy, along with trusting your heart and instincts to figure things out rather than relying on facts and figures.

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