“Make Love, Not War”......but how?

Self-ImprovementAdvice

  • Author Jeffrey Solomon
  • Published April 19, 2022
  • Word count 774

“Make Love, Not War”......but how?

Author: Jeffrey Solomon

The pandemic we have all been trying to survive has tested and challenged us in a multitude of ways. Even in the best of times, love relationships face a variety of obstacles. How we navigate and learn to work together will mean success or failure. The “Peace & Love Treaty” (below) was inspired by my own personal experience. 

It's easy to say “you're wrong” and ”it's your fault" or “you should do this" and "you shouldn't have done that." It's often easier to blame and resent than it is to take responsibility for our own words and actions. When we are empathetic, caring and understanding and when we commit to our partner and to the relationship, that's when we have a real chance of achieving our goal, of reaching our own promised land; a happy, fulfilling and lasting relationship. Weathering the proverbial storms is no easy task. The pandemic has certainly been one epic storm. To survive and to flourish takes work, hard work. The reward for doing so can be bountiful and well worth it. 

 

Review the terms of this 'treaty', share them with your partner, discuss them openly and don't be limited by them. Every relationship is unique. Personalize them to fit yours. Review them with your partner on a regular basis. Above all else, once you have established your own “Peace & Love Treaty”, abide by it every day, or at least try to. But, be humble and forgiving. These are things to aspire to and sometimes we may slip a little. Don't use them to judge or criticize, but, instead, to support, strengthen and build your relationship. Recognize achievements and improvements, rather than focusing on mistakes and failures. Be true partners beyond just the words.

 

Peace & Love Treaty

We agree to the following:

 

To clearly express our respective needs and do our best to satisfy them for each other. (see a list of “common needs” below)

 

To dedicate ourselves to improving our communication by being clear, thoughtful and inquisitive.

-actively listen by really hearing and understanding your partner

-ask questions when meanings may be uncertain

-be open to clarification that differs from interpretation and assumption

-observations and suggestions are not necessarily criticisms or judgments

-don't talk over each other or hang up on each other or walk away from a conversation

-avoid offensive, disparaging and hurtful language

-if things get too heated, a time-out is a reasonable option

 

To take responsibility, express remorse and forgive.

-own your words and actions

-no one is perfect and mistakes happen

-avoid holding grudges and expressing past resentments

To help ourselves and each other to minimize (starve) our demons (we all have them) and to elevate (feed) our better angels (we all have these too).

-encourage and acknowledge goodness in yourself and in you partner

-acts of selflessness instead of acts of selfishness

To always strive to better understand each other.

-you each have your own views, values, beliefs, interests and preferences

-it is not so much about right and wrong as it is understanding and respect

-be patient and tolerant

To be flexible and willing to give in or compromise.

-always do your best to be fair minded

-it can actually feel good to not get your way

To find healthy and constructive ways to balance emotion and reason.

-be guided by your heart and your mind

To not take each other for granted.

-express appreciation

-reward positive actions with words of affirmation and gratitude

No matter how hard it may be to change unproductive patterns, we will strive to do so.

-find better ways to resolve issues, achieve desired goals and interact

Common needs:

To be understood

To have feelings validated

To be empathized with

To be cared for, physically and emotionally

To be treated in a kind, considerate, respectful and compassionate manner

To know each is contributing positively to the others life (words of affirmation)

To be appreciated (words of affirmation)

To make important plans and decisions together

To discuss issues and concerns and to find solutions together

To have enjoyment and quality time 

To learn and grow together

To know there is a 100% commitment to the relationship

 

I have not stated, “to feel loved”, because, as these needs are met, I believe that you and your partner will feel truly loved.

As you do these things, putting effort and action behind the words of love, care and support, you will be more likely to overcome obstacles, to succeed and to have an amazing, beautiful life together.

 

"... in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make" -The Beatles

Copyright 2022

Psychologist

Sociologist

Writer

Founder and former Executive Director – National Camp Association

BA- Sociology and Psychology, Queens College, NY

MSW- Hunter College School of Social Work. NY

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