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Falling in Love: Venus and Venom Have a Lot in Common

By Debbie Mandel

For some Valentineís Day is a reminder to be more romantic and intimate during the rest of the year. For others it is a measuring stick of where they fall short, on the outside peering into the windows of happy couples. Then for those who are doing their time together like cell mates in prison rather than soul mates, cupid laughs mockingly. Wayne Harbert a linguistics professor at Cornell University states that ďVenus and venom come from the same root, meaning love. In Latin, venenum from which venom comes, originally meant love potion, but over time came to mean poison.Ē So are you lovesick, madly in love, blinded by love or reasonably happy?

I would love for you to be heart smart:
  • If you donít love, respect and enjoy being alone with yourself, you will not find lasting love. When you have a strong sense of self you donít need to jump to conclusions because of insecurities, fears or doubts. You can discern a personís motivation with a wide angle view. Angry, stressed and critical people have a hard time loving another person, forgiving them their shortcomings because they do a great deal of projecting their own personal faults onto the love object. Loosen your approach. When you donít love yourself, you tend to compete with your significant other to force them to do what you want- this is how you feel in control. However, when you realize that your real soul mate lives inside you, you are able to form a partnership which is true power.
  • The high of love eventually settles into boring and ordinary daily routines. While love is fueled by the imagination and novelty, having unrealistic, naÔve and idealized notions, will create dissatisfaction, opening the door for a fairytale escape. Clarissa Pinkola Estes in Women Who Run with the Wolves explains, "The desire to force love to live only in its most positive form is what causes love ultimately to fall over dead.Ē Love has low points, problems and weaknesses. If you have too high expectations for others, they will inevitably disappoint you.
  • Love has to change Ė it simply canít stand still. Allow for more flexibility in your relationship. Everyone changes throughout the years and so does your lover. You need to be conscious of the change in yourself and your significant other to grow together instead of apart.
  • Active listening and positive communication nurtures a relationship. Deborah Tannenís research regarding the workplace claims that women tend to build rapport by serving as an audience and men generally enjoy the status of center stage for conveying information. On January 25, 2012 the Wall Street Journal boldly quoted Dr. Markman who researches marriage and family: ďNagging is the enemy of loveĒ and many naggers are women. When you combine these separate studies, the take home message is that both men and women can learn to become better listeners and communicate their needs more kindly without repetition. Make sure to turn off technology when engaged in a dialogue to re-plug into each other.
Happy couples donít have the best of everything. They make the best of what they have.
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life, Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout and Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WGBB AM1240 in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: