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February 23, 2009 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Work on someone close to you not an assignment

Oh it’s back to Uni, oh it’s been a wonderful holiday, oh it’s O-Week, oh I’ve got a great tan, oh I met someone wonderful over summer, oh we’re falling for each other, oh they’re so sexy, oh…uh oh, I’m going to need some contraception…

It’s 2009 (year of the Ox) and already we are three twelfths into the year! How are those New Year’s resolutions coming? As famed as the opening months are for being the time to go on a diet once more, kick smoking in the butt and seriously start saving, somehow, most resolutions have been forgotten, improperly planned for, or have been put on the backburner in lieu of something deemed more important. It’s also a popular time for other more personal happenings.

Such as, on a bus travelling through town I overheard some young passengers chatting about it being the season for break–ups. Why is this? Has the mystery man or woman emerged from their wintery wardrobe and dazzled many a faint heart this summer, highlighting either the imperfections of one’s current relationship or the prospect of a passionate summer romp?

Well, in either case, the New Year 2009, in all its ox-y-moronic-ness, is a great time to think about how you might want to work on your relationship(s). Whether to strengthen your bond, address any issues loitering beneath the surface (who doesn’t have these?) or finally make the move to invite that cute person from ENGL112 out for coffee. Whatever the reason, this is a great thing to do, not only with those significant others in your life but also with treasured friends and family.

Where do you start? Well, first up, strengthening relationships will require a few subtle changes to the way you may already be living. And to enable you to get the best fruit out of the tree that is your life you’ll have to: A) ask yourself some tough questions, B) answer those questions honestly, C) be on your best behaviour as a partner, and D) listen as hard as you can.

You have to be honest about what you are willing to change about yourself when it comes to a relationship. No compromises here. You are the only person you can control, so any change has to start with you!

Ask yourself, what can I do to be a better partner? If you happen to find a relaxing moment with your boy/girlfriend, take a breath and ask them. Be prepared to take the time to listen to the answer. Communication is the key. Not only to awaken true insight into what your partner needs from you, it also allows your partner to see that you care more about the things that matter rather than watching America’s Next Top Model. Though did you see the elimination last week? I can’t believe they didn’t drop that other bitch! Anyhoo…

To communicate effectively you need to find a space where you can hear each other and aren’t going to be interrupted. A quiet café is good; a gig at the Bathhouse is not. You need to be prepared to listen to feedback or suggestions or criticism of your eating habits (some people have phobias about food being stuck to teeth) without going into total shutdown defensive mode. This will not endure and neither will your relationship if you are not prepared to hear your partner talk. It can be hard to do, but it is essential if you want your partner to feel as if they are being heard.

Why is behaviour important? Well, none of us are perfect, are we? There are times when we do wake up on the wrong side of the bed, don’t photograph well and show the world our dreadful sides. Just remember you are not perfect, but you can attempt to be everything in between. Especially to those you care about most. It’s about consistency, working to be a well rounded individual, not making promises you can’t keep, timetabling so you don’t let anyone down and try to do what you say you’ll do. If you say “I’ll call you”, then call. Follow through, and become the partner you’ve dreamed of being.

To recap, ask yourself some questions on how you can become Saint Valentine. Listen to your partner: this not only means you will get to hear what the other person actually thinks, but will also open up a channel for true communication and connection. Keep your promises. Surprise your partner. Don’t try and be Don Juan. Relax. Be yourself. If someone has chosen to be with you, you must be alright.

Don’t wait for the big splash like the many pedestrians caught staring at the Bucket Fountain, create it yourself. Dive into the pool of 2009, year of better relationships…and ox…Oh, have a good O-Week, enjoy the rest of summer, and don’t forget that contraception. Being a good partner equals sharing the responsibility for no unwanted babies or germs.

Oh, and always, always smile for the camera.


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  1. Moomama says:

    Just don’t get 2 caoght up in relationship stuff eh. We’re only young! go out there and land on some.

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