Have you heard the new verb adulting? It would seem we now need a word to describe the behavior of actually doing adult things. What were once everyday practices are now defined for the generation in superhero pajamas. Paying your own bills, doing your own laundry and starting a retirement plan could qualify as bona fide adulting traits.
Coupling has some identifiable traits, too. I thought I would come up with 10 traits that let you know you have arrived in your Coupling.
1. We can spend the night apart and not be jealous. Business trips have to be taken but we can do a girls trip to the beach or baseball trip with the boys and nobody struggles too much.
2. We never want to spend the night apart. We may choose to be away but we would rather be sleeping next to her/him at the end of the day.
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3. We don’t mind going to Starbucks at 6 a.m. to get them their special flavor of coffee. It is about the little things and we really don’t mind going out of our way, really.
4. The chores and division of labor no longer ruin the day. Some grumbling may occur but that is just letting off a little steam. A side note on this one: no one helps, instead the attitude is it’s my job and I’ll do it. If we are doing it together, no one is helping the other. The work is the work, don’t help, instead we do it together.
5. We can ignore each other’s moods. We no longer feed into the same old arguments, the battles have been fought and the peace negotiations enjoined! Along these lines, we can take responsibility. Not yet fully formed couples get their feelings hurt, are offended, take it personally and all manner of misdirection that don’t solve a thing.
6. We don’t take our wedding bands off. Well, we could but a permanent dent lingers on the left hand ring finger that won’t go away.
7. We actually enjoy talking to each other. On a long trip in the car or sitting in the rocking chairs on the front porch, conversation is easy. Another additional note, silence can be a really rich time when sitting together.
8. We really enjoy (fill in the blank) together. Every person is not the same and each will have distinctive hobbies but happy couples share enjoyable, common interest.
9. We find time for each other every day. From “how’d your day go?” to holding hands, Coupling happens in the connection that is nurtured day by day.
10. We dance. From slow dancing to Carolina shagging, we know how to dance. This includes moving to the music of Phillip Phillips on the floor of the Capitol Theater.
I hope this affirms where you are or inspires you to work toward the fulfillment of a real adult in a real relationship, real Coupling.
Bruce Conn is a licensed marriage and family therapist, and works with individuals and couples. Contact him at 478-714-7189 and/or email@example.com.