Ten Steps to True Love
1. Accept.  Accept your partner exactly the way they are.  Don't try
to change them.  If you think your new love needs changing, they are
not the right person for you.
2. Respect.  You chose this person as your partner in life.  Respect
him or her above all else.  Never take your partner for granted.
3. TrustTrust your partner, and never doubt them.  Never question
their integrity.  Without trust, there is no relationship.
4. HonestyAlways tell your partner exactly how you feel.  Never hold
back and never lie.  Little white lies multiply like little white rabbits.
5. Talk.  Communication is the key to understanding.  Explain why you
feel how you do.  Don't sulk.  Keep the lines of communication open.
6. Listen.  Try to listen as much as you talk.  When your partner speaks,
concentrate on him or her.  Stop what you are doing, face them, and give
your full attention.  Provide feedback so they know you got the message.
7. Vent.  Vent your frustrations.  Make a game of it.  Alert your partner
with a pet phrase or gesture that you need an escape valve.  Play out
a mock scenario until you feel better.  Never hurt your partner by taking
your frustrations out on them.
8. Ease Up.  Laugh at yourself at least as much as you laugh at others.
Never take yourself too seriously.  None of us are quite as perfect as
we like to think we are.  When you feel a confrontation approaching,
diffuse it with a little humor.
9. Make Up.  Never go to bed angry.  Always make-up first.  Arguments
will end more quickly, and you will sleep better.  Above all, don't keep
score.  Forget about it and get on with your lives.
10. Compromise.  Learn to compromise.  No one is right 100 percent
of the time, and no one can always have their way.  Give and take; try
to meet each other halfway.  After all, true love is fifty-fifty.
Ron and Irmi Karpinski
September, 1990
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