If you’ve ever read any advice on how to keep a relationship going, you would know the concept of date night. It’s where both the people in the relationship take time off from their work, dress up and head to a fancy, usually expensive restaurant to spend quality time together. What no one ever tells you is what really happens on these dates.

Scenario one, husband asks wife where she wants to go. Wife gets pissed that husband hasn’t put in enough effort to even think of a place. Loses her cool. Fight ensues.

Scenario two, both start talking about how they are so glad they did this and they should do it more often. Wife brings up something that happened at home. Husband says can’t you leave it for right now. Wife says he never listens to her. Fight ensues.

Scenario three- husband is dressed and waiting. Wife takes time to get dressed. Husband wants to be back for football game but can’t tell her. She is finally dressed. He seems distracted during date night. She asks what the problem is. He says he wants to watch football. Fight ensues.

Yes, relationships are work but Mr. Radhakrishnan Pillai has some interesting ideas on how to keep your relationship  on firm footing.Radhakrishnan’s latest book, Chanakya In You deals with daily life and relationships and these are his recommendations for keeping your relationship going.

Mutual Respect

If you and your partner can listen to each other without one of you thinking of murder, you are doing it right. Also, the time in prison for murder isn’t worth it. So sometimes, if he decides to step out of the house looking like a beggar in a tattered old tshirt, you have to let him because mutual respect.

Radhakrishnan’s take: Every relationship must have mutual respect. It doesn’t mean you have to agree, he says. It means you have to respect each other’s opinions and points of view. He says, ‘Men and women cannot be equals. They are both unique’. They perceive situations differently. To make your relationship work, you have to allow this difference in perception to thrive.

Discuss. Discuss. Discuss

He says it three times because this is really important. Discuss how you feel about that ugly rug he has ordered online, discuss if Modi is any good, discuss your need to keep armpit hair, discuss how the mother in law is making it impossible to live. Okay, maybe the last discussion doesn’t come recommended. If you can do this, you are doing well.

Radhakrishnan’s take: Discuss everything under the sun. And not only related to the home or each other. Discuss movies, issues, news, and emotions. Anything. I used to have this mental block. You know she’s sitting at home and I am traveling the world and she’s busy with the kid. She won’t be interested in what I have to say. Please understand, you are the window to the world for her. That’s a thought that really struck home. Now I share everything with her.

A honeymoon every year

Honeymoons are fun. You are having a lot of sex and romance and you love all the time you are spending with each other. But one every year? It could be more sudoku than sex and more room service orders than romance but it’s certainly suggested.

Radhakrishnan’s take: Go out on dates and vacations. My wife and I have an agreement. We want to a honeymoon each year. The problem comes up because men view vacations as a financial cost while women look at it as a time to reconnect. But it should be a great time for both.

Learn together

Marriage and relationship do teach you lessons but those aren’t the ones we are talking about. You do learn about which uncle is a creep, which aunt had a torrid affair before marriage and all that but apparently, those are of no use. Oh well. Atleast we know to avoid that cousin who keeps asking when you will get married or have kids.

Radhakrishnan’s take: Educate yourselves together. Do a course, take up a weekend workshop and do it with each other.

Invest in being compatible at all levels

While most of us are barely compatible at any level at all, there are 5 levels you should be totally jamming on. Yup, 5. Physical, mental, emotional, financial and intellectual. Please feel free to be underwhelmed.

Radhakrishnan’s take: Many people are not able to connect to their spouses because they think the intellectual gap Is too big. I will give you an example. Nehru was very close to Mountbatten’s wife. And most people think he had an affair. I found one dimension very interesting. He was a scholar and his wife was not as educated as him. He had a vacuum. He wanted to share his political ideas with someone. And that comfort he found in Mrs. Mountbatten. We wont know the exact relationship but they had a deep intellectual friendship.

Mr. Radhakrishnan Pillai’s latest book is Chanakya in You. The book is a charming, light-hearted yet profound tale of a man inspired by his grandfather to seek the wisdom of the Arthashastra. The book is available for Rs.299. This is his third book after Corporate Chanakya and Chanakya’s 7 Secrets of Leadership.

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