5 Tips to a build a long lasting Relationship

Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you.
William Arthur Ward

Hello my beautiful readers,
Here is an article about building long lasting relationships for those of you who are in search of love. I often see people around who share their relationship issues with me. Although the issues can vary from a jerk husband to a not-so-loving-but-a-safe-bet kind of husband, yet, they all have a similar pattern of underlying problems. It also makes me sad to see that people fight for each other when they are far apart and when they get to be with each other, they just fight with each other.

After a lot of reading and research, I found out some interesting and simple ideas that will help you build a long lasting relationship with your partner. If you follow these, you pretty much guarantee yourself to not fall out of a relationship. Here they are:

Precision- Who are you with
Many wonderful people are unhappy because of unhappy relationships. Ask yourself if you are with someone right for you. The other person does not have to be a monster for you to realize that this is an unhealthy relationship. Many good people may just not be good for each other. Are you compatible with your partner? For ex- Kathy (name changed) used to date a mountaineer. They were the perfect couple and she loved every bit of him in the beginning. But since she was not a person who could spend weeks under the stars or hike up the Everest, they soon fell out. Pretending to like things your partner likes, may give them a wrong impression of you. Get your precisions precise.

Reason- Why are you with this person
Think of the reasons why you are with someone. Is it because you fear being lonely and think this is the best you can do? Are you trying to prove to your family and friends that you can keep a relationship? Is it because this person is wealthy or beautiful and you can make your friends jealous about it? We all fall for these insecurities at some point or another and sub consciously chose the wrong people for the wrong reasons. Get your reasons right.

Constitution- Do you have ground rules
A football game and life MUST have one thing in common, if not more- that is ground rules. The basic rules to play by in a relationship. If anyone does not follow these rules, the game ends then and there. You can give your partner another chance though as relationships are more serious issues than that but give it a good thought if your partner constantly breaks the ground rules. Common examples could include things like respecting each others family members, no matter what. Design your own rules.

Improvisation- Fight fair and forgive
There is no couple that does not fight. If they don’t, one of them is in suppression for sure and one night is sure planning to come after the other with a knife. Fight is good, if you do not agree, express it. It is OK to disagree with your partner and both partners must accept this fact. For whatever reason you fight, you must be sure that you fight fair. No name calling, no mean things, no foul language and issues of the past thrown around. Words once said, cannot be taken back. Don’t say things that would hurt your partner beyond repair. Choose your arguments wisely.


Suffocation- Depend on yourself
Most couples fight with each other when their expectations are not met. Women complain that their men take them for granted and men complain that their women do not understand them. In reality, when you meet a person, in the initial stages, they are usually at their best behaviour. This gives you an impression of them that is only temporary. The longer you spend with this person, the better you know the real person. Based on what we see in the initial stages, we create a world of expectations around it. Later when these are not met, we feel hurt and betrayed. The key is to DEPEND ONLY ON YOURSELF FOR YOUR HAPPINESS. I cannot stress more on this. Having a partner to share your lfie with is great. But do not depend on your partner for happiness. Be happy yourself, do things that make you happy. Have a career or a hobby. Spend time nurturing your own personality rather than burdening your partner with the load of unmet needs.

Iam not saying that you must stop expecting anything from your partner. But have a life of your own that does NOT revolve around your partner. Spritual activities for instance, or purposeful living. Remember that if there is no space between two seeds when they are planted, one of them will grow and the other will definitely die under the shade of the other. Don’t suffocate your partner. Give some space and be worthwhile to them.

I hope this makes sense and you establish a loving, long lasting relationship with your beloved. I would like to end by sharing one of my favorite poems with you.

Enjoy.

After a while 
you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn love doesn’t mean leaning and company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t always promises 
and you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and and your eyes ahead with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers
And you learn that you really can endure, that you really are strong and you really do have worth and you learn and you learn 
with every good-bye you learn.

 Author: Veronica A. Shoffstall

Love and Light,
Shahla

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Things to consider while dreaming of getting a degree abroad

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”
Said Saint Augustine and I totally agree with him. In fact this is the reason I decided to pursue my education abroad in a foreign country. It is exciting to imagine exploring the world on your own. You may have seen cousins or friends who study abroad or work in foreign countries. You may see movies where the hero travels to London for his MBA (remember Hrithik in K3G?). As exciting as it sounds, there are things you must seriously consider before you travel abroad to any country for studies.

 In this article, I hope to provide you with  the different perspectives and the challenges one must be ready to face while travelling abroad. 

Challenges

  1. Growing up, taking responsibility– I am assuming that you are in your early twenties if you are considering a bachelors or a masters degree abroad. Usually by this age you have a license and the right to drink. Yet, from experience and comparison I see a major difference between a 21 yeard old in India or Pakistan as compared to a 21 year old in the UK or US for instance.  In India and Pakistan, young adults live with their parents until they leave for employment. If they are employed in the same city, they continue to live with their parents. This is not the case abroad. This means, Indians are dependent on their parents for a very long time. Mother does all the household chores, cooks, cleans, washes and father does all the bill payments and earnings. If you want to travel abroad, you must know that you will have to take responsibility for every single dirty sock on your bedroom floor. You cannot leave dirty tea cups or dishes behind after meals. You cannot keep asking others for money. Being independent is not so much fun as you dream. It carries a lot of responsibility to make the right choices. You may be tempted to spend time exploring new places or drinking at the fancy night clubs of the town while you are supposed to study and make good use of your foreign education. It gets difficult to draw the lines and there is no one to stop you. Only you can stop yourself. Can you handle yourself?
2- Mental preparation– You have to prepare yourself mentally before even applying for admission abroad. Feelings of isolation and loneliness creep in from the moment you enter your new room. The flight, the new sky, new roads is all fun and distraction until you are behind four walls. You will make friends in a while and have some counsellors ready to welcome you and talk about any issues that you may have but its easier said than done. You will miss your family and think about vacations even before beginning of the new semester. Some people are very flexible with new things. They show least resistance to change and get mixed up very easily. While others, mostly introverts, take time to mingle with new people. 
“Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.” 
Francis Bacon



3. Language-

Consider the language issue. If you are travelling to the UK, USA or France, you can get by if you are fluent in English and or French (for France). But you must know that the English used in India is pretty different from what is used in UK or USA. The terminology, slangs, usual everyday vocab, everything differs. You will find it very difficult to understand the accent of different regions. In the UK, people in London speak in a completely different accent than people in Wales. If you are not very good with the native language of the country where you want to study, either get a course or watch movies and videos to understand accent, tone and slangs to get accustomed to it.

4. Foreign relatives-
It is a common practice for IndianPakistani parents to send their children for education abroad to countries where they have friends and relatives. There are many nice families who commit to take care of their relative’s kids when they come abroad. For some people this could prove to be very helpful as it is a relief to know that there is someone to recieve you at the airport, a home to rest in and people with whom you can speak your own language. Nevertheless, it is not obligatory. I personally never prefered to ask anyone for help. The best thing is to go fully prepared. If you do need help, ask but very limited. Depending on others will strip you of respect and dignity. Never overstay your welcome if you do decide to go to a relative. Always clean behind you and hep around house chores because unlike India/Pakistan, there are NO maids and servants in the UK and Europe to do those things. If you decide to travel abroad for education, do not dodge the bullet by resting your gun on someone elses shoulder. 




5. Food issues-
Indians and Pakistani have two major issues with food. Muslims need Halal food and non Muslims might prefer vegetarian food. Eating in the UK is different from India. There are various restaurants and takeaways but you cannot rely on them as it may cost you a lot. For a quick meal you can log in to http://www.just-east.co.uk or Hunger House and order a meal straight away. If you want to cook your own food, almost every city has Asian grocery shops where you can pick up spices and Asian ingredients for home cooking. It is not difficult to find these. They also sell fresh Halal meat so you would not have to compromise with your religious values. But be prepared for some tough times. When I travelled to Switzerland for the first time for my MBA, I survived on vegetables for 3 months before I found a Halal meat shop!

6. Long term goals
Think about your long term goals in life. Where do you want to settle? What sort of visa regulations exist? How far from your family can you live? If you return back to your home country, what would be your options like? Why are you actually considering going abroad if you can get the same education somewhere close by? 
Be very particular about your ideas and make sure you dont feel lost in the middle of your journey. Of course, not everything can be planned and there are chances you will change your plans but have a big picture vision in your mind. That is most likely to remain the same.

Thus, it is pertinent to think about all these aspects of your personality when you plan to fly to a foreign country for a degree. 
There are many other aspects and resources that you will read in this blog, so hang on. If you have decided this is what you want to do, keep your own on further posts. 

One thing that I can say for sure is that there is no feeling like returning home after getting an education abroad and meeting your family. By leaving your home behind, you learn a lot more than just a degree. You grow up, mature, learn about the realities of life and value what your parents did for you while you were growing up.

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.”

-Lin Yutang

Love and Light
Shahla


Introduction to My Foreign Education

Hello Dreamers,
This blog is intended to help you if you are considering getting an education in the UK or Europe. Although it is useful for nationals of all countries but specifically for Asians- Indians and Pakistanis. In this blog you will find a load of information and free resources that will help you solidify your dream ot get a foreign education.

Join in to get latest newsletters packed with visa regulations and other interesting stuff. Questions and comments are welcome. Hope you enjoy reading it and make your dream come true just like I did.

Bonne lecture

Love
Shahla

5 Rules to avoid being ‘The Parasitic Child’

Hello my beautiful readers,
I hope you are enjoying summers! Today I want to share some information about a ‘less talked about’ issue in our society inside our homes. 
Recently, I came across an old friend who is at her parents’s home with her little daughter and her husband. No, no one is sick and neither is he unemployed. It has been almost six months and she is getting impatient day after day. Traditionally, Indian culture dictates that after the wedding, the bride and groom live with the groom’s parents if they are not travelling for work. So technically, she should have been with them but since their home is the size of a shoebox and the groom’s father is abusive and disrespectful, they migrated to the comfy nest; the bride’s parent’s home. Her husband quit his well paid job and keeps making excuses of looking for another one. 

There is another story of a friend whose father never worked! Her grandfather was wealthy and had 7 kids. The eldest one was sure to inherit a lot of wealth so he did not take interest in his studies and never worked a day in his life. The grandfather invested in few shops and businesses for him to take care of but it all went to loss since the son was not interested. They looked for a bride for him hoping that he might feel responsible after getting married. He did marry a nice woman who is a qualified teacher with a well paid job. Nevertheless, there never came the sense of responsibility. She worked while he scarfed rent out of the inherited property (which belongs to all the siblings, not just to him but he wouldn’t let anyone touch it). He stays at home, walks around the home, yells at tenents, watches TV while the wife works, cleans, cooks, washes and helps raise 4 kids to be humans.

These are examples of the ‘Parasitic Child’. Adults who do not take responsibility for their needs and cling to their parents for a living. Family is our support system and all children need help from their families to stand on their own feet until they manage to have a smooth life of their own. Even if the life is not smooth and they have to struggle to get things sorted, it is their own responsibility to fight for it.

If parents dont help these parasites, they feel guilty and when they do help, they feel frustrated after a while.

So, what is the solution to ‘The Parasitic Child’ syndrome?

My research suggests ‘self respect’ is the major lacking factor in people like these who keep on asking for help and taking advantage of your good nature (as children, siblings or friends). Someone who has the tiniest bit of dignity and self respect would not over stay his welcome or demand things from parents. Greed kills self respect and when it comes to easy money and house coming from your old folks, it seems all the more simple.

So here are few rules to live by:

1. Your parents are NOT responsible for your living after you turn 18. They may continue to help you until you find a job but then you should be on your own.

2. Your partner and children are YOUR responsibility. If you cannot feed them, dont marry and dont get pregnant.

3. If you lost your job or came into a sudden crisis and have no other option but to ask for help- be genuine. If you can pay your own rent and groceries/bills, you should. If there is absolutely nothing you can pay for, help around the house chores as much as you can.

4. Keep deadlines in mind and inform them about it. Let them know this is your plan and you will soon be out of their way.

5. While you do get a roof over your head at your parents’ place, do not get lazy and comfortable. Work day and night to look for a job and move out as soon as you can.

I cannot tell you how many homes I have seen scatter because of greed and laziness of few people. I left home when I was 21 and still have found my ‘permanent address’ yet. But I do not plan to stay with my parents for any longer than a vacation. I feel that although I miss them and have not seen them for a very long time, they love and respect me. Distance really does make the heart fonder. It gives them a chance to miss me and truly cherish the moments I spend with them when I visit.

I hope you are not a parasite in your own family and if you are, I pray that you do stand on your own feet soon.

Love and Light,

Shahla

Guys—–WOMEN are NEITHER Pursuits nor Contests

Dear Lovely Readers,

The recent sad and pathetic event of Elliot Rodger’s killing spree has put the world in a somewhat state of shock. And when an event like this happens, our mind immediately questions “WHO TO BLAME” and we try to somehow make sense of whatever happened.

CULTURE
The first blame goes to culture. We blame it on the video games and the movies and the sitcoms etc Many writers and authors have in fact written about how culture drove Rodger and men like him on various pathetic and desperate members websites to do something like this. The recent one was by Hadley Freeman, the writer at The Guardian. While I do agree the culture paradigm, somehow I am not truly convinced by that.

Two people look out the same window at  the same time. One notices the stars in the sky; the other sees just the dirt of the road. Both are right, both exist!

Human brain is an extra ordinary creation of God and the power to pick and choose from what comes across us is truly unique and individualistic in nature. In Academia we say, it is purely subjective. The philosophy of truth and what exists limits down to only our mental potential and limitations.

While culture does play a crucial role in moulding our society, I do believe in the power of individual rebellion that has changed history. Slavery was a big part of our culture, wasn’t it? Black slaves in America is one thing but when I read the verses of Quran and read about ‘how to be kind to your slaves’ and related scripture, it freaks me out. Because the holy scripture has not been changed, it does say a lot about the culture that existed years and years before us.

Yet, it relieves me to know that I live in a century that has passed slavery culture and now I read about it only in Quran in a good way. What Muslims usually make out of it is ‘how to treat those with less power or poor’. The point I am trying to make is that people changed culture, abolished slavery and led us to this stage where we stand proud. Sure our society still has a million flaws but there are a billion that we corrected.

So, I ask you, does your culture define you?
Or do you define your culture???


Perceptions of WOMEN- from Elliot Rodger to Arthur Chu
The article by Prachi Gupta opened my eyes to something interesting. It expands over Arthur Chu’s statement about nerds who study and work hard for good grades all their lives and expect a trophy wife in the end like a princess to be won at the end of video game conquest. I couldn’t agree more!

If you are a fan of The Big Bang Theory, you would have noticed hints of these attitudes in the dialogues of the four young men aka nerds. There was an episode where Howard flirts with Penny and she gets mad and says “you are going to die alone”… Later when Penny tries to console him, he explains how Marcy Grossman, a girl in school broke his heart and then asks “what chance do I have if I don’t try that hard?”

In yet another episode when a young Korean kid called Joyce Kim visits the university and our four beloved nerds try to distract him, they each mention their perceptions of the young girls around.Leonard mentions about a cheer leader who made him to her homework and so on and so forth. Also note that they use girls to distract him.

Stereotypes are everywhere and some are true. But stereotyping cheer leaders and studious girls cannot be more wrong!
Guys, guys, guys, please get this… Just because a girl is beautiful does not mean she cannot be hard working and professionally accomplished. Similarly just because a girl is studious and does not bother to look like a Dior model everyday, does NOT mean that she is not a nice person who would bore you to death.

There has been a lot of discussion recently, since the killing spree about rejections from beautiful women and their rights to chose who to be with.

I am a woman and I CANNOT give you a rationale for who I chose to be with in the past or even in future. It is entirely useless to look for a pattern and say that because I wear a 500 Dollar shirt and took a shower, I deserve the cutest girl in the room. Every woman is entirely unique when it comes to choosing men and people, please try to get this inside your brains. Ask any girl and you would know. I hate action movies, its just not my thing but I love Jason Statham and John Cena. I hate violence and guns and all that blood shed in the movies but I like those guys. And this is just about movies… I cannot justify my liking with a reason because there are several other action heroes that I absolutely dislike.

Just as there is no reason to dislike something, there isn’t always a reason to like something as well. Humans are irrational. ASK ECONOMISTS (only if we Economists knew what goes on inside that little brain of humans that makes the stock markets burst like a balloon).

So, give it a rest. No matter what age you are at, Arthur Chu is right- you cannot expect a princess or a trophy wife just because you were “good” and disciplined all your life. If you got good grades and made a successful career, that’s for your own sake, isn’t it?
What about high profile men who do end up marrying trophy wives and sooner or later their career takes all their time and eventually their trophy wife drifts into some other looser’s arms (just cause he has the time to make her feel loved)… Seen that a million times, I am sure we all have.

The point I am trying to make is we only have control over our own decisions. We cannot influence others to be our husbands or wives just because we think it is the right thing.

Ever heard — “you can only be with me, you are crazy and I am the only one who can put up with you. If you ever leave me you will end up on the street”?

And while we are at it, there is another interesting pattern I see in ARRANGED MARRIAGES! Obviously this does not apply to the American culture directly and focuses more on the Indian and Pakistani culture. When the daughter reaches 21 or barely 22, the family is in search of a ‘suitable match’. One of the first check points is how much is his bank balance and what are his qualifications. As long as these two are strong, the girl is pushed into this greed circle. I also know girls who deliberately agree to marry a green card holder or a rich business man without knowing how he takes his coffee even.

What a shame!

SO HERE’S THE THING-

Please STOP treating women like a contest or an examination.
While looking for a partner, the most important TIP I can give you as a woman is- Be Honest and gentle. If she likes you, VOILA! If she does not, move on and find the one who would like you for who you are.
And Girls- stop verifying the worth of a man by his qualifications and bank accounts. There is more to a man than that, explore him, discover him, know him, trust him, nurture him, love him for the person he is not for the wallet he carries.

With deep condolences to all those families whose loved ones will never return home…

Love and Light

# TOI
#Violence against women
#arranged marriages
#Telegraph
#ArthurChu
#rapeculture
#yestoallwomen
#Elliot Rodger
#HadleyFreeman
#TBBT