Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Mary, Mary, Please Be More Contrary - By Algernon Cullen

Mary, Mary, Please Be More Contrary

By Algernon Cullen

In my experience not only as an agony uncle but also the other half of a pleasure- loving couple, falling out with a partner on a regular basis helps. Volatile relationships, strangely enough, yield a frisson even-keeled relationships just can’t muster.
With this in mind, I would recommend that couples deliberately incur one another’s displeasure. Become adept at finding fault, rubbishing their taste in
music, literature, films, TV, IT accessories, clothes - even if you approve. Hell, why not go the whole way and challenge their taste in partners while you’re at it?
 I can’t help feeling you could’ve done so much better than me...”
Even if they agree with you, they won’t be able to help admiring a humility they never suspected you had. You will have succeeded in surprising them and the ability to spring surprises consistently – not just once a year on your partner’s birthday -  is crucial to maintaining fun relationships.

If it’s the case that your partners agree with you most of the time, fall out with them because they don’t disagree with you enough. Be imaginative when it comes to turning a positive into a negative. Learn how to take their best quality and throw it back in their face instead of kissing them for it.
You’re fantastic in bed but I’m looking for somebody more...”
Actually no, forget about that one. If they’re fantastic in bed you’re probably better off lying, cheating and stealing to keep them.
But take a virtue like punctuality, for example. Punctuality is all well and good, but what’s the point of turning up on time if you have nothing to say? Better, surely, to arrive late with something interesting to say. The Power of the Least Interested – namely, superior status by virtue of being the one who cares less – has been well-documented, but never underestimate The Power of the More Interesting. Neither partner can ever be interesting enough.
If you despair of your partner ever being interesting enough, not to worry. Don’t be shy when it comes to showing a keen interest in more interesting people. Don’t just cast furtive glances of admiration, make a point of meeting them.
I met somebody really interesting today...”
Quote something these really interesting people said, even if you suspect they might have filched it from a dictionary of quotations. Hopefully your partners will respond by becoming less complacent in their attempts to become more interesting. If not, while they might feel threatened initially, on mature reflection more forward-thinking partners will appreciate that it reduces the onus on them to be fascinating and now their less fascinating virtues can be appreciated afresh. Familiarity can breed contentment, not contempt.
The strategies outlined above also have the advantage of providing invaluable preparation for when your fun-loving relationship eventually ends, as they do. When you break up with your partner for good it’ll be less painful and you’ll be able to start enjoying yourself where you left off before you can say ‘Woe is me.’

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