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Give your relationship a workout

Have you ever had a fight over nothing? Seems like a dumb ... doesn’t it? It just doesn’t make sense. But if you’re dating, or know someone who is, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You s

Have you ever had a fight over nothing? Seems like a dumb question, doesn’t it? It just doesn’t make sense. But if you’re dating, or know someone who is, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
You say: ‘What’s the matter?’

They say: ‘Nothing.’

You say: ‘Are you sure?’

They say: ‘It’s nothing.’

You say: ‘It’s obviously something. You look upset.’

They say: ‘You’re an (expletive).’

You say: ‘Huh?’

And so it begins. She calls him names. He brings up something from 3 weeks ago. The ex boyfriend comes up. He says something he really doesn’t mean. You can end up arguing about this for another half hour, just to find out that she had a crappy commute this morning, or that he doesn’t think you spend enough time together. In the end, you’re drained, exhausted, and can’t believe you just used up all that energy. Your heart is racing. That vein in your forehead is throbbing. You want some water. You feel like you just ran a marathon.

You just had a relationship workout.

As much as your delts, biceps or quads, you’ve gotta exercise your relationship every once in a while. Give it a little stretch. Unfortunately, most people overlook the easiest way to put energy into their relationship and feel exhausted at the end – rolling around on the floor, making sweet monkey love to one another. No, they seem to prefer often-pointless yelling matches about whose turn it is to wash dishes, or why socks are in the middle of the living room floor. And in an ironic twist, it’s most likely to happen when one or the both of you is at your most tired.

A tried-and-true relationship workout is getting caught in a lie. Because we all know, most people won’t just admit that they lied. They’ll talk in circles. They’ll make up excuses. Or worse, they’ll make up MORE lies. If you’re dealing with a professional, this can go on for days. For the liar, this works the mouth muscles, and agility, because they have to do a lot of fancy footwork. For the party being lied to, the workout is focused on the belly and jaw, where they’re keeping their mouth shut and squeezing their abdominals to keep from laughing at your outrageous story.

Another example? The ever-popular ‘I shouldn’t have to tell you what’s the matter. You should already know.’ Now we all know this means you’re in trouble. And even bigger trouble because you don’t even know what you did wrong. At this point, asking the other party to tell you what you did wrong is roughly the equivalent of tearing off a scab the size of a Buick. It’s only going to serve to piss them off even more. But what do you do? You see, this part of the workout is just a warm-up. You’ve got to use up a lot of energy just to find out what you’ll be arguing about. So pace yourself. It’s a most challenging set.

But now what? You can’t exactly start listing all the things you may have done wrong, hoping to hit the right one. Because you may end up listing something that he or she doesn’t know about. How much would that suck? She’s pissed off because you forgot your 3-month anniversary, but you apologize for scratching her car. He didn’t want chicken for dinner again, and you blurt out that you’re boinking his best friend. From here on out, this workout is one we like to call the back-pedal. It mainly works the brain and the tongue. And rest assured, you’ll really work up a sweat with this one. Depending on what you blurt out (and your back-pedal technique), you may actually get to work your upper body as you pack and move your bags.

Another approach is to flatly apologize for whatever you did, even if you have no clue as to what your offense was. If the other party is easily dazed or confused, this may work in conjunction with a quick change in subject, or ‘jazz hands.’ It works particularly well if you throw in something the other party really likes. An example?

‘Well, whatever I did, I’m sorry. Want to get a sundae at Dairy Queen?’

‘I didn’t mean it. Want some Prada shoes?’ (Then the ‘jazz hands’)

This is a nice, quick, low-impact workout. However, if your partner is quick-witted, you may still have to resort to the back-pedal. If they’re pros, they’ll get the shoes or the sundae from you, never verbally accept your apology, and pick up where you left off as soon as you get home.

Just a couple of examples for you. I’m sure you’ve got your own workouts, too, but I’ll still argue that hot monkey lovin’ is the way to go.

Oh yeah. One last thing. If at any point during your relationship, you ‘feel the burn,’ you might want to visit a clinic.


That’s the rant.

Copyright 2001 by Kwame DeRoche' SUBSCRIBE FREE! Just e-mail or visit

Check out Kwam's other columns at (‘East Meets West’), (‘A Man's View’), and !

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I'm a 27-year-old Advertising/Marketing Senior Writer with a slightly skewed perception of the world. I've been writing my rants since early 1999. They're humorous brain-dumps, all about relationships, TV, movies, driving to know, LIFE. And as long as humans are humans, I'll always have something to write about. See more or subscribe at

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