Enduring Relationships

Notes from Janey . . .

A beautiful, young woman from Brazil sipped her beer as we sat under a thatched roof in Costa Rica, dabbling in small talk. We had just met that morning.

It had been one of the best days ever – a full day on the river, shooting Class 4 rapids. I was sunburned, tired, and content.


“How long have you two been together?” she asked.

I said, “Almost thirty years.”


We looked at each other. It’s always a shock to hear it said out loud. Surely, we’re not that old. But, yes, it’s true. Our new friend looked shocked too.

“Really? I would never have guessed.”

“And why is that?”

“Because you’re so kind to each other. You act like you’re really in love.”

Imagine that. Still in love after all these years — and treating each other as if we like each other too — what a concept.

She told us about her lost loves and disastrous relationships. She had given up on finding a true life mate, thinking it was an impossible dream. She were the first couple she had met that had given her hope that it was possible.

“How do you do it?” she wanted to know.

“I believe I have a good theory,” I said. (Don’t I always?) “I think that when you’re with someone, you not only have to love and like them, but you also have to love and like yourself in that relationship.”

When two decide to come together, we are no longer two individuals co-existing side by side. A large part of each of us melts to become one. One may be more dominant, but still the combination becomes something else altogether. In that combination, we must ask ourselves,

“Do I like who I am in this combination?

If you truly like who you have become, then the partnership becomes deeper and more enduring. It is never suffocating or demeaning. It magnifies your good. It brings out the best in you.


Together, you are stronger. Together, you are more balanced. Together, the years fly by so fast, you age as if you are dancing a slow dance, and the two of you are the only ones on the dance floor.

Dance with grace. Dance with respect. Dance with kindness in your voice. Love the dance just for the sake of the dance and who you are becoming.

(Article and photos by Janey Wing Kenyon)


This is the end of the article entitled Enduring Relationships published by Tupelo Kenyon on December 19, 2008 at 5:00 am | In Communication, Passion, Relationships, Self-Image - Copyright 2007 - All rights reserved worldwide.

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