From 1950 to 1990 the divorce rate doubled. Our grandparents stayed together in relationships longer and were seemingly happier. Of course there are instances where our grandmother didn’t leave our grandfather because it wasn’t normal to do so back in the 50’s, but there’s clearly a difference between relationships then and relationships now.
This has led to an epidemic of single adults, and children who feel torn between two arguing parents and feeling tech need to choose, which is never a good or healthy place for them to be.
Our grandparents simply lived in a different time which did definitely influence the outcome of their relationship. Of course there were cultural norms as we stated previously, and then there’s the massive adoption of technology, social media and matchmaking websites and apps that make it easier to get into another relationship faster than ever.
Back in the day, our grandparents dated, courted and chivalry was respected and a part of the dating process. Now, much of this seems to be lost, or intentionally skipped.
There are lesson that our grandparents leave with us as to how to live a healthy relationship however. Sometimes we need to read between the lines and be a bit more intentional about noticing the traits our grandparents displayed in their relationships compared to our relationships today, or even the relationship of our parents which we have a more direct and personal relationship towards which can lead to bias, and ultimately a skewed lesson with little to no grounding in truth or reality. Especially if our parents are divorced and we were stuck in the middle as the child.
10 Lessons Our Grandparents Silently Taught Us
Our grandparents may not have given overt advice, but simply reading between the lines and noticing how they communicate as well as handle problems and challenges as a team can reveal a lot. It’s nice to have that direct, upfront advice, but sometimes by simply being the observer you can learn more, or learn things that your grandparents may not be aware of consciously that will provide tremendous value to your relationships and life as a whole.
The following pieces of advice were some of the best pieces of dating and relationship advice we found from grandmothers online, sharing with their children or grandchildren. Mostly from a woman named Sylvia, who has a whole lot of relationship treasure to share as you’ll soon find out..
Grandmother Tip #1:
Avoid People That Cannot Keep Their Hands Clean
This is far more obvious than you may realize. There will be red flags along the way. Perhaps you introduce them to a friend or family member of yours and their energy and emotional state shifts. They are charmed easily, which is a red flag that they can be and will be easily manipulated outside of your relationship if you continue to pursue them. A grounded person who is even-keeled with everyone is far more likely to stay by your side.
Grandmother Tip #2:
Glitter isn’t Gold!
Men and women can appear out of no where and have a shine or sparkle about them but all ‘glitter’ is not gold. All that sparkles is not true treasure. Many men and women do what’s called ‘love bombing’ where they showcase a lot of love upfront and make big promises. Watch out for these humans that sparkle, but aren’t true gold when you dig beneath the surface.
Grandmother Tip #3:
What’s On Your Back Burner Stinks The Whole Kitchen
When it comes to being in a relationship with someone it’s easy to become emotionally entangled with them. If this occurs it’s important to recognize that emotional entanglement may not be true love, as difficult as it is to see. The lesson here is to recognize when you’re emotionally entangled with someone and to not put them on the back burner. Putting someone in a position to ‘wait for your love’ is one of the most cruel things that you can do, and no one should have to suffer for empty promises. You shouldn’t have to wait for them and they shouldn’t have to wait for you if it’s true. This is foolish and wrong to do to someone.
Grandmother Tip #4:
Can You Accept The Seven Worst Things About Them?
This is a true test worth using in your life and relationship right now. This wise grandmother shared that any man can have moves, money and status but what are his 7 worst traits? Can you clearly see what his worst traits are and can you still love him with these worst traits? It’s easy to see the positive traits, especially in the beginning of any relationship. But can you see the negative traits and can you live with those and still love them regardless? This really applies to men and women both. An exercise worth engaging in! If you cannot even think of 7 of their worst traits, that’s a good sign. If all you can think of is two or three bad traits about them and you can love them through that, maybe you’ve found the one.
Grandmother Tip #5:
If Your Son Turned Out Like That (The Test)
Grandmother Sylvia shared a valuable golden nugget here. As she was sitting with four or five young woman she shared “I’d just ask yourself one question: ‘If you had a son who turned out exactly like that, would you be proud of him, or would you ask yourself each and every day where you had gone wrong?’”There were four or five young women at the table that day, of varying ages and backgrounds. It forced us all to regroup.
Grandmother Tip #6:
Love is Just Another Word In The Dictionary
Sylvia shared that “Love is just another word in the dictionary” not to devalue it but to put things into the true perspective. To share that whether you love someone or not, it doesn’t really matter if they are ‘acting a fool’ as she put it. If they are abusive, cheating, or actively acting in a manner that is not loving, it is your job to recognize that and understand that you do not need to be with them and you also do not need to actively love them in a relationship. For some people ‘to quit loving’ doesn’t feel natural, or right.
That’s okay, just understand that you can love them from afar, in your heart, passively, but not be actively engaged with someone who is manipulating and hurting you in a relationship. Ultimately, love is a choice and it is your job to choose wisely before getting into a relationship so that you aren’t in this situation in the first place. If you are, acting to get out may be more difficult as emotional entanglement and living with one another can complicate things quite a bit.
Grandmother Tip #7:
There Are Stages Of Love
Sylvia, being in her wise age shared “There are stages of love,” she often said. “It will change, but you will know it when you find it. And if you are lucky and if you work very hard, it will last forever.”
Grandmother Tip #8:
You Cannot Give Love You Do Not Have
“I’ve been married for over 40 years. The most important thing I’ve learned is that you can’t give something to another person that you don’t have for yourself. When you are honest with the love you have for yourself, only then can you offer to share and sacrifice that love with another.” -Marion shares.
Grandmother Tip #9:
Build Your Love on Friendship
“St. Paul said it best in 1 Corinthians (Love is patient, love is kind…). My own input would be that your mate has to be your best friend before he is your lover. You must be able to talk about and share your feelings with each other without fear, and be able to laugh together and cry together.” -Laura shares.
Grandmother Tip #10:
Express Gratitude To Your Partner
Showing gratitude to your partner can help you feel more connected and attentive — and even give you a more positive outlook on life. “Expressions of gratitude in our relationships helps us feel seen and loved by our partners,” says Francis. “It is as easy as saying thank you for the little things and making requests rather than demands.”
There are many pieces of advice on love and relationships that I’m sure grandmothers from all over the world could share. These are important pieces of advice to keep in mind. Time tested and proven, clearly!
However, in today’s complicated relationship environment there are a few other traits that I have noticed need to be watched out for.
Modern Day Relationships Have These Two Additional Challenges:
One of these is a relationship where the man is feminine and the woman is masculine. This eventually leads to issues as the man feels underappreciated and underutilized and the woman feels exhausted form doing womanly things but also picking up slack on the man’s part. Read this article to learn more about this challenging topic.
Another challenge worth understanding and taking into consideration is understanding your love languages and your partners love languages. Gary Chapman, a counselor and author of The 5 Love Languages shares that there are 5 unique love languages and learning your love languages as well as your partners love languages, and how to prioritize them is important to love your partner in the way that they receive love best. This article here (click to read) explains the 5 love languages and how to use it practically in your relationship now, or your next relationship.