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  • Dean Bainbridge

Kinda Groovy Love

It's really easy to take relationships for granted. Especially long term ones. There's a comfort and familiarity that can make you a bit blasé. This of course sucks because they're the relationships that you care about the most.

There's no one I'm more close to than my wife. We started out 25 years ago and were that inseparable couple that prompted most of our friends to say ' ewwww, get a room why don't you!'. To be honest, most of our friends still do. What's the secret? I don't know. As far as I can tell, there is no trick to it. We just get along. We enjoy each other's company and opinion and perspective.

Us a few years ago. Our friend Merryn captured us well

Are we two peas in a pod? No. We differ on a lot of things. She doesn't like peanut butter. I have a limit to the amount of period dramas I can watch on Netflix. We even parent differently. Not in an oppositional way. We just have strengths and weaknesses that the other balances out.

I still care what my wife thinks about me. I try to impress her still (not always successful). It's not like I'm constantly trying to prove my love, but I'm not complacent either.

There is a phrase my yoga app says to me often when a pose is a bit challenging.

"A little bit of effort. A little bit of ease.' That's kinda true of our relationship.

There are many things that she does, knowingly or unknowingly, that I still adore. She makes them seem effortless... even in those times when I must be challenge!

(like when I want to go climb mountains or watch sci fi!)

Recently, on a bit of a whim, we went to see Phil Collins perform live at Adelaide Oval. It was one of those last minute things. Sure, we'd loved his songs and thought he was a bit of a character. Not number one die hard fans though. Tickets were cheap and we had no plans.

That night was amazing. The kind of unplanned night with no expectations. We drove into the city chatting about whatever. The kids were working or doing their own thing. We stopped for a great Laksa and Lemongrass Chicken on North Terrace, and wandered in the gloomy grey evening to the Oval. As we walked along, the street got more crowded and before long, the dawdling pedestrians had become a column of middle aded couples all on their way to see an old bloke who determined most of the radio airplay in the 80's.

Instead of the typical pre concert adrenaline, we just felt... there. Not in a bad way. We were totally with the flow, with little to no expectation. Hopeful but without all the drama.

Old mate Phil... He can still belt it out.

It's not uncommon for us to have experiences like this. On special occasions, we embrace the experience and try not to put pressure on each other. In fact, on boring everyday occasions, we are much the same.

Creating the space for these moments is crucial, I believe, in forging those long lasting relationships that guide us, and give us direction. They are the keel of the ship that powers through any current and gives you stability and momentum.

A little bit of effort. A little bit of ease.

Us taking a road selfie - before the age of mobile phones

Phil Collins was great by the way. I recommend you see him any time you can. Although, given that his world tour is called the 'Not Dead Yet' Tour, you might want to hurry.

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