What gaijin kids think about love:

"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over
and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her
all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love."
Rebecca- age 8

When someone loves you, the way they say your name is
different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth."
Billy - age 4

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on
shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."
Karl - age 5

"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of
your French fries without making them give you any of theirs."
Chrissy -age 6

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired."
Terri - age 4

"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she
takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK."
Danny - age 7

"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired
of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My
Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss"
Emily - age 8

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."
Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)

"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,"
Nikka - age 6 (we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday."
Noelle - age 7

"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are
still friends even after they know each other so well."
Tommy - age 6

"During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared.
I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and
smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore."
Cindy - age 8

"My mommy loves me more than anybody . You don't see anyone
else kissing me to sleep at night."
Clare - age 6

"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken."
Elaine-age 5

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still
says he is handsomer than Robert Redford."
Chris - age 7

"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day."
Mary Ann - age 4

"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her
old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones."
Lauren - age 4

"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and
little stars come out of you." (what an imagination)
Karen - age 7

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross."
Mark - age 6

"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it.
But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget."
Jessica - age 8

And the final one -- Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once
talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the
contest was to find the most caring child.
The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor
was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife Upon
seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard,
climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.

When his Mother asked
what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry"


My wife dresses to kill. She also cooks the same way.
-Henny Youngman

My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.
-Rodney Dangerfield

A good wife always forgives her husband when she's wrong.
-Milton Berle

I bought my wife a new car. She called and said, "There痴 water in the carburetor." I asked her , "Where's the car?" She replied, "In the lake."
-Henny Youngman

The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret.
-Henny Youngman

After a quarrel, a wife said to her husband, "You know, I was a fool when I married you." The husband replied, "Yes, dear, but I was in love and didn't notice."

When a man steals your wife, there is no better revenge than to let him keep her.

I haven't spoken to my wife in 18 months - I don't like to
interrupt her.

My girlfriend told me I should be more affectionate. So I got myself two girlfriends.

A man said his credit card was stolen but he decided not to report it since the thief was spending much less than his wife did.

Man is incomplete until he is married. Then he is finished.

A little boy asked his father, "Daddy, how much does it cost to get married?" The father replied, "I don't know son, I'm still paying."

Young Son: Is it true, Dad, that in some parts of Africa, a man doesn't know his wife until he marries her?
Dad: That happens in every country, son.

Then there was a man who said, "I never knew what real happiness was until I got married; then it was too late.

A man placed an ad in the classifieds: "Wife wanted." The next day he received a hundred letters. They all said the same: "You can have mine."

A woman was telling her friend, "I made my husband a millionaire."
"And what was he before you married him?" asked the friend.
"A billionaire." she replied,

Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.

It's not true that married men live longer than single men. It only seems longer.

Losing a wife can be very hard. In my case, it was almost impossible.

Just think, if it weren't for marriage, men would go through life thinking they had no faults at all.

A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.
A successful woman is one who can find such a man.

Men who have pierced ears are better prepared for marriage. They've experienced pain and bought jewellery.

The most effective way to remember your wife's birthday is to forget it just once.

Communicating as a couple

No new language required, just the skills to talk things through and keep your relationship running smoothly.

Body language

People relate to one another in different ways, and not always directly. Often, you can tell what someone is trying to say through body language. So, if you're scoring on someone whose arms and legs remain firmly crossed, it might be a good time to make your excuses and get your coat. Often, however, it's down to instinct. "I notice that if men look at you in the eyes, they seem to be the ones that like you," says Christine. "Simple touching is another sign that they like you. For example, patting you on the leg, rubbing your back or your arm, wrestling around, tickling you."

Speak up!

Other times, it's what is not said that speaks volumes. In this situation, unless you're a mind reader, you may miss out on critical information - and a situation goes from bad to worse. "If I think there is an issue with something which would affect the relationship I'll bring it up," says Rachael.

Dig deep

In a relationship, clear communication is vital to making things work. Unless you share your innermost thoughts and feelings, the bond between you can quickly fray. Without knowing what really makes you both tick, you risk misunderstanding creeping in, even resentment. "I never keep any issues to myself," confesses Chris. "I like to bring everything out into the open, maybe even argue about it a little bit. As long as it gets solved, I'm happy, and there's no way for it to get solved unless you let the other person know that it's a problem."

Be clear

On paper, talking openly might seem like common sense. In practice, it's often not so easy to express what you really want to say. All kind of complications can kick in, from a fear of a bad response to choosing the wrong time to talk. Whatever the case, it's vital that you overcome all obstacles to ensure you're on the same wavelength. Josie thinks it's all about forcing the subject. "When my boyfriend is avoiding an issue I usually try to bring up things to see why it bothers him," she says. "If it's really touchy I leave it alone - I just think some people need to have things kept to themselves. I'm perfectly OK with that."

The skills you need

Be a listener: If you can list the issues in your relationship that trouble you, tear it up right now. Steam in with demands and you'll put your partner on the defensive. To kick-start a healthy conversation, go in with a good question, even if you have to begin with one about your relationship in general, and be prepared to let them talk.

Respect any differences: It would be a very dull relationship if you agreed about everything. A conflict of opinion is a healthy thing, after all. It shows you're individuals, capable of forming your own beliefs, as well as debating them. Even if you disagree with each other about major life issues, mutual respect will encourage you to find a way forward. Meet in the middle: Compromise is crucial when it comes to negotiating your way through any relationship. A listening ear and respect for your partner's viewpoint will ensure you keep talking to one another. Flexibility is what's needed for a solution you can both agree upon.

Review your decision: Put your proposed solution into practice for a while, and see how things work out. Just be sure to review how things are going so you can make any necessary adjustments.

With practice and experience, you'll find these basic relationship skills will become second nature. From choosing a movie on a Friday night to feeling like you need more space for your romance to thrive, it means you can take
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