My American friend didn’t understand the Czech word “řešit”, which means to solve! “I don’t get it – in Bohemia people sit around in pubs and everybody is “solving” something. Girls are “solving” the problem of their diets while eating cream cakes. Boys are “solving” political issues as they drink one beer after another. Mums are “solving” the problem of bringing up kids while their little darlings are punching each other right next to them. Boys are “solving” their girl problems and girls are “solving” their boy problems, but all the action is happening while they are seated at the table. The English meaning of “solve” is to do something and not just to sit and talk about it. James simply didn’t fully grasp our Czech word “řešit” and the way we go about things.

We keep “solving” problems non stop, mainly in relationships and particularly those long-term ones. We are “solving” the problem of what annoys us about our partner, what we dislike and what doesn’t suit us. We most often “solve” these in the wrong place and at the wrong time. We constantly “solve” something, in fact so often, that we don’t realise that we haven’t actually solved anything at all … We often think that if a problem surfaces in a relationship we must solve it as soon as possible.

How about, as a change, doing it the other way round? At first raising your spirits and only then embarking on “solving”? Imagine a stream full of rocks. The stream is your relationship; the rocks are all those issues in need of “solving”. You’d like to pass through the stream together, but the water is shallow and the rocks are huge. So you just stand still. And then somebody comes and opens up a gateway letting the water flow into the bed of the stream. Suddenly, you get going smoothly and can easily overcome all of the obstacles, which remain under you. Good spirits work in a relationship similarly as the stream.

But where is that benefactor who will let the water go down your stream? You’ve guessed it correctly – nobody else but you can do it. We’ll be delighted if you share with us all of your ideas of how and which way to improve the mood in a relationship …

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