ENK LIFE      Erasmus and Kinkajou What you need to know about LIFE -
What they don't teach you at school.






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  Partnering Up for Life

Always ask three questions before you choose a partner: Are They  nice to you? Are they an asset to you? Do you like the life they give you? With these three questions you can make sensible choices. You can live with many people, but your life will be very different depending on who you choose to spend it with.

Erasmus Erasmus : Partners & Marriage.

Most people drift through life thinking that finding a partner is a matter of meeting people and seeing if you like each other. This is a very passive process and not a very efficient one. Just because you like someone, if you are honest with yourself, does not mean that you can live with them.

Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : A friend of mine met a very nice and very social girl. He realised very early that there was a substantial gulf in the lives that each of them would expect. The social would expect a lot of activity, people and being social. The friend would expect a life of quiet introspection, working solitude and self-interest. Both were nice people. But, the life they would each choose to live would be very different. There was nothing wrong with either of them. But neither would choose knowingly the life the other person would likely give them.

Goo the Numbat Goo : In choosing a partner, it is important to think about the qualities you need to have a partner. And if the qualities are not present, move on.

Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : So what sort of the checklist do you have, old dog?

Erasmus Erasmus : I use 3 basic criteria. They need to be:
Nice to you, (KIND is perhaps a better criterion).
An asset to you.
And lastly, you need to like the life they give you.


Partners in Marriage Partnering Up

Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : These can all be relatively complex choices, but choices that you can make easily. "Nice to you" is a fairly obvious criterion. Certainly if a potential partner is not nice to you when they first meet you, (and therefore usually on their best behaviour), their behaviour is not likely to improve much with time.

This gets complicated when you throw enneagram 2/3/6 s into the mix. These enneagram personality types have a cynical or sarcastic layer in the personality. If you're not familiar with the behavioural type, is often perceived as rude. If you are familiar with the behaviour, it is generally interpreted as is given - namely as a form of humour.

Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : But overall the issue is still the same. If you're not familiar with it or if you cannot tolerate it, it is not likely to get better ever. If you do not have this personality type, you are most likely to be familiar with it only if a parent or a significant other has this personality type. You can learn to be familiar with the behavioural responses expected in interacting with this personality- but you are likely to have a lot of adaptation required to become comfortable and accepting of sarcasm and cynicism. If you begin to dislike this personality trait, your relationship is over.

Erasmus Erasmus : "An asset to you" is the next criterion. Loyalty is one of the biggest assets. Without loyalty there is no relationship.

Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : You should always ask the question; to what extent is this person likely to be loyal or beholden unto you, if you plan to form a relationship with them. Commitment is the other side of loyalty.

One friend went to a party with his girlfriend of the day. Two of his friends decided they would try to steal his girlfriend away from him. To her credit, the new girlfriend ignored all their attempts and stayed loyal. I talked to the friend about his opinion of events. I told him that the two  mates were trying to steal his girlfriend away from him, as they thought it might stir him up if they succeeded.

He replied he did not care of the least. If she was that disloyal that she would leave him and follow the slightest breeze in the wind, there would be no point having a relationship with the girl. He thought they would be doing him a favour if they managed to steal her away, because they would be saving him a lot of grief in the future. An attitude, not at all what his two friends thought they may trigger by trying to steal the girl.

Goo the Numbat Goo : Loyalty is the issue. He felt that if there was no loyalty there was no relationship, so things would be best if  ended sooner rather than later.

The 2nd part of the criterion "an asset to you" is answering the question "what's in it for me?" Each person in a relationship should be seeing that the other person would help them in their daily lives.

Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : I have seen too many girls fall in love with some boy and then wake up to reality 2 to 3 years down the track. They wake up and see that they are going to work every day, coming home and doing all the cooking and cleaning and washing, then they are doing all the shopping and all the housework while their male partner essentially does nothing, sometimes not even working.

It has taken these girls a couple of years to see what they could have seen almost on the first day they met the boy.

They would not be an asset to them. It is as easy to fall in love with someone who is an asset to you ,than with someone who will never do anything to you and never help you.

And the time to decide this is almost the first time you meet this person. If they can't help themselves, why should they ever help you? It is easy to dump someone the first time or second time you meet them, before you have any mental energy invested in the relationship.

Marriage Expectations vs Reality Marriage :
a process with growth and
a need for tolerance and understanding.

Erasmus Erasmus : Once you have started the relationship and especially once you start having sex with the other person, seeing the other person objectively is almost impossible. Do yourself a favour and ask these questions almost as soon as you meet someone. You won't be wasting your time and energy on someone who doesn't deserve it. You are more likely to reach a successful relationship if you think about the key questions early, and don't waste time on the ones who don't measure up.

Erasmus Erasmus : The last criterion is "do you like the life they give you?" I believe you are capable of living with many different people. However, your life will be very different with each person you may choose to live with. So choose someone as a partner who is likely to be making choices for their activities in life compatible with those you would make for yourself.

Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : If your partner always wants to go out and socialise and party, while you want to stay in, live quietly, read and watch TV, you have a big problem. One partner always wants out and the other partner always wants in.

Personality is genetically determined. Neither partner can really change to any extent. People's brains are just not genetically wired to alter their behaviour to such an extent. You do what you do, because your brain tells you - that is what you should do, and therefore you are comfortable with what you are doing.

Goo the Numbat Goo : Yes, you can live with the other person's behaviour, but there will need to be significant concessions and adaptations by both of you to make the relationship work. You will be far better advised to just choose someone who you are comfortable living with. In other words choose someone with whom "you like the life they give you".


Goo the Numbat Goo :These 3 basic questions, if they give you 3 positive responses, are likely to find you a partner who is a reasonable prospect. Now you need to try to get the relationship to start.

Erasmus Erasmus : Sexual attraction is either there or it is not. This is why it is always important to be well presented when you go out.

Erasmus Erasmus : People judge you by your appearance. An unfavourable first impression may be very difficult to get past - dooming any hope of a future relationship. Do not try to be someone else when you dress up. Your method of dressing up tells people who you are and what you are - even if they do not understand the enneagram game they are playing.

Remember that if you cannot live with them, the sex is likely not to be very worthwhile or very lasting.

I was out one evening at a function. At my table there were a number of women. One woman across from me was wearing a form fitting sleeveless black dress with a prominent silver zip line up to the front of the dress. Her hair was done in a modern "frantic" style - blonde and slashed across with short shaved sides. Another woman nearby was wearing an intricate white shawl over a more sedate but pretty dress. Another woman beside me was wearing work wear/business wear. You can see very quickly that the dresses tell you something about the person.

The first woman would be tangy, interesting, high-energy and perhaps high maintenance. The 2nd woman was sedate, quiet and demure with traditional ideas. The 3rd woman was all work. None of these appearances are wrong. But they do tell the other person a lot about what you are. So try to be true unto yourself in the clothing you choose and the way you present yourself. You are more likely to find someone who is interested in the real you.

Firstly if you are both looking for a relationship, you are both on the same boat so to speak and are likely to at least appraise each other.

Erasmus Erasmus : Personality is one of the biggest "attraction" factors. You are more comfortable with people whose personalities you are familiar with. These personalities tend to be the same as the personalities of people with whom you have grown up with. You are very familiar with the personalities of your mum and your dad, so if these people have the same enneagram personality type, you are likely to find that you know how to play the interaction game the same way.

They do behaviour A, I do behaviour B. They do behaviour C, I do behaviour D. It is the dance that you both know because you have grown up with it and are very familiar with it. You both know what is expected of each other in terms of behaviour within your relationship.

Erasmus Erasmus : Personality is one of the common reasons why people decide they do not wish to continue the relationship with the other person. People decide the other person is: too rigid - too loose, too sarcastic - too literally minded, too flighty - too focused, too work oriented - too play oriented, too much a "take charger" - too much a follower.

The situation becomes more complicated by people of one enneagram type picking up a layer of behaviours from other enneagram types to which they are exposed. (An overlay or a wing effect derived from living with and interacting with a different enneagram type).

Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : But surely you can cheat and make someone like you?

Erasmus Erasmus : Absolutely. There are some very basic honest ways of getting someone to like you. And they simply involve understanding.

2 of my friends are having a conversation. One mentions how his wife had managed to convince him to marry her.
He said, "She cheated. She said she liked me".

Goo the Numbat Goo : It is very difficult to dislike someone who says that they like you. So the simple act of telling someone that you like them, makes them much more likely to like you back in return.
This is not necessarily an undying expression of love.

This is simply saying that - I like you - I enjoy you - I enjoy being with you - I enjoy your company - I enjoy being around you. A very basic and very effective strategy for getting people to like you.


Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : Any Other strategies?

Erasmus Erasmus : The next strategies involve a lot of consideration for whom the person is. You need to work out what the other person's love language is. The love language theory says that there are 5 "languages of love". These are:
Gift giving
Acts of service
Words of affirmation
Quality time.

The theory says that people have one primary love language - the method in which they perceive positive acts as being "loving". They have one secondary language as well. It is important to work out how your partner works.


Aussie Family at the Beach Marriage becomes Family.

Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : Some of these things are not necessarily difficult. I was out one evening with some friends and noticed that one girl spent the entire evening draped over and touching her new boyfriend. It became obvious that her primary love language was "touch". If you "touched" her, she was happy.

This intimacy trend is accentuated by the fact that she was an enneagram "sexual". A "Sexual" is a person who prefers the company of their close friends and family. It often takes time to break into the social group of a "sexual". You need to be there for a significant period of time, before you are accepted as one of the inner circle.

Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : Another friend related that she had met this new man in her life. They were both very lonely. She had not had a relationship for some time. He was in a fairly loveless and unrewarding relationship. The woman related that when they touched, it seemed as if the spark passed between them. They suddenly looked up and became aware of each other and become aware of each other's feelings.

Impression: love language equals touch, 2 lonely people.

Alone on a Park Bench

Erasmus Erasmus : Another friend started a relationship with a girl on a holiday and then began to see the entire relationship drift towards its end. She had told him that she had some itch or discomfort down below. On arriving home he searched the cupboard and found that he had some "thrush" cream. He made a special trip to the girl's house travelling for about half an hour to give her this medicine that she needed. That simple act saved the relationship because the girl saw it as an "act of service". This was her "love language". You were prepared to do this just for me - and because you did this just for me - it means that you really do love me. The right thing done at the right time was enough to keep this relationship going.

Erasmus Erasmus : Another friend had a relationship with a girl he had met at a barbecue. As an extra special act of consideration for her, he brought a flower which he had been cultivating in his garden. Over the ensuing weeks the buds blossomed one by one - perfect and yellow, with a faint sprinkling of red dots at just the bare edges. He had not really thought much about what this gift meant to the girl, till he turned up to see her the next time. She was taking his flower with its last 2 blossoms to change the water in the vase, staring at the flower as she went. It was obvious that her "love language" was gifts.

Erasmus Erasmus : Another friend had a relationship with a man who really knew how to push her buttons. He would ring her up at the workplace saying "could you put me through to the most darling wife/can I talk to the most beautiful person in the world". Through "words of affirmation", he was pushing her buttons in all the right places. He knew exactly what to say to keep her lapping it up.

What surprised us all was how when he became ill with a heart attack, he blamed her for the illness. You are responsible for what has happened to me. And all the love evaporated. It was hard for many of the rest of us who had more average relationships with partners to understand how you could progress from "words of affirmation" to hatred so quickly. It suggested he did not mean what he was saying. It simply suggested that he knew how to manipulate his partner to get what he wanted. And perhaps this was so.

Goo the Numbat Goo : So the 2 key points here are:
If you like the person, tell them so.
You need to work out what the love language or prospective partner is.
It is helpful to know the enneagram number (one - 9) and type (social, sexual, self pres) of your partner.



Erasmus Erasmus : Next. Never forget to consider the bad stuff.
These things are the deal breakers of a relationship.

Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : Is there a drug or alcohol problem?
More importantly, is there a substance use problem - heroin - amphetamine - marijuana - sedative drugs?
Is there a gambling issue?
Are there violence or anger issues? Does the partner lose it easily?

Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : Are there any psychiatric issues? One elderly male friend (65 years old) shacked up with a 16-year-old teenager.
From his point of view the sex was worth it. However every so often, she would hear voices telling her to kill him. He related one incident when he was sitting watching TV, when she suddenly grabbed a knife and attempted to stab him in the heart. In the space of about 5 seconds, the relationship had gone from peaceful to potentially lethal. From
my point of view, I don't think there is any reward I could get from a relationship that would be worth my untimely demise. Your choice though.

Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : Is your partner an Australian, (or from the same nationality as yourself)?  One friend of ours married a Russian girl. After they were married he realised how many of her expectations were different to those that he had been brought up with. I.e. You borrow money from friends not from the bank. I.e. If you want money you need to go out and work.

I.e. You have an expectation to give your money to your parents. All these issues can be overcome - but there are definite concessions and adaptations required to make a relationship work when you grow up expecting different things.

Erasmus Erasmus : Another perhaps more typical and Australian example is "growing up poor". If you grow up poor - you are always poor - no matter how rich you may become. If you grow up rich - you are always rich - no matter how poor you may become.

People, who grow up rich, routinely do not consider the value of money in their decisions. They want it, so they buy it. They don't want it, they throw it out. I think it is an incredible gift to grow up poor because it sets you up to be safe and conservative throughout your life. In a relationship, if you both have grown up rich, you are probably feted to stay poor together.

Dr Xxxxx Dr Xxxxx : The major psychiatric issues that you need to consider other:
PTSD especially where it relates to past sexual or abuse trauma

Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : All these medical conditions will change your life. Probably also you will enjoy your life more by not having to experience these. The medical profession provides medication to control symptoms of all of the above conditions.

Dr Xxxxx Dr Xxxxx : The medications do simply control the symptoms of the conditions. The medication do not cure the psychiatric conditions . Even if the medication does help these conditions and reduce the expression of the symptoms of the illness, some symptoms always leak through. These take the form of intensely held ideas that cannot be reasoned with and that can be quite crazy to those of us not affected.

Erasmus Erasmus : Relationship breakers I have heard in the past include:
You are responsible for everything that has happened to me.
You are not a real man unless you drink beer and watch TV especially a lot of sport on TV.

On some of our other sites, we do mention some theories about how these conditions can be treated and permanently improved. (Paill Spectrum).

Kinkajou FaceKinkajou : There is another theory that talks about acquaintances and best friends. Theory says that most people would have up to 5 people in the inner circle (best friends), up to 15 people in their next inner circle (friends) and up to 150 people in their outer circle (acquaintances). To stay in the best friend inner circle, you need to be spending at least half an hour with that person every day. We have only so much spare time in our lives.

So if you stop spending half an hour with that person in your inner circle every day, you essentially drop them as a best friend, and they move to the "friends" circle. Your intimates need to stay within your inner circle so the most basic requirement is to spend some directed time especially with them every day. Whether you watch TV together, talk together in the kitchen or garden together, to stay together you need to spend time together.

Time Together Marriage Night
Togetherness in Marriage

Erasmus Erasmus : As a general rule, you need to invest time with a person to maintain relationship. So if that person asks you for some time e.g. to watch a movie e.g. to go out e.g. to do something together, you should seriously consider trying to accept the invitation. Remember they are inviting "you". Nobody else is getting an invite. And if you want to stay in the special invitation group, you need to keep it easy for the invitations to arrive. If you become too hard to approach with an invitation - you stop getting invitations - and you are on the road to losing your relationship.

If the other person wants to spend time talking to you, you should accept this with good grace even if you desperately want to do something else. There are probably not many other people beating a path to your door to talk to you. So you should accept the invitation to talk with good grace as well. The attentive talking is not talking - and you may end up being lonely doing that.

Erasmus Erasmus :One warning: if your potential new partner is a social, they like to talk and like to talk a lot. It can become very hard to deal with if you are an enneagram self -pres personality.

Erasmus Erasmus : An enneagram summary:
Deciders: 3, 8 and to some extent 4
Thinkers: 2, 3, 6: capable of sarcasm and cynicism
Perfectionists: one
Bosses: 8
Doers: 4, 7, 3, 8
Non-Doers : 9
Slow Personalities: 1,2, and 8
Fast Personalities: 3,4, 7