Get real. What independent films can teach us about love

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When we first started going out in the early 2000s, our regular ‘date-night’ routine was to go to Blockbusters (I still had a VHS recorder back then), browse the aisles for about 30 minutes and debate which film to watch. We would buy double-chocolate ice cream and order a pizza, and then watch at least one film per night. (We still had lots of energy back then, so late nights were not a problem.)

We must have watched most of the classic Hollywood films together, from ‘Manhattan’ to ‘Taxi Driver’. We also went to the cinema pretty often, something we hardly ever do these days. (£20 for 2 tickets anyone? Enough said.)

These days, we watch quite a lot of films and series together on Netflix, many of which end up being about relationships in some way or another! We still have a healthy debate before adding films onto our wish list, but we’re (mostly) off the junk food these days. And we’re in bed by 10 pm…

Our favourite ones so far have been:

  • 45 Years (detailing the sudden change in a long marriage just before the couple’s 45th wedding anniversary. Wonderfully acted and heart breaking.)
  • Love Steaks (a German comedy drama about the blossoming relationship between an alcoholic chef and a shy masseur in a luxury hotel. Well worth watching! Subtitles.)
  • Blue Jay (a recent black-and-white film about high school sweethearts meeting again 20 years after they broke up. Great dialogue and very emotional. I’m a big fan of Mark Duplass, so do check out his other films. Safety not Guaranteed is another great one.)
  • Ghost World (based on a comic book, with teenagers Scarlett Johansen and Thora Birch encountering a nerdy, loveable Steve Buscemi).
  • Love. A new series about two misfits falling in love. In Hollywood.

What’s so refreshing about these films and series is that the protagonists don’t go skipping hand in hand into a fairytale sunset after they have finally kissed / tied the knot. Love often is raw and complicated, and viewing couples struggling with their emotions, lack of communication skills and life in general is a breath of fresh air.

People are not perfect. There are no fairy tale endings – you need to put in work continuously to maintain a good relationship. And everyone is in the same boat: even the people who you think have it all.

So… we hope you’ll enjoy some of our recommended films above. We’d also love to hear your recommendations. Head over to our Facebook or Twitter pages and let us know. See you there!

Have a good week!

popcorn-movie-party-entertainment

Our First Interview!

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Exciting times. We have just been interviewed about our app and the story behind it by the lovely Talented Ladies Club – please read the full interview here:

Please like and share. Thanks!
Claudia and Charlie

Minimalism in Your Relationship

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I am a big fan of the minimalism movement. Over the last few years, I have been following Joshua Becker’s Becoming Minimalist blog, Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits musings, and I still enjoy reading the The Minimalists’ essays on trying to simplify their (and our) daily lives. If I was single, I’d definitely consider living in a Tiny House with as few belongings as possible. (I’m not so sure that living in what is essentially one big room would work well for us as a family, however.)

Having recently re-watched Minimalism – The Documentary on Netflix, I went through a few of our rooms with black bin bags and now have two big piles of unwanted clothes, books and toys for the charity shop. It is astounding how much clutter we have amassed in the last 1 ½ years in our new home. And it is wonderful how much more peaceful our decluttered rooms feel now. They are also easier to tidy and clean (which is a plus, given that I am not naturally a particularly tidy person).

Minimalism teaches us to focus on the essential things in life

By getting rid of the surplus clutter and belongings, we get to the essence of what makes us happiest. For example, you may realise that 8 out of the 10 tops in your drawer are not really ‘you’, that you don’t enjoy wearing them that much, and that these can be given away (or sold) without you missing them at all. The remaining two tops, however, make you feel happy, and you definitely want to keep them. Great!

So, how can we apply minimalism to our relationships?

Focus on what makes you happy

When it boils down to it, what are the two or three things that you really need from and in your relationship, i.e. ‘things’ that keep you happy on a day-to-day basis?

I’d be surprised if these ‘things’ really were objects. Most likely, they are gestures of kindness, such as a hug and kiss good morning, practical help with household chores, being thanked/feeling appreciated. (See also our Top 50 list of things you may want to wish for in your relationship.)

Exchange your wishes

So, once you have a shortlist of wishes, exchange them with your partner. Don’t overwhelm them with more than five wishes at a time. Really focus on what makes you happiest. And then ask your partner to fulfil these wishes, in a positive, loving way. It’s an ongoing give and take process, and I guarantee that it will make both of you happier, as long as you both keep working on fulfilling each other’s wishes!

Obviously, we’d love you to do this via our app, which we have custom-built for exactly this purpose. (If you don’t have an Android phone, we’re planning an iPhone version at some point soon! In the meantime, try a paper-and-pen approach.)

We’d love to hear how this is working for you. Just email feedback@couplekarma.com – looking forward to hearing from you! 🙂

Now, back to the decluttering…

Claudia (female half of Couple Karma)

Love notebook with flowers