But 94 per cent of us still expect to live happily ever after: Study

The best way for people to stay in a happy relationship is to schedule time together, and stick to it, relationship counsellor Rabbi Aryeh Pamensky says.

Blame it on every fairytale you’ve ever read. Every Disney movie you’ve ever watched. When it comes to relationships, most of us are still hopeless romantics with 94 per cent wanting to live happily ever after. At least these are the findings of a recent study of 1,046 adults by Leger Marketing.

Unfortunately, our relationship reality is far from such storybook fantasy. The survey also suggests that almost seven out of 10 people rate their relationships as unfulfilling and eight in 10 people admit their relationship is not their No. 1 priority in their life. Sound familiar? “The problem is life takes over,” says Rabbi Aryeh Pamensky, a Toronto-based relationship counsellor.

“We get busy at work or get caught up in mortgage payments. It’s easy for us to forget that relationships take work.”

Pamensky, who recently launched the relationship tool www.ydivide.com, says the best way to ensure we stay happy in a relationship is to schedule time together, and make sure nothing else gets in the way — including work.

Seems simple, but in the spirit of the holidays, where time is at a premium taken up mainly by holiday parties and hunting down the right gifts, the stress of the season is almost certain to affect a relationship.

Pamesky says the problem with this time of year can be boiled down to three main points: In-laws, financial troubles and using gifts to mean more than they should. “We use gifts to create symbolism for our relationships because we don’t have enough to dedicate to the actual relationship,” says Pamensky.

To overcome these three main holiday obstacles, he suggests communication. Make a plan together of which relatives you are going to spend time with, and if certain family members drive you crazy, try not to take it out on your partner.

To ensure the holiday season doesn’t leave you bankrupt, Pamensky suggests setting a budget beforehand and making sure you both stick to it.

As for the dreaded what to get your partner for the holidays, Pamensky says just ask. “Ask them what they want. Just be open with each other,” he says. It’s better to get them something they actually want and can use.

But if surprise is what you are really after, Pamensky suggests getting two gifts — the practical gift that you know your partner wants and a surprise romantic gift like a dinner for two or a weekend away.

After all, we could all use a little more real romance in our lives, instead of the fairytale version.

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