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Sunday 09 April 2017

Elizabeth Kerekere’s Top Relationship Tips

Posted in: Health & HIV, Features
By with You, Me, Us - 6th May 2015

Elizabeth Kerekere has over 30 years of experience working within Māori and other community organisations. She has been active in rainbow communities for over 20 years, with a focus on the health and wellbeing of Takatātapui and young people.

She says “Great relationships are woven from strands of laughter, thoughtfulness and shared experience to create a taonga of trust, respect and intimacy – not work but a labour of love”.

Elizabeth Kerekere (left) with her partner Alofa Aiono – since 1992 and counting…

Here are her top relationship tips:

1. Have fun! Laughing with those who share your values and sense of humour never gets old.

2. Pay attention to details; how their cultural/spiritual beliefs play out, what comfort food they need in times of stress, how their body moves when you touch them, what inspires their passion.

3. Don’t expect them to read your mind; share your thoughts and feelings and ask questions to make sure you under- stand theirs.

4. Support their interests, commit to your own and make shared goals; you don’t have to agree on everything or be together all the time to consider a shared future.

5. Be sure they are worthy of your respect and you are worthy of theirs; that will last long after the lust settles down.

6. Negotiate rather than compromise; fit in everything important to each of you – involuntary sacrifice and martyrdom only leads to resentment.

7. Be your best self in private as well as in public; relaxing shouldn’t mean saving up all your stress and grumpiness for them to make you feel better.

8. Throwing tantrums and fighting is not flash: there can’t be a fight if one of you doesn’t join in – you’ll get to the real issues and peaceful solutions only when you’ve calmed down.

9. Take responsibility for sorting out your own issues; your up-bringing and any childhood abuse impacts on your intimate relationships – they shouldn’t have to suffer for it.

10. Remember they had a life before you; be proud of sharing your new love with the whānau, family and friends who already love them.

Elizabeth Kerekere’s tips appear in the new You, Me Us resource, created by RainbowYOUTH and the It’s not OK! campaign, which provides information and contacts for in lgbti people in abusive relationships – and a guide to healthy relationships.

You can find out more and get copies here with You, Me, Us - 6th May 2015

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