Mental Notes with Hilary Valdez: Relationships

Mental Notes with Hilary Valdez: Relationships

by Hilary Valdez
Stripes Okinawa

“To be or not to be, that is the question.” The most famous soliloquy in the words spoken by Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Our lives continually change and evolve. Our relationships change as our wisdom and insights expand. On the path of life, we find ourselves attracted to many people, some for a short time, some longer. All humans search for life satisfactions. Finding a suitable mate is one of the challenges of life.

Social engagements have changed since great grandpas and grandmas time. In pre- and post-World War II, marriage and dating habits were constricted by a defined social conduct. Men in the 1950s mostly wore suits and ties when dating and women wore dresses. Today, some men wear dresses and women wear suits.

Generally, men and women want the same thing in life: friendship, companionship and a chemistry that makes them click together. But in a successful relationship, regular emotional maintenance is required. Your car needs a tune-up, your relationship needs a tune up. But is it a minor or major tune up? The key point is finding meaningfulness in your life. The first step is being happy with yourself.

Try generating positive emotions. Wake up happy! Don’t wake up grumpy. Make a conscious decision to maintain a positive outlook, at least for a day. This helps when finding a mate and keeping a mate. A Positive Mental Outlook, or PMA, goes a long way is developing psychological health and a positive outlook on life.

I have found that a healthy relationship involves honesty, respect, open communication, compromise, adjusting and expectations of the person you are dating or married to. Unfortunately, for me, this insight popped up after ending friendships, marriages, and serial monogamy partnerships with female companions. I had to learn to become a friend, work on myself, respect the other person as an equal, and work through disagreements. Divorce is costly, multiple divorces are even costlier. Do you like being poor?

People who couple up tend to have similar levels of attractiveness. Some people seek people like themselves. Some people make snap decisions and look at potential partners based on looks. But looks are transitory. Character defines the person.

Open communication is the hallmark of a healthy relationship. Listening and feeling that you are being heard, is what people want. When we learn to listen, we are opening another dimension of intimacy. People want understanding and acceptance. All relationships are a challenge. But accepting the other person with their pimples and dimples, offering understanding, compassion, and loyalty… and telling the person you love them every day, goes a long way in maintaining a fun and healthy relationship. Going out to dinner helps. Okay, humm along, and sing your happy tune.


Hilary Valdez is a retiree living in Japan. He is an experienced Mental Health professional and Resiliency Trainer. Valdez is a former Marine and has worked with the military most of his career and most recently worked at Camp Zama as a Master Resiliency Trainer. Valdez now has a private practice and publishes books on social and psychological issues. His books are available on Amazon and for Kindle. Learn more about Valdez and contact him at or at Follow his YouTube channel Hilary’s Quick Talk for more insights.

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