If we think mimicry is a useful shortcut to success, observing successful couples is worth our time.

With the perspective of hindsight, I think I’ve figured out at least one quality that many folks have to keep their relationships moving along nicely. That quality is something akin to collegiality, or camaraderie.

We don’t often talk about the friendship or teamwork part of being with someone. Love – or as I like to call it thesedays “love” – attraction, sex and all those other gooey words take up much of the conversation. However, as two people move from strangers to boyfriend/girlfriend and then marriage, the percentage of time spent on just being together in the daily normalcy of life increases.

What do I mean by camaraderie? Well, it takes has many facets. Sharing the small stuff of life lies at the heart of the matter. Successful couples find a way into a common language. A shared sense of humour. A shortcut way of communicating. Specific signals, such as looks and words. A way to look at it is that they create a room from which they both look out at the world.

I like this way of behaving. Two people coming together to share a life is an entirely unlikely proposition. Until they commit to each other, they have two separate houses, if you like, mental spaces that remain unmeshed. If we want to create a union, manufacturing a space we both inhabit to the exclusion of everyone else is healthy and smart.

Collegiality is also a way of connecting in a way other than sexually. This is the friendship part of a successful relationship, the innocence of which makes it both an antidote to the stresses of being with one person and a simple link to  his or her essence.

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