If any of you saw The Hunger Games recently, you were in for a bloodbath — a very entertaining, very well-produced bloodbath. I'm a huge fan of Suzanne Collins, and the movie was one of the best I've seen in a long time. But while I cheered for Katniss, cursed the gamekeeper, and threw popcorn at President Snow, I couldn't help but notice that some of the lessons of Hunger Games could also be applied to relationships.
1. Don't Let Him (or Her) Own You. Before going into the Hunger Games arena, Peeta and Katniss spend a quiet moment looking over the city. With a wistful glance at his would-be lover and soon-to-be fellow Gladiator, Peeta tells Katniss, "I keep wishing I could think of a way... to show the capitol they don't own me. That I'm more than a piece in their games." And show them he does. Healthy relationships are built on equality. If you feel owned or used, there's a good chance that you are being played in someone's game. You may be their most important game piece. But regardless of whether you are a queen or a pawn, if your relationship feels like a chess match, run!
2. Don't Eat the Berries. While Katniss is out hunting for food, Peeta tries to be helpful and unknowingly picks poisonous Nightlock berries to eat with the meal. Foxface watches Peeta and picks berries of her own, thinking they are edible. She dies instantly upon ingestion. Affairs, abuse, and drug and alcohol addiction are common forms of relationship Nightlock. While they are possible for some couples to overcome, they can be instant relationship killers. So if you are tempted to stray, to use, or to be otherwise despicable, be aware that you are putting your relationship seriously at risk.
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