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Rules like ‘wait 3 days to call back’ no longer apply. “If you treat dating and love like a game, someone—or both of you—will end up the loser,” says host of, The Rendezvous with Simon and Kim on iHeart Radio, Simon Marcel Badinter. “If you want to, call back in the next 24 hours. It has to be honest and spontaneous if you want to be respected and start a healthy relationship.”
These would be those instant deal breakers of yours—he’s a smoker, a non-monogamist, a cat-lover, etc.—that instantly tell you to move on so you’re not wasting your time. “What are those three things that are not negotiable when you’re looking for a relationship?” asked relationship expert Dr. Melanie Mills. “Try not to include physical or financial attributes. Focus on character traits, personality type, and value systems.”
When I moved to America at 29, me and the guy still corresponded. People kept telling me that long-distance romances didn’t work out, so I went down [to Trinidad] a few times and we saw each other and it was nice. But eventually he told me that it wasn’t going to work out because I was too far away and didn’t want to come back to Trinidad. And it was fine!
Even partners who love each other can be a mismatch, sexually. Mary Jo Fay, author of Please Dear, Not Tonight, says a lack of sexual self-awareness and education worsens these problems. But having sex is one of the last things you should give up, Fay says. "Sex," she says, "brings us closer together, releases hormones that help our bodies both physically and mentally, and keeps the chemistry of a healthy couple healthy."
Whether it is an impulsive move, a perceived last-chance leap or a slide into the inevitable, their advice is to stop, look, and listen — to yourself and others. Question the decision, then question it again. Some strong testimony for the need to wait and choose carefully came from women who experienced failed marriages (sometimes getting it right in a second union). They typically attributed the failure to entering marriage on impulse and not gaining a deep knowledge of their partner before marrying. As 81-year-old Marie said bluntly, “it is better to not marry than to marry the wrong person. Both my husband and I were married once before, and it took that experience to learn this lesson."
Gemini may be initially attracted to the earthy Goat’s status and knowledge about career and workplace. Unless markers show differently, a Capricorn man may not be dynamic enough to keep Gemini’s interest. The Goat focuses, while Gemini likes variety. If this progresses further, both partners often feel as if they had compromised, with the Gemini feeling unfulfilled and the Capricorn feeling too many demands.
I was born in Trinidad. I’m the fourth of 12 children. When I was young, there was this guy who came around — everybody’s eyes were on him. I was young — 17, 18. This guy was slim with a nice ‘fro. I told everyone, “Leave him. I want him.” And guess what? He chose my sister! And today, they’re still married. They’ve been married for about 50 years. All of us remain close.
A somewhat unlikely match, the Pisces man is nonetheless a very compatible partner for the Taurus woman. He will draw her out of her shell emotionally. The chemistry between this pair is strong, making for an exceptionally satisfying sex life. This cautious pair might be slow to get things going, but once the relationship develops, they can expect a long and happy life together.
"Like many people, I grew up believing that marriage required self-sacrifice. Lots of it. My wife, Linda, helped me see that I didn’t have to become a martyr and sacrifice my own happiness in order to make our marriage work. She showed me that my responsibility in creating a fulfilling and joyful life for myself was as important as anything else that I could do for her or the kids. Over the years, it’s become increasingly clear to me that my responsibility to provide for my own well-being is as important as my responsibility to others. This is easier said than done, but it is perhaps the single most important thing we can do to ensure that our relationship will be mutually satisfying."
Opposites do attract, but over time vast differences in personality lead to major conflict. Despite occasional bad moods and a hot temper, the Taurus woman’s nature is generally consistent, while Gemini is utterly unpredictable. Gemini’s casual attitude toward sex leaves the Taurus woman feeling cold and neglected, while Taurus’ need for intimacy may scare away flighty Gemini. This match ends badly, especially for the Taurus, who often falls hard despite her best judgment.
You don't need to make the choice entirely on your own, older women say. Listen to your friends and family: Do they like your partner? Do they think you're being treated well? Do they think your partner is serious about the relationship? I heard from elders who made a wrong choice: “If only I’d listened when people told me this was a bad decision.”
Plan, plan, plan. Fay suggests making an appointment, but not necessarily at night when everyone is tired. Maybe during the baby's Saturday afternoon nap or a "before-work quickie." Ask friends or family to take the kids every other Friday night for a sleepover. "When sex is on the calendar, it increases your anticipation," Fay says. Changing things up a bit can make sex more fun, too, she says. Why not have sex in the kitchen? Or by the fire? Or standing up in the hallway?
The optimistic Sagittarius man is a good compliment to the Taurus woman’s pessimistic nature. Although very different in many respects, this is a good match if both parties are willing to work to meet one another’s needs. The independent and free-spirited Sagittarius sometimes presents a risk for the loyal Taurus woman. Consulting a psychic helps the Bull determine whether the Archer is truly committed.
"A big mistake people make when dating someone new is to bring all of their fears, concerns, and past negative relationship experiences to their current relationship," says Ray. She explains that in the more than 26 years of speaking to singles, she's heard that they do not want to hear about their date's past relationships on first or second dates. She insists that you should be keeping your thoughts and conversations focused on the person you're currently dating and on getting to know them. (You shouldn't be interrogating them on their past, either.)
Still, it's tough not to take it personally when he's getting off by looking at another woman. To help tamper that, Dr. Kort recommends taking the secrecy out of pornography and discussing it. "Ask him what about it turns him on, and [express without anger] what turns you off," he says. That way, a dialogue is created that allows for honesty, dignity, and closeness without him feeling like he's doing something shameful, while you can figure out what you're OK with accepting and what you're not.
A lasting relationship is made up of a million little moments. Anyone who has been in a long-term relationship can attest to the fact that the real bricks and mortar of living with someone and loving someone is actually about taking the rubbish out, making dinner, putting on a load of washing, a quick kiss in between dropping the kids off. Real romance doesn’t only reside in grand gestures, but rather in loving in the mundane and the minutia. So pick your towel off the floor, remember to buy milk on the way home (and sometimes throw in a bunch of flowers), and make the effort. It will make your partner feel loved on an authentic and meaningful level.
I have never felt like I missed out on a marriage or a child. I decided to make a life out of taking care of other people’s children — they are all my children. And my family has so many children who love me all the same. The life that I had growing up was too tough for me. I grew up deprived and I definitely did not want that for a child. I never wanted to bring a child onto this earth unless I could support that child and give it everything that it wanted.
We’re all about empowered woman, but when you don’t let your man do even as much as change a lightbulb for you, it will make him feel inferior and not needed. Remember, his self-worth is directly connected to his ability to provide for you and protect you. Let him open doors for you, fix what needs to be fixed, pick you up late from the train station, etc. And if you make more money than him, still, let him pay for things. Being strong and independent is wonderful, but it doesn’t mean you can’t accept help or courtesies from other people.