"Whether it is a professional athlete or a CEO, when I ask my clients, 'Why her?'...the feedback is almost always the same. TEARS! Seriously, big burly guys that you would never imagine being emotional. The response is often they are just grateful for her. Grateful she let him in his life. Grateful of a specific experience the two shared. Simply, a large of amount of gratitude which led to him wanting to spend eternity with his chosen one. Even without a partner, studies show that when we are grateful, The Universe gladly makes more show up in your life for which to be grateful. Next up for you...a +1!"
Be optimistic; I'm a firm believer that there is someone out there for everyone. Don't subscribe to the belief that you're going to spend forever alone or that true love doesn't exist — it does, it just takes work, which brings me to my last point: Be willing to put in the work. Successful relationships require both partners to put in a lot of effort; if you really love one another, it doesn't feel like work.
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Certain human attributes simply can’t withstand the test of time — the precision of our vision, the strength of our bones, the synchronicity of our limbs. But as we grow seemingly weaker on the outside, my grandparents have demonstrated that, internally, we often tend to grow even stronger in our convictions. My grandmother’s body may be battling the adversary of time, but her adoration for my grandfather (and berries) remains an ally. Love, it seems, can age quite well.
Some of the best advice I've ever received has been from my dad, but I didn't quite realize that until I got older. My "all-knowing" father spits out life lessons every other sentence, so I usually respond with an eye roll. But as I began to come across experiences in my life where his words were applicable, maybe this self-proclaimed Yoda is onto something after all, I thought. Ironically, I learned most about being a woman from him.
Philosopher and psychologist Viktor Frankl said that when you know your ‘why’, you can endure any ‘how’. Know your why. Why are you in a relationship with your partner? Your answer will be the light that guides you. If you can’t answer this question clearly, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your relationship. Take it to a level deeper, ‘because I love him/her’ is not sufficient, why do you love them?
Love does not fit simply or easily into a set of prescribed rules. All people are different, all relationships are different and all contexts are different. But what remains the same is that the way you approach your relationship, your attitude and outlook, can shape its happiness and longevity. Put your heart on the line and love with all and everything. And if you can’t, find the person that will make you want to. Love is worth it, every time.
"But sometimes people actually have pretty strong feelings about whether they will or won’t have children. And one person can say, 'I really want children.' The other one says, 'Well, I’m not sure' and they let it go. But sometimes that really means no. And I have seen heartache there as a result. So they should ask: 'Well, what can you imagine your life might be like in 10 years? Does it involve children?'
Meet people where they meet you — don't over-invest in anyone that's not investing in you. Dating is like every other relationship in your life whether it be a work relationship or friendship. You're not going to be chasing down a client that doesn't show interest, so why would you do that with a partner? Value your time, value our energy, value your heart. If you treat yourself with respect, other people will do the same.
This is a complex one but necessary to surviving in a rapid dating world, says sex and relationship expert, Dr. Nikki Goldstein. “Building strength and self-confidence is key. The reality of it is, dating can be hard and feelings can be hurt. But if you know who you are and how you want to be treated then you won’t allow someone (or the dating scene) to continually hurt or discourage you.”
Relationships with a romantic partner can be the single greatest thing in the world, as well as the single most frustrating. Because of that, many people have no problem venting out relationship issues to anyone who will listen — at least, that’s what I tend to do anyway. The funny thing is, when it comes to matters of the heart, people around you suddenly turn into love gurus who have no problem giving you their insight — no matter how bad it may be. When we want something to work out so bad, we'll try to receive any form of help necessary to make it work.
Have your non-negotiables and boundaries, but dating with a strict itemized wish list—he must make this much, be this tall, drive this car, be this funny—will only hold you back from men who could be great for you in real life and limit you to men who only look good on paper, says Goldstein. “If you need a wish list it should be small and include feeling words instead of car makes and job titles,” she adds.
Write down an actual list of what you need out of a relationship and whether those needs are being met. Rowena, 69, found the list helped her. "When I met Graham and decided to get involved with him, I sat down with a piece of paper and I wrote pros and cons. I was in my 30s at that point, and I said 'Hmm, you know, this is what I want.' And this guy had those qualities — many more good ones than bad ones.
The elders suggest you think about whether your future spouse will be a “good provider.” It’s an old-fashioned term, but it embodies a fundamental truth: marriage may be about love, but it’s also an economic arrangement that unites the financial futures of the partners. So women (and men, too) need to ask: Does my prospective mate like to work? Will he or she hold up their end financially? And can they responsibly handle money? The elders told story after story of having to carry the economic load and handle someone else’s debts and bad financial decisions.
"The biggest mistake is being too quick to enter a marriage," she said. "Get to know that person very, very well in all circumstances, the happiness part and the stressful parts. So both people have to be very willing and very open, and often times make concessions, as they get to know each other. So please, take a very serious look. You cannot mold your spouse into something that you want.''
Your partner is your favorite person in the entire world (if they’re not, they should be!). Out of 7.6 billion people living on this planet, you chose each other to do life with. Think about that. Go out of your way to be kind to your person. And in the difficult moments think about the miracle of your relationship – across all of space and time, you found each other. Shower kindness into your relationship – it blossoms into a beautiful kind of love.
Sometimes it’s a grandparent or a best friend that shares a word of advice about relationships which really sticks. Sometimes you discover by doing, or not doing, something in your relationship. Wherever it originates, the most important pieces of love advice are the nuggets of wisdom which have a discernible impact on the every day in your relationship. Here are 5 unique but timeless pieces of love advice that are actually helpful:
"If a girl and I end up hooking up quickly, it doesn't necessarily mean I've written her off. All she needs to do to maintain my interest is…be awesome. Be interesting and interested in me. Plan cool events. For example, 'Hey, I've got an extra ticket to this show tonight. Want to go?' Go out and do things I'd want to do, and then invite me. Chances are I'll probably join you. Be willing to embrace the things men love."
It can be difficult to live with another person – turn your eyes to the good as a practice. If you focus on the times they forgot to take the rubbish out or buy the milk, you will be frustrated. If you focus on the times they held you when you were sick or sent you an afternoon text, you both will be a lot happier. Choose to focus on the positive as your standard modus operandi. The more you practice, the better you will get.
"Girls should try to avoid pre-judging before a first date. Whether it's someone you're meeting online or it's someone your friends know, aim to drop the things you know about them and start fresh. Don't ask your friends to tell you everything they can because you can end up with a tainted view of what to expect. Half the fun of going out is getting to know someone new, so allow yourself to let that happen organically." —Oliver B.