I think the 13th Century Persian Poet Rumi sums up love so eloquently. He wrote: ‘Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.’ The way I interpret this that when it comes to love, you can’t give or receive love unless you love and respect yourself. If you feel you are worthy of love, then you can fully love. It sounds so simple, and yet we know how hard loving ourselves can be. But I’ve seen miracles happen when people work at this... everything from relationships, career, raising kids, running a home, becomes more joyous. And yet the only thing that’s changed is the relationship you have with yourself.
A tough truth about relationships is that love alone is not enough. In the throes of the fiery passion of infatuation, couples feel like they can overcome anything together. But as your relationship settles into the monotony of everyday life, days become weeks which become years, and the greatest challenge you may have is actually each other. The prickly parts of each other’s personality can rub up against each other in just the wrong way. But learning to look at your relationship with a positive bias and apply a select toolkit of values and perceptions means that you can have not only the love, but also the wisdom to build a solid relationship that can weather the storms, continue to grow and be the source of your greatest joy.
I think love today is very impersonal! When you’re talking to somebody, you have a phone in your hand, so I just don’t think it’s as intimate. I also think it’s more innocent. America has become more provincial in many ways. I think it’s because of the AIDS crisis — everyone was having sex with everybody, but now everybody is so scared. It’s influenced the romance.
"First dates are best kept quick and noncommittal for both parties—unless you've known each other for a while. If I meet a girl and get her number, the first time we go out shouldn't be a three-hour opera and dinner afterwards. What if we end up not liking each other? Then we're just stuck and that's rude. Opt for something that gives you both an easy out, like lunch or a drink. If you guys have a great time, you're both left wanting more."
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.
"Be more assertive if you're interested in a guy. Sometimes reading signals from women feels a bit like reading brail if you're not blind. There are a lot of ways a girl can show she's interested without going overboard, like a subtle touch or giving a little extra attention at a party. If a guy knows you're interested there's a big chance he'll become interested too." Josh F
There are two vital things to know about fighting in relationships. Firstly, it is normal to fight and fight you will. Secondly, when you fight in a relationship, you both lose. Let go of winning, of being right, of proving a point, and choose rather to focus on really understanding and listening. Keeping your connection is more valuable for your well-being than trying to inflate your ego by outsmarting your partner. Understanding each other’s experience is more important than who is right or wrong. Try using ‘I’ messages, instead of ‘you’, to lower the levels of confrontation.
"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.)
True to the Twin archetype of your sign, there is another side to you that people don’t often see. You would prefer to not be single. You are at your best when you are in a dynamic, yet stable relationship. You prefer a relationship that is caring and tender, and even romantic – but never boring. Your ideal partner will give you plenty of freedom to socialize, exchange ideas, and be yourself while at the same time being a reliable and tested foundation of strength for you. Your partner must be intelligent, interesting, social, and like to talk. You also need someone to be there for you unconditionally when you feel the need to withdraw and be nurtured.
We moved to Berkeley together in the early 70s, when they had guerrilla theater. We started doing street theater together; it was so boring and so bad. Mel was studying for his masters and couldn’t get a job, so I became a telephone operator. It was the best job I ever had. I made a good living and made a life for both of us in Berkeley. Then Mel got an invitation to do his Doctorate at NYU, so we drove from Berkeley to New York. He became a professor; taught theater. Eventually we separated, but he was my best friend; my first love — we took care of each other. He died last year.
"Throw us a bone. We all know that men often think they know more about something than they really may. It's in our chemical makeup. Sometimes you just have to let us set the tent up wrong when camping or take three hours to change your oilfor a lot of us, it's how we both try to impress you and show you we care. Sometimes you've got to let a guy be a guyeven if we're goofing up." Blake S.
It's believed that men are so consumed by libido that they have no self-consciousness surrounding sex. But that couldn't be further from the truth. "[There are] plenty of men who feel very self-conscious about their weight, or parts of their body, and really are affected by this in the bedroom," says Laurie Mintz, Ph.D., author of A Tired Woman’s Guide to Passionate Sex and Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters. Many are impacted by performance anxiety too, asking themselves questions like, "Will I be able to get an erection?," "Have I gained too much weight?" and, "Will I be able to please her?"
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!
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."
[After Mel], I also went out with Mick Jagger. I’m a lyric in “Some Girls” — the Chinese girl referenced is me. I had a very good boyfriend whom I met in Milan. He was very rich — his father was a car designer in France. Through him I met a lot of famous people, including my good friend, Ahmet Ertegun, who was the chairman of Atlantic Records. He was insane! The funniest person I have ever met. He was in his 50s and snorting coke, drinking, smoking dope all at the same time, rambling. Anyway, through him I met The Stones. It was all very casual.
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.
"The penis-vagina model of sex comes with pressures, such as having an orgasm at the same time or the idea that an orgasm should happen with penetration. With these strict expectations come a pressure on performance that ultimately leads many to feel a sense of failure and frustration. Instead, try to expand your concept of sex to include anything that involves close, intimate connection with your partner, such as sensual massages, taking a nice shower or bath together, reading an erotic story together, playing with some fun toys… the possibilities are endless. And if orgasm happens, great, and if not, that's OK too. When you expand your definition of sex and lower the pressure on orgasm and penetration, the anxiety around performance dissipates and your satisfaction can escalate."
I have been wracking my brain about this idea of “Mr. Right.” Love is a tricky area. One thing that has been on my mind lately is the way media, television and film portray women. The values that have been promoted since the advent of the moving picture have sent a message to women. In commercials, women are most often in a kitchen. Men are most often at an office or on a couch. What these messages deliver are pretty obvious. In television and film, the primary conversations that woman have revolve around men, dating men or how to better date men. Male characters’ conversations are often about catching bad guys. Again, these messages are pretty transparent. Advertising is purposeful and manipulative. Millions to billions of dollars are spent on how to sell a costumer something they don’t need to buy, or portray an image they don’t necessarily want to subscribe to. When I was a young person and having a hard time dating, my mother would say, “You have to kiss a lot of frogs in order to find your Prince.” I have come to a point in my life where I realize that she was right, but, as corny as it may sound, the Prince is me.
The best advice I ever got about love was from my grandmother, right before I got married. She said, “Marriage goes through cyclical phases, it’s almost like the movements of planets. Sometimes you’re so close, the two of you, your orbits are in synch, and sometimes you move so far away from each other, you feel you’ll never reconnect, never reenter each other’s orbits, you’re too far apart. The trick to marriage is having faith in the reconnection, waiting for the inevitable closeness again.” This was in 1994. She died a couple of years later. My marriage lasted 12 years. I never forgot this advice; we moved far away from each other many times, and I waited it out, and sure enough, we came back into synch again. And then at the end, we moved too far apart to ever reenter each other’s orbits, out of each other’s fields of gravity, and that’s when I knew it was over.
Taurus and the Leo man are opposites in nearly every respect, making this unlikely pairing more quarrelsome than most are willing to endure. Conflict turns to intense passion in the bedroom for the Bull and the Lion but often isn’t enough to make up for incompatibility. Unless both parties are willing to work extremely hard to overcome differences, this pair is better suited for a steamy short-lived affair than a long-term relationship.
When I was 16, the love of my young life (yes, Joe B., this means you) dumped me. Sobbing on my bedroom floor, my mother, who was, and still is, head-over-heels in love with the same man for 51 years, sat down next to me, put her arm around me and said, “There are a lot of fish in the sea. “ I clearly remember wailing, “But, I want this one.” She said, “All things happen for a reason. You will find the perfect person who loves you as much as you love him, and you’ll look back on this and laugh.” While I couldn’t understand then that you need to love someone who loves you back, I get it now. Twenty years, three children and a dog later, I’m still married to the man who loved me back.
The period after a breakup is the perfect time for a little post-relationship debriefing with trusted friends. It's also a great time for some self-reflection about what you're looking for in a new relationship. This self-reflection often includes reading up on love and relationships to make sure you are wiser and better equipped for relationship success.
With that in mind, I spoke to three women over the age of 70 to hear about the first time they fell in love, the ways love transforms over time, and their thoughts about all things romance-related today. Their wisdom has both inspired and resonated with me — all three perspectives are vastly different, and yet rich with history, emotion and nostalgia. I learned that experience in the present may be transient, but some memories are more powerful from a distance. And when revisiting the past, love is a lens that adds both color and clarity.
I fell in love once after that, but the guy died. He was younger than me — asthmatic. After that, I kind of lost interest [in love]. I never really got serious with anybody. Over the years, I’ve just had fun and worked hard — I took care of beautiful children. I used to party every night because my brother was a DJ. I’d attend every single Carnival — without a guy in my life. I was single, and oh, I was loving it. And still loving it even more now!
It’s normal to feel pressure as you watch your friends get married and have children, but remember that every person’s path is different. “You don’t want to settle down with a guy who’s not right for you. Therefore, release the pressure you place on yourself to lock down your next date as your future husband. Take each date one date at a time and have fun,” says Mills.
Taurus and the Virgo man share a predictable, down-to-earth nature and generally tranquil disposition. However, the sexual side of this relationship can be difficult to foster. If Taurus can put up with Virgo’s tendency towards obsessive perfectionism, this pair can enjoy a long life together. For the Taurus woman committed to making this match work, a psychic is a good source of love advice.
"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."