Even though every relationship has its ups and downs, successful couples have learned how to manage the bumps and keep their love life going, says marriage and family therapist Mitch Temple, author of The Marriage Turnaround. They hang in there, tackle problems, and learn how to work through the complex issues of everyday life. Many do this by reading self-help books and articles, attending seminars, going to counseling, observing other successful couples, or simply using trial and error.
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.
Most of us, at some point in our lives, have heard a great piece of advice about love. Perhaps it’s something from your mother or father, a grandparent, a mentor, a friend, something you’ve read — a piece of advice that has stayed with you and has helped you in finding love, understanding love or staying in love. It’s the kind of advice you repeat to yourself during difficult moments, or find yourself re-telling your friends.
"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.''
It’s as simple as that. If you feel like something’s not right, in all probability, something is definitely wrong. Communicate and make the effort. At times, the relationship may be a failed cause because your man’s a bad guy. But almost always, the relationship stagnates because you and your lover have started to take the relationship for granted. [Read: 25 relationship rules for a successful long term relationship]
Be the truest version of yourself and nothing less. By embracing your uniqueness you'll radiate a confidence that's super attractive. I am obsessed with houseplants, weight-train four mornings a week before work, like to go to bed on time, don't drink alcohol often, and am a homebody — this doesn't sound like a 26-year old woman living in New York City, yet presenting this version of myself has allowed me to quickly form deep connections with people who love me for who I am.
I have been through many wonderful love affairs; I have been through divorce and near-death illness; I have traveled the world and been on the covers of magazines. Through all of this, I have come to understand that I control my ultimate happiness. I am the reason that I am still alive. I am the reason I will continue on. All this may sound super new-agey and self-possessed, but I can’t help but fall back on that old maxim, “happiness comes from within.”
"The person you are meant to be with has a similar lifestyle to you. They’ll have the same taste in how they spend their time and the same taste in how they spend their money. Re-evaluate your lifestyle. Is it conducive to meeting someone special? If it’s work-home-work-home, chances are you need a lifestyle makeover! Once you’ve got that in check, Mr. or Mrs. Perfect is right around the corner just waiting for you."
"It doesn't matter if someone is talking about taking exotic trips next year if he or she is unavailable now," says Syrtash. In this case you want to make sure you're reading actions rather than believing every word that person says. On the flipside, she says when your partner introduces you to family and friends, chances are that this person sees you in their life for the long haul.
"The one quality that impacts relationships the most is being accountable. When you can admit your mistakes it gets rid of blame and invites the other person to do the same. Think about the relationships in your life that are the most fulfilling. You are open and less defensive. You're willing to look at yourself and not just blame the other person."
As RuPaul says, "If you can't love yourself how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?" This advice definitely applies to finding a balance between your ambitions and your love life. Loving yourself means honoring your own power, confidently prioritizing your work, and knowing that you deserve fulfillment in both areas of your life. That being said, sometimes you just need a little encouragement and advice from some empowered, successful, and wise women to figure things out. So read on for some insights from truly boss women.
Although Taurus and the Aquarius man potentially have a great deal to teach one another, this is generally a disastrous pairing. The Water-bearer tends to be highly unpredictable and cares more about friendships than romantic entanglements, failing to give the Bull the emotional affirmations that she secretly needs. The Taurus woman is slow to adapt to change, and by the time this duo figures things out, the flighty Aquarius may be on the way out.
That's right. Sex is an integral part of healthy and happy relationships, hence the stress on keeping lines of communication open in the bedroom. You know that thing you've always wanted to try, but keep to yourself? We say, let your freak flag fly. Keeping your sex life new and interesting will make you and your partner happier in and out of the bedroom.
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.
Perform mental health check-ins from time to time: Does being with him make you happy or do come away from your dates feeling troubled or angry? Do you feel lifted up when you think of him? Is he respectful of you, your work and your passions or does he denigrate them? Most importantly, does he find value in you and what you contribute to his life? Do you find value in him and what he contributes to yours?
"I like a girl to be confident going into a date, even if it's the first one. The normal guy-girl interactions on initial outings usually fall somewhere between awkward and really awkward (which is understandable, especially if it's a blind date), so having a girl go the opposite route not only makes her more intriguing—it's also a total turn-on."
In a long-term relationship, an easy trap to fall into is to take your partner for granted. Remind yourself what you admire about them. Don’t push their boundaries; understand that they are an entirely separate and different individual to yourself. Give your partner the space and appreciation for what they bring to your life, and show respect by taking their wishes, values and ideas into consideration. A little respect and appreciation will go a long way.
It's easy to instantly start comparing your relationship or your partner to other relationships or partners, but it won't do you any good and it will upset your partner, Ray says. She says to ask yourself these questions: Are you in the relationship to compete with someone else? Are you in this relationship to impress other people? Or are you in the relationship because you like the person you're dating?
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If you're not usually one to speak up, Mintz suggests trying it solo first. "Next time you're masturbating, make some noise," she says. "You might find something is really fun, and then you can transfer that to partner sex." Otherwise, saying anything that's praising, instructive, and even a little dirty tends to go over well with men. Tell him exactly how you want to be touched (and where, and using what) and you'll his pleasure meter — and yours —through the roof.
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