Relationship advice isn't one-size-fits-all, so it helps to get a range of opinions. And while we're huge fans of credentialed sex and relationship experts, sometimes you just need some real talk from women who've been there. That's why we've decided to draw from Refinery29's library of personal stories to glean some real-world advice. These are people who've been through specific romantic challenges and have come out of them wiser — and are happy to spread their newfound wisdom.
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.
Reminder yourself that being in a new relationship is a time of discovery and curiosity (and a lot is going to be new all at once). "To alleviate pressure, remind yourself to stay present and open," says Syrtash. And this goes for being true to yourself and trusting your gut instinct. It doesn't matter if someone is perfect on paper if they end up not being the right person for you.
"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."
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.
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.
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.
“I always thought that love was about desire — being with someone, holding someone, feeling someone. But it isn’t necessarily. Love can come in lots of different ways and lots of different guises.” That’s the British artist Tracey Emin in a May 2012 BBC interview. She’s talking about her experience as a single woman artist nearing 50, but it’s a great reminder for all of us, no matter our relationship status or age. Not only can love be found everywhere — in an idea, an experience, a lover, a friend, etc. — but it’s like compound interest: the more you have the more you get. The trick is being open. As Emily Dickinson wrote, “The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.”
The attraction here is magnetic and intense. Both the watery, closely guarded Scorpio man and the airy Twins have attraction to the shadow. Gemini is merely curious, while the Scorpion feels impelled to explore. Both can explore these territories together, even with different motivations. However, if Scorpio is not willing to trust and communicate with Gemini, she will eventually leave.
The outgoing and independent Aries man is a good compliment for the introverted Taurus, but this isn’t an ideal match. Over time, the Bull feels neglected by the free-spirited Ram, who in turn feels trapped by Taurus’ need for one-on-one attention. The physical chemistry is strong but the practical Taurus woman finds it difficult to indulge Aries’ romantic fantasies.