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.
My grandmother has developed a habit of falling on her way home from Bridge Club. Her most recent tumble took place while she was carrying a bag full of fresh berries; as her body hit the pavement her precious cargo went catapulting into the air. Sitting upright on the New York sidewalk, her tiny frame shaking post-fall, she only had two questions for passersby: “Is my fruit bruised?” and “Can you call my husband?”
Dating should be fun and nothing more than a way to meet and get to know another person, who may or may not be fit to share your life with you. “[Dating] is not a commitment. There is no obligation involved with dating. No one owes anyone anything ever,” says Freed. It’s easy to get excited about someone and start planning your future together, but remember that you’re both just figuring out if you even like each other first. Don’t put pressure on things by feeling like you owe each other something, you don’t.
While it's nice to consult your girl friends or bros about relationship issues, keep in mind that every relationship is different and what works for one couple may not work for you. This also means that not everyone is going to understand why you do what you do; it may not make sense to your best friend why you chose to give up something you once loved for your significant other — and that's OK.
"Many times people become increasingly shy with the person they love the more as time goes by. Partners begin to take their love for granted and forget to keep themselves turned on and to continue to seduce their partner. Keep your 'sex esteem' alive by keeping up certain practices on a regular basis. This allows you to remain vibrant, sexy, and engaged in your love life."
When I returned to India, he would send me photographs of himself. Photography had just been invented so this was quite a big deal! He later told me that he would go down to a shop and pay to get his portrait taken — it was very expensive. But oh, how I looked forward to receiving those photos. He only grew more and more attractive as time went on. I saved every photograph.
We quarrel, we do everything. But we make up. I can’t live without him, and I don’t think he can live without me. We had to leave Iran during the revolution. Our two eldest daughters were already in the United States getting their degrees at University. But our youngest, she was only ten years old. We didn’t have time to think or prepare; we just left as fast as we could. We went to London and started over. We had nothing and no one, really. But eventually, we got used to it. We made a home, a life. London was our home for over a decade, until our first grandchild was born. Then we started over again, this time in New York. Our relationship has provided a foundation for change.
Ray says that in a new relationship it's common for couples to drop some of their usual activities and cancel on friends to see their partner. "Remember that attraction is also created by the anticipation of seeing your partner and by creating some distance," says Ray. "When you always drop everything to be with your new partner, it may set the expectation that your previous commitments are secondary to who you're dating." She says to keep yourself busy and honor your plans with friends as you adjust your schedule in moderation.
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.
"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."
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."
"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."
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:
“This is a little awkward, but I value our working relationship and I’d like to share something with you. I have noticed that you are routinely late for meetings. This interrupts my schedule, and it also leads me to believe you do not value our time together. Can we make an agreement that you will be on time for all meetings or that our meeting is canceled if you are more than eight to 10 minutes late?”