"The number one thing I have learned about love is that it is a trade and a social exchange, not just a feeling. Loving relationships are a process by which we get our needs met and meet the needs of our partners too. When that exchange is mutually satisfying, then good feelings continue to flow. When it is not, then things turn sour, and the relationship ends. That is why it is important to pay attention to what you and your partner actually do for each other as expressions of love... not just how you feel about each other in the moment."
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!
"Please don't compare us to your exes—out loud or even in your head. Sometimes horror stories about them can make for fun discussion, but don't ever bring your ex into the conversation if it's not called for. When I hear about a girl's man, I'm assuming we probably shouldn't be on that date period. If she literally can't keep his name out of her mouth for a couple of hours, it makes me feel like she's clearly not over past issues. I don't want to pick up a saved video game: I'm here to start new."
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.”
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.
"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?'
"Please don't compare us to your exes—out loud or even in your head. Sometimes horror stories about them can make for fun discussion, but don't ever bring your ex into the conversation if it's not called for. When I hear about a girl's man, I'm assuming we probably shouldn't be on that date period. If she literally can't keep his name out of her mouth for a couple of hours, it makes me feel like she's clearly not over past issues. I don't want to pick up a saved video game: I'm here to start new."

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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!
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.
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.
The idea of happily ever after is an endearing sentiment. But the truth about relationships is that they are hard work, and you need a whole lot of heart to create a relationship that can last a lifetime. Here, we lay out 10 pieces of hard-earned love advice that can make a real difference in your relationship. If you’re looking for love advice online, let us help.
I think one of the most powerful things about women is our intuition. I can't remember a time that I've had a true gut check (as I call it) lead me the wrong way. I think we are taught to brush intuition off as being overly sensitive but I say trust it. I trust my gut to guide my professional choices, to know when something works or just doesn't, and I use my gut in my personal life to be the same sort of emotional barometer.
“When you show me you know how to make plans and you put me into your busy schedule, it shows me that I'm a priority and makes me feel important. Spontaneity is fun and great here and there, but a woman like me is grinding right now and doesn't always have the luxury of that. So show me you respect my time and let me know things in advance. Whether we're in the early getting to know phase or deeply committed, my little boo thing – whatever – if you want my time you have to value it.” -- Natelege W., 27
One reason that you may not even be aware of is an issue called receptive desire, Mintz says. "As a woman ages and the relationship goes on, [many] stop being spontaneously horny," she explains. "A lot of men and women don't know this, so they wait to be [turned on] to have sex...But you can have sex to get [turned on], rather than wait to be [turned on] to have sex."
"Listening is a skill and a communication tool most people don't do very well," says Ray. When you give your partner your undivided attention, it allows them to feel both heard and appreciated. When you show curiosity about who they are and what they're up to, it not only indicates your interest in their life but makes them feel unique and special.

We’re all about empowered woman, but when you don’t let your man do even as much as change a lightbulb for you, it will make him feel inferior and not needed. Remember, his self-worth is directly connected to his ability to provide for you and protect you. Let him open doors for you, fix what needs to be fixed, pick you up late from the train station, etc. And if you make more money than him, still, let him pay for things. Being strong and independent is wonderful, but it doesn’t mean you can’t accept help or courtesies from other people.
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