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The elders say that women should make sure — before committing — that their partner’s goals for a good life together align with theirs. Unfortunately, such discussions are sometimes not explicit and detailed. They suggest serious discussions about one another’s goals and aspirations for work and career, for how expensive a lifestyle you wish to live, and particularly important — children. Nadine, 65, pointed out that women may assume their partner wants kids. "In fact, a couple may disagree substantially on this issue,'' she said. "In my job, I sometimes counsel young people and a lot of times they say: 'Oh well, we’ll just bracket that question for now.' 
“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.”
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"For long-lasting love, the more similarity (e.g., age, education, values, personality, hobbies), the better. Partners should be especially sure that their values match before getting into marriage. Although other differences can be accommodated and tolerated, a difference in values is particularly problematic if the goal is long-lasting love. Another secret for a long marriage: Both partners need to commit to making it work, no matter what. The only thing that can break up a relationship are the partners themselves."
“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.”

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."

One of the dating tips for women we hear a lot is not to let a man know you like him, or to play hard to get. Well, that’s just wrong. Sure, a little mystery may be sexy in the beginning, but the game gets old fast. Even research shows that playing too much hard-to-get makes others like you less. At a certain point, you just have to let the man know you’re interested.
"Don't take your love for granted. Love is like a plant, it needs to be nurtured so it will continue to grow. Without water and sunlight, it will die. This is why it is so important to make time for things like date night, whether it is once a week or once a month. The key is to continue to make the other one feel special and loved — to enjoy each other's company and have fun."
Philosopher and psychologist Viktor Frankl said that when you know your ‘why’, you can endure any ‘how’. Know your why. Why are you in a relationship with your partner? Your answer will be the light that guides you. If you can’t answer this question clearly, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your relationship. Take it to a level deeper, ‘because I love him/her’ is not sufficient, why do you love them? 
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.
I was born in Hong Kong. I was a surprise baby — my mother was in her 40s. I was the baby of the family. I was spoiled rotten. When I was 13, there was a woman, the second wife of a news publisher. She decided she wanted me to be her son’s wife. My parents told her that we were Christians, and that we didn’t believe in stuff like [arranged marriage]. I had never seen the boy! I was 13! So we never married.
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So what's a woman to do? First, understand that your guy's hasty retreat post-sex may be because he doesn't understand how much he craves a connection with you. Then, it's time for another kitchen table sex talk, Mintz says. "If he's been jumping in the shower right after sex for the last 10 years, he's going to be really taken off guard if, the next time he goes into the shower, you all of a sudden say it upsets you," she explains. "Instead, set aside a time to talk when the situation has passed."
"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."
"Don't take your love for granted. Love is like a plant, it needs to be nurtured so it will continue to grow. Without water and sunlight, it will die. This is why it is so important to make time for things like date night, whether it is once a week or once a month. The key is to continue to make the other one feel special and loved — to enjoy each other's company and have fun."
Trust your instincts from the very first contact with a potential boyfriend.  Did he get a little too drunk on your initial dates?  A man who can’t get through the early stages of a relationship without using alcohol may have substance abuse issues.  Is he perpetually late, always offering bogus excuses?  He doesn’t value your time so don’t expect him to suddenly be punctual when you need him to be somewhere important.  Do you get a sense he is hiding something when he finds reasons why you can never come to his place?  Key into your visceral responses when you pick up vibes that don’t sit right with you.  Don’t make the mistake so many women make, thinking that all these negative behaviors will change once he falls in love with you.  They won’t.  They may even get worse.
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How do couples strike this tricky balance? By allowing each partner to have what he calls "separate sexuality," or a sex life that doesn't include (or betray) the other. "For him, that might mean allowing his wife to use sex toys or letting other men look at her," Dr. Kort says. "For her, it might be permitting him to watch pornography in order to experience a fantasy." Such indulgences help maintain the balance of desire and devotion for both parties, so talk to your partner outside of the bedroom and see if this is something one (or both of you) might be interested in.
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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.
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.
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.

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.

If you sense that all your efforts to improve your relationship are not bearing fruit, don’t delay the inevitable.  Yes, being single can appear scary at first, but better alone than stuck in a relationship that is draining the joy and spark out of you.  You don’t want to wake up at fifty or sixty years old to discover that you’ve wasted your love on a guy that never appreciated what you had to offer.
"Relationships take effort. Often times people think it 'should' come natural and if you have to 'work' at them you aren’t with the right person. FALSE. Both individuals will be left feeling disappointed if you don’t nourish them. Manage expectations through communication. Have sex at least once a week and schedule it! Take a trip together, and learn what each others Love Languages are."
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.
"Whether it is a professional athlete or a CEO, when I ask my clients, 'Why her?'...the feedback is almost always the same. TEARS! Seriously, big burly guys that you would never imagine being emotional. The response is often they are just grateful for her. Grateful she let him in his life. Grateful of a specific experience the two shared. Simply, a large of amount of gratitude which led to him wanting to spend eternity with his chosen one. Even without a partner, studies show that when we are grateful, The Universe gladly makes more show up in your life for which to be grateful. Next up for you...a +1!"
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?
You know that feeling you get when you know something isn’t quite right? If your date can’t answer simple questions about where he works or acts super shady, chances are something weird is going on. “Listen to what your gut is telling you,” says Mills. And that goes for behaviors too. If he’s already getting on your nerves and it’s only the first date that’s another indicator that you’re just not going to work.
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]
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