When it comes to dating tips for women, one size doesn’t fit all. A young woman in her teens or 20s dates A LOT differently than a woman in her 30s and 40s. And while most woman generally want the same outcome, there are certain things women in their 30s and 40s know about dating that they disregarded or simply didn’t focus as much on in their younger years.
Love does not fit simply or easily into a set of prescribed rules. All people are different, all relationships are different and all contexts are different. But what remains the same is that the way you approach your relationship, your attitude and outlook, can shape its happiness and longevity. Put your heart on the line and love with all and everything. And if you can’t, find the person that will make you want to. Love is worth it, every time.
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.
"There is one major cause of relationship problems: self-abandonment. We can 'abandon' ourselves in many areas: emotional (judging or ignoring our feelings), financial (spending irresponsibly), organizational (being late or messy), physical (eating badly, not exercising), relational (creating conflict in a relationship), or spiritual (depending too much on your partner for love). When you decide to learn to love yourself rather than continue to abandon yourself, you will discover how to create a loving relationship with your partner."
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.
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.
Be optimistic; I'm a firm believer that there is someone out there for everyone. Don't subscribe to the belief that you're going to spend forever alone or that true love doesn't exist — it does, it just takes work, which brings me to my last point: Be willing to put in the work. Successful relationships require both partners to put in a lot of effort; if you really love one another, it doesn't feel like work.
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"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 don’t believe that finding your partner is 'a numbers game' and I don’t think you get anywhere by dating 'like it’s your job.' You have to believe that you are enough, as you are—and look for the partner who thinks so, too. Find the partner whose eyes light up when you talk about your ambition and the things that really matter to you. Anyone who makes you feel you’re not enough or you’re too much is not your soulmate.
It can be difficult to live with another person – turn your eyes to the good as a practice. If you focus on the times they forgot to take the rubbish out or buy the milk, you will be frustrated. If you focus on the times they held you when you were sick or sent you an afternoon text, you both will be a lot happier. Choose to focus on the positive as your standard modus operandi. The more you practice, the better you will get.
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 believe that when a woman is given the chance to come to the defense of another woman, that is an opportunity that she should take in behalf of not only that woman; but in behalf of herself and all other women, everywhere. Men don't have low opinions of women because women are sluts and whores; but men have low opinions of women because they see how women compete with one another, pull one another down in order to rise above and backbite one another endlessly. There are men who have low opinions of women because of how women treat other women. They see that and they think, "What kind of a species can do that to their own species?" So if you really want the guy, why not get him by showing him what a true friend you are to your girlfriends? Or by showing him how happy you are for the good fortune of another woman and how much you admire her? And if he doesn't appreciate that then he doesn't deserve you! I know we've got a long, long way to go before we change the way our gender treats one another; but it's got to start somewhere and I suggest we start right now.”
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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.

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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