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.
"The thought of being vulnerable is a scary proposition for most people," admits Ray. She says that it's how you show your true self, at the risk of being hurt. When you date someone new, showing this side can deepen your connection and build trust. "Vulnerability can be a gift to the person who's wanting to know you on a deeper level," she explains.
The worst relationship I ever had was also the most important one of my young life, in that I learned more about myself from that year-long ordeal than from any other. I was 18, and as often happens with first love, was completely blind to the fact that I was being manipulated and taken advantage of. My mother knew, of course, and while she could see the eventual train wreck at the end of that relationship, she let it happen because she knew I had to feel that hurt, face his betrayal and manipulation, and stand up for myself in the aftermath of that injury to my heart and ego. I’m sure she warned me in many small ways, but she never stood in the way of what must have been, from her perspective, an excruciating progression from infatuation to heartbreak. When I’d finally had enough, and I ended the relationship once and for all, she sat on the floor of my room as I tearfully exorcised my pain by cleaning out my closet. Again, I don’t remember what she did say to me that day, but I treasure what she did not say, something I don’t know that I would have been able to keep to myself. She sat there as I cried and helped me put clothing in bags for donation, and never, not once, did she say”I told you so.
Be the truest version of yourself and nothing less. By embracing your uniqueness you'll radiate a confidence that's super attractive. I am obsessed with houseplants, weight-train four mornings a week before work, like to go to bed on time, don't drink alcohol often, and am a homebody — this doesn't sound like a 26-year old woman living in New York City, yet presenting this version of myself has allowed me to quickly form deep connections with people who love me for who I am.
"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."
First (and most important), promise not to judge the other. Then, privately write out scenarios that have tantalized you and place them in a box. Next time you're feeling hot and heavy, pull one out. Either jump right into fulfilling that fantasy or, if you need a little more time to adjust, ask what it is about that fantasy that your partner likes, Dr. Kort says. "Sometimes, its themes can be addressed in different scenarios that feel comfortable for both of you," he adds.
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Some of the best advice I've ever received has been from my dad, but I didn't quite realize that until I got older. My "all-knowing" father spits out life lessons every other sentence, so I usually respond with an eye roll. But as I began to come across experiences in my life where his words were applicable, maybe this self-proclaimed Yoda is onto something after all, I thought. Ironically, I learned most about being a woman from him.
We have all heard the feedback of sandwiching negative feedback between two positives. I am not sure how I feel about this recommendation because it can lead to confusion. If there is a conflict in the workplace, lovingly but directly outline the problem. Do not wait until the point you are frustrated, because that is counterproductive. I have made this mistake countless times.