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This is a complex one but necessary to surviving in a rapid dating world, says sex and relationship expert, Dr. Nikki Goldstein. “Building strength and self-confidence is key. The reality of it is, dating can be hard and feelings can be hurt. But if you know who you are and how you want to be treated then you won’t allow someone (or the dating scene) to continually hurt or discourage you.”
Even partners who love each other can be a mismatch, sexually. Mary Jo Fay, author of Please Dear, Not Tonight, says a lack of sexual self-awareness and education worsens these problems. But having sex is one of the last things you should give up, Fay says. "Sex," she says, "brings us closer together, releases hormones that help our bodies both physically and mentally, and keeps the chemistry of a healthy couple healthy."
The friendships that a woman makes in her life are often her saving grace — they’re the lighthouse they need when times get tough and your ship when it seems as though you’re going to flounder. But as we get older, making and keeping good friends is harder than it may seem. Use our friendship articles to cultivate the best friendships of your life.
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.
There are two vital things to know about fighting in relationships. Firstly, it is normal to fight and fight you will. Secondly, when you fight in a relationship, you both lose. Let go of winning, of being right, of proving a point, and choose rather to focus on really understanding and listening. Keeping your connection is more valuable for your well-being than trying to inflate your ego by outsmarting your partner. Understanding each other’s experience is more important than who is right or wrong. Try using ‘I’ messages, instead of ‘you’, to lower the levels of confrontation.

I think the 13th Century Persian Poet Rumi sums up love so eloquently. He wrote: ‘Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.’ The way I interpret this that when it comes to love, you can’t give or receive love unless you love and respect yourself. If you feel you are worthy of love, then you can fully love. It sounds so simple, and yet we know how hard loving ourselves can be. But I’ve seen miracles happen when people work at this... everything from relationships, career, raising kids, running a home, becomes more joyous. And yet the only thing that’s changed is the relationship you have with yourself.
It's believed that men are so consumed by libido that they have no self-consciousness surrounding sex. But that couldn't be further from the truth. "[There are] plenty of men who feel very self-conscious about their weight, or parts of their body, and really are affected by this in the bedroom," says Laurie Mintz, Ph.D., author of A Tired Woman’s Guide to Passionate Sex and Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters. Many are impacted by performance anxiety too, asking themselves questions like, "Will I be able to get an erection?," "Have I gained too much weight?" and, "Will I be able to please her?"
Even partners who love each other can be a mismatch, sexually. Mary Jo Fay, author of Please Dear, Not Tonight, says a lack of sexual self-awareness and education worsens these problems. But having sex is one of the last things you should give up, Fay says. "Sex," she says, "brings us closer together, releases hormones that help our bodies both physically and mentally, and keeps the chemistry of a healthy couple healthy."
Write down an actual list of what you need out of a relationship and whether those needs are being met. Rowena, 69, found the list helped her. "When I met Graham and decided to get involved with him, I sat down with a piece of paper and I wrote pros and cons. I was in my 30s at that point, and I said 'Hmm, you know, this is what I want.' And this guy had those qualities — many more good ones than bad ones.
“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
Your man wants to know you appreciate him for who he is and what he brings to the relationship. If you love him, make sure he knows. Keep in mind Dr. John Gottman’s 5:1 ratio of positive to negative interchanges. For every one negative remark you make, try to think of five positive things to say, to counteract the negative effects of a critical word. Try carving out a few minutes each day before bed where you share with your partner what you appreciate about him and why.
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