A tough truth about relationships is that love alone is not enough. In the throes of the fiery passion of infatuation, couples feel like they can overcome anything together. But as your relationship settles into the monotony of everyday life, days become weeks which become years, and the greatest challenge you may have is actually each other. The prickly parts of each other’s personality can rub up against each other in just the wrong way. But learning to look at your relationship with a positive bias and apply a select toolkit of values and perceptions means that you can have not only the love, but also the wisdom to build a solid relationship that can weather the storms, continue to grow and be the source of your greatest joy.
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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?
Plan, plan, plan. Fay suggests making an appointment, but not necessarily at night when everyone is tired. Maybe during the baby's Saturday afternoon nap or a "before-work quickie." Ask friends or family to take the kids every other Friday night for a sleepover. "When sex is on the calendar, it increases your anticipation," Fay says. Changing things up a bit can make sex more fun, too, she says. Why not have sex in the kitchen? Or by the fire? Or standing up in the hallway?
"If the guy doesn't say something and take the check off the table to pay, it's probably fair to assume that you're going Dutch. There are different reasons that a guy might not pick up the tab (some that might not have anything to do with you), but if you're into him, avoid looking too disappointed. You don't want him to think you expected it." —Josh F.
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.
"It's a turnoff for me when a girl pretends to like something just because I like it. 'You like the Knicks? Weird, I love the Knicks! Who's that tall one again? Who are you and what are your interests? If we disagree about stuff, let's have fun disagreeing about it and if any of it winds up being too important, then, well, it won't work out and that's fine." Miles P.
"First dates are best kept quick and noncommittal for both parties—unless you've known each other for a while. If I meet a girl and get her number, the first time we go out shouldn't be a three-hour opera and dinner afterwards. What if we end up not liking each other? Then we're just stuck and that's rude. Opt for something that gives you both an easy out, like lunch or a drink. If you guys have a great time, you're both left wanting more."
The optimistic Sagittarius man is a good compliment to the Taurus woman’s pessimistic nature. Although very different in many respects, this is a good match if both parties are willing to work to meet one another’s needs. The independent and free-spirited Sagittarius sometimes presents a risk for the loyal Taurus woman. Consulting a psychic helps the Bull determine whether the Archer is truly committed.
Your partner is your favorite person in the entire world (if they’re not, they should be!). Out of 7.6 billion people living on this planet, you chose each other to do life with. Think about that. Go out of your way to be kind to your person. And in the difficult moments think about the miracle of your relationship – across all of space and time, you found each other. Shower kindness into your relationship – it blossoms into a beautiful kind of love.
Virginia, 73, described rushing into marriage as one of the biggest mistakes anyone can make. "I got married to get away from home," she said. "So there was this fellow I’d been going with, and we up and got married the week I turned 18. Well, two children and 11 years later, we divorced. It wasn’t a wise decision to marry him but it was an out for me at that time. So please, tell younger people: When it comes to marriage, don’t rush into things.
In a long-term relationship, an easy trap to fall into is to take your partner for granted. Remind yourself what you admire about them. Don’t push their boundaries; understand that they are an entirely separate and different individual to yourself. Give your partner the space and appreciation for what they bring to your life, and show respect by taking their wishes, values and ideas into consideration. A little respect and appreciation will go a long way.
“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
"A big mistake people make when dating someone new is to bring all of their fears, concerns, and past negative relationship experiences to their current relationship," says Ray. She explains that in the more than 26 years of speaking to singles, she's heard that they do not want to hear about their date's past relationships on first or second dates. She insists that you should be keeping your thoughts and conversations focused on the person you're currently dating and on getting to know them. (You shouldn't be interrogating them on their past, either.)
If you’re a woman and have any questions to ask, unsure in regards to your partner, insecure, upset or worried about something, please, share it in this relationship advice for women board and the community can advise and provide caring advice to help you combat your relationship issues. If you aren’t a woman, and you’re a bloke, then we would recommend that you post in our relationship advice for men forum board, you’ll receive better answers there.
"A little bit of jealousy can be considered cute and healthy," says Ray. "But making demands on your partner of their time and restricting them from doing things they were doing before you started dating is a red flag." The expert says that it's common for couples who are newly dating to spend a lot of their free time with each other and give up some of their usual time with friends and family. However, avoid constantly texting, calling, or making demands to see your S.O. because you'll stress them out and may cause your partner to peddle back.
Maybe your past relationships haven’t turned out like you wanted them to, or you feel like every date in the past month was a lemon. Well, get over it. “It’s still up to you to open your heart—and keep it open. This can be scary because you don’t want to get hurt. However, in order to grow and connect, you must be available and vulnerable,” says Mills.
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These would be those instant deal breakers of yours—he’s a smoker, a non-monogamist, a cat-lover, etc.—that instantly tell you to move on so you’re not wasting your time. “What are those three things that are not negotiable when you’re looking for a relationship?” asked relationship expert Dr. Melanie Mills. “Try not to include physical or financial attributes. Focus on character traits, personality type, and value systems.”
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.
"Saying and doing small, simple expressions of gratitude every day yields big rewards. When people feel recognized as special and appreciated, they're happier in that relationship and more motivated to make the relationship better and stronger. And when I say simple, I really mean it. Make small gestures that show you're paying attention: Hug, kiss, hold hands, buy a small gift, send a card, fix a favorite dessert, put gas in the car, or tell your partner, 'You're sexy,' 'You're the best dad,' or simply say 'Thank you for being so wonderful.'"
When I returned to India, he would send me photographs of himself. Photography had just been invented so this was quite a big deal! He later told me that he would go down to a shop and pay to get his portrait taken — it was very expensive. But oh, how I looked forward to receiving those photos. He only grew more and more attractive as time went on. I saved every photograph.
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.