Most of us, at some point in our lives, have heard a great piece of advice about love. Perhaps it’s something from your mother or father, a grandparent, a mentor, a friend, something you’ve read — a piece of advice that has stayed with you and has helped you in finding love, understanding love or staying in love. It’s the kind of advice you repeat to yourself during difficult moments, or find yourself re-telling your friends.
I think love today is very impersonal! When you’re talking to somebody, you have a phone in your hand, so I just don’t think it’s as intimate. I also think it’s more innocent. America has become more provincial in many ways. I think it’s because of the AIDS crisis — everyone was having sex with everybody, but now everybody is so scared. It’s influenced the romance.
Recently I was asked by a friend what relationship advice for women was actually essential. Honestly, dating and relationship advice is super easy to come by on the internet. I mean, I’ve personally written hundreds of articles about it, adding up to hundreds of thousands of words. And that’s just a drop in the ocean of other relationship advice out there.
When I was in college at the University of Michigan, I fell in love with two people at the same time. They were both very different. Mel was an intellectual who was doing theater. He had the potential to be great. Richard was a hippie who drank tea and meditated. I had no idea why I was in love with him except I guess I just was. I had a choice to make, and I went with Mel — the intellectual.
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.
"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.
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.
Certain human attributes simply can’t withstand the test of time — the precision of our vision, the strength of our bones, the synchronicity of our limbs. But as we grow seemingly weaker on the outside, my grandparents have demonstrated that, internally, we often tend to grow even stronger in our convictions. My grandmother’s body may be battling the adversary of time, but her adoration for my grandfather (and berries) remains an ally. Love, it seems, can age quite well.
The best advice I ever got about love was from my grandmother, right before I got married. She said, “Marriage goes through cyclical phases, it’s almost like the movements of planets. Sometimes you’re so close, the two of you, your orbits are in synch, and sometimes you move so far away from each other, you feel you’ll never reconnect, never reenter each other’s orbits, you’re too far apart. The trick to marriage is having faith in the reconnection, waiting for the inevitable closeness again.” This was in 1994. She died a couple of years later. My marriage lasted 12 years. I never forgot this advice; we moved far away from each other many times, and I waited it out, and sure enough, we came back into synch again. And then at the end, we moved too far apart to ever reenter each other’s orbits, out of each other’s fields of gravity, and that’s when I knew it was over.
Finding a spouse using pornography is a top reason couples seek counsel, but it shouldn't be overreacted to or pathologized, Dr. Kort says. First of all, sex addicts only represent 3-6% of the population, so it's unlikely your man is one. Plus, because childhood experiences influence sexuality as an adult, people are very idiosyncratic about what turns them on, Dr. Kort says. "So no woman can, nor should be, everything to a man."
Perform mental health check-ins from time to time: Does being with him make you happy or do come away from your dates feeling troubled or angry? Do you feel lifted up when you think of him? Is he respectful of you, your work and your passions or does he denigrate them? Most importantly, does he find value in you and what you contribute to his life? Do you find value in him and what he contributes to yours?
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.
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.