For me, it’s about knowing when to step into my powerful, assertive self in my work life, and then switching gears to relish in my divine feminine side in a romantic relationship. To me, this means asking for my partner's help and advice, showing him my appreciation, nurturing him, and embodying sensuality for him. And the key part of relishing in being feminine in my relationship means being just as powerful with my partner as I am in my work life.
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.
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."
While it's nice to consult your girl friends or bros about relationship issues, keep in mind that every relationship is different and what works for one couple may not work for you. This also means that not everyone is going to understand why you do what you do; it may not make sense to your best friend why you chose to give up something you once loved for your significant other — and that's OK.
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.
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.
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.
"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.)
In romantic rhetoric, there is this idea of finding your missing half in a partner. However, an honest piece of love advice is that the best way to create a healthy relationship is to create a healthy relationship with yourself. Your partner can’t complete the missing parts of your own insecurity. Only you can fill that space, and relying on another person to make you feel complete can lead to a co-dependent relationship, creates too much expectation and is a heavy burden for a relationship to carry.
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