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.
"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.)
Of course, it's also possible that there’s anger, resentment, or deeper issues going on. If that's the case, Mintz says you shouldn't be using sex as a weapon — that's only going to cause more harm in the relationship — and should instead be honest about how you're feeling. If you're not comfortable bringing it up on your own (or discussing it when your partner does), she suggests seeing a therapist, who can help the two of you navigate the issue in a healthy way.
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Ray says that in a new relationship it's common for couples to drop some of their usual activities and cancel on friends to see their partner. "Remember that attraction is also created by the anticipation of seeing your partner and by creating some distance," says Ray. "When you always drop everything to be with your new partner, it may set the expectation that your previous commitments are secondary to who you're dating." She says to keep yourself busy and honor your plans with friends as you adjust your schedule in moderation.
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.
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"Like many people, I grew up believing that marriage required self-sacrifice. Lots of it. My wife, Linda, helped me see that I didn’t have to become a martyr and sacrifice my own happiness in order to make our marriage work. She showed me that my responsibility in creating a fulfilling and joyful life for myself was as important as anything else that I could do for her or the kids. Over the years, it’s become increasingly clear to me that my responsibility to provide for my own well-being is as important as my responsibility to others. This is easier said than done, but it is perhaps the single most important thing we can do to ensure that our relationship will be mutually satisfying."
“Nothing makes a man ‘feel’ better than a woman. Allow her in. Men are constantly told to "man up," be strong, tough and all that. And women nurture by nature. There is strength in being open and vulnerable with the one you love. Even if it isn't love just yet, be willing to share. It's like a game of catch ... you have to throw to play.” -- Tamika St., 34
5) Stop trying to change yourself for a relationship that's not meant to be. And don't try to change him either, it just doesn't work. The only person you can change is yourself (These will help: 21 Tips to Promote Personal Well Being). As painful as it may be, sometimes it's better to step out of a bad relationship and step into your own happiness.

I think one of the most powerful things about women is our intuition. I can't remember a time that I've had a true gut check (as I call it) lead me the wrong way. I think we are taught to brush intuition off as being overly sensitive but I say trust it. I trust my gut to guide my professional choices, to know when something works or just doesn't, and I use my gut in my personal life to be the same sort of emotional barometer.
With that in mind, I spoke to three women over the age of 70 to hear about the first time they fell in love, the ways love transforms over time, and their thoughts about all things romance-related today. Their wisdom has both inspired and resonated with me — all three perspectives are vastly different, and yet rich with history, emotion and nostalgia. I learned that experience in the present may be transient, but some memories are more powerful from a distance. And when revisiting the past, love is a lens that adds both color and clarity.
Realising from the outset that relationships require work, hard work, is the basic starting point. It’s not a fairytale, but it’s your story - your love story. And that’s what makes it magical. Approaching love as a verb, put in the effort and don’t be surprised when it’s not all smooth sailing. Do the work and reap the reward; back your love with your choices and do the deeds that need doing. Action really does speak louder than words.
When I was 16, the love of my young life (yes, Joe B., this means you) dumped me. Sobbing on my bedroom floor, my mother, who was, and still is, head-over-heels in love with the same man for 51 years, sat down next to me, put her arm around me and said, “There are a lot of fish in the sea. “ I clearly remember wailing, “But, I want this one.” She said, “All things happen for a reason. You will find the perfect person who loves you as much as you love him, and you’ll look back on this and laugh.” While I couldn’t understand then that you need to love someone who loves you back, I get it now. Twenty years, three children and a dog later, I’m still married to the man who loved me back.

My grandmother has developed a habit of falling on her way home from Bridge Club. Her most recent tumble took place while she was carrying a bag full of fresh berries; as her body hit the pavement her precious cargo went catapulting into the air. Sitting upright on the New York sidewalk, her tiny frame shaking post-fall, she only had two questions for passersby: “Is my fruit bruised?” and “Can you call my husband?”

If you're not usually one to speak up, Mintz suggests trying it solo first. "Next time you're masturbating, make some noise," she says. "You might find something is really fun, and then you can transfer that to partner sex." Otherwise, saying anything that's praising, instructive, and even a little dirty tends to go over well with men. Tell him exactly how you want to be touched (and where, and using what) and you'll his pleasure meter — and yours —through the roof.
Be with someone who wants you to succeed even if that means them picking up the slack in the rest of your shared life. I know when I'm executing an event or deep in the weeds on a project, I need all the help I can get. Having a husband that sees the gaps and fills in before I have a breakdown from trying to do it all is key to my success. Being a working mom means that life doesn’t simply slow down because work is busy… all it means is that I have that many additional balls in the air and I need my partner to help me juggle them all.

"It doesn't matter if someone is talking about taking exotic trips next year if he or she is unavailable now," says Syrtash. In this case you want to make sure you're reading actions rather than believing every word that person says. On the flipside, she says when your partner introduces you to family and friends, chances are that this person sees you in their life for the long haul.
"This may sound obvious, but you can't imagine how many people come to couples therapy too late, when their partner is done with a relationship and wants to end it. It is very important to realize that everyone potentially has a breaking point, and if their needs are not met or they don't feel seen by the other, they will more than likely find it somewhere else. Many people assume that just because they are OK without things they want so is their partner. 'No relationship is perfect' shouldn't be used as a rationalization for complacency."
"Not all guys are outright about their interest, but there are certain signs you can definitely look for. If you've developed an inside joke, that's for sure a good thing. How polite is he being? Is he buying drinks? Offering his seat? Walking you home/to the train? Is he staying out way later than he should? Generally trying to make sure you're enjoying yourself? Is it super easy to convince him to get one more round when he has to wake up for work at seven? He might be miserable the next day...but he probably won't mind." Brady O.
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