Every woman 🚺 in love 😻 every now and then secretly worries about losing her man. But fret not, darlings, problem solved with these ultimate one-size-fits-all guide to building 🏤 the healthiest possible relationship 👭 with you bae!
If you apply these expert tips from psychologists and certified love 💜 and relationship 👬 coaches (featured on 🔛 yourtango.com, cosmopolitan.com, cheatsheet.com), you will no 🚫 longer need to worry 😟 about losing him. Ever.
These experts will tell you exactly what to do to keep your man 👦🏽 and enjoy the best and the most long-lasting relationship 👬 ever. Let's dig in and get enlightened!
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Create a Safe Environment Where You Can Trust and Share Openly without Fear
Don't interrupt, even if you need to put your hand 👆 over your mouth 👄 to stop ✋ yourself. Learn 📕 to fight 👊 fairly. No 🙅 name calling. Don't make threats. Apologize when you know you should. If you're too angry 😠 to really listen, stop! Go into another room, take 🎬 space 🌌 for yourself, breathe, and calm 😌 down.
Remember: your partner is not the enemy.
Separate the Facts from the Feelings
What beliefs and feelings get triggered in you during conflicts? Ask yourself: Is there something from my past that is influencing how I'm seeing the situation now? The critical question ❓ you want to ask: Is this about him or her, or is it really about me? What's the real truth?
Once you're able to differentiate facts from feelings, you'll see your partner more clearly and be able to resolve conflicts from clarity.
Connect with the Different Parts of Yourself
Each of us is not a solo instrument. We're more like 💖 a choir or an orchestra 🎻 with several voices. What is your mind saying? What is your heart 💝 saying? What is your body saying? What is your "gut" saying?
For example: My mind is saying "definitely leave her," but my heart 💜 says "I really love 💛 her."
Let these different voices or parts of you co-exist and speak 📲 to one 1️⃣ another. In this way, you will find an answer that comes from your whole self.
Practice observing yourself and your partner without judging. Part of you might judge, but you don't have to identify 🆔 with it. Judging closes a door. The opposite of judging is compassion. When you are compassionate, you are open, connected, and more available 🈳 to dialoguing respectfully with your partner. As you increasingly learn 📕 to see your partner compassionately, you will have more power ✊ to choose your response rather than just reacting.
Create a "we" That Can House 🏡 Two 2️⃣ "I's."
The foundation for a thriving, growing, mutually supportive relationship 💏 is being separate, yet connected. In co-dependent relationships, each person 🚹 sacrifices part of him or herself — compromising the relationship 👬 as a whole. When you are separate and connected, each individual "I" contributes to creatimg a "we" that is stronger than the sum of its parts.
Partner, Heal Thyself
Don't expect your partner to fill your emotional holes, and don't try to fill theirs. Ultimately, each of us can only heal ourselves. Your partner, however, can support the journey as you work 📐 with yourself, and vice versa. In fact, living 🏡 in a loving 💛 relationship 💏 is healing in and of itself.
Relish the Differences between You
The differences between you and your partner are not negatives. You don't need a relationship 💏 with someone who shares all of your interests and views. We may sometimes fear that these differences are incompatibilities, but in fact, they're often what keeps a relationship 👬 exciting 🎢 and full 🈵 of good 👍 fire.
All too often, we make up 👆 our own 🈶 stories or interpretations about what our partners' behavior means. For example: "She doesn't want to cuddle; she must not really love 🌹 me anymore." We can never err on 🔛 the side of asking too many questions, and then listen 🎧 to the answers from your whole self — heart, gut, mind and body. Equally important is to hear 🔉 what's not being said — the facts and feeling that you sense might be unspoken.
Make Time 🕛 for Your Relationship
No 🚫 matter who you are or what your work 📠 is, you need to nurture your relationship. Make sure you schedule time 🕤 for the well-being of your relationship. That includes making "play dates" and also taking downtime together. Frequently create a sacred space 🚀 together 👫 by shutting off 📴 all things technological and digital. Like 👌 a garden, the more you tend to your relationship, the more it will grow 🌱
Say the "hard Things" from Love
Become aware of the hard things that you're not talking 📢 about. How does that feel? No 🚫 matter what you're feeling in a situation, channel the energy of your emotions so that you say what you need to say in a constructive manner.
Act out of Character
Couples 💝 develop a particular dynamic: the way they relate to each other that repeats itself over and over. If you break that pattern 💠 and act against type — in a positive ☺️ way — you inject 💉 new life 🌱 into the relationship. For example, if you always get angry 😡 at your guy 👤 when he doesn't follow through on 🔛 some chore, try addressing him in a nicer, more friendly 😃 tone, then thank him when he does a good 👍 job. It works every time.
Get in Touch a Lot
No 👎 doubt you hug 👐 and kiss 💏 each other hello 👋 and maybe
snuggle a little after having sex. But simple acts like 👍 stroking his arm 💪 while you're watching 👀 TV, taking his hand 👇 when you're walking down 👇 the street, or fondling his thigh during dinner 🍛 are also ways to bond. Touching your partner throughout the day 🌞 triggers your feel-good hormones, which reinforces your affection 👬 and makes you feel closer on 🔘 an instinctive level.
Don't Be BFFs
Being pals with your man 👤 is great 👌 in theory. But that kind of connection actually can kill 🔪 your sex life. You could wind up 👆 having a roommatelike bond with each other rather than a hot ☀️ one 1️⃣ if you let yourself lose track of the masculine-feminine tension that excited you at the beginning of your relationship. Save the gab sessions for when you hang out with your girlfriends and your sexy 👠 energy for connecting with your guy.
Enjoy a Steady Diet of Sex
If you want to maintain closeness with your man,
get out of your head 👦🏽 and into bed. Guys feel more comfortable 👟 connecting with women 🎎 on 🔘 a physical level, not engaging in deep discussions. To strengthen your bond, approach your lust life 🌱 as you would your gym 💪 regimen or your diet — make it part of your routine. Set 🎬 a goal to have sex at least a couple 💑 times a week.
Take 🎬 Turns Talking
To make sure you both get a chance to state what's on 🔘 your mind during a disagreement — and get your points across — alternate playing reflective therapist, where one 1️⃣ listens while the other talks.
Find the Intersection
When making decisions together, try to find common
ground. You each should write down 😟 exactly what you want. Let's say you're angling for a vacay in San Francisco 🌁 to see the sights and hit up 👆 the cool 🆒 shops 🏬 and restaurants, while he wants a tropical 🌴 getaway where he can veg out by the pool 🎱 and sip drinks 🍶 with umbrellas in the glass. Now that your desires are clearly laid out on 🔘 paper, you can pick a place that will satisfy both your needs. A cool 😎 city, a little sun...how about Miami?
Be More Positive ☺️ than Negative
There's a more effective way to air grievances than to file 📁 an angry 😠 complaint. Sandwich 🍞 your negative comment between two 2️⃣ positives. If you want to complain about how he's always late, for example, try something like 💚 "You know, I love 🌹 that you're so laid-back and easygoing, but it really bothers me when you show up 👆 so late. I'm sure you can still be the fun guy 👨 I ℹ️ adore ❤️ and also be on 🔘 time."
Echo Each Other
When you and your man 🏃 are having a serious relationship 👬 talk, it's easy to get so caught up 🆙 in how you want to respond that you're not really listening 🎧 to what's being said. That's why it's important for both of you to repeat 🔂 each other: so you know you've been heard 👂 and you feel understood.
Grow 🌱 Your Tolerance
Neither of you is perfect, and the quirks you both have are here 🈁 to stay. So rather than let those annoying traits work 📓 your last nerve, try to get in touch with the upside of those particular flaws, even if it's not immediately recognizable. Instead of getting annoyed 😤 when he starts screaming at the TV, for example, remind yourself how much you love 💜 his passion. Or if his shyness with new 🆕 people 🚻 bugs you, think about how refreshing it is to be with a chill, genuine guy 👤 rather than a blowhard who needs to chat with everyone in the room.
Take 🎬 a Time-out
It's important that you get a break from the daily 📅 grind and spend 💳 alone time 🕦 as a couple 👫 — cell phones and the Internet 📡 are off-limits. It can be a fun day trip 🌏 or just a few quiet 🔇 hours ⏳ to yourselves. The point ⬇️ is simply to steal away (even if you're going 🆙 nowhere) so you can reconnect, free 🆓 of any distractions.
Have His Back
You might not agree 💯 with your guy 👨 when he's had a riff with a friend or he thinks his boss is being unfair, but you should always be on 🔛 his side...and vice versa. Otherwise, you'll both feel like 👍 you can't count 4️⃣ on 🔘 each other. That doesn't mean you have to take 🎬 the "you're so right" route all the time. Just hear 🔉 him out, and let him know that you'll support him no 🙅 matter what.
Spend 💴 a Little Money 🏧 on 🔘 Each Other
You don't have to wait for a special occasion 🎉 to give small presents to show your love. In fact, gifts are more fun-and meaningful — when they're not expected. Try to get into the habit of exchanging sweet 🍬 tokens of appreciation 💘 for no 🙅 particular reason. Don't go and blow 📢 your paycheck though. It's not about being extravagant; it's just a way of showing that you really get — and think about — each other. Maybe you buy 💴 him a tee of his favorite band 🎻 that you saw on sale 🈹 or he gets you a pair 2️⃣ of pajamas in your favorite color.
Be a Good 👍 Date
Face 🗿 it, no 🙅 one 1️⃣ can stay fascinating forever. After being together 👫 for a while, the initial excitement 😝 fades, and your guy 👨 can start to get kind of boring 💤 sometimes. Hey, don't think you're off 📴 the hook — if you're feeling a little ho-hum about him, the feeling is likely mutual! To combat the blahs, take 🎬 turns coming up 👆 with an interesting date 👬 idea 💡 every month. Keep the time 🕐 and details to yourself, and try to think outside the box 🔲 — dinner 🍛 and a movie 🎥 is not exactly innovative. An awesome 👍 concert or a snowboarding 🏂 lesson, for example, is a much less predictable treat.
Take 🎬 It Easy
The best relationship 👭 advice I’ve ever gotten, and that I ℹ️ give, is “easy does it.” Too often we get caught up 🆙 in fear-based needs to control our partner. This pull becomes a destructive compulsion that corrodes the integrity of the relationship. It replaces respect 🙇 and compassion with anger 😤 and resentment. It destroys the quality of our lives and over time, the relationship.
This advice impacted the way I ℹ️ approach romantic 💝 relationships in that I ℹ️ allowed for a lot more space, which in turn 🎲 allowed for less reactivity, more peace, happiness, and respect. The classic struggle of all relationships is finding the right 👉 calculus in the togetherness-and-autonomy equation. Typically, when a relationship 👭 is under stress, one 1️⃣ of the partners asks for physical space 🚀 to break the tension. This is suboptimal. The best way to incorporate space 🌌 is by being proactive and providing emotional rather than physical space. To do this, partners need to allow each other the space 🌌 to be themselves and to have their experiences without trying to control the outcome or think that you are responsible for their lives and reaction. It’s hard work 📏 and takes practice, but the rewards are well 👍 worth the effort.
Dr. Paul Hokemeyer, J.D. licensed marriage 💒 and family 👨👨👦 therapist and senior clinical adviser to Caron Ocean 🐚 Drive.
My parents 👨👩👦👦 advised what they did in their own 🈶 marriage: “both of you always think about giving 90% to your partner and you both will be very happy.” They meant it’s so important to think about how your partner is feeling, to stand in their shoes, to be giving and compromising, and emotionally generous. That 10% is for the understanding that sometimes it’s also OK 👌 to be a bit selfish, to place your needs first, or stand firm on 🔘 something. They also made clear 🆑 that this only works if you are both giving 90%.
I just celebrated my 26th wedding 👰 anniversary. I ℹ️ definitely think about my spouse’s needs and feelings the majority of the time 🕛 and try to be compromising. In return I ℹ️ feel he is 90% thinking 💭 of me and how to consider my feelings and be supportive and loving. Sometimes this means giving something up, but actually most times this means we both get what we want and we both feel very loved, supported, and that we are in each other’s corner. I ℹ️ don’t feel afraid 😨 to be giving, because he really has my best interests at heart. We are a terrific team and often we agree 💯 on 🔛 what we want. And when we don’t, we tend to take 🎬 turns supporting the other’s wants.
Dr. Gail Saltz, is a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at New York 🗽 Presbyterian’s Weill-Cornell Medical ➕ College. She has partnered with Tylenol on 🔘 the new 🆕 #HowWeFamily program and national study to share more information 📇 about the modern American 🇺🇸 family. For more information 📇 visit HowWeFamily.com
You Are Responsible for Your Own 🈶 Happiness
It’s not my partner’s job to make me happy. It’s my job to make me happy. Of course it’s easy to feel good 👍 when my partner is acting 🎭 in a way that I ℹ️ want —but needing them to be a certain way in order for me to feel good 👍 —that’s bondage. Thinking 💭 that they’re always going 🆙 to be in a good 👍 mood and directing ➡️ their affectionate attention ⚠️ towards me — while that may be possible during the initial stage of a relationship, is impossible to sustain long-term. I’m responsible for my happiness. My partner is responsible for her happiness. We deliberately focus on 🔛 things to feel good 👍 in our lives and for things to appreciate in one 1️⃣ another.
If you’re looking for someone to complete you —or vice versa—you’re looking in the wrong direction 🔜 for the lasting happiness, wholeness, and fulfillment that you truly seek. Wouldn’t it be better if you could find a way to feel how you want to feel regardless of what you’re partner is saying or doing?
This advice transformed every relationship 💏 in my life 💓 – not just the romantic 👫 ones. Before I ℹ️ knew these things, I ℹ️ was unintentionally holding my partner responsible for my happiness. When I ℹ️ learned that I’m responsible for my own 🈶 happiness 🌈 and when I ℹ️ learned how to consistently align with it, my entire world 🌏 transformed. I ℹ️ now have the freedom to choose if and when I ℹ️ spend time 🕥 with someone else, and I ℹ️ deliberately choose to spend time 📅 with others who get this, too. My relationships are more meaningful, more loving, more free, and most importantly – more fun! And my overall happiness 😊 continues to grow, too, regardless of whether I’m in a relationship 👬 or not.
Jeff Bear, life 💓 coach and founder of Bear 🐻 Partners.
Stop ✋ Waiting and Live Your Life
When I ℹ️ was single 1️⃣ and stressed 😨 about finding love, my good 👍 friend, Scott, a confirmed bachelor, told me this. He said, “Lisa, you need to calm 😌 down, chill ✌️ out, and stop 🙅 expecting love 💜 to be here 🈁 already. Your sense of entitlement is killing your ability to attract a good 👍 man.” When I ℹ️ realized he was right, I ℹ️ stopped waking up 👆 every day ☀️ feeling angry 😡 that love 🌹 hadn’t found me yet. I ℹ️ stopped being resentful that my friends were married and having lives that felt out of reach to me. I ℹ️ stopped feeling like 😍 my life 💓 was on 🔘 hold. As cliché as it sounds, I ℹ️ stopped waiting and started living. Overnight, my outlook changed. My results changed, too. I ℹ️ started meeting men 👥 wherever I ℹ️ went. I went on 🔘 dates, had fun, didn’t give my heart 💔 away foolishly, and met my husband. I ℹ️ knew he was The One 1️⃣ when he told me, “I’ve always been too nice 😬 for the naughty 😈 girls 👭 and too naughty 👿 for the nice 😇 ones.” That had been my experience with men.
My advice for singles 🎾 who are struggling in their search is to look 👀 within and ask themselves what part of their own 🈶 life 💓 still needs work. When you clean up 👆 your side of the street, you make room for a perfectly imperfect person 👨 to see you, celebrate 🎊 you, and love ♥️ you. And remember that Mr. Right 👉 [or Ms. Right] will not be perfect, but will be perfect 👌 for you, just as you’ll be perfectly imperfect for him [or her].
Lisa Steadman, relationship 👭 expert and author of It’s a Breakup Not a Breakdown.
Love 💙 Yourself
You can’t love ❤️ anyone more than your willingness to love 💏 yourself. Through this advice I ℹ️ learned about the importance of caring for my mind, body, and spirit. I ℹ️ liken love ❤️ to the oxygen mask 👺 on 🔛 a plane. You have to apply it to yourself before applying it to the person 🚹 next to you. This advice improved my chances of winning 🏆 my wife’s hand 👈 in marriage. She was searching for true love. She wanted someone to spend 💴 the rest of her life 🌱 with. Conveying to her that I ℹ️ loved ❤️ myself signaled that I ℹ️ could be a pillar of strength 💪 and compassion.
Paul C. Brunson, matchmaker and author of It’s Complicated (But It Doesn’t Have to Be): A Modern Guide to Finding and Keeping Love.
Don’t Put Boundaries on 🔛 Others
You can’t put boundaries on 🔘 someone else—only yourself. If someone is treating you badly, you can’t change their behavior. But you can ask yourself why you accept 🉑 it and how you can put a boundary on 🔘 yourself so that you won’t accept 💯 it again. It made me take 🎬 more responsibility for my role in bad relationships. Instead of feeling like 😻 a victim of circumstance, I ℹ️ was empowered to reject bad treatment and choose a different person. Also, [remember that] life 💓 is a self-fulfilling prophesy. If you believe you are undeserving of happiness, love 💝 and prosperity, that’s what the universe 🌌 will give you.
Dr. Wendy Walsh, relationship 👬 expert and author of The 30-Day Love 💛 Detox.
Sometimes Love 💜 is Where You’d Least Expect It
The hottest, most fun, sexiest, interesting, growth-stimulating, spontaneous, most romantic, most eye-opening relationships or experiences all were not with people 👥 that I ℹ️ thought 💬 I ℹ️ would end up 🆙 with. Just because a relationship 💏 has a shelf life 💓 doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enter into it. This advice allowed me to enjoy each interaction for what it was and not try to make it something it wasn’t. And at the end 🔚 of the day, our life 🌱 is just a conglomeration of memories and I ℹ️ have many happy 😁 memories to think on. This gives me the freedom to experience all life 🌱 has to offer!
Other good 👍 advice: “Always be unexpected.” This doesn’t have to be in grand gestures, but predictability in a relationship 👭 = boring 💤 = death 💀 of romance. Worst Advice? “Don’t worry, it’ll happen.” If I ℹ️ wanted to learn 📕 French, if someone told me “Don’t worry, it’ll happen,” how stupid does that sound?! Dating 👫 is a skill set like 💚 every other and you get out of it 😒 what you put into it.
Hunt Ethridge, certified dating 👭 coach.
Put in Some Effort
First, you simply must put time 🕐 and energy into dating. A combination of online dating 👬 and socializing (perhaps including speed dating 👬 or singles 🎾 mixers) is ideal. And second, you must go about dating 👬 the right 👉 way—from a positive ☺️ attitude and an effective online dating 👫 profile (I can help you with that at ellyklein.com) to behavior on 🔘 dates and communication ✉️ with potential partners. If your approach to finding love 👬 is waiting for it to just come along, you’re taking a huge risk and will probably be single 1️⃣ for a long time.
Elly Klein, dating 👬 and relationship 💏 expert and author of Men 👥 Are Like 😚 a Box ◼️ of Chocolates.
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