The Best Advice I Ever Got About Love.

Via on Nov 8, 2013

I was thinking about how I learned what I know about relationships. Not just from experience, but from advice that resonated, even when I didn’t want to hear it.

The best advice, the advice that worked, and stayed with me for years is all really about mindfulness, presence and non-attachment. (Even though none of it came from Buddhists, and I wasn’t a Buddhist when I received most of it).

I hope that you can take these drops of wisdom into your heart and use them to take good care of yourself no matter what happens in a relationship.

Light and Breezy

Recently, I was talking to a(nother old, married) friend about our dating years. I said I had spent decades chasing, anguishing, and having very few actual boyfriends. She said she’d never really had any issues in that area, aside from the inevitable breakups. She had had several long-term relationships, and lots of dates.

She said this: “I always tried to keep it light and breezy.”

For me, this idea was revolutionary.

It wasn’t that she didn’t care, or didn’t want relationships. It wasn’t that she was playing some kind of manipulative game, like “The Rules” that dictated that she shouldn’t call a guy first, or had to keep him on tenterhooks to maintain his interest.

She just maintained a healthy emotional distance until it was really, really clear that there was strong mutual interest, living in the present rather than in some fantasy of the future. She respected herself, she had things to do, and she was looking at a romantic relationship as a beautiful addition to her existing life, not as the thing that would make that life worth living.

Light and breezy would have rocked my world during my single years, if I had been able to live it. It’s all about the ability to be with what is, in the moment without knowing if you’ll get a call, or make a connection. It’s about being in that uncertain place without pushing, forcing, nagging, or otherwise putting pressure on the delicate filament of romantic potential.

Light and breezy is this: you go three days without receiving a text. You send a message that says “did you get eaten by bears on the camping trip?” because it’s totally reasonable to check in. But if you don’t get an answer, you move on. You don’t send more, increasingly needy or passive-aggressive messages. You don’t spend every minute trying to figure out why you didn’t hear back, and is it because he thinks you’re ugly or is he back with his old girlfriend, and are you going to be alone forever, and oh god he had beautiful hands…you just don’t do it.

Keep it light and breezy, and if it’s coming your way, it’ll come.

Sometimes, a person just doesn’t want anything from you.

When I was in my mid-twenties I had my first serious relationship, and although the guy was patently not The One, I clung desperately. One day, struggling against an overwhelming undertow of foreboding and panic about the whole thing, I asked a male friend what to do. Specifically, I said “what does he want from me?!”

His answer: “sometimes, a person just doesn’t want anything from you.”

I was devastated. I wanted tips, tricks, hints, magic, or at least an explanation of how I was misunderstanding the male psyche so that I could come at it again from a better direction.

Truth is, it was the right answer, the best answer and what I needed to hear. The guy was moving on, which was what I was sensing, and he really didn’t want anything at all from me other than a gracious and easy release.

I didn’t let go, and there were months of tears, tortured conversations, and mutual suffering. More months, in fact, than the duration of the actual relationship. Had I trusted my instincts and walked away, I would have felt better about myself and had lovely memories instead of scars.

Sometimes, as hard and sad and lonely as it is, a person just doesn’t want anything from you. And if you think that might be true, it probably is.

Don’t strangle the kitten.

We made friends with a house full of college students. One of them, Joe, was madly in love with someone his entire senior year. First she had a boyfriend, then she was busy with exams and an internship. He never got up the nerve to get past the nervous joking stage.

The night after graduation, they had a big party to celebrate. Joe was the last one sleeping in the house because he couldn’t get a flight home for a few days. The woman he loved was at the party, and agreed to stay the night with him, alone, in the house.

A week or so later, one of his roommates was in town to pick up the security deposit and he dropped by our house to say hello. “What happened with Joe and that girl?!” I asked. I’d been dying to know, hoping for a happy ending. When we left the party, red plastic cups of bad beer in hand, the buzz had been all about Joe’s Big Chance.

“He wrecked it.” The roommate told me. “It was like if you give a kid a kitten and the loves it so much that he squeezes really hard and strangles it. Joe totally strangled the kitten.”

“In one night?!” I pressed.

“Oh, yeah. She was gone before the sun came up. I guess he started asking her it meant that she’d stayed with him, and talking about having a long distance relationship, and he just freaked her out and she took off.”

Skittish animals and tentative emotions need space and time to calm, settle and maybe take root. When you’re lucky enough to have a soft, purring kitten on your lap, remember that you can love it without having to name it, own it or squeeze it to death.

P.S. If you feel like it, please add the best love-related advice you’ve gotten in the comments. You never know who you might help…………



Online Dating Advice for Men. ~ with Love, Women Everywhere

The Best Marriage Advice from a Divorced Man.

How to Make Love to Yourself.


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About Ann Nichols

Ann Nichols has been everything from a cellist to a lawyer, and is currently a Buddhist who gets paid to cook at a Protestant church. She lives in a 100-year old house in Michigan with her husband, her son and an improbable number of animals. You can hang out with her by joining the Facebook group “Metta-Morphosis.”


69 Responses to “The Best Advice I Ever Got About Love.”

  1. mon says:

    Time clarify the feelings

  2. Forte says:

    Love yourself first. When I didn’t NEED someone’s love to make me feel worthy, I was much more able to relax, give compassionately and move through inevitable changes with grace and awareness.

  3. Abby says:

    There's also the times when they DO want something — just not what you want them to want. I had to get clear on the difference. If it's not what you want, or it's wrapped like a mystery surprise in a Cracker Jack box – move on. There is a lot to be said for transparency and self-respect. Move quickly away from those who would trample those things without a thought.

    • Ann Nichols imagineannie says:

      Abby, that's absolutely true. I actually had a guy tell me that he didn't want a long term relationship, but he wanted to "explore my mind and learn from me." I don't know what that meant because I had the sense to take your good advice and get out while the getting was good.

  4. Linda Lewis Linda V. Lewis says:

    I don't know if this is the best advice because I don't think anyone can have a strategy for love. I think love is worth a shot, worth really trying to make a relationship work, even marriage, the "complete catastrophe". It works for couples about 50% of the time, at least here in Canada where so many couples celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. But loving kindness toward oneself and compassion for all beings is the bigger picture, beyond a comfy nest.

    • Ann Nichols imagineannie says:

      That's pretty good advice, I think. And marriage is hard, hard. hard. hard work and (at the risk of being tarred and feather) maybe not a natural situation for a lot of people. But love is always worth a shot, and if things don't work out it's always optimal to come from a place of loving oneself and treating the other person with compassion. Thanks so much for reading and for taking the time to comment!

  5. Leslie says:

    Thanks for the chuckle! Light and breezy has never been my forte! I am still learning, that is for sure….. even (especially?) after 11 years and 3 kids

  6. Ariana says:

    People don't change, but they may grow. If they don't grow, go.

    • Ann Nichols imagineannie says:

      Ariana, yes indeed. I always believe in giving chances for growth, but we have to learn the hard lesson that we can't give chances that hurt us and negatively impact our own growth.

  7. Robin says:

    Great article. If only I'd been able to be "light and breezy" back in my teens, twenties, and thirties, I'd have been a much happier person. I would often stay in a relationship much, much longer than was healthy because I was just sure that I would never find someone else to love me, that this one might be my last chance. I think back on that person, that insecure person who had to be in a relationship at all times (a serial monogamist) because I couldn't handle facing myself, and I feel sad for her, but also happy that I have evolved into the (mostly) "light and breezy" woman that I've become. Forte, who posted above, hit the nail on the head, but it's not always as easy as just loving yourself first. Depending on one's childhood, etc., learning to love yourself can take years. Love is difficult and loving one's self the most difficult. p.s. I love you all. <3

  8. mommyz says:

    Dear heart,

    Just be… your exploring, fumbling, sometimes grasping, imperfect, growing self. This is what's in front you right now. Tend to your own garden (or pay someone to do pull weeds for you, if gardening isn't your thing, and paint pictures or walls or tend to the sick instead).

    Study. Meet your deadlines. Serve. Dance. Close your eyes and smile at the thought of the one you love. Call friends. Help children with their homework. Throw large dinner parties. Eat soup while standing in the kitchen with a pencil tucked into your bun. Say yes to invitations that interest you. Develop your craft. Listen. Learn to (ski, sing, play the banjo, do a handstand). Meditate. Laugh until you snort. Know what true love means to you.

    Practice… patience, generosity, silence.

    It will come one day and it will knock you off your feet. You will already be on your right path. It will be there somewhere among the firs. You might not notice it at first or you may need to stop and tie your shoelaces while you adjust your vision to the light. Breathe deeply. You are ready, or maybe you are not. You will know.

    You may wish to hold hands. Open yours without expectation. Be willing to expand your definitions. Learn everything about them that they want to share, and ask for nothing more. Laugh and make love. Think you've never felt this way before, because you haven't – you haven't been this way until this moment, and you are made up of all the moments that came before this one, and you may be different tomorrow. Bring them a cup of coffee in the morning. Make some plans and let them go. be willing to surrender to a bit of mystery. Let it inspire you. If things go right they're meant to be. Cry and wonder

    but don't strangle the kitten.

    A butterfly in a net is not a happy butterfly. Keep playing the banjo and singing and writing your songs. Share what you have. Give generously, love much. Put seeds in the ground.

    Some will root and some may not. Whether you forgot to water or watered too much, decide to remember that next time. Shoulder your hoe, look inside your expanding heart. There are no headstones in your garden, only dragonflies.

    • pollichinelle17 says:

      Beautiful !

    • Ann Nichols imagineannie says:

      Well this just blew me away. It's like a beautiful, lyrical, true post all on its own/

      Why don't you post it here on EJ in its own right?!

      Thank you for this.

    • lottie says:

      So perfect. Thank you. X

    • jess kirk says:

      this is the perfect thing for me to have read….thank you….

    • Sherrie Anne says:

      that was beautiful… you are a teacher and a healer by what I read here…. aka a mommy z… thank you for your well versed addition to this great article!!.

    • virginiawj says:

      thank you so much for your winding lyrical take on love and how to live life as a whole, as life is about love. Namaste x

    • jenyrose says:

      LOVE this. Thank you.

    • Katie says:

      Thank you! This was beautiful.

    • Zenkat7 says:

      Beautiful and saved for me to read, over and over. With so much gratitude to you for sharing this!

    • DragonflywithaBrokenWing says:

      That was lovely & well versed! Yes, the article may have inspired you but in your own right your heart was set free & its song rang out to us all! I pray you share beyond the comment section! This article was written clearly & precisely as well (I’ll never have a kitten in my lap & think the same again! Does naming it really mean I’m over loving? Gosh! I didn’t know!) but this comment.. Well it grabbed me! It sent home the articles message in a way I needed right now! I’m learning to be free as I learn to fly with one wing. Half my heart is forever lost to me but I’ve learned to live. And now as I set forth on my search for my ying to my yang I’ve realized I’ve stopped counting time, stopped settling for what isn’t me, stopped compromising to get what isn’t what I want any way & most of all I’ve realized I am me accept me or don’t but don’t throw a fit if I walk when you try to change me! I won’t beg for love anymore! You stop responding your loss! Thank you both very much! Mommyz I may not learn the banjo or dance without falling down or remember to double knot my laces so they won’t untie but I’ll laugh until I snort more, look at the stars more & most of all I’ll share this.. I’ve learned its okay to bake from scratch for just myself, to cook a fabulous meal for just me or for my elder neighbor & I, & most of all that spending the day sitting at home alone reading, listening to tunes & throwing the ball for the dog is A Okay! Biggest thing though I had to Really learn? Perfect is over rated! Don’t expect perfection from yourself or your partner! We all have bad days! Go forth & love people! But Love Yourself first & foremost!

  9. Megan says:

    You already wrote this, I will just post from my own personal experience. Learning to let go. I always wanted to "have" my ex. However, we do not own people, nor can we hold onto them. I was scared of losing him. The lesson here was this; I never had him, he was never mine to have, and I clung to tight. In the end, when he said he wanted an "indefinite hiatus", I pined and cried and sobbed for him to come back. Then one day I woke up and realized, none of this is necessary. I do not need him, and being able to let go was a huge relief. I didnt need to depend on him for my happiness. I just wish him the best.

  10. heidi says:

    So simple, so honest, so real…. I needed to read this 35 years ago!!!!!!! 😉

  11. Rolando says:

    Trust your gut instinct. If something doesn’t feel right it most likely isn’t. Follow your heart but don’t forget to take your brain with you.

    -Twitter: @Roley42

  12. WW says:

    My mom always told me, "In God's time and in God's way."

  13. QueenCassandra says:

    1. Learn to love yourself first.

    2. Don't fight about the little things. If it won't matter tomorrow or next week, drop it. It's not worth damaging your relationship, or blowing up over something small.

    3. If you need to talk to your partner about a problem, be very clear on if you just need someone to listen, or if you want advice, or if you want them to fix it (and be open to their advice or solution if they offer it). This applies to both men and women.

    4. Think twice, speak once. (Ask yourself: Does this need to be said? Does this need to be said by me? Does this need to be said right now? If the answer is no to any of these questions, drop it.) (Craig Ferguson said it best!)

    5. Never compare your relationship to someone else's. EVER. You will always find fault and will always be unhappy. (Remember that most people try to make their relationships seem more wonderful than they are in public. Don't compare your significant other to someone else's "knight in shining armor." He may actually be a bonehead in tinfoil.)

  14. Jules says:

    I really needed to hear this 20 years ago

  15. therese says:

    Beautiful read. My eureka moment. I needed to read this and all the beautiful comments. Thank you everyone. I learned a very valuable lesson today. From all of you.

  16. Jenifer says:

    I really needed this right now! I am now single after 22 years of marriage & I am coming to realize that I am anything but Light & Breezy!! This couldn't have come at a better time for me. Thanks!

  17. Laura says:

    Love isn't giving your heart away. Love is opening your heart while standing in your power.

    You teach people how to treat you.

    I'm endeavoring to encompasse and internalize these.

    Great article. Thanks.

  18. Kailey says:

    I absolutely needed this. I am a sophomore in college crushing on this one guy since the first day of freshman year. Ironically, I was paired up with him for a project in one of my classes this past semester. My heart dropped when i found out that he was my partner and I began freaking out- constantly worrying about how I was going to act in front of him, what he was going to think of me, etc. The first time we met for our project, I was so nervous that I never thought before I spoke and I could barely focus on our project! (I was everything BUT light & breezy). I was uptight, anxious, shy, and the opposite of myself. I just couldn't get the "fantasy of the future" as you mentioned, out of my head when I was around him. Nonetheless, we still did well on the project, but if I was light and breezy, as I usually am towards everyone I meet, things probably would have worked out. But since things played out the way they did, there is nothing I can do about it and there is no use in trying to figure it out- I just have to move on. As this article implies, I needed to remind myself that I don't need him in my life nor do I need a man in general. You should always love yourself and your life as it is FIRST, because if you love yourself completely, then you will be able to love another without sacrificing your self-worth and self-esteem (as I did in this situation). No matter how good you make him (or her) up to be in your mind, you always have to remind yourself that it is YOUR life that you are welcoming another person into, not theirs. SO take ownership over your life- the light and breezy way! What is meant to be, will be

  19. Jenna B. Wiser says:

    I agree most with “mommyz” post. It’s great to keep things light and fun in the beginning of most relationships, which is what I have have always done. But guess what, all of those ended. They were not divinely meant for me and they were not my soul mate. When you find “the one” and you know it, there are no rules! And it’s not light, but its ok. It’s finally real, authentic, and part of Gods plan. My advice is to make plans for your first date and just do it. Let it flow. Do what you feel. There are no rules with the right one. I wouldn’t want it any other way. Must see you soon!!

    PS. Be very careful following your friends advice. I can’t think of one friend who has truly felt like they found their perfect soul mate without kissing or dating them first. Always consider the source when seeking advice!! People don’t know what they haven’t experienced themselves. How the hell could they offer advice on something they don’t know. Its like going to an accountant and asking him to do heart surgery. You don’t know what you don’t know. Our first date could be first everything!! We can then write our book together to teach others how we transformed dating into a non-traditional approach that is the most fulfilling!! Lets do this!!

  20. Nikki says:

    This "light and breezy" demeanor really resonated with me, especially the part about grieving for months, longer than the actual relationship. I'm at a stage now where I find myself in a battle between wanting my relationship with my partner to work against all odds and the acceptance of 'que sera, sera' (whatever will be, will be). I already know when I accepted a big change in our relationship that I felt better the instant I Really accepted it. I find if I continue in this vein that this won't equal a "solution" or a "save" to our relationship, but it will make everything easier. I like the advice you offered, Jenna, of "when you find "the one" and you know it, there are no rules."

  21. Sherrie Anne says:

    What a wonderful post and thread of comments!! So well put and heart shared, Thank you … EVERYONE!

  22. colleen says:

    We are such a territorial species, we feel that we have to "lift our leg and spray", marking a territory that is not meant to be claimed. We are also an intuitive species, we need to trust out intuitions, our instincts…you know when something feels wrong, pay attention. Move on/ or stay…you know what to do, you don't need to ask your mother, brother, father, best friend, clergy, mailman, or your dog….you know the truth.

  23. @minusgreen1 says:

    My dad always told me:
    There are 3 major causes of upsets-
    Thwarted intentions
    Expectation not received
    Communication not delivered

  24. ACé says:

    “Let it go to anything you fear to loose …” (I’ve heard this in StarWars and I think it’s pretty relevant when it comes to relationship)

  25. ACé says:

    What about applying permaculture principles to relationships. You can't except your girlfriend/boyfriend to be everything you need to. In permaculture, principles are simple, if you want your ecosystem to be sustainable (and love is an ecosystem) : each actor must fulfill several functions and each function must be fulfilled by several actors …

  26. Tara says:

    Thank you for sharing!

    Bringing in the partner you desire has everything to do with:

    1. healing your old wounds (so you no longer attract in toxic people and relationships who are being drawn in by your negative subconscious conditioning and patterning),

    2. Being clear and concise about what you want in a partner and using the law of attraction to get it (being specific + thoughts/affirmations fueled with intention = manifestation of what you want), and

    3. Once you have what you want, utilizing what you have learned in your life about healthy relationships to maintain and progress the bond between you and your partner (i.e. a. staying present and not obsessing over past transgressions or future worries/expectations, b. effective communication, c. honesty and trust, d. maintaining your own identity while melding and intertwining your life with your partner, e. being who you really are from the beginning and continuing to put in the effort and do those “little things” people so often stop doing once they have attained what they want and are “comfortable” in a relationship, and most importantly, f. love).

    It is an art and a science. And it can become quite simple when you understand it and put it into practice.

  27. Andreia says:

    "I didn’t let go, and there were months of tears, tortured conversations, and mutual suffering. More months, in fact, than the duration of the actual relationship." –> story of my life on the last 8 months… 2 and a half months of romance, and the rest of the time of hyperfunctional lacrimal glands, panic attacks and a feeling of extreme loneliness like i never imagined someday would experience… :( Got finally the courage to let go, a week ago, so now i'm struggling to rebuild myself…
    Thank you for your post.

  28. Intrinsic says:

    ~♥~♥~♥ Unconditional Love ~ Osho ♥~♥~♥~

    “Loneliness cannot create love, it creates a craving or need.

    True Love is certainly not a need. Then what is love?

    Love is a luxury. It comes out of being alone.

    When you are alone, detached and at the same time happy and joyous and celebrating, and great energy goes on storing within you. You do not need anybody.

    In that moment energy within you is so much, that you would like it to be shared. Then you give, you give because you have so much, you give without asking anything in return – that is unconditional and true love.

    Very few people attain true love, and those who really do are the people who have conquered loneliness.

    When you are alone, meditation is a natural, simple and spontaneous byproduct. Then just sitting silently, doing nothing, you are in meditation. You need not repeat a mantra, you need not chant any sound. You simply sit, or you walk, or you do your things, and meditation is there like a climate surrounding you; like a white cloud surrounding you – you are suffused with the light. You are immersed in it, bathed in it, and that freshness goes on welling up in you. Now you start sharing.

    What else can you do? When a song is born in your heart you have to sing it. And when love is born in your heart – love is a by-product of being alone – you have to shower it.

    When the cloud is full of rain, it showers rain, and when the flower is full of fragrance, it releases its fragrance to the winds. Unaddressed, the fragrance is released. And the flower does not wait to ask ”What is coming back to me in return?” The flower is happy that the winds have been kind enough to relieve him of a burden.

    This is real love; then there is no possessiveness. The love is unconditional and this is real meditation; then there is no effort.”

  29. eszter says:

    Thank you for this beautiful article! I guess the best advice I ever received about love was from my mother, a nurse of 37 years , which of course I , at the time, did not believe or follow, but as I have become older and wiser, wished I had. She told me that sometimes when someone is hurting, the best thing you can do to show you love them is to leave them alone to untie their own knots. They will come find you if they need you, but if they don't the best thing you can do is to let them keep their dignity by figuring it out for themselves without trying to help by fixing things for them.

  30. Roxanne says:

    Thank you, this is such a lovely article, one of the bests I have read on this topic.

  31. Mich Ael says:

    You know…therapy. Just therapy. For many of us, it's about more than just choosing to be light and breezy. I really wish it were like that for everyone. Dating and romantic relationships are very much affected by our attachment style, and attachment has a strong neurobiological component. This means that we have automatic physiological responses to perceived rejection or closeness and connection that are beyond just being "easy breezy." So for those of us that cannot just choose this right away, please give yourself some self-compassion and understand that becoming less reactive takes time, awareness, and skill building. Two great people to look up: Sue Johnson and Dan Siegel.

  32. gabby forno says:

    Someone told me this and it changed my life. Rejection is God’s protection.

  33. Stephanie says:

    Sometimes Love is not enough. You can be in love with someone and have a soul connection, but if you are both on separate paths and want different things out of life, you must let each other go their own way, as their journey may not be yours and be grateful for all the lessons they taught you during your time together and know that person was put there for a reason.

  34. Annie says:

    Anne you are so BRILLIANT as always thank you for imparting your wisdom!

  35. tselliot0 says:

    It's never too late to "reset" yourself, so I appreciate this article. It doesn't matter that I was miserable in a former (earlier years) or that I regret not being happier then. What matters most is that I'm happier now than I ever have been in my life. I will take all this to heart, and apply this to the list of things I have learned over the years. 57 and still feeling 27.

  36. Ken says:

    The best advice I ever got was this: “Love yourself first before you try to go for someone else’s heart. Because if you don’t love yourself, how do you expect another person to love you.” I don’t know where the quote is from, but my cousin told me this one day. And you know what, the things you realize when you start loving yourself instead for waiting someone else’s love (this goes for friendships too). I’ve realized that I tend to give more than I receive. I was brought up that way. Being generous is good, but being overly generous is fatal. It kills you both mentally and physically. You give and give, but when you expect a return and get none.. you pretty much second guess everything you’ve done for those people. I’m going through that right now with most of my friends. You realize who has your back and who was there just for the free ride. It really is an eye-opening experience that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemies. But you know what, I get better and better as I take all that negativity out of my life. So thank you for sharing your ideas. It works especially the light and breezy part. Thanks for sharing!

  37. Ginnais says:

    Gosh this was unreal, thank you! The best advice I have ever received about love;

    Follow your intuition it will always guide you soundly to all things of love, including people. Whenever I have found myself in a relationship that is failing it is only lack of love and loss of self guidance that led me there.

  38. Rayann says:

    Men and women communicate differently, love differently, listen differently. Learn how your partner communicates so that you can communicate effectively when things are not perfect. Men and women are functionally different when it comes to life's stresses. Men withdraw, and women talk. This is where being whole and able to release and trust and respect are of the utmost importance. Not when things are good, but when things falter. You must be prepared to be the best on your worst day. This is something that has taken me 32 years, and 4 intense relationships to understand. Chasing a man under stress is like cornering a wild animal. You have to let him go, so he can fill himself up, and have enough to give back to you. Conversely for me, when a woman is stressed, offer to take care of things around the house, and suggest she go out and talk with friends. These moments apart are some of the most loving things you can do for one another.

  39. Jennifer says:

    "When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time."
    Maya Angelou

  40. Sam says:

    Not looking to the opposite sex for anything.

    Nurturing and spending it time and money on yourself.

    Being a true bachelorette.. Comfy and not interested in someone who can’t provide (an emotional / nurturing sense) for you and move on. If it’s meant too be it will be. In the mean time use too busy being an awesome you too care 😉 xxxx

  41. Hogan says:

    Marry your best friend.
    Go out into life with a full basket. (Love yourself and be self sufficient.)
    A sense of humor is incredibly important.
    Love yourself as much as you love your partner.
    Hold on loosely.
    It's not 50/50, it's 100/100%.
    Share a hobby, but have several of your own.
    Sometimes, the passage of time is the only solution to a problem.
    Pick your battles. Don't nitpick.
    If you are arguing and the other person leaves the room, don't follow them.
    Be compassionate and forgiving.
    Realize that both parties are going to change over time.
    Say, "I love you" every day.
    Have date nights.
    Be affectionate.
    Don't criticize your partner in public.
    Don't air dirty laundry.
    Be sexually compatible. Be giving.
    Have some separate friends and interests, besides hobbies.
    Agree to disagree.
    You don't have to win all the time. It's not a competition.
    From my grandmother: If you are going through a rough patch, pretend everything is okay. (It works.)

    I'm sure I could think of a lot more pieces of advice I've received, but this is a start.

  42. CA says:

    I have to agree it the commenter who said that you can be in love, have a soul connection and have it be unworkable. That has been the hardest for me. Loving someone in every way possible with no chance of a future. So many lessons about letting go, acceptance, dignity, and grace. I have not done any of those as well as I would have liked. What I know for sure though is that until I learn how, I am destined to repeat it. So I am trying to get it right this time and actually love someone exact as they are and love them well enough to let them go. Easier said than done certainly.

  43. nav says:

    really needed this right now..Thankyou

  44. blue says:

    i needed this..

  45. riccineer says:

    I would say this could be applied in some instances, but not all. People who have had abandonment issues or have come from unsafe love often need reassurance. It's not about neediness, it's about determining how important it is to let the person you care about experience something they may not have ever experienced before. I've had people "strangle the cat" before with me but it was out of their own neediness. There is a completely different dynamic that goes on when it's more complex. Sensing when to apply light and breezy is an art in some situations. In others, it just sends the message that one does not care much. Just a thought from my little corner of the universe. :) Thank you for your insight! <3

  46. shelley says:

    This was a very insightful article thank you. I’m in my early twenties and as much as I realize I have all the time in the world sometimes it gets pretty lonely. Light and breezy is tough for me due to the fact I have a very high intellect and a tough skin (there’s not very many that can keep up or get around my barriers). Most guys I go on dates with either can’t keep up with the conversation so they smile,nod, and run away or the ones that peak my interest on the first date I believed I pish too hard for a second one and thus once again they run away. Needless to say second dates are few and far. I’m not entirely sure how to fix this. Dropping my tough outer layer is a terrifying thought :/

  47. Cadi says:

    Be the person you'd want to love. In other words don't expect to have something if you have nothing to give.

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