Fed up of seeing #relationshipgoals on the ‘gram that only remind you of the plateau your love life is sitting on? Perhaps it’s time to break free of self-pity and really examine what about your behaviour and choices is keeping you from finding a meaningful relationship, assuming that’s what you’re seeking. According to professional matchmaker Caitlin Cooper’s relationship advice, it’s often the tiny, seemingly inconsequential habits that are our biggest obstacles. Like expecting Mr Right to drop out of the sky and fall into your lap. She wants you to remember that dating requires effort. If you’re single, she recommends you “have friends set you up, say “hi” to a few strangers every week, use dating apps that encourage better, interesting conversations or hire a matchmaker.”
For couples who struggle with keeping the spark alive in a long-term relationship, one of the major causes of disappointment in modern marriages is constant comparison to some Photoshopped relationship you see on social media. “Behind closed doors, couples who seem like they have it together fight about everyday issues, struggle for intimacy, and cope with overbearing in-laws. Social media only shows an edited version of relationships.”
And finally, Cooper’s best relationship advice is to remember that like with your career or fitness regimen, effort and dedication reaps rewards. “I encourage my clients to make their love life a priority,” Cooper explains. “After all, whatever you focus on grows, and of all the investments you can make, relationships are the one that yield the highest returns.”
Relationship advice: 10 tips to improve your love life
I resolve to stop saying, "All the good ones are taken."
Our thoughts become our reality — even what may appear as a passing negative thought, once repeated, can become our truth. Change the narrative and say, "There are great partners out there. And when it’s time, I'll meet mine."
I resolve to speak my partner’s love language daily
Often couples argue over simple misunderstandings based on communication differences. Falling in love is the easy part; the real work comes in when merging two distinct styles of communication. The most effective way to do this is to learn how each other expresses and feels love — and put it into practice.
I resolve to be proactive about dating
You've probably been told, "When you stop looking for love, it just happens." But dating requires effort. Diversify your portfolio: Have friends set you up, say "hi" to a few strangers every week, use dating apps that encourage better, interesting conversations or hire a matchmaker. Learning what works best for you helps you focus direction and increases your odds of successful dates.
I resolve to allow attraction to grow
I constantly hear from clients they didn’t feel any "sparks" on a first date. Well, here’s the truth: While instant romance does happen—albeit most frequently in the movies—this is the exception, not the norm. Chemistry can and does grow, but only if you allow it. If you enjoy someone’s company, they treat you well and make you laugh, give it more time to explore before calling it.
I resolve to stop comparing my relationship to those on social media
No relationship is perfect. Behind closed doors, couples who seem like they have it together fight about everyday issues, struggle for intimacy, and cope with overbearing in-laws. Social media only shows an edited version of relationships, so comparing your relationship to couples on your feed is both a waste of energy and unrealistic.
I resolve to stop judging people online before meeting them
Dating apps bring a large pool of people to our fingertips. But with more choices, comes more confusion, and your mind is forced to reduce the overload. Look for shared interests to encourage unifying conversation, to help look beyond things like height and hairlines. (Because after years of blissful marriage, they won’t matter.)
I resolve to end relationships with kindness
When did it became customary practice to ghost people we're no longer interested in? These behaviours are painful and leave the other party feeling confused and rejected — not to mention add frustration to the already challenging world of dating. Honesty only hurts for a minute, but the effects of silent rejection can last for a lifetime. Be gracious, truthful, and clear when ending relationships so you can set them free to find someone else.
I resolve to maintain my sense of self while parenting
Having children is an amazing experience — and a huge sacrifice. I hear many confessions of resentment and lost identity due to parenthood that pulls couples apart. Part of your schedule must include time for self-care, time with friends, time alone, gym time or whatever you need to feel like you are maintaining your sense of self. You will have nothing to give to your partner if you don’t take care of your needs first.
I resolve to approach conflict without saying "always" and "never."
Phrases like "you never listen" or "you’re always late" usually results in your partner disagreeing and citing examples to the contrary, creating an argument loop with no resolution. Write down your points and necessary action steps ahead of time without exaggerations, so you can be clear and productive when approaching conflicts.
I resolve to stop rebounding to unhealthy relationships
It’s common to crave comfort and familiarity, especially when you're hurting after a break-up. Regressing into destructive patterns — drinking, eating, past lovers — is an escape and eventually you must face reality and grieve without crutches. Don’t let current pain blind you to people and behaviours that no longer serve you.
From: ELLE US