We all give every day—to our partners, friends, family, neighbors, jobs and community. While it's healthy and vital to help the ones we love, many of us struggle to balance these needs with our own. This can lead to trouble: either we become too self-absorbed, or we find it hard to say "No" to others in order to have a little "me" time. As part of our Love Starts Within spotlight, we asked some of our Experts to share their advice on how to grapple with these demands from multiple angles:
By Meagan McCrary In college, I basically slept with guys as a means of making them my boyfriends. Within the first few weeks of dating (a.k.a. going to after parties together and hooking up), we’d start having sex, which always lead to some sort of boyfriend/girlfriend situation. Well, really that only happened on two occasions, but twice was enough for me to assume that sex equated boyfriend.... boy did I make an ass out of myself.
Big Love: Using Your Feminine Power to Call in The One Claire Zammit Ph. D (www.femininepower.com,) co-founder of today's fastest growing companies specializing in online transformative education, has a lot to say when it comes to empowering the feminine in today's driven women.
“Love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image… otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.” ~Author Unknown There is probably not a culture on earth that values the ideal of long-term love and marriage as much as Americans. While more than 90% of young adults aspire to marriage, fewer and fewer are choosing it because as a country and a culture we have the highest rate of romantic breakups in the world.
“Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.” -Jonathon Kozol Most of the arguments that couples have about their sex lives are not about sex. Sex is the container, where we are most acutely aware of the spaces in our relationship that fail to connect, that make us feel small, unloved, invisible, and that reflect our deepest conflicts.
“There is a secret about human love that is commonly overlooked: Receiving it is much more scary and threatening than giving it. How many times in your life have you been unable to let in someone’s love or even pushed it away? Much as we proclaim the wish to be truly loved, we are often afraid of that, and so find it difficult to open to love or let it all the way in.” –John Welwood
In the way that great artists approach their masterpieces, our loving relationships sculpt us into the highest and best form of ourselves. This is their only job and their highest purpose. We entrust our loved ones to mirror and elicit from us the aspirations and values we hold so dear, so that in turn, the commitment to our relationships also becomes a commitment to ourselves.
Planning for a wedding can be a really exciting time. However, caught up in the wave of enthusiasm, many people don't include marriage preparation on their checklists. It's easy to understand why, after all, most couples are still in the honeymoon phase of the relationship where it seems that nothing could ever go wrong, right?
There is no doubt about it, break ups are painful for all parties involved. Whether you plan to rip it off like a band-aid or plant the seed and treat it like a process, ending a relationship is no easy task. Often, the challenges facing the person initiating a break up are grossly underestimated. Friends and family are likely to be more supportive when their loved ones get "dumped," showing less empathy and concern when they cut the ties.
Your body is the guardian of your heart, mind and soul. The physical may not be the most important part of our true essence, but until science fact catches up to science fiction, it’s the only vessel available for experience and expression. Our YourTango experts recently weighed in with tips on how your body image can bring more love into your life.