Turns out love isn’t one, but five, languages. And the one you speak might be different from the one your partner does. The key to a happy relationship? Becoming fluent in both and express affection in a way that your partner can appreciate. Dr. Gary Chapman solves a few conundrums for us and shows couples that getting what you want is often just a matter of communication.
He's your gay best friend and no straight man can live up to him. But does he keep you from dating other people? Do you secretly wish he were straight? No matter how much platonic love you have for him, romance probably isn't in the cards for the two of you. Ephi Stempler, a gay man who is no stranger to this type of intimacy, explores how this friendship can damage your chance for healthy relationship. He calls it the "Will and Grace dilemma". Stempler writes, "One of the sitcom's primary contributions to popular culture was its ability to candidly portray the feeling of being in love with one's best friend. As the title characters slipped into codependency worthy of an all-consuming romance, they found it increasingly difficult to cultivate meaningful relationships with other men. And because the list of women I've known and loved is—sadly—twice as long as the list of men I've loved and slept with, I, too, have fallen prey to the 'Will and Grace dilemma.'"
Despite the teary goodbyes, lonely nights, flight delays, and outrageous phone bills, an estimated 14 million Americans are currently in LDRs, according to the Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships. That number includes couples of all kinds, from those who fell for each other while living on opposite coasts to those who've been married for years but decided to live apart while she takes that plum international assignment or he goes back to school. How do they do it? The simple answer is that, barring the occasional attack on a hotel clerk, long-distance relationships can work—and work well. Research suggests that they don't break up at any greater rate than traditional, geographically close ones. Plus, multiple studies have found that LDR couples' levels of relationship satisfaction, intimacy, trust, and commitment are identical to their geographically close counterparts. LDR couples might worry more about infidelity, but they don't actually cheat more.
Susan Piver presents "The Hard Questions" for the post-honeymoon stage. Knowing what to ask each other (and yourselves) can help move your relationship to the next level. The author of the New York Times bestseller The Hard Questions: 100 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Say "I Do" offers up an exercise. "Romance can never last, but intimacy can never end," explains Piver, who created these 20 new "phase two" questions exclusively for Tango. She talks with us about her eye-opening exercise for anyone who has made a commitment—and is committed to making it last.