Happy couple in kitchen

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"I recognized that it doesn't matter if a guy is sexy, funny, smart, charismatic and rich if he doesn't make you feel safe to communicate openly, safe to trust his commitment and loyalty, or safe to be your fullest self. A relationship of shared virtue where each partner challenges and supports the other to bloom into their best possible selves."

Karen Salmansohn
Happy Couple

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"If you put love first, you can make your relationship everything you need it to be."

Dr. Laura Berman
Jack russell terrier

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"In all of our relationships, we need not only to give affection but to see that affection reflected back to us—we want to know that the other being enjoys it. So a dog wagging his tail or a purring cat closes the relationship loop for us in a very profound, nurturing way."

Sarah Wilson, animal trainer
Couple talking

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"True love is what happens when disappointment sets in and disagreements unfold."

Karen Salmansohn
Mother and daughter

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"Practically everything we do as parents is motivated by a desire to see our children be happy. The good news is that there is much you can do to encourage them to discover true happiness for themselves. Every day, in each moment, you can offer essential encouragement through your loving presence, your own example and your steadfast support. As you encourage your children to be happy, you may notice that something else happens, which is that you become happier too."

Dr. Robert Holden
Happy Couple

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"I'll bet you there's something in you that is wanted by anyone and everyone. Try offering it. You will be wanted, and you will be useful. Two very life-sustaining things."

Laura Day, intuition expert
Seal and wife Heidi Klum

"I think the key to being a power couple, if there is such a thing, is that you just really have to make sure that you have your priorities right. You have to make sure that your family [comes] first."

Depressed woman

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"Sometimes we are so concerned and analytical about whether someone is a good match that we ignore how we actually feel about the people we spend time with. Are you annoyed? Intrigued? Bored? Inspired? Be present on your next date and see how you feel. Now."

Andrea Syrtash, relationship expert
Rosie O'Donnell

"You have to know that families are forever. That means, no matter what happens, no matter what you do, your family is always going to be there for you to help you and to love you."

Rosie O'Donnell

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"Keep in mind that romance is an important element of marriage. Your partner might consider romance as the true measure of his or her value to your relationship. Be thoughtful and try doing something sweet for no apparent reason."

7 Steps to Rescuing Romance
Couple in engaged conversation

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Make a Love List

"Sometimes jealousy and insecurities can creep into a relationship and create a lot of problems in the bedroom.

"This week, write down five things you love about your partner, and have him do the same. Sit down and share your love lists with each other—you will find that jealously and insecurities will fade!"

Dr. Laura Berman
Woman with flower

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"Moreover, there are times when we do love without working so damn hard—when we love a child or a friend or an aunt or a dog or a painting or a tree or the stars—and we can draw on those experiences, I think, to love someone, or fall back in love, before both parties achieve perfect and mutual sanity. Our feelings for our beloved will always be deeper than our feelings for an aunt or a tree (although not necessarily for a dog), and they will always be more complicated, but by recalling what simple, pure, joyous love is actually like, it may be possible to reproduce it under more challenging circumstances.

"Love was once associated with joy, fun and happiness, and it would be nice if it were so again."

James Collins, contributor for O, The Oprah Magazine
Flirting in bar

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"Can I trust every infatuation I fall into? As you must know by now, the answer is no. Infatuation is a giddy beginning. It makes you feel light-headed and consumed by runaway emotions. 'This is it, love at last!'

"That's how it should feel, but infatuation is brief, and it leads to deeper stages of connection. If you have found someone who responds to you, love can proceed mutually to the next stage—you come back down to earth and start the mundane business of figuring out how to relate. Infatuation takes place on a cloud; lasting love is about sharing one closet, deciding who will live in what house and remembering to get skim milk instead of whole if that's what the other person prefers."

Deepak Chopra

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"Love yourself and then learn to extend that love to others in every encounter."

Couple running holding hands

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"Feelings of romantic love can boost levels of dopamine, a neurochemical associated with creativity, while sexual desire can raise levels of testosterone, known to promote analytical skills. And these chemical links may have evolved for an important purpose: increasing the likelihood of sexual reproduction. In ancestral days, creative individuals may have used their inventiveness to attract future mates, while sex-focused individuals harnessed analytical clarity and short-term focus in order to bed a partner here and now. Thoughts of either love or sex could pay off in the form of children—the ultimate measure of survival."

Dr. Helen Fisher
Dr. Maya Angelou

"When I love somebody, I like him to be around; I like him to take me out to dinner; I like to look at the sunset with him. But if not, I love him and I hope he's looking at the same sun I am. Loving someone liberates the lover as well as the beloved. And that kind of love comes with age."

Dr. Maya Angelou
Couple with roses

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"What does healthful, happy love look like, sound like, feel like, smell like, taste like, quack like? I want you to write down your ideal love story and email it to yourself for the next 30 days, morning, noon and night. (Note: If you're single, be sure never to write about a specific person you know. Always leave room to meet someone better!)"

Karen Salmansohn
Couple laughing on beach

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"If you are willing to change yourself and have a real love for your partner, you can both be reborn."

David D. Burns, psychiatrist
Woman making list

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"What do you appreciate about yourself that has nothing to do with anything external? In other words, what personal qualities (of being, not doing) do you value about yourself? The more you're able to tap into what you appreciate about who you are (not what we do), the more capacity you have for real confidence, peace and self-love."

Mike Robbins, motivational speaker
Debbie Ford

"Compassion is the key to living outside the confines of your lower self. Compassion is the healing agent that will support you every day in releasing the past and experiencing a calm and certainty born of kindness. Compassion doesn't say, 'What can the world do for me?' but rather, 'How can I serve the world?' It is the feeling you access when looking at the world through the eyes of the divine heart."

Debbie Ford
Intimate couple

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Ways Couples Can Achieve a Lasting Romantic Relationship

1. Show respect for your man's thought processes, don't coddle his emotions. Don't ask, "How do you feel?" but rather "What do you think?"

2. The key to being loved by a man is not what you achieve or do, but in who you are inside.

3. A woman is most powerful and most attractive when she exudes her feminine energy.

4. Husbands and wives each have within them both masculine and feminine energies that need to be balanced, complementary and noncompetitive.

5. Focus on complementary energy rather than competitive energy. Competitive energy diminishes intimacy.

Dr. Pat Allen, marriage and family therapist
Romantic couple

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"May all that is not sacred—all that is not holy, all that is not loving, all that is not respectful, all that is not cherishing—be cast out of this space. We ask that a great light pour forth upon it. We step into this space right now, and where we haven't really known who to be or how to be in relationships, we ask that we be guided and we be taught."

Marianne Williamson
Grandmother and granddaughter in hammock

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"Religion, philosophy, greeting cards, self-help books—they all tout the power of love. Being a chronic and earnest spiritual seeker, I have tried to love selflessly in all my significant relationships. I came closest to feeling and activating unconditional love as a mother. I frequently have given it as a friend and a sister, sometimes as a colleague. I fail at it at often (okay, daily) as a wife.

"But with my grandson, blissful and bountiful unconditional love flows from my every cell. I have so much of it I fear I'll drown the poor little guy, so I have to give the excess away."

Elizabeth Lesser
Friends talking

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"My best friends are the people with whom I feel safe to talk about mad, sad and hurt feelings. Most other relationships stay at the feeling levels where everything is 'fine,' although we all know that's not true. But my best friends never shy away from those times when we feel the neediest—when our feelings have been hurt, when we are so angry we could spit fire, when we are grieving and depressed, when we feel unacceptable. Over and over, those are the times that have made us feel more bonded.

"The secret to all of this is that best friends are invested in being their true selves. Sure, they tolerate any posturing that comes from the false self. But the safety of the friendship is such that in their presence I can feel the superficiality of any of my ego-based claims or judgments. With that realization, I remember that I don't want to live on the surface of life, and then I simply move into the deeper waters where my true self waits to cool, refresh and renew. "

The Rev. Ed Bacon
Mother and baby son

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"I had always wanted children. Partly, I wanted someone else to be more important than me; my Self was a burdensome thing to keep carrying around. But I'd been missing that Self since my daughter's birth. I hadn't known it would be so eclipsed by the constant worry—had she burped, slept, peed? ("Sleep when she sleeps," the doctor said. I couldn't. I was too stunned. There were moments in those early days that when she cried, I cried too.) But that day I saw her from the window of the bus, I almost yelped aloud—not just with worry, with love. Minutes later I sat on the front stoop, and when the babysitter pushed the carriage around the corner, I felt a huge billowing of love that sat like a gigantic, soft helium balloon on my shoulders. I didn't know a person could feel that love, it was so large. But then, a few weeks later, I watched my little daughter wake from her nap, kick her little feet. And—whoosh!—that feeling of love grew exponentially. This kept happening as the weeks went by, and each time I was amazed. How could love be this big? That enormous, soft helium balloon got bigger and higher, until my love filled the skies. Boundless, as they say."

Elizabeth Strout, author
Wise woman

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"And maybe that's something that we become more able to see as we get older—or I may be a late bloomer—love looks outward, toward the other. What we love most truly isn't our own condition (as parent, or child, or partner, or friend) of being in love, but the actual other people, with their mysterious intransigent natures!"

Sharon Olds, O, The Oprah Magazine contributor
Jealous couple

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"Jealousy can even be good for love. One partner may feel secretly flattered when the other is mildly jealous. And catching someone flirting with your beloved can spark the kind of lust and romance that reignites a relationship."

Dr. Helen Fisher
Father and daughter

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"My dad has always said, 'Approach life with love and not fear.' It's such a dynamic way to live."

Rashida Jones, actress


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