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Here are my bits of advice for romantic relationships:
- Work out your own issues first. Most of the more serious conflict in relationships is a result of unresolved psychological issues that have nothing to do with your partner. Whether it's depression, anxiety, addictions, or anything that is keeping you from optimal psychological health, work on yourself first, and make sure you are in a good place before you try to work anything out with your partner. Psychologically healthy people will still have conflict in relationships, but they will be much better at dealing with it and it will not cause the sort of catastrophic suffering that plagues the more unstable relationships out there. Working out your own issues is also good advice if you are single: it will make you infinitely more attractive!
- Be yourself. Whether you're in a relationship and trying to make your partner happy, or single and wanting to be attractive to someone, make sure to stay true to your core values. If a partner or potential partner inspires you to change in a way that you want to change anyway (of your own accord), then great, but never change just for someone else. The best relationships are those where both people truly love each other for who they are. If you are not being yourself, it will be a lot harder to find this sort of relationship.
- Make time and space for a relationship, always, even when single. This is obviously important when in a relationship, as it's not fair to a partner to make them a low priority in your life, but I find it is also true when single, if you are looking for someone. Romantic relationships are an important part of life. Strong relationships take time and effort, and they also require a great deal of learning and experience. The learning and growth does not always need to come from direct experience though: much of it can happen when you are single. If you are single, spend time connecting with people in your life, meeting new people, and learning more about people.
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