This year our readers gave us a treasure trove of relationship advice in our annual Sex + Dating survey. So here's a small sampling, Halifax. The best guidance we can give, and the hardest lessons we had to learn when it comes to romance. Happy Valentine's Day. ❤️
“Find someone that can support you through REALLY tough situations. That partner is worth having something serious with. Not everyone knows how to be that. Everything can be great when life is easy, but the real test is when things aren't rainbows
“For those looking for a longer-term hetero healthy relationship: start with good boundaries but be authentic and slowly show your vulnerabilities. Laugh at yourself, ask good questions and listen to the answers. Do fun and new things together. Go to individual therapy if you have a lot of shit to deal with.
“To my older friends (I am over 50): Get over yourself! Grousing and complaining...so many have sworn off sex. If you don't use it, yer gonna lose it, baby! Self-pleasure often. :) To my younger friends: Engage in more sensuality. Take time to drink in the essence of your lovers—incredibly fulfilling.”
“Don't have sex/date someone because you're lonely or to fill a void. It comes back to bite you in the ass. The biggest piece of advice I have for someone
“Explore yourself, your body, your partners, your preferences and have an open mind. Never get lazy.”
“Respect yourself and the other person. Start things off how you would want things to continue, don't be a doormat. Have more sex.”
“You are right. You love them. Or you don't love them anymore. Do with that what you will.”
“It's okay to have emotions and express those emotions. It is okay to have sex on a first date and the person is not worth it if they scold you for doing so. I would make sure you each have your own independent lives of each other. Communicate! Go for what you want. Confidence and compassion are the sexiest qualities. Do not force a relationship and go for someone when you are truly happy with yourself.”
“Have fun, be light-hearted and open-minded to learn. Lose the judgement, labels and prejudices. Practice affection, and the art of conversation.”
“Don't listen to anyone else. It's your body and feelings. Do what makes you happy and feel good. Someone better will come along if they are not what you want.”
“Just let it happen, I guess. Don't stress if you've been alone for a long time.
“Compromise may help a relationship, but don't compromise on your own needs. It's OK to be selfish sometimes. Short-term pain is always better than long-term suffering.
“Don't do anything with anyone that you wouldn't do with your partner standing right beside you. And never do anything that makes you feel less-than just to please someone else. The right person won't rush you, hurt you or make you feel small or worse about yourself. They would make you feel at your best and fearless and like you matter.”
“Be honest, understanding and kind, and have someone who does the same. GIVE ALL THE COMPLIMENTS IN THE WORLD, ALL THE TIME. It doesn't matter if they repeat, or how often you say them, just keep making them feel like the best person in the world!”
“Wait. Take your time. The longer you wait and tease the more exciting it becomes. More does not equal better—this applies to partners and sex. Quality should be first and foremost. Respect. Respect yourself, your partner and make sure your partner respects you.”
“Try not to judge your partner too harshly on things that don't really matter (e.g. not putting dishes in the dishwasher). Appreciate the things that you love about them more.”
“In a long-term relationship it's really important to keep passion in the picture; everyone wants to know that their partner still thinks they're sexy and desired.”
“Relationships are really hard; not like the movies, there are real struggles. How you react to these struggles will decide the fate of your relationship.”
“Not every moment of a relationship is going to be like the movies. Sure there are passionate or romantic moments...but there are also boring ones or times you want to bail. You have to