MONEY Love and Money

This Is the Sexiest Financial Habit

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A new survey asked people what money management traits they'd find attractive in a mate. Prepare to be surprised by the answer.

Money matters when searching for a mate—and it’s not just how much you have, but how you handle your cash, according to a survey released Wednesday by Ally Bank.

Three quarters of people think it’s important to find a partner with a similar financial philosophy. Okay, that figures. But the survey also revealed which financial habits people found most appealing in a potential mate.

And it turns out that… wait for it… a strong budgeting and saving strategy is the hottest, with 55% of respondents putting it at the top of the list. The older people were, the more fiscal discipline mattered.

Surprised? Budgeting is indeed sexy.

To make yourself more of a catch, check out “How Do I set a Budget I Can Stick To?” in our Money 101 section, or start using Mint.com, which does a lot of the work for you.

Paying off credit card bills in full every month (21%) and bargain hunting (18%) were other attractive attributes. So maybe you’ll fall in love over a Presidents’ Day sale.

And since only 3% were titillated by higher credit limits and liking finer things, consider tacos instead of T-bones on that first date.

Read more Love & Money:
The Most Important Talk You Need to Have Before Marriage
5 Super Easy Online Tools That Can Help Couples Feel More Financially Secure
5 Smart Financial Moves for Unmarried Couples Who Live Together

TIME relationships

These Texting and Social Media Habits Could Sabotage Your Love Life

A Match.com national survey reveals the biggest digital turn offs for men and women

Here’s some pleasant pre-Valentine’s Day news: You might be torpedoing potential relationships and not even know it.

Match.com’s new Singles in America Survey uncovered a host of seemingly innocuous digital behaviors that the study’s sampling of 5,675 single adults see as the relationship equivalent of leaving the toilet seat up. (Those surveyed were a nationally representative group and not all Match.com users.)

“We are swimming around in this amorphous soup of emerging rules and taboos and nobody knows exactly what’s going on,” Dr. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist who helmed the survey, tells TIME. The digital faux pas range from incompatible texting habits to hashtag addictions. And while you might guess a few of these relationship deal breakers (70% of singles want their suitors to keep their phones off the table during dates) others are less inherent.

These are a few of the most common turn-offs to look out for so you don’t get discarded before you make it to drinks. (And some are worth considering whether you’re dating or not…)

You’re Facebook-ing All Wrong
Singles said their top social media turn-offs include

  • Emotionally dramatic posts: 73% (65% male, 78% female)
  • Excessive selfies: 57% (46% male, 65% female)
  • When you ask a current date to de-friend an ex: 55% (49% male, 59% female)

Your Texting Habits Are Questionable

Men said their top three texting turn-offs included

  • Too many typos and improper grammar: 36%
  • Responding with short answers like “k” and “cool”: 33%
  • Using ALL CAPS: 30%

And 47% of single men also don’t like getting texted at work.

Women hated when potential partners:

  • Have too many typos and incorrect grammar: 54%
  • Ask too many personal questions: 37%
  • Respond with short answers: 37%
  • Use ALL CAPS: 28%

No, I Will Not Favorite That Instagram

Men said their biggest Insta turn offs were:

  • Using too many hashtags: 35%
  • More specifically, too many #trending hashtags like #TBT, #WCW, #MCM: 25%
  • Pictures of kids and babies: 24% (Editors note: Good riddance baby haters)
  • Inspiring quotes/sayings: 22%

Single women said their biggest turn offs were:

  • Pictures showing off their body: 45%
  • Too many hashtags in a caption: 41%
  • Gym and workout pictures: 34%
  • Trending hashtags: 27%
  • Selfies: 26%
  • Party pictures: 25%

All these new dating pitfalls might seem disheartening, but Fisher sees a silver lining: “The beauty in this is we can make new rules,” she says. “Everything is so free-wheeling. It is kind of exciting.”

TIME relationships

People Who Use Emojis Have More Sex

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Match.com's annual dating survey found that people who use more emojis in text messages have more active sex lives

While this probably isn’t news to fans of the eggplant emoji, a new study found that single people who use emojis have more sex than those who abstain.

Match.com’s annual Singles in America survey — which polled 5,675 (non-Match using) singles whose demographics were representative of the national population according to the U.S. Census — found that people who have more sex, tend to use emojis more.

“It turns out that 54% of emoji users had sex in 2014 compared to 31% of singles who did not,” Dr. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University who helped lead the study, tells TIME. And the more emojis singles used, the more sex they tended to have, as illustrated by Match’s handy emoji-to-intercourse graph:

Match.com's Singles in America Survey
Match.com’s Singles in America Survey

According to the data, released Wednesday, these statistics held true for men and women in the 20s, 30s and 40s.

And, food for thought, women who use kiss-related emojis have an easier time achieving orgasms with a familiar partner. That may be because emoji users cared more about finding partners who consider communication a desirable trait.

It’s notoriously difficult to read tone in texts and emails, but emojis can bridge the gap. “[Emoji users] want to give their texts more personality,” says Fisher. “Here we have a new technology that absolutely jeopardizes your ability to express your emotion… there is no more subtle inflection of the voice … and so we have created another way to express emotions and that is the emoji.”

Because it’s not all about that rocket ship/volcano/insert-other-suggestive-emoji here.

“Emoji users don’t just have more sex, they go on more dates and they are two times more likely to want to get married,” Fisher says. “Sixty-two percent of emoji users want to get married compared to 30% of people who never used an emoji… that’s pretty good.”

Thankfully there are appropriate diamond cartoons for your inevitable Instagram engagement announcement.

TIME Sex/Relationships

20 Ways to Fall In Love All Over Again

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Rekindle your love with these 20 tips

There are lots of great things about being in a long-term relationship: Research shows that happy couples, in many ways, have better health and overall wellbeing than their single or divorced peers. After all, a loving partner can offer companionship, comfort, and physical and emotional support when you need it.

But after years of marriage or dating, a significant other can start to feel more like a roommate than a romantic partner. Maybe you’ve grown apart, you’re busy with work and kids, or the spark’s just not there anymore. For whatever reason you’ve found yourself falling out of love, here’s how the experts suggest you find your way back in.

Be more touchy-feely

“Long-term couples don’t touch enough,” says Wendy Walsh, clinical psychologist and founder of AskALoveGuru.com, a site that matches relationship therapists with potential clients. “When we touch—especially skin-to-skin—we get a little rush of the brain chemicals that help trigger those loving feelings.” Think about how often you and your partner actually share physical contact on a daily basis. If it’s just a quick peck on the lips before and after work, make an effort to step up your game, says Walsh. She cites research showing that a 20-second hug can trigger a significant oxytocin release. “Most married couples hug for three seconds or less,” she says. “So I advise them, two to three times a day, to stop what they’re doing and hold a long, calm embrace. It can change your biochemistry, and you’ll begin to bond again.”

Sleep closer together

That same rush of brain chemicals can also come from physical contact in bed—and not just during sex, either. Sleeping skin-to-skin, whether it’s full-on spooning or even just touching toes, can have relationship benefits, too. In fact, a 2014 survey presented at the Edinburgh International Science Festival found that couples who slept the closest to each other reported having more relationship satisfaction. “Of course we don’t know if sleeping apart causes dissatisfaction or if happier couples simply sleep closer, but why not just try to get closer and see if it helps?” says Walsh. “Get the toddler or the dog out of the bed and try snuggling for at least a few minutes.”

Limit technology

“If you haven’t put your family and your relationship on a technology diet yet, this is the year to do it,” says Walsh. “Nothing is killing communication faster right now than guys starting at their iPhones while girls are trying to talk to them at the dinner table, or vice versa.” Science supports her claim, too: In a 2014 Brigham Young University survey of heterosexual women, 70% felt that smartphones and other devices were interfering with their love lives.

Walsh recommends forming an agreement with your partner to cut out phones and television at mealtimes and in the bedroom, or deciding together about specific times you will and will not use technology. “Otherwise, you won’t give each other your full attention, and it’s easy to become annoyed or feel disconnected.”

Take a vacation

If work and family obligations have forced you and your partner to put your love life on the back burner, schedule some time off from your regular responsibilities. Getting away may help you focus on each other (instead of distractions like the bathroom that needs repairs), but even a staycation or a long weekend at home—if you treat it right—can be enough to refresh your bond. Before you go, though, have an honest conversation about your expectations, says Alexandra Solomon, licensed clinical therapist at the Family Institute at Northwestern University. “It’s important to discuss how much time you’ll spend together, whether you want to have more sex than usual, and what you hope to accomplish in terms of your relationship,” she says. “It can feel unromantic to lay it out ahead of time, but it will reduce your chances of feeling disappointed if you both have different goals in mind.”

Read more: 13 Reasons to Have More Sex

Say thank you

When you fall into habits in a relationship, you may take for granted the nice things your partner routinely does for you. And even if you do notice them, do you let him or her know you’re thankful? Gratitude is important, says Walsh. “Put a note in his briefcase letting him know you appreciate that he gets the dry cleaning every week,” she says, “or touch her on the arm and thank her for bringing you Starbucks every day.”

Solomon suggests keeping a gratitude journal, and writing down three things every day you’re thankful for—whether it’s related to your relationship or not. “It can foster a sense of wellbeing and openness that can improve your connection with your partner.”

Pucker up

Locking lips can play an important role in the quality of a long-term relationship, according to a 2013 study from Oxford University. In fact, researchers found that frequent kissing was even more important to relationship satisfaction than frequent sex. “A 30-second kiss gives us a warm, fuzzy, safe bonding feeling from that cuddle hormone, oxytocin,” says Bonnie Eaker Weil, relationship counselor and author of Make Up, Don’t Break Up. “Partners can give this feeling to each other by practicing a hug and a kiss—a mini connection—in the morning before work and before bed at night.”

Compliment each other

When you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, it’s easy to focus on the negative, says Walsh—which can lead to nagging, hurt feelings, and dissatisfaction on both sides. Instead, she says, try to focus more on the good things and less on the bad. “To use a garden analogy, water what you want to grow; don’t water the weeds.” Letting your partner know what you love about them—whether it’s physical, intellectual, or emotional—can actually help you see him or her in a more positive light, says Solomon. “When I have couples in therapy who are growing apart, I make sure they start our time together by sharing some compliments back and forth.”

Incorporate surprise

To relive the feeling of falling in love, says Eaker Weil, you’ve got to find new ways to trigger that rush of feel-good dopamine and oxytocin—like by incorporating novelty, excitement, and surprise into your not-so-new-anymore relationship. You may try “kidnapping” each other, she suggests, taking turns on different weekends to plan secret activity or destinations. Or try something simpler: “Date night but with something new—a new restaurant, or even new food at the same restaurant,” she says. “A weekend overnight in a new place, or a vacation without children; anything with the element of surprise.”

Read more: 10 Ways to Improve Your Relationship Instantly

Cultivate your own interests

Falling in love with someone isn’t all about what happens when you’re together; a lot of it has to do with what you’re doing on your own, says Solomon. “People become passive in their relationships when they become disengaged, and one of the main reasons they become disengaged is because they’re not satisfied with their own lives.” That’s why she encourages clients to make sure their lives contain something they feel passionate about individually—something their partner doesn’t necessarily share. “Say you love horseback riding,” she says. “If you come home from a ride feeling energetic and alive, you can bring a fuller, more engaged self to your relationship, as well.”

Observe your partner’s passions

Likewise, Solomon says, it’s important for your partner to have a passion, as well. And if you want to remember why you fell in love in the first place, find a way to witness your loved one in his or her most passionate state. “I have a friend who’s married to a fisherman, and while she’ll never share his love for fishing, she’s happy to navigate his boat and just honor his talent and watch him in his element,” says Solomon. “She gets to see him being alive and excited, and that’s really the best way to see your partner.”

Create something together

Once you’ve got your individual passions figured out, it’s also helpful to have something you can both pour your love and attention into. “The couples who last the longest tend to be the ones who create something together,” says Walsh. Often that something is children, she adds, but it can also be a business, a charity, or even a home-remodeling project. “Look for something you are both interested in—not just something you’re into and you think your spouse can get on board with,” she says. “When you work together on something you care about, you can see your partner in a different light.”

Go on double dates

You don’t need to spend all of your couple time one-on-one. In fact, inviting friends along once and a while can help you and your partner reaffirm your love for each other. In a 2014 Wayne State University study, people who went on double dates with other couples they were close with said they felt more affection and romantic feelings toward their partners. It turns out that watching your other half interact with friends can help you remember what you love about him or her, say the study authors—and praising each other in front of other people (bragging about her new promotion, or telling stories about what a good cook he is) can be a turn-on for both of you, too.

Read more: 20 Weird Facts About Sex and Love

Stare into each other’s eyes

In 1997, psychologist Arthur Aron published a study suggesting that any two people could fall in love by asking each other a series of 36 questions, then staring into each other’s eyes for four minutes. In January, writer Mandy Len Catron wrote in the New York Times about trying the experiment herself with a former college acquaintance. “I’ve skied steep slopes and hung from a rock face by a short length of rope, but staring into someone’s eyes for four silent minutes was one of the more thrilling and terrifying experiences of my life,” Len Catron wrote in the newspaper’s Modern Love column. There’s no guarantee Aron’s method will work for everyone, but it did for her—she and her test subject soon fell in love.

Flirt with each other

Staying happy in a long-term relationship requires balancing two basic needs, according to Solomon: “We crave security and knowing somebody’s got our backs no matter what, but we also crave excitement and novelty and mystery,” she says. “The challenge is trying to have both of those things met by the same person—and one way couples can do that is by flirting with each other like they’ve just met.”

Flirting can be different for every couple, but anything affectionate, sexually suggestive, or playful can fit the bill. And while it may feel awkward to send an inappropriate text to the person you’ve been married to for years, it can help add excitement to a romance that feels stalled, says Solomon. “They key is finding a way to do it so you both feel comfortable and you’re having fun.”

Work out together

Breaking a sweat with your sweetie may increase your physical attraction, as well as your emotional bond. Research has found that after being physically active together, couples reported more relationship satisfaction and being more in love with their partners—and that physical arousal (elevated heart rate, heavy breathing, etc.) can often elicit romantic attraction. Eaker Weil recommends hitting the gym together, or finding a class or activity you can both enjoy. “It could be dancing or Jujitsu—anything that involves high energy play can cause a rush, and bonding toward your partner.”

Engage in pillow talk

In 2013, University of Connecticut research found that couples who disclosed positive feelings to each other after sex reported more relationship satisfaction than those who didn’t. This may be part of the way committed couples maintain their closeness and their romantic bond, the researchers say.

For an even better relationship boost, spend a few extra minutes after sex chatting and snuggling. Couples who engaged in post-sex affection (such as cuddling and caressing) during a 2014 University of Toronto study were generally happier with their sex lives and relationships overall, even three months later. “The findings suggest that the period after sex is a critical time for promoting satisfaction in intimate bonds,” the authors wrote.

Read more: 10 Reasons You’re Not Having Sex

Don’t play games

If you’re feeling distant from your partner, you may think that putting on a sexy dress or doubling up on your sessions in the weight-room is the best way to get his or her attention and jump-start your flagging romance. And that may work—but it could also backfire: “If he or she doesn’t read your mind or notice that you’re trying to impress him or her, you could end up feeling worse and resentful,” says Solomon. Instead, Solomon suggests sitting down to talk honestly about how you feel. “Say something like, ‘I don’t feel particularly connected to you right now, and I have some thoughts about what I’d like to do differently to make us feel closer,'” she says. “That way, it’s less of a test that your partner passes or fails—you’re in it together, and you’re both making an effort.

Redefine date night

Scheduling regular time to be by yourselves as a couple, away from your work and home responsibilities, can help you stay connected and remember what you love about each other. But that doesn’t have to mean getting all dressed up and going out to a fancy dinner—it can be as simple as taking a walk together every night and discussing your day. “Going on a date can be the time you look at your partner not as a co-parent or a co-homeowner, but as the person you built your life with,” says Solomon. But couples should decide what’s romantic to them, she adds. “It doesn’t have to look like an episode of The Bachelor, with high heels and candles and roses. For some people it looks like Subway sandwiches on the beach, and for some people it looks like sitting at Barnes and Noble playing chess.”

Be there for each other

A 2009 study from Stony Brook University found that, contrary to popular belief, it is possible to be in a long-term relationship and maintain feelings of romantic love (and not just comfortable companionship) for many years. One secret to this lasting attraction? Having your partner’s back, and knowing that your partner also has yours. Adults who feel secure in their relationships tend to have higher self-esteem, the study found, which correlates to more feelings of “intense, exclusive focus” on their partners. “Thus, having the felt security that a partner is ‘there for you,’ not only makes for a smooth functioning relationship, but also may facilitate feelings of romantic love,” the authors wrote.

Adjust your expectations

Even with all of these tips, says Walsh, no relationship will be perfect—and that’s the most important thing to remember if you’re feeling dissatisfied with your love life. “We live in such a sexualized culture, people come in thinking something’s missing if they’re not having 50 Shades of Grey sex and swinging from the chandeliers,” she says. Before you decide your romance isn’t good enough, she says, remember that all long-term unions have ups and downs, and that love can be felt and expressed in many different ways. “A lot of people end up in therapy because their expectations don’t match the reality of their life, and they’re hoping to change their environment,” Walsh says. “Sometimes, what they really need to change is their outlook.”

Read more: 12 Ways Your Relationship Can Hurt Your Health

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

Read next: 10 Rules to Make Your Relationship Last

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TIME Dating

These Are the 20 Best Cities for Singles

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Noe DeWitt New York, NY

Here are the liveliest singles scenes, whether at bars, bookstores or bowling alleys

The singles scene in New York City is a little crazy, maybe even certifiably so.

“This is a city with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but only in the best ways,” says Rachel Harrison, a Brooklyn-based public relations exec. “You can dress a little wilder, slap on some fake eyelashes—you can do anything you want, at any age. There are no judgments.”

Unabashedly batting those faux lashes got the Big Apple more than a few second glances this year. New York City landed in the top 10 for the best cities for singles, according to Travel + Leisure readers. In this year’s America’s Favorite Places survey, readers ranked 38 cities on dozens of appealing qualities, including good-looking locals, cool shopping, and hipster-magnet coffee bars.

The winning cities in the singles-scene category excel in the off-hours, ranking highly for nightclubs, dive bars, and even great diners, where you might lock eyes with someone over a late-night order of fries.

But the most singles-friendly cities also put a creative spin on conventional meet-up spots. Plenty of big attractions—from the Brooklyn Museum to the San Diego Museum of Art—offer monthly happy hours, wooing artsy singles with cocktails and live music. In Boston, one of the coolest bookstores does Trivia Nights, while in downtown L.A. a popular bar stocks old-school video games.

Another strategy for uncovering a city’s best singles scene is exploring the activities that locals love most. “New Orleanians live and breathe festivals—like Jazz Fest, and even Creole Tomato Fest,” says native Stephen Schmitz. Just be warned: “The heat and humidity,” he says, “can make for a rough appearance.”

Read on for the full results. And make your point of view heard by voting in the America’s Favorite Places survey.

No. 1 Miami

Gorgeous locals, a wealth of nightclubs, and a wild streak as long as the beach: Miami climbed from second to first place this year, thanks to its flair for throwing a big party. Hot spots like Wall at the W South Beach or the Italian-restaurant-meets-cocktail-lounge Cavalli get a big boost when celebs grace the premises, whether it’s Bieber or the formerly single Clooney. Other trendy hangouts are a little more accessible to the non-red-carpet crowd: Tamarina, for one, features an oyster bar and alfresco champagne bar, plus a reasonably priced happy hour. You might meet other singles while strolling through galleries and past street art on the Wynwood Art Walks, held the second Saturday of the month. And in this otherwise well-dressed town, your best secret-weapon accessory may be a smile: readers found the locals to be a little aloof.

No. 2 Houston

Houston sashayed into the top five for singles this year, and why not—the locals ranked as both smart and stylish, and the city landed near the top for both its decadent barbecue and world-class art. Gallery Row, at the intersection of Colquitt and Lake streets, offers both great art and conversation starters: check out Hooks-Epstein for contemporary surrealists or Catherine Couturier Gallery for vintage photos. Houston also pulled off an upset by winning the wine bar category this year. Pull up a stool to chat at La Carafe—the city’s oldest bar, with a fabulous jukebox—or try the newbie, downtown’s Public Services Wine and Whisky, which is located in the old 1884 Cotton Exchange building and serves a wide range of global wines, sherries, and whiskeys.

No. 3 New Orleans

Last year’s No. 1 city for singles still knows how to whoop it up, ranking at the top of the survey for festivals, bars, and wild weekends. But a good singles experience in NOLA need not be limited to collecting beads: some cool places to meet a more local crowd, off the tourist grid, include the Saturday night dance party at the Hi-Ho Lounge in the Marigny; Bywater wine bar Bacchanal, with its live-music-filled courtyard; or Fulton Alley for late-night “boutique bowling,” with shareable, andouille-sausage tater tots.

No. 4 Austin, TX

The seat of Texas government is also the nation’s capital of hipsters, according to readers, who also ranked Austin No. 1 for cool locals. Given Austin’s high density of both college students and bearded Peter Pan types, the can’t-miss spots for meeting singles include dive bars and food trucks: you can find both at Wonderland on East 6th, a stylishly low-key bar that provides space outside for the Thai-flavored East Side King truck. To mingle with fellow foodies, check out The Picnic, a trailer park on Barton Springs Road, which is home to Turf N Surf Po’ Boy and Hey Cupcake! If you need an excuse to let down your emotional walls, consider that Austin also ranked well for feeling safe.

No. 5 Atlanta

The Georgia hub scored well for its java, and Dancing Goats Coffee Bar, a single-origin coffee and donut bar in Ponce City Market, is a fine place for a pick-me-up (and perhaps a pick-up line). If you prefer snobs of the burger variety, head to Holeman and Finch, where every night at 10 p.m., you can line up for one of the 24 acclaimed double-patty (grass-fed chuck and brisket) cheeseburgers, served on house-made buns. Atlanta’s residents also made the top 20 for being smart.

Read the full list HERE.

More from Travel + Leisure:

TIME relationships

Investors Are Putting Millions Into ‘Tinder For Elitists’

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Unemployed need not apply

There’s a Tinder for dogs, a Tinder for Jews, and now… a Tinder for elitists.

Or, as The League creator Amanda Bradford prefers to describe the dating app that only allows a selective cohort of singles to join, “curated.”

“The best universities curate students,” Bradford said to Business Insider. “Employers curate their employees. Work and school are the top places where 20-somethings meet each other. So it makes sense for a dating community [as well.]”

And even though the power couple-making app is only in beta with 4,500 San Francisco-based users, The League just announced $2.1 million in investor funding Thursday.

“I was just going to raise a small seed round, but we had a bunch of interest and we went from $500,000 to $2.1 million almost overnight,” Bradford told Tech Crunch.

What are investors putting their money into?

The League is all about selectivity. Singles apply to join, and then wait for approval by administrators. While apps like Tinder, Hinge and Coffee Meets Bagel pulls user data from Facebook, The League also goes to LinkedIn to curate its community — largely made up of lawyers, doctors and tech execs.

Business Insider reports:

The acceptance algorithm that The League uses scans the social networks to ensure applicants are in the right age group and that they are career-oriented. That doesn’t mean they have to be Ivy graduates or work for a big-name firm. But they should have accomplished something in their 20s.

Those accepted not only get to check their 5 p.m. “happy hour” matches, but they also get a pass to refer a friend.

TIME Sex/Relationships

10 Rules to Make Your Relationship Last

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'It’s always more work than you can possibly imagine. In my case, it was worth it.'

For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, what is it that makes a marriage last (and last)? To answer this age-old question, family sociologist Karl Pillemer, PhD, launched the largest in-depth survey of long-married couples ever conducted, interviewing 700 people who had been hitched an average of 43 years. Their sage advice is collected in his new book, 30 Lessons for Loving ($26, amazon.com).

Here, a few of our favorite practical relationship tips from husbands and wives who’ve discovered the true meaning of commitment.

Start the day with a small kindness

“When you wake up in the morning, think, What can I do to make his or her day just a little happier? The idea is you need to turn toward each other and focus on the other person, even just for that five minutes when you first wake up.”
—Antoinette Watkins*, 81

Remember that being close doesn’t mean you’re the same

“You have to be able to try—and sometimes this is very, very difficult—you have to try to understand what the other person is thinking in any given situation. The main thing is that everybody—including your partner—has their own ideas about their world. Even though you’re in a very intimate relationship, the other person is still another person.”
—Reuben Elliot, 72

HEALTH.COM: 10 Ways to Improve Your Relationship Instantly

Stop worrying about your wrinkles

“Somehow as you get older you kind of get blind to the infirmities that affect the other party. And you always see them the way they were. You don’t see aging. It’s a wonderful thing. I don’t know if the brain is wired for that, but that’s the way it is.”
—Alfredo Doyle, 77

Find your “fight number 17”

“This may sound like a flip thing, but it works for us. We came up with it at some point along the way: We call it jokingly ‘fight number 17.’ … It means we’ve had this one at least 16 times before. We’ve decided we don’t even bother to have it anymore. We see it coming and we just shut up and don’t even start with it. Because it’s not going to go anywhere. My theory is that in every marriage there is one of those issues.”
—Ralph Perkins

Nurture the friendship

“I think it’s hard when you’re young and hot on one another to back off and say, ‘Do I like what is behind these hands and these body parts?’ But that is the piece that doesn’t wear out, that grows and deepens. The sexual aspect deepens, too, in its own way, but it becomes less important and the friendship becomes more important as the years go by. It will be challenged by kids and hardships and losses of parents and changing interests and patterns, but an abiding friendship is at the base of a solid marriage.”
—Lydia Wade, 73

HEALTH.COM: 13 Reasons to Have More Sex

Surround yourself with happy couples

“If you’re hanging around with negative people, find some positive people and hang around with them instead. You know, success imitates success. So if you see people who seem to have a very successful happy marriage, well, you hang around with those types of people. It does rub off. Avoid the ones with a defeatist attitude—get out of there before they drag you down.”
—Jeremy Bennett, 80

Repeat back to each other

“We realized early on that disagreements often came about when we weren’t really understanding where the other person was coming from. So I will say, ‘Are you saying….?’ Or ‘Do you mean…?’ Because sometimes we really are in the moment and we say things that we really don’t believe. So I always repeat back to him what I think he’s saying and then he’ll either say yes or he’ll say, ‘No, where’d you get that idea?’”
—Lucia Waters, 75

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Divvy up chores based on your strengths

“You just need to share at home…It needs to be cooperative. And here’s the way to do it: Whatever needs to be done, the person who can do it best is the one who should do it.”
—Dixie Becker, 84

Take breaks

“If conflict occurs, well, there is the Chinese saying, ‘Take a step back, and you can see the whole sky.’ Just step away, a little bit. Just step back and then you see other things.”
—Chen Xiu

Know that there’s always more to learn

“It seems to me that marriage is a process. You never get there; you’re always in process. It’s always more work than you can possibly imagine. In my case, it was worth it.”
—Samantha Jones, 80

HEALTH.COM: 20 Weird Facts About Sex and Love

*All of the participants’ names have been changed.

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

MONEY Office romance

4 Things You Need to Know Before You Start Dating a Coworker

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Make sure that pursuing love won't cost you your career.

After firing CEO Dov Charney last month, American Apparel decided to update its company code of ethics with stricter guidelines regarding interoffice relationships. According to the new policy, “No management-level employee may make sexual advances, welcome or unwelcome, toward any subordinate.”

Considering Charney’s time with the company was riddled with allegations of sexual harassment, it’s no surprise that the company wants to take a more conservative approach to fraternization.

But here’s the thing: Whether or not there are policies forbidding them, office relationships happen.

A recent survey by CareerBuilder found that nearly 40% of employees admitted to having a romantic relationship with a co-worker. And a whopping 31% of office relationships result in marriage—meaning they can’t always be a bad idea, right?

Here’s how to make sure pursuing love won’t cost you your job:

Avoid Getting Involved with the Wrong Person

According to the CareerBuilder survey, 24% of intra-office relationships were with someone higher up in the organization.

Dana Brownlee, president of professional training development company Professionalism Matters, advises against initiating a romance with your manager, or, likewise, with anyone who reports to you directly or indirectly.

“If you’re a manager, you should be held to a higher standard,” she says. “You’re creating a climate where people are going to see bias whether there really is bias or not.”

Relationships with your peers are generally more acceptable—assuming they’re unhitched. A stunning 20% of people who told CareerBuilder that they had dated someone at the office admitted that at least one person in the relationship was married.

Perhaps that makes sense given the amount of time we spend at work: In an office relationship, you can relate to the struggles someone faces from 9 to 5, says Brownlee. That’s not easy to do with a spouse or partner who works in a different field.

But getting involved with someone who’s married can end up damaging your personal reputation as well as your professional one—if people find out, you could lose integrity—not to mention the pain it could inflict on loved ones (yours or your partner’s).

For those of you considering an office relationship with a married coworker, here’s some sage advice: Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.

Know Your Company’s Policy Before the First Date

Some companies have very strict rules about relationships, and you should understand those boundaries—and the possible consequences of crossing them.

“Of course we know those policies aren’t always adhered to,” says Jacqueline Whitmore, founder of etiquetteexpert.com, “but it certainly should be considered, especially if there’s a policy that says, ‘We won’t hire married couples.'”

In other words, assuming you think this relationship could get serious enough to get to the altar, you could end up having to choose between your lover and your livelihood. And that’s a tough choice. Of people surveyed by Workplace Options, 57% said they’d opt to protect their career, but 43% said they would lean towards leaving their jobs.

Does your company strictly prohibit relationships of any kind? Before deciding that you’d be willing to pack up your desk in some grand romantic gesture, Brownlee advises that you consider your skill set, resume and future goals.

“It might be smarter for your career development to consider smaller changes instead of radical shifts,” she says. Maybe there’s an opportunity to switch to a different team or project, or to get some needed experience in a different department.

Consider the Worst-Case Scenario

With 7% of respondents to the CareerBuilder survey saying they had to leave a job after a breakup, you’ll be glad you did some critical thinking before jumping into any new relationship with a colleague.

First of all, ask yourself how well you know your potential partner. If things turn south, the last thing you’ll want is someone gossiping about your private life or what you said about your boss after a particularly tough performance review.

Also, consider how much you’d continue having to work with the person after breaking up—or even how regularly you’re likely to run into him or her at work functions or around the water cooler. “It can make for a very uncomfortable situation,” she says Whitmore.

Plus, if the two of you are uncomfortable around each other while working on a common project, your performance may suffer—and that could in turn hurt your prospects for promotions or raises.

To avoid some of these consequences, Brownlee says you’re better off asking out someone in a different department vs. someone whom you work with on a regular basis.

Remember that During Business Hours, Work Comes First

If you decide to pursue the relationship, set up some ground rules before things get too serious, says Brownlee. Think of the discussion as “a prenup for dating,” she says.

Make sure you are both clear about who will know about the relationship and when. You’ve hopefully already looked into the company policy, so you understand which superiors need to know. But what about Amy in the next cubicle over?

“In the early, casual stages, it’s probably better to keep it quiet,” says Brownlee. “If it’s serious, it’s probably a little harder to play it close to the vest. The key is that you guys are on the same page.”

You’ll also want to make sure you set some boundaries about how much time you spend together in the office in order to actively manage your coworkers’ and managers’ perceptions. No one thought anything of a random chat you two had in your office before the relationship, but now it can be misconstrued as a social call or, even worse, a risky-business meeting.

“You can get a reputation, whether it’s earned or not,” Brownlee says.

TIME Dating

Lena Dunham Thinks Tinder Is for Murderers

The cast of Girls discusses the dating app

The girls of Girls had a conversation about Tinder on People TV, and the actress’ personal reactions to the dating app are pretty in line with what their characters might think.

Zosia Mamet, who plays the curious yet naive Shoshanna, didn’t know what it was—but wanted it explained. Jemima Kirke, who plays the sexually liberated Jessa, thinks it’s a sex site. Allison Williams, the overachieving Marni, knows all about Tinder and was quick to clarify that it is “a dating app… if you’re talented at it, you can have sex eventually.”

And, finally, Lena Dunham, who plays the neurotic Hannah Horvath, sincerely believes that Tinder is a place people go when they want to be murdered.

“It’s not about being famous, it’s not about being anything, it’s not even about being in a committed relationship,” Dunham said. “I believe Tinder is a tool for murder.”

See the video at People

MORE: There’s Now a Tinder for Dogs

TIME relationships

The Moving-On Manual: How to Get Over Anything

Broken heart drawn in chalk
Getty Images

The idea of ‘letting go’ is so crucial to our mental — and physical — health

This article originally appeared on Refinery29.com.

In a perfect world, all would go just as we wanted — from the outcome of our relationships to our career moves and everything else in-between. But, of course, real life can totally eff with what is important to us, from a quick fling to a long-term love, the perfect job, and the delicate balance of our friendships. As a result, sometimes anything emotional — from anger to resentment and low self-esteem — can infiltrate all unrelated aspects of our lives, too.

“When it comes to the idea of ‘getting over’ something, people often think of it as the equivalent of forgive and forget,” says Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and author of A Happy You. “But, really, while there is the forgive aspect, it’s not about forgetting — it doesn’t mean that you condone what has happened or that it doesn’t hurt — it means that you are releasing the anger, sadness, and resentment that goes along with it.” And you know what else comes out of letting go of a grudge? The negative health aftermath — including legit muscle pain, stomach issues, even migraine headaches — that is sure to be only a few baby steps behind it.

And, while it’s easy to get all hung up on whatever it is that has you bummed — a breakup, the job you didn’t get, a fight with a friend — Lombardo says that once these things happen, really, they aren’t what’s got you feeling down. “What hurts after the fact is not the event itself,” she says. “It’s the present interpretation of the event — ‘I didn’t get the job I wanted last year, so I took a job I hate, and now I’m miserable because I didn’t get the job in the past.’ It’s the perception of what that event meant at the time, but also what it means right now.” This blame game could hold us back from actually getting what we want. “We put a lot of blame on events, but really, how do we know that that’s true? We make this assumption and we can’t change the past, so then we remain stuck in an emotional pattern caused by that event.”

(MORE: Go On, Get Mad! How Anger Can Be Healthy)

So, how do you break the can’t-get-past-it BS that could be the actual thing standing in your emotional way? “Ask yourself: How helpful is feeling this way for me?” says Lombardo. “Instead of thinking that you didn’t get that job because you aren’t any good, really look at the situation and what happened. Maybe you and the interviewer had bad chemistry, or you went in unprepared, or you didn’t really understand the position — really look into the ingredients that contributed to the outcome.”

Seems easy, right? Well, not if you suffer from what most people do — a love of what Lombardo refers to as global generalization. “Instinctually, we want to make sense of stuff, and that can lead us to making sweeping generalizations that act as a defense mechanism,” she says. If you think “I’m never going to meet anyone now that we broke up,” then may be you don’t go out or meet new people, and make it so that is, in fact, the result. “Sometimes, it’s easier to think negatively, and then when that negativity manifests, say, ‘See, I was right!’” she says. “But if you’re going to make an assumption, why not let it be positive?”

Kathy Andersen, a well-being coach and author of Change Your Shoes, Live Your Greatest Life, suggests coming up with replacement feelings. “If you don’t have anything to replace the grief, anger, abandonment with, then you might hold onto them longer than you need or want to,” she says. Whatever negative emotion you have, think about the opposite emotion that you want to have, and one thing that you can do to feel it. So, for example, if you’re lonely, may be you could go for a walk in the park, volunteer, or call a friend. “Once you start with one experience and one feeling, you can bring it into your life more fully and more consistently, and let go of the emotions tied to the event that you don’t want in your life any longer,” says Andersen, who notes that aiming for 15 minutes every day for a month is enough. “The transformation this brings about automatically brings you to the next step.”

(MORE: What Shame & Guilt Can Do To Your Wallet)

And, it turns out, not being able to ‘get over it’ is what can actually lead to guilt, too. “When we can’t move on, we often feel disheartened, because the concept feels like you need to forget about it — but it remains with you, and then you start to wonder what is wrong with you,” says Andersen. “So, many people say, ‘Oh, move on!’ and then we hear that and it doesn’t compute.”

Yet, the idea of ‘letting go’ is so crucial to our mental — and physical — health. “It can affect our psychological health, how we view ourselves, and behavior,” says Lombardo. “If, after a breakup, you feel like you’ll never meet anyone, then you don’t even try to put yourself out there to meet anyone; plus, research shows that holding on to negative feelings can put a huge stress on our bodies, leading to chronic pain and aches, insomnia, and even weight gain.”

While it might sound all new-age-y, experts agree that it all comes down to your view and current perception. This is known as the Law of Attraction, when thoughts come to fruition because your behavior (even unconsciously) reflects that belief (good or bad), causing us to behave differently toward people and vice versa. One of the best ways to move on, according to Lombardo, is to ask yourself what you can learn from this. “We can learn from every single thing — be objective, instead of personalizing,” she says.

(MORE: Stop Telling Women They’re Crazy)

Experts also say that visualizing what you do want is essential. “We are so focused on what we don’t want, and then that’s what we often get,” says Lombardo. “Your brain literally thinks, ‘I guess being miserable for the rest of her life is what she wants, because she says she will be!’” So, basically, mind trick yourself: Andersen suggests first closing your eyes and picturing the perfect job, significant other, apartment, or whatever it is, and experience the positive emotions you feel from that — over time, that can help be the catalyst to get what you do want.

Then, pick up a piece of paper and literally write down how or why you would benefit from getting over x, y, or z. And, accept that the thing you want to get over happened. “Again, it doesn’t mean that you agree, or that you’re necessarily happy with the situation that occurred, but it means that you are accepting that these are the cards that you were dealt, and you can either be pissed about it or decide that you are going to play the best darn game that I can with them.”

How do you know when you may need a pro to help you talk through it? First, simple enough, if that is what comes to mind that you might need, well, then you probably should. But there are other I-could-cope-better red flags: “If you aren’t functioning the way that you used to; if the situation has affected your physical health, like you aren’t sleeping well; or you’re argumentative with friends or loved ones, then you should seek out a professional’s help,” says Lombardo. “Mourn the loss, but if negative behavior after is consistent, then seek out a professional to talk it out.”

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