More Advice From Our Local Love Experts

Lisa Toohey
“You know a relationship is right when you get that butterfly feeling in your stomach. Just make sure you aren’t getting sick or something. But the other significant sign is when you’d rather be with him or her than your friends or family. And if someone will still kiss you when you have bad breath, you know it’s right.”

“How do you make up after a fight? Two words: food and sexy clothes. Make him a nice dinner, or go out to a nice dinner. You have to be willing to say sorry. You have to be willing to accept his words, ‘I’m sorry.’ And take responsibility for your actions. But the good food and sexy clothes are big things.”

“Never go to bed angry. Always say hello with a kiss and hug. Have fun and laugh — and do things like have snowball and water fights, but not in the house.”

Mike Green
“A lot of people have strong ideas about religion, and even geography. I have people who won’t think about dating someone who lives on the other side of town. They say, ‘You can’t be spontaneous.’ Some people won’t meet dates who have kids, or they won’t go out with people under a certain height. It’s my job to get people to relax their criteria, because there may be someone they are missing out on.”

“If you keep your feelings inside and you don’t tell your partner what is lacking, or what you need and are not getting, it will only fester and eventually lead to the ending of the relationship.”

“Some guys say, ‘I refuse to go to a baking class,’ but maybe their girlfriends or wives really want them to go. Sometimes you have to do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do. But try new things, be willing to learn and explore. Don’t be set in your ways.”

“If you want to make a relationship work, it can work. But you have to pick the right person in the first place.”

Rev. Marvin McMickle
“Love changes faces over the years. It takes on a life of its own as years go by. At first, it’s all about passion, then that passion is balanced with companionship, and eventually it becomes those two things and just the sense of assurance that as we get older, there is someone we an depend on.”

“The divorce rate for second marriages is higher than it is for firsts. So if a couple is entering in a second marriage, I need to know what will be different this time than the time before.”

“Some women I have known have given themselves artificial deadlines. Like age 30. And as they get closer to that date, if the right person doesn’t come along, they may be tempted to [find a] less-than-ideal spouse, and then they regret it. I caution against getting married because of what the calendar says.”

“Marriage is like going to your first job. You have to go back the next day, the next day and every day. It becomes a lifestyle as opposed to a date. You are changing your life forever.”

“Getting married is a snap. The real trick is to stay married.”

Connie Lindemann
“Too many people throw in the towel way too soon. The best advice my mom ever gave me before I got married was, ‘Don’t ever come home. I know David [your fiancée] and his family, and I know your temperament, and you tend to go up and down more than he does. So don’t ever think that when you get mad you can come back here. You need to work it out.’ We were fairly young when we got married — I was 23 — and I didn’t go away to college. But I always knew I couldn’t go home because I’d get a lecture.”

“Your kids bind you together, but when they’re gone, you have each other. It has to be about the two of you. So you have to work on your relationship before anything else.”

“A relationship will not work when someone digs in their heels and wants things a certain way. That’s sad to me, because they’ve drawn a line and said, ‘OK, I’m not crossing this line.’ It may be something stupid like the toilet paper has to hang on the outside rather than the inside. We focus on the petty things, but are they really important? No.”

“Sometimes, God puts two people together so they balance each other out.”

Dr. Stephen Levine
“To stay happy, you must have the capacity to be genuine. You have to overcome your narcissism and you need negotiation skills. Everything is negotiated: ‘Where are we going to spend Christmas Eve this year?’ ‘What are we doing Sunday?’ Sometimes people don’t even realize they are negotiating things, but they are.”

“Courtship is an art form of talking and sharing life experiences without telling each other what you are really evaluating. That is, whether this is a terrible deal, this is a deal that’s good for now but isn’t going to last, this could be a friend with some sexual benefits but not the marriage kind, or this is the real one. Dating is the process of screening partners to see how compatible we are.”

“Just because you are in love doesn’t mean the relationship will be successful.”

Craig Christ
“The hardest part about being in love is understanding the other’s person perspective, especially when you are blinded by your own deeply felt conviction. It takes much effort to slowly develop the give-and-take required to keep a relationship on track without resentment. Honest, sincere dialogue melts into a mutually agreed position that both people can live with.”

“Remember the first time your eyes met and you knew it was love. Extend that thought, then look into your mind when you are angry, frustrated or just looking for someone convenient to dump your bad attitude.”

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