The Ferrari 458

 The classic mid-engined V8 berlinetta layout seen here in the Ferrari 458 Italia actually began with the 2+2 Dino 308 GT4 in 1973. In more recent history, it is the elegant 1994 F355 that many think of when considering the best and most memorable of the two-seat ‘baby’ Ferraris that make up the 458’s predecessors.

Since the 3.5-litre F355 ended production in 1999, two new generations – the 360 Modena and F430 – had rolled out of Maranello before the 458 arrived.

There has always been a bit of a contradiction about the notion of a junior Ferrari. But, with a few notable exceptions, that is how the mid-engined V8-powered cars from Maranello have come to be known.

So it was with the 308 GTB, and the line of cars that followed. Now, though, things are changing at Ferrari. In the California, it has a fourth model line designed to cater for those wanting a slighter softer experience from their Prancing Horse.

That in turn has given this 458 Italia, the latest V8 Ferrari, the licence to move into more serious territory. There is nothing remotely junior about 562bhp or a top speed in excess of 200mph.

Not only does it outpace the V12 599 GTB to 60mph and 100mph but, once you plunder the massively tempting options list with its array of performance and luxury enhancing gadgets, this also is a car that can easily cost in excess of £200,000.

For the 458 Spider (note the lack of Italia nomenclature for the open-top car), this reality is even more attainable; its basic price is almost £200,000 before you even look at the options list.

Numbers are one thing, though. What we are here to find out is if the new ‘junior’ has not only moved the game on, but also entered the rarefied ranks of the truly great Ferraris.

Solutions That Can Save a Relationship

By
WebMD Feature

Relationship Problem: Communication

All relationship problems stem from poor communication, according to Elaine Fantle Shimberg, author of Blending Families. “You can’t communicate while you’re checking your BlackBerry, watching TV, or flipping through the sports section,” she says.

Problem-solving strategies:

  • Make an actual appointment with each other, Shimberg says. If you live together, put the cell phones on vibrate, put the kids to bed, and let voicemail pick up your calls.
  • If you can’t “communicate” without raising your voices, go to a public spot like the library, park, or restaurant where you’d be embarrassed if anyone saw you screaming.
  • Set up some rules. Try not to interrupt until your partner is through speaking, or ban phrases such as “You always …” or “You never ….”
  • Use body language to show you’re listening. Don’t doodle, look at your watch, or pick at your nails. Nod so the other person knows you’re getting the message, and rephrase if you need to. For instance, say, “What I hear you saying is that you feel as though you have more chores at home, even though we’re both working.” If you’re right, the other can confirm. If what the other person really meant was, “Hey, you’re a slob and you create more work for me by having to pick up after you,” he or she can say so, but in a nicer way.

Even partners who love each other can be a mismatch, sexually. Mary Jo Fay, author of Please Dear, Not Tonight, says a lack of sexual self-awareness and education worsens these problems. But having sex is one of the last things you should give up, Fay says. “Sex,” she says, “brings us closer together, releases hormones that help our bodies both physically and mentally, and keeps the chemistry of a healthy couple healthy.”

Problem-solving strategies:

Plan, plan, plan. Fay suggests making an appointment, but not necessarily at night when everyone is tired. Maybe during the baby’s Saturday afternoon nap or a “before-work quickie.” Ask friends or family to take the kids every other Friday night for a sleepover. “When sex is on the calendar, it increases your anticipation,” Fay says. Changing things up a bit can make sex more fun, too, she says. Why not have sex in the kitchen? Or by the fire? Or standing up in the hallway?
Learn what truly turns you and your partner on by each of you coming up with a personal “Sexy List,” suggests California psychotherapist Allison Cohen. Swap the lists and use them to create more scenarios that turn you both on.
If your sexual relationship problems can’t be resolved on your own, Fay recommends consulting a qualified sex therapist to help you both address and resolve your issues.

Relationship Problem: Money

Money problems can start even before the wedding vows are exchanged. They can stem, for example, from the expenses of courtship or from the high cost of a wedding. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) recommends that couples who have money woes take a deep breath and have a serious conversation about finances.

Problem-solving strategies:

Be honest about your current financial situation. If things have gone south, continuing the same lifestyle is unrealistic.
Don’t approach the subject in the heat of battle. Instead, set aside a time that is convenient and non-threatening for both of you.
Acknowledge that one partner may be a saver and one a spender, understand there are benefits to both, and agree to learn from each other’s tendencies.
Don’t hide income or debt. Bring financial documents, including a recent credit report, pay stubs, bank statements, insurance policies, debts, and investments to the table.
Don’t blame.
Construct a joint budget that includes savings.
Decide which person will be responsible for paying the monthly bills.
Allow each person to have independence by setting aside money to be spent at his or her discretion.
Decide upon short-term and long-term goals. It’s OK to have individual goals, but you should have family goals, too.
Talk about caring for your parents as they age and how to appropriately plan for their financial needs if needed.

Relationship Problem: Struggles Over Home Chores

Most partners work outside the home and often at more than one job. So it’s important to fairly divide the labor at home, says Paulette Kouffman-Sherman, author of Dating From the Inside Out.

Problem-solving strategies:

Be organized and clear about your respective jobs in the home, Kouffman-Sherman says. “Write all the jobs down and agree on who does what.” Be fair so no resentment builds.
Be open to other solutions, she says. If you both hate housework, maybe you can spring for a cleaning service. If one of you likes housework, the other partner can do the laundry and the yard. You can be creative and take preferences into account — as long as it feels fair to both of you.

Relationship Problem: Not Making Your Relationship a Priority

If you want to keep your love life going, making your relationship a focal point should not end when you say “I do.” “Relationships lose their luster. So make yours a priority,” says Karen Sherman, author of Marriage Magic! Find It, Keep It, and Make It Last.

Problem-solving strategies:

Do the things you used to do when you were first dating: Show appreciation, compliment each other, contact each other through the day, and show interest in each other.
Plan date nights. Schedule time together on the calendar just as you would any other important event in your life.
Respect one another. Say “thank you,” and “I appreciate…” It lets your partner know that they matter.

Relationship Problem: Conflict

Occasional conflict is a part of life, according to New York-based psychologist Susan Silverman. But if you and your partner feel like you’re starring in your own nightmare version of the movie Groundhog Day — i.e. the same lousy situations keep repeating day after day — it’s time to break free of this toxic routine. When you make the effort, you can lessen the anger and take a calm look at underlying issues.

Problem-solving strategies:

You and your partner can learn to argue in a more civil, helpful manner, Silverman says. Make these strategies part of who you are in this relationship.

Realize you are not a victim. It is your choice whether you react and how you react.
Be honest with yourself. When you’re in the midst of an argument, are your comments geared toward resolving the conflict, or are you looking for payback? If your comments are blaming and hurtful, it’s best to take a deep breath and change your strategy.
Change it up. If you continue to respond in the way that’s brought you pain and unhappiness in the past, you can’t expect a different result this time. Just one little shift can make a big difference. If you usually jump right in to defend yourself before your partner is finished speaking, hold off for a few moments. You’ll be surprised at how such a small shift in tempo can change the whole tone of an argument.
Give a little; get a lot. Apologize when you’re wrong. Sure it’s tough, but just try it and watch something wonderful happen.

“You can’t control anyone else’s behavior,” Silverman says. “The only one in your charge is you.”

Relationship problem: Trust

Trust is a key part of a relationship. Do you see certain things that cause you not to trust your partner? Or do you have unresolved issues that prevent you from trusting others?

Problem-solving strategies:

You and your partner can develop trust in each other by following these tips, Fay says.

  • Be consistent.
  • Be on time.
  • Do what you say you will do.
  • Don’t lie — not even little white lies to your partner or to others.
  • Be fair, even in an argument.
  • Be sensitive to the other’s feelings. You can still disagree, but don’t discount how your partner is feeling.
  • Call when you say you will.
  • Call to say you’ll be home late.
  • Carry your fair share of the workload.
  • Don’t overreact when things go wrong.
  • Never say things you can’t take back.
  • Don’t dig up old wounds.
  • Respect your partner’s boundaries.
  • Don’t be jealous.
  • Be a good listener.

Even though there are always going to be problems in a relationship, Sherman says you both can do things to minimize marriage problems, if not avoid them altogether.

Health & Sex
Tools & Resources

How Parents Can Find Couple Time
Is Your Relationship Codependent?
Infidelity Quiz: Who Cheats?
Advice for the Suddenly Single
Sticky Sex Situations
Secrets of Great Kissers

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7 Solutions That Can Save a Relationship
Rocky road? Get your love life back on track.
(continued)
Relationship Problem: Trust

Trust is a key part of a relationship. Do you see certain things that cause you not to trust your partner? Or do you have unresolved issues that prevent you from trusting others?

Problem-solving strategies:

You and your partner can develop trust in each other by following these tips, Fay says.

Be consistent.
Be on time.
Do what you say you will do.
Don’t lie — not even little white lies to your partner or to others.
Be fair, even in an argument.
Be sensitive to the other’s feelings. You can still disagree, but don’t discount how your partner is feeling.
Call when you say you will.
Call to say you’ll be home late.
Carry your fair share of the workload.
Don’t overreact when things go wrong.
Never say things you can’t take back.
Don’t dig up old wounds.
Respect your partner’s boundaries.
Don’t be jealous.
Be a good listener.

Even though there are always going to be problems in a relationship, Sherman says you both can do things to minimize marriage problems, if not avoid them altogether.

First, be realistic. Thinking your mate will meet all your needs — and will be able to figure them out without your asking — is a Hollywood fantasy. “Ask for what you need directly,” she says.

Next, use humor — learn to let things go and enjoy one another more.

By Zack Omondi

(…Remember that first impressions aren’t always reliable).

“When I met her during the first time, all that I fabricated to define me was golden – which is not something to be criticized – so as to make everything fall in place later. Yeah, I took her to my place in Hostel H as the status quo states to prepare something classy for her. Obvious like most of us, I tried to make my room look presentable to suit the situation plus – unusual. Then from the early preparations, my friend’s laptop was ready to provide some entertainment for the two of us. What took place is a long story for another story from the cuisine, the stories etc.” narrates Calvin (parody).
I get thrilled when relationship issues gets at hand considering many factors – with Calvin’s story being part of the building blocks. And the question that comes up is whether we understand the question. The question of whether we are getting things right from the word go, or simply answering the campus life style. We have ingrained impressions that get in our way big time. First impressions, while not only deeply affecting, can be flat-out wrong. Consider that there are factors that ladies/men in campus score to them that might be a ‘doctored’ principles of the other party. And that those sounding ‘not my type’ on their resume are less likely to get interviewed.
The words of Nick Hornby (author of the novels A Long Way Down, Slam, How to Be Good, High Fidelity among others) goes that, “It’s not good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record collections disagree violently or if your favorite films wouldn’t even speak to each other if they met at a party.” And yes, it will work for the young stages yet something not destined for far. So what is it to be underlined?
We need to open up and go deeper beyond the superficial feel of that relationship. Yes, the first impression might be awesome but it fades away with time as there are more hidden facts (for the other person) that keeps on germinating with time. We just have to face the facts right and get to understand each other beneath what we sensualize or how we are treated the first time. How serious is the pain when you invest your trust, your love and emotions for something you never discerned wisely in the first place – not something that healthy for both of you. Get to the roots and understand him or her so as you appreciate the flaws factual amongst you: then make the two separable hinge together.

THAT PERFECT IMPERFECTION

By Sir Inaram

We all know or have heard that no two snowflakes look alike. Each snow flake is unique in its own way, and it takes the maximum form for efficiency for its journey. It is the universal a force of gravity that gives them a shared destination. However, the expansive space in the air gives each snowflake the chance to go its own way. They are on the same journey, but on different paths. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?
Along this gravity driven journey, some snowflakes collide, damaging each other through and through, some in their collision, end up joining together under the influence of the wind… so many transitions and changes taking place along their journey – but regardless of this transition, the snowflake always find itself perfectly shaped for its journey.
There are observable parallels in nature to be a beautiful reflection of grand orchestration. One of these parallels is that of snowflakes and us. We are also headed in the same direction, driven by a universal force to the same destination. We also take different journeys just like snowflakes do and along our journeys, we sometimes bump into each other, cross paths, become altered – taking different physical forms. Call it 100% perfect imperfection.
Each moment, we are totally perfect for what is required for our journey – neither I am perfect for your journey nor are you for mine. We are headed to the same direction, same place on different roots, but we are all perfect the way we are with peculiar features.
Now suppose this great orchestration could mean for relationships. Picture interacting with others with a mind that they too share this parallel with snowflakes. Like you, they are headed to the same place and no matter what they may appear like to you, they have taken the perfect form for their journey.
How strong our relationships would be if we could see and respect that we are all perfectly imperfect for our journey…?
Have a fabulous week ahead of you. Won’t you?

When you hit a Detour,

By Prince Adam Sabwami

(When you hit a detour, don’t give up)…

At some point in the various journeys we embark on in our lives, we get to a part where we feel like giving up. Sometimes we give up before we even start and other times we give up just before we are about to make that huge break-through that we have been putting so much effort in to achieve.

For example, if anybody had a right to be discouraged and to give up in bible history, it was Noah. Do you know how long it took Noah to build the ark? 120 years! Could you go 120 years on a project without one word of encouragement from anybody else in the society?

But Noah trusted God. And when he heard God’s warning about the future, Noah believed HIM, even though there was no sign of a flood. I bet there were many days that Noah didn’t feel like going to work, but for 43,800 days, he went to the same place, and he worked. He never gave up.

Don’t give up on your dream, either. Don’t give up on your marriage. Don’t give up on your health. Don’t, don’t, don’t give up. God is in control. You haven’t read the final chapter of your life. God’s already written it, but you haven’t read it yet.

Don’t sell yourself short. In life there are going to be many people who will try to bring you down and tell you what you want to achieve is not possible. Don’t let anyone destroy your dreams.

As long as you are alive and around anything is possible. The only valid excuse you have to give up is if you are dead. As long as you are alive (and healthy and free) you have the choice to keep trying until you finally succeed.

Arguably the best basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan attributes his success to all his failures. He just never gave up even when he knew he had missed over 300 shots and had missed the winning shot of the game many times. Every time he got knocked down he got back up again.

You are stronger than you think. One little setback is not enough to stop you from achieving your goals. Neither are 10 or 100 or 1000 setbacks.

The Bible says, ‘’And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not’’ (Galatians 6:9)

Often when you feel like you want to give up and you are about to give up you are so close to making a huge break-through ever.

Please, never give up!

I love you, always praying for you.

Dating tips to help you find love

#1: Keep things in perspective

  • Don’t make your search for a relationship the center of your life. Concentrate on activities you enjoy, your career, health, and relationships with family and friends. When you focus on keeping yourself happy, it will keep your life balanced and make you a more interesting person when you do meet someone special.
  • Remember that first impressions aren’t always reliable. Especially when it comes to Internet dating, people don’t always accurately portray themselves. Regardless of where or how you meet someone, though, it always takes time to really get to know that person. You have to experience being with someone in a variety of situations, some good and some not so good, before you really know him or her. For example, how well does this person hold up under pressure when things don’t go well or when they’re tired, frustrated, or hungry?
  • Be honest about your own flaws and shortcomings. Everyone has a flaw—or several—and, for a relationship to last, you want someone to love you for the person you are, not the person you’d like to be, or the person he or she thinks you have the potential to become. In many cases, what you consider a flaw may actually be something another person finds quirky and appealing. By being honest and shedding all pretense, you’ll encourage the other person to do the same, which can lead to a fulfilling relationship.
  • Invest in a vertical relationship before you invest in a horizontal relationship. Don’t be too quick to make a relationship sexual as it often becomes harder to develop a good vertical relationship afterwards. Even though it can be difficult in this day and age, try to take your time to get to know someone first. It will only lead to a more satisfying sexual relationship down the road.

    #2: Put a priority on having fun

Online dating, singles events, and matchmaking services like speed dating may prove successful and enjoyable for some people, but for many they lack spontaneity and often feel more like high-pressure job interviews than fun social occasions. And whatever dating experts might tell you, there is a big difference between finding the right career and finding lasting love.

Think of your time as a single person as a great opportunity to meet new people, expand your social circle, and participate in new events. Instead of scouring dating sites or hanging out in pick-up bars, find and participate in activities that interest you. Make your focus having fun, whatever that means to you. You don’t have to be the life of the party or be endlessly cracking jokes to have fun. But by pursuing activities you enjoy and by putting yourself in a new environment, it’s likely you’ll meet new people who share similar interests and values. By focusing on simply having fun, even if you don’t meet that special someone, you will still have enjoyed yourself and maybe forged new friendships as well.

Here are some tips to find fun activities and like-minded people:

  • Volunteer for a favorite charity, animal shelter, or political campaign. Or even try a volunteer vacation (for details see Resources section below).
  • Take an extension class at a local college or university.
  • Sign up for dance classes, cooking classes, or art classes.
  • Join a running club, hiking group, cycling group, or sports team.
  • Join a theater group, film group, or attend a panel discussion at a museum.
  • Find a local book group or photography club.
  • Attend local food and wine tasting events or art gallery openings.
  • Be creative: Write a list of activities available in your area and, with your eyes closed, randomly put a pin in one, even if it’s something you would never normally consider. How about pole dancing, origami, or lawn bowling? Getting out of your comfort zone can be rewarding in itself.

    #3: Learn to handle rejection gracefully

    At some point, everyone looking for love is going to have to deal with rejection—both as the person being rejected and the person doing the rejecting. Some people can be overcome with anger, embarrassment, or anxiety when faced with rejection, or are so frightened of it happening again, they avoid dating or starting new relationships. Others find it so difficult to reject another person, they find themselves caught up in prolonged, unhealthy relationships.

    By staying positive and being honest with yourself and others, handling rejection can be far less intimidating. The key is to accept that rejection is an inevitable part of dating but to not spend too much time worrying about it. It’s never fatal.

    Tips for handling rejection when dating and looking for love

    • Don’t take it personally. If you’re rejected after one or a few dates, the other person is likely only rejecting you for superficial reasons you have no control over—some people just prefer blondes to brunettes, chatty people to quiet ones—or because they are unable to overcome their own issues, such as a fear of commitment. Be grateful for early rejections in a relationship as it can spare you much more pain down the road.
    • Don’t dwell on it, but learn from the experience. Don’t beat yourself up over any mistakes you think you made. If it happens repeatedly, though, take some time to reflect on how you relate to others, and any problems you need to work on. Then let it go. By dealing with rejection in a healthy way it can increase your strength and resilience.
    • Acknowledge your feelings. It’s often normal to feel a little hurt, resentful, disappointed, or even sad when faced with rejection. It’s important to acknowledge your feelings without trying to suppress them. If you practice mindfulness, you’ll find that staying in touch with your feelings helps you quickly move on from negative experiences.

      #4: Watch for relationship red flags

      It’s important to be aware of red-flag behaviors that may indicate a relationship is not going to lead to healthy, lasting love. In such cases, it’s better to cut your losses early, rather than invest time in a relationship that isn’t good for you or the other person. Trust your instincts and pay close attention to how the other person makes you feel. If you tend to feel insecure, ashamed, or undervalued, it may be time to reconsider the relationship.

      Common relationship red flags:

      • The relationship is alcohol dependent. You only communicate well—laugh, talk, make love—when one or both of you are under the influence of alcohol or other substances.
      • There’s trouble making a commitment. For some people commitment is much more difficult than others. It’s harder for them to trust others or to understand the benefits of a long-term relationship because of previous experiences or an unstable home life growing up.
      • Nonverbal communication is off. Instead of wanting to connect with you, the other person’s attention is on other things like his or her phone or the TV.
      • Jealousy about outside interests. One partner doesn’t like the other spending time with friends and family members outside the relationship.
      • Controlling behavior. There is a desire on the part of one person to control the other, stop him or her from having independent thoughts and feelings.
      • The relationship is exclusively sexual. There is no interest in the other person other than a physical interest. A meaningful and fulfilling relationship depends on more than just good sex.
      • No one-on-one time. One partner only wants to be with the other as part of a group of people. If there’s no desire to spend quality time alone with you, outside of the bedroom, it can signify a greater issue.

        #5: Deal with trust issues

        Mutual trust is a cornerstone of any close personal relationship. If there is no trust in a relationship, it’s impossible for you to feel safe and cared for by another person, or to make that person feel safe and cared for. In other words, without trust, lasting love can never blossom. Of course, trust doesn’t develop overnight; it develops over time as your connection with another person deepens and you learn more about each other. However, if you’re someone with trust issues—someone who’s been betrayed, traumatized, or abused in the past, or someone with an insecure attachment bond—then you may find it impossible to trust others and find lasting love.

        When you’re unable to trust others, your romantic relationships will be dominated by fear—fear of being betrayed by the other person, fear of being let down, or fear of feeling vulnerable. But it is possible to learn to trust others. By working with the right therapist, you can identify the source of your mistrust and explore ways to build trust in existing and future relationships.

        Therapy for trust issues

        The key to overcoming trust issues in your personal relationships is to work with a therapist you feel comfortable talking to, someone who will be your partner in overcoming the problem. Obviously, having trust issues can make finding a therapist you trust and feel comfortable with difficult, but for many people the therapy process can be the ideal way to learn to trust again.

        Don’t be discouraged if you think therapy is inaccessible or too expensive. Group therapy may be more affordable than individual therapy and can be just as effective at dealing with trust issues. In fact, having more people present means there are more opportunities for you to practice developing trust. Alternately, some individual therapists will accept sliding scale payments where you pay what you can afford for each session, while some community organizations offer therapy at discounted rates. To learn more, read: Finding a Therapist Who Can Help You Heal.

        Learning to develop trust is a process, but with the right help you can be rewarded with richer, more fulfilling relationships and the chance to find lasting love.

        #6: Nurture your budding relationship

        Remember that finding the right person is just the beginning of the journey, not the destination. In order to move from casual dating to a committed, loving relationship, you need to nurture that new connection. It’s a process that requires time, effort, and a genuine interest in the other person as a whole. It also requires an openness to compromise and change.

        All relationships change over time. You’ll change over time, your partner will change, and so will both of your needs and expectations. What you want from a relationship at the beginning may be very different from what you and your partner want from that same relationship a few months or years down the road.

        For a romantic relationship to blossom into lasting love you need to be willing and able to:

        • Invest in the relationship. No relationship will run smoothly without regular attention, so ask yourself if you are willing to invest the time and effort into this relationship. Often, after the initial blush of romance has faded, couples switch off from one another, but the more you invest in each other, the more you grow to care. Find things you enjoy doing together and commit to spending the time to do them, even when you’re busy or stressed.
        • Communicate openly. Is your partner genuinely interested in your thoughts and feelings? Are you comfortable expressing your own opinions, thoughts, and feelings around this person? Are you playful, open, and able to laugh together and enjoy each other’s company? Your partner is not a mind reader, so tell him or her how you feel. When you both feel comfortable expressing your needs, fears, and desires, the bond between you will become stronger and deeper.
        • Resolve conflict by fighting fair. Some couples talk things out quietly, while others may raise their voices and passionately disagree. No matter how you approach the differences in your relationship, the important thing is that you aren’t fearful of conflict. You need to feel safe to express the things that bother you without fear of retaliation, and to be able to resolve conflict without humiliation, degradation, or insisting on being right.
        • Accept change. Every relationship changes and goes through good and bad periods, but overall a healthy relationship should continue to be good for you. It should bring the best out in you and should not only make you happier, but also make you a better person: kinder, more empathic, and more generous.

Original post from (http://www.helpguide.org)

How to Find A Lasting Love

A healthy, loving relationship can enhance many aspects of your life, from your emotional and mental well-being to your physical health and overall happiness. For many of us, though, finding someone we want to share our lives with can seem like an impossible task. But don’t despair, even if you have a history of relationships that don’t last or if you feel burned out by traditional and online dating, you can still learn how to find lasting love.

Obstacles to finding lasting love

Life as a single person offers many rewards, including learning how to build a healthy relationship with yourself. However, if you’re ready to share your life with someone and want to build a lasting, worthwhile relationship, life as a single person can also be very frustrating.

Finding the right romantic partner is often a difficult journey, for several reasons. Perhaps you grew up in a household where there was no role model of a solid, healthy relationship and you doubt that such a thing even exists. Or maybe your dating history consists only of short, abrupt relationships where you or your partner gets bored too soon, and you don’t know how to make a relationship last. You could be attracted to the wrong type of person or keep making the same bad choices over and over, due to an unresolved issue from your past. It’s also possible you’re not putting yourself in the best environments to meet the right person, or that when you do, you don’t feel confident enough to approach someone. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to believe that a healthy romantic relationship for you exists in the future.

It’s also important to recognize that relationships are never perfect and always require lots of work, compromise, and a willingness to resolve conflict in a positive way. To find and build any relationship worth keeping, you may need to start by re-assessing some of your misconceptions about dating and relationships that can prevent you from finding lasting love:

Expectations about dating and finding love

When we start looking for a long-term partner or enter into a romantic relationship, many of us do so with a predetermined set of (often unrealistic) expectations—such as how the person should look and behave, how the relationship should progress, and the roles each partner should fulfill. These expectations may be based on your family history, influence of your peer group, your past experiences, or even ideals portrayed in movies and TV shows. However, retaining many of these unrealistic expectations can make any potential partner seem inadequate and any new relationship feel disappointing.

The first step to finding a suitable partner is to distinguish between what you want and what you need in a partner. Wants are negotiable, needs are not. Wants include the things you think you’d like in a partner, including occupation, intellect, and physical attributes such as height, weight, and hair color. Even if certain traits may appear to be crucially important to you at first, over time you’ll often find that you’ve been needlessly limiting your choices. For example, it may be more important, or at least as important, to find someone who is:

  • Curious rather than extremely intelligent. Curious people tend to grow smarter over time, while those who are bright may languish intellectually if they lack curiosity.
  • Sensual rather than sexy.
  • Caring rather than beautiful or handsome.
  • A little mysterious rather than glamorous.
  • Humorous rather than wealthy.
  • From a family with similar values to yours, rather than someone from a specific ethnic or social background.

Needs are different than wants in that needs are those things that matter to you most, such as values, ambitions, or goals in life. These are probably not the things you can find out about a person by eyeing them on the street, reading their profile on a dating site, or sharing a quick cocktail at a bar before last call.

14 Ways To Create The Best Relationship Of Your Life

1. Abandon the out-of-date idea that love is something that just happens to you.

All the new science tells us that romantic love is no longer a mystery. It makes perfect sense. You can learn its laws. You have more control over this riot of emotion than you think! What you understand, you can shape. The first step is to decide to learn about love and the new science of bonding.

2. Every day, try openly reaching out to someone and asking for their attention or affection.

Accept that you are a mammal and that love is an ancient, wired-in survival code. You are happier, healthier, stronger, deal with stress better, and live longer when you foster your bonds with your loved ones. It is OK to need them; they are your greatest resource. We are not designed for self-sufficiency. The strongest among us accept this need for connection and risk reaching for others.

3. The next time you feel uncertain or worried or anxious, try just mentioning this to your partner and taking their hand, or noticing their emotional signals and reaching for their hand.

The bonds of love offer us a safe haven where we can take shelter and regain our emotional balance. The latest study in our lab shows that just holding your loved one’s hand can calm your brain and shut down fear.

4. See if you can notice some times when you find openness hard, and you become defensive or distant or shut down.

We know that emotional openness and responsiveness are the ground on which solid, lasting bonds stand. See if you can take the initiative and share with your partner, helping him/her understand what makes it hard to be open at this time.

5. Reflect on how you and your partner usually interact.

Can each of you reach out for the other? What do you do when the other gets upset or does not respond to you? Do you push for contact or move away? Tell your partner one thing they could do to help you reach for them rather than moving against or away from them.

6. Try to talk with your partner about how you impact each other.

Both of you offer safety or danger cues that our brain takes as serious survival information; we are all vulnerable when alone. When do you arouse real joy or contentment for your partner? When do you spark distress—a sense of being rejected or alone? Our brains code this kind of hurt in the same place and in the same way as physical pain.

7. When you get in a fight, take a deep breath and try to see the fight as if you’re a fly on the ceiling.

Often underneath the discussion of problem issues, someone is asking for more emotional connection. See if you can get curious and pinpoint the dance; maybe it’s the typical boogie where one pushes for contact, but the other hears criticism and steps back. See how it leaves you both feeling alone and a little scared. Talk about that.

8. Invite your partner into more closeness once a day by playing a simple empathy game.

Each person thinks of an event in their day. Then you take turns at reading each other’s face and trying to pinpoint whether you see one of the six basic emotions: joy, surprise, sadness, anger, shame/embarrassment or some kind of fear. See if your guess is right. Learning to tune in matters!

9. Take a quiet moment, tune into the emotional channel and see if you can each share with your partner what you need most.

Keep it simple and concrete. Do you need comfort, reassurance, support, and empathy, a clear message of how important you are to him/her? If it’s too hard to share this, share how hard it is to open up and ask.

10. Be mindful of the fact that emotional injuries derail relationships.

You can inflict great pain on your partner simply because you matter so much—you are the one he/she depends on. At a close moment, ask your lover if there are injuries that are unhealed, perhaps times when you missed their cues for support and connection. Try to help them with this hurt. (It doesn’t just fade with time.) Often just telling them that you can feel how they hurt and want to help them with it works wonders.

11. Know that the best recipe for great sex is safe emotional connection and open communication.

Write down a short description of what your ideal lover might do in bed and how he or she might invite you into erotic play. Give this to your partner and see what you discover about each other. Remember, criticism literally hurts and shuts down exploration and sexuality.

12. Talk about what you learned in your family about how to deal with emotions.

Emotions are the music of the dance lovers do; it helps if the music is clear. Then you can predict each other’s intentions and know how to move together in harmony. Talk about the things you learned that make it hard to listen to or share your feelings.

13. Tell each other your main goal for the next year and see if you can find one way to support each other to reach it.

It is clear that when we know someone has our back, we are more confidant and more adventurous. We achieve our goals more easily and are less derailed by disappointments.

14. Honor your connection. Create small rituals to recognize your bond.

Maybe it’s a special kind of kiss when you leave in the morning or a special 10-minute bonding time when you first come home. This is sacred time. No business agendas, problem solving or distractions in the form of small electric screens are allowed.

Original post from (http://www.mindbodygreen.com)