romantic relationships

Relationship Goals: Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka’s Romance Was Built on Open Communication

By | Food for thought, Relationship, relationship goals, romantic relationships

Welcome to #RelationshipGoals, where we’re giving the stage to the power couples we admire. From admirable long-term relationships to inspirational newlyweds, these are the couples we love and hope to take cues from in our own relationships.

It seems customary during Halloween time each year to look forward to the next over-the-top costume ensemble from Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka’s family of four, with twins Gideon and Harper.

But how did one of the most high-profile couples in Hollywood get their start?

“I ran into my friend Kate one day and she was with this brooding, James Dean–type guy in a leather jacket who gave me the head nod and then turned away,” Harris told Out magazine. “I assumed he was Kate’s boyfriend and said, ‘Nicely done.’ And she said, ‘David? He’s not playing on my team, but he has a boyfriend.’”

“I was performing in the Sam Mendes version of Gypsy on Broadway when I ran into Neil on the street. He was doing the Mendes version of Cabaret at the time,” said Burtka. “I wasn’t a big Doogie Howser fan — I had probably seen it once or twice when I was growing up — so I gave him a, ‘Hey, what’s up, nice to meet you,’ and that was really it. I thought it would be nice to know him, but I didn’t think in a million years I’d start dating him.”

Why Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka are a true power couple

Neil-Patrick-Harris David Burtka

A week after the two had lunch together as friends, Burtka broke with his boyfriend at the time and the two went out officially for the first time. “I think it was Taking Lives with Angelina Jolie,” says Burtka. “We started hanging out every single night, and after three months, it was just non-stop.”

Two years later, after Harris had snagged the role of Barney in “How I Met Your Mother”, the pair packed up their things and made the long trip from NYC to LA, where they stayed for the next decade.

“I assumed the show would be a short chapter,” Harris told Architectural Digest. “But the plan was always to come back to New York when the show ended and raise our family.”

Along the way, Harris officially came out in an interview with People and both Harris and Burtka each proposed to one another.

“We were on our way to an event at an Indian casino 45 minutes out of town in a limousine, and David wanted to stop for some reason that I didn’t quite get,” said Harris to Out. “And then he got on one knee and proposed, and I was so freaked out by it that I said, ‘Yes,’ but I didn’t know what it meant…and a year later, on Valentine’s Day, I proposed to him in Santa Monica.”

Four years later, on October 12th, 2010, the couple welcomed fraternal twins, son Gideon Scott and daughter Harper Grace. “We named Gideon after an artist we collect, Gideon Rubin, and Harper after Harper Lee. ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is one of our favorite books,” said Harris.

And on September 2014, the couple finally tied the knot with a ceremony in Perugia, Italy, serenaded by the one and only Elton John.

“There’s something kinetic about him and his being. He’s classically sexy, yet he’s very much a boy in his energy. It’s a great dynamic,” says Harris of Burtka. “When I see people who are equally attractive, they tend to seem more quiet and kind of Marlboro Man-y, and David’s the antithesis of that. He’s more like Tigger. I’m, in turn, very introspective — the thinker, rather than the doer…We’re hyper similar and also incredibly opposite.”

“We are, in a way, very codependent. He’s my lifeline, in an amazing way. Without him, I can’t breathe,” says Burtka of Harris. “Don’t get me wrong– we fight. Our fights last five minutes, then we’re over it. And we’re both Gemini — we have a good twin and a bad twin, and the four of us get along really well!”

All the times they inspired us with their love

“I initially fell for David harder than he fell for me,” says Harris. “I remember saying, ‘I think I love you,’ and he was like, ‘That’s really nice,’ which is not necessarily what you want to hear. But I appreciated his honesty in not jumping the gun and saying something because he felt obliged to.”

Harris says that he values authenticity and, if their relationship has a fault, it’s over-communication.

“When I’m cranky, I’m admittedly cranky. When I’m in a hurry and distracted, I can’t act like it’s any other way. And he’s good with that, too,” says Harris. “So we talk things out. I don’t want to paint our relationship like we met and it’s been happy family fantastic-ness ever since. What defines a relationship is the work that’s involved to maintain it, and it’s constantly changing.”

Burtka, who has struggled with alcoholism in the past, says that when he and Harris had the twins, it was time to give it up drinking good. “It just didn’t mix well with me anymore,” he told NY Daily News. “I didn’t like the way I was acting and I think it was affecting me and I thought, ‘You know what? I owe it to myself. I owe it to my kids, to be there, 100%.’”

It’s hard to catch Harris or Burtka on Instagram apart from their kids, who both say children were always part of the plan for them.

“Even on that first date, we talked about kids,” says Burtka. “I always thought that family was the most important thing in life, and no matter what I do, whether being a chef or an actor or a dancer, being a dad is what I do best.”

And Harris said they both knew they wanted to become dads early on so they could, “Enjoy the process and to be young and vibrant enough to throw a ball with them, or to chase them around without using a walker.”

The couple, who this year will soon celebrate their 15-year anniversary and who just celebrated their 4-year wedding anniversary this past September, say they’re looking forward to what the future will bring.

“Four years ago today. How time flies — especially when you have someone special to share it with. After 14 years, two children, and thousands of adventures together, I’ve never been happier. Happy anniversary, David. Thank you for saying ‘I do’. #grateful#[email protected],” Harris captioned on Instagram.

That day, Burtka echoed the sentiment: “@nph I am so very proud of us. Being in a relationship is hard work. There are many stresses to juggle within these 14 years. We have dealt with kids growing up, new jobs, the media, moving and even dogs pooping on the rugs. These last four years our marriage has had its ups and downs. I can’t wait to see what the next chapter holds. I love you.”

Their biggest relationship takeaway

Neil-Patrick-Harris David Burtka

Being one of the highest profile relationships in Hollywood, Harris and Burtka have had more than just the average relationship challenges to surmount.

However, despite them, the couple’s maturity and love for one another has helped guide them to create a bond between themselves, and a family, that prioritizes that love instead of the drama.

“I don’t want people to think we’re a perfect couple. Nothing’s perfect,” says Burtka on overcoming the challenges of being in a long-term relationship. “A relationship is work and it changes. And you go with the changes. It’s more good times than bad times, but it’s not always good. You have to overcome those issues and move on.”

“We have a really great recipe for a wonderful relationship, but we don’t want to be the poster boys for gay relationships,” he continues. “We’re not trying to pretend that we are perfect. We’re just trying — in a good, positive, loving way– to live our lives.”

7 Things That Happen When You Try to Rush a Relationship

By | Featured, Food for thought, Relationship, relationships, romantic relationships

Some things in life need a good push to get going.

Like your career, your motivation, or my grandpa after Thanksgiving dinner.

But other things require time and their own uncorrupted environment to grow and form and work their magic.

Of all of those things in life which require such an ideal, untainted environment — organic life and success to name just two — love is perhaps the most misunderstood.

Many of us think that we can work a relationship the same way we work our job or build a house. All you need to do is put the pieces into place as fast as possible and you’ll be done sooner than later. Right?

Wrong. A relationship needs that time and ideal environment of respect, healthy boundaries, and patience to blossom into real love. Without it, it simply never happens.

When people say ‘marriage’ to me… It’s always a means to an end. Everyone’s so in a rush to define the relationship.

Lady Gaga

But what exactly happens when you rush a relationship? In case you weren’t yet convinced, there are a few things (and hint: none of them are good).

Here are 7 things that happen when you try to rush a relationship.

1. You can push the person away

Forget making the relationship unhealthy. If you try to rush the relationship, there’s a good chance they’ll just pick up and scram.

Being rushed into love feels unnatural because it is unnatural. Intuitively we know that a relationship needs to move at its own pace. So, when someone is actively trying to push us into situations we just don’t feel comfortable with, we begin to be turned off by the person themselves and feel they only have their own desires in mind and aren’t thinking about us at all.

2. You become less attractive

Trying too hard is rarely attractive and that remains so even once you get together.

By trying to push the relationship along some of that solid gold paint you’re covered in, during a time when you both should simply be enjoying falling for one another, starts to chip away and the person begins to see you as a different person: desperate, needy, and selfish.

3. You cloud your own emotions

When you try to rush a relationship, you also confuse yourself a bit. It’s hard to act naturally and intuitively when you place yourself into situations that feel forced and fabricated.

And the more this goes on, the harder it is to tell if you’re with the person because you really like them or what you feel at all.

4. You create an environment where love can’t blossom

Love is elusive and it works on its own clock. When you try to force interactions or feelings or certain steps in a relationship before it’s time or when they’re not appropriate, you tamper with that relationship and make it to where it’s very difficult for real love to blossom.

Ironically, killing what you really wanted.

5. You could miss out on The One

Theoretically, you’re with the person because you like them a lot, right? Well, that might have been why you got together, but it’s not why you’re trying to rush the relationship.

The truth is, people tend to rush relationships because of a deeply-seated preconceived notion about what they need to make them happy. They believe that, without a relationship, happiness will remain a far-off dream. So, they rush toward love and a long-term relationship thinking that, once they arrive, magic will spring from the Earth and Heaven will rain down.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Heaven comes to those who are patient enough to allow the steps to build themselves as they will and rushing toward it with just anyone you kind of like isn’t enough to get you there.

You can’t settle in love, but you can settle in a relationship and miss out on the real love of your life. That’s the real tragedy.

6. You create an unhealthy relationship pattern

If you’re trying to rush into a relationship with one person, as we just talked about, it’s not because of the relationship — it’s because of what’s going on inside of you.

For that reason, if you don’t attack the behavior from the root, you’re likely to fall victim to it yet again when your next crush comes around.

Each time you do this, you ruin the chance at something special with the person, whether there was something special there to begin with or not.

7. You miss out, or mess up, other important moments

There are important moments in a relationship that most people don’t even notice.

Some are small and perhaps seem insignificant, but they mean something more important as a part of the whole and help build a greater relationship narrative between the two of you that strengthens your bond and therefore helps build the relationship.

Even if the person is perfect for you, by rushing the relationship, you can totally screw up the order in which things need to happen, causing trust issues, awkward moments that lead your partner to question your motives, or just make them feel uncomfortable with the relationship as a whole.

If you’re serious about the relationship, you have to take that leap of faith and let it develop at its own speed. You can’t keep someone at your side by grasping onto them. Only by letting them fly and showing them you respect their space and their feelings can you build a real, healthy long-term relationship.

5 Easy Ways to Get Out of a Relationship Rut

By | Featured, Food for thought, Relationship, relationships, romantic relationships

Even the happiest couples experience downturns in their relationships. Whether it’s outside factors like work stress or internal issues like communication, there are strategies that you can use to work through these rough patches.  We’ve asked experts for tips on how to work through a relationship rut and get romance back.

Identify your current, most important need

Figuring out what you need in a relationship is a powerful and efficient way to get you out of a rut, says psychologist Dr. Krystal White, author of the upcoming relationship book The Letter Code. “We aren’t machines and don’t have operating instructions or easily recognizable signals that our emotional needs require attention,” she explains. “Our needs are often hidden from plain sight and we don’t like spending a lot of time reflecting on them.”  Dr. White says naming the needs helps create the emotional heat needed to motivate us to maintain the course.

Set short-term goals

Begin your journey back to romance by identifying the top three short-term goals you have for your love life. “Take special care to translate these goals into positive terms,” says Dr. White. “This inspires and motivates more positive energy around the process.”  Some examples could be to be more understanding, more nurturing or being more passionate.

RELATED: Why Setting Relationship Goals Can Be a Good Thing

Point out when you observe any progress

Paying attention to what is going right is going to help you feel inspired and motivated to sustain your efforts. ”It’s important to note that you’re more likely to get out of a rut if you know that you’re making progress,” says Dr. White. “So, make it easy and label behaviors that you can observe that signal ‘rut progress’ to you. She says people often give up trying to get out of a rut because they don’t give themselves or each other positive feedback or that feedback goes unnoticed. “To avoid backsliding, slowdown and find deliberate ways to acknowledge what is going right,” continues Dr. White

Make intimacy a priority

Tina B. Tessina, PhD, psychotherapist and author of How to Be Happy Partners: Working It Out Together says sex needs to continue to be a priority, even in long-term relationships. “Sex not only will keep your love energized, it’s also fun exercise, a great stress-releaser, and aerobic: it raises your heart rate and your respiration — and you don’t even notice you’re working hard,” she explains.

Date your partnerSpending time together and enjoying your significant other’s company builds a stronger bond. According to an article in Psychology Today, the cost of the date isn’t important, “it’s about being ng together and prioritizing the other person over your obligations to work and other family members.”  Consider a movie, neighborhood dinner, or if you have young children at home, after they are in bed, have a romantic dinner for two by candlelight in your own dining room.

Victoria Beckham Pays Endearing Tribute to Her “Cheerleader” David Beckham

By | David Beckham, Food for thought, Relationship, romantic relationships, Victoria Beckham

British media darlings Victoria and David Beckham have been together for nearly two decades.

No longer Posh and Becks, the bonafide power couple’s twentieth anniversary is approaching, and with it, Victoria told Entertainment Tonight that her husband is still one of the biggest cheerleaders of her career and her life ambitions.

According to Victoria, David is (unsurprisingly) a great husband, a great dad and the most incredible business partner that anybody could ever want.

“He really supports me in what I do.” she said in the interview.

As for how they will celebrate their impending anniversary? Humbly, and as a family, naturally. “We’ll probably just celebrate with the kids,” Victoria told ET.

Last month, the couple were seen together at the Reebok x Victoria Beckham launch party party in New York City, where David was seen being, as usual, the attentive and supportive husband at the party. “David was by Victoria’s side the whole night,” reported PEOPLE. “They were very touchy and flirty with one another.”

Not one to miss any occasion to cheer his wife on, David also attended Victoria’s runway show in London last week — with his kids in tow, of course.

While it may look like it’s all flirtation and fun on the outside, it takes real effort to keep the sparkle throughout the span of a twenty year relationship — even if you’re an A-list couple.

David has discussed their relationship before, and why being married for so long can be challenging. “To have been married for the amount of time that we have, it’s always hard work,” he said in October on the Australian TV show The Sunday Project. “It becomes a little bit more complicated.”

“Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference.” Beckham added. It seems as though the little things they do as a family adds up pretty successfully — Victoria and David are our definition of relationship goals.

Why Setting Relationship Goals Can Be a Good Thing

By | Food for thought, goals, Relationship, relationships, romantic relationships

Love is romantic, warm, and fun. But one thing we don’t typically associate with romantic relationships is accomplishment.

There’s something about combining goals, progress, and achievement with relationships that makes some people feel icky; like we’ve violated some sacred law to keep love pure.

But that’s the same voice that tries to convince you that relationships should be like some perfect early afternoon bike ride across the beach, where the sea is glittering and the sun is still pale but brilliant.

The truth is, a real, worthwhile relationship is more like speeding down the highway with a beat up old Camaro that, sometimes, you just can’t believe you’ve been able to keep on the road.

It takes work to build a healthy relationship, but the more work you do the better and stronger the relationship gets.

That’s where relationship goals can help.

A relationship succeeds when obstacles are met with communication and resolution. A relationship flourishes when we take the beloved as our teacher. Shared goals create a transformative, interwoven path.

– Alex Grey

Why Setting Relationship Goals Can Be a Good Thing

Relationship goals are shared goals which two partners share to improve some aspect of the relationship.

Some examples include:

  1. Improving communication so each person always feels like they’re being heard and loved.
  2. Supporting one another more unconditionally
  3. Not arguing about X anymore (fill the blank with whatever stupid topic always seems to trigger a heated argument)
  4. Building better relationships with one another’s parents
  5. Becoming fitter or healthier together

I touched on the power of relationship goals a moment ago and why setting them can be a good thing. However, there’s another reason: setting relationship goals helps you focus on the progress of your relationship as opposed to the end goal.

Many couples fall apart after they get married because one or both persons had deeply embedded and unrealistic assumptions about what happens after you wed. They believed that marriage was some extraordinary end goal that would transform everything and make them perfectly happy.

However, the truth is that relationships are just like life: they take a consistent, long-term effort to keep strong and healthy.

Relationship goals allow you to not only make constant improvement a part of your relationship, they turn that focus from the end result to progress itself. That’s valuable because it’s in the feeling of progress that we find happiness. How happy we are at any given moment is directly proportionate to how much progress we believe we’re making at that moment as a whole.

If we feel like our personal or professional life is really moving, we’re almost always happy. And so that, as opposed to the temporary pleasure we get from achieving or acquiring something, is our best source of happiness.

How to support one another and achieve your relationship goals

If you’re feeling like giving relationship goals a try, it can help to know how best to support one another while you’re both working to accomplish that goal, even if it’s not the kind of goal that ever has an end and more of a consistent point of improvement.

Here are a few tips for helping you support one another and ensuring your relationship goals are successful:

  • Make sure you’re in alignment: You both should know each other’s personal goals in addition to your new relationship goals and craft your relationship goals with those personal goals in mind.
  • Set up a system of accountability: You need to stay accountable to yourselves and each other, otherwise there’s no way you’ll accomplish your goal. It needs to stay top-of-mind and you should regularly be evaluating your performance and progress and making necessary adjustments.
  • Make sure the goals make you feel better about yourself and happier with your relationship to each other: If they don’t make you happier, what’s the point?
  • Try to make each goal attainable and quantifiable: Your goals should not just be quantifiable, or in other words, you should be able to tell clearly when you’ve accomplished the goal or not, but they should be attainable. You want to stretch yourself but not so much that you discourage yourself to ever get up and take action.
  • Celebrate accomplishments: If you’ve made a big accomplishment or even just noticed some improvement, celebrate it to encourage both of you to continue working hard.

Relationships take hard work. But if you love your partner and want to spend your life with them, you need to be willing to do the work necessary to make the relationship strong and healthy and keep it that way always. And relationship goals are one tool to help you do that.

5 Questions to Ask If You Want to Know If Your Partner Is Your Soulmate

By | Food for thought, Relationship, romantic relationships, soulmate

If you’ve found someone really special recently, or are on the cusp of taking things to a more serious level with someone you’ve been with for a while, you might be a bit hesitant to go all in.

We often pick a partner using a mostly unconscious thought process without ever really asking why we like them so much and whether we believe they’re truly that one special person who is perfect for us.

But if you’re thinking of getting more serious with someone, you can’t just keep winging it, you need to be clear and honest with yourself and know (or at least feel) that they’re right for you so you don’t waste your time.

How do you know if someone is your soulmate? There are surface-level signs, like the exact same taste in music, movies, or that you’re both artists, but those are too common and unreliable to go off of.

To know if someone is your soulmate, you need to dig deep and look at fundamental qualities, those things that spark and then further forge a strong connection between two people. Only you can decide if someone meets these requirements, but they’re certainly the kind of things that any strong relationship really shouldn’t ever be without.

When you meet your best friend in real life, or you meet your soulmate, you just know it, and you feel it.

– Lili Reinhart

Here are five questions to ask if you want to know if your partner is your soulmate.

1. Do they help and encourage you to grow?

No matter what it is that you want to do with your life, your partner needs to be 100%, unquestionably behind you.

That might irk you if you like your partner, but they sometimes try to get you to be a bit more realistic, but that’s okay. Sometimes, we lose ourselves in the demands that society places on us.

At the end of the day, if you know they support you, encourage you, and are willing to go there with you, wherever your path takes you, then they’re definitely soulmate material.

2. Would you spend every waking moment of the rest of your life with them? (Or: Do you love each other’s company?)

This is more a feeling than anything and not something you can answer rationally.

Every relationship goes through rough patches, however, generally do the two of you fight minimally and absolutely love spending time together? Do you never get tired of spending time together? Are you each other’s best friend and can you see yourself spending your life with them?

These are the kinds of things you feel when someone is your soulmate and they’re what you should look for in a partner. Hopefully, in the one you have now.

3. Can you be your 100% authentic self around them?

Do you ever feel like you have to hold back when you’re around your partner? That’s a bad sign that the person isn’t right for you.

One of the most defining characteristics of a soulmate is of someone who accepts us fully for who we are. In fact, they do more than accept us, they love us for who we are.

Do you love them for exactly for who they are and do you not just believe, but feel in your bones (and they’ve shown it) that they do as well? They may just be your soulmate.

4. Is there unequivocal trust between you?

If someone is truly your soulmate, you should never, ever, ever, ever, ever have trust issues.

Sure, in the beginning, you or they might get jealous over a fear of losing the other person and maybe we think something is going on. However, at the end of the day, it should always get cleared up and the bond should strengthen from there.

Trust is one of the great foundations of a strong, long-lasting relationship. It’s one of those things that’s so important, you almost shouldn’t notice it’s there, like the foundation of a house. Each other’s devotion is never questioned and you know they have your back through anything.

5. Do you feel like they make you a better person?

Our true soulmate doesn’t just encourage us to grow and support us, they actively make us better people simply by being who they are and inspiring us with their love and example.

One of the unifying factors of a great relationship is that each person is inspired by the way the other lives their life and actively feels like, without the other person, they don’t know where they would have ended up by comparison.

If you’re wondering if your partner is your soulmate, ask yourself whether you feel like you’re the best version of yourself since meeting them. There are few signs as powerful as that.

20 Goodnight Texts to Send to the One You Love

By | Featured, Food for thought, Relationship, relationships, romantic relationships

At the end of a long day, it’s often the memory of the one we love which comforts us and gives us strength, particularly when they’re not near.

But how often do you express this gratitude, this appreciation for the love of someone so incredible that they fill your entire life with warmth?

You could do something big and impressive like make a nice dinner or send a surprise gift to them at the office, but what we really want is just to know that our special someone is thinking of us. And a simple text is all you need to do exactly that.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

– Lao Tzu

Here are 20 goodnight texts to send to the one that keeps the lights on in your life.

20 Goodnight Texts to Send to the One You Love

  1. The moon shines brightly tonight in a dark sky, the way you’ve lit up my life when I needed you the most.
  2. I couldn’t fall asleep until I told I love you. Good night.
  3. The best part of today will be when I fall asleep, because you’ll be with me all night. Missing you.
  4. Good night to the man/woman that gives me true happiness.
  5. The night is cold but I’m warm from your love.
  6. Restless. Going to count all the reasons I love you to help me fall asleep.
  7. Tonight, I won’t be dreaming about doughnuts or cake, I’ll be thinking of you because you’re just as sweet.
  8. “If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.” – Winnie the Pooh
  9. I’d say I’ll miss you, but I’m about to be with you for the next eight hours.
  10. You are my North Star. I’ll always find my way back to you.
  11. At the end of a rough day, all I need is the thought of your smile.
  12. My hand rests where I wish your body were. Missing you tonight.
  13. You’re the man/woman of my dreams. Literally, I’ll see you in a bit. Good night.
  14. I’d miss you even if we never met.
  15. Here’s hoping our beds meet in our dreams tonight.
  16. The only thing worse than not having you here with me is knowing I won’t see your beautiful/sexy smile when I wake in the morning.
  17. “I want all of you, forever, you and me, every day.” – Nicholas Sparks
  18. Today was rough. It would have been better if I’d gotten to see you. But I’ll settle for seeing you in my dreams.
  19. I hope your day was as amazing as your love has been to me.
  20. Your love has been like a great lighthouse in a dark and foggy night. No matter how difficult life gets, I can always find my way back to you.

Jada Pinkett Smith Shares How Friendship Is Key to a Marriage’s Survival

By | Food for thought, Life, romantic relationships, will smith

Jada Pinkett Smith is very honest and open about her private life,
whether it’s on social media or her Facebook Watch series, Red Table
Talk. She sometimes touches on topics a lot of celebrities are
uncomfortable opening up about, such as recent video she posted about why it was wrong of her to prioritizing romantic love in her marriage to Will Smith.

“I had an epiphany the other day,” Jada said in the post. “I had to
call Will and say, ‘You know what? I have to thank you for enduring my
rage.’ It made me realize how durable love must be because we don’t
have all the answers at the beginning. We go through life and we get
the answers as we go, and we can break things as we’re finding the

This couple has been together a very long time, by Hollywood
standards. They wed New Years Eve of 1997, and have had their shares of ups and downs along the way.

“I realized how unmet standards of romantic love often justified it to
turn into a cold heart that many times can fuel hateful and brutal
actions of revenge and manipulation towards someone you say or said
you loved,” she captioned the video on Instagram. “It actually may be
the only form of love you can fall OUT of.

It takes more than romantic love

She added: “At one point, my romantic standard of love was all that
mattered and if it wasn’t met…there was more than hell to pay. My
romantic standards were feeding my ego whether they were met or unmet. I experienced some very hard lessons (and continue to do so) that formed the decision that my ego and my heart could not share the same space.”

For her, it was not romance, but kinship and friendship that made
their marriage work. “It was the deciding factor to transform my union
to @willsmith from a marriage (contaminated with all the above) to a
life partnership led by and steeped in ‘devotional friendship,’” she
ended the caption. “The only thing to do in life is to find the form
of love where we can give the best of ourselves AND…it’s not always
going to look like you thought.”

The 15 Best Books About Relationships

By | books, Food for thought, Relationship, relationships, romantic relationships


There is a lot of stigma around purchasing a relationship book. It may make you feel like your relationship just isn’t working, or it can feel like a last-ditch effort to save a terminal relationship. But it is time to cut the embarrassment. You and your partner are not all-knowing, so it’s totally normal to hunt for advice on how to mend and strengthen your relationship.

Maybe your relationship has always been a well oiled machine, but lately, you feel like something just isn’t working like it used to or maybe you just want to ensure you have the tools to build a strong relationship for years to come. Regardless of what stage your relationship is in, whether you’re thick as thieves or if you have been drifting for some time now, a good relationship help book will offer insight into how to build your bond.

Or maybe you’re not in a relationship, and you’ve got questions as to why things just aren’t panning out. Whatever the case, we’ve got a book for you.

To help you get back to loving, we’ve gathered the best book about relationships available right now. These range from tried-and-true classics (remember Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus?) to some of the newer books to hit the shelves (like Eat, Pray, Love’s relationship-focused sequel).

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus


This one is an absolute classic. Your parents probably had it on their bedside at some point, and though that may have been many moons ago, it is still incredibly salient. The thesis revolves around the thought that Martians (men) and Venusians (women) are in the happiest relationships when they accept their differences as positivities. Written by a former marriage counselor, all of the insights are drawn from experience and insights with real-life couples.

He’s Just Not That Into You


At the end of the day, he might just not be that into you. For your single friend who is constantly fretting about why a relationship went south, Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo break down why you’re wasting your time on those duds. While the book is equally hilarious and refreshing, it also kicks the readers away from over-analyzing relationship and sets them loose to go find the real one. If you’re a single male, this will provide a peek into some of women’s biggest dating anxieties.

Sacred Marriage

For those who place high value both on their partner and God in their life, this book walks you through how the love in your marriage can heighten your relationship with God and everything else in your life. Okay, so you’re not religious – hear us out, this book is still a favorite of ours. Mainly as it pushes you to realize the meaning of your relationship beyond the surface-level butterflies, and how to translate that love into all areas of your life.

The Sex-Starved Marriage


It may feel like, thanks to the name, buying this book is like buying a coffin for a relationship. But while the start of your relationship may be full of lots and lots of glorious sex, as you begin to settle in a life together your sex life may start to peter out. It happens! Don’t feel embarrassed, but physical connection is a key part of maintaining a healthy relationship and if you’ve lost your Mojo, it is hard to ask the tough question of how to get it back. This book details how both partners – no matter the level of your sex drive – can build back that physical connection.

Difficult Conversations


You know those hard conversations you just don’t really want to have? The ones you’ve been putting off for some time now? Those difficult conversations can be hindering your relationship with your significant other. The teachers of the Harvard Negotiation Project have put together this book to guide you through how to navigate every tough conversation or fight with not just the people you love, but colleagues, parents and the like.

The 5 Love Languages


Everyone loves differently. Some live for the 24/7 endearing text messages and others prefer a to-the-point style of texting. Others love over-the-top grand gestures, while others enjoy a more subtle approach to showing your love. Whatever you or your partner’s love language, Gary Chapman has made a simple guide to expressing and accepting each other’s love languages. Sometimes, it may be as easy as saying “I love you” every day.


This isn’t your run-of-the-mill self-help book. From the author behind Eat, Pray, Love, comes the continuum of her story. Remember Felipe, the Brazilian she fell in love with? Well, things weren’t all dandy post-book, and, thanks to visa issues, Gilbert was veered into a new marriage. Committed jumps into the complexities of a second marriage and how to navigate a committed relationship, all in Gilbert’s charming, witty prose.

Mindful Relationship Habits


Sometimes the ins and outs of daily life are far from the most romantic part of a relationship. Be it fights over the dishes, finances, kids, and the like, the pressures of life, the minutiae of the day-to-day can leave you both in a disconnect. This book aims to pull you away from the shuffle and help build habits that promote a mindful relationship. Each of these habits helps you communicate more clearly, avoid arguments, and understand each other’s needs in a more thoughtful way. This book is like a deep back massage for all those little knotty relationship issues.

The Science of Happily Ever After

How do you go about looking for the key to your happily ever after? Dr. Ty Tashiro examines in The Science of Happily Ever After by translating years of research analysis into insight on how we look for a partner. To back this, Dr. Tashiro paints the picture with real-life scenarios to help you find the path to your other half.

Hold Me Tight


The New York Times’ voted Emotionally Focused Therapy one of the top relationship therapies, and for good reason. In Hold Me Tight, author Sue Johnson argues that love relationships are an attachment bond (similar to the relationship you have with your parents). Whether or not you agree with this, this book holds many keys to how to care more compassionately for your partner and how to build a more fulfilling bond between you both.

Attached: The New Science for Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love

If you’ve been in and out of relationships and just haven’t found your better half, you may have asked yourself the question, is there a science to love? Neuroscientist Amir Levine and psychologist Rachel Heller investigate, looking to the science behind attachment theory. Attachment theory revolves around how humans need to be in a tight relationship with someone at all times and how a person’s behavior in a relationship can be divided into three categories: anxious, avoidant, and secure. Levine and Heller will guide you towards which one you fall under and how you can build your relationship around it. Pick this up if you or your partner are the overly logical sort.

The Highly Sensitive Person in Love


Are you the frequent cried when problems arise? Is fear of intimacy an underlying problem? No biggie – 20% of people are born highly sensitive, and you just happen to be one of them. But that can cause serious turmoil in your relationships. To combat these issues, Elaine Aron’s research prescribes a few antidotes for overly sensitive folks on how to lead happy, healthy relationships.

Getting the Love You Want

Another old-school classic, Getting the Love You Want is less about couples, and more about exploring yourself and what you need and want. Harville Hendrix pushes the reader to explore what love you need, like what promotes intimacy for you and what creates negative feelings, and how to use these insights to build your relationship with your partner. The book is filled with lots of quizzes and activities for you and your partner to work on as a couple, or individually.



Soppy was born on the internet, when author and illustrator Philippa Rice started documenting the details of her relationship with her boyfriend. While many of the moments she found were romantic – like cuddling by the fire – many of the scenes she illustrated were those little tiny moments that are often overlooked – like how you sleep next to each other or randomly remembering each other’s favorite foods. It’s a heart-warming reminder to stop and smell the flowers.



5 Key Differences Between Growing Apart and Going Through a Phase

By | communication, Food for thought, Relationship, relationships, romantic relationships


Emotions fluctuate in every relationship. We’re emotional creatures and navigating those fluctuations skillfully is a part of being human.

But how do you know when you’re just going through a phase or when it’s something much more than that? How do you know when you’re growing apart?

A tough work week, family squabbles, and health issues are all common events in a person’s life and can throw us off our groove. But if it’s been some time now that you just haven’t felt as close to your partner as you once were, that might be the sign of trouble in your relationship.

If that’s the case, you’ll need to tackle it now and give all your energy to the problem if you hope to mend the relationship. The good news is, provided both people want it, there’s always a way to make it happen and get back to those blissful days you remember.

But first, it’s important to know if you’re just going through a phase or if you’re truly growing apart for good.

Here are five key differences between growing apart and going through a phase:

1. Has communication between you severed?

Communication is arguably the most important element of any good relationship. Like everything else in life, communication may fluctuate, but you should always end up coming back to one another.

But if regular talks, texts, updates, and deep conversations have lately become nothing but the occasional surface-level conversation or update from one another, that’s a sign you’re growing apart and it’s not just a phase.

The important thing here is whether you know why they’re acting differently or not. Tragedy, mental health, a recent failure, or other issues can cause a person to become distant for a period of time. If you know why they’re acting distant and what’s bothering them, it’s something you can repair with time.

Often, these things will heal themselves, however, you should never assume they will. Always look to support your partner in any way you can while they’re going through that rough period. You’ll help quell their suffering and the two of you will be stronger for it.

2. Does your partner blame you for the issues in your relationship?

When one or both people stop working together towards the good of the relationship, it’s a sign that the person no longer cares like they used to.

One of the ways this is expressed is through through blame. If the other person has resorted to blaming you for all of the issues that exist in your relationship, they’re showing that they just don’t care like they used to.

3. Are you no longer interested in what your partner is doing?

Do you just not care what your partner is up to anymore? Do they never ask you what you’re doing on your offtime? Do you spend your time at home in separate rooms and rarely go out or do things together any longer? Those are all signs you’re growing apart.

Some distance from time to time might happen, but when you or the other person just don’t care what the other person is up to there’s definitely some real space developing that has to be worked through before things get worse.

4. Do you need to compare responsibilities?

One of the more concrete ways you can tell if you’re going through more than just a phase is by looking at how you work with one another.

When you’re close, each person seeks to help the other in any way that they can. There aren’t typically conversations about “I handle these duties” or “You need to get off your ass.”

Sure, it might happen from time to time if someone gets overwhelmed with work or distracted with something, but when each person is concerned for the other it’s not a regular thing. And when one or both people start keeping score? That’s a really bad sign.

5. Can you no longer see having a future with the other person?

This is the big one. To have a future with someone means they’re in your life, but space suggests the desire to go another direction.

First you need to ask yourself how you feel. Do you see yourself having a future with your partner still? Can you imagine yourself being apart from them– moving out, hanging out with friends, following your dream, living life in general– all without them in sight? This is the greatest sign that you’ve grown apart.

And if you still see yourself having a future with them, what about them? Are they acting in a way that would suggest they’re still in it for the long haul or do they no longer seem to want to talk about anything to do with the future of your relationship?

Do they change the subject at the talk of marriage or get tense at any mention of children, even if it had nothing to do with you potentially having children together? Or, arguably worse, have they hinted at the thought of moving somewhere for work or business or changing careers, or pursuing some new interest which you haven’t discussed together?

More often than not, when two people grow distant it’s just a phase. There was love there at one point, and provided both people remain willing to work for it, you can find the spark again. But sometimes people do grow apart.