Tag Archives: relationships

GUEST POST** Date Like A Gay Guy….How changing your approach could improve your success

As two gay men that specialise in relationships we are constantly called upon to counsel our female family members and friends in a Sex in the City style Stanford Blatch and Carrie Bradshaw de-brief…although let it be said we both still have a full head of hair!

Why take our advice? Well, like you we dated, fell in love with and had our hearts broken by men and obviously we also have the advantage of also being one!

So, let’s start at the beginning…

The more you date, the more you learn about yourself and dating becomes easier. Logical yes? Practice really does make perfect, not necessarily a perfect date but closer to finding the perfect guy for you based on weeding out the rubbish!

Date one, most men consider a date simply a date. It’s a chance for both of you to get to know a little more about each other, don’t get ahead of yourself.

Most men won’t object to a little ego stroking and genuine interest in them but start the way you want to finish. You deserve the same in return so don’t give him all of your attention.

What qualities do you look for in man? Honesty, sense of humour, intelligence, manners, a friend? No doubt you have a pretty good idea of what you want so make sure you be that person too. Playing games and not showing the real you will only ever attract the wrong kind of guy.

Positivity and confidence will be the key to your successful game change. How many times have you been drawn to a guy that is theoretically the complete opposite of what you would consider your ‘type’? I would hazard a guess it was his charismatic swagger, cheeky smile and great conversation that attracted you well before you realised your checklist had been de-railed.

In some respects men are simple creatures. They don’t over analyse things and the way they show love can be more subtle, so don’t expect your love to be returned in the same way although the feelings could be just as strong.

We also know that men value physical appearance, that’s an obvious one, but before you reach for your salad it doesn’t mean stick thin bodies and the latest Chanel collection it means healthy body and mind, someone that values themselves enough to look after their appearance.

Finally, guys want to feel needed but not suffocated. Desperation is not a good look for anyone, no matter how hot you are.

Turn the tables on your dating disasters and take control. Dating isn’t rocket science and men definitely don’t treat it as such, so keep it simple and good luck!

Vinko Anthony & Andrea Anthony

Beau Brummell Introductions www.beaubrummellintroductions.com

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Article review: Zoe Foster – Do you like who you are … when you’re in love?

My all round inspiration and girl who knows it all: Zoe Foster writes a column in Cosmopolitan Australia. She provides anecdotes and opinion/ advice features on matters of the heart. Each month a different topic is covered off, new relationships, exes, cheating, insecurities, dating, douches etc – you catch my drift?

You know what, she isn’t some elf proclaimed dating expert either, like someone I might mention (yep, me!) she actually is an author who has written many books about dalliances with the opposite sex – One of which she actually wrote with her now fiancée, who was her then guy-mate about both perspectives – Textbook Romance.

Back to the case in point, this article asks: ‘Do you like who you are… when you’re in love?’ – Which, I feel is a very relevant and honest question!

I found myself asking, do we change when we’re in love… do I change when I’m in love? If so, do I like who I become? A little bit of change is natural right?! Hmmm the more I started to think about it, the more unsure I became.

I decided to cast my mind back to my ‘single’ days, which basically consisted off, partying most nights with my single girlies in tow (which also consisted of most mornings with a hangover from hell) I’d constantly find myself calling the girls to see what they were up to, texting to see if they fancied some cocktails, beers at the local etc

Flash forward to me being in loved-up relationship and I’m embarrassed to say that I probably catch up with my friends once or twice a week, most often not by me taking the lead and arranging. I can’t remember the last time I went on an all night dance fest with my chicas and realised that I have been just as happy to curl up on the sofa as I used to be heading towards 2am with a tequila shot (of three) in tow.

Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s all about balance, right?

In my previous relationships I definitely changed for the worse when I was so in love I was miserable! As Zoe so cleverly depicts her experience (it’s strikingly similar) she found herself eating junk food all the time, wasn’t getting enough sleep, she cancelled on her friends a lot and stopped going to the gym. She was snappy when she wasn’t with him and sulky when he was around…

Thank god that isn’t the case in my current relationship, it does however describe to a T my state of mind and actions I my last serious relationship,  and man it wasn’t pretty! It got me to thinking that whilst I have another element in my life( a BF) I need to think, it doesn’t mean that other factors need to suffer, least of all my friends!

I’ve made a promise to myself to have a big girlies night out at least once a month, dinners and catch up with the girls at least twice week and to be the organiser of at least one of them!

I guess the point of this particular post is that, we’ve all had that relationship that brought out the worst in us and we can all be guilty of getting trapped in a ‘love bubble’ in the throws of a new relationship, but don’t forget your friends and remember who you are and what your passions are. Just because you’re now part of a couple, it doesn’t mean you have to lose ANY part of who you are!

As Zoe hits the nail on the head – ‘The right man and the right relationship should make you a better person! ‘

Those guys that weren’t the best for us, well they were in your life for a reason and made you more aware of who you are, or who you desire to be – not who you conform to be!

Zoe provides these top tips that you should ask yourself if you’re unsure or are the slightest gut feeling that you’re not your best self:

  1. Am I genuinely, honestly being true to myself in this relationship?
  2. Does it fulfil my needs?
  3. Does it bring out my best side?
  4. Do I feel guilt, anger, jealousy or any other negative feelings more than usual since being with this man?
  5. Do the people who love me (friends and family) say I’ve changed because of him/ around him?

I think you’ll know what you need to do if your answers to any of these questions bring any home truths to light.

(You can catch Zoe’s column in each month’s Cosmopolitan. The August 2012 edition features the article mentioned above. Page 51)

Your mum is ALWAYS right!


It pains me to say it, I’m not always comfortable when admitting I’m wrong, or indeed that others are right, but on this occasion it has to be said, my mum is always right!

At the age of 27 I’ve been speaking to my mum on an adult level since I was about 14, from when I was at school and going through my awkward insecure phase, to meeting my first boyfriend and my mum announcing that he was: “just like your dad”, not in a good way I might add!

To finding myself single at the age of 22 and wondering what the future held, my mum told me:  “as you get older you come to be aware that superficiality, money and material possessions are not the ultimate goals when it comes to happiness, both in life and in matters of the heart!”

When you find your mother telling you that a guy isn’t right for you, they’re most likely not! When your mum asks you what’s wrong, it’s because she can sense that something isn’t right! It has taken a while to admit defeat on this topic, even though my mum lives on the other side of the world, she can still tell what I’m thinking, when I’m doubting myself and always provides me with sound advise that deep inside I knew to be true, before I even picked up the phone!

Sure, my mum has made her fair share of mistakes, in life and in love, and I truly believe that this rite of passage, is what builds a women’s intuition and a mother’s instinct, which I conclude is all the more reason for us to stand up and pay attention. When it comes to life’s loves, challenges and bumps in the road, nine out of ten times mums know best.

There is a specific nugget of her advice I’d like to share with you, it may not resonate right now, but I guarantee that this will help you at some point when it comes to matters of the heart:

If something doesn’t feel right, listen to your gut!

A lot can be said for women’s intuition and our ‘gut feelings’, whether referring to when we know we’re going to have a difficult meeting in the office, it’s probably because we know in our heart that we haven’t been performing to 100% of our capabilities. The same can be said when we have those niggling feelings of doubt when it comes to a relationship, there are usually based on some form of facts, events or conversations.

When you have a ‘gut feeling’ it isn’t to say act without cause and jump in without thinking first, what I would suggest is talking to your partner openly if you have a feeling that something is right or something is missing – tactfully of course – and that you want to make it work!

If your conversation goes well and your man advises that he wants to do what he can to make it work and shows understanding of where you’re coming from, this is a god sign. In addition, if at the same time he wants to explain why he’s been acting a certain way, promises to try harder this is a win situation as you’ve opened up and been honest with your partner about doubts or concerns. If your gut feeling does hold any weight, this is the ideal opportunity for your partner to open up and make things right – if that’s the outcome that they want!

You do have to prepare yourself however that the conversation may not go the way in which you want it to, if your man becomes defensive towards you and can’t (or won’t) see things from your perspective, more often than not (in my experience) it’s because they have something that they’re hiding. If they refuse to listen or walk away without resolve, you’re not going to get the resolution/ revelation you desire to get your relationship back on track or to remove your doubts.

In this scenario I would always advise you to walk away and let them know that this is your cry for help that you want to make the relationship work.

If they don’t come chasing after you with a view to talk about problems in the relationship, then I’m sorry, but you may have to concede that they’re not the right match for you!

Whilst it might not appear this way at first, this is also a ‘win’ situation, as you’re giving yourself the chance to find the right partner for you, that wants to talk about things, have open conversations and see things from your perspective – Trust me, if the relationship is a one-way street, it won’t last very long, or it will continue with one very unhappy person as a result, who may have missed their true chance at happiness for not listening to their gut!

FHM’s take on the new ‘rules of dating women – Give me strength…

I was reading through the June issue of FHM when I came across an article that was titled: “Everything you thought you knew about women is wrong”.

They’d got my attention; I decided to read on to see what the writers were telling their loyal followers and to decide for myself if they were setting them up for a fall!

It’s interesting as I begin to read they announce that “Just as you think you’ve got your game right, girls change the rules”. Hmmm I don’t concur and most certainly do not agree that this is the case. All girls ask for is guys to listen, use their initiative without the needs for hints, to treat them nicely, to be sexually attractive to them and to not let them get away with being a princess (no one likes a wet boyfriend!!). If a guy sticks to these key points, I can’t imagine they’ll go far wrong. (Seriously they should take boys to one side at school and tell them that girls like nice surprises and for them to pay attention, surprising how many guys just don’t get this!!).

SO here we go, here are some of the ‘rules’ that have apparently changed that made me spit out my water all over my keyboard in complete and utter dismay! (I’m not surprised that there is a plethora of dating blogs popping up in Australia – if this is what we’re dealing with is it any wonder?, we need somewhere to vent our frustrations!):

‘Old’ Rule – If you see a girl you fancy, make contact with her across the bar – Apparently this has now been changed to

‘New’ Rule – ‘Just go up and say hello’

Forgive me – This does not surprise me in the slightest, boys thought that by glancing at a girl across the bar and eye-f**ing the sh1t out of her would make her come running across the bar like a little puppy! No! We’ve always wanted guys to approach us; it’s chivalrous and shows they’re keen! Nothing has changed here, guys are just getting more clued up!

‘Old’ Rule – Wait two days before calling after a date

‘New’ Rule – Contact her the next day

Again, I don’t know about you, but if I went on a date with a guy I liked and there was chemistry with, I would be pretty damn gutted to not hear from him for two days. Whatever happened to  – if you like her – let her know?? Guys a little bit of an insight for you: the girls that want you to play games are looking for a bad boy, they want someone to reign in, they want to be the exception that ‘changed you’. Vice Versa there are no girls out there that I know that would be happy with a call/ text two days later. Maybe this is where we’re going wrong huh?

‘Old’ Rule – Don’t act too keen

‘New’ Rule – Always act keen

Give me strength! If you like her let her know, if you don’t like her or see a future tell her – she’s not made of glass. There’s no hard fast rule that’s going to make a women fall into your arms! Listen to what your heart (and your head) is telling you!

Old’ Rule – Women love men who can dance

‘New’ Rule – There’s nothing creepier than a man who can dance

Oh pi$$ off!! Who writes this crap? Nothing more to say on that matter!

Alice 25, Fashion Journalist said: ït’s worse if a guy is really good at dancing. I can’t imagine anything more cringey than a guy who can salsa” – I‘d love to meet this women and ask why! “A guy with rhythm – oh dear god no get away!” Doh!

All in the entire article was laughable and prompted me to put pen to paper (hand to keyboard) and write my first post in a while! I feel there is going to be more where this came from! What the hell has happened to the men of this world!

Here’s a taste of how men are currently treating women out there – there are no words!

http://my31daychallengeblog.tumblr.com/

What are you thoughts???

GUEST POST** To go back or not to go back?

The inevitable question. You’re finally in a great relationship, hit a few speed bumps and then out of nowhere, you’re blind sighted and it’s all over. He pulls the plug. No conversation, no notice it’s just done.

So you do the best you can to move on. Throw in some half drunken texts about how he misses you and that’s about the extent of the effort from his end.

 

Then comes the day that you knew would happen. You even told him at the time of said break up it would happen. Yes, he comes crawling back. For most women out there, I’m sure this has regularly occurred for you too. That radar comes on ‘oh she is happy and going along ok, let’s come in and disrupt her progress.’

The text message comes in out of the blue:

 

Hi, I was wondering if after work tonight you would like to catch up for coffee or a drink?

 

Holding on to that hard ass attitude you required to save face during the break up, the text back is cold but with a miniscule bit of interest. Damn that tiny part! But to be mature and move on from the situation, maybe you say ok.

 

After rocking up late and making him wait, you feel like you’re in control. Then out comes a two page letter accompanied by a glass of wine. Are you supposed to swoon over the nice things said in the letter? Do you say too little too late? Or use more abusive words? Oh and another note, always, always make it coffee not wine!

 

Say you were friends before and you agree to just go back down that path to help you move on. This slowly turns into hanging out more and more and then…… you guessed it you’ve gone right back there.

 

Always one of those girls who is strong and hates others who do this, why is it always so easy to happen to you?

 

Once you’ve decided you’re going back, it’s important to let go of what happened. You know you can’t be throwing that in his face it just won’t work. But how do you work out that fine line of just how much effort you should be putting in compared to him. Is it really always 50/50?

 

My very wise mother who has been married to my father for 32 years tells me it’s not always 50/50. Sometimes it’s 80/20 pending on who did what wrong. And sometimes the other person needs to put in more effort. At the end of the day, if you’re the one who made the mistake and you say you’ll do anything to give things another go, a woman needs to see this ongoing effort (note, ongoing means longer than a couple of weeks).

 

What do you do when you hit conflict the second time? When you hit a road block and you work out as a couple you have trouble getting through times of conflict. Is it fair to think, it was a mistake agreeing to start things up again? Is it an asset that you can see the other person making immense effort in areas where they bailed before?

 

Dating is hard enough as everyone seems to manage their own lives and have little knowledge on how to give and take. It’s difficult to meet someone you click with, so when you do how much do you stick in there through the tough times when it didn’t work before?

 

I believe at the end of the day, it’s always up to the individual. It’s important for friends and family not to judge, just to be there and support the relationship if it works and if it doesn’t. Sometimes maybe you just have to throw the rules out the window. We’re in 2012, I think the rules are, there are no rules anymore. As a couple you can only do what works for you.

 

Simply Black and White

www.simplyblackandwhite.com.au

Is there ever a wrong type?

I have many friends that talk incessantly about the wrong ‘type’ of guy, more often that not it’s usually the type of guy that they go far and can’t stop no matter how hard they try.

I used to fall in this said category, I was a fan of the lad about town, the guy that catches the girls eyes and the guy that might as well have ‘trouble’ tattooed on his forehead! No matter how hard I tried to break this cycle, as soon as I saw the cheeky glint in their eye, I knew I was putty in their hands.

Now, I’ve broken this cycle after four years of going round and around (and then around again for good measure) in circles, playing the mating game and failing miserably (I was never ever any good at the rules anyway!). Now I am in a relationship with a guy that is none of the above (however I don’t doubt he used to be one of these types, he must’ve just been ready for a relationship).

Now I have friends that complain that they haven’t met ‘the one’ or haven’t got a boyfriend even though they’re ‘oh so ready’. However when they do meet guys that are lovely, good looking, funny and most of all are into them, you’d think they’d be ecstatic right?! Well… no! My girlfriend’s think the guys are boring, or ‘too’ keen so decide to not pursue. Now this really gets my goat, and here’s why:

Before I begin I must outline and stress that I don’t think that anyone should ever compromise when it comes to a relationship or matters of the heart, I do however believe that some people’s ‘ideals’ have more to them than meets the eye and are in fact a contradiction!

How many of your friends have been known to have the ‘type’ that consists of the jack the lad, good looking, popular-player type that oozes confidence and has a way with the ladies? Then they complain that they never get asked out on dates and that guy’s only want them for one thing… However on the off chance that they do get asked out on a date, more often than not, it’s with someone who’s lovely, good looking, perhaps not as cock sure albeit, but your GF isn’t interested as they’re too soft/ keen/ wet/ all of the above.

What gets me that if the good looking player type took them out and fell for them hard, they’d probably get bored too. The case of the wanting of what one cannot have comes to mind.

The fact is that in Sydney, it is a completely different ball game, guys could have a fit bird every night of the week if they wanted – and you know what, they probably wouldn’t have to try too hard. If a guy doesn’t want to be in a relationship, no matter how hot, friendly, driven, funny or sexy you are, you might struggle to change their mind.

You have to open yourself up to the fact that your usual type, may not be the right type for you and that’s why you’re still single. Sure there are the stories of the girls that met their future husband in a night club on a wild night out and fell into bed with one another and never looked back… I would argue the fact however that they are more of the case of the exception rather than the rule.

The nightclubs of Sydney are a whole new ball game and cat and mouse games are taking place all over the city. Girls are out and about hunting in packs for the guys that they long for and craving the attention they desire. Whilst on the other side, the guys only have to show up and not be offensive looking and they can bet their bottom dollar that they’ll score that night, most likely without even trying.

Now I don’t profess to be a dating expert, nor do I shy away from the mistakes and experiences I’ve had in the past, after all they make us who we are today right?! What I do have the benefit of though is hindsight and a shed loads of experience to boot.

I’ve come to the conclusion, it’s not about taming the bad boy, donning a chastity belt in order to ensure that the guy isn’t just with you for s3x or lowering your standards in order to be in a relationship. It’s about not resting on your laurels and acting as you would in your home town or country or just ‘before Sydney’. If you don’t like to sleep with people on the first date, don’t here, if you expect to be taken out before you’ll kiss a guy, do the same here… you get my drift?

If you’re finding yourself stuck in a dating rut and the guys you go for are all the same, how about when a relationship breaks down and doesn’t work out for any reason, make a note to yourself about qualities in the guy/ relationship you didn’t like, and try to ensure the next person doesn’t have these traits. By process of elimination, you should slowly get there!

Smug people in relationships, you’ll probably like this…

Interesting take from the perception of Tracy McMillan. You can  follow her on Twitter.

Why you’re not married

You want to get married. It’s taken a while to admit it. Saying it out loud — even in your mind — feels kind of desperate, kind of unfeminist, kind of definitely not you, or at least not any you that you recognize. Because you’re hardly like those girls on TLC saying yes to the dress and you would never compete for a man like those poor actress-wannabes on The Bachelor.

You’ve never dreamt of an aqua-blue ring box.

Then, something happened. Another birthday, maybe. A breakup. Your brother’s wedding. His wife-elect asked you to be a bridesmaid, and suddenly there you were, wondering how in hell you came to be 36-years-old, walking down the aisle wearing something halfway decent from J. Crew that you could totally repurpose with a cute pair of boots and a jean jacket. You started to hate the bride — she was so effing happy — and for the first time ever you began to have feelings about the fact that you’re not married. You never really cared that much before. But suddenly (it was so sudden) you found yourself wondering… Deep, deep breath… Why you’re not married.

Well, I know why.

How? It basically comes down to this: I’ve been married three times. Yes, three. To a very nice MBA at 19; a very nice minister’s son at 32 (and pregnant); and at 40, to a very nice liar and cheater who was just like my dad, if my dad had gone to Harvard instead of doing multiple stints in federal prison.

I was, for some reason, born knowing how to get married. Growing up in foster care is a big part of it. The need for security made me look for very specific traits in the men I dated — traits it turns out lead to marriage a surprisingly high percentage of the time. Without really trying to, I’ve become a sort of jailhouse lawyer of relationships — someone who’s had to do so much work on her own case that I can now help you with yours.

But I won’t lie. The problem is not men, it’s you. Sure, there are lame men out there, but they’re not really standing in your way. Because the fact is — if whatever you’re doing right now was going to get you married, you’d already have a ring on it. So without further ado, let’s look at the top six reasons why you’re not married.

1. You’re a Bitch.
Here’s what I mean by bitch. I mean you’re angry. You probably don’t think you’re angry. You think you’re super smart, or if you’ve been to a lot of therapy, that you’re setting boundaries. But the truth is you’re pissed. At your mom. At the military-industrial complex. At Sarah Palin. And it’s scaring men off.

The deal is: most men just want to marry someone who is nice to them. I am the mother of a 13-year-old boy, which is like living with the single-cell protozoa version of a husband. Here’s what my son wants out of life: macaroni and cheese, a video game, and Kim Kardashian. Have you ever seen Kim Kardashian angry? I didn’t think so. You’ve seen Kim Kardashian smile, wiggle, and make a sex tape. Female anger terrifies men. I know it seems unfair that you have to work around a man’s fear and insecurity in order to get married — but actually, it’s perfect, since working around a man’s fear and insecurity is big part of what you’ll be doing as a wife.

2. You’re Shallow.

When it comes to choosing a husband, only one thing really, truly matters: character. So it stands to reason that a man’s character should be at the top of the list of things you are looking for, right? But if you’re not married, I already know it isn’t. Because if you were looking for a man of character, you would have found one by now. Men of character are, by definition, willing to commit.

Instead, you are looking for someone tall. Or rich. Or someone who knows what an Eames chair is. Unfortunately, this is not the thinking of a wife. This is the thinking of a teenaged girl. And men of character do not want to marry teenaged girls. Because teenage girls are never happy. And they never feel like cooking, either.

3. You’re a Slut.

Hooking up with some guy in a hot tub on a rooftop is fine for the ladies of Jersey Shore — but they’re not trying to get married. You are. Which means, unfortunately, that if you’re having sex outside committed relationships, you will have to stop. Why? Because past a certain age, casual sex is like recreational heroin — it doesn’t stay recreational for long.

That’s due in part to this thing called oxytocin — a bonding hormone that is released when a woman a) nurses her baby and b) has an orgasm — that will totally mess up your casual-sex game. It’s why you can be f**k-buddying with some dude who isn’t even all that great and the next thing you know, you’re totally strung out on him. And you have no idea how it happened. Oxytocin, that’s how it happened. And since nature can’t discriminate between marriage material and Charlie Sheen, you’re going to have to start being way more selective than you are right now.

4. You’re a Liar.
It usually goes something like this: you meet a guy who is cute and likes you, but he’s not really available for a relationship. He has some condition that absolutely precludes his availability, like he’s married, or he gets around town on a skateboard. Or maybe he just comes right out and says something cryptic and open to interpretation like, “I’m not really available for a relationship right now.”

You know if you tell him the truth — that you’re ready for marriage — he will stop calling. Usually that day. And you don’t want that. So you just tell him how perfect this is because you only want to have sex for fun! You love having fun sex! And you don’t want to get in a relationship at all! You swear!
About ten minutes later, the oxytocin kicks in. You start wanting more. But you don’t tell him that. That’s your secret — just between you and 22,000 of your closest girlfriends. Instead, you hang around, having sex with him, waiting for him to figure out that he can’t live without you. I have news: he will never “figure” this out. He already knows he can live without you just fine. And so do you. Or you wouldn’t be lying to him in the first place.

5. You’re Selfish.
If you’re not married, chances are you think a lot about you. You think about your thighs, your outfits, your naso-labial folds. You think about your career, or if you don’t have one, you think about doing yoga teacher training. Sometimes you think about how marrying a wealthy guy — or at least a guy with a really, really good job — would solve all your problems.

Howevs, a good wife, even a halfway decent one, does not spend most of her day thinking about herself. She has too much s**t to do, especially after having kids. This is why you see a lot of celebrity women getting husbands after they adopt. The kids put the woman on notice: Bitch, hello! It’s not all about you anymore! After a year or two of thinking about someone other than herself, suddenly, Brad Pitt or Harrison Ford comes along and decides to significantly other her. Which is also to say — if what you really want is a baby, go get you one. Your husband will be along shortly. Motherhood has a way of weeding out the lotharios.

6. You’re Not Good Enough.
Oh, I don’t think that. You do. I can tell because you’re not looking for a partner who is your equal. No, you want someone better than you are: better looking, better family, better job.

Here is what you need to know: You are enough right this minute. Period. Not understanding this is a major obstacle to getting married, since women who don’t know their own worth make terrible wives. Why? You can fake it for a while, but ultimately you won’t love your spouse any better than you love yourself. Smart men know this.

I see this at my son’s artsy, progressive school. Of 183 kids, maybe six have moms who are as cute as you’re trying to be. They’re attractive, sure. They’re just not objects. Their husbands (wisely) chose them for their character, not their cup size.

Alright, so that’s the bad news. The good news is that I believe every woman who wants to can find a great partner. You’re just going to need to get rid of the idea that marriage will make you happy. It won’t. Once the initial high wears off, you’ll just be you, except with twice as much laundry.

Because ultimately, marriage is not about getting something — it’s about giving it. Strangely, men understand this more than we do. Probably because for them marriage involves sacrificing their most treasured possession — a free-agent penis — and for us, it’s the culmination of a princess fantasy so universal, it built Disneyland.

The bottom line is that marriage is just a long-term opportunity to practice loving someone even when they don’t deserve it. Because most of the time, your messy, farting, macaroni-and-cheese eating man will not be doing what you want him to. But as you give him love anyway — because you have made up your mind to transform yourself into a person who is practicing being kind, deep, virtuous, truthful, giving, and most of all, accepting of your own dear self — you will find that you will experience the very thing you wanted all along:

Love.

Tracy McMillan is a TV writer whose credits include Mad Men and The United States of Tara. Her memoir I Love You and I’m Leaving You Anyway is now available in paperback from Harper Collins/It Books. She lives in Los Angeles with her 13-year-old son.