Professor Alexandra Solomon teaches the most popular course at Northwestern University "Building Loving and Lasting Relationships: Marriage 101. Her latest book is Loving Bravely: Twenty Lessons of Self-Discovery to Help You Get the Love You Want.
Recently seen on NBC's The Today's Show (June 26, 2017), below is an excerpt from Dr. Solomon Seven Secrets:
Become what you are seeking.
- Make a list of the qualities, traits and characteristics that you desire and value in a romantic partner.
- Look at the list and reflect upon the degree to which you embody each of these qualities.
In this era of swiping left and right in search of a soulmate, it's all too easy to leave ourselves out of the equation. We think that love is simply about finding the right partner, and we lose sight of the important work of becoming the right partner. Real love starts with you. The more you know and understand what makes you tick, the better prepared you will be to invite a partner into your life with whom you can create an amazing relationship
Understand your past.
Our early experiences profoundly impact how we love as adults. As children, we are basically students in the classroom of our family system, absorbing powerful lessons about closeness, affection, trust, emotions, power, gender and how to handle differences between people.
When we explore how those early lessons from the past affect us today, we are able to shed the old patterns that we don't want to repeat and embrace the wonderful traditions that we want to continue.
Say you're sorry.
In order to make love last, you will need to swap out the motto, "Love means never having to say you're sorry," for this one: "Love means being willing to say you're sorry a lot
...Being able to offer a heartfelt "I'm sorry" (even if you didn't mean to hurt the other person and even if you don't think you'd be hurt if the tables were turned) is an essential tool for tending to and nurturing a loving connection.
If I had to choose one word that captures the heart of a happy and healthy romantic relationship that word would be curiosity. Staying curious about your internal world and your partner's internal world sets the stage for the kind of emotional and sexual intimacy that romantic relationships need in order to feel enriching and worthwhile.
Remember that you are, at the very same time, connected to and separate from your romantic partner. When you are willing to be a student of love, you are signing up for a curriculum rich with opportunities for growth, intimacy and connection.— Professor Alexandra Solomon
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Love and Friendship
In a book I read last year concerning three Christian daughters in the Holy Land, one of the male characters commented that divorce is not uncommon in America, which comes from marrying for passion. True, we tend to follow our feelings into marriage, choosing a mate for passion.
Do we mistake lust for love? If so, maybe we should view the social, economic or intellectual point of view first and not rush into marriage. If we take our time, this could lead to a more meaningful relationship. This is your time for exploration of your friendship, sharing, laughter, and eventually love.
What’s wrong with getting to know more about the person you may be thinking of marrying? Isn’t it best to test your mutual compatibility first?
Discover what you both really want to do in life. What would you truly enjoy? Are you confident about what to expect—the ups and the downs of marriage?
Get to know more about yourself. What kind of person are you? What are your major life goals, values and interests? Which of these are the greatest most important to you?
I hope you are realistic (holding fast to reality rather than fantasy), and patient, unfearful enough to risk waiting for the right man. Remember, it is important you have a high degree of self-love and self-respect for yourself in order to care for someone else. — Urenna Sander
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." — Maya Angelou