Hello and Happy Valentine’s Month! Whether you’re a believer in the roses and dinners and general sappiness that comes with February, or are convinced V-Day is like a cold (annoying, but back every year), it’s impossible not to think about love this time of the year. At Cosmo, we do a lot of that thinking, especially in Feb, where we talk about what makes relationships work, fail, and last. Being a part of these discussions means I’m privy to a lot of great insider-info on love, marriage, and the merry-go-round of dating. So, with all that experience (both research-led and real-life-lived), I offer you my personal Love Life Rules—my top, trusty tips that I’d put into a book, if I ever wrote one. This is what I’d tell a sister or best friend, and hope you’ll find them useful, too! Love life rule 1: PLAY (NICE) GAMES Some women ‘don’t believe in mind games’. I disagree. When you were a child, you probably used cute talk/emo blackmail/ clever tactics to get your mom to buy you that toy. At work, you’ve likely swung deals in your favour by playing your cards well. Technically, all these covert maneuvers are ‘games’, but it doesn’t feel like that, no? Truth is, a little strategy is good for your relationship—playing hard to get; taking it slow; using a little jealousy to remind him you’re a catch, keeps the excitement alive! Love life rule 2: FORGET THE NAGGING Truth: men respond better to positive reinforcement than criticism. Don’t yell at him for not being romantic, praise the one time when he was. Instead of bitching about the microwave he bought you, fawn over it so he wants to do better/more in future. Love life rule 3: REMEMBER WHO YOU WERE Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you have to turn into that relationship. Your partner fell in love with an amazing woman and the life she led, right? Check this list, often: do you still hang with your own friends? Do you still dress up for yourself? Do you still go without him? Do you still have your own ambitions, dreams, plans? You get the pic. Love life rule 4: DON’T TAKE SH*T Stuck in an abusive/bad relationship? Why? By staying, you are allowing someone to treat you badly. Love life rule 5: DON’T IGNORE THE SIGNS A guy cannot suddenly turn into a jerk. I believe people show us who they really are right in the beginning...but sometimes, we ignore the signs. If he’s rude, selfish, doesn’t make an effort with your fam and friends, has anger issues, a cheating background...why are we surprised when he turns out to be not-so wonderful? Love life rule 6: CHEATING DOESN’T DESERVE A SECOND CHANCE Should you stay with a cheater? My answer is, no. When someone cheats, it’s a sign that something’s broken in that relationship. And even if the cheater swears he will never do it again, the dynamics of your bond have changed forever, and things will likely never be the same again. Love life rule 7: LIFE REALLY DOES GO ON Heartbreak? We’ve all been there, know it sucks, and have survived. Yet, when it happens again, we believe this is the end, that we just don’t have the strength to stand up and love again. After seeing even the most down-and-out friends move on and find better relationships, the lesson is
this—we are stronger than we think, and this truly will pass.
Lots of love from all of us at Cosmo,
Nandini Bhalla, Editor