That we forget too often.

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Modern dating sometimes feels like a minefield.

It feels like exploring new territory without a map, like trying to find our way in a dark, unfamiliar house just by sense of touch.

But despite how lost we feel, there are some common landmarks that remind us we’re not treading such unfamiliar waters after all. In the end, we’re all in the same boat.

We all have exes, a history, and baggage.

We all have reasons to mistrust the opposite (or the same) sex. We can all begin sentences with “men always,” or “women never.”

If we wanted to, we could…

It won’t be painless, but it can be easier.

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Facing rejection forces you to exercise a few muscles you probably didn’t even know you had. Muscles connected to your sense of self-worth and your resilience.

Like any other muscle, it grows stronger the more you use it. That doesn't mean you should go out there and expose yourself to as much rejection as possible, it just means that cowering before the possibility of rejection and allowing the fear of rejection to paralyze you won’t make your life any easier.

When it comes to love, rejection is the other side of the coin.

In your search for love, you often…

And get some perspective.

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Remember that guy who was super into you, but whose feelings you found you couldn’t possibly reciprocate?

The guy who kept asking you out every weekend, but whose invite you’d only accept when you had nothing better to do?

The guy you almost ghosted because he started to hint at wanting a serious relationship with you and it freaked you out? Let’s call that guy Steve.

Steve is the guy you went on a couple of dates with but never felt the chemistry was quite right. Your “relationship” with Steve only lasted as much as it did because he was…

The fear of losing control is just the beginning.

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Ever feel like love is so damn complicated, but you can’t explain exactly why?

When no matter what you do, the stars don’t seem to align for you, it’s easier to just shake your head and find a friend you can commiserate with without having to go into the details of why it’s so hard out there.

But once you begin to pay attention, you understand quickly enough a few factors that make love so effing hard.

If you ever met someone who would have been a perfect match for you five years from now, or ten years ago, you…

You’re letting your past dictate your present.

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Love is hard enough as it is, but we somehow manage to make it even harder by subtle acts of self-sabotage.

You might not be aware of what you’re doing and how it’s costing you, but these bad habits are more common and pervasive than you might think. They have a way of feeding off your insecurities and fears, gaining strength, and resurfacing long after you thought they were gone for good.

It’s been years, but you still wonder if you couldn’t somehow have made it work.

If you had understood him better. If you had known how to communicate…

Why traditional dating advice isn’t working for you.

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In his book Get the Guy, Matthew Hussey suggests a woman should attempt to meet 200 new guys in a year, or 4 new guys a week, as a way to drastically increase her chances of finding “Mr. Right.”

The idea, the author explains, isn’t to go on 200 dates in a year, but to expand your network of acquaintances and practice striking up a conversation with a stranger. …

Take their word for it and move on.

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No breakup explanation sounds more like bullshit than “I’m not good enough for you.”

Or it’s identical twin, “you’re too good for me.”

When you’re still in love and looking forward to making it work, your immediate instinct is to try to disprove that theory. Your immediate response is to fight back by claiming you’re the only one who can decide who’s good enough for you and who isn’t.

So you set out to prove them wrong.

You bend over backward to make them feel worthy of you. You reassure them over and over again how much they make you…

Some things you expect, some things you don’t.

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We all understand the broad strokes of divorce (or we think we do).

We think we understand the emotional side of it: broken hearts, a broken home, a broken family. Broken dreams.

We think we understand the business side of it: having to split assets and belongings; figuring out child custody, finances, alimony, and such.

But for as much as we think we understand divorce, going through one is worse than charting unknown territory. For as much as we think we understand divorce in theory, in reality, unexpected elements pop up with the subtlety of a slap in the face.

In a society where much larger cultural shifts are taking place, “traditional” doesn’t quite fit anymore.

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I’m a sucker for dating and relationship advice, whether in the form of internet articles, Youtube videos, podcasts, or self-help books. The medium is irrelevant since I find the content so fascinating, therefore my spare time is usually filled with titles ranging from Get the Guy to Why You’re Not Married… Yet; from The Love Crisis to What Smart Women Know, and beyond.

These are more than guilty pleasures. …

We all make mistakes and we all need to forgive ourselves.

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Yes, I’m arriving extra late to the Sex and the City party — 20 years, give or take.

But not being part of the original fandom doesn’t mean I can’t have fun with the series, laugh at how ridiculous it is sometimes, and yes, even learn from it.

It’s not that I consider Sex and the City some kind of cult classic. I’m aware that not every entertainment product that’s had considerable popular success and is over 20 years old deserves the label. I’m also not arguing that we should take a second look at Sex and the City and…

Renata Gomes

Life explorer.

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