There’s really only one thing we all know for sure when it comes to love, and that is that no two love stories are ever the same.
Whether it be a whirlwind romance, a friendship that’s stuck through thick and thin or even just a journey of learning to love yourself, in the modern world, there are many different ways we experience “love”.
But despite the fact the feeling can manifest itself in a myriad of ways, like romantic pairings, friendships, or even close ties with family, there is one theme that runs throughout: selflessness.
“When we really love someone, there is no condition to it; it’s not about playing tit-for-tat or getting something in return,” Dr. Lurve, one of Australia’s leading love and relationship coaches, tells marie claire Australia.
“Real love is about doing what you can to make the other person happy, without seeking praise or recognition for your efforts—and in turn, [they] feel and act in this same manner.”
But we don’t always get it right and navigating the world of love and relationships (no matter their form) can be tricky.
So, we asked you to tell us your burning relationship questions, and Dr. Lurve is here to offer up her expert advice.
Q: After a really horrible breakup, I feel like I’m ready to get back out there. What’s your best advice for working up the courage to throw myself back into the dating scene?
A: Break-ups are the worst, and bad ones can be hard to bounce back from. My advice is to take it one step at a time rather than throw yourself into the deep end.
There’s no right or wrong way to start dating again, just remember to listen to yourself and gut instincts; don’t force yourself or a relationship, you should focus on having a good time! A good first step is having a “group date” where you meet someone new with a few mutual friends so it’s less formal and more like a casual catch-up.
Q: Having been in relationships for most of my adult life, I find myself suddenly single. I’m excited to explore more about myself and my own interests…but how do I focus on “loving myself” without someone else by my side?
A: This is becoming a common theme amongst adults where their teen and young adulthood years were relationship heavy. Getting to know yourself as you’ve evolved is an exciting time, and by being aware of this you’re already miles ahead in your self-love journey.
Remember to do things you love to do, don’t feel pressured to live another person’s version of a “single” lifestyle, and keep in mind the only person you need to make happy is yourself!
Made With Love
A life surrounded by (and embellished with) love is the ethos at the centre of Coach’s newest arrivals, with the brand’s Creative Director Stuart Vevers inspired by the emotion for the Fall collection.
Coach knows the power love has to be able to lift us up, and its ability to let us be free to express ourselves as individuals. That’s why every Coach product is made with love and made to last.
Like the new collection of Cary bags, that are deliberately designed with a slouchy, sophisticated ease. Surprisingly spacious, the shoulder bag style has plenty of space and pockets to keep you organised, no matter if you’re getting ready for a romantic night out or a catch-up brunch with friends.
Or the Studio Shoulder Bag 19: a timeless design made to wear (and love) for years to come. Finished with an archive-inspired Signature push-lock closure, it’s got plenty of pockets for you to feel put-together, and buttery-soft glove tanned leather is crafted with the same love, care, and passion that we show ourselves every day.
After all, our relationship with ourselves is the one we should always make a priority, says Dr. Lurve.
“It’s important to aim for a balance within all relationships, keeping a close eye on our self-love, as this is the one that often comes dead-last on our relationship priority list,” she says.
Q: I developed a very close bond with a friend during lockdown—we were practically inseparable. After an argument, she said she needed space, and it’s now been almost a year since we last spoke. I miss my friend but am still hurt by the fact she was able to discard our friendship so easily. Do I reach out and try to mend the relationship?
A: Friendship break-ups can often be worse than romantic ones because we grow a very close bond with our friends; in this scenario, I say reach out to your friend and offer to get a coffee or lunch. Keep the offer casual and mention you want to mend the relationship while on the catch-up.
If they don’t respond or keep cancelling, at least you tried—don’t pursue it further because it isn’t worth your time or energy! Surround yourself with people who want to be around you.
Q: My sister is my best friend, and we only grow closer as we get older. Everyone else my age has friendships they’ve had for years…is it weird that the closest person in my life is someone I’m also related to? I wouldn’t even know how to make new friends in my 30s…
A: I think that is super sweet and quite rare, you’re very lucky to be so close with your sister! Because you’re related and so close, you know if you have an argument, you’ll always come back to each other, which is sometimes unachievable with friends. Having people that you can rely on and trust is so vital in your 30s, whoever that may be.
If you want to expand your circle, look at your own interests and find people you share that with, or join an existing friend with their hobby (which might help you get closer to them too).
Q: After a few dates with someone, it didn’t quite work out the way I’d hoped. We get along really well and are determined to stay friends. How do I navigate a friendship with someone I once had (and perhaps possibly still do have!) romantic feelings for?
A: Tough but not impossible, going from romantic to platonic is tricky especially if you become jealous of them dating other people. While friendships are great and you seem to get along, if you do find yourself getting envious, know it’s okay to press pause on the friendship until you’re completely over them!
If you find you can’t shake the feelings in months to come, let them know and see where they’re at… maybe they’ve grown secret feelings for you as well after a friendship has blossomed.
Brought to you by Coach.