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The words don’t matter, as long as they are kind

You should write a love letter today.

If you’re carrying unspoken feelings, write a love letter. Be prepared for major anxiety about whether you used the right postage, had the right address, or chose the right words. Be prepared not to know when they’ll receive it or whether you’ll receive anything back. If you do receive a response by mail — keep it. Save it. You’ll read it differently in 5, 10, 30 years, and understand layers previously invisible to your impatient mind.

If you’re the parent of a young child, and find yourself staring at their little pink shrimpy…

🍳 Today’s tip: For a fun evening activity, pretend you’re on Chopped.

Happy Valentine’s Day! If your plans have been derailed along with everything else these past 11 months, we have your still-kinda-fun Plan B.

As Drew Magary writes in Forge, there are plenty of ways to have a great pandemic date night at home — whether your date is your partner, your five best friends on Zoom, or your Snuggie. Why not pretend you’re on the cooking show Chopped and dramatically make a meal with the stray ingredients in your pantry? The idea is to manufacture an escape from…

Your fight about the messy garage might just be your body saying you need more sleep

Credit: Prostock-Studio/Getty Images

“Never go to bed angry.” It’s one of the most common pieces of relationship wisdom there is, often written in cards to newlyweds or dispensed to longtime couples after a fight.

It’s also terrible advice. You shouldn’t operate heavy machinery while drowsy, including the delicate machine that is your relationship. For the love of God, if you’re sleepy, go to sleep.

Early in our marriage, when our fights were more frequent, my wife and I would try to talk everything out before bed, but I’d end up nodding off in the middle of some serious discussion. …

Research shows it’s measured by the benefit of the doubt

Credit: Mimi Haddon/Getty Images

Babies. They’re such jerks, aren’t they? They wake you up in the middle of the night. They make huge messes for you to clean up. And let’s not forget to mention the inevitable diaper blowouts that happen at all the wrong times. Who do they think they are?

Of course, this is a pretty awful way to think of infants. We were all babies at one point, and if other people hadn’t given us some grace, we wouldn’t have made it to our first birthdays.

Babies, we know, don’t mean to annoy anyone. Even when they make others uncomfortable, we…

Pandemic relationship repair you can tackle tonight

Photo: Uwe Krejci/Getty Images

The year 2020 has been a total romance killer. Most of us are stuck at home with our partners, juggling childcare, Zoom schooling, and full-time jobs. We’re stressed about money, Covid, and politics. Plus, we’re all wearing sweatpants… all the time. It’s no surprise that divorces are spiking.

I know of what I speak. The other day, I referred to my husband as “what’s-his-name.”

I asked relationship experts to weigh in and tell us how we can start to heal the cracks that 2020 has made in our relationships. Disclaimer: This is not going to be the hottest date of…

Today’s tip comes from The New Self-Help, Forge’s 21 essential self-improvement books for the 21st century.

💚 Today’s tip: Find one thing you can love about your job, even if it’s not the work itself.

Having a job you’re not wild about doesn’t mean you can’t find something to appreciate about it — and right now, as we all try to work through a crisis, finding that something feels especially important.

“Work occupies much of our time. Yet, most workers cannot do the work that they love,” writes bell hooks in her book All About Love. “The good news is…

The New Self-Help

Romantic desire thrives on uncertainty

Book jacket cover for Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic + the Domestic by Esther Perel
Book jacket cover for Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic + the Domestic by Esther Perel

This story is part of The New Self-Help: 21 Books for a Better You in the 21st Century.

You meet someone through a potent alchemy of attraction. You’re filled with a sense of possibility, of hope, of being lifted out of the mundane and into a world of emotion and enthrallment. You cherish the rush, and you want to hold on to the feeling.

You’re also scared. The more you become attached, the more you have to lose. So you set out to make love more secure. …

What a woman in her seventies has learned from dating in the time of Covid

Photo: Thomas Tolstrup/Getty Images

In March, when the stay-at-home order came down with a thud, I found myself in a relationship that quickly became more intense and consuming than any I’d had for a decade. In my seventies, I’d recently met a man on a dating site who seemed “possible,” if not a perfect match. In other times, we might have had a few dates and found a reason to drift away. But this was dating in the time of Covid. It was as if we were the only two people on an island. …

Go to bed angry, appreciate each other out loud, and other lessons

Photo of a couple lying on opposite sides of the couch.
Photo of a couple lying on opposite sides of the couch.
Photo: Fuse/Getty Images

Co-authored by Rob Cottingham

It’s our 20th wedding anniversary. This feels like both a blessing and an achievement, and we wanted to celebrate by sharing what we’ve learned — and what we’ve recognized in retrospect — about how to make a marriage work over the long haul.

The truth is, happiness in marriage is largely a function of choosing the right person in the first place. (It tells you a lot about our compatibility that we both thought that writing a marriage guide would be a fun way to spend our anniversary.) …

Who We’ll Be After This

It’s as important to express love to your friends as it is your partner or family. Maybe more.

Photo: Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

It hit my phone like a symphonic gong. “We should tell our friends that we love them as much as we say it to our partners,” my best friend, Carmen, texted me one day a couple years ago. The message was at once revelatory and, I thought, fundamentally correct. That it came from a friend who, unlike me, is married and a parent, made it all the more resonant.

That text was a turning point. I haven’t always been the most demonstrative friend, but making a point of routine love declaration changed not just how I see my friendship with…


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