Love, sex and Relationships

Celeste Barber

I have a hot husband and it is harder than I thought

Posed by model.

Celeste Barber   I realised early on in our relationship that ground rules needed to be laid. I am funny. You are hot. OK? I'm hilarious. You're breathtaking, writes Celeste Barber.

Still friends

I get my best relationship advice from my ex-boyfriend

"I used to believe exes could not be friends - but I've found you just need a healing period."

Danielle Sepulveres   "I used to believe exes could not be friends - but I've found you just need a healing period."

Digital tease

How to recognise a 'breadcrumber'

Stocksy

Jessica Bennett   "It's like a meerkat poking its head up, but not nearly as cute."

A much more optimistic vision of old age

wendy squires dinkus

Wendy Squires   I am not worried about my final years. I'm actually looking forward to them.

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Alain de Botton

Why you will marry the wrong person

Author Alain de Botton.

Alain de Botton   "Marriage ends up as a kind gamble taken by two people who don't know yet who they are or who the other might be," writes Alain de Botton.

Dating drama

How getting a smartphone raised my dating standards

"A date not having the potential I'd hoped for is no longer a tragedy, and suddenly dating is fun again."

Stephanie Land   "A date not having the potential I'd hoped for is no longer a tragedy, and suddenly dating is fun again."

Strange proposal

Why is this archaic wedding tradition still happening?

Just because something is a tradition doesn't mean it's good, writes Kasey Edwards.

Kasey Edwards   Just because something is a tradition doesn't mean it's good, writes Kasey Edwards.

New perspectives

How discussing my personal life with my parents changed our relationship for the better

"My phone rang, and I was terrified of what lay on the other end. Mum was crying - but not for the reason I thought."

Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen   "My phone rang, and I was terrified of what lay on the other end. Mum was crying - but not for the reason I thought."

Marriage

Why I might marry for friendship and money - not love

What's wrong with a 'marriage of convenience'?

Kim A. Calvert   "I'm tired of being shut out from the perks and benefits that marriage provides," writes Kim Calvert.

Bisexuality

Where are all the bisexual men?

RJ Aguiar and his husband Will Shepherd in 2014.

Ryan Carey-Mahoney   Why does every one assume men identifying as bisexual are just lying to themselves about being gay?

Maeve Marsden

My sex life as a fat lady

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Maeve Marsden   "Learning to use my body as something that could bring joy and pleasure to others, rather than as a site of disappointment or pain, was bloody hard work," writes Maeve Marsden.

Sex study

Study: More people are having gay sex

Young people are rejecting traditional labels to define their sexuality.

Stacey Burling   "More and more young people today are sort of rejecting those very strict labels of gay, straight or bisexual and saying, 'I'm fluid or queer'."

Guilt-free

Why masturbation should be encouraged

"Exploring myself helped me fully understand my sexuality."

Deirdre Fidge   The simple act of giving yourself pleasure can be surprisingly meaningful.

Single ladies

I'm not pining for a lost love - I'm single by circumstance

Single people are treated as if there must be some heartbreaking reason for their condition.

Shannon Reed   Single people are treated as if there must be some heartbreaking reason for their condition, beyond the happenstance of life, writes Shannon Reed.

Done with dating

Why I gave up on dating

"Why was I considering my worthiness as a human being, and separately as a woman, based on OKCupid replies or a man's ...

Lisa Dib   "Why was I considering my worthiness as a human being, and separately as a woman, based on OKCupid replies or a man's lack of response to my flirtatious glances in a pub?", writes Lisa Dib.

Bad manners

5 examples of old-school etiquette that are now just freaking rude

"When men insist on maintaining these rituals without any regard for the woman involved, it's the opposite of ...

Kasey Edwards   "When men insist on maintaining these rituals without any regard for the woman involved, it's the opposite of gentlemanly," writes Kasey Edwards.

Polyamory

What polyamory taught me about honesty in relationships

Polyamory is the practice of having "many loves".

Britany Robinson   Monogamy was failing Britany Robinson - was polyamory the answer?

Dating while disabled

The unique vulnerability of dating as a disabled person

"Few things are more humiliating than feeling indebted to someone who has broken your heart. And when you're disabled, ...

Litsa Dremousis   "Few things are more humiliating than feeling indebted to someone who has broken your heart. And when you're disabled, you feel indebted every day."

Divorce

The shame of ending a marriage before its first anniversary

In our social media age, the feelings of failure associated with divorce are exacerbated, Olivia Clement writes.

Olivia Clement   In our social media age, the feelings of failure associated with divorce are exacerbated, Olivia Clement writes.

Breakups

5 ways to get closure – without talking to your ex

A week, a month, a year - it's different for everyone.

Rachael Schultz   A few tips on how to heal without reaching out to catch up over coffee, drinks or having a screaming match over the phone.

Clem Bastow

What makes someone a 'real' friend, anyway?

A new study found that about half the people you consider friends don't feel the same way about you. But does it ...

Clem Bastow   A new study found that about half the people you consider friends don't feel the same way about you. But does it matter, asks Clem Bastow.

Public proposals

I was engaged for two years because I was too embarrassed to say 'no'

Honor Eastly

Honor Eastly   You'd never realise how terrifying it is to be proposed to in public until it's happening to you, writes Honor Eastly.

Underwear dance party

The unconventional cure to my post-breakup blues

hannah

Maria Teresa Hart   Epic solo underwear dance parties (aka UDPs) were an almost nightly ritual, writes Maria Teresa Hart.

Love story

There's no foolproof formula to long-lasting love

"To the people who've known us since high school, we're barely a couple, more a singular entity: EmandJeff."

Emily Maguire   Emily Maguire on what she's learned about love after 20 years with her high school sweetheart.

Patrick Lenton

Why would you bother ‘coming out’ as queer while in a heterosexual relationship?

"I've been in a relationship with a woman for the past ten years. It was only a few years ago that I actually started ...

Patrick Lenton   "The amount of agonising I went through was ridiculous and needless. Yet, I'm not unique," writes Patrick Lenton.

Life & Love

My marriage blossomed after my husband's stroke

Life has changed dramatically for Ade Djajamihardja and Kate Stephens, in some ways for the better.

Kate Stephens   Life has changed dramatically for Ade Djajamihardja and Kate Stephens, in some ways for the better.

Kasey Edwards

I miss being sexually attractive

"In my 20s, I made the mistake of confusing my f--kability with my credibility," writes Kasey Edwards.

Kasey Edwards   "The further I drift from our cultural definition of beauty - namely young, slim and symmetrical - the less welcome I feel," writes Kasey Edwards.

Divorce

No Treasurer, divorce is not always bad for women

Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison at the Australian Christian Lobby Conference.

Andie Fox   Scott Morrison is keen to stress the "economic consequences" of divorce on women and society at large. But avoiding it isn't the fix, writes Andrea Fox.

Chloe Papas

Learning to be okay with leaning on someone for help

"I somehow became convinced that I was lesser for relying on a man, that I had become a stereotype, that I had let down ...

Chloe Papas   "My reluctance to ask for help is layered, but it comes down to a bunch of fears and pressures that so many women burden themselves with," writes Chloe Papas.

Sausage sisters

The subversive act of befriending your ex's new girlfriend

Befriending women who've dated your current or former partners is a powerful subversion.

Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen   Recently, I met a girl who I immediately recognised as the current girlfriend of one of my short-lived exes. She was wearing a cute dress and was bright, friendly and funny.

Lesbian Bed Death

Rejecting the stigma of Lesbian Bed Death

Bette Porter (right), the L Word character played by Jennifer Beals, with her on-screen wife Tina Kennard.

Matilda Douglas-Henry   Lesbians exist in two very different ways in societal thought – we are sexualised or we are chastised for our 'need' to U-Haul.

Intimate support

How a sex worker helps my wife and I maintain good sexual health

stocksy

David Heckendorf   "We had to make a decision to either give up on sex or to investigate the possibility of allowing a third person into our bed."

Housework gap

How to get men to do more housework

"So what works? How do you get men to do more around the house?," asks Jenna Price.

Jenna Price   "Sock strikes. Expectations. Role models. Whatever it takes," writes Jenna Price.

Dealing with grief

How to get over your awkwardness and support a grieving friend

grief

Roz Bellamy   Here are ten tips for talking about death so you might have a better idea of what to say or do next time it touches your circle of friends.

Friend dating

Looking for friends on a dating app can be super awkward

Making friends as an adult can be tough.

Abby Green   Abby Green gave online friend-dating a try after having trouble making mates as an adult.

'Quirkyalones'

I’m not afraid of commitment - I just love my independence

"By preferring to be single over settling for a relationship that's not a good fit, many of us are what author and life ...

Melissa Banigan   "While I haven't yet found 'The One', at least I'm not trapped with Mr. Wrong."

Chill-free zone

Why I am absolutely fine with having 'no chill'

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Dierdre Fidge   Policing other people's feelings and expressions is unfair, dangerous and boring, writes Deirdre Fidge.

Year of Yes

Changing my dating profile from straight to bisexual

One study found the average person looks at their smartphone 221 times per day – once every 4.3 minutes.

Kait Heacock   Kait Heacock is more excited by fluidity and change than commitment.

Being the oldest sister in the family and the only single one

The awkward moment other folks love to point out how single I was ... and how attached my two younger sisters were.

Darby Baham   The awkward moment other folks love to point out how single I was ... and how attached my two younger sisters were.

Excess baggage

How much baggage should I unload on a first date?

"The last thing you want to be on a first date is broken," writes Shannon Lell.

Shannon Lell   "The last thing you want to be on a first date is broken," writes Shannon Lell.

Getting divorced

How to say 'I'm getting divorced' and avoid a pity party

Talking about divorce reinforces an important truth: that you are not alone.

Wendy Paris   Wendy Paris realised she needed a prepared script about her divorce, something she could memorise and repeat.

'Talk about pleasurable sex in schools'

Lyndsay Bassett, 19, of Acton graduated from Narrabundah College last year. She says the sex education in the ACT ...

Matthew Raggatt   Survey finds flaws in school sex education.

Real-talk

Why did everyone suddenly stop asking if I've met someone?

woman

Shannon Reed   "Did I expire at 40 and just not notice?", asks Shannon Reed.

Dating disasters

The 10 worst people you're likely to date in your 20s

Marnie and Charlie in <i>Girls</i>

Danielle Sepulveres   You know those people who tell you that dating in your 20s is joyous, carefree and full of possibility? This author not one of those people.

Starter marriage

How getting divorced in my 20s turned me into a better person

"A walk down the aisle in a white dress doesn't guarantee a happy ending. You write your own happy ending."

Philippa Moore   "I learnt that the greatest failure in life is not a divorce, but refusing to take responsibility for your own happiness."

Starter marriage

Love is the ultimate leap of faith.

Philippa Moore   Philippa Moore tells why getting divorced in her 20s was the best thing that ever happened to her.

Alone, not lonely

How to be completely alone without becoming lonely

People who aren't afraid to be single and who embrace solitude are less likely to experience loneliness.

Bella DePaulo   People who aren't afraid to be single and who embrace solitude are less likely to experience loneliness. They are psychologically strong in other ways, too, writes Bella DePaulo.

Single mums

How single parenthood makes me a better mum

"If my daughter says she wants to be a single mum when she grows up, I'll support her all the way. There's no shame in ...

Sarah Thompson   Separated with two young children, Sarah Thompson was dreading her future. But what she hadn't imagined was that life would become a whole lot easier.

Friend zone

How to recover from a broken friendship

We hear so much about how to deal with the end of romantic relationships, but failed friendships can hurt even more.

Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen   We hear so much about how to deal with the end of romantic relationships, but failed friendships can hurt even more.

Best laid plans

Meshel Laurie.

Meshel Laurie   When a male escort was hired for Meshel Laurie, she knew exactly what to do.

A singular happiness

Free from marriage, Sarah feels like she's met her children for the first time.

Sarah Thompson   Separated with two young children, Sarah Thompson was dreading her future. But what she hadn't imagined was that life would become a whole lot easier.

How they met

What's the secret to long-lasting love?

Bradley Cocks and Collette Dinnigan.

Jane Rocca   Jane Rocca asks four successful couples - Collette Dinnigan and Bradley Cocks; Jane Caro and Ralph Dunning; Marta Dusseldorp and Benjamin Winspear; and Natalie Bassingthwaighte and Cameron McGlinchley - how they got their start... and why they are still flourishing today.

Just eloped

Why I have no regrets about choosing to elope

Most elopements now are a lifestyle choice.

Kate Stanton   Kate Stanton bypassed the big white wedding and, despite some anxiety about breaking the news to her mum, has no regrets.

Why you shouldn't watch rom-coms on Valentine's Day

The Notebook.

Laura Lane and Angela Spera   You're not a bird, he didn't have you at hello. And most rom com scenarios are creepy as hell.

How they met

Bradley Cocks and Collette Dinnigan.

Jane Rocca   Jane Rocca finds out how four relationships got their start ... and why they are still flourishing today.

Just eloped

Most elopements now are a lifestyle choice.

Kate Stanton   Kate Stanton bypassed the big white wedding and, despite some anxiety about breaking the news to her mum, has no regrets.

How well does 'feminist Tinder' work, really?

What the French 'right to disconnect' could teach us about the internet

Clem Bastow   'Bumble' worked for Amy Schumer, but how does it actually stack up in real life?

Love at 60

Are you ever too old for another great love?

I understand that dating in middle age can be incredibly difficult but am I naive for believing that someone like my ...

Olivia Clement   The idea of 'settling' has negative connotations. But, as we grow older, is it sensible to look for a stable partner rather than a passionate love affair?

Dangerous liaisons

"The gods were angry, the way they can be with lovers."

Victoria Thompson   Victoria Thompson played with fire when she began an affair with her therapist.

Moving in

Living alone, I learned to be happy single. So why move in with my boyfriend?

"This apartment is where I learned I don't need a man to be happy," writes Daniela Petrova.

Daniela Petrova   "This apartment is where I learned I don't need a man to be happy," writes Daniela Petrova.