I am a 26 year old woman and live with my fiancé who I've been with for almost eight years.
I'm having a blast planning my wedding and get to do so much talking about relationships now that I feel even more like an expert than before. We talk constantly about what marriage means to us, what children would add/bring to our lives, and what kinds of things are crucial elements of our relationship and which are baggage that we are leaving behind in Single Land.
No "Right" or "Wrong" Decisions
My life and relationship philosophy is that there are no "right" or "wrong" decisions. I am not very judgmental, because I have done plenty of things which others thought were bad decisions but turned out either great or else I learned a lot from and became a better person.
People Should Take Responsibilty for Their Actions
There is one thing in relationships I can't stand though that is people not acting like adults! I think in general people need to take responsibility for their own actions, be willing to stick up for themselves and their needs, and recognize what they can't change.
My First Boyfriend Was Abusive
My own experiences have led me to these viewpoints. My first
relationship was at only fifteen years old, with a horrible guy who was abusive. I don't regret plunging into a relationship so young, though by sixteen I knew qualities that I would avoid in men for the rest of my life and also learned early on about my own sexuality.
Even in my third and current relationship I've had learning experiences including not being very smart about birth control. I learned a lot from those early experiences too and have now become an advocate for my own health and
happiness in our relationship which I think gives him freedom to do the same and makes us happier people all around.
I Work with Families and Kids
My work experiences have also influenced my relationship philosophies. I've worked with abusive families and kids in trouble. Working with them helped me learn that no person is one dimensional all of us are complex people with both positive and negative qualities, and that it takes more than a "case file" to learn those qualities.
I am very open minded and patient as a result. My advice on the panel tends to be liberal and open minded, with a strong emphasis on being responsible.