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Love Lessons Ripped from the Headlines


"Certain things should be kept private, or the relationship will be destroyed," says therapist Gilda Carle, Ph.D., author of Don't Bet on the Prince! Celebs who overshare may believe it brings them closer to their fans, and that might be true -- after all, who doesn't love hearing a sweet proposal story, whether it's from your best friend or your favorite actress?

But when you lay your heart open to the entire world, there's nothing left that's just for the two of you alone -- something every relationship needs in order to survive.

So although strangers may not be lining up to read about every twist and turn in your romantic life, you can protect your love by keeping certain things under wraps, just like smart celebrities do. (Think of Julia Roberts or J.Lo, who've both had multiple relationships very publicly fall apart -- but are now enjoying their current loves out of the spotlight.)

Your girlfriends don't need to know what your guy said in bed last night, and your mom doesn't need the play-by-play of every argument. After all, a relationship is kind of like an amusement park: It's always an adventure, but it's even more fun without the crowds.

#2: Don't Get Blinded by Romance
In interviews, Denise Richards used to rave about how then-husband Charlie Sheen showered her with flowers, jewelry, and even Manolo Blahniks, and how she knew on her second date that he was "the one."

Meanwhile, she dismissed his troubled past -- a drug overdose, a well-publicized association with a certain Hollywood madam -- explaining that she didn't like to have preconceived notions about people because she didn't like it when people had them about her.

Here's the thing: We're conditioned to believe that love should hit us over the head like a thunderbolt and be punctuated with a trail of red roses. But the true lifeblood of a relationship isn't the jewelry and flower arrangements, it's the day-to-day mundane activities that make up a shared life.

No one's saying that you shouldn't cherish all the presents and romantic surprises your partner gives you. But there's a difference between over-the-top romance, which can't be sustained, and the sweet gestures that truly stand the test of time -- such as the way Pierce Brosnan reportedly brings wife Keely Shaye Smith breakfast in bed with a single flower from their garden every day.

After all, anyone can pick out diamonds or a dozen roses, but a guy who holds your head when you're sick, picks up your favorite ice cream from the store "just because," and has a solid track record of good behavior to boot -- he's really the one.

#3: Steer Clear of Other Couples That Behave Badly
In retrospect, perhaps Denise and Charlie weren't the best double-date partners for Heather Locklear and Richie Sambora.

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