I’m not an expert on relationships. I’m not sure I’m an expert on anything, but that’s a discussion for another day, perhaps. Regardless, I’m often asked for relationship advice—mostly because I’m good at holding space, but also because one of my superpowers is saying what everyone else is thinking.
So when someone emailed me last week asking for advice on maintaining a healthy relationship, I had to laugh. I’ve been in more unhealthy relationships than healthy ones. I’ve been in abusive relationships. Toxic relationships. Codependent relationships. I’ve been divorced, twice. None of us are without our fair share of scars.
And I don’t regret any of it. All of that trauma and drama taught me how to love, how to leave, and how to come back to myself—which I think is the most important ingredient in a healthy relationship. Nothing is more potent, more powerful than being true to YOURSELF, loving yourself, showing up as your fullest self.
The best relationship advice I can give isn’t about other people, it’s about you. Love yourself. Trust yourself. Show up for yourself. And if you’re brave enough to find someone who is doing the same, let them be themselves. Encourage them to love themselves. Love each other by individually standing fully in your power.
Healthy relationships with others—romantic or otherwise—can only happen if we have healthy relationships with ourselves first. PERIOD.
Other things that are helpful: shared value systems, similar interests, a willingness to have messy conversations, belly laughs, the freedom to be silly, mutual respect, giving each other space without taking it personally, hating all the same things, genuinely wanting the other person to shine, being willing to bury a body w/ them—even if it means breaking a nail.
Things that don’t matter: money, status, previous partners, sexual history, history in general. So many things don’t matter. So many things are trash.
Take out the trash and make your own rules. Hold your own heart in your own hands. Believe that hearts have the power to break and bend and heal and conquer. Believe in your capacity to give and receive love. Have strong boundaries. Give strong hugs.