Well, it’s Valentine’s Day and what better time to share with you one of the most influential articles I’ve ever read about love & relationships. Mark Manson, our author, decided to poll his own blog audience for advice in the week leading up to his own wedding. To borrow from Mark, “I sent out the call the week before my wedding: anyone who has been married for 10+ years and is still happy in their relationship, what lessons would you pass down to others if you could? What is working for you and your partner? And if you are divorced, what didn’t work previously?” This article was pulled from the overwhelming response Mark received from almost 1,500 people from around the world. The reasons why are not only insightful, but downright relatable to any person in any sort of relationship.



Every single time I’ve read this article, I learn something new about myself, the way I show love, and those relationships close to me, so I’m incredibly excited to share it with you all in the hopes that you find as much inspiration {and dare I say, motivation?} from it as I do. We all know love is a constant ebb and flow of emotions, and even the strongest, healthiest relationships need help & advice sometimes. I have found ways to relate to Mark’s words in numerous ways – from his analogies to his real-life examples from readers, his article is raw and realand just the reminder we all need sometimes.

I could have easily copy/pasted this entire article simply because there are so many incredible call outs & points being being made {and you might read the below and think that I did!} But, believe it or not, I showed restraint, even when I didn’t want too. With that being said, highly encourage you, if you have the time, to should read this article in it’s entirety because it may very well change your relationship, and your life.

  • Be together for the right reasons
    • ….everything that makes a relationship “work” (and by work, I mean that it is happy and sustainable for both people involved) requires a genuine, deep-level admiration for each other. Without that mutual admiration, everything else will unravel.
    • It’s useful to point out that love, itself, is neutral. It is something that can be both healthy or unhealthy, helpful or harmful, depending on why and how you love someone else and are loved by someone else. By itself, love is never enough to sustain a relationship.
      SPACE
  • Have realistic expectations about relationships and romance
    • There will be days, or weeks, or maybe even longer, when you aren’t all mushy-gushy in-love. You’re even going to wake up some morning and think, “Ugh, you’re still here….” That’s normal! And more importantly, sticking it out is totally worth it, because that, too, will change. In a day, or a week, or maybe even longer, you’ll look at that person and a giant wave of love will inundate you, and you’ll love them so much you think your heart can’t possibly hold it all and is going to burst. Because a love that’s alive is also constantly evolving. It expands and contracts and mellows and deepens. It’s not going to be the way it used to be, or the way it will be, and it shouldn’t be.
    • True love—that is, deep, abiding love that is impervious to emotional whims or fancy—is a choice. It’s a constant commitment to a person regardless of the present circumstances. It’s a commitment to a person who you understand isn’t going to always make you happy—nor should they!—and a person who will need to rely on you at times, just as you will rely on them.
      That form of love is much harder. Primarily because it often doesn’t feel very good. It’s unglamorous. It’s lots of early morning doctor’s visits. It’s cleaning up bodily fluids you’d rather not be cleaning up. It’s dealing with another person’s insecurities and fears and ideas, even when you don’t want to.
      But this form of love is also far more satisfying and meaningful. And, at the end of the day, it brings true happiness, not just another series of highs.
      SPACE
  • The most important factor in a relationship is not communication, but respect
    • As we scanned through the hundreds of responses we received, my assistant and I began to notice an interesting trend. People who had been through divorces and/or had only been with their partners for 10-15 years almost always talked about communication being the most important part of making things work. Talk frequently. Talk openly. Talk about everything, even if it hurts. And there is some merit to that (which I’ll get to later). But we noticed that the thing people with marriages going on 20, 30, or even 40 years talked about most was respect. My sense is that these people, through sheer quantity of experience, have learned that communication, no matter how open, transparent and disciplined, will always break down at some point. Conflicts are ultimately unavoidable, and feelings will always be hurt. And the only thing that can save you and your partner, that can cushion you both to the hard landing of human fallibility, is an unerring respect for one another, the fact that you hold each other in high esteem, believe in one another—often more than you each believe in yourselves—and trust that your partner is doing his/her best with what they’ve got. Without that bedrock of respect underneath you, you will doubt each other’s intentions. You will judge their choices and encroach on their independence. You will feel the need to hide things from one another for fear of criticism. And this is when the cracks in the edifice begin to appear.
      SPACE