Category Archives: Communication

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The Greatest Mistake We Don’t Know We’re Making In Love

When I was nineteen I was so in love. And like it seems to always happen with great relationships at that age, she went away to college. When she was leaving we had that standard conversation about what the relationship was going to look like, but at that point in our lives it almost seemed doomed to fail. Two people in their late teens, both embarking on the initial steps of creating their schooling and careers, in two different countries. A hard time to make promises, especially ones with such a fleeting feeling as love can sometimes be. So we framed the relationship in a way that we would be allowed to “see” other people, we would just communicate when that happened(Great plan right?!).

So, in the car she went, and go she did.

Being that I was still home, everything around me still reminded me of her. It was torturous. And for her the excitement was never-ending: new school, new people, athletic fame. My heart was attached to the familiar, and hers was exploding with novelty.

The days turned into weeks, the communication was less and less. And then finally she came back for Thanksgiving. Except, she brought her “friend”, the handsome running back with the perfect smile.

I had Thanksgiving dinner with her and her family, and that “friend”. And in hindsight I can’t believe I actually sat there as I was being disrespected with each bite.

I’m not sure how naive I really was back then?!? I believed in the best in people, but I also failed to see the truths that were right in front of my eyes. I skipped the red flags to avoid the pain. Pain that was clearly very imminent to any onlooker.

She would (obviously) go on to date this guy, and I would remain in a crumpled heap of resentment. Resenting myself mostly, for not having a backbone to tell her that her way of being didn’t make my heart feel so good. That she was being sh*tty. But I was so afraid to lose her before that moment, that I let sh*t slide. Sh*t that should definitely not have slid… Sh*t that should’ve been picked up, bagged, and tossed.

A lot of what happened was my fault. I didn’t call her to be better. I didn’t have the tools to challenge her to grow.

Not many people know this, but it took me almost two years(more than that actually… you’ll see) for me to get over this experience. And by “get over”, I mean for it not to haunt me. For her face to not appear every time I closed my eyes. I thought I had known heartbreak before this… but I can honestly say that this was one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever had in my life.

As heartbreak can often do, this one would change me in more ways than I would ever have imagined.

I began living life as a different man. I hid my heart. I started to drink more. And I became lady crazy. I don’t mean kinda crazy, I mean they were like a drug to me. I wanted all of them.

I figured that if being a great boyfriend and being kind and loving got me heartbreak, then I was done with it. I decided that I would do everything I could to not let another woman hurt me. I decided that it was time to start accumulating status, money, and ladies. I set the goal to make 100k/year and to have a porsche, a house, and a plethora of female experience.

With my new goals in mind I hit the bar scene eager and naive. Only a couple of weeks after my devastating breakup, on halloween, I did two things I had never done before: I made out with a girl on the dance floor, and brought a different girl home… to my parents’ house. Who was, ironically, dressed as a devil.

I had never done this one night stand thing before. But I did know how to talk shit. So, I talked about all of the crazy sex-fuelled stuff I was going to do to her, and then when I went to have sex with her, I had another first, it was like putting a marshmallow in a piggy bank. One. Night. Stand. Fail.

And I wish I could blame alcohol, but that had never affected my performance. I’ll tell you exactly why: because I was stepping outside my integrity and who I was in my heart.

But that didn’t stop me. I would be committed to this new way of life. My solution to my new found emotional erectile dysfunction would be to drink the anxiety away. To anesthetize my heart, and to win the acclaim of men around me for my skills with the ladies. I would not only get to experience the “love” of many women, but also become an incredible story teller.

It’s interesting to look back at this time, because, to be honest, I didn’t know what I was doing. I couldn’t consciously see why I was doing what I was doing. I just knew it didn’t feel good in my heart. But it definitely felt good in terms of novelty and orgasms.

But it had become part of my identity. To be a ladies man and to be celebrated for the things I saw in rap videos.

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I got asked recently, “Who do you think you need to be to be loved?”

And wow. That floored me. Who I’ve thought I needed to be has shifted for me as I have grown up.

When I was in my teens it was being funny, athletic, kind, and a good man. Striving to help others, and always being sensitive and empathetic to those around me.

After my breakup though it changed. I did something one should never do: I made someone else not choosing me mean that I wasn’t good enough. Since I didn’t feel like I was good enough as I was, I chose to become someone else. I abandoned parts of my true self to ensure I got the love of others. I became who I thought I needed to be to be loved. Because I thought who I was, wasn’t good enough.

In the last seventeen years I have had so many amazing women in my life. Some of them (obviously) shorter experiences than others… Shit, I’ve even had a fiancee. I’ve shared laughs, cries, travel, adventures, heartbreak, and learnings that I would never take back.

Through all of it I see that I have had women who are willing to show up for me. To love me. To choose me.

But I couldn’t see them then. I was so busy running from love that I didn’t see it sitting in front of my eyes at every turn.

It killed me when I realized this recently, but I haven’t let anyone love me in seventeen years. Seventeen effing years. Sure, I’ve been in relationships. But I never  actually let anyone *in*. Mostly, because I thought if I let someone love all of me they would hurt me. They would leave. They would make me heartbroken.

It’s flawed logic isn’t it?

To ask for love and not willing to be heartbroken. Knowing that the depth we love is always met with an equal and opposite potential for heartbreak.

Also, to be in a relationship with the purpose of seeking love and affection, yet never allowing anyone to give it to us. And on top of all of that, expecting others to love us when we haven’t even taken the time to love ourselves.

I now see that the journey is always inside our own hearts first. I see that the amount of love we have for another is limited by the love we have for ourselves.

So I’ve journeyed within. I love hard. I live in the space of absolute authenticity now. I am me. That’s it. I write and speak on the subject of how humans connect because it’s my favourite. To help people find and see their truth so they can then connect better with others. I write about my journey because I’m not afraid of owning my sh*t, and I hope you may see parts of yourself in me so you may learn without making the same mistakes I’ve made.

I do not regret a moment of my past. I do not regret a single relationship or a single decision, and I would take every second, every fleeting romance, and every heartbreak just as they came. They have taught me so much, and any deviation wouldn’t have brought me where I am today. To a place I am extremely proud of.

In the last four years I have been going through an “unbecoming” of sorts. I recognize that no amount of money, ladies, cars, houses, or “stuff” will ever be able to replace authentic connection and showing up as who am in my core. We chase and accumulate these material things to avoid ourselves. To avoid actually showing up unapologetically and saying, “I trust that you’ll love me for me, and if you can’t/won’t, that’s okay, because I’m amazing how I am and if you won’t, I will find someone who will. I am not willing to become someone else to be with you.”

Here’s what I know to be true:

Show up for the world. Show up for you. Let go of all of the bullsh*t and just allow yourself to be who you are. No one is going to give you permission. No one is going to make you. If you truly want to love and build partnership, you have to let yourself be you. You have to stand in your truth. You have to remove the layers of who you think you need to be to be loved, so that you can love all out.

I feel like I’ve just been born again. Definitely not as a virgin though. But more so as me. To fall in love. To be given another chance. To actually give another woman a chance. To focus on being the good man I know I am.

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5 Questions People In Successful Relationships Ask Themselves

Determining what relationship success is to each and every one of us is tricky isn’t it? It’s a definition that is very personal and one that many people have lots of differing opinions on. Being “together” is just one marker of success. But there are many other dynamics that go into having a thriving and amazing relationship. 

One of the greatest influences on our relationship success is our ability to understand who we have shown up as in our past so we can look with clear and sober eyes at the choices we’re making today. Ultimately, everything we do in this moment is determining our future, so it would be important to choose appropriately, if in our future we see a loving and fulfilling relationship. 

Having thriving and fulfilling relationships is one of the greatest contributors to human happiness. Even though at some points in our lives it can feel like a far off dream, having a great relationship is an achievable goal for anyone

So, with that said, here are 5 questions that will help set us all up for relationship success:

1. Are we being our best selves? 

We’re usually just trying to keep our sh*t together aren’t we? Life is messy. Everyone around us is struggling with similar things, and even on the best days we don’t always have our heads on straight. All we can do is the best we can.

And that leads to an interesting question: Are we doing the best we can? When life hands us plot twists, are we still showing up? We must be mindful of what we’re choosing in our lives and how we want others to show up for us. If we want honesty, are we always honest? If we want integrity, what areas of our lives lack it? We want someone who has certain values, are we actually living those values?

The people who show up in our lives are generally a reflection of us. That’s why the saying, “If you want to find the one, be the one” makes so much sense, because we cannot ask for what we’re not willing to be. If we consistently live everyday making choices and having habits that keep us average, the by-product is that we will be creating a life and relationship that reflects just that. Let’s raise our game! It’s time to give our best so we can get the best.

2. Are we limiting or blocking  the  love we’re capable of? 

Do we have reasons we limit our vulnerability? Do we share our greatest fears with our partner? We all have pasts and experiences that can close our hearts. In order to be present and exist in a high functioning relationship, it’s important to do our own work. To ask ourselves, “Why do we do the things we do?”

With those answers and insights we can then change our unhealthy behaviours into ones that contribute to a loving relationship that allows us to be our authentic selves. Which leads to the next…

3. Are we able to be ourselves? 

Relationships are not where we go to pretend. They are not the place we should have to wear a mask and limit our dreams and play small.

I once asked a friend if his wife knew his biggest dreams? He said, “No, that would freak her out.” 

That freaked me out. How do we not share who we are at our core with the person that we’re wanting to share a life with? Why would we want to be with someone who doesn’t push us to achieve all of our wildest dreams? Someone who expects us to grow and learn ourselves and tap into our unlimited potential?

Our relationship is where we take off the mask and get to recharge.

If we’re constantly on our tippy toes and afraid to speak our truth, then our relationship will be where we spend more energy than we gain from it, because we’ll be using all of our energy on pretending to be someone we aren’t

4. Is our partner getting what they need? Check-in. All. The. Time. 

We don’t often check-in with our partners do we? We’re usually really scared of what we might hear. Ask each other if the relationship is working. Ask what could be better. Do not wait till there is a tsunami of emotion before we realize that we could’ve changed our behaviours and the direction of the relationship earlier.

Relationships usually end because they can’t handle the barrage of five years of problems coming out in one moment. If we adjust our sails as we go, moment by moment, we can ensure that the ship(our relationship) doesn’t get too far off-course. 

5. Are we  holding on to a relationship that we’ve outgrown? 

There’s a big difference between being in a relationship that we want to work through and one that we don’t. It’s important to ask ourselves if we’re in the relationship out of habit and routine? Have our paths and roles in each other’s lives come to a conclusion?

Sometimes our hearts just don’t want to be there anymore. And that’s ok.

We cannot run from the alarms and deep knowing as to what we need to do. Make being true to ourselves more important than anything else, including “staying together”. There is a beauty in honouring that, and by moving forward we create space for someone new to come into our lives who is more aligned with us. 

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It is often stated that relationships are “hard work”. If we believe that to be true then that can support us accepting and staying in relationship circumstances that are very far from ideal. A simple shift is;  

Relationships require effort. 

And, like it or not, that effort must come from both sides. We must be personally willing to live all of the things we expect from our partners. We must be willing to take a step back and an honest look at what kind of partner we’re being.

It requires a high level of vulnerability and the courage to say things like, “I’m just not that happy right now, how about you? What can we do to change that?” And equally just as much courage to tell them how much we love, value, and want them in our lives.

Often, what we fail to see, is all of the conversations that can potentially end our relationships, are the very ones that bring us closer together. It is through love and connections that we are invited to evolve and grow into our best selves. We just have to accept that invitation.

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The One Dating Conversation You’re Not Having That Could Make Or Break Your Future

When I was younger the setting of most of my teenage make-outs was far from ideal. I mean, there was a roof over my head, and food in the fridge, but in the basement of our family home, nestled in the back corner, was our “study”. The temperature of our basement was sometimes close to freezing, and I can remember mornings when I could see my breath. Hardly the ideal environment to try to get a girl’s clothes off.

But alas, I was a resilient young man. Temperature wasn’t going to stop me from studying the female body. I can remember a specific time when I was making out with a girl who I had been dating for a little over a month. We hadn’t had “The Talk” yet, but I could feel it perched on the ledge of her every breath. 

As my hand moved to the clasp of her bra, she grabbed my face and aggressively demanded my focus to her eyes. Raging with testosterone and trepidation for the imminent conversation that was about to happen, blood redirected itself to my brain to collect my thoughts as she sheepishly mumbled:

“What is going on between us?”

Well, that killed the mood. 

The man in me wondered, “Why couldn’t she have just waited another forty-five minutes (ten minutes is probably more realistic) to have this conversation?”

I had known that this conversation would come, and it would be the end of my relationship-free romance. It wasn’t that I was seeing other people, or that I didn’t enjoy her company. I did. I just didn’t want to be ‘in’ a relationship with her.

Let’s talk about the dating and relationship rules that we seem to have formulated when it comes to trying to navigate the booby-traps of new love.

She wanted to talk about ‘us’ for awhile. She likely chatted with her friends and they went through the formulaic algorithm that we seem to have created for the specific question we all seem to ponder:

“When is it ok to have the talk about what our relationship status is?”

Let me be very clear:

It is ok to have that conversation the moment you wonder (I’ll explain). 

I work with people all of the time who avoid this conversation because they’re afraid of what they might hear. They’re afraid that the response will be different than what they want to hear. They’re afraid that the person they’re dating might not want what they want, and that scares the crap out of them.

Think about what belief is REALLY going on here and what we’re giving meaning to:

Someone else not wanting what we want means that they don’t want us. 

AND 

We would rather avoid that conversation to avoid rejection, than get clear information on how to best make  informed decisions moving forward.

Look, I’m not here to sugarcoat or placate to the tenderness people want to hear. I’m going to tell you what’s up.

Let’s consider how this impacts our lives; we avoid conversations where we could get more clarity about someone’s intentions because we’re afraid their intentions (to be or not be in a relationship) may not match ours. 

That’s seems sort of ridiculous, doesn’t it?!

Let’s think of this scenario differently. 

Imagine that lately you’ve been feeling ill. For some time now, something in your body is just not feeling right. And, like most of us, you consider your options:

(a) Go to the doctor, find out what’s going on (and maybe that it’s nothing) and do something about it (or not), or

(b) Ignore it and allow it to grow into something that we can no longer treat. And potentially, you could die.

Your sickness becomes a colossal mess because, out of fear of hearing something might be wrong with you, you avoid the very information that would allow you to make proactive decisions and act. 

I know this sounds extreme — Because this is very serious.

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Here are 4 long-term and very serious consequences of avoiding “The Talk”:

1. You are building two roads to two different places:  Imagine that both you and your partner own a construction company, and that this company builds roads. When you consider what the company mission statement is, your belief is that you’re building roads that lead to wedded bliss.  And oddly, when probed, we find out that his/hers leads to orgasms, lack of commitment, and fleeting love that allows them to sample all the goods around. 

Wow. Quite a difference. So, if this goes undiscussed, we’ll have one company, building two different things. Doesn’t sound very smart, does it?

When this happens in the context of relationships, we’ll have hurt, anxiety, pain, and lots of time we can NEVER get back. All because we never talked about relationship mission statements. 

Don’t be fooled. Relationships require similar mission statements and intentions. Because, when not aligned, all of a sudden, maybe it’s three months or ten years down the road, you’re going to realize that you’re not building what you thought you were building. And you’re going to be really, really, really(really) angry. 

And the truth is, you should be frustrated with yourself, because all you had to do was ask. 

2. You are destroying your self-worth:  When we avoid speaking our truth and what we desire from a relationship, we step further and further away from our hearts. We are, indirectly, telling ourselves that what we want isn’t important. Our desires and beliefs don’t matter. What we need, doesn’t matter. We…don’t matter. And if we have kids, we’re teaching them the exact same thing. It is that big of a deal.

3. You are wasting valuable time:  Tick Tock goes the clock. Maybe right now you think it’s not a big deal – you’ve got time, right? What’s another couple weeks or months? Well, quickly, those months will turn into years. And you will be left in a desecrated pile of “I should haves” and, “Why didn’t I justs” as you pick up the pieces of your broken heart, one that you consciously chose to break by not having the conversations that matter. 

And if that doesn’t sound serious enough, consider how quickly our lives can change. One coffee shop lineup, one yoga class, one walk in the park. That’s all it takes to meet the person we’ve been seeking. But you’ll never be in that position to meet them if you don’t take control of your life and make conscious decisions about who you want in it. 

4. You are filling the gap:  Maybe there’s many reasons you’re avoiding the conversation. Maybe you like companionship? Great. Maybe you like getting laid and spooning to Netflix marathons? Who doesn’t?! Maybe this person is almost what you want but not quite it. What’s the harm? 

But they’re not that person. And the longer you hold onto them and fill the space of partnership in your life with mediocrity, you take away the space for your match to enter it.

Chew on that for awhile(but not too long, we’ve got love to find.)


Truth be told, there is no magic formula to dating. That’s why the book “He’s Just Not That Into You” doesn’t mean anything when we’re in the storm, because when emotion is involved it’s hard for us to be impartial. 

There are rules that are right sometimes, but if there is anything I’ve learned from dating, it’s this: 

When we are really into someone, none of the rules matter. All the books and courses we have taken mean nothing. We text and call as much as we want. We see each other as much as we want. We kiss when we want. We even bang when we want. And we say, “I love you” when we feel it. 

When we start worrying about all the algorithms and pathways we need to go down, we begin to step outside ourselves. We loose our authenticity and our honesty, because we are pretending to be someone we’re not. 

Let’s be our quirky, funny, weird, witty, sarcastic, awkward, and amazing selves. When we do that we give ourselves the freedom to just be. We’re not putting our energy into pretending, and that means we can put more energy into loving.

SPOILER ALERT: That girl and I broke up. And I never got to finish the make-out. Because I didn’t tell her what she wanted to hear. I told her the truth. The end. 

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Why The Promise Of Forever Can Mean The Death Of Your Relationship

It’s really interesting that we go from relationships of varying quality and length in our teens and twenties and then leap into a “serious” relationship or marriage and expect it to last forever.

Often, we haven’t learned from our past relationships or taken the time to ask ourselves how we contributed to those relationship outcomes. When a relationship ends, it’s easy to blame the other person but sometimes we neglect to explore what our role was.

How do we learn how to “be” in a relationship? Are we ever really ready for marriage and lifelong monogamy?

Most of our relationship knowledge and skills come from our parents and various other mentors.

This can be a good thing. But it can also be an extremely bad thing.

Our parents might have left a path of destruction and then we wonder why we have blocks to love. Seldom is it true that they loved perfectly and are models of monogamistic bliss. They are human after all.

By the time we finally “commit”, most of us have not actively sought out what makes relationships work.  We haven’t done an inventory of the behaviours we have and don’t have, that influence how we merge hearts and how to build and maintain love.

On top of that, we might never have learned how to pick great partners or to explore and honour what connection truly is.

Relationships don’t generally last a lifetime. I’m not trying to be a negative dick. This is a fact. One that we usually choose to ignore.

People get fired up over divorce and breakups. As a society, we frown upon the divorced. Their story reflects one of our greatest fears; that our relationships might one day end too.

And that fear makes sense. Breakups are hard and it’s easy to get caught up in the dream of soulmates and having one lover for our lifetime. We all want to believe that life and love is always puppy dogs and ice cream. (I love both).

It’s not. Love can be hard. Love can hurt. Love sometimes feels as though it fails us. And ironically, love is often one of our greatest sources of pain.

And if love wasn’t already hard enough, let’s throw in the fact that sometimes we make bad choices and end up down a path that is no longer where we want to be. After all, this is real life. Not a fairy tale or perfect love story.

In this real life, relationships don’t “fail” per se. We tend to outgrow them, or don’t have the skills necessary to navigate them. We often don’t know or understand how to grow together. And at times, we exist in relationships where we were never really invested in the first place.

Relationship longevity is only ONE marker of relationship success.

Certainly not the only one.

But it is BY FAR the one we place the most emphasis on.

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This is ridiculous. If “staying together” is our gauge of success, then almost everyone on this planet is/will be, or has been a failure at some point in their life. And all of us have this human relationship game all wrong.

The truth is that anyone can make the worst relationship last forever. Because “staying together” tells us nothing about the juice of the relationship. It’s not a marker of the quality of the relationship.

I believe we should define relationship success in a way that holds us accountable.

Are you doing the best you can? Are you being the best possible partner you know you’re capable of being? Are you making the choices and living in a way that you expect from your partner?

Yes? Amazing.

No? Why not?

Do you love who you are and bring that back to the relationship?

If not, why? What’s holding you back?

Instead of being driven and focused by needing the relationship to last forever, set it as an intention that guides your behaviour in each moment.

Relationship success is about living in the now and showing up each day. It’s about being the best possible version of you in each moment. And choosing your partner – moment by moment.

We can only take responsibility for our side of the relationship. It’s up to us to set the benchmark for the type of relationship we want. Those that can’t keep up, won’t. But instead of holding onto someone and dating their potential, let them go and find someone who’s ready and wants to love like you do.

By living and loving this way, we reframe what the end of a relationship means for us. We do everything we can and if a relationship ends, we let it go because we’ve done our best. We’ve given it our all. 

You are accountable to your potential. How you choose to live and love is up to you! Don’t wait until shit hits the fan to figure out how to be a great partner.

Choose to be amazing today.

Strive to be and do the best you can. Embrace the adventure. Accept and appreciate your learnings. And always move forward. Even if it’s just a small step.

When we live and love like this, moments add up into days, the days into years, and maybe even the years into your forever.

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A Shout-Out To The Good Dads, You’re Changing The World

For the most part we learn and develop our relationship skills through the modelling and integration of how our parents communicated and loved. For a lot of people that’s an incredibly good thing, and for others, it can be a challenge to unlearn unhealthy behaviours so that they can thrive in their romantic relationships.

The real struggle (and empowered truth) is that relationship skills appear to be hereditary. And what our parents struggle with, likely theirs did as well. It’s not about pointing fingers, being a victim, or blaming them for our faults. I see many behaviours I’ve picked up from observing my parents and/or other mentors. But instead of using these challenges as the reason to stay stuck and blame them for our relationship failures, we can see that this awareness allows us to change the pattern.

My father and I share many deep conversations on love. Unlike the models that most men are taught, my father has always been exceptionally good at peering into my heart. He would ask the right questions to get to the bottom of my fears, and even further, he would allow me the safe and loving space to be who I was and feel everything I was feeling. Regardless of whether it was considered “manly”.

I realize that this is rare. I also recognize that my father is born in an era where these acknowledgments of emotion are few and far between. After another one of our “talks” the other day I asked him, “How is it that in a time when men were not endorsed or promoted to be emotional, you have embodied so many of these essential skills?”

My father replied, “My past relationships and the one with your mother demanded it of me. And your grandfather often would to talk to us, as kids, about how we were feeling. Your grandfather was a very emotionally intelligent man.”

And it had me thinking… Is being a gentleman hereditary?! I thought about all of those times that my grandfather was transferring these skills to his kids, he never realized the massive impact he was actually having. His desire to be present and defy the mould of the classic male archetype has transcended two generations. And it has inspired a lot of the work I do.

Wow. That, to me, is so powerful. The decisions of one man can change the course of his kids lives, and then, in turn, the lives they touch, and so one. That is incredible. My grandfather wasn’t always a great partner, and my father recognized some of grandpa’s language choices and shifted how he showed up in his relationships. This is the perfect evidence that we have the power to change how we love and communicate in any moment. Unlike the DNA genetics we pass on, the emotional genetics are ones we can consciously choose to change. And that, in turn, impacts people and has the rippling effect to change the world.

I’m not a father, however I can tell you that I take the words I choose and the role I have in people’s lives very seriously. I consider how I’m modelling my behaviour for strangers, kids, and partners.

If our fathers don’t connect with us then it’s important to try to connect with our fathers. Not all of our fathers are going to be open to that, and that reality is okay. We can’t make people become how we wish them to become. We can’t force someone to open up emotionally. But, what we can do is invite them to join us. We can start by being the one who initiates the conversation. Have you ever asked what your father’s greatest dream is? What is his greatest fear? Just these two questions are ones not everyone discusses, but they are a safer gateway to vulnerability.

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Now, I recognize that not everyone shares the same childhood experience and some men don’t even have fathers present. So how do we change the way we have learned to communicate and show up so that we can change the lineage of our emotional intelligence? How do we become the “ideal” man who communicates from a place of kindness and empathy, and still knows how to honour his boundaries?

1. Find a mentor: Look for men whom you look up to. Find men who are already the way you would like to be. The types of men who are already doing the type of job you want, emulate the integrity and values that resonate with you, and communicate with their friends and partners in a healthy and loving way. A mentor will offer guidance and feedback which we allow you to get to where you would like to be. To a life that is similar to theirs. My friend Connor Beaton has an organization called Mantalks that specializes in bringing great men together… which leads perfectly to number two….

2. Surround yourself with men like you want to become: When we have people around us who live the life we used to live and choose the things we no longer wish to choose anymore, they will be an anchor to our growth. Maybe the single greatest hack to our evolution is surrounding ourselves with men who reflect who we want to be.

How do we find those people? Go to events that your future self goes to. Ask friends if they have friends they could introduce you to. Every year I go to a conference by myself and/or sign up for a course that focuses on an area I would like to grow and expand in. This choice alone has expanded my network substantially. I’ve met incredible people, created lifelong friendships, and been influenced by the types of people I want influencing me.

3. Hire a coach:  During my whole life I have had amazing men around me and a fantastic community who have always supported me in every way I could imagine. And still, despite all of this, I know that hiring a coach is an investment in myself. The difference between a coach and a mentor is one I didn’t grasp till I hired a coach… We pay a coach to hold us accountable. Research suggests that when we pay someone for their time and to work with us we are more likely to engage in the necessary changes and growth that is agreed upon. Find a coach who works in the specific area you want to grow in.

◊♦◊

I never realized until that recent moment with my father how deeply grateful I am for the man he chose to be and the long lineage of men in my family. The words we choose, and the energy and intention we put behind those words can change the hereditary path of our families. We can literally decide that we will be the last generation to communicate from a place of fear.

Instead of passing on material and wealth, let’s strive to pass on healthy and loving communication. Let’s teach our children to honour their emotion and love their partner with the utmost respect and passion.


Originally published at www.reclaimingmalerolemodels.com

Good man, evolved man, evolved, relationship advice, dating advice, emotional intelligence, communication skills

Are There Enough Good Men For Good Women?

The other day I was speaking to my friend about the realities of dating and relationships today. It only takes a glimpse into the interactions on any relationship article or Instagram love quote, to see there are far more women reading and striving to improve their relationships than men.

This isn’t just true in the realm of social media. Women are the consumers of far more articles and books regarding bettering themselves in love. Whereas, we as men, are more open and willing to read a book on how to be a better leader, how to pick up women or manipulate our way through life. Many of these books, I’m reluctant to admit, have had a comfortable life on my shelf.

The line between work and home and how we behave is vague at best. As men, do we not see that the way we behave in romantic relationships and family systems is a form of leadership and teamwork too? That the way we are at home can translate to how we show up at work, and vice versa?

In addition, women are often a much more accurate barometer of the emotional state of relationships. Just think about the percentage of times a man says, “I want to talk about us” or “Things just seem off, I was hoping we could have a chat about how we’re doing.”

Male-initiated emotional conversations are few and far between. And this is even further supported by the mere fact that about two thirds of divorces are set in motion by women.

If we were to survey most established romantic relationships, it wouldn’t take long before we would see that men can exist in a relationship that is not necessarily amazing, but not bad either. Kind of like a “good enough to stay and not bad enough to leave” situation. I don’t mean all men, but most men. And when a woman finally leaves that’s when he says, “Wait!? I didn’t even realize things were bad! You never even tried!”

Oh yes. She did. And we were not listening, and maybe she was not saying it the right way. Or maybe no one taught us how to maintain a great relationship.

In order for men to thrive in relationships, good men need to teach good men.

However, with women there is a belief that they have an inherent ability to thrive in relationships and there is a pervasive arrogance to the messages regarding their emotional intelligence and capacity for love. One needs to only survey a couple of women before you’ll hear the commonly uttered phrase, “There are no good men out there.”

It’s a provocative thought isn’t it? Are there enough good men for good women? 

To move forward there is a need to define the idea of what makes a “good man” and what makes a “good woman”?

We could argue that a good man is one who shows integrity, honesty, the qualities of good fatherhood, supportiveness, empathy, and is kind in his words and offers fidelity. This is going to be defined a little differently by each person, but for sake of argument we can/will assume this is what makes men inherently “good”.

What defines a good woman? It’s likely very similar to what makes for a good man, except for the ever important caveat of women having different genitalia.

What makes a good women seems controversial to even discuss, doesn’t it? Because we usually just assume that on average women are the “good ones”, don’t we?

It sounds insulting to state “There are no good women out there” as it indicates that women on average are not good.

Then why is it ok to suggest that men are not good?

From what I have observed and read in the relationship world, I see that men are under the microscope when it comes to love and relationships, and women are told they are perfect at love, and that men need to step it up.

Have we truly invited men to be emotional?

Brené Brown’s research supports the idea that when a man breaks down and shares emotions with a woman, he loses her trust. His vulnerability reduces the safety his lady feels. This in turn, causes her to become angry and in some ways resent him for displaying a softer side of masculinity.

I thought we wanted emotional men? Is emotional equilibrium what we truly seek?

Based on the vast majority of literature and conversations I indulge in, the mass consensus appears to be that men should be to be able to talk about how they feel.

So what do women really want?

good man, evolved, emotional intelligence, communication skills, relationship advice, dating advice

It’s no wonder men feel confused about what role they need to play in relationships. There is a disconnect between what is asked of them and what they are empowered and rewarded for being.

Now, truth be told, it’s not like men everywhere are shedding tears, opening their hearts, and losing their woman because of emotional transparency. Men do not tend to share their emotions, they do not tell the women in their lives that they are upset or don’t feel loved.

Men are lost, because no one taught them what being a man means, or what they are taught is patriarchal and “old fashioned”.

Brene’s research demonstrates men being their vulnerable selves may actually result in disconnection with their partner, which is the opposite result of the intention of sharing. So on each man goes, pretending that men don’t have emotions and are not good at talking about feelings.

Because if he is sensitive he is a “pussy”, certainly not emotionally intelligent and aware of his emotional state.

We can safely say that all those things which traditionally defined the masculine model for the last couple of centuries have been displaced, and women often find themselves making the money and decisions.

We are quick to point out where men can step it up, but we do not think or discuss the idea of where women can step up their game, do we?

Women do so many things well. They show up emotionally and they create community. Women, are inherently good. They are beautifully kind, empathetic, nurturing and supportive. They build amazing social programs and have rallied to create a female empowerment movement that is unbelievably inspiring, and unbelievably needed.

There is still much oppression of the feminine, and every country and culture has a lot of work to do to have women treated with equality, and empowered and supported by all men.

That’s why I think this conversation is important, because in order for women to thrive, men need to as well.

I think that we are all here for connection and to share our hearts, but we cannot do it alone.

It begs me to ask: Are we forgetting about men, in the effort to save women? Have we forgotten about all the good men out there through our desire not to disturb the feminine?

Celebration of men and the male model is uncommon. We tend not to talk about all the amazing fathers, and unbelievably stand up men who we can call at any hour and would do anything for all the people in their lives.

Because there are a lot of them. 

I consider myself very fortunate to have grown up with, and really have only enjoyed the company of great men. Men of integrity and consistency in how they show up for the women and men in their lives. But, I do not think that it is rare, and it is not only my friends and athletic teammates who are like this.

Everywhere I travel I meet incredible men.

I can see and find good men, because they are who I look for. Just like all the women I know are incredible, intelligent, kind and have some of the brightest souls on the planet.

The truth is, we get what we focus on.

There are a lot of women who focus on their inability to find good men.

I hear “There are no good men out there” from women who have emotional wounds. Women who have chosen men and ignored red flags. Women who cheat and lie to themselves and others. Women who have their own work to do.

I’m not saying men don’t have work to do. We do. And women have work to do too. It’s a human problem, not a gender problem. We, as men, need to build from within first and create conscious communities where men can learn to support and develop together.

We need to teach each other, and even more importantly, we need to teach our sons how to become a good men and what that means. We need to be GREAT fathers.

We need to embrace and embody the emotional skills required of us to be amazing leaders in every facet of our lives. 

We need to show up for the women(and men) in our lives and demonstrate kindness and empathy. 

 We need to remember and celebrate all of the men who are changing the world. 

We need to create a space for men to thrive, and instead of trying to destroy each other, we need to build each other up. 

I commend all the good men who push for change and equality. Who don’t see gender, and instead see hearts; hearts that crave connection and love.

I am so proud to be a man and to share this planet with such amazing and wonderful men. 

To answer the question, “Are There Enough Good Men For Good Women?”: YES, I believe that there are more than enough good men out there.  And if this is true, it begs the next question:

Are there enough good women who can hold the space for good men? 

sex, marriage, boundaries, breakup

What The Nice Guy Can Learn From The A**hole

When I was a little kid I never really thought about what kind of “man” I needed to be. I didn’t think about gender roles when I played house or whether I was being “too nice” on the playground. I didn’t brag to other kids about how many chicks I got into the sandbox, and I certainly didn’t think about how long I needed to wait to call someone or whether my heart was at risk by putting it all out there. I just did.

None of us begin our lives considering being anything other than ourselves. But as we age, we are slowly taught the constructs of what makes “a man” and “a woman” so, and we begin to guide our behaviour from the outside in. The influence of culture, religion, media, and indirectly agreed upon norms, determines who becomes “cool” and who gets beat up for their lunch money.

In my first relationship it can be safe to say that by every definition I was the “nice guy”. I was accommodating, kind, empathetic, and I generally put other people’s feelings ahead of my own. I made it a priority that the lady in my life felt loved and appreciated. I mean, this was how my father treated my mother, and that seemed to be working out pretty well for him.

It didn’t work out very well for me.

We have these constructs of what it means to be a man that are reinforced by both genders. And together, we can’t seem to find a balance that allows for us(men) to meet women emotionally, while still retaining our masculinity and what it means to still have our balls.

Our lack of evolutionary development is evident but our inability to do this without having to go bedazzle our jeans, drink lots of beer, and fight other men because they looked in the general direction of our lady. A lady who we have yet to meet.

So what do women need today? And based on that complex algorithm that no mathematician would ever dare attempt, how does a man still be a man and meet all of those needs, while meeting his own?

In order to attempt to solve this, let’s deconstruct the mystery of the stigma surrounding the “Nice Guy” no one likes but woman claim they want, and the “A**hole” that keeps getting these women even though he treats them like shit.

There’s a certain negativity with being associated as the “Nice guy” isn’t there? It’s kind of like calling a girl “Homely”.

I’m no expert but it usually has a very strong correlation to the friend zone.

And, ultimately, their hearts and beds are often lonely places.

A sexless and lonely life. This doesn’t sound too fun does it?

But there are elements of the “Nice guy” that are actually very sought after. Being kind and generous are two of the largest contributors to a happy marriage. Nice guys are empathetic, compassionate and put everyone else ahead of themselves. They most certainly make tremendous fathers and are equally as good sons, brothers and workplace colleagues.

So if that is true then why do “Nice Guys Finish Last”? Or so we’ve been told.

Nice guys put everyone else’s needs ahead of their own at the the cost of their own dignity. And that, my friends, is the least attractive and most powerful libido killer in the world.

If we look at it from an evolutionary perspective though, there must be some genetic benefit or why would these men exist?

Sure there was. Evolutionary psychologists posit that it’s because “Nice Guys” are generally great fathers and providers.

While these pushovers are out there providing for their families and not saying “no” to even the most ridiculous requests like “go get me some ice cream” in the middle of the night… here slides in the “a**hole” and delivers some other cream.

And the nice guy finishes last, well, because the “a**hole” finishes first. On all accounts.

This bastard, with his etched jawline, motorcycle jacket and dashingly dangerous good looks is oozing testosterone. And it’s no surprise women are engaging with this guy. Women are usually more attracted to men with power and who have other markers of genetic superiority.

You know them, the men who don’t bother to call or text too much. They almost seem to not care.

You know why?

Because sought after mates don’t need to chase you. They don’t have the time because they have so many options. The psychological principles that drive those behaviours are what underpin a lot of the interactions for the pick up artists industry and the controversial behaviour of Julian Blanc. That stuff obviously works or else douche bags like that would never get laid.

Research suggests that women tend to be attracted to men with more masculine features during ovulation and for this reason are more likely to have a one night stand with genetic superiority. Physically genetic superiority that lacks the chivalry to pay for her taxi in the morning.

It’s not the lack of taxi slips or next day phone calls that this guy is missing. It’s what this behaviour points to – his kids would never survive with this type of parenting!

But that’s where the nerdy nice guy comes in. He raises this degenerate’s child and ensures evolutionary survival.

So wouldn’t the perfect recipe be some sort of combination of this sexy mimbo with the compassion and kindness of the nice guy?

You’ve got it.

We need the “a**hole” and the “nice guy” to breed and make a hybrid. (I know biologically this wouldn’t work but you get the analogy).

What’s the secret? Boundaries.

sex, passion, truth, love, relationships

Look, as you already know, I have been the nice guy. I have chased women for love. I’ve bought them gifts, driven them wherever they wanted to go, and taken them for dinner without even a peck goodnight. And the shit was like drugs. I couldn’t escape.

I chose to be a doormat.

And you know what happened?

Once my limits got tested and my patience wore thin I lost my shit. I didn’t know how to communicate my frustrations nor how to express to the women in my life that I didn’t like the way I was being treated.

I chose this. And I hated myself for it.

I thought, by expressing my disappointment with their behaviour and that they weren’t respecting my needs, I wouldn’t get their love.

So I stayed quiet and the pain turned to anger. Instead of expressing this anger I would just withdraw. I would put up a wall and run.

Unwilling to express how I felt and ask for what I needed meant what? I never received both the kind of love I wanted nor what I needed.

And the worst part, I resented myself for making other people more important than me.

So then came the opposite. I became the a**hole. I figured that if women wouldn’t respect my feelings then I would no longer share my heart with them and I began to chase affirmation through horizontal love. I disconnected my heart from sex because I would give them my body but never again would I give them my heart. (“You can take our lives but you’ll never take our FREEEEEDOM”).

This didn’t work out very well.

I floated from connection to connection. I never fully shared my heart but I was more than happy to throw on a movie and do a massage exchange. We know where that led. Boom Boom.

Outside of the pleasurable orgasms, sexual variety, and connecting with truly amazing women, I can see in hindsight that I was not being authentic. I wasn’t honouring what they needed and I wasn’t showing up for myself either.

I, now on the other end of the spectrum, still wasn’t asking for and getting what I needed. Sure, my boundaries were being respected but my relationships lacked vulnerability and any real emotional substance.

Truthfully, I had gone so far the other way that I had built walls around my heart and confused them with boundaries.

We are all put here to love. Deep down everyone is capable of compassion and empathy. Often though, after painful heartbreak we build walls and forget to love and honour ourselves and what we need. We are born with an understanding of what love is and the innate ability to love freely. But I, like so many others, feared if I gave it away freely, heartbreak would ensue.

I didn’t know how to satisfy the human need to love and connect and also be assertive and ask for what I wanted and needed to feel safe and loved myself.

In a lot of ways I didn’t feel worthy of asking.

I just didn’t know how to live vulnerably and honour my boundaries.

Fack, I had lost sight of what love really was.

I didn’t realize that love IS sharing all of the things that make you an amazingly giving partner.

It’s putting other people first when they need you and loving them for who they truly are.

It’s being vulnerable and opening your heart.

It’s not pretending to be anyone else but yourself.

I didn’t know how to do all of that AND ask for a partner to show up just as fully for me.

The problem with the a**holes’ life is it’s based on boundaries.

But like I had, the a**hole confuses boundaries with walls. He knows what he wants but he doesn’t know how to ask for it without feeling open to pain and hurt. He thinks that love is aggression, fleeting connections, and being the pimp that bangs the most chicks. He thinks that if he tags enough chicks he’ll never have to love one fully.

He thinks being “the man” is the same thing as being “a man”.

I know, because I’ve been him.

I was afraid to be nice because I didn’t understand how to love while maintaining what it meant for me to be a man.

And truth be told neither the nice guy nor the a**hole are far off.

They’re both scared of the same thing. Love.

And although they think they’re doing it right, they’re both going about getting it the wrong way.

If they combined forces and learnt from one another they would be the perfect man.

The nice guy finishes first when he realizes that being nice isn’t about being a doormat. It’s about being empathetic and kind when it’s needed, and also calling your partner to show up for you and letting them know when they’re not. We don’t need to be a**holes to get and keep the girl. We need to know our worth, love ourselves fully, and honour our needs and boundaries.

And that is what an amazing partnership and relationship is founded on.

The nice guy, as it turns out, is just a regular guy. And we’re all capable of being him, we just have to choose to be.

dating advice, relationship advice, love, positive psychology, couple,

5 Reasons Why You’ll Never Have The Relationship You Want

I get tired of hearing the same BS from people. Maybe it’s because on a lot of levels, I see so much of myself and how I used to see the world in other people’s reasons for love not succeeding. The complaints about how our relationships are just not working out as we had planned – they are words and feelings I’ve expressed.

Yet we’re not really doing anything to change the failures.

Much like you, I know how to play the intellectual game. I know how to see life as a victim and rationalize the excuses for why life hasn’t worked out exactly how I had envisioned. But once I became aware of my role in my choices, I could no longer accept how I was showing up to life.

I, like you, desperately crave connection. Connection is why we’re here.

Our social media is dedicated to this infatuation with love and we share quotes about all the things we dream of. Hell, I have a whole Instagram related to it.

And because of this reality, we can become obsessed with the dream. We see couples all around us laughing and having fun. And we think, “Why not me?! Why do they get a relationship and all I have had is a relationshit?!” (See what I did there?!)

We want love. We want the perfect fairytale, and we want it NOW.

Fact: Very few people’s lives actually reflect this desire.

And the irony is we are our own worst enemy. We get in our own way.

The beautiful thing about this reality is we can change it.

Here are 5 ways you’re holding yourself back from finding the love you want:

1. You Don’t Know What You Want. You talk about it. You have a pin board dedicated to it. Quotes fill your phone and you probably even have a tattoo on your ribs about love. But have you ever actually sat down and written out all of the things you want in a partner? Be specific. What is it about health and fitness? How do you want them to be able to communicate? What passions do you want to share? You need to set an intention and provide an invitation. That’s what you’re creating. Often when I ask this question, people will go off about what they don’t want. If that’s what you focus on, that’s exactly what you’ll get, which sets us up perfectly for numero dos.

2. You Don’t Have a Plan. But You Do Have Excuses. Amazing. You now know what you want, yet you don’t seem to be finding it. And you have all the reasons why this is true. You tell me that online dating is just not for you. That Tinder is just for hook-ups. That “it’s just too hard to meet people….” from your couch. Where do the people you want to meet hang out? Hang out there. Tired of not meeting people? Go out and meet some. It’s easy to meet people. They’re everywhere.

Everybody begins as strangers. Just start the conversation. We need to let go of the fear of rejection. If we refuse to put ourselves out there, do we not realize that we are just choosing to reject ourselves and the possibility of love?

By embracing rejection and talking to anybody and everybody, we open ourselves to the chance. And that is always better than no chance. That is the hope and beginning of the dream coming true. The key question is, are you hanging out in the right places or are you just addicted to the story of how nothing works out and that there are no good people out there, so you never have to change?

3. You Don’t Want What You Want Badly Enough. It’s no secret that it’s hard to maintain a commitment to the things we want. If it was easy, everyone would have six packs and chocolate would be a salad. The truth is that you talk about the things you want, but you’re not willing to make the changes in your life to get them. You know that list of things you want in a partner? Are you living that list? You say you want someone who does yoga, yet you go to the bar…and then miss yoga. You want someone who loves nutritious foods, but you always get fries on the side. Your life has to reflect your desires. Your life is a product of your choices. What are you choosing? This opens perfectly for number 4:

4. You Don’t Actually Want What You Say You Want. I love the people who talk about all the wonderful things that they wished filled their lives. They want honesty, commitment, integrity. Yet their life is filled with lies, they are always wearing a mask, they’re banging someone who’s in a relationship and they can’t leave a bar without a companion. I’m not telling you those things are bad (they are). I have chosen some of them in my past as well. The truth is that you have to live within the integrity of your words. You can scream from the rooftops about the love you desire, but would that love ever stop to talk to you with the current life you’re living? When what we say we want and what we’re doing don’t match up, our actions tell the real truth. What are you doing to get the love you want?

5. You Keep Saying Yes to Old Stories. It’s easy to get caught in our past. To keep being offered the temptations to slip back into the life we used to live that got us the partners we used to get. You need the strength and desire to say “No” to the things you don’t want and “Yes” to more of the things you do.

lonely_relationships_dating_advice

Here’s what it comes down to:

You have to be willing to open your eyes to the possibility that love can work out. That great relationships do exist. The moment we take control of our lives and our relationships, the sooner we start attracting into our lives people who believe in the same things. People whose lives are a reflection of their choices. And you become each other’s reflection. Love is the chemical reaction to the chemistry we put out there.

Yes, there’s serendipity. Yes, there’s chance. But circumstances don’t come out of nowhere. Accept that our present moment unravels perfectly as does our life if we put ourselves in the places we’re meant to be. Those random smiles on the street, that time you grabbed a coffee by yourself instead of staying home, the time you took yourself on a vacation. All those “times” can become “the time” when you meet someone else who’s taking the leap.

It’s easy to look around us at all the relationships that aren’t great. It’s easy to blame statistics for why things don’t work out or be angry at the world for all of the things we perceived have happened TO us. And I get that you’re scared. We all are. Recognize that we are all on the same boat. We’re all scared of love and pain.

In any and every area of our lives we get caught in the fear of things not working out. As my good friend Kyle Cease says, “We can always measure what we’re going to lose, but we can never measure what we’re going to gain.”

You can’t see the amazing relationship that is just around the corner! You can’t feel the love that is waiting for you or understand that your dreams CAN become a reality. You can’t see that someone else is out there who is just as scared to take the leap as you and they are waiting…

Do you realize how powerful you truly are? Do you see that you are the architect of everything in your life?

The moment we grab life by the balls and start happening to it instead of letting it happen to us is the moment everything changes. It’s the moment that you wake up. And you decide that this world has no choice but to give you the love you want. Once you get clear and truly commit to what you want, the rest will just happen…because you’ll choose it.

relationship advice, dating advice, mark groves, love, vulnerability

How To Love With Abandon And Get The Relationship You Want

As a society we make assumptions that women are complex beings and that men are straight forward and simple. No manual needed for us right? Then why, if I may ask, is it called a MANual? Hmmm…

(Yes – I’m hilarious, I know.)

Truth be told, all humans generally seek the same things; to feel loved, safe and understood.

Despite this, our fears can rule our lives and have us making decisions that keep us repeating the same mistakes, choosing the wrong partners, having relationships that don’t last and ultimately never fully opening our hearts.

Our fears of love often manifest from the same culprits; a fear of rejection, shame, and loss of connection.

These fears show up when we get scared of putting ourselves out there or if we take on the responsibility of having someone else’s heart in our hands. I personally know these fears all too well.

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance.”

~ John Lennon

I want passion, excitement and acceptance! Don’t you?!? Seems simple, doesn’t it?

If we all seek love, then why do we allow our fears to rule our lives rather than the expansive amazingness of love and desire?

And how do we leap into love?

This isn’t about dropping “L” bombs(“I love you”) on the first date or telling someone you’re falling for them right after you swiped right on Tinder. Get it together, you overzealous psycho.

It is simply about taking the first step.

Whatever that step is, you’ll know.

And by taking the first step you invite the other to do the same.

What you are indirectly saying is, “I feel safe, here’s how much. Take my hand and leap with me.”

This lays the groundwork for a relationship based on vulnerability and unfiltered communication. You’ve probably heard about this before, right?! I feel like it’s the  “Unicorn” from the Hot Crazy Matrix. It’s so rare, and what we all say we want, but rarely do we actually practice in our own lives.

What happens if they don’t reciprocate?!? What if they don’t love me back?!?

When you share how you feel, you discover the truth. Finding out where you fit with someone allows you to make decisions that are in the best interest of you and your heart. If they don’t love you back, or they are just not ready, or cannot reciprocate, you then have information you can act on. Vital Information that allows you to move forward in a direction that serves you finding not just any partner, but the RIGHT partner.

Your job is to never convince someone to stay, show up, or be the kind of partner you are capable of being.

Your job is to be the best version of yourself and then invite others to join you.

By doing that you make space for only high performers to show up. People who are flaky or incapable of loving at your level are not of interest to you anymore and as a result you won’t have anyone to fix. Move on.

Put your energy into finding and investing in love that serves your greatest self.

You are in charge of creating the environment that you want to love in.

If you want vulnerability, love, connection, and all that jazz, then you need to put in the work that goes along with what you profess.

Sure, it’s true that if you never love you will never be hurt.

That sounds nice and safe doesn’t it?

It also sounds like the most boring and predictable life ever. You only live once, and you sure as hell don’t want to get to your death bed and think back on all those times you never put yourself out there.

You get this one shot. Each moment of every day could be your last.

So, go home, light some candles, put on some slow jams (or hey – some super dirty rap music, whatever works), and tell your partner how you feel. I bet you‘ll score some booty too.

Win. Win. Win.

If I Can’t Handle You At Your Worst Then I Certainly Don’t Want You At Your Best

There’s this quote from Marilyn Monroe that is on every female Tinder profile, Instagram Bio, and any online dating platform. It’s shared on Facebook religiously and I’m sure that women would even put it on a resume if they could.

We get it. If we can’t handle all of your crazy then we don’t deserve your sane.

This mindset is not reserved solely for females.

A desire for pushing boundaries, being strong, an individual and not compromising at all is rampant among the generations of today.

I think it’s important to honour our boundaries and needs. It’s paramount to the success of relationships to ask for what you need and not compromise your dreams and aspirations.

Are some of us taking this too far though?

“If you truly loved me you would accept and love me for me. I shouldn’t have to change.”

Oh yes. Sometimes you should definitely change.

Realistically we should always be changing. We should always be growing to become better each and everyday. But we often don’t.

Some of us have a poisonous version of what “love” is and it’s not conducive to healthy relationships. 

There’s this giant misconception that if we knew what true love was we would stick through the worst. That no matter what, our vow to love and/or marriage should, and can, trump any situation. We are expected to work through anything and everything.

Let me be clear. That is bullsh*t.

This view gives the permission that we can do anything we want and there are no consequences.

This view is sometimes lived as: Push the boundaries, break the rules and test your partner’s patience.

And when we’ve pushed enough and our partner has reached their limit we’ll just say to them, “If you really loved me you’d try to work on things! You wouldn’t walk away.”

There’s absolutely and without a doubt a time to walk away.

Is it when he leaves the toilet seat up again? Or when she interrupts you for the ninth consecutive NFL Sunday while your fave team is tied with fourth and goal?

The second one may have some merit. 

Many people preach and utter comments about how today’s culture and generations let things go too easily and don’t fight for them.

I think in most cases that isn’t true.

I believe the generations of today and the culture we surround ourselves with expect more from relationships and we tolerate less of the sh*t that generations of the past were okay with.

We don’t learn the necessary skill sets as to what makes relationships thrive. I’m not sure that’s necessarily a fault of our culture and generation, but more so the constructs of our educational system.

Why not teach how to have fulfilling relationships? It would’ve served me much more than the pythagorean theorem. 

a2+b2 = #whogivesaf*ck

In addition, we didn’t know we needed to have great relationship skills. Add to that the ability to be vulnerable and express our emotions. I couldn’t even imagine having that conversation with my Grandfather and telling him he needs to open up more to Grandma. I’m pretty sure he would’ve ashed his cigarette on my sensitive heart.

This is because marriages of the past weren’t on average born out of love. We didn’t expect life long monogamy and we only lived till the age of thirty-five. Makes things a little easier doesn’t it?!

Marry someone, be their friend, have some sex, raise some kids, and grow not-old together.

If we all replicated the way most people in the early 1900s operated in relationships there would be some seriously single men and women out there. Because now women don’t put up with as much sh*t as they used to. They will, more often than not, walk away from abusive, patriarchal, dominant and controlling relationships.

As they should.

And that’s why there is a demand for emotionally vulnerable and mindfully aware men today. Because more is expected of us.

And we want to give more.

In our defence, a lot of our time is spent trying to figure out the constructs of relationships despite have literally just been raised by a lot of “Mad Men”-esque style households.

relationship advice, dating advice, love, marilyn monroe, don't deserve me at my worst

Both men and women are learning that great relationships exist in a balance. They operate and embrace an environment that is largely free of extremes.

When we are not constantly checking in and seeing how one-another are doing we end up playing catch-up. Two years down the road when sh*t hits the fan it is going to feel next to impossible to work through things.

You know why?

Because two years of work is daunting. Two years of conversations we’ve been avoiding and consistently hiding from sharing what is real for us – has us paralyzed. It has us ignoring the simple day-to-day conversations that keep our relationships thriving.

And that’s why it’s easier to walk away in those cases.

It’s easier to throw in the towel.

We can just start all over and create new dysfunction with the next significant other.

We’ll talk about sunshine and rainbows, have incredible sex and smile at all of the honeymoon relationship problems. “Oh sh*t, we ran out of condoms from all the sex we’re having!” “Oh my gosh! You got drunk and puked?! That’s ok! I love you!” “Your hair clogged my drain again?! Only the hair of a princess could do that!”

What if we dropped the fear of checking in?

What if we eradicated the desire to run from information we don’t want to hear?

What if we actually got real with ourselves and our partners?

Our lives and relationships would look a lot different.

If we consistently asked questions like:

“How are we doing?”

“Are we happy?”

“On a scale of 1-10 what kind of partner have I been this week? What would make me a 10?”

We don’t ask these questions because we don’t want to know that our relationship may require work. We don’t want to admit that we may not be being the best partner or have to acknowledge that we could be doing more.

Shouldn’t we want to?

Successful and thriving long term relationships embrace an environment of honesty. They don’t deliver and receive feedback as criticism.

They see their partner as a gateway to evolution. To becoming a better human being who operates with humility and knows that we don’t have it all figured out.

In the constant pursuit of appearing perfect we’ve failed to recognize that no one really has their sh*t together. That this relationship world is messed up and all we can really do is the best we can.

That’s it.

Are you doing the best that you can? Are you existing in a relationship dynamic where you’re getting what you need and providing your partner the same?

No one else is going to do it for you. Don’t wait to lose someone you love. Get real with yourself and your partner and recognize that great relationships are born out of choice.

You have to choose to want one. Once you make that choice then you can embrace the beautiful fact that you are the architect of your relationship and what you do in each moment creates that certain future.

Start Creating.