My Favorite Relationship Advice

I may not be very old, but I consider myself moderately wise. I pride myself on always reaching for a better relationship, not just with John, but with anyone I have a relationship with. With it being Valentines day, I decided I would share some of the best advice I have gained over the years on how to improve the relationships in your life.

You have to show up for yourself before you can show up for others

This is my most important advice I can give. I try to tell people this all the time and so many people just don’t get it. Especially when it comes to a romantic relationship, you are not together to make the other person whole. You are not the yin to the yang. You can be very different people and be in a thriving relationship, but you do not add anything to the other person.

Relationships are about two people going on a journey together. Before you start that journey, you both have to be whole, individual people. What I mean by this is you have to accept yourself for who you are, know who you are, and know what you stand for. So many people get into a relationship and hope that the other person will give them something they don’t have. This is unhealthy and it’s called codependence.

Have your own likes, interests, loves, fears, hobbies, friends, and share those with your partner. Engage in each others lives and live them alongside one another with so much love. If you don’t know who you are, how is your partner supposed to know for you?

Understand the people you are in a relationship with DEEPLY

Something I have done in the last year that has really helped me understand my personal relationships is trying to figure out the people I am close with on a deeper level. For example, I know almost every single one of my friends and families enneagram number, tendency, and love language. (If you don’t know what these are just DM me)

I know how they want me to express love to them, how I should apologize to them, why they react to the same situation differently than I do. It helps me connect with them more. It helps me understand that they are different than me. They have different needs than me and I can show up for them accordingly.

The deeper you understand the important people in your life, the happier you will be and the happier they will be in a relationship with you. If they are an especially good partner, they will do the same for you.

Make the effort and show up well

This one is tricky for me to discuss because I genuinely believe there is a fine line you have to walk with this one. This advice can get ugly and cause a lot of resentment in relationships. For example, you have a friend or family member who will keep in touch, makes plans with you, remembers your birthday, etc. Thats great! They make the effort and it shows very much! The problem is they don’t show up well. They flake on plans. They’re on their phone at dinner with you. They’re not interested in talking about you, only about themselves. They are not showing up well for you.

I absolutely can’t stand this and it’s something I discovered a few years ago that helped me cut a lot of people out of my life. People who show up well and put in the effort do not have to show up often. They just have to show up in the best way.

A positive example of this can show up in any relationship whether it be a spouse, a family member, or a friend. Friends who you don’t see much, but they make the trip to see you and want to get dinner and talk for hours and hear about your new job and your new cat you got! Family who you only see at holidays, but they give you such a thoughtful gift and give you the biggest, genuine hug and tell you how much they miss seeing you, but are happy they get this chance. A partner who works long hours, but makes sure to sit with you at the dinner table and ask about your day and helps clean up the dishes, even if it’s the only 20 minutes you see them everyday.

You can’t just make the effort. You have to make the effort, and show up well. One without the other is never enough.

Express Empathy

Look, we all go through tough shit in life. We all also have ego that makes us look at other peoples lives with judgment and compare whose life is harder. I understand because I used to think like this all the time.

In a relationship, you need to have overwhelming empathy for the other person; not sympathy, empathy. Sympathy is when you feel sorry for someone else. Empathy is when you put yourself in someone else’s shoes. By putting yourself in their situation, you can understand why they don’t ever text you, why they spend all their time with their boyfriend and not you, why they never help you with the chores.

When you step back and look through the other persons perspective, it makes a lot more things understandable than a problem worth fighting about. Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Even if the person who is weeping is weeping about how they spilt diet coke in their limited edition Louis Vuitton bag and you know they’ll get a new one tomorrow, just remember they are still upset that they ruined something they didn’t want to ruin and they probably feel really bad about it. Meanwhile my biggest problem is the purse I’ve used for 9 year finally has a hole large enough my things fall out of it…. you get my point.

Always work to do better

We are all bound to make mistakes. We are not perfect. We are not even moderately close to getting through life (at least I’m not. I like to think I’m not alone). If you are not striving to always be a better partner, friend, sister, daughter, coworker, boss, or whatever, you will never grow and have exceptional relationships.

If you are always looking at the other person as the problem, you are never going to have a good relationship. Remember that you can always do better, that sorry isn’t enough, and you need to always work to grow, improve, and be the best you can be.

In the last year, being more aware of these things has improved my relationships all around. I am closer with my close friends, I cut people out of my life who were not showing up well for me, I have a partner who I absolutely adore and pursue everyday, and I love and appreciate my family more than anything in the world.

Even though today is Valentine’s Day, show the people you love that you love them everyday. Always remember that they could not be here tomorrow and if they weren’t would you be happy with the way you showed up for them?


My Guide to Finding a Guy Worth Keeping Around

Now I know you may be thinking, “What qualifies this girl to tell me how to find a man?” Well honestly…. nothing. Do you even need to find a man (or woman)? No, but in your twenties or even beyond, so many women seem to be interested in guys who I like to call “time killers”. Time killers are those guys who your interested in, who have some nice qualities (some being the key word there) and they’re usually smokin hot, but anyone with half a brain looks at you and says, “Why are you with this dude?” and the answer you should give them is your killing time. These guys keep you company while you look for your forever person as you move through life, but they are definitely not it, whether you admit it or not.

I know this sounds harsh, but sometimes, you need a good old slap in the face for a wake up call! Especially when it comes to relationships. We as humans are so easily sucked into the routines of life. Once something becomes normal to us and has been rooted into our everyday lives, it’s so hard for us to get out of that comfort zone and BE ALONE! So yes, this is me telling you to take a good, hard look at your relationship and say, “Am I just killing time?” And if you are, start looking for someone worth your time who has some of these tell tale signs that they’re worth your time….

1. Manners

So many of us overlook manners in this day and age. I’m not saying you need to find someone who knows how to set the table for a three course meal or anything crazy like that, but it’s not too much to ask for them to open the door for you on a date, to pull out your chair at the table, and to leave a proper tip if they choose to pay the bill (which is not required). People who understand manners understand there’s a proper way to treat women or just people in general. Have I met guys with manners who were still complete assholes? Yes, but a man with manners is a man who has a better chance of treating you right.

2. Showing Interest

This… oh this… is the dreaded thing that so many people can’t find in a partner and I think it’s such a shame. For example, have you ever been having a conversation with someone about something you were really excited to talk about, like a project your working on or a vacation you just got back from, and the person wants to hear all about it, and then as soon as you start telling them the story, they seem like they would rather be doing anything else than listening to you speak? I’ve even had this happen where the person is definitely listening to what I’m saying, but they gave me absolutly no feedback; they’re just sitting there in a daze. Now, for me I continue to tell my story because I don’t care if you want to listen, I’m going to talk about the new lipsticks I got at Ulta for $4.98, but that’s just me. Showing interest is something that is SO IMPORTANT! It doesn’t matter if you don’t give a damn about your significant others new VHF antenna (shout out John you did a great job!), but it’s important to them so you listen to all the details and ask questions and enjoy the look on their face when they tell you all about how they did something they loved. This shows that the person, not only cares about you, but values your happiness.

3. Commitment

Yikes… I know I said the C word, but don’t be alarmed because if commitment isn’t for you, it doesn’t have to be for you! You just need to be honest about that up front. So many people get into relationships, but you can totally tell they aren’t ready for a commitment. Umm excuse me? Then why the hell did you sign up for this in the first place?! Open your eyes people! You can tell when some people commit just to get laid or for whatever other reasons they may have, but it’s not because they want to be with you forever and you know it! When you first get into a relationship, you don’t think about asking the other person, “Do you see us getting married in the next X amount of years?” Because that’s STUPID! You feel out relationships and see if you have common interests and life goals, to find someone to spend forever with. Not someone who will go out to Thirsty Thursdays with you and then not speak to you the rest of the week because “you like your space”. You can find someone who will go out and have a good time with you and then lay in bed with your hungover ass the next day and watch Netflix, but it’s not going to be the guy who you’ve already texted, “Hey” three times this week and he decides to respond on Friday night asking you to go out with him.

4. Being a Best Friend

I think this is the best part about finding someone worth your time, because honestly, finding someone who is your best friend and your significant other all wrapped into one is absolutely magical. I always say, if I could marry my best friend, I would. My best friends are literally my heart and soul. I would die for them, I physically could not live without them. They make me a better person inside and out and I love them like nothing else on this planet. Whether we just chill and watch movies or we have girls nights together and plan trips together, we always have each others backs and we always love each other. Now, why not find those exact feelings for someone who you can be intimate with? I know your sitting here thinking “Well gee Clarissa, you make it seem like I’m stupid and my soul mates just sitting out there waiting for me like a sitting duck!” and no that’s not the case. It takes patience and time, but don’t push it. It will happen naturally and it will happen for you. I’m just saying don’t settle for someone who you don’t love inside and out like you love your best friends. I mean honestly, why would you want to spend large amounts of time with someone who didn’t enjoy documentaries and hot Cheetos like you do (oh that’s just me).

5. Trust

This is the most important thing in any relationship and I have seen trust be broken and rebuilt and fought for and torn apart and everything else you can imagine, but most of the time I think it’s forgotten. Lots of relationships have trust issues and that stems a whole mess of problems for people. How do you expect to be with someone when you don’t trust them? I do believe in second chances and redemption, but I think once you have broken someones trust, it is so so hard to gain back. If you want to find someone worth your time, find someone you trust to go out with their friends and come back home to you safe and sound. Find someone who you can not text you for 2+ hours and you know they probably got busy or fell asleep. Find someone where the truth is obvious and so simple because it should be simple.

I know you may think this is a stupid list or that I don’t know what I’m talking about, but I believe in these with my whole heart. I know there are people out there who have been through so much crap in relationships and I’ve seen how it breaks people. I know love is not a simple thing, but I do know that I have seen a lot of love in this world, great loves, and I am lucky enough to have the best love of all, and I hope you all find it someday too.