met four years ago on a rainy, Valentine's Day in Berkeley, California. He wore a pair of blue and gray Nike 6.0 and I wore a hot pink cardigan. We walked, told our stories, played pool poorly and drank beers. Matt asked me to be his girl on the corner of Shattuck and University. My life changed that night.
Four years later, here is what I know to be true:
1. Love brings up any beliefs unlike itself for the purpose of healing and growth.
2. Your partner is your mirror, not your savior. Your relationship will reflect back to you all the ways you secretly treat yourself.
3. Loving and accepting yourself must always be your top priority.
4. Giving genuine compliments, appreciation and adoration creates humility within your partnership.
5. 90 percent of the time, focus on the positive aspects of your relationship. It keeps you sane.
6. Relationships are work. While you may not like every minute of your partnership, you can still love the process.
7. You have to tell your partner what you expect. Then give them the freedom to meet those expectations in the way that feels most natural to them.
8. Men and women think and approach partnership from very different perspectives. It is imperative to learn what those perspectives are. (I recommend Alison Armstrong's www.understandmen.com or anything by John Gray.)
9. It takes time to learn how and when to argue, fight or compromise. While you're in the curve, remember to respect the love.
10. In partnership, it is essential that you speak your truth, but do it at a time when your partner is open to listening.
11. A healthy, lasting, loving relationship doesn't just happen. It requires intention, willingness and god-like fortitude.
Happy Valentine's Day!