Whether you’re big on celebrating Valentine’s Day or consider it to be nothing more than hype, one thing’s for sure: High-quality relationships are an essential ingredient of quality well-being and one of the pillars of what we at IIN call primary food.
Relationships, of course, don’t have to be romantic. They can be bonds we share with anyone, like family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, clients, and most importantly…ourselves! What counts is taking time to nurture the ones that infuse our lives with joy and fulfillment.
So, in the spirit of love – whatever that looks like for you – we’ve curated our staff’s favorite pieces of relationship advice to celebrate the connections we share with important people in our lives:
True love is to accept people for who they are rather than seeking to improve or change them. – Roxi Ocasio
Whether you leave or whether you stay, forgive them. – Marissa LaRocca
Set and maintain your boundaries and individuality while in romantic relationships, including friendships. Many people get into relationships in search of their “better half,” believing that it’s other people’s responsibility to make them whole. However, discovering who you are, and getting clear about what deal breakers look like for you, sends healthy attractants into the atmosphere. These signals let your companions know that though you’ve chosen them, and they’ve chosen you, your wholeness is your responsibility, and you are the love of your life. Codependency, what’s that?! – Stefanie Fuentes
It’s better to be smart than correct. – Heather Freudenthal
Don’t take it so seriously. Bring out your inner child, play, and laugh! – Anne Greco
One of my favorites is “A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter is not a nice person.” And here’s one from me: When you hug a loved one, always massage their back. You’ll get more hugs. – Jim Turner
My mom said it best: “Everybody’s got stuff – you just have to find someone whose stuff you can deal with.” – Wendy Dopkin
Relationships take work, just like a full-time job. If you aren’t cultivating it or frequently checking in, things can be ignored, and resentment can build up. – Amy Kobos
In the words of Esther Perel, “It takes two people to create a pattern, but only one to change it.” Such a beautiful and empowering reminder that we can’t change other people, but we can change how we respond. We can choose to take a step back and observe how we’re contributing to an unhelpful pattern, which allows us to make shifts. I’ve found that the smallest of shifts can make a world of difference. For example, waiting two seconds before I respond to avoid reacting or challenging myself to respond in a different way to see if that helps. – Jamie Wolff
10. You can either be in a loving relationship, or you can feel the need to always be “right.” You cannot have both. – Jon Fischer
11. All relationships are unique. Recognize the one you have, honor it, celebrate it, and don’t feel you need to make it conform to something that is not realistic. – Anonymous
12. For years, I had been told by several people to read The Five Love Languages. When I finally did, it was eye-opening. Knowing your partner’s love language and teaching them about yours gives you a framework for conversation and action when someone isn’t feeling the love. – Tori Roggen
13. Several pounds of respect and kindness, mixed with a cupful of listening with love, topped with holding space for self is my go-to relationship recipe. – Janet Verney
14. Some friends are here for a season, some for a reason, some for a lifetime – no matter what, treasure them while they’re there. – Mary Walsh
15. I have a few favorites!
- Relationships are 100%/100%, not 50%/50%.
- Anything that bothers you for more than a few minutes or has happened numerous times, etc., is your issue to deal with – also said as "You are the common denominator in your relationships." If a problem comes up multiple times, especially across different relationships, you need to take responsibility for your part in creating that dynamic.
Lastly, always give people the benefit of the doubt. Everyone is so different; you are not fighting about what you think you’re fighting about – there’s a misunderstanding of the value or meaning that’s being placed on, or underneath, the issue you are disagreeing about. Also said as “Everyone is always right” – you can’t argue with someone’s reality so the goal should be understanding…the other person’s reality and how to fit your realities together. – Tara Ryan
16. Live and let live. – Jim Curtis
We’d love to hear from you: What relationship advice do you live by? Share in the comments below! From the entire Integrative Nutrition team, Happy Valentine’s Day!
If you’re curious about relationships, primary food, and their role in improving our well-being, check out our curriculum today!