Taking Relationship Advice With a Grain of Salt

Libby Shively McAvoy

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“Even if the connection is strong, is there enough emotional maturity between the two of you to build a home together? Do your levels of commitment to expanding self-awareness and healing past patterns match? This is not about perfection, this is about being willing to embrace growth.” ~ Yung Pueblo

Be Careful When Taking Advice From Others

People love to shell out advice in general, but especially when it comes to relationships. There are several problems with taking this type of advice to heart.

  1. When taking advice from parents and grandparents, there may be a generational gap, and those beliefs may not apply today.
  2. Each relationship is unique, and no one knows each of you and your needs better than the two of you.
  3. People give advice based on personal experience, which may not apply to you.

As we make significant life changes, we often look to friends and family for support. Often, rather than simply listening, we are given advice. Unsolicited advice can cause people to stay in toxic relationships too long, devalue their own self-worth, and complicate situations more than they need to.

All of the answers we seek are within. Trust your intuition. Set boundaries and always protect your self-worth.

Ten Relationship Myths That are Not Necessarily True

  1. True love is unconditional. Yes and no on this one. I prefer to say true love is everlasting. In a healthy relationship, both individuals should have boundaries and bottom lines. Boundaries are not the same as conditions. Boundaries are a reassurance our needs get met and we are respected. A bottom line lets your significant other know you are leaving them if they cross that line. It is essential to discuss these upfront.
  2. Never go to bed mad. Again, yes and no on this point. Going to bed mad can make those negative feelings fester and worsen. It may also result in a restless night. However, if done well, sleeping on it overnight may be helpful. For example, arguing when exhausted can exasperate the situation. Remember, conflict is normal. It is how you resolve it that matters. Be respectful and kind, and remember your partner is just that. Do not be hurtful to the person you love. We often argue because we want the other person’s attention, and they missed our bid.
  3. Your porn and strip club days are over. NO! Those may seem taboo to many of you, and if that is your bottom line, then that is between the two of you to discuss. However, what is most important is honesty. Consider enjoying it together, or if one of you wants it and the other doesn’t then consider making love with your partner after you watch it. By making love, you both benefit and may keep the passion alive. I would avoid relying on those things to get turned on. Maybe ditch the porn and live out your fantasies together.
  4. Always put your partner first. Back to yes and no. Let me explain. When we fly, the flight attendant reminds us that in an emergency, we should put our oxygen masks on first before helping others. Putting your partner’s needs above yours can be draining and lead to resentment. Prioritize each other and have each other’s back no matter what, but take care of yourself too. Your partner will ultimately respect that you are taking care of yourself because you have more to offer.
  5. Don’t compliment them because they will get a “big head.” Nooooo way, Jose. My ex-husband pulled this crap with me. It left me feeling unappreciated and undervalued. It is essential to elevate our partner, but be sincere. If you do not give them genuine compliments from time to time, they may begin to look elsewhere. Feeling accepted and appreciated is critical in happy, healthy relationships.
  6. Once a cheater, always a cheater. False. It takes two to tango. People can change and learn from their past. Maybe they previously cheated because their partner lacked something they needed, such as emotional intimacy. It is essential to talk with your partner before resentment builds if your needs still need to be met. Cheating will only complicate the relationship and make resolution difficult, if not possible. Start the relationship with trust, respect, and transparency, and continue with that.
  7. The Infatuation will fade. No. Passion and romance do not have to dissipate. Constant effort is required. Do not prioritize work or children. Those things are essential, but you can perform better in those areas when your relationship is strong. To keep it strong, you must continue to date each other and nurture your original commitment. (Unless you are in an abusive situation)
  8. Your partner will complete you. Oh, heck no! The movie scenes like Jerry McGuire when she says, “you complete me,” are entirely messed up. No one else can complete us, and no one else can make us happy — those are inside jobs. Your partner can accept and forgive your mistakes so that you can achieve your highest self. You create a safe space for each other. This may feel like they complete you, but they allow you to be you and feel whole, nurtured and cared for.
  9. Happy wife, happy life. No. It is a cute saying that rhymes, but both people need to be content and supportive of each other. Relationships require compromise and open communication: no scorekeeping, no winner. You are in it together.
  10. Hook up to get over the breakup. Huge no-no. Although this is more common in men, I have seen it happen with women too. Sleeping with someone to overcome heartache is the worst advice and myth I have encountered. If you get back together with the person, you have made the problem exponentially more complicated. If you take a break or break up in a relationship, spend some time alone. Explore hobbies and get to know yourself again. Rebuilding your self-confidence makes you more attractive.
“The biggest rule in a relationship is no matter how mad you are at your partner; you do not seek someone else’s attention. You sit your ass there and make it right, because that’s your person. If you can easily go to someone else, you do not love the person you are with.” ~Author Unknown | The Mind’s Journal

Relationships are challenging, but nothing good comes easy. You are likely to succeed when you find a person who has done their self-study and work, has high emotional intelligence and is loyal and respectful. When conflict arises, and it will, remember what your desired outcome is and do not fight for the sake of being right.

One reason relationships are so tricky is that we each bring our pasts with us. We were each raised with a belief system, morals, and values. We may have different attachment styles based on childhood experiences. Bring the subconscious mind into play; it can feel like we are constantly dodging bullets and living in survival mode.

On the other hand, when your partner allows you to feel safe, the relationship can allow for great healing from past trauma, abuse, or neglect.

“Relationships fail because people take their own insecurities and try to twist them into their partner’s flaws.” ~ Baylor Barbee

What it Takes for a Happy, Healthy Relationship

  • Respect and honesty
  • Acceptance and appreciation
  • Emotional support and comfort
  • Physical Intimacy
  • Sense of humor and playfulness
  • Conflict resolution
  • Forgiveness
  • Passion
  • Consistent, kind communication (don’t miss bids for attention)
  • Shared goals and visions


As divorce rates increase, domestic violence rises, and relationships crumble around you, choose a different path. Do not be another statistic. Put effort and consistency into your relationship. Continue your self-study so you have more to offer your partner. It is time to do things differently as a society. Every one of my children’s friends’ parents is divorced. Our culture is unhealthy both mentally and physically. Healthy relationships allow each person to thrive and grow into the best version of themself.

It takes understanding and patience, but it is well worth it. None of us are getting out of this alive. So, ask yourself if you are living your dream life. If not, why? Rise to the call of action. Treat your partner the way you want them to treat you. Teach them how to love and honor you. Watch the changes unfold. Love elevates every experience in life. You are worthy of love.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I wish you the best in life and love. Do not give up on the idea of a true, everlasting, and loyal relationship. 

Peace & Light,

Libby Shively McAvoy

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Libby is a Personal Development and Relationship coach specializing in emotional intelligence. By blending motivational speaking, leading yoga and wellness retreats, and writing, she has mastered the art of living her best life while helping others.

Cincinnati, OH

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