I wasn’t born knowing this stuff. And neither were you.

Healthy, expansive, nourishing, evolving, deepening, connecting, funny, revealing, sacred relationships can’t be copied from social media, movies or your co-dependent family.

No, you have to carve out your own teaspoon-dug tunnel to sacred connection, yourself. For only you know you. And yet to know you even more, requires another. Another to push back the line, hold the light, and gold dig with you. To lean into this evolutionary edge together, to go deeper, beyond what we think LOVE is, and to stand the heat. The heat of transformative connection. The heat of courageous, unstoppable willingness to accept ALL of you. And ALL of another.

This stuff will change the world.

And no, this isn’t for everyone. If you seek lifestyle fulfilment by changing your couch, scrolling through Instagram, gossiping, comparing cars, bodies or boyfriends, then chances are, you aren’t ready to be challenged. To something more.

But if you wake in the cold of night aching to be seen by another so deeply that words have no place, then stay with me. We have roads to explore.

Firstly, relationships take work. THIS is a skill set to out shine all others. For true communion with another from a place of total freedom and choice, takes a never-ending conversation, a never-ending agreement, a never-ending willingness to explore around the next corner, the next deep dive.

From a place of individual wholeness. Together.

We start with The List.

If you want a relationship that simply WORKS, then start with stating what you require. And be so prescriptively clear, that you can see your face and heart reflected in your words. Do not hold back. Ok, to help you get going, I’ll list some of my non-negotiables (and be ready when you mean it, for Clive arrived within 24 hours of me writing my list).

I require a partner who is respectful of me and others, who is their own person, is funny, sees the best in me, sees the best in him, is WILLING to self-reflect, someone who doesn’t have all the answers, someone who is curious, intelligent, open to new ideas, yet not swayed by others to change his direction, who takes responsibility for his health, who speaks up when I have crossed the line, who holds me to account, who will not be overshadowed by my strength but who will catch me when I fall. Who vacuums. Folds washing. And who will eat ice-cream in bed with a shared spoon.

I could go on, my List is long.

And whatever I require, I must be willing to be. For how can I want in another, that which I’m not willing to share of me?

And when they arrive, and arrive they will, ask them to show you their List. What will work for them? What will expand, nourish, deepen, enrich, challenge, their life?

And then sit and talk. Sit and open. Sit and reveal. Sit and feel. Sit and be brave, be vulnerable, be willing to show your deepest, darkest stuff to another who just wants to let the light in for you.

And be that torch for them too. Do not shrink back. Do not judge, for when the crud comes to the top to be released, it needs to be seen. We have ALL been hurt, disappointed, reduced, shamed, indulged, and not heard. For relief to come, we have to feel safe.

Trust. To be held in the arms of a partner who has your back. Impeccably. Who isn’t blinded by your good stuff, but who isn’t afraid of the stuff you hide. Trust is the container. It underpins the rules.

So establish agreements, boundaries, clear requests, clear expectations, mutual plans and revisit them often. Make sure the other has space to evolve, by giving them the space you so hungrily seek. Set the ground rules now, the ones that work for you. Just you two. Not anyone else. This is private work. No comparisons. Make the rules fair. And make it a work in progress. Make it work for your unique life together, and hone and develop that connection, that union, that partnership that lifts you both higher and higher, deeper and deeper.

And then life can happen around you. Through you. And when the messiness appears, you have your road map. Your GPS to bring you back together.

And if Trust is the container, then unfettered Time Together is the non-negotiable fuel. You cannot feel, open, reveal without the time, nor the place to let go. Make time. Make connection your priority from which all else flows easily.

This is brave stuff. Not for the weak hearted. Half hearted. Not for the complacent, middle of the road, one-foot-in-one-foot-out.

And from one who has lived this way for 30 years, know that LOVE has many architectural layers, nuances, expressions of a life lived by swimming towards the pain, the fear, the anger, the separation. Seek that which holds you back and greet it with gusto.

And watch LOVE flow.