So first of all, I just want to make a note that these thoughts below are my opinions based on my experiences. I wanted to write down some of the things I like to share with my close friends when they reach out to me about dating advice. I love love and think everyone deserves to be so happy, that is the ultimate goal!

My dating and relationship history has been a very windy road, but I ended up with the most amazing human. I feel so thankful to every single speedbump in my past for leading me to him. I truly believe that every failed relationship has taught me something new and has helped me navigate to where I am. I couldn’t have dreamt up a better partner for me, and that’s where we’ll start with this.

Dating the wrong guys to find the right one. Every relationship I’ve experienced taught me a new lesson. They continued to shape me as the partner I wanted to be and gave me clarity on what I want and need from a partner as well. From high school through my early twenties living in San Francisco, I had 4 boyfriends. But in my mid-twenties, I almost settled with one of them. And what I mean by this, because *settling* can sound like a dig, is that I didn’t know any better because I hadn’t met the right person. We both almost settled for not quite the right fit.

I was dating (and living) with someone who treated me well and who I got along with and cared for, but deep down, my heart wasn’t fully invested. I wasn’t in love, I didn’t light up every time I saw him or thought of him, I didn’t thank my lucky stars for our relationship. I just felt content and didn’t realize at the time that I could be so much happier. I thought to myself, maybe this is how it goes – maybe you don’t end up with the person and relationship you envisioned, and I would steer my mind back to being content. *So to my younger self I’d say, listen to your intuition, don’t sweep it under the rug. I am so grateful that we hit a wall, that things ended and that we both found ourselves in much better places. Eventually, everything connects.

After that breakup, I decided to spend time on myself. I took a few months to focus on my friendships, living in the city and immersing myself in my blog. To be honest, I didn’t have to mend a broken heart from that breakup so after decompressing a bit, I was ready to give the dating game a go. I always tell my single friends that I personally feel like dating is all about timing, compatibility, and where you both are in your lives.

I was single for about 6 months and dated a little before I fortuitously met Matt. So thankful for one of my good friends, Hilary, who had a lot to do with us meeting! She knew Matt from growing up and had the nicest things to say about him. We ended up going on a blind date one Sunday evening over wine and cheese, and I had a strong feeling this was going to be the start of something great. The way he made me feel was unlike anything I’ve experienced. I felt at ease, completely smitten, and like I could fully be myself.

I texted him right after thanking him again for a lovely evening, and we planned a date two nights later. I felt in my gut that I could go all in, not play any games by waiting to message him, etc. From that night on, we were going on dates a few times a week, spending weekends together, and a couple of months later it was official. It was just so refreshing. Easy, straight-forward, and so so fun! That’s how I think it should be.

It’s about finding someone on the same page as you.

That has been mine and Matt’s mantra from the beginning. Being on the same page was talked about in the infancy of our relationship, when we had the “what are we” conversation, throughout all of our big steps as a couple, in our marriage vows. I believe it’s what has made our relationship so healthy. We are a team.

Find a person who makes you feel important, appreciated, safe, and adored. Someone who doesn’t make you question your relationship or yourself. Someone who listens and who allows you to be your true self. Someone who shows you what all-in, straight-forward, pure, unconditional love looks like. Find someone who you feel incredibly lucky to be with.

Relationships are not easy, but in the beginning they 100% should be! It should be fun, light, exciting. You shouldn’t be asking yourself, are they into me after every time hanging out. I have done this… it’s not worth it. Find someone on the same page and make an effort to be a good communicator. Matt and I have been open with each other since the beginning. It ultimately has helped us get to know each other on the deepest level, be more in tune with each other’s feelings, and understand what works and what doesn’t.

This baseline has helped us to build such a strong foundation. I believe that our love for one another, respect, trust, open communication, will help us navigate through life on the same page together.

Everyone is different, every relationship is different, but what I can speak to and believe wholeheartedly, is that everyone deserves to be happy, to be treated well, and to feel like they won the lottery with the person they decide to spend their life with. xx


thoughts, ideas, questions...

This was so beautifully written! I wholeheartedly agree with everything you’ve written here.

This resonated with me so much Ashley, I guess I want to ask, because I’m facing this situation and I have always looked up to you’re outlook on life, how did you know you were making the right decision when you ended it with your previous partner and how did you cope uprooting your lives together? What if you’re with someone that you feel like you’re settling with and you’re both not fully happy but they treat you as if you’re important, appreciated, safe and adored? It always feels so black and white in the media, they don’t treat you well so things must end. But what if they treat you well but deep down in your heart it’s not the dynamic you want, or maybe your circumstances will change and things will be perfect, but sticking around could mean wasting time to find your person. It’s so hard to love someone and let them go and know that hopefully something better is to come or if you have it all already and you’re taking it for granted. Would love to know your thoughts xx

Hi Lauren!

Thank you so much for reaching out and opening up to me.

This is such a great question. And my thoughts are this… if your instinct is telling you things don’t feel 100% right, you must follow your gut. You mustn’t settle, and that doesn’t mean the person you’re with isn’t a good guy! He just might not be the right fit for you.

My little sister was dating the sweetest boy for a few years and when she broke up with him 2 years ago (because she was feeling like you), I was devastated because he was such a wonderful person but my sister knew in her gut it was the right move for her.

Earlier this year she ended up meeting someone and he is basically 2.0 of the guy she was dating before and she’s *so much happier* and feels more herself with him. So proud of her for trusting her intuition. (We are actually meeting him for the first time next week, so excited!!)

I know it’s a massive decision and life change… but I truly believe that we need to listen to these gut instincts.

Have you read the book Untamed? Love Glennon and she talks about this topic a bit that reminded me a lot of my past and my sister. I recommend it!

I hope this was somewhat helpful! Good things come to those who follow their heart. 🙂 xx

Oh my gosh, you are amazing, thank you so much! I love Glennon, I’ll give her book a read, thanks for the rec! So happy that it worked out so well for your sister, you’ve given me much hope xx