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Here’s Jay Shetty’s Relationship Advice, According to His Eight Rules of Love

5 Min Read
Here’s Jay Shetty’s Relationship Advice, According to His Eight Rules of Love

When you think about love, do you think about fleeting moments? That first kiss on the doorstep, hands held under a dinner table, looks discreetly exchanged — they can make your heart flutter and send butterflies straight to your stomach. But so much of love is less picturesque: It’s hard work and compromise. Many relationships end simply because the expectations don’t match the reality. 

Jay Shetty’s Eight Rules of Love are great guidelines to live by if you plan on sticking by your partner. Shetty, a lifestyle coach and former monk, shares his perspective on romantic love through both lenses. There are four key concepts to take away from his philosophy. After all, relationships can be difficult to navigate, but spending the time and effort to get them right is undoubtedly a worthy investment.

Love is a daily effort. 

Love isn’t just a word; it’s an action, and Shetty encourages the reader to dig deep. What does that love mean to you? What are your expectations? And most importantly, have you had the discussion with your partner about what you both need from each other to feel loved?

Shetty reminds the reader to “intentionally build love instead of wishing, wanting, and waiting for it to arrive fully formed.” It’s a lot of communication, effort, and even habit building — for example, if you are messy and your partner prefers to be organized, love can be as simple as putting your laundry away instead of leaving a pile on the bed.

The good news? “We are meant to be learning at every stage of life,” Shetty explains. Though no one can love their partner perfectly, the most important thing is to try to be better. This way, you and your partner can grow alongside one another, becoming more compatible with time. 

Spend time alone.

One of the best tips to a successful relationship is getting to know yourself first. It seems obvious, but many people avoid this step, preferring the stability and comfort of a relationship to being single. The issue with this approach is that it causes you to develop your own sense of identity around the context of the other person. “You want to go on a journey with someone,” Shetty explains, “not to make them your journey”

After a breakup, you might feel the impulse to move on immediately — maybe to prove that you are fine without your ex. But this might not actually be in your best interest. As Shetty puts it, “We prepare for love by learning how to be alone and learning from our past relationships how to improve our next one.” Relationships and breakups are a learning opportunity. Take the time to understand why things didn’t work, so that you can avoid them in your next relationship (and leave some of the emotional baggage behind.) “Alone, we learn to love ourselves, to understand ourselves, to heal our own pain, and to care for ourselves,” Shetty explains.

According to Shetty, there are three stages on the way from loneliness to solitude: Presence, discomfort, and confidence. Presence essentially means being willing to sit with yourself, alone — and if you’ve ever done that, you know it can be uncomfortable. Shetty posits that such an experience can help you establish and build confidence in your sense of self and identity. This can help you both when you’re single, and as a better partner in the future. 

People tend to base success in relationships on how long they last, but their actual value lies in how much you learn and grow from them. 

An unsuccessful relationship can sometimes feel like a waste of time. However, the more you find opportunities to grow from the experience, the faster you can find peace. 

In the book, Shetty describes how an unsuccessful relationship can lead to a learning opportunity: Imagine a couple where one person loves the other for their physical appearance. The recipient of this affection might initially appreciate the attention, but will feel insecure when their appearance changes with age. Ultimately, the second person might move on to someone who appreciates them for attributes that don’t depreciate, like their sense of humor or intelligence. 

Shetty’s example speaks to how love or infatuation can fade if your relationship isn’t built on a strong foundation of compatibility and respect for each other. But there are plenty of other opportunities to learn from your past relationships, too. Talking through what you experienced and felt with friends or a therapist can be a good way to process after a breakup. And the more you learn about what you do or don’t want to replicate in the future, the closer you’ll be to identifying what you’re looking for, and what makes a good match for you. 

How you handle differences is more important than finding similarities. 

Fighting is both inevitable and healthy for any good relationship. The important thing is how you fight. Here are a few tips to remember:

Shetty echoes that age-old wisdom: “It’s not what you say, it's how you say it.” Tone speaks volumes. It doesn’t matter if your point is right if you can’t convey it respectfully.

“To live in conflict-free bliss isn’t love,” Shetty posits. “It’s avoidance.” Don’t avoid a confrontation simply because you are afraid of starting a fight. It’s important to be authentic with your partner, and to speak up when something is wrong. If you don’t, that tension and dissatisfaction will almost certainly manifest in other ways.

According to Shetty, the “top three areas of conflict are money, sex, and how to raise children.” People grow up with strong values around these topics. Be aware that your partner may think differently than you, and make sure your non-negotiables align with theirs, and vice versa.

Sometimes fights aren’t about what they seem to be about. “Always find the source,” Shetty suggests. “Don't waste time arguing about something you don’t care about. Instead, find the actual problem.” 

Ultimately, Shetty says that your differences can be the make-or-break for your partnership. “Ego and pride end more relationships than anything else because most misunderstandings are based on ego and pride,” he explains.

He encourages his readers to approach the fight as a team. The next time you get into a fight, take a deep breath and try to self-regulate. “The problem isn't our partner,” Shetty suggests. “It is something we don't understand about them and something they don't understand about us.”