I really like New Girl.

From the zany antics of Schmidt, the adorkableness of Jess, to the sensitive slacker that is Nick (why don’t they do more with Winston??), it is one of my favorite weekly guilty pleasures.  And unless you have a cold, black, dead heart, you have been rooting for Jess and Nick since season one.   I am not gonna lie that their first kiss last season got rewound a few times on my dvr.

In an episode a few years ago, starting a brand new relationship, Nick and Jess decided that if they were going to finally make it work they just needed to go “all in”.  Whatever it took.

Of course that meant that they ended up in Mexico and Nick went to “resort jail,” not the average relationship journey.  However, I love that it backed up one of my favorite theories that I work on with my clients.

The idea of going “all in” for your relationship.

Now, don’t get me wrong, “all in” does not mean what a lot of people think it does.  Here is what it is not.

It does not mean sleeping with people right away before you even know if they are sleeping with other people.  Dude.  Stop effin’ doing that.

It does not mean thinking you are in love after three weeks.  You are not.

It does not mean starting to basically live together in a couple of months.  That is just cray cray.

It does not mean that you kick all common sense to the curb and blindly jump into a relationship because it “just feels right.”  Heads up:  you are not actually going to see who this person really is until about month three or so.  Yup.

So all of those things leave you bruised, battered and confused after six months when you realize the only things you had in common was good sex, your love of dogs and Mumford and Sons.

That doesn’t quite cut it, Hot Pants.

Then you cry to all your friends over your box wine that you thought they were “the one” and that you are giving up love for good.  Le sigh.

What you had there was not love and you know it.  If not, you need to call me, like yesterday.

I hate to break it to you but anyone can find someone they are super attracted to and think it is love.  That pretty much doesn’t mean jack.  It means you were super attracted to them.  Yay for you!  Your trophy is coming in the mail.

For those of you who are actually here to create a relationship that lasts longer than the life span of a fruit fly, here is what it does mean.

After you slowly get to know someone pretty great and you think there is real potential, there is a time you need to go all in.  You need to break down your own walls, trust them and really do it.  Open up communication and give the relationship a real chance.  Start it off right so you are not playing the power game for years where only one person wins.  That is exhausting and gets you on the fast train to unhappy, lonely relationships.

Awhile ago, learning from my mistakes in the past (there are a zazillion), I had the “all in” conversation.  It went something like this.

Let’s just do this.  Let’s just really like each other and go all in.

“Know that anything that might have come out hurtful was never intended to be that way, because the last thing that I would ever want to do is hurt your feelings and it probably came out wrong.  

If I am freaking out or something is bothering me, I am going to let you know.  Because I want us to work through it.  I want us to both win because we are creating something beautiful here and we are making it stronger every day.

I am going to put aside my shit and just assume you really like me unless you tell me differently and I hope you do the same.

Let’s never worry about it being too much or too little.  We are both doing the best we can and we are smart enough to ask for more or less in kind ways.

I am just going to fully trust you because I believe that if this isn’t working out we are both adults enough to talk it out and decide together to part ways.  Thanking each other for the time we spent and the lessons learned from each other.  Because choosing to be with someone every single day is truly a gift.”

Makes me happy just thinking about it.  That is what the beginning of real love looks like.

Because you see, the thing is there are no promises in love any more.  With the evolution of relationships, we do not need another person to survive like our ancestors did.  We get to choose to be with that person and have to make that choice over and over again.

At the end of every day we have to make sure we are “all in” to make it work.  Otherwise, you are never truly giving it a chance.  I know it is hard, but I am here to help🙂


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