Podcast 260: Very Special Episode: In Honor of Valentine’s Day, Listeners Give Their Best Relationship Advice.


Second Date Update is fake! Once listeners pointed this out, it seemed obvious.

Very Special Episode on Relationships

Most listeners gave advice about romantic relationships, but the same principles apply to just about every relationship. The same rules apply!

Many listeners hit on the same major themes:

  • Don’t take your sweetheart for granted; say out loud how much you appreciate all that this person does.
  • Show consideration and courtesy.
  • Don’t keep score.
  • Do let the sun go down on your anger, probably you’ll see things differently in the morning after a good night’s sleep. (That’s so true for me!)
  • Don’t criticize your sweetheart to other people
  • It’s very important to have a feeling of friendship as well as romantic attraction.
  • Communicate – which means both speak up and listen.
  • Assume the best intentions.

Different advice will resonate with different people, so we included many ideas.

Because we didn’t have time to talk about all the great advice in the episode, I wrote a massive post of these suggestions; you can read it here.

The best advice Elizabeth ever got came from a friend’s stepfather: Marriage is all about what you don’t say.”

My best advice came from our parents. My mother said, “It’s important that the other person is kind.” My father said, “It’s important that the other person is able to have fun.”

Final words:

From Ebony: I wanted to share some advice that my dad told me about recently. 

I got married in 2019 and my dad and I were choosing a song for the father-daughter dance. One of his suggestions was the song “All you need is love,” and he explained to me that he has only ever received one piece of parenting advice, which was “Just love them.”

I found this so beautiful I started to cry.  However anyone chooses to raise their children is the right way, as long as they always remember to love them.

Along the same lines, Carol’s grandmother told her, “Be good to each other.”

These ideas contain everything else.

Interview: Lori Gottlieb

Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist and the author of several New York Times bestselling books, including her latest blockbuster, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed, which, by the way, is being adapted as a television series with Eva Longoria.

In addition to her clinical practice, she writes The Atlantic’s weekly “Dear Therapist” advice column and contributes regularly to The New York Times and many other publications, and she gave a TED talk in 2019.

In her most recent blockbuster bestseller, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, she writes about what she sees with her patients in therapy—and she also writes about what she learned from being in therapy herself. Lori started seeing a therapist when the man she thought she would marry unexpectedly broke up with her.

We thought Lori would be a great person to consult for her observations and insights about relationships.

She talked about common relationship mistakes, how to see another person’s point of view, how to listen better, how to have a good relationship with a therapist, why we often hide important secrets from the people closest to us, how to confide and how to listen to a secret, and more.

Lori’s Try This at Home

1) Go outside, even for five minutes. Look around, breathe the air, look up at the sky, to clear your mind.

2) If you’re upset about a situation, ask yourself, “What small step can I take right now to make my situation better?


  • My Four Tendencies video course makes a great Valentine’s gift and activity to do with your sweetheart. Learn about yourself and your sweetheart through video lessons and expert interviews. Learn more here.
  • Follow Elizabeth and me on Instagram! I often share stories from my Metropolitan Museum Experiment, or let you know when I checked something off my “20 for 2020” list. Find me @gretchenrubin. Liz shares photos of her #Walk20in20 and other things that make her happy in Hollywood. She is @lizcraft.

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