relationship realness: you have to create space


This time last year I was getting ready to put up my online dating profile.  I was ready to start dating again and let’s be real, meeting people isn’t always easy for a semi-introvert like me. My friends had been urging me to try online dating for a while and I was afraid. I also felt like a loser because shouldn’t I just be able to meet someone in real life?

Thank god for my amazing life coach. He walked me through the process of creating my profile and even read it over for me and gave suggestions. It was great having his wisdom as someone who knew more about me than most of my previous therapists, and he had valuable insight into the kind of guy I was looking for.

Nearly a year later Jason and I are coming up on our first anniversary. He was the first person I met online and I’ll never forget the thoughtful message he sent. Like he actually took time to read my profile and connect some of my interests to his. Seems like such a small thing but in the online dating world it’s major – I could tell off the bat that he cared.

Yesterday morning Jason and I had a little bump. Things needed to be discussed and we addressed them in a kind way. We gave space for the other person to talk and took turns listening. During the talk Jason expressed his reasons for wanting to have one day a week where we focused on spending time together,  having fun with each other. We are busy people and often our energy is pulled in many different directions. He wants to set aside time each week where we come together to create and enjoy each other.

We have gone through a great deal in the last year. The first six months we were together it was magic. We went on many amazing dates, little adventures, spent hours and hours just having fun, getting to know each other. Last fall things took a dramatic turn when his father had a debilitating stroke. Overnight everything in his world changed. Things got hard but the entire time we stayed committed to our relationship. This year I learned that we have the capacity to grow through tough times as a couple.

So much happens in our lives. When circumstances are challenging we need to be able to lean on our relationships. If we don’t take the necessary time to strengthen our ties and create space for our love, it will be hard to sit thought difficult times and trust we can get through them. We have to nourish our relationships to be able to handle the ups and downs that make life colorful and real.

This weekend I came up to Ventura to spend quality time with Jason. We took a little bicycle ride, cooked beautiful meals, rested, and watched movies. I am so glad that I am willing to create space for our relationship. Today I see just how important it is.



  • Melissa

    Beautiful post, Ashley. I am so happy that you’ve found love with Jason & that you have committed to make the relationship a priority in the midst of the complexities of daily life. It is so easy to get caught up in one’s own schedule & agenda, but you’re right — it is so important to make space for the ones we love.

    The sharing of your online dating experience also gives me some hope & a little nudge toward trying it myself. I am so skeptical, but it’s nice to know there might be a few good men out there!

    Sounds like a magical weekend!


    • ashley

      Thank you Melissa! I fully support your trying the online world of dating ;) I was super skeptical as well. I framed it as a way of showing the universe I was open to a relationship. I looked at it like more of an energy exercise if that makes sense. Opening my energy in this way it gave me a lot of freedom and I even met a few guys just out in the neighborhood too. Consider this another little nudge. Have a wonderful week. xoa

  • topa

    Sounds like you are meant for each other! :-)

  • Jillian

    Love this! It’s so important to make that space when lives are busy. When my husband lost his job a few months ago we almost gave up our weekly date night in an effort to save money. Quickly realizing that in a stressful time getting rid of that special evening was a big mistake, we re-imagined date night to at home spa night! We make homemade facial masks and body scrubs, give each other hot towel foot massages- it costs almost nothing and now that he’s working again I don’t think we’ll go back to the old going-out date night model! That time to just focus in and care about each other is so key!

    • ashley

      Hey lady!
      I am so glad you shared this. I love how you re-imagined date night! That is creative and fun and it sounds super relaxing. We are definitely going to give that a try. I realized as well that it’s about the time spent together, not about the activity, bringing that attention and care in is huge. I’m seriously looking forward to spa night! Thanks for the inspiration! xoa

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