Listen to my latest podcast episode:

TMHS 769: The Surprising Truth About Menopause & Lifestyle Changes for Menopause Symptoms – with Dr. Lisa Mosconi

TMHS 658: The Truth About Healthy Relationships & The Rules Of Love – With Jay Shetty

Relationships are at the very foundation of human health. Our relationships have a profound impact on our happiness and overall well-being. But no relationship is without challenges, and today you’re going to hear about how to cultivate stronger and more intentional relationships with ourselves and the people around us.

Jay Shetty is a New York Times bestselling author, an award-winning podcast host, and the chief purpose officer for the #1 sleep and meditation app, Calm. Jay is passionate about helping folks uncover their purpose and tap into self-awareness to improve their lives. In his new book, 8 Rules of Love, Jay outlines why relationships are a skill set and how we can take actionable steps to build healthier relationships.

In this interview, you’re going to hear some of the powerful lessons from 8 Rules of Love. Jay is sharing how our relationships habits form and how we can be more purposeful about creating skills that best serve our relationships. You’ll learn how to better understand yourself, your past and current relationships, and so much more. I hope you enjoy this episode with the incredible Jay Shetty!

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • What mirror neurons are and how they work.
  • Why Jay chose to write a book about love and relationships.
  • The four important decisions we make in life.
  • What it means to take a look in the karma mirror.
  • The true meaning of karma.
  • Why our relationship habits are often like hand-me-downs.
  • What first love syndrome is.
  • The details of what actually happens when the spark fades in a relationship.
  • What the three-date rule is.
  • A few first love archetypes, and what we can learn about ourselves from them.
  • How our relationships and our health are connected.
  • Different ways we tend to seek validation in relationships.
  • How long it takes to really get to know someone.
  • Why your partner is your guru.
  • An important distinction between being alone and being in solitude.
  • Why you should carve out quality time with yourself.

Items mentioned in this episode include:

Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!


SHAWN STEVENSON: Welcome to the Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert, Shawn Stevenson. And I'm so grateful for you tuning in to me today. There are a few things more impactful on our health, happiness, mental well-being, and our overall success in life than our relationships. Our relationships deeply impact the choices that we make on a daily basis. And this isn't just external things, we're talking about what's happening within our own brains being influenced by our relationships. And the newly discovered social part of the human brain, something called mirror neurons, have really been rising to the forefront in social science and communication. Mirror neurons essentially simulate any of the behaviors that you're witnessing in the people around you. If you're witnessing somebody doing a speech, for example, your mirror neurons are simulating you doing that behavior. You're watching somebody at the plate in a baseball game, your mirror neurons are simulating you doing that behavior. This is one of the reasons why things seem so visceral and emotional when we're watching other people. This is why we can be so emotionally invested in sports and things like that, in our favorite sports team, for example, maybe a little bit too much.


Some people we think that we're in the game, we're on the team, it could be that dramatic for us. But we're really, truly, mentally, emotionally invested in the things that we are witnessing. Now, at first glance, this might be something that's pretty cool, but we also need to understand that if we're witnessing and being exposed to behaviors that are not advantageous to our health and well-being, what is that simulating in our minds, what is that programming our brains to do? Now, a huge meta-analysis that was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology details how our social relationships and our level of self-esteem are deeply reciprocal. And here's the key, this is true in all developmental stages throughout our lifespan, this is always happening. The people around us, our relationships, are deeply impacting our self-esteem, how we feel about ourselves, how we perceive ourselves and how we perceive ourselves is deeply impacting our relationships at all stages of our lives. We hear the term peer pressure, for example, we just think about kids. Peer pressure in high school, in middle school, going and peeking in on your kid's friends and throwing little messages their way, "Hey, if you booze, you lose punk." We're trying to make sure that our kids are not being peer pressured. But here's the thing, you are being peer pressured on a regular basis. Right?


We might not acknowledge that it's happening, but we're definitely being influenced. You might be like, "No, no, I don't subject myself to peer pressure, Shawn." It's a part of being human, it's a part of being in social relationships. Because I'm telling you, there's somebody that pressures you, that is influential in your life and in your decisions. Especially if we're in the context of an intimate relationship, there's definitely going to be peer pressure. Now, this doesn't mean that peer pressure, we label it as something bad, but it's just a social pressure that influences our behavior. That's what it really is at its core. So, we want to be intentional in our relationships, we want to be empowered to create relationships that help us to grow and to be our best selves, and that's what this episode is all about. I'm telling you this is one of my favorite episodes of the year, I'm just going to go ahead and say that. And we're talking about the rules of love, what are some of the ingredients, the critical ingredients to cultivating healthy relationships. And before we get to our special guest, we're talking about relationships, and we're talking about love. We usually... What organ is going to come to mind when we think about that? We're usually going to be thinking about our hearts, alright? This is what's often considered to be the organ of love.


Now, the question is where did that symbol of a heart come from? Because that two-sided... You start in the... In a point, and then you go outward and make the little humps and come down into the point, that symbol of a heart doesn't look like this four-chambered bad boy that we have beating in our chest. Where did that symbol come from? Now, for me, it might be if you take a nice derriere, flip it upside-down. I'm sorry, that might... If you've ever... Once you see it, you can't un-see it, right? It might be two lovers coming together and kissing. I don't know where the heart symbol came from, but it's not actually equating to what our heart actually looks like. But this thumper in your chest is a truly remarkable organ. We also have this new understanding, it's actually called in scientific circles the heart brain, because of all of the neurons that are actually located in your heart. Your heart actually does a lot of thinking. And your heart also, if you look at the folks doing research at Heart Math Institute, your heart is essentially emitting a field, an electromagnetic field, that extends beyond your physical body, and this can now be measured. And it's called a tube torus that can extend about eight feet from your body.


It is so remarkable. So, our ancestors really did know something special about our heart and about our energy field and about love. Clearly, we want to take good care of our hearts, we want to nourish our hearts. Our food is literally making every cell that our heart is made of. Our blood is made from the food that we eat, our arterial walls, our arteries, our veins, our capillaries are all made from food. Now, there are actually some foods that have really stood out in peer-reviewed evidence as being nourishing for our hearts. And one of those foods... And this was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, and it showed that drinking beet juice can boost our stamina, our cardiovascular capacity, up to 16% during exercise and training. And they noted that study participants experienced less muscle damage and less fatigue after the training that they put them through, alright? Beets, alright? The name, what does your heart do? It beats, right? There's this really interesting connection. If we even look at through the lens of the doctrine of signatures, the sign of nature, you see the beets, and you see the way that it looks, and you see the red color that comes from it, it's just like, "Man, it really just puts me in the mind frame."


Like, "That's like blood." And to find out that it's so great for our cardiovascular system is really cool. Now, the thing is beet juice might not taste that good. It's not necessarily an easy on-ramp for people to take advantage of. And this is why for me, I get a concentrate of beet juice that's combined with acai, which has an ORAC value of 103,000, and it's one of the most nourishing, supportive superfoods for our heart as well. And also, there's blueberry in here. Blueberry, there's a ton of research indicating its benefit for our cardiovascular system, including research from the University of Michigan found that blueberry intake can potentially affect genes that are related to the burning of stored body fat, so helping our metabolic health. These are just a few of the ingredients co-processed, real whole food concentrates that's found in Organifi's Red Juice. Go to, that's O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I com/model, you get 20% off their incredible Red Juice formula. My kids love it, it's one of our family favorites. It's really upgrading that paradigm of Kool-Aid, I grew up with Kool-Aid, alright? All that artificial... Whatever that was, artificial colors, artificial flavors, all the added sugar that we would add.


Man, I would add... Just for a pitcher, you're adding a cup of sugar, alright? At that... And that's the low end, that's the low end of sugar we we're adding to just one pitcher making that Kool-Aid. And to take something that people are acclimated to in our culture and upgrade it, that's how we can make change very quickly, put this into somebody's hands. They've got incredible go-packs that you could travel with as well by just adding this to water or to some... Your favorite other beverages and dramatically upgrading the nutrition that you could find there. That's what it's really all about. Again, go to, you get 20% off their Red Juice blend. Their Green Juice is phenomenal as well, their Gold. Just have such incredible things over at Organifi, and they're doing stuff the right way. All organic, all done right. Check 'em out, And now let's get to the Apple Podcast review of the week.


ITUNES REVIEW: Another five-star review titled “So glad I found you” by ElaineGH. "Wow, wow, and one more wow!!! I’ve listened to a few of your podcasts, and I need to say that they are amazing!!! Not only are you inspirational, but the interviews that you host are spot on. You dig in and have fantastic questions. Your guest are relevant, and also inspirational. Thank you for what you do, and keep going strong”.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Amazing. Thank you so very much for leaving me that review over on Apple Podcast, I truly, truly do appreciate that. And if you get to do so, please pop over to Apple Podcast and leave a review of the Model Health Show. And on that note, let's get to our special guest and topic of the day. Our guest today is number one New York Times best-selling author, award-winning Podcast host and the chief purpose officer at Calm, Jay Shetty. On this episode, we're going to be diving into the rules of love, and I think you're really, really going to love this conversation. Without further ado, here's the amazing Jay Shetty. My guy...


JAY SHETTY: What's going on?


SHAWN STEVENSON: Jay Shetty. What's up man?


JAY SHETTY: It's good to be here, man. Thank you for having me.


SHAWN STEVENSON: It's my pleasure. Thank you for stopping by and blessing us with your presence.


JAY SHETTY: Oh, you're very kind, man. You always... You have a great energy. I remember when you were in my studio, you left that place very Zen.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Oh man, thank you.


JAY SHETTY: So, I really appreciate it, man. It was great.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Thank you. I receive... Coming from you, man, I receive that. Listen, you just wrote a book on relationships that's blown my mind, time and time again. I saw so many truths in there, I was able to unpack some of my own thought process, and it really took me on an adventure. But my question for you first and foremost, why did you write a book on relationships right now specifically?


JAY SHETTY: I think for me it was really incredible for the past two years, I kept meeting people who had incredible careers, but they didn't have good relationships, and they felt unfulfilled. Or I met people who'd gone through an incredible physical transformation, achieved the physique they wanted, but they still felt unlovable. And then I met people who had this beautiful relationship with their kids or beautiful relationship with their parents, but because they didn't have a partner to share it with, they felt inadequate. And so, what I constantly found from people I was coaching, from people I was working with, from people sharing things in my Instagram DMs or whatever it was, was that relationships, whether they were healthy or unhealthy, were the greatest cause of stress, pressure, feelings of unworthiness, self-doubt, all of it came through our relationships with other people.


And so, when I looked at the work I wanted to put out in the world, I realized that there are four important decisions we all make in our life. And I believe that the quality of your life is defined by the quality of these four decisions. The first decision is how do you feel about yourself? You get to decide that every day. When you look in the mirror when you wake up in the morning, you get to decide how you feel about yourself. The second most important decision you make is who you give your love to and who you receive love from. It's one of the biggest decisions. And it's a choice, it's a decision. The third most important decision you make is how you make money and what you do to make money. And the fourth most important decision is how you serve the world. And I find that these four decisions are often the quickest decisions we make, the decisions we pay the least amount of attention to. And so, my first book, Think Like a Monk, was to help people make the decision, "How do I feel about myself?" And the second book of mine is, "Who do I give my love to?" and "How do I receive love?" So that's why I wrote this book right now.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, yeah. And you just said it, and we don't really put too much into it, too much thought into it. I think that we also... And you talk about this in the book as well, we outsource our thinking on how to do it, and so we're just unaware. And you actually go through these eight rules of love, and they are phenomenal. And I want to actually unpack a few of these...


JAY SHETTY: I'd love that.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Specifically, ones that really jumped out to me that I saw consistently, even working in my clinical practice, that would influence people's decisions, how they thought about themselves. And the first one I want to ask you about... This is rule number two in the book, we're going to bounce around a little bit.


JAY SHETTY: Yeah, yeah, yeah, of course.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Alright. And of course, we want to make sure everybody picks up a copy of the book. But rule number two was, "Take a look in the karma mirror." And you started right off. Because the word karma, we have this association with it, but there's a misconception about what it really means.


JAY SHETTY: Yeah, I think that we have a very limited understanding of a lot of eastern concepts and eastern words. And I was very fortunate having lived as a monk for three years, I spent a lot of time studying the Vedas and spiritual literatures that give insight and depth to these concepts and words that we now hear. Like we hear kismet or karma, all these words are thrown around in the western world, but we don't necessarily have the most thorough understanding of the word. And so, karma is often what goes around comes around.


I think there's that great Justin Timberlake song. Its' like... And it's like whatever you do, you get it back. There's some truth in that, but that's not fully what it is. So, karma is this cycle of impressions, forming into ideas, forming into patterns in our life. So let me break down what I mean by that. When you make a choice in your life, that choice has a certain reaction or a certain consequence. And that consequence is there to teach you about whether you choose to do that again. So, let's use that for health. When I see a fried burger with a bunch of fries with a sugary drink right there in the evening, and I get attracted to that, I'm like, "That's what I want to eat tonight." I make that choice in the moment, it feels amazing. But then the next morning, I don't feel as good. That consequence is not I got what I give out, that consequence was for me to reflect on, "Do you want to eat that again?" Next time when you have that choice is that what you're going to choose? And so, I feel like that's what karma's trying to do, is that sometimes you make a choice. And we don't look at how we make choices, we focus far more on the result.


So, let's think about this. How many times have you ever dated someone, later on to realize that they were the wrong person? But you never went back to think about how you made the decision to be with them, you were just really upset that they were the wrong person, and they hurt you or whatever they did. But what if you went back and said, "Actually, I chose to be with them, because they were controlling, and that made me feel safe." Or "Wait a minute, I chose to be with them, because they kind of took care of everything and fixed all my problems, so I thought that they knew what they were doing." Or "Wait a minute, I chose to be with them, because I was in a weak place, and therefore, they made me feel a sense of safety and certainty, and I let them do that." "Oh, now next time I make a decision to be with someone, let me make sure that I'm not basing it on that criteria. Let me actually go in as an equal." So that's what karma's trying to get you to have that reflection.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Oh man, so powerful. And you say that karma starts by impression.




SHAWN STEVENSON: And the word samskara, it's been in my vocabulary for quite some time, my mother-in-law used to say that whenever we would be just kind of creating an internal conflict, she's like, "This is samskara." I didn't really know what it meant until you really broke it down in the book, and it just made so much sense.


JAY SHETTY: Yeah. Samskaras are impressions. And impressions are things that you don't get to choose. So, if you grew up in a certain family and the family watched a lot of movies or listened to a particular type of music, or you grew up in a certain area, and you saw relationships of a certain type, those will become impressions. So, watching your parents argue when you were a kid gave an impression, watching a rom com when you were a kid landed an impression, watching your family member get a divorce or cheat on their partner left an impression. And then what you do with that impression, you have two choices, you either reject it, or you replicate it. So, if you look at your whole life, every choice you make, every impression you have is either you repeating something that you saw in your childhood, or you're rejecting something that you saw in your childhood. And if we can track that back and decipher, "Oh, which ones am I replicating, which ones am I rejecting?" that lets you make better decisions moving forward. So that's how samskara fits in.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Right. The first step though is awareness, because we don't know that we're doing it, and we love this in other people, this response, so with awareness being the key, again, we're just kind of replaying what we've seen in our environment and of course, I've seen this time and time again, we are just like our parents in a relationship context or just how we operate, or we experience something we don't consciously know, sometimes when we decide I'm not going to be that, and we do the total opposite. And either one of these though, we're going to be swinging on a pendulum, and instead of having the awareness to pick and choose and decide consciously how we want to show up.


JAY SHETTY: Yes. Yeah, and that's what's missing. It's like if you looked at your current set of values for what you expect in a relationship, what you want your partner to be like, most of that's just subconscious. It's been a pattern that's been ingrained in you since the messages you picked up your whole life and now you think that's you. It's like almost like you adopted a closet. Let's say every time your older brother or older sister or whatever it may be, you just adopted their clothes, and now you wear certain clothes because you think they look cool, but when you stop to think about it, you're like, "Wait a minute, I only wear this because my older brother used to wear it, it's not actually my clothes. This is not the style that I chose." And when you get old enough you say, "Okay, I think I should buy my own closet. I think I should think about what I want to wear, or I think I should be conscious." So similarly in relationships so many of the things we had... Things we have, the values we have, they're adopted. They're not ours. They're not created or built by us. They are actually gained because of someone else's value.


Maybe you're one of those people who your mom always said to you when you were growing up like, "Oh, you don't look good when you wear make-up." That's an impression that last with you. Now, if a guy tells you look good when you wear make up on, it's like, "Oh, this person's breaking that mold, this person is a good person." Or you get someone who plays into that and says, "Yeah, I don't like it when you wear make-up... Put make-up on." If you haven't thought about whether you like make-up or not, that person now starts to control how you feel based on that samskara from your mom. And so now a guy goes, "Yeah, I don't like it when you were a makeup," and you go, "Oh yeah, my mom made me feel safe, that makes me feel safe." But you never had the internal discussion on do I want to wear make-up or not? And so those are simple examples to make the point, but I think this gets very deep into... I've seen people repeat incredible things, people I've worked with. Their mom had them... Their dad left their mom when they were born. And you'd think that that person goes through all that pain and trauma would never want to put someone through that again.


But when they get older, they get with a guy, they get pregnant, then they get left. And they keep doing that, and they keep having kids and their kids are going through that same pain they went through, and you notice how hard it is. And I come with that empathy, not with judgment, but it's so hard to break these patterns. So, we have to do the work to sit down with these things.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. And you just said it, just being aware first and foremost that we're even replicating the behavior so often we're so busy doing life we don't really realize that it's happening. One of the most powerful statements in the book you talk about we love others in response to the way that we are loved by others. And you had this great analogy of how we expect love to come a certain way. It might be from our parents, it might be from cinematic versions, and if somebody isn't loving you that specific way, we might think that they're lacking or withholding love, when in reality it can be expressing love a different way. And so that mismatch can create turmoil.


JAY SHETTY: Yeah, I think what's really interesting is, and talking about it from the health perspective too, which I know your work is dedicated to and touching on that, we talk today about how loneliness is like the same as smoking, I think, like 15 cigarettes a day. That's the comparison that's made. And so, loneliness can be really, really tough. And so, when we're lonely, we kind of settle for being with anyone because we'd rather settle than be lonely. The pain of being alone is so strong that we'd rather just find a way to have someone else who makes us feel better. Now, when you are with that kind of a person, I think what you're referring to is this idea that we see love as certain things. So maybe you see love as compliments, maybe you see love as validation, maybe you see love as affection, maybe you see love as love letters, maybe you see love as someone doing the dishes for you, maybe you see love as someone making sure your place is clean. We all have these very specific ideas of what love is based on how our parents loved us, based how our first partner loved us.


I call it first love syndrome. The people that first loved you have trained you on how you think about what love is. So now when you meet someone, they could be doing so many other things to love you, but because they didn't do the dishes at night, you feel they don't love you. Because that was how your parents showed you that love was there. Me and my wife went something similar like this. So, in my house, and I'm using really simple ideas and examples, because most relationships crumble because of really basic things. When you look at people who get divorced, when you look at people who break up, it's not always something like, "Oh, they cheated on me." Or it's not always, it's like, "They stole my money." It's not that extreme. It's often like, "Well, we just couldn't see eye to eye. We just couldn't get along. They didn't understand me." That's what you'll hear. And so, with me and my wife, in my house, if you had a dinner, you'd have dinner then you'd hang out and you'd clean up late at night, 'cause that's how we did it in my house. Now at my wife's house, you'd have dinner, you'd clean up everything, and then you'd hang out.


And so, when we first got married and we first started throwing events and parties and having our friends over, I'd be hanging out with all my friends after dinner chatting, hanging out, and she'd be like, "Well, Jay we got to do the dishes. Let's do it right now." And I'd be like, "I don't want to do it right now. I want to do this." It's like relax. But the thing is, it wasn't that she was talking, or I was talking, we were both talking from how we were trained, we found an evening win. And so, we would feel upset 'cause she would start washing the dishes, I then feel guilty that I wasn't helping her wash the dishes, then after the night was over, she'd be upset with me 'cause I didn't help out and I'd be upset with her that she was forcing me to leave our friends. And all of this could be solved simply by a conversation of what do you feel like when I don't wash the dishes? And where does that value come from? And for her, it's like, "Well, when you don't wash the dishes, I feel like you don't care about me, and that you care more about relaxing than you do about cleaning." And I was like, "Wait, hear it from my angle, my angle is I do care about the cleaning, but I care about connecting first, and we need to rebuild a collective value rather than bring our value from our homes."


And so, I often think about, in relationships, we often think we're bringing the bricks of our old home into a new home. And the truth is there's a bit of that, but the second part of is we're building new bricks to put in this home together. And that's what people don't often want to do, they want to bring their old bricks, but they don't want to make new ones. And so now the house is just made up of old bricks, and we've never found a way to build part of that home together.


SHAWN STEVENSON: This is got three little pigs vibes, right here. Big time man.


JAY SHETTY: I love that story.


SHAWN STEVENSON: You know what, it's so interesting, you talked about even how we come together, it's so strange in our culture. We don't really realize this, but you even highlighted something called the context effect. And so, we're getting together with people under certain circumstances, and we can have these kind of delusions of what it's supposed to be based on that.


JAY SHETTY: Some of the studies blew my mind. There's this incredible study that shows that when you go out on a date, if you're both holding something warm, you're more likely to have warm feelings toward someone. I was just like, "Wow, so that's why we say, 'Let's go out for coffee.'" There's a reason why going out for coffee is a chosen drink because it's like, "Oh yeah, our hands are warm, we feel warm feelings towards each other." Some of the studies show that if you both walk out of a romantic comedy, you're more likely to feel you just crossties with someone and you felt a spark or a connection. If you are at a wedding, you're more likely to fall in love or think that someone has affection or feelings towards you because you're in that chemical zone, you're having those experiences. One of the ones that stayed with me the biggest was I was looking at the spark and chemistry, because I think that's something that people pay so much attention to. And the research shows that when you first meet someone, you're not only experiencing excitement, but you're experiencing stress chemically. So you see someone and you think they're so attractive, do they think I'm attractive?


Excitement, stress. You see someone and you go, "Oh, they're walking over here, I'm excited. Will they talk to me?" Stress. You think, "Oh my gosh, I just message them. I got their number, I'm so excited. Oh God they haven't replied in two hours, I'm stressed." And what happens is that what we're saying is the spark is excitement and stress at the same time. There's this tension that feels really unnerving, but in a fun way. And the science shows that what happens is as you start to spend more time with someone, one month goes by, two months goes by, their company reduces your stress. So now what's happening is when we say the spark went away, all that actually went away was the stress, because you now actually feel comforted by their company because they no longer stress you out. And it's crazy 'cause we all look at that and we go, "Oh my God, the spark went, we lost the buzz, I don't feel that way about them anymore." No, the stress went away because they make you feel safe, they make you feel comfortable, you feel at ease with each other. And so, we keep chasing stress just like we do it in work. We know some people that are addicted to stress, they love the stress of work, we do that in love. We just want to be with someone new all the time because we enjoy that stress, but that's not a healthy addiction, it's unhealthy to be consistently stressed.


SHAWN STEVENSON: It's all happening in our own head.


JAY SHETTY: All happening in our own head and in our body, it's chemical.


SHAWN STEVENSON: It's chemical.


JAY SHETTY: It's all chemical.


SHAWN STEVENSON: We have this subconscious belief, again, like somebody is doing something to us. They're sprinkling some kind of love dust on us, but it's all happening, and this... The context effect actually happened with my wife and I, because I was working at the university gym that we both went to, and she came in and I'm working with my clients, and I noticed this young lady just like she's dedicated. She's coming in pretty much every day. She's really just focused over there running on the treadmill and dabbling with the weights and that kind of thing. And over time, I would see her, and I would've just noticed like, "Wow. She's really getting after it." And one day I was just finishing up with a client and she was on the most awkward machine in the gym, that abductor machine, and she dropped her headphones. So, I went and picked them up for her, and she said, "Thank you." And I noticed this slight... Just a tiny bit of an accent her being from Kenya. And I guess that impressed her, and the next thing you know, we end up talking and the rest is history. But me meeting her in the gym and seeing her coming to the gym, I thought, "Okay, this is a great match, we're going to be working out together, we are about this fitness life." She was just doing that to get in shape to go to Miami with her friends.




SHAWN STEVENSON: After that, when we got together and I'll be like, "Hey, you want to go to the gym?" Never again. Like for a year, Jay, and so it started to... It started to get on my nerves. I kind of felt like I was catfished. I was gym fished because of the context that we met under. But over time, of course, she understood my values and also kind of doing her own internal work and we have that match. And we find places where she likes... Where she is doing fitness-wise and me as well. And then we also found connection doing it together with some things, but we had to create our own blocks.


JAY SHETTY: I'm so glad. That's such a great real-life story, an example of exactly what we're just talking about now. And I think what we do is we take exactly what you just did in that scenario, if you don't mind me saying, it's like, you see someone in the gym, you're like, "I love the gym, they love the gym," and then now you start painting a story and the story is like, "Oh, we're going to go to gym together, we're going to work our bodies together, we're a kind of build together." But it's like you never got to check what that person's intention was for being there. And I think so many relationships lost that way or start that way. Well, you never even asked the person why they were there, or what they were there for, or what's important to them. [chuckle] And so in the book, I talk about the three-date rule. And what I mean by this is it's not your first three dates, but somewhere you want to have these three dates. It could be across three months, it could be across a year, but these three dates have to happen at some point in your dating timeline. The first date is vibing with that person's personality.


Do you enjoy each other's company? Do you like each other? Do you have things to talk about? Do you feel like you connect? That's natural, we know that. The second date that I don't think we ever to talk about, it's what you just talked about, is do I respect their values? So, if her value was to get fit to go to Miami, do you respect that? Can you respect that? Or actually, do you not respect that? And we never even get to that stage because we never even know what someone values. We assume that someone's actions or their behavior displayed their values. If you see someone at a soup kitchen, you think, "Oh, they must be so charitable and they must be so generous." That person could be there because their company forced them to be there. That person could be there because they didn't have anything else to do that day and their friend dragged them along. Or they could be there because they really care. But knowing the value is so important.


But what we like to do is, it's called the halo effect, when we ascribe certain qualities to someone based on something we like about them. So, if we find someone attractive, we say they must be trustworthy. If we think someone's good at talking or we enjoy the way, they speak we are like they must be organized. If someone has a good job or dresses well, we say, "Oh, they must be driven and focused." So, we start giving them qualities that they haven't actually showed us they have, and we set ourselves up for failure because we're hoping for them to have more than they've actually told us they have or shown us they have.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, so fascinating. You talked about... I love this as well because you really hit it on the head, these types that we fall for, and you really helped us to go back and look at one of our early samskaras, which is our first love, and you talk about these archetypes of people that we fall for. I want to go through these.


JAY SHETTY: Yes, please.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Because I think a lot of folks are going to hear this in our past or even currently in how we're assessing our relationships, one of them is the rebel, so let's go through these.


JAY SHETTY: Yeah. Thank you. Yeah, I like this. So, I think there's one point in our life where we feel attracted to people who break the rules. And there's something exciting about them because maybe you're someone who follows the rules, maybe you grew up in an environment that was very rule-based, maybe your parents made you follow certain principles and certain curfews and whatever it may be. So now you meet someone who doesn't value rules and you go, "Oh, yeah, that's attractive." Notice how that's not right or wrong, it's just good to understand what does that mean? It means I am attracted to a part of that person just because that was something I didn't have. That doesn't actually make them a good partner, that doesn't make them a good person to have a relationship with. I'm not saying you shouldn't date the rebel; I'm just saying don't think that the rebel solves all your problems. And often that's what we think. We think, "Oh, last time I dated someone who didn't have a job and they were a bit of a bum. This time, if I date a guy who has a great career, he will take care of everything or she will take care of everything, or they'll have a great set up." So, we have these assumptions in our mind that, "Oh, if I'm with a rebel who breaks the rules, that's going to be adventurous." It could be adventurous, but it might be adventurous to the extreme that you don't want.


And so, I often find that you can't just assume that the rebel solves your problems because you grew up in a rule-based society.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Wow. Another archetype is the chase.


JAY SHETTY: Yeah. Oh gosh, how many times... Everyone can relate to this, and I can relate to this. How many times have you wanted to be with someone only because they won't say yes? I think I've been in that position so many times where I like chased a woman down or a girl at the time, 'cause I'm talking about my teens, we literally just trying to convince someone to be with you. And what's really interesting about this is if you are the one doing the chasing, often you're not even chasing that person, you're chasing the feeling of convincing yourself that you're worthy of that person. And that's the part that worries me the most about being the chaser, is that have you stopped to think that you don't even want that person, you just want to think better of yourself. You're using that person as self-validation, and chances are, when you get that person, usually that relation fizzles out in a few months, because the chase was all about proving to yourself that you could obtain something that you wanted. And so, the challenge with the chase is that you are viewing someone as an object, and if you are someone who's being pursued in that way, also what happens...


There's this great scene in The Notebook where Ryan Gosling's character is talking to Rachel McAdams character, and Ryan Gosling says to Rachel McAdams, he said, "I'll be anything you want. I can be anything you want. You just tell me, and I'll do it. If you want me to do this, I'll do it. If you want me to do this, you'll do it." If you're hearing that, that's unhealthy. If someone's saying, "I can be anything you want," it almost sounds poetic. You almost want someone to write that to you in a love letter, but it isn't healthy, because if someone's willing to be anything for you, well, then why wouldn't they choose to be everything else for someone else if they're just willing to mold who they are? So, if you are someone who's being chased, I think it's also important to make sure that... I think a lot of people today are experiencing love bonding. A lot of people are experiencing this term that's described as someone is just full on giving you gifts, showering you with complements, surprising you, taking you on the best dates. They are acting as if they love you, and you fall for it because you've never had that before, only for them to back out as quickly, because they were just doing it to prove to themselves that they could get you.


And what it really is it's just that we're struggling so much with self-worth that we make someone a part of our own self-worth experiment, and we don't even know that. So, I just want people to be conscious of that because you could waste a lot of money, time and energy pursuing someone only for your own self-confidence and you still won't feel confident even if you get them.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. Oh my gosh, it's so good. I talk about when we meet somebody, we don't really meet them. Also, we meet their representative.


JAY SHETTY: So true. So true. I love that.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And so being able to... I love that three-date structure of being able to ask these questions to be able to maintain some sense of sovereignty and awareness, because again, because of our programming, we don't do the internal... And this is the thing. This book is really a roadmap to go through this internal journey of understanding ourselves and understanding our choices. Now, this next one, this one hit me intimately. I'm not saying I was the project, [chuckle] but kind of, definitely, probably people have thought that about me. So, let's talk about the project.


JAY SHETTY: Interesting. I don't see you like that at all, so I want to hear about that.




JAY SHETTY: But yeah, the projects, again, so much of this is tied up in how we feel about ourselves. So, if we see someone who's a project and they listen to us and they're flexible and they're open, we feel powerful. "Oh, if I can fix them and they want to learn from me, that makes me feel special. That makes me feel like I'm wiser, I'm better." And so often, we seek out projects. We look for people who we consider broken because we want to feel like we can fix them. We want to feel... Our validation and our self-value comes from the fact that we can solve other people's problems because we don't want to solve our own. And our superiority complex develops because we look at them and we think, "Oh yeah, if I can help them get better and if I can improve them, then I can feel better about myself." And this comes from a lot of people who have that parental aspect, that idea of like, "I'm going to be a parent to this person." And the challenge with this is, you make a child out of the other person. When you choose to parent someone, you force them into being the child. And guess what? A few years down the line, you get tired of being the parent. It's exhausting being the parent.


But now, you have subjugated that person to being set up to being such a child that now they go, "Well, where are you going? You told me you're going to take care of me and now you're making me feel unsafe." So you've actually trained them and habituated then to expecting to be taken care of, and what you've done is you've made them feel broken. So now their only feeling of being fixed is through you, so now they're even more dependent on you. And I often say this, everyone wants to feel depended upon, but no one wants to live up to being depended upon, because there's no one person that can solve someone's issue. So, everyone wants to be the number one person for their partner. The healthier thing is that your partner have multiple people they go to for different things. I know my wife will talk to her sister about some things that she doesn't need to tell me, she'll talk to her mom about some things that I can't help her with, and then there's a bunch of stuff that I can help her with.


Now, in the beginning when you're immature, you feel jealous and insecure, like, "Why did she need to talk to her mom and her sister? She should come to me. I've got all the answers." But then you realize you don't even want to live up to that, because you can't. You're drained. No one has the power to be that god-like figure to anyone else. But I think... So that's the project. That's the project.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. My wife stopped me this morning. I was reading your book, and she came over to tell me the latest gossip about some housewives or something, and she's just going through the whole thing and I'm just, "Be interested, Shawn. Find the entry point here where you could relate," because that's not my space. It's usually relegated... Like her sister, I guess, wasn't around at the time or whatever the case might be. Now, here's the thing. If I tune into her, of course, I am going to find some interest in this. And even just... One of the things that I've found over the years, just being present with her, just listening to the sound of her voice, just looking at her excitement. But the thing is, at the end of the day, I don't have to be all these things.




SHAWN STEVENSON: And ironically, again, I'm reading your book at this moment when this happens and... So just kind of circling back and why I would see myself as the project, I know that this happened very early on before I met my wife, where people would see the potential in me. Well, I'm coming from a very volatile environment. I've never really even seen a functional, healthy relationship, let alone been in one, and I'm just replicating what I see in my environment. And it might be true. There might be some potential in me that you could see, but what we tend to do with, like you said, is be this parental figure and try to go to work to make that person that person you want them be. At the end of the day, it has to be their choice.


JAY SHETTY: Always. Always. And it has to be their choice, and it also has to be their journey. And the challenge with when you see someone as a project is you see their potential in your eyes, but you don't see it through their eyes, so you're trying to get them to the next stage of who they should be in your journey. You haven't even taken the time to actually get to know who they are and what they want and where they're going. And then you feel like, "Oh, you're not achieving your potential. You could have been something special. You could have done this," and it's like, "Maybe they don't want to." I remember my wife's working on a cookbook, and she's always been talented with food. So since I've met her, she spoiled me with food for sure. It's a real gift she has. And 99% of people who we meet say, "You should have a restaurant. Why don't you have a restaurant? You should start a restaurant." And I often talked with my wife about this, and I was like, "Do you want a restaurant?" And she was like, "I don't know," and I was like, "That's great. That's a good place to start." And I was like, "Do you know what it means to run a restaurant?" She was like, "I don't," and I was like, "Well, that's where we should start." It's the idea of, "Let's first look at, what does that even mean? What does that mean for me? What does that mean how much work I have to put in? What does that mean... " Because everyone's going to have opinions.


And I find like unsolicited advice is the highest when it comes to relationships. Everyone in your life will give you relationship advice no matter what their current relationship status is. So, whether they're in love, out of love, messed up, figuring it out, confused, they still have the perfect relationship advice for you. And I think it's so unhealthy to assume that your partner or anyone else should help you get to your potential if you haven't done the work to figure out what that is for yourself. Because what you find is you may even become everything your partner things you can become, you may even reach every height that everyone thinks you can reach and still be dissatisfied with yourself because that wasn't your journey. I had someone say a career path to me the other day. They were like, "Oh Jay, you should do this career path," and I was just like, "That's so not part of my values. Even if I became the number one person in the world at that thing, I wouldn't feel any better about myself." Like if anything, I'd feel emptier. And I think that reflection has to happen upfront when you're the project.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. Oh man, so good. And my wife just so happened... Not to say that it was a perfect time, but I was in process of doing that, where I'd gotten myself physically healthy, which I didn't know the side effect would be getting mentally healthier, and I started to really analyze myself and I saw how certain behaviors didn't match up to my identity. So, me being this person who's now being of service and helping all these folks get healthy, working with people in the gym, being somebody who's hurting other people in relationships by giving them the wrong message, it wasn't congruent anymore. So, I had this gap of like, "I'm not going to be in a relationship." And so, she met me as I'm doing this work. And so, some of it, we went through, of course, because, again, both of us really never saw a really healthy dynamic functional relationship before. And so, of course, we had a lot of things to work on together, but she met me when I was focused more on myself.




SHAWN STEVENSON: And again, your book is so familiar. Like when you've done some of these things, it seems so familiar what you're writing.


JAY SHETTY: And I want to touch on something you just said because I think you brought a really nice point, that our relationship health, our physical health and our mental health are all connected. And so, we know when our mental health's better, we can try and have better physical health, when our physical health is better, our mental health improves. We know that. That correlation is very clear. I think the connection that's been missed is how our physical and mental health impact our relationships and how our relationship health impacts our physical and mental health.


So, you could be drinking your green smoothie, eating all your supplements and vitamins, having a healthy diet, but if you don't learn how to communicate with your partner, you could have a really difficult relationship. You can do all the things right for your body and mind, but if you haven't learned the tools and the skills to connect with your partner, that's not going to solve your relationship. You could have the best physique in the world, you can have the best meditation practice in the world, you can have the best prayer practice in the world, but if you don't learn the skills of genuine intimacy with your partner, all of that does not just transfer over here. And I think that's often the mistake, everyone thinks, "If I meditate, then I'm a better partner. If I work out, then I'm a better partner." And I hear a lot of people are like, "Oh, I'm doing all the self-work, but my partner doesn't get it. They don't see that," and it's like, "Well, if you're doing self-work, that should make you more compassionate, more empathetic, more understanding of their pain."


And the opposite is also true. You could have an incredible partner and an incredible relationship that has all the potential of being truly about love, but if you're not taking care of your physical and mental health, you can't show up for your partner in the way that you want. Everything could be perfect about this person, everything could be right, but because you haven't figured out your own body and mind, you're going to lose this person, and both are true. And so, I think we talk a lot about the connection between physical and mental health, but I want to add relationship health to that equation. Same with success. I say this to people all the time, it's like, "You could drive whatever car you want; you could live in whatever apartment or home you want; you could make as much money as you want, but if you argue with your partner every night, none of that is going to feel worth it. You're going to be in that car arguing with yourself on the way to work, you're going to be in that apartment sleeping alone, and you're going to be making all that money not knowing who to share with, and it's going to make it feel worthless."


So, it's not about not having a car or not having money or not having a home, but it's about this skill also needs to be invested in, and that's what I'm doing with this book, is I'm saying it's a skill set. Just like there's a skill set becoming an entrepreneur, just like there's a skill set becoming mentally and physically healthy, please see your relationship as needing a skill set. Do not just leave it to, "If I find the right person, everything is going to be right."


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This is one of the most important conversations because I don't think we really understand. We take it for granted on how our relationships function in our current paradigm. Our genes expect us to connect with other people. We're social creatures. And you're rarely going to find a mammal, period, that's just a "lone wolf." That means you're probably going to die. And so, it's such an important input, and our ability to give and to receive is just... It's affecting our DNA at levels we still don't even understand yet, but we know that it's important. And so, to take away and take it for granted our relationships that we just know how to do this... I'm so grateful for you writing this book right now because we need more education on how to do this stuff, how to actually create a healthy functional relationship when we might not have good examples, or if we have a great example, but then that imprisons us when we meet somebody and they're not meeting these other standards.


And so, you just said it, you give a great example, we can have all this other great stuff going for us in our lives, but if our relationship is rocky or creating turmoil, our life is going to be in turmoil. I don't think that there's anything in our reality that affects us more and so quickly. And you talked about this. I've had experiences. My wife has been meditating since she was like 2 years old, and my mother-in-law has been teaching meditation for decades, and so she brought that and introduced me to meditation and changed everything, changed my entire reality. Now, there was a phase where my wife or I would meditate, and this is when we are working on ourselves kind of individually, which was... It ended up being the most important thing we've ever done, but it was not fun, because we would meet each other after... She might come upstairs from doing a meditation and then I piss her off, and then she's, like, talking to me crazy. I'm like, "Didn't you just meditate?" And so we would have these things and it's just like, "No, no, no, it's not you. It's not your fault. Am I really being about what I seem about? Am I actually taking these things I'm cultivating or learning during my meditation, my self-development and implementing that with a person that I say I care about most?"


JAY SHETTY: Yeah, yeah. I remember this... I remember walking with one of my monk teachers on this beach in South India. There's a holy water there, and we're walking alongside the water, and it was around... Maybe it was around, I think like 50 to 60 monks, like a good group of us, and our teacher's walking in the front and we're all walking behind. And we're not in single file, we're just all over the place. There's no organization to it. Everyone's just walking in that direction. And everyone's trying to be close to our teacher. Everyone wants to walk with the master, walk with the teacher. And so, some people are like, not pushing each other out of the way physically, but like trying to get ahead, walk faster. And I was observing this. And there was a big part of me inside that was feeling envy and jealousy too, and I was thinking, "Maybe I want to be in... I'm fast. I could go ahead of all these people, and I could find that gap. There's that. If I just go that way and then I go that way, then I can be close to the teacher too." I was thinking about this all the time and I'm observing all of this, I'm observing all the... And everyone's...


And you can see everyone's dealing with it, we're all new monks, we're all just starting out, and so we've got a lot to work on, and then I realized something really interesting. I was like there's two ways to get to the top. I either push past every single person and get to the front, or I push everyone closer to the master, and then we all get to be close. And I was thinking which one is going to make the master happier, which one's going to make the teacher happier? Is the teacher going to be happier that I'm more athletic, physical and strong, and I'm going to push everyone out and get to the front and be with him, and he looks behind and everyone's all over the place, or is he going to be happier that everyone's become closer to him, and then now I'm naturally closer to him? And that to me was a real change in mindset that I started to have, and that applies in our relationships too. It's like is what's supporting my partner being right and winning and proving them wrong, does that make them respect me? Like, does my partner respect me because I make them believe I'm right, they're wrong, and my way is the best way, or does my partner respect me because I know how to create a safe space, I know how to give feedback without being critical, I know how to listen without my ego? What really creates a sense of respect and equality in a relationship is not fighting and winning, it's listening and creating space.


And so, our ideas of what creates seriousness, respect, superiority in a relationship are completely warped. And I remember that day trying to... I was like, "Alright, let's all get closer." And I remember just feeling so fulfilled, and even today, I'll see people like... If I bump into people... I was at a restaurant the other night and a few people recognized me and my wife, and they came to take pictures, and it's like you see some of them push pass everyone to take a picture, and I'm like, "But my message is love and kindness." I promise you, if I saw you waiting there behind a couple of people, when it comes to your turn, I'm going to notice that and be even more loving, because I saw you embody the qualities that we're speaking about. Then if you pushed and got to the front, I'm actually a bit like, "Oh, like maybe you didn't listen to... " And so, not in a judgmental way, but in an observing way of like, "Are we here to change and evolve and become better, or are we here because we still have that same mindset even in self-development?"


SHAWN STEVENSON: Absolutely, yeah. So, this is a great segue into the next archetype. So we already went through a few of them here. We went through the rebel, the chase, the project. The next one is the F-boy.


JAY SHETTY: Yeah, the F-boy and the F-girl like that's or the F-them that group of people attract us because there's something cool about the fact that they're choosing us. We know they can be with anyone and everyone, we know they have that power. But now they chose us, I feel special, I feel wanted.


SHAWN STEVENSON: I'm sexy and I know it.


JAY SHETTY: I'm sexy. Yeah, exactly, exactly. And I like that, I like being attractive to the most powerful person in the room, that again, gives me self-worth. Notice how all of these are linked to validation, but we're all walked or wired to look for validation in different ways. So, some of us are wired to look for in the rebel, some of us are wired to look for in this one. And with this one, it's like you almost know that it's bad for you, but you still do it anyway. And I feel like this is actually something that applies to every habit in life, you know that that sugary drink is bad for you, but you still do it anyway, you know that fried food is not great for you, you still do it anyway, you know processed food shouldn't be your first pick, but you do it anyway. You know that person who isn't going to care about you in a few nights, is not the right person, but you do it anyway, because it makes you feel good in the moment. It makes you feel good right now. And I think this is about creating that discipline, that things that are good for you may feel bad in the moment, but feel good after, but the things that are bad for you, they feel incredible in the moment, but they don't feel so good afterwards.


And so, this is the training of that discipline, that the things that are good for me are often further away, take longer to build, take more awareness to create, but then it leads to something special. Whereas when I go for the quick fix or the quick feeling, it doesn't always lead to what I'm really looking for. And that's why I think that in relationship, there's so much habit development, habit formation, there's so much breaking of these addictions as there is in our health, because we can become addicted to that feeling of, I've got made to feel special tonight. I remember... I was watching an interview on BBC HARD talk and they were interviewing a former adult movie star. And she was saying that the only reason why she got involved in adult films was because it was the first-time men had made her feel special or had given her their attention. And that's what led her... Because the first men that had done that were from the adult film industry, and they wanted her to be in it. And that's what made it feel like, "Oh, this is a safe space."


And what I'm saying is that you can find that we'll end up in any industry, any space in the world because of these things. And whatever industry you decide to be in is your choice, there's no right or wrong, and I don't have any judgment on any industry but what I'm saying is that you've got to check yourself on what your intention is and why you're attracted to certain people or certain things. Because what I find really interesting about all of this and everything that I'm saying today is that I just want you to make decisions that make you happy. I want you to make decisions that make you better, I want you to make decisions that genuinely fulfill you. In the long run, that's what I want you to have. I want you to have an amazing relationship, I want you to have love in your life, I want you to feel energized by the people in your life. But that requires you to understand why you keep picking certain people and the F-boy F-girl is setting yourself up for long-term failure for short-term pleasure.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And specifically, that part of it too. The short-term pleasure, you talked a little bit about something that's... I'm very passionate about kind of dissecting and breaking down, which is the chemical soup we can create in this context. So, with the F-boy or F-girl, and you get this sexual experience. We can start to mangle up that chemistry versus something that is smart and safe and healthy, and all these things. Specifically, oxytocin.


JAY SHETTY: Absolutely. I'm so glad you brought that up. And I share this study in the book that you know how many times have you... Everyone who is listening and watching I'm sure you can relate to this. How many times have you been in a relationship where all you do is argue, complain, and criticize, but then straight after you have sex, everything's okay. And now everything's perfect. And we go back to normal. So, it's like, really, the relationship isn't working, but the sex is great and that carries the relationship. And you've been in another relationship where everything's amazing and you're actually connecting well, and then you're having sex, and then everything feels good too, but you look at the difference that... The thing that messes it up is that often sex is being used as a crutch, or an antidote to a low-skilled relationship. And that wears out because if you're using sex in that way, then sex with another person becomes as interesting because then that's all the relationship has. And so, I find that so many people are using physical connection as a form of carrying a relationship that is weak, and we know that the study show that the chemicals that are released after sex almost make you feel closer to the person than you actually are.


And so, we're just going for that drug, we're going for that hit to make ourselves feel, "Oh, we're really close, we're actually really in sync," but you're not in reality.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, we release a cocktail of chemicals, prolactin and oxytocin and norepinephrine, and so even that stress tension and the relaxation, it's really interesting stuff. But again, we don't know that it's happening because we're just so into doing and not really understanding how we work.


JAY SHETTY: Well said.


SHAWN STEVENSON: So, let's hit this last one, so these are the five archetypes, the rebel, the chase, the project, the F-Boy or F-girl, the last one's the opulent one.


JAY SHETTY: Yeah, the opulent one is... Relates back to what I was saying about the halo effect, but the opulent one is, we look at one quality, like let's say you go to an event, and someone speaks and you're just fascinated by their mind. Now you're really just fascinated by their intellect, but you assume that if they're intellectual, they must be financially savvy and they must be physically organized and they must be mentally there. And so now you just amplifying this belief that if they have one opulence, then they must have every other opulence. This person, if they have a good job, they went to a good school, they did a great degree, they got a great score, "Oh, they must be a really reliable person to be around." The opulent one, there are six opulence’s that the Vedas talk about that we look for in people. And the opulence is on fame, wealth, power, knowledge, renunciation, and beauty. Those are the six opulence’s. That we look for in anyone. And the Veda's say that no one person has all of these in full.


So, everyone has different variations of all of these, and when you're attracted the opulent one, the problem is you see one of these opulences in someone and you assume that they have plenty of the other ones. And I think that that's becoming even more common today because we live in this social media age where if someone has followers, you assume they have this. A lot of people assume if you have followers, you have money, it's not true, a lot of people have lots of followers and don't have that much money. A lot of people assume if you have money, then you're able to make things happen for you and that you're a reliable, valuable person, or the other way. People think, "Oh, if that person has money, they must be a bad person," or if that person has followers, they must be chasing fame.


JAY SHETTY: It's also the other way around that we also... The opulent one can also deter us away from someone that's good for us, because we have another inbuilt trigger. If you grow up in a home where someone who is wealthy was always seen as, "Uh, they do stuff behind closed doors to make that money, or they do something dodgy like money is the root of all evil." Now you meet someone, they're wonderful, but then you find out that they're doing well for themselves, and you're turned off by them. Because you think, "Oh, no, money is the root of all evil, they must be doing something risky." Or you meet someone who works really hard at their career, and you think, "Oh, no, no, they just work too hard on their career, they don't have time for a relationship." So, we have these judgments that we make, we don't give ourselves the time to be curious and learn and research with the person.


One of the things I was thinking is really interesting, I've lived in so many apartments for the last few years since I left London, and I always find it fascinating that you have to decide where you want to live. Whether you rent an apartment or you buy an apartment or you buy a home, or you rent a home, we make the decision to live somewhere without ever spending the night there. You never ever sleep in the... You don't go, "Oh, I'm going to sleep here for one night, and then I'll decide tomorrow," you don't get to do that. And I've realized this the hard way, 'cause I rented a place, and I didn't sleep there, and in the daytime, it was beautiful. In the nighttime, it felt haunted, the energy was so off and there were animals in the floor boards there were animals in the side, it was like, I heard footsteps all night, it was anxiety ridden, but I never knew that.


What I'm saying is, don't make decisions about long-term things on short-term data if you haven't experienced it. So don't make these long-term decisions based on short-term data, give yourself an opportunity to get to know the person, understand them, understand their values, watch how they talk to people, observe them, give yourself these skills and these tools, because too many of us can label someone as the right person or the wrong person too quickly. And studies show it takes 200 hours of quality time with someone to get to know them. I was thinking about this, I said, "How many people in my life have I actually spent 200 hours with?" I know I have with my wife, of course, and not just early on, I think I saw my wife like, this was unhealthy, I don't recommend this, but I saw my wife every day for six to nine months in our relationship for at least two hours a day when we first met.


So, we probably did 200 hours very quickly. And I don't always recommend that I think there's unhealthiness in that much time together as well. And when you can't do that, I didn't have a job when I met my wife. So that was easier to do then when I went to work, it was like, "Oh, we don't see each other as much." And so that can create its own challenges, but it takes 200 hours. But how many of us are saying I love you in three months, how many of us are proposing after six weeks, how many of us are moving in after a few... We make a lot of big decisions without giving ourselves that time and space, because love is a drug that is so addictive that you want to have it now, and you want to feel it now, and you feel that that is the only way to satisfy this urge that you have to be in love. And that sets you up for losing love.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Keep in mind everybody, this is just one of the rules deconstructed. This is rule two.


JAY SHETTY: Well, you chose a good rule today, I want to tell you this and am going to say you dived into a rule that I haven't dived into on any interview yet, we just talked about a whole lot of fresh stuff so I'm very happy. I'm very happy because we just dived into a whole area that I haven't touched on with anyone.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And of course, this is for me, it just is one of the most familiar and one of the most important, because we get to decide our choices that we make in our life. And we don't really think about that. We just think that our choices are kind of forced upon us, or we're just conditioned to make certain choices. We have so much power, and so this is why this was stood out. So, this was rule number two. Take a look in the Karma mirror. We're just going to hit on a couple more of these really quickly, just again, highlighting them, because everybody needs to get a copy of this book, it is so powerful. Rule four your partner is your guru. We kind of dabbled into this just a little bit, your partner is your guru. Talk about this one.


JAY SHETTY: Yeah, so this one's, it can be counter-intuitive, but what I found in the most successful relationships and looking at the most happy and thoughtful relationships, were relationships where people learned from their partner. They felt that their partner was helping them grow. And when I say helping them grow, I don't mean they were telling you what book to read and what podcast to listen to and telling you why are not at the gym yet. It wasn't that kind of communication. So, I talk about the role of a guru in the monastery and how I experienced love and growth. The gurus in the monastery, they sat at the back of the class while new monks gave talks. So even though I was in my 20s, my 70-year-old teacher would sit at the back and just listen without correcting me, without telling me that it wasn't a good class. Without coming up and saying, "Well, what are you doing here? I should give the talk."


There was a sense of humility in being a guru, in being a guide in being a teacher, so when I talk about the word guru, I'm redefining it. The guru I spent time with that trained me, they were some of the most humble people in the world, they didn't think that they knew it all and that I was useless. They approached me with humility, which melts the heart, which opens the heart for learning from a student. The gurus that I met, they led by example. It's not that they were telling you what to do because they were mad at themselves for not doing it. A lot of the times when we're telling our partners what to do and what they need to do more, it's because we're actually talking to ourselves. "You need to be more organized, and maybe if you're more organized, you'd actually get this business started." And in the back of our heads, we are like, that's what we're saying to ourselves. "Oh, actually, if you were more creative, that podcast, you started, that can become something really big, if you were just more creative about it." We're talking to ourselves, "Or if you just ate healthier... "


We're just talking to ourselves. So much of what we say to our partners is our own trigger of what we're mad at ourselves about. The gurus that I lived with never took out their own anger in a lesson, or they never used a lesson in order to talk to preach to themselves. Most of us are just preaching to ourselves, but they led by example. And there's a beautiful statement by Saint Francis where he said that "You should always teach, you should always teach, and if necessary, you should use words." And I think that is such a powerful statement of like... And my wife did that, so my wife has always been highly, more physically healthy than I am. She naturally chooses healthier food, she really believed in working out, she understands the science of wellness. I come from a world where I'd focused on mastering the mind, but I was very negligent of the body. I love fried foods, I love sugar, I've always had all these things that I've struggled with. But when I met my wife, I saw her just commit to going to her workouts. Like that would be her non-negotiable. She created an environment in the home where healthy food was fun and it was only accessible. And at the same time, she educated me on the dangers of all the stuff you educate people on, that allowed me to make my own decisions about what choices I wanted to make.


And so, I got a great guru in my wife because my wife has drastically improved my health, but not because she told me that I was lazy or that I was addicted, or because I was worthless, but actually by noticing that I needed education, I needed rehab, in some sense, in my own way.




JAY SHETTY: And so, I find that your partner's, your guru is, if you're going to be a guru to your partner, that means humility, it means leading by example, and it means being patient and educating. And in the same way, if you are that way with your partner, they're more likely to mirror those skills, otherwise we try and teach them, but being a guru in the sense we see now, it's like, "Oh, I'm going to tell you what to do."


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, and this is from our programming as well, to be parental figures.




SHAWN STEVENSON: And to be spoken at right? Even in our conventional education construct, you're being told what to think, how to operate instead of creating a space.


JAY SHETTY: So true.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And even creating an environment that makes it easier right? And so just kind of pivoting back to that story when my wife coming in while I was reading your book today, and her being my greatest teacher. I had an opportunity there because I might feel a sense of agitation pop up, but then I have to remember for myself personally, she's my most important investment in my reality outside of myself. And so, if I really mean that this is an opportunity for me to practice presence with her, to create a space for her, to let her know that I value what she has to say to make her feel seen.




SHAWN STEVENSON: Or I could just be like, "Why you f*cking with me?" Right?




SHAWN STEVENSON: So, both choices are there.


JAY SHETTY: Totally.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And so again, her being my teacher, but this is something again, we have to take claim of.




SHAWN STEVENSON: And I'm so grateful that you outline this, but the last one we're going to hit on today, which is, this one is so powerful, there is so much to unpack here, but I at least want to mention this one, and it's the first one you lead the book off with, because I think it's the first domino, which is rule one, let yourself be alone. Why does this matter so much?


JAY SHETTY: Yeah, just like we just talked about our construct in society, society has created loneliness to be the enemy. So, when you were young, if you went and organize your birthday party and not many people showed up, you were unpopular. If you sat alone at the lunch table, you are the loner. If you go to a wedding without a plus one, it's like, "Oh, poor you, you'll be okay." We constantly make people who are not with someone feel inferior in society. We often hear about how when the President's running, they're going to have their partner next to them, it makes them seem more stable. If someone can have a good man or a good woman in their life, it makes them feel more wholesome, we trust them more. Now, I'm not saying there's not a truth in that, that yes, if you have a healthy relationship, it shows a certain skill set, but what I'm saying is we can't use that to make someone feel inferior because they're still figuring it out and they're still learning about themselves. And there are multiple types of loneliness. One is physically not being around people, but we all know there are other types of loneliness where you're physically around people, but you don't feel understood, you're surrounded by people, but you don't feel heard.


You don't feel like any of your friends, or your family really know what you care about, that also is a symptom of loneliness. So, what I love is Paul Tillich talks about the difference between being alone and being in solitude. There are two words in the English language for being alone; one is being lonely, and one is being in solitude. We never use the word solitude, and solitude is the strength of being alone. Solitude is the joy of being alone. Solitude is the power that comes with being alone. And most of us rush to put on a song, distract ourself on YouTube and a rabbit hole and end up watching a random bunch of videos or calling a friend in order to feel comfortable. They did a study where men and women were asked to be alone with their thoughts for 15 minutes or give themselves an electric shock. 30% of women chose an electric shock, 60% of men chose an electric shock. And when they were asked why, they said, because they don't want to be alone with their thoughts for 15 minutes. People felt uncomfortable being alone with their thoughts for 15 minutes. Now I understand that. Our thoughts can drive us crazy, and our thoughts can be really intense, so I empathize with that.


Our thoughts can be anxious. But what I'm saying is, if you don't learn to quiet the noise and the anxiety within yourself, when you add another person to that, it amplifies and spills over onto them and theirs spills over to you. So, it only worsens, and heightens the pain you already felt. When you learn the tools and skills to calm your own self and then you connect with someone else, now that person helps you calm even more and it's a beautiful bond and relationship. But if you're giving... If you're outsourcing all of your self-confidence, all of your self-respect, all your self-worth and all of your self-regulation, if you're outsourcing that, that makes it an extremely pressured position for the partner you choose who now has to try and be all these things for you. And you end up wearing them down to not even be able to give you what they can. So, to me, loneliness or solitude is something we need to embrace. I think even couples who have been together for a long time should still spend time alone. I think people also think like when we move in together, when we live together, that means every night we're together. We should be together every night; we should do everything together. We should have breakfast together and dinner together.


I really believe in having meals together, I really believe in having quality time together, but I also believe in having quality time with yourself. So, I'm not saying it's an either or, I'm saying that both can create more harmony because you need time to figure out what's going on in your head, which will help you with your partner figure out what's going on in their head so that you can create a safe space for both of you.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. But this time in solitude is one of the greatest entry ways into understanding ourselves, into understanding our impressions, into unpacking why we do certain things that we do. But like you said, especially today, more than ever, we have so much distraction, we have so much coming at us, and we have this instant outlet to be distracted from our own thoughts and awareness about ourselves and the choices that we're making. There's so many things that we have, we can have the time, and sometimes I just contemplate about our ancestors and just how much time they had just to think and to look about the stars and to be aware of their surroundings, their internal surroundings, right? Whereas today, again, just we could barely be on an elevator without wiping that phone out and looking into it. Right?




SHAWN STEVENSON: So, we have this really remarkable barrier right now, but at the same time presents an opportunity as well to learn, and I love your work because you give people that balance of okay, we have this tool here that's not going anywhere, but let's also have this tool of internal investigation and exploration and meditation to associate with ourself better. So, we can even come into our social media relationships a little bit better. But the last point I wanted to make was, with having the time chosen, this is a rule of love, is to have time with ourselves to understand ourselves. When we are able to then choose to see our partner as our guru, and a moment of magic can happen. And it reminds me of another St. Francis quote, St. Francis of Assisi, "Seek first to understand and then to be understood." Right? Because in that moment I, the instinct, where the programmed instinct was for her to understand what I'm doing versus let me understand her and her understanding of me is a natural evolution that's going to tend to happen.


JAY SHETTY: I love that you said that. And that sparked for me a thought. So, I used to be really weak at this and I've got better at it. My wife would come to me and say, "I've had a really tough day." And my response would be, "tell me about it, I've had a really tough week." Then she'd come back to me that week and she'd say, "I'm really tired this week." I'd be like, "Tell me about it, I've been tired this whole month." I was using every opportunity for her to be vulnerable with me and share how she was feeling to one up her, and make a point that I was working harder, that I was doing more, that my pain, my fatigue was more important than hers. What does that do? It creates no space for her to be heard or to feel connected with. And why am I doing that? Because I haven't made space to deal with my own fatigue. I have a need time to deal with my own pain.


If I had set aside time that week to give myself rest, to spend time with myself, then when she shared that with me, I could make space for her, and if I'd made space for myself, I could then go to her and say, "Hey, I just want to share with you that I've been tired this week, this is how I'm feeling." But instead I was using her opportunity for self-disclosure as my opportunity for self-disclosure, which means neither of us are satisfied. And so that's what giving yourself time alone gives you. What you're saying that you become a better person for yourself and a better partner for your partner, because otherwise, you just react in this egotistical self-centered way because you didn't give yourself time to breathe.


SHAWN STEVENSON: So powerful man. 8 Rules of Love out now. Jay Shetty, can you let everybody know where they can pick up your book.




SHAWN STEVENSON: And where they can just get more into your universe?


JAY SHETTY: Yeah, if you head to, all access to the book is there. You can pre-order, order depending on when this is out. And of course, Barnes & Noble, all good bookstores, Amazon, it's all across the world. I read the audio book myself. So, if you're a listener, which I know so many people are these days, I do read it myself, so you can listen to as well, but thank you so much, man, for having me on the show. I'm so grateful to you for this brotherhood, this friendship, this connection because that was a really special conversation and one that I could only have had with you. So, thank you so much.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Thank you, man.


JAY SHETTY: I really appreciate you.


SHAWN STEVENSON: Thank you for being you.


JAY SHETTY: Thank you, man.


SHAWN STEVENSON: And again, everybody go and pick up 8 Rules of Love, like yesterday, such an important book, and especially at this time right now, we need to learn how to connect and to elevate our families and our communities. 8 Rules of Love, everybody, Jay Shetty. Our relationships are such an incredibly important part of our health and our well-being, and they really make life worth living, so isn't this something that we should invest our education into, something that we should invest our time into? Because again, it impacts so many different facets of our reality. Definitely check out Jay's amazing podcast and pick up the 8 Rules of Love anywhere the books are sold. And I'm telling you, we are just getting warmed up. We've got some incredible master classes, we've got some world-class game-changing guests lined up for you, so make sure to stay tuned.


Make sure that you're subscribed on every platform on YouTube, on the app that you're listening to right now, on Apple Podcast, Spotify, make sure that you don't miss a thing. I appreciate you so very much for tuning in, take care, have an amazing day, and I'll talk with you soon.


And for more after the show, make sure to head over to the That's where you can find all of the show notes, you can find transcriptions, videos for each episode, and if you got a comment, you can leave me a comment there as well. And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome. And I appreciate that so much. And take care, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.

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  1. Shawn! I’ve been a long time listener and I appreciate this episode as always! I wanted to share this link with you on the origins of the heart symbol. Please keep doing what you do! <3 KT


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