How to Cultivate Healthy Relationships
Relationship experts (and real-life couple) Mark Groves and Kylie McBeath on what a healthy relationship looks like, and how to make them happen in your life.
We all want healthy, happy relationships, right? But how often do we pause to think about what a healthy relationship actually is? It takes two to make a thing go right, and few folks know this better than the dynamic duo of Mark Groves and Kylie McBeath.
These two are helping people learn how to connect with others in a way that helps them grow and helps their relationships be the best they can. By learning their own lessons—sometimes the hard way—they truly know what a good relationship is, and what it isn’t.
We connected with both of them to ask some burning questions about making love last.
Let’s start with the basics: how would you define a healthy relationship?
Kylie: A healthy relationship is a relationship that is built on a foundation of mutual respect, compassionate curiosity, and personal integrity. In a “healthy” relationship each partner honors the other partner’s path—past, present, and future.
Mark: One where we make the connection to one another our priority, as in, we are constantly cultivating and curating safety and security for each other to show up and be seen. A “healthy relationship” is about respect, kindness and generosity, and about each of us taking responsibility for our own “stuff”, and being willing to be wrong and not have it all figured out.
What goes into making a relationship last?
Mark: Shifting from an “expectation of forever” to an “intention to last forever”. Allow me to elaborate: I’m a firm believer that we have to move away from the belief that being married and/or committed means forever. And what I mean by that is, moving away from the expectation that because we are “committed”, we can’t leave each other. A relationship is not a prison. Anyone can come and go as they please, and if they feel like they can’t, then they’re not “choosing” the relationship, they’re suffering through it.
This is different than entering a relationship with the “intention to last forever”. The distinction is that when we expect be together forever, we get lazy in our communication and stop growing and expanding with our partner. We don’t feel like we need to do the work to keep them, because we’ve “got them” no matter what.
When our intention is to last forever, we show up every day knowing that we intend on keeping this person. We’ll do the things we did when we started dating. We’ll show up and do the work. This cultivates the beautiful space that Kylie talks about in her share on this question.
Kylie: Owning your side of the street, and being open and willing to doing the inner work to heal, grow, and deepen your relationship to self and each other—that’s what makes a relationship last. Honest and kind communication is key. Without the emotional safety created by honesty and kindness, it’s hard for anyone to open up and have a deep intimate connection.
What kinds of obstacles have you seen people encounter while they try to develop—and maintain—healthy relationships?
Kylie: One of the biggest obstacles my clients face is staying connected to themselves while becoming more intimate in their romantic relationships. This pattern of self-abandonment creates deep fissures in the foundation of a relationship because it doesn’t feel authentic, trustworthy, or fulfilling. Having a healthy relationship requires that we have a healthy sense of boundaries, a strong connection to our individual core values—and a self-worth muscle strong enough to own our truth—regardless of anyone else’s.
One of the biggest obstacles my clients face is staying connected to themselves while becoming more intimate in their romantic relationships.
Mark: I love what Kylie said here. Often, people don’t know how to hold onto themselves and be in love at the same time. We know how to either be independent or dependent, but we don’t know how to be interdependent. We’re either too open or too closed, and the trick is learning the balance.
How did you realize the power of cultivating healthy relationships in your own life?
Mark: I don’t think there is any other human experience that tops truly seeing someone and being seen. Not only are (romantic) relationships a superhighway to our greatest selves, they’re also incredibly healing and are the greatest contributor to our overall health and well-being.
Kylie: My relationship(s) have been, and still are, my greatest teachers on this planet. For me, cultivating a healthy relationship is foundational to creating a fulfilling life. My relationship with Mark is an adventure—an adventure into the deepest layers of my heart, being and soul.
What’s the deal with relationships, anyways? If they are so much effort, why would we go through the trouble of having them?
Kylie: Relationships are the ultimate classroom on earth. The healing power of a healthy, loving relationship is worth all of the emotional roadblocks that stand in the way. We experience ourselves through our relationships with others. Without relationships, we don’t have life.
Mark: Because our romantic relationships are a magnifying glass to what we’re not good at. It’s easy to have our stuff together when we’re at work or with friends, but show me who you are when your heart is on the line and I’ll know if you’ve really done the personal work. As Kylie said, relationships are the ultimate classroom. If you’re ready to transform and take responsibility for your life, fall in love.
If you’re ready to transform and take responsibility for your life, fall in love.
What one piece of advice do you want people to have about healthy relationships?
Mark: Own your stuff. Take hyper-responsibility for your life and how you show up to love. Never stop growing. Always make staying to connected to one another more important than being right. And never stop trying to win their heart. Ever.
Kylie: Do the work to understand your relationship blueprint and your relationship story. Understanding how past/core relationships have imprinted your heart, mind, and body will give you a deeper understanding of your present/future partners and how you play a role in the relational dynamics you find yourself in. (And PS: read the book "Attached"" by Amir Levine, ASAP.)
Many thanks to Kylie and Mark for sharing their wisdom on how to cultivate healthy relationships in your life. Check their websites below for more information about these two powerful speakers and coaches, and for their upcoming events.
Yours in healthy attachment.
Mark GrovesMark Groves is a Human Connection Specialist - an emotional translator, writer, speaker and coach.
Mark had always wondered what separated people with amazing relationships from those who had average ones. Why did some relationships maintain bliss for a lifetime, and others… not so much? Why did some people have the ability to lead thousands, and others couldn't even lead themselves?
From what Mark has seen and experienced, how we connect to others will be the single greatest predictor of success in every facet of our lives. Through his work, Mark helps people understand their emotional matrix and how to master themselves and their words. His clients range from individuals and couples, to businesses and leaders.
He takes what you think you want, finds out what you really want, and gives you the tools to achieve your goals.
Kylie McBeathKylie is a Certified Health Coach, Emotional Expert, Co-Founder of Zura Health, Podcast Host, Speaker & Writer. She is a multi-passionate, creative being and whose life is guided by curiosity, openness and gratitude. Kylie's mission is to empower women (and men) with the tools, support, wisdom, and resources they need to live connected, healthy and fulfilling lives.
Kylie co-created Zura Health as her heart and soul project. Working with her co-founder (& twin sister) Jess, they created a space to empower those who suffer from health issues, depression & loneliness with the support, community, education, and the tools they need to live healthier and happier lives. Ultimately, their mission is to raise the consciousness of the entire planet through a higher health & emotional IQ!