In this episode of the On Purpose podcast, Jay Shetty shares a discussion with Kaitlyn Bristowe about love.

They delve into the topic of Valentine’s Day expectations, how to identify a perfect companion, but also how to distinguish between loneliness and solitude. Jay shares his framework for healthily navigating arguments and preparing for difficult conversations.

Valentine's Day

Kaitlyn Bristowe talks with Jay Shetty about the pressure that Valentine's Day can impose on individuals and couples. Our society often expects grand romantic gestures on this day. If it isn't met, we feel disappointed or inadequate.

Jay Shetty offers a perspective that shatters this familiar narrative. He emphasizes, "Sometimes [Valentine's Day] puts so much pressure on people. I think it makes people do things they would never do for someone. I think people feel pressured to be someone that they're not."

This reveals an urgent need to rethink our approach to love-based celebrations and to ensure love is expressed in daily life rather than on one set day. Love can't be taught like a school subject. Jay Shetty believes we need to develop an understanding of our emotions and those of others, which would inevitably lead to healthier relationships.

The 'Perfect Love'

In Western culture, the 'perfect love' concept often portrayed in movies and TV shows can mislead us about real love. Jay Shetty suggests that the idealized image of love we absorb from the media can send us down the wrong path. He encourages us to filter the media's portrayal of love and reflect on what love means personally to us and our partners.

When it comes to knowing if you've found the right person, Jay shares: "You know you're in love when these three things happen. You like their personality, and they like yours. You respect their values, and they respect yours. And you're committed to helping them towards their goals. And they're committed to you, helping you towards your goals."

Jay Shetty's perspective on love is an eye-opener, emphasizing the importance of emotional understanding, deep mutual respect, and shared commitment in a relationship. By challenging societal norms and unrealistic expectations, he encourages us to strive for healthier, more fulfilling relationships, allowing love to be a journey of shared growth rather than a perfect destination.

Loneliness vs. Solitude

Many individuals dread being alone, often choosing an unsatisfying relationship over solitude. The fear of growing old alone or seeing others with a partner can be daunting. Jay Shetty notes that such fear can lead to poor decisions, such as settling for less in a relationship or being overly dependent. He says, "When you get into a relationship because you're scared of being alone, you actually choose someone who's not even what you want from a relationship."

Jay emphasizes that being alone isn't necessarily detrimental. On the contrary, it can be a period for self-reflection and growth. He suggests challenging oneself during solitude—adopting new habits or learning new skills. This can increase one's confidence and sense of completeness when entering a relationship.

Further, solitude allows for self-discovery. By understanding their preferences, individuals are less likely to mold themselves according to their partner's preferences, preventing them from feeling lost in a relationship later on.

Jay Shetty explains that seeing being alone as a weakness and being in a relationship as a strength can be destructive. This mindset implies that one's power is contingent on another person. If this person leaves or something goes wrong, one may revert to feeling weak. He asserts that strength should be found in oneself, not in a relationship. Love should stem from respect and admiration, not fear and insecurity.

Accepting Discomfort

Jay narrates his journey as a monk, three years defined by rigorous self-exploration and deep introspection. This chapter of his life was initiated with a commitment to surrender himself to the process entirely.

Engaging in external silence led to an internal dialogue that was initially frantic and stressful. However, Jay Shetty's persistent tolerance gradually silenced this chaotic internal chatter, replacing it with more profound and thought-provoking questions. He stresses the value of this challenging yet rewarding journey. Furthermore, he acknowledged that while it involved uncomfortable revelations and a confrontation of one's dark sides, it ultimately resulted in profound personal growth.

Jay advocates embracing discomfort and integrating it into our everyday lives as a vital takeaway from his years of monkhood. He emphasizes the importance of understanding that discomfort is an inherent part of life, filled with uncertainties and challenges. He suggests that recognizing and accepting this aspect of existence equips individuals with a heightened level of consciousness and refines their ability to address obstacles more effectively.

Regardless of the nature of the discomfort, whether it relates to taking a cold plunge, meditating, or resolving interpersonal conflicts, Jay Shetty believes that getting comfortable with discomfort becomes a powerful tool for personal and spiritual growth.

Navigating Relationships Amidst Discomfort

Jay Shetty distinguishes between the need and the want to persevere through challenging times in a relationship. According to him, relationships often end when the willingness to work on the partnership is one-sided. Relationships thrive when both individuals are enthusiastic about building and nurturing the bond. Therefore, he encourages couples to devise 'agreements' on managing conflicts, promoting mutual respect, effective communication, and growth-oriented dialogue.

Jay suggests maintaining a physical and mental record of feelings during positive and negative phases. This tactic provides an objective perspective on the relationship, preventing individuals from getting swept away by fleeting emotions of happiness or despair. In Jay's view, a balanced emotional view discourages the unhealthy oscillation between extreme emotions. It fosters a more grounded, realistic understanding of the relationship. Thus, he advises avoiding being overly influenced by momentary feelings and focusing instead on the larger, holistic picture of the relationship.

Understanding Healthy Arguments

Jay Shetty offers a paradigm shift in understanding arguments in relationships. He expressed that arguments can be seen not merely as hostile confrontations but as essential dialogues promoting mutual growth and understanding. He emphasizes the importance of being authentic about feelings, warning against the damaging consequences of suppressed emotions which can ultimately be more harmful than openly dealing with conflict.

However, Jay underlines that a healthy balance must be maintained. He believes if disputes continuously involve blame games and finger-pointing without either party willing to acknowledge their role in the issue, then it leads to fatigue and can potentially strain the relationship.

It is crucial to understand the value of taking shared responsibility. It is about being self-aware and acknowledging individual mistakes while working together to rectify them. Jay Shetty suggests that instead of attacking each other with accusations, couples should focus on buying their errors and seek solutions to avoid repeating them in the future.

Expressing vs. Explaining Anger and Pain

Jay Shetty further outlines a significant dichotomy between 'expressing' and 'explaining' one's anger and pain. When people 'express' emotions, they often project their feelings directly onto the other person, which can be harmful. In contrast, 'explaining' emotions entails a detailed narration of one's experience when exposed to specific actions or words.

Jay stresses that this latter method paves the way for a constructive conversation and mitigates the activation of defensive mechanisms. Thus, he strongly advocates for explaining feelings rather than expressing them directly or suppressing them.

In an attempt to help individuals navigate the complexities of emotional discourse, Jay Shetty provides actionable suggestions. He advises establishing habits such as initiating a physical connection with the person you're arguing with, scheduling a specific time to discuss uncomfortable issues, and ensuring you are positioned alongside the person rather than against them during the conversation. He says these strategies foster a more conscious and purposeful way of managing disputes. They teach a team spirit, making the conversation less about opposing each other and more about working together towards a resolution.

Jay Shetty believes that by reframing how we perceive and handle arguments, we can transform them from sources of conflict into opportunities for understanding and growth.

Four Levels of Intimacy

Jay Shetty elaborates on a critical aspect of maintaining the spark in relationships by diving into the four levels of intimacy.

  1. According to him, the fundamental level involves watching television together. However, he cautions that while it's a shared activity, it tends to direct partners' attention away from each other and toward the screen.
  2. The next level is engaging in shared experiences and experiments. This involves performing new activities together, allowing both partners to learn something new about each other. He emphasizes that the freshness of shared experiences keeps the spark alive in relationships.
  3. The third level involves mutual growth and learning. Jay Shetty recommends that partners individually engage in learning experiences such as reading or listening to podcasts. By doing so, they continuously bring fresh perspectives to the relationship, which sparks curiosity and conversation.
  4. Finally, the fourth level of intimacy involves doing completely new things together, neither being an expert, which helps partners discover new facets of each other. Jay encourages continual learning, exploration, and growth within relationships, as he believes these elements contribute to a lasting spark and mutual connection.

Balancing Work, Love, and Personal Life

In the face of an increasingly hectic modern life, Jay Shetty discusses balancing work, love, and personal life without losing oneself. He suggests that one cannot achieve perfect balance all the time. Instead, he proposes understanding life as having different phases and stages.

In his opinion, each phase requires a different focus. For instance, one might prioritize self-growth while single, mutual growth within a relationship, and the upbringing of children when they come along. After that, the cycle of refilling oneself begins anew.

Jay Shetty believes in always taking the pressure off oneself to get everything right. He advises giving oneself grace and allowing for mistakes. Moreover, he suggests that partners often want to feel seen, heard, and understood in relationships. Therefore, consciously acknowledging and addressing these needs can be more impactful than grand gestures.

More From Jay Shetty

Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “#1 Reasons Why Couples Fall Out of Love & How to Mentally Prepare for Difficult Conversations” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at

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