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Do you know what the most important thing is to your happiness and your relationship?

On a recent trip to Costa Rica I was introduced to the country’s motto of Pura Vida – meaning pure life. They say it in place of phrases like ‘no worries’ and it indicates ‘all good’.

So, what does this have to do with your happiness and relationship? Well…

When you first meet someone special and fall into a relationship, life is wonderful. All is right with the world and you’re living Pura Vida.

But something happens over time. What gets in the way of those juicy, yummy feelings from when you first met?

Let me start by describing the dichotomy that is Costa Rica.

I was staying with a girlfriend in a nice condo with all the comforts of home right on the beach. Next to us was a 5 star resort – all the comforts we had plus abundant staff to wait on guests 24/7.

Right behind our condo were some locals living Pura Vida at its most basic. They live in what I think most of us would consider appalling circumstances. Yet every one of the locals I passed in the street or interacted with was happy and smiling.

‘Stuff’ doesn’t equate with increased happiness.

So what really matters?

First, let’s level the playing field: if you strip away all the glitz, strip away worries, strip away money, strip away all the distractions – what it boils down to is meaningful connection.

At its very core that’s what makes people the happiest. It’s built into our DNA. We are drawn to one another because of our need for connection and belonging.

And the way you build connection is through intimacy – body, mind, heart & spirit.

The way to build connection is through intimacy – body, mind, heart & spirit. Click To Tweet

Now I get that relationships and sex can be messy and complicated but that’s only because we make them that way. We lose focus about what matters and we start to develop resentments about things that really don’t matter. We let distractions and annoyances get in the way – things like toilet seats, the volume of the TV, who does or doesn’t do what chore. We let little things get under our skin and we forget to focus on what matters.

We forget to connect at a pure level. We forget to see the best in our partner. We forget to love our partner even when they seem unlovable.

When our partner seems unlovable, it’s often because of expectations we have of them. We focus on what we expect our partner to be, do or say, and we’re not really focused on connecting with them at an intimate level.

If your partner does or says something you find frustrating or annoying – ask yourself if it really matters.

Take the time to pause, breathe and find something you appreciate about them.

Connect over what matters instead of disconnecting over what doesn’t matter. Click To Tweet

We live in a world of contrasts. There will always be things that come up that don’t feel good. But when you focus on living Pura Vida in your relationship, you’ll feel connected and much happier.


Dr. Gayle Friend

p.s. Want to know a secret? How about 15 secrets to increase intimacy and have great sex? This blog is related to secret #9. Get all 15 FREE in a three part video series on love intimacy and sex. Sign up now!

p.s.s. Watch the Intimacy Raw & Real video with even more about what matters most and living Pura Vida.