How to Be Authentic in a Relationship

The beauty in love lies not in finding someone exactly like us, but in discovering the harmony between our authentic selves and theirs.

“Be yourself. Love yourself. Be unapologetic. Be authentic.” Hell, I preach it all over my social media. Why? Because it’s the truth — up to a point.  

Being authentic means showing up as your true self, flaws and all, while also being mindful of the space you occupy in others’ lives. It’s about being genuine, yes, but also about being kind, understanding, and, dare I say, compromising.

I’m a champion for self-love and authenticity. It’s my jam. Loving yourself, enjoy your solo time, and nurturing that deep, sacred relationship with the person in the mirror is so vital.

As much as I preach the gospel of self-love and the importance of alone time for personal growth, let’s not forget the equally important art of connecting with others. Being authentic at all costs? Sure, as long as that cost doesn’t come at the expense of empathy, respect, and the ability to coexist in this wildly diverse human experience. The goal isn’t just to be unapologetically you; it’s to be unapologetically you, in a way that honors both you and those close to you.

Mismatched Communication

Now, let me tell you my most recent love story. Our compatibility made Romeo and Juliet look like a bad first date. Shared hobbies, matching political views, same genuine love for music, and humor that could put a smile on a statue. But, we were like two cups of coffee brewed at different times of the day. Our way of handling communication was like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole on a roller coaster. We were a case study in Communication 101: How Not to Do It.

Here I am, I’m spilling my guts about my entire day. Talking about how many meetings I had, who texted me throughout the day, and how many coffees I downed before noon. While he’s over there treating words like they’re a limited-edition currency.

My anxious attachment style means I’m your classic over-sharer, hungry for the mundane details of your day like they’re the last slice of pizza. Meanwhile, he guards his words like they’re the last drops of a vintage, limited-edition whisky, so rare it’s almost mythical. Avoidant personality, conflict is his nemesis.

It’s not that either style is wrong; they’re just wired differently, requiring some serious navigation skills to mesh well. And where do these attachments come from? Think of them as parting gifts from our childhood, lovingly bestowed by our well-meaning, but often overprotective or unattentive, parents. Those early years lay the groundwork for the delightful circus we navigate as adults, sparking an entire industry of 1,934,543 self-help books all promising to be the key to deciphering this beautiful mess.

The Dance of Compromise

We went to couple’s therapy, had heart-to-hearts and yet in the end, we found ourselves at a standstill. Love was there, overflowing even, but love alone isn’t enough to bridge the gap between differing needs and styles of communication. Yes, we made strides—baby steps towards each other, tentative and hopeful. But progress was a dance, two steps forward, one step back. My impatience met his procrastination in a tango of frustration; me, always racing ahead, him, always trailing a few beats behind. It was like trying to sync our watches when one of us lived in New York and the other in L.A.

Despite our breakups and makeups, fueled by love or stubbornness (take your pick), we couldn’t crack the communication code. It’s not that I needed him to narrate his caffeine intake like it was a matter of national security, nor was he wrong for wanting to keep some cards close to his chest. My insistence on openness at all times, was as much a part of our communication challenges as his silence. In my quest for authenticity and transparency, I overlooked his need for space and privacy. And on the flip side, when he stayed quiet, it felt like I was left in the dark. It’s clear now that we both struggled to find the right balance between sharing and having our own space.

Reflecting on this, I’ve realized a few hard truths. Yes, I’ve been on a self-improvement kick for the past six years, turning myself into someone I genuinely love. But this relationship served as a brutal reminder that self-love alone isn’t a substitute for compromise and mutual growth in a relationship. This relationship has been a profound teacher. The art of balance—knowing when to share and when to listen, recognizing the need for presence as much as the importance of providing space.

Compromise Without Losing Yourself

And let me be crystal here – by compromise, I don’t mean compromising WHO you are as a person, never, ever do that. I’m talking about the nitty-gritty of giving and taking. The real, raw process of exchange and adaptation of bending without breaking. And then it’s about accepting that maybe, just maybe, your puzzles pieces are from different puzzles. And that’s okay.

I’m not here to play the world’s smallest violin for my heartache. This isn’t about right or wrong; it’s about acknowledging that two people can be great on their own but not great together. And that’s okay.

“Working on yourself” isn’t a magic spell for relationship success. You can be the most self-improved version of you and still not click with someone. It’s not about finding the “perfect match”—spoiler alert, they don’t exist—but about finding someone willing to work with you, imperfections and all.

While staying true to yourself is key, relationships are about compromise. Not the kind that erases who you are but the kind that adjusts how you share space with someone else. Being authentic means recognizing when your “authenticity” is just being selfish under a fancier name.

An Ending, Not a Defeat

So, what’s the bottom line? Be yourself, embrace your quirks, passions, and yes, even your love for profound midnight chats. But also, be willing to shut up, listen, and maybe, just maybe, learn that the world—and your partner—doesn’t revolve around your every thought and feeling.

Love, in all its messy glory, is a beast that demands compromise, growth, and the willingness to admit that sometimes, you’re just not ready for each other. And that’s not a defeat; it’s a sign of respect for what you had and what you’re becoming. Love isn’t just about finding the perfect match; it’s also about being ready to be that perfect match.

In the grand scheme of things, every relationship, every heartbreak, is a lesson in how to be a better human — to others and to yourself. It’s about finding that sweet spot where being unapologetically you meets being unapologetically considerate of someone else’s you. Now, if that’s not a goal worth striving for, I don’t know what is.

Remember, YOU GOT THIS!



Jasmine Rice is a Transformational Life Coach, NLP Practitioner, Best-selling author, and the Founder of Good Things Are Gonna Come, LLC. With a passion for empowering others, she has dedicated her career to helping people shift their mindset, navigate and thrive during life’s complex transitions. Through her integrated coaching business and supportive community, she equips individuals with the tools they need to transform their lives and take control after periods of transition.

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