June 4, 2015

4 Reminders for Anyone, Single or Coupled.


Some may say I am lucky for finding a loving healthy relationship, however, I do not believe in luck.

What I do believe is that everyone deserves to give and receive love—real love that is honest and kind and makes you a better person. What I see or hear too often is that people are not fulfilled and they are choosing comfort or suffering instead of living their best life.

Now I realize that love and relationships are only a piece of the puzzle in order to live a fulfilling life, but these four tips are important to help you on the journey.

1. Stop making excuses.

If someone cares about you, they will make you a priority. Bottom line. This means that they will either answer all calls/emails/texts or get back to you as soon as they can. They will also fit you in their schedule no matter how busy they are.

In fact, they will want to see you so badly that it will just work out and you will be surprised how easy it is in this crazy, busy world to find the time for what’s important. This special someone will also want to do things for you, yes you. And kind, thoughtful things at that. And no, not the materialistic meaningless things. I’m talking small little things that make your heart fill and your mouth crack a little smile.

When these things are happening in relationships, communication and trust will naturally be formed as well and those are must haves when it comes to love.

And the most amazing thing about all of this: when they do this for you, you will do this for them and a loving, real and happy relationship will be created and maintained.

So, stop justifying why someone isn’t doing these things for you because guess what? They should be doing them! Be true. Be love. Don’t settle.

2. Live your own life rather than society’s.

I believe that a major factor in unhappy relationships is the need for people to conform to society’s expectations.

You must let go of what you thought you’d be or who you thought you’d be with. How can someone else tell you how your life should be when it’s your life, not theirs? You must also let go of the standard relationship cycle: oh no, I’m growing up so I must get a career that I don’t enjoy, find someone to date, move in with them, get engaged, buy a house, get a dog, get married, have kids… Because that’s what most of my friends are doing right now and that’s what everyone thinks I should do, right? Wrong.

If you are confident and happy in your life, you should be able to let go of society’s expectations and make room for your own. Times are changing and this is your life so why conform to someone else’s?

3. Know what you want and who you are.

In order to get what you want, you must know what you want. Sounds simple right? But getting to this point is a process. You must experiment and go through many trial and error phases in order to learn what you don’t want before you can see clearly.

You must also let go of what you think you want and know that even those people who seem to always know exactly what they want will end up changing their mind at some point as they evolve. We all think we get it and then we have experiences and grow up and learn what we really want and then it works out. For those of you who are lost, start doing things you enjoy and figure yourself out first and it will come. Patience… Yep it’s a tough one!

4. Do not settle.

One, two and three all tie in to this one as well.

You must be able to be yourself fully and live your life the way you want to live it. If you are with the right person, these things just happen naturally. You can’t change people. Understand that if you stay where you are, there will be long term unhappiness. However, if you leave, these feelings will only be short term. Wouldn’t you rather be unfulfilled for a little while rather than a long while? Choose love over fear.

To sum up: “We accept the love we think we deserve.” ~ Stephen Chbosky

And no matter who told you otherwise or made you feel otherwise, you all deserve the best.

Now go live and love—honestly and fully!

Exactly the way you want to.




The Truth About “True Love.”


Author: Kyla Mackinnon

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Michael Benz/Unsplash 

When the love gets tough:

A Mindful Love:

Reply to Matt cancel

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SimplyK Dec 14, 2015 8:14am

I’m wondering how old the author of this piece is? I could have written that 115, 20, 25 years ago. Don’t settle, be patient, know who you are and what you want…. What I want/ed is very simple – to be accepted for who I am, and to accept my partner for who they are. To build a mutually supportive and loving life together. To be with someone with similar values and who wants a similar (simple yet exploratory) kind of life. Apparently that’s too much, as I’m still patiently waiting, and I’ve never settled, ho hum, perhaps in the next 30 years. I’m happy, I’m giving, I have a full life, I’m open to possibility. I’ve had a myriad of adventures around the world. ‘Better alone than badly accompanied’ true maybe, but it gets wearing too! Some people settle, and they are happy doing so. And it comes at different times for different people. Not all of us are the same right enough. Never mind society’s judgements, I’ve meandered through those, being put in the corner of a restaurant while couples get put at the table with a view, questioning that get’s one labelled as ‘demanding’. And more…. But I refuse to become invisible. I shall be – inviolate!

Matt Aug 19, 2015 5:39pm

I agree with everything in this article, and am glad that it’s been written.

As a guy who tends to do everything he can for his girlfriends, I’d like to stipulate that Point #1 is a two-way street. In those paragraphs, you point out what treatment one should be receiving in a relationship, but I think it should be specified that one has to give it as well. Some of my ex-girlfriends didn’t get the memo about the latter.

Dan Aug 12, 2015 7:20am

I've been reading Elephant since I discovered it a few months back, in a pit of despair, loss, loneliness, and depression. This is, by far, the most important piece I've read so far. Thank you.

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Kyla Mackinnon

Kyla Mackinnon resides on the east coast of Canada in Halifax but fulfills her sense of wanderlust by traveling regularly. Kyla teaches yoga as a way to inspire others to live a happy, healthy and authentic life. She stands for greatness and empowering others to make their dreams a reality. When not getting her yoga on, Kyla can be found tasting new vegan health foods, enjoying time in nature, attending social events with friends and family, and exploring the world. Follow her adventures on instagram @kymackinnonyoga