Best Advice for Couples: Elle Magazine Interview

ELLE MAGAZINE:  What are your top three pieces of love and dating advice based on your research and experience with couples?    

GRACE:  1. Listen with Your Heart—Good communicators listen for feelings as well as facts. They naturally make people feel special and heard. They “ooh and ahh” at the right place. They look you in the eye and are not easily distracted. We naturally fall for those people who “get us”…and to do this, you must really listen with your whole heart.

2. Be Yourself—authenticity is what we are seeking in relationships and it just happens to be the greatest turn on—too many people wear masks because they feel that who they are is not good enough or because of childhood wounds, they may feel unlovable. Women harshly judge themselves as not being perfect enough. The most common wound is not feeling “good enough”. If this is you, do some work on yourself. Gain greater self- awareness and self- acceptance. You’ve got to love you before you expect others to love you.

3.  Don’t Give Up on Love: It might feel like a battleground out there and you may have suffered relationship wounds. But don’t give up. We are mammals who need love and connection above all. There is a “special mammal” out there for everyone!

ELLE MAGAZINE: What’s the most interesting insight you’ve gleaned about love and relationships and why?
GRACE: Most marriages that end in divorce could actually be saved. In my work with over 2500 couples, I’ve learned that people considering divorce just don’t have the necessary emotional intelligence or maturity to navigate the negative feelings that inevitably accumulate in committed partnerships. Once they learn how to communicate and heal their negative feelings without blaming or shaming themselves or their partner, true intimacy is achieved. Relationships that were previously in crisis miraculously heal.  Empathy flows and trust is restored. I’ve seen couples do a complete 180 degree transformation and it is amazing to witness.

ELLE MAGAZINE: What’s the biggest challenge people encounter in love and relationships, and do you have any advice for overcoming this particular challenge?
GRACE: The biggest challenge is time.  Modern life bombards couples with work and family demands, and consequently the relationship takes a back seat. When couples are stressed or pressed for time, they don’t talk enough or share how they feel; they don’t do fun things together just the two of them. Advice? Be vigilant—check in emotionally with your partner weekly. Aim to have at least one date night per week. Once a year go on a vacation, just the two of you. Go for daily walks if you can to share your day and how you feel. And if there’s conflict and damage done, get help early. Very much like in medicine, early detection saves marriages and ensures long term happiness and life satisfaction.

Benefits of a Women’s Retreat

Women’s Inner Faultline

A lot of women at first glance seem to cope well with the demands of life. They’ve learned to juggle their many roles and responsibilities but what people don’t see is the fault line on the inside that puts pressure on everything else. This faultline may be an abusive past (or present), grief over a death or broken relationship, burnout, loneliness or spiritual emptiness. Today’s modern woman is constantly under pressure to do it all, be it all, and make everyone happy.

Women Brains EXPAND

Add to this the fact that she is biologically programmed and psychologically wired to “expand” her awareness to take care of others, to worry, to juggle, to give and give. This expansion translates to overwhelm and exhaustion. She may be a multi-tasking genius, but at the end of the day she often feels alone and empty. When she doesn’t stop to fill up her own cup, she can get angry and lash out at the very people she loves the most. Then she punishes herself with guilt and remorse. This negative cycle can be repeated for years wreaking havoc on her health and happiness.

Time away in nature where she can focus on herself is not only necessary, it is critical for a woman’s emotional and mental health. A woman’s retreat can heal a heavy heart and re-focus her priorities. In many cases, it can lift the fog and get her excited about her future. Women need other women and sharing their stories together at a retreat can sometimes be all she needs to grow into a more confident and happy version of herself.

Not All Retreats are as Personally Transforming

Mind you, not all women’s retreats are the same. Some are merely escapes, time to shop, eat, drink and party. This is fine if this is what you’re looking for, but if you’re interested in something more transformational, holistic and educational, then I invite you to check out my Take the Step Intensive for women.

BENEFITS of Attending My Women’s Intensive: Who It is Designed For

• If you have unresolved issues with CORE people
• If you are “leaking” anger and irritation on those you love
• If you have experienced divorce or other painful endings
• If you’re feeling alone, anxious or depressed
• If you need clarity about your marriage or career
• If you have experienced any kind of trauma as a child or as an adult
• If you have experienced emotional injuries like infidelity and betrayal
• If you want to heal a heavy heart from guilt, shame and fear
• If you want to forgive yourself for past mistakes
• If you want more passion, vitality and purpose in your life
• If you want a deeper spiritual connection

Why You Should Take Time Out for Renewal and Personal Growth

Stephen Covey’s best habit in his international bestselling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was Sharpen the Saw. You can’t cut wood with a dull saw. You can’t be the amazing wife, mother, leader, person you were meant to be without taking time out for you to learn, regroup and reset. Investing in your personal growth will not only transform you into a happier, healthier and wiser person, but it will inspire other women (including your daughters) to do the same. When we fill up our cup, we become kinder and more loving versions of ourselves.  We can embrace all of life’s lessons with an open heart and courageous Spirit.


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Grace Cirocco
179 King Street
St. Catharines, ON
L2R 3J5 Canada
Telephone: (905) 688-0868
Fax: (905) 688-2788