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Andrea Syrtash has been my friend for over 10 years. I met her when I was working for JDate and I was commissioned to create an online magazine to compete with Match.com’s Happen Magazine, where I was already freelancing. The magazine – still in existence – was called JMag. Problem was, JMag had no budget. So I had to convince a bunch of talented writers to work for free in exchange for “exposure.” Andrea was one of those writers. She has since blossomed into a well-known and respected TV host and author, with great titles like, “He’s Just Not Your Type (and That’s a Good Thing!) and “It’s Okay to Sleep with Him on the First Date – and Every Other Rule of Dating Debunked.”

The most important thing you can offer in a relationship is your presence.

You can see why I like her.

On a personal level, Andrea is happily married to a schoolteacher in Brooklyn and recently gave this TEDx Talk, which I’d like to share with you. If you’re pressed for time, cut to the five minute mark, where she shares some incredible insights on how to treat your partner as well as you treat your employees.

Highlights – All of which may sound familiar if you’ve been reading here for awhile. We relationship experts tend to agree on 95% of these ideas.

If you have to convince someone of your value, it’s time to move on.

You can’t have intimacy without vulnerability. People cannot connect with “perfect.” Acknowledge your mistakes and praise your partner.

People want to be challenged, but not changed. You can’t go into a relationship with a man, telling him he’s doing everything wrong (according to you).

We should all be “yes” men and women in relationships.

Money doesn’t make relationships. Quality time does.

Sweat the small stuff. Doing the little things to make your partner happy on a day to day basis, instead of relying on big, but rare gestures.

The most important thing you can offer in a relationship is your presence. Which is why successful people with important 60+ hr/week jobs with lots of travel aren’t better partners. Money doesn’t make relationships. Quality time does.

You need to be seen, heard and valued. Sounds a bit like my “safe, heard, and understood,” doesn’t it?

Your thoughts, below, are greatly appreciated.