lesson learned: the evolution of my relationship

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Good morning! First, I’d like to thank you so much for all of your tremendous support last week with the Soc Chic giveaway. Across all nine giveaways we had over 2,116 comments submitted to win the necklaces. Incredible!

My intention here on MML this week is to share the “tough stuff” I’ve been alluding to the past few months. I’m ready to get everything out in the open so I can move on feeling understood and completely authentic. Over the past few weeks, I’ve felt the time has come to update you all in the most non “Live Journal” or emo way possible. The goal is to share the lessons I’ve learned so that I might help others in similar situations.

The Evolution of My Relationship

Though Erwin and I have a healthy, loving relationship, we have decided that we are going to get separate apartments at the end of our lease in September – and evolve the relationship to friendship. Until that point, we are continuing to stay in the relationship and enjoy the time we have together.

As you may know, Erwin and I have been together since the last semester of college, which was three and a half years ago. We both graduated from the University of Michigan in 2007 and moved to Chicago that fall. We have lived together for our entire post-college lives. His humor, laid-back nature, and kind spirit have been incredibly powerful in my life. During the most difficult parts of growing my business full-time after graduation, he was a constant support. And at the core of our relationship, we have a deep love and friendship that has helped us navigate the many transitions from school to career.

This conclusion to split up has come to us slowly over the past eight months. And I’ve grown immensely during the process both spiritually and emotionally. (Remember the No Complaint String, Happy For No Reason, and ego vs. spirit? Yep, they are all lessons I’ve learned from this experience.) We are finding ourselves at different points in our lives and feel it is best to take time to be on our own, to grow independently, and to see what life has in store for us around the corner.

I feel incredibly blessed, excited, and thankful that I have been able to create such a personally fulfilling balance between the Jess LC and my mission: helping people design a life with intention. In fact, your support and encouragement here on MML has given me courage and a sense of purposeful satisfaction that I feel lucky to have at this point in my life. So though I don’t know what my life will be like after September, I know great opportunities will come and I have nothing to fear.

And though it initially broke my heart to imagine a life without Erwin as my boyfriend, I know, deep in my spirit, that this evolution is best for us both. Since we are parting on such peaceful terms, we intend to stay friends and support one another in the future. Admittedly my ego has fears that this might not be possible. However I also remember that given time, and how well we’ve navigated this decision to this point, it seems completely within our grasp. We are not parting for any short-term satisfaction, but rather for our long-term best interests.

Tomorrow I’ll be back to share the life lessons I’ve learned from this relationship evolution. In the meantime, thanks for listening.

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  1. And this is why we love you Jess – your honesty, your strength, and most of all your positive spirit. I’m sorry that you are going through this but I believe {as cliche as it is} that all things happen for a reason. I’m certain that nothing but good can come out of a decision that was well thought out and came out of love. Hugs to you!!!

  2. Jess, you never cease to amaze me. You handle so many things–personal and professional–with the grace & wisdom of someone much older. You’re a strong and brilliant woman & I know that great things are around the corner in many ways for you! It’s so wonderful that you’re honoring yourself & pursuing the life that will be most fulfilling for both you AND Erwin!

  3. Annie

    I’m sure this was an especially difficult post to write, but thank you for being willing to share both the personal and the professional (since so often, the two do become intertwined). I second Jessica: a decision made in love and after much consideration can only end well. Who knows what your next adventure might be!

  4. So proud of you Jess for making a decision based on courage and not fear. Though ups and downs, happiness and sadness, strength and weakness, hope and fear are all sure to follow at different stages of the evolutions, the thread that will get you through is knowing deep down that this is what’s right. Sometimes that voice is loud, sometimes it is soft, but it will always be a gut feeling you know deep down in your heart.

    And it goes without saying, I’m here anytime you need me as you navigate new territory 🙂


  5. Anna

    Although, it is sad for a relationship to end, it seems like you and Erwin will still have a friendship, which is important. You are handling this with so much courage, strength, and grace. This is why I admire you.

  6. Jadyn

    Jess, thanks for your openness, for sharing your experience and your wisdom. It must have been a rough path for you to come to this decision, yet what comes through in your words is your clarity and peace. I’m sure there will be tough moments to come, but the way you listen to the things you know deeply in your spirit to be true is inspiring as always. Thanks for being true to yourself and sharing your journey. Love to you xo

  7. Niki

    You courage and ability to stay positive is amazing Jess!! I know it’s probably been a very difficult process but thank you so much for sharing your story; I’m sure it will inspire many others to do what’s best for them!

  8. Mara

    I’m sure this must have been such a hard decision to come to but it seems like one made smartly and I agree that it will challenge you both in good ways. My ex boyfriend and I were together for 2 and 1/2 years and one day I reached a point where I realized I wasn’t in love with him. I was just in the relationship because it was comfortable and convenient. As hard as it was to say goodbye I don’t regret it for a second. We were both growing apart and while he influenced me greatly I’m much happier where I am now. I’m proud of you Jess. You have many adventures ahead of you and I know you both will be okay!

  9. Jill

    I second what all these amazing women have already said… kudos to you as always for your grace in the face of hardship and for your commitment to yourself and Erwin to both live your best lives. Lots of virtual hugs… 🙂 I’ll be thinking of you.

  10. Stephanie

    Thanks for being so honest! It makes me feel like I’m semi normal when I hear honesty from other people. There’s no faking it or making your life seem so much more glamorous than most people’s. It’s nice….so thanks. And, we will all be here to support you!

  11. Joy

    you are so living your message and all I see is love and growth. you will look back some day and be very proud of your strength and bravery–peace 🙂

  12. LaToya

    Thank you for being brave and honest in sharing your private situation with us. I know it feels uneasy and weird to imagine your new life starting in September but I know for sure it will be an experience that will allow you to grow to a height that you couldn’t have imagined both personally & professionally. I wish you confidence, breath, strength and courage on your journey. My heart is with you.

  13. I was nervous that this was the news you were alluding to. You are managing what must be a difficult transition with such grace. I hope you’re receiving all the support you need.

  14. Abbie

    I had a feeling that you were dealing with something like this. It’s great that you two are able to work through this time in your lives in such a dignified and understanding way. Honestly, I’m still friends with almost every boyfriend I’ve ever had– although we’re not as close as we were even a few years ago, I am still grateful that we dealt with everything in a mature way and were able to salvage our friendship. Hang in there– you will grow and learn even more during this process. And, we’re all “here” for you, too!

  15. Betsy

    quite simply… a hug!
    And a salute for your grace and maturity about this decision!

  16. I can’t imagine that writing this was easy but your positivity and maturity are encouraging. I really do hope the best for both of you.

  17. Kristi


    Congratulations on coming to such a hard decision. I’ve been in that place and it takes enormous courage.

  18. heather

    you continue to inspire me! thank you for the willingness to be so open. i know how difficult putting yourself out there can be. keep doing what you are doing, and great things will come your way for sure!!

  19. Heather

    It took great courage to share this with us. I thank you for your honesty. Remember you are going to go on your ups and downs during all of these transitions , don’t forget to take care of yourself during all of that on all levels.

  20. You are exceptionally brave. I am impressed with how reasonable you are able to remain even in very emotional situations. You are a positive inspiration to us all.

  21. rachel

    Wow thankyou for being so honest, it is amazing and rare to find someone write so openly about something so personal. I hope the transition for you both is as easy, kind and gentle as it can be.
    Much love xxx

  22. Elena

    Virtual hug! Just wanted to echo the above comments—love your honesty and openness. Sounds like a very difficult and brave decision. Best of luck with these big life changes!

  23. pve

    Life is just one big evolution and I commend you for realizing that no matter what, friends you shall remain.

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