DATING AND RELATING
Mutual respect fuels relationship
Local entrepreneur Devon Brooks, who is engaged to Montreal Alouettes linebacker Shea Emry, says women need to follow and trust their instincts to know what’s exactly right for them. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)
What do happy couples know? It seems a lot, as we ask local people to share their wisdom and lessons learned on life, love and secrets to a healthy relationship.
Name: Devon Brooks
Occupation: Entrepreneur, wellness advocate
Relationship status: Engaged to Shea Emry
What is love to you?
At this point in my life, love is just the beginning; it’s the starting point, a way of being. Love is the seed and what blossoms from that seed is what is most meaningful and impactful.
How did you know Shea Emry was who you wanted as your life partner?
In choosing Shea, I chose myself. He endorses my best self. He frees me, he raises me and he challenges me to be completely me. That’s how I knew he was the right person.
What’s a major difference from your single days compared to now?
The most colossal difference is in the way that I make decisions. I make decisions for the team — not for myself. When you’re just solo, you only have your emotions, your intentions and your environment to consider.
What’s your advice to people who know if they are in the right relationship?
When you are in a significant relationship that is healthy — the intent is mutual. Meaning, even in the most difficult conversation and challenging of times you know you have a shared intent. You are passionate about being of service to each other. Your relationship is cemented by compassion and respect for each other’s values. If these things aren’t present in your relationship — move on baby, love awaits you both elsewhere.
Being in a committed relationship, how has your dynamic with men changed?
The difference comes not from being committed. I’ve been in committed relationships before where I behaved in a way that was not congruent with my core beliefs. It’s not just my love for Shea that is a change agent; the difference is my energy. I have such an absolute profound respect for my partner. I’m happy to sacrifice any relationship that cannot appreciate what’s important to me, and that’s Shea. I will choose integrity every time, and my energy in the world will reflect that choice.
A message to men?
As early as you can, start to figure out how to be more gentle. Every time you become harder in the world, you are further and further from love.
A message to women?
We have a tendency to be apologetic about our instincts. When it comes to sex and dating ‘No’ is a full sentence. Listen to that whisper inside you, the one we too often choose to ignore. You know exactly what is right for you, and when - you are a genius about you.
What would you tell your younger self?
Don’t waste time on what you think isn’t beautiful about you. One day you will meet someone, and he will love everything about you that you were so sure was unlovable.