This week’s Woman Crush Wednesday is the one and only Megan Bruneau – aka the incredible talent behind One Shrink’s Perspective. Megan is so real, raw and honest that you notice it through her writing, and within the first five seconds of meeting. We met recently at a panel hosted by Forbes for women, and within an instant I was struck by her smarts, sass and direct manner. It’s an inspiration and naturally brings out a level of conversation that’s all too rare these days. Megan is an expert in all things love, breakups and moving on; and approaches it all with refreshing candor and energy. Here’s what she had to say about all things love, sex and dating.
What’s the best gift you ever got?
An ex gave me a necklace that means “Follow your dreams,” even though he knew me “following my dreams” likely meant we weren’t going to stay together. It was heartbreaking and deeply motivating at the same time. Since then, I moved to New York to follow my dreams, and we broke up. I wore it every day for two years. I’ve since swapped it out for a different piece of jewelry with different meaning, but it still sits on my desk and reminds me why I’m here every day.
What’s the worst gift you ever got?
A roll of duct tape from my cousin. It might have been a metaphor for something, but I’m pretty sure he just waited until Dec 24th and hit a gas station for his gifts. No judgment–we’ve all been there. Would’ve preferred some gum or something, though.
What’s your advice for all things love, sex and dating?
1) Make space for all the uncomfortable feelings like rejection, anxiety, anger, frustration, jealousy, hurt, guilt, vulnerability, etc. etc., and learn how to embrace all of it and support yourself through the tough stuff (#selfcompassion). Dating can actually be a very spiritual practice, with opportunities for awareness and growth.
2) Date yourself first: get to know and appreciate yourself so you feel confident being you (rather than trying to be someone else–that’s exhausting). Own your flaws because on the other side of them are gifts you give the world. And make sure you have meaning and connection in your life already (and that you’re not looking to a partner to solely fill those voids). Join a Rec team. Go on Bumble BFF. Volunteer somewhere. Take on a side hustle. Nurture your friend group.
3) Don’t always listen to your heart: Be honest with yourself about unserving relational patterns, such as your tendency to go after emotionally unavailable people, “projects,” or partners with whom you’re unconsciously trying to heal your childhood wounds. If you notice a theme, work with a therapist or at the very least journal the f*ck out of your process and be intentional about investing further in something potentially destructive.
What’s your go to pick me up?
Yoga. Every time. And Spotify’s Acoustic Covers on the way there and back.
Tell us about your first heartbreak…
I mention this story all the time because it was the impetus for a complete shift in the way I related to myself and the world. I was dating a guy for a few years and was head over heels–totally thought we were going to get married and have babies and the whole shabang. Toward the end of our relationship, I was going through a pretty dark time. I was struggling with depression and anorexia, health issues, family issues, and finishing a pretty intense masters program. The stress was just too much on both of us and (understandably) he peaced out. It literally took me 2 years to get over, but looking back it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Tell us about a time you Bounced Back better than ever..
That heartbreak rocked my world and seriously broke me open, and when I finally rebuilt myself I did it on a foundation of self-compassion and not taking life (or my mind) so seriously. I let go of the illusional of control (at least some of the time) and gave myself permission to awaken to the present moment. I’ve now accepted that I’m prob always going to have periods of depression and anxiety in life, but I now know how to support myself through them and am motivated by a thirst for experiencing life, rather than fear of experiencing discomfort.