Maria and Ash began their relationship as a friendship nearly 8 years ago. Today, the iconic fitness and coaching couple have transformed their friendship into a relationship that allows them to level up day after day. Below, they’ve shared their secrets to relationship success – and how this can directly translate to the life of your dreams.
Do the best relationships begin as friendships?
Countless Hollywood hits seem to suggest they do.
When Harry Met Sally, 13 Going on 30, and Monica and Chandler’s romantic bliss in Friends are all examples of friendships that transitioned into strong relationships.
However, Hollywood may not be the best source of realistic examples.
Outside of the big screen, studies have found that on average, couples who’ve known each other four months or longer experience the greatest relationship success. Of these relationships, 40% not only knew each other prior to dating, but had developed a friendship upon which they eventually built a relationship.
For those that still have their reservations over whether or not a friendship-turned relationship can actually be successful, Maria Stavrou & Ash Edelman are here to share that not only is it possible, but it can serve to create the most amazing impact on your life in the process.
The influential power couple boasting a strong social media presence have their relationship, which began as a friendship back in 2014, to thank for their accomplishments in both love and life.
For Maria and Ash, a relationship is about much more than being with a partner. It’s about uncovering your highest potential through a mutually beneficial union that will allow you to reach new heights.
“I love when couples do cute things like start businesses, get LLC’s, buy investment properties, and create generational wealth! Y’all cute” shared one of Maria’s recent Instagram posts.
Together, the duo has launched two successful online coaching platforms: The Joyful Coach and Ashthetics Coaching. As the founder of The Joyful Coach, Maria helps women demand their worth and reach their personal, professional, and financial goals. Through Ashthetics Coaching, Ash helps promote mental and physical fitness for men.
Maria and Ash attribute their individual success to the support, inspiration, and accountability they continue to provide to one another in their relationship.
Since they first met back in 2014, they’ve both exited toxic relationships, left limiting careers, and shed self-conscious mindsets.
Today, they spend their days posted up on the beaches of Thailand where they create content to inspire their following, develop their investment portfolios, and passionately pursue their careers as coaches.
“The more we put into ourselves together as a team,” shared Ash, “the more we grow and grow and grow.”
The couple doesn’t hold back when sharing what it’s taken for them to get from where they were several years ago to where they are today – from communication tactics to sexual desires, they’re an open book for others to learn from.
For those seeking to follow in their inspirational footsteps, the duo has shared 6 ways to level up your life with your partner.
1. Hold each other accountable to goals
“Don’t settle for pedestrian goals!” shared Maria. “If your goals or your partner’s goals are too small, have the confidence in your relationship to push the other person to strive for more.
“You know what you’re capable of and you know what your partner is capable of, so make sure that your actions and your visions are meeting – if not surpassing – the goals that you have both set.”
2. Be your partner’s biggest cheerleader
“I remember the first time I met Maria after she booked me for an event. I was sitting in Starbucks 2 hours early because I was so nervous about meeting her. After I worked up the courage to finally get to the meeting, she came bursting in like a bundle of energy and I was so comfortable and happy simply being in her presence. To this day, I still feel that way.
“It is so important to hype up your partner. If you love their energy, tell them. If you feel happy in their presence, let them know. If you think they look sexy as hell, share that compliment with them! If your partner trusts you to be their number one cheerleader, they will have the confidence to level-up intimately, professionally, and personally.” – Ash
3. Consciously communicate
“In any relationship, you need to communicate in order for it to survive. If you want to level up, you need to figure out how you and your partner communicate best and make sure you’re speaking the right language.” – Maria
“We actually use an app called Relish to help us communicate. It’s worked for us to ensure we’re checking in with each other to provide that accountability and support. It’s important to be a soundboard for your partner and that they know they can bounce ideas, goals, and dreams off of you free from judgment.” – Ash
4. Put in the work!
“I’m a firm believer in creating strong foundations. Right from the get-go, Ash and I saw a couples counselor, not to fix problems in our relationship but to learn how to best navigate them in the future and to make sure we were building our life together on a solid foundation.
“Many people think that just because we’re human and humans are meant to form romantic connections, we’ll be inherently good at being in a relationship. This is simply not true. With a relationship, you have to take the right steps to get from A to B – you’ve got to know what to do, what to say, how to communicate – and all of this takes work. If you want your relationship to succeed you need to put the work in.” – Maria
5. Set out your path for the next year, five years, ten years, do you share the same dreams?
“A part of the reason that Maria and I work together so well is that we both have big dreams, and we want to see the other person succeed just as much as we individually want to succeed.
“For some couples, their visions of the future are not aligned. This can create problems if one person is striving for bigger things than the other. Maria and I both know we want to level up, and we know we want to do everything in our power to ensure that happens. Knowing you’re working towards common goals together is fundamental to achieving them.” – Ash
6. Don’t shame the other person
“Ah, we’ve been pretty PG so far but I think it’s time to shift the conversation to the bedroom! To be honest, the first time Ash and I met each other years and years ago, we were both incredibly physically attracted to each other. We never acted on it straight away even though all our friends thought that we were going to. But look at him! How could you not want to rip his clothes off?
“Physical connection is really, really important to a relationship, and because of that, our number one rule for initiating sex is that I will not shame you for asking, and I will not shame you for saying no. When shame is associated with sex in a relationship, it can become really easy to lose trust, confidence, and desire. Couples need to feel okay to ask for something without fear of being shamed for it, but they also have to be okay with hearing that the answer to their request might be no! For us, there really is no shame in asking, and we think more couples need to embrace this mentality.” – Maria
For Maria and Ash, the friendship that they developed before getting into a relationship allowed them to build upon a foundation of trust, respect, and commitment to each other as well as their future.
Today, they share with their clients how they too can establish a strong foundation on which to build a relationship.
For couples looking to level up their lives and their relationships, Ash and Maria are now offering a fantastic new retreat focused on growing your health, wealth, and mindset. The program is specifically designed for couples who are in a relationship and are running their own or joint businesses.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to apply for the pilot program, limited spaces available. Application close 28th of May 2021.