Brand Guru Éva Goicochea's Advice on Breakups, Marriage + Rejection



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What doesn't Éva Goicochea do? She is a sought-after strategist who's worked with brands like Virgin Atlantic and Steven Alan. Before founding her own studio, she ran social media, culture and talent at Everlane. She also co-founded ilovecreatives, digital classifieds for creatives. 

The New Mexico native managed to carve out a few minutes to share the 2 things you need to know about your partner before you marry them, her advice for breakups, and a bit about her latest endeavor, Tinker Watches. Since this interview, she also launched Maude, a line of bedroom essentials for all.

You can follow her on Instagram @evagoicochea (don't worry, we won't tell anyone if you spend the next 15 minutes scrolling 150 weeks deep into her dreamy feed, because we just did too). 

HOW A PUP HELPED HER THROUGH A BREAKUP
“When I was 18, I was preparing to move to New York from California. I met a guy, let’s name him Bob. Well, Bob doesn't sound like a heartbreaker, so let’s name him Sam. Sam and I fell in love quickly, because at that point we were only 18. I moved to New York and a year later he followed me. I ended up getting him a job where I worked, which was a gym. I started to notice that he was getting pretty friendly with someone and long story short, he cheated on me and kind of took over my life. It felt like a single white female situation, but with my romantic partner, because I basically gave him my life in New York."

"My first inclination was to just sort of shut down and really be in despair, but about 2 or 3 months before we broke up, I had gotten a dog. I remember looking at her and thinking, I can’t fall apart, this little dog depends on me. For me, animals have always been healing. They offer unconditional love, but they are also dependent on you, which is kind of that encouragement, like: “come on pull yourself up, you’ve got to go!” I don’t think you have to have a pet to experience that, but I would recommend that people have someone or something that depends on them or something that they need to do to refocus their energy on. For me that was really important.”

THE ADVICE SHE'D GIVE HER 18-YEAR OLD SELF
“I think I would say a lot of things. First, this is not going to be your last or only heartache. Secondly, maybe now that I’m married it is easier to say this, but I recognize so much of the power of being happy with one’s self and realizing your own dreams. If you’re doing it next to somebody or with somebody in a really great relationship, then great, but at all times you should be doing that, so that if and when the rug gets pulled out from underneath you, you still have something to live for, focus on and care about." 

"For me it was in college that I started to say to myself, I really haven't been living in NY, so I need to go out and have a great time. I made travel plans and just poured myself into living again, and being responsible for this little dog. That would be my advice for my 18 year old self: don’t let love be all consuming in that you forget everything else. Try to keep a balance.”

BECOMING THE HEARTBREAKER
“Well, I have to say after that first heartbreak, I ended up being the heartbreaker. I think it made me really resilient because the way that it all happened was really devastating. But I would say my most recent heartache wasn’t romantic, it was losing a pet. Whether you’re losing a pet, or a friend, or a parent, or your boyfriend, or your girlfriend or whatever it is: loss is not just missing them. It’s also your patterns and how everyday things change. "

"When you’re talking in a romantic context, it’s important to own your everyday. My heartbreak was that I lost a cat, who was eaten by a coyote. And the heartbreak for me was that I had interacted with this cat everyday. He was truly lovely, kind, sweet and always laid next to you. The biggest heartache, I realized, was that loss of his presence. I think if he was far away on vacation and I could talk to him on the phone or something that might be better. But it was the loss of that connection.” 

INVEST YOUR ENERGY INTO SOMETHING ELSE
“I’ve always been on to the next thing, not with the intention to replace, but with the intention to invest my energy into something. It’s really hard to be broken up with by a person, and to remember that you’re lovable and you just have to go out there and have a great interaction with somebody over coffee, or flirt with a friend you’ve always had a little something with. Something to make you recognize that you haven’t been put on the shelf. Just go out and interact with other people so you get that level of energy and communication that you’re missing instead of just retreating into your house.”

A CLOSED BOOK
“If things aren’t very clean, I tend to, like most people, go back and think about what I could have said differently or done differently. When it comes to being cheated on, I feel stupid and I’ve definitely been cheated on more than once. I look back and think, wow, I could have handled this differently, instead of recognizing that you either let it go or let it out. You can’t just contain it."

"So in my case, many, many years later, I ended up being in the same city again as that boyfriend [who cheated on me], and we had dinner and talked about it. I got what I needed from that, and then I never saw him again. It was really weird and interesting to finally think, okay, I’m older and I actually don’t care and I don’t even like you as a person. Getting to have dinner made me feel better. It wasn’t even that I was still sad about it, I just wanted it to be a closed book.”

CAN EXES BE FRIENDS?
“This is hard. I would love to say that yes, exes can be friends, but unless it was really amicable and both people were really done, that is really hard for people to do because it is typically one-sided. Especially if you want to move on and you want your next partner to feel comfortable, because that invested time you have in the other person and that closeness with them doesn't really go away. You can not talk to someone for 10 years, but you knew so much about them that it is definitely not just a friendship. I don’t think it's possible, but who knows.”

“I don’t have any exes that I’m connected with on social media. I think a lot for the future girlfriend, I don’t want to be the ex that somebody is still connected with. I’m definitely friends with people that I’ve gone out on dates with, but nobody that I was with for a significant amount of time. I’ve been a serial monogamist: all of my relationships have been more than two years long, and I’ve been with my husband 7 years, married 5 and a half of those. So it’s a little different, we were quite young when we got married.”

2 THINGS YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT YOUR PARTNER
“I think love comes down to two things, and maybe it sounds a little off the wall: they have to be the best roommate that you could ever have, and the best travel companion that you could ever have. Those are two situations where the best of friends can turn into enemies, and you can realize while traveling or living together that your priorities are very different."

"So if you can do those two things with somebody, I think you’re okay. Living together means really dealing with it all, and traveling is really about understanding someone’s pace, as in, who wants to get up early to go to the museum and who wants to lay on the beach all day. Those can be the things that keep you together.”

HER FAVORITE SONG ABOUT HEARTBREAK
"David Gray, The Other Side. In it he basically says, ‘I still don’t know what love is, but I’ll see you on the other side.’ I don’t if the other side means death, but I really think it just means in the next place. It’s an interesting thing and I still really like the line ‘I still don’t know what love is’ because it’s this recognition that you’re the flawed one and it is not just the other person’s fault. In a lot of music, especially by females, the message is ‘you’re the bad guy and I hate you,’ but I like the reflective and introspective nature of that song.”

HOW SHE HANDLES REJECTION
“I spent 7 months right after I moved to LA single and dating a lot of different people. What I really liked about that was the idea that if you don’t look at it as a reflection of yourself, but instead just look at it as trying to find that best friend, you quickly realize that you don’t need to absorb anyone's rejection of you or your rejection of them."

"You can then walk through life and know that you’re not for everyone and everyone is not for you. I have a lot of friends who are single in LA because they absorb everything and they take everything personally. I just want to tell them, ‘You’re not going to like everybody!’ And that’s okay because it’s not a reflection of them.”

WHAT'S AHEAD FOR HER
“I’m working on a lot of things. About a year and a half ago I went freelance after working at a really successful startup, so that has been a whole lesson in heartbreak. I build websites and I have multiple clients that I do brand strategy for. I’m building a watch company with 3 other people. I would say the thing that ties it all together is that I really like people and I really like connecting people. I’ve loved being freelance because I get to help and move on, help and connect. In the past, I was singularly focused and that was hard for me.”

Photograph from www.evagoicochea.com.