Yogi Danielle Cuccio's Advice on First Love Heartbreak, Dating + Commitment



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It was only fitting that we met with the newly engaged busy-body at Backyard Bowls, one of her favorite spots in LA. Danielle is a private yoga instructor with a clientele ranging with Tinder to Design Love Fest to Casa de Perrin, and she teaches the popular Yoga Booty Ballet class at Swerve Studio. She is also CEO of Cuccio Somatology where she offers tips on yoga, skin care, fitness, and nutrition. You can follow her on Instagram @daniellecuccio.

FALLING IN LOVE EARLY
“I was in a 9 year relationship that was full of ups and downs. I met him when I was 13. My parents have been together since they were 12 so I thought oh this is normal, this is just what you do. I met him when I was 13 and it was just a roller coaster as relationships are at that age. He was on the basketball team and I was a cheerleader and he was the love of my life - I thought I was going to marry him. He went to college and I was heartbroken - we’d break up and then get back together and then break up and then get back together. Then we got back together after college. I had dated people in between when we weren’t together, but nothing serious, you can’t obviously when you had something that strong. And we were together for a year after college. We bought a house and moved in together and I thought that was it. It all made sense - I was on cloud nine. I thought this is it. We made it through college and we’re good.

HER FIRST HEARTBREAK
“At some point, I remember I just stopped wanting to come home. It was the weirdest thing. I just stopped caring. We worked well together as kids, but we just didn’t work as adults. I went to beauty school and he was an artist. I was in school from 7am to 6pm every day and I would come home exhausted. He would have just been doing whatever he was doing all day and I when I would get home, he would want to go out and do things and I just couldn’t. I was too tired and he could never understand that. I had to end it. It was really hard. We owned a house together for the last three years. It’s a long time to have been with someone when you’re only 27 years old.”

Danielle 1

COHABITATING
“We lived in the house for 5 months together. We were so occupied with getting the house and moving in. That’s the scary part - people can get so wrapped up in what they’re doing and then when it’s over, and they’re like ‘ok, now what?’ I’m sure it could even happen with wedding planning. I think that’s a really scary thing. I think that was happening with me when we were buying the house, but I didn’t realize that until after we moved in. It was really hard to face what I was feeling, but there was no more going back. So I initiated many conversations. It was almost as if I was reeling him into breaking up. It was conversation after conversation.”

ONE MORE CHANCE
“At one point, I wanted to get back together with him because I was so scared. I remember so clearly giving him one more chance: “You can take me to dinner and a movie and we can try to keep this working.” That night, he had friends over and was drumming, doing his own thing. So I went to dinner and the movie by myself. I had never been to a movie by myself and ended up watching a documentary about love. It was so cheesy and ridiculous and yet so perfect.”

THINGS TAKE TIME
“I went on a trip to Italy with my friends and I remember crying and talking about it and my friends just told me I had to stop talking about it. But in a way, I still wanted him to be a part of me. It’s been four years now and I think I’m really past it. I never thought I would get there.”

GETTING BACK INTO HER BODY
“After the break up was when I started doing yoga. I would go to yoga and I would cry. I didn’t want the teacher to see me, but now, plenty of my students cry and I’m like bring it! I started teaching Yoga Booty Ballet, a fitness class that is a lot of fun and it makes you feel so good. When you’re going through a break up, I think you really need that. You need something that will physically get you moving and distract you. That’s why I loved yoga so much. I was a dancer my whole life and yoga got me back into my body and I would walk out of class feeling so much more peaceful, thinking, I’m by myself and I don’t need someone right now and I’ll be okay.

Danielle 2

WHAT SHE READ
“When I started dating again, I read Why Men Love Bitches. Its message was 'Don’t deal with assholes!' That book is great.”

ONLINE DATING
“I tried online dating and it was such a good experience. I don’t have a bad thing to say about it. You get to know yourself so well. I probably went on 12 dates total. I met some great people. Some of them weren’t for me at all, but you learn what you like and what you don’t. It felt like I was going on a whole bunch of interviews and you really get to know yourself. I remember I kept saying to the guys that I really wanted to do a yoga certification class. I thought why do I keep saying that? And then I just did it.”

MEETING HER MATCH
“After the break up, I dated someone that I used to see and then another guy in the same group of friends. I decided I had to stop that. I’m going nowhere. They’re cute, they’re fun, but this is going nowhere. Those guys are still noncommittal to this day, it wasn’t me. You have to remember it’s not you. So I started online dating. If there was one weird sign, at the very beginning, that the guy was noncommittal or not right for me, I just ended it. I wasn’t going to get involved with something that wasn’t going anywhere. And it really worked. I started meeting guys that were ready to commit. There were no games and when you’re dating, that’s the line you have to draw. I met Tyler on Match. I was really attracted to bad boys with tattoos. When I met Tyler, he was very put together, wearing a button down shirt. But when I found out he had tattoos and a different side, I was like yes! It’s about finding a good mix.”

COMMITMENT CAN BE INTIMIDATING
“When I first met Tyler, he was just so ready to commit. I knew that he was very serious, I got scared and we broke up. I still regret it. I was so miserable when we were apart. I felt alone and I didn’t want to go back to my old life. We started talking a little bit through email and we decided to go to dinner. I realized that this guy was 100% here. It was a big decision to make but we were like alright we’re doing this! So after a month of being broken up, we got back together and we have been together ever since. I think I just needed that time for myself. I was going through my yoga teacher training during the break, so I really needed that time for myself. Of course I wish we didn’t have to go through a break, but it’s what happened.”

FRIENDS WITH HER EX?
“No. I honestly don’t know my ex would fit into my life. He’s someone who if you’re his friend, he really needs you to be there and I can’t do that, especially with Tyler. Tyler is really easy going about it. He’s not a very jealous person. A few years ago, I would have said that my ex would be like an uncle to my kids. I always imagined he’d be part of my family because he was really close to them. But now, it just makes much more sense to not talk to him.”

Danielle 3

HER HARDEST LESSON LEARNED ON LOVE
“We would all love to end up with our first love because that sounds perfect. But you’re seeing the situation through rose colored glasses. You’re totally blind. I think that we would all love to end up with that. But as adults, that is just not the case. As an adult you’re looking for different things. You could be with someone who is so sweet and amazing but they might not be able to be as driven as you. And that’s important to me. I think that was a pretty rude awakening. I really had to think about what I wanted in a partner and what I wanted from our life together. That never used to be a component when I was younger. A relationship can only last long term if you have a vision together. Daily things have to work as well - who takes out the trash and that kind of thing. That’s a shift for me after being in a relationship with someone for 9 years, growing up with them and then entering adult life.”

PROJECTS SHE’S EXCITED ABOUT
“My parents are in the beauty business and have been for 30 years. So growing up I was always around that. My sister became a doctor and my dad always said to me “you’re going to work in the family business.” I’m growing my wellness brand, Cuccio Somatology, “soma” means body and “tology” means study of. I’ve taken anatomy and nutrition courses. I’m an aesthetician. I’m a yoga instructor. I have a yoga DVD and book. Eventually I’d like include probiotics, supplements and skin care into the line. I want to do it all!”

HER MANTRA: LOVE
“I think that we can all get so caught up in our lives and not realize what’s important. People need to stay with what they love. Love what you love to do, love who you love, stay where you love to be. My whole life is driven by wanting to live on the beach one day. I love the relaxed lifestyle and I’ve wanted it my whole life.”

Photographed by Ellen Huerta in Los Angeles.