True Companions: This is how you find ‘em and keep ‘em with Dr. Kelly Flanagan

Do you have true companions in your life? 

And let’s back up for a minute — how do you define a true companion anyways?  

Is your wife a true companion? 

Returning to the show, my friend Dr. Kelly Flanagan and I are going to talk about how to build true companionship with the people who are most important to us. 

Before Kelly joined the Front Row Dads brotherhood, I knew him as a speaker, elite-level coach, and badass author of the book Loveable, which our guys raved about.

In his new book, True Companions: A Book for Everyone About the Relationships That See Us Through, Kelly shows us what happens when we quit sabotaging intimacy by demanding unconditional love.

Gold Nuggets

  • The only perspective that can keep us focused on our true companions
  • Why loneliness is the shadow side of your uniqueness
  • The uncomfortableness of being alone
  • The value of the Enneagram
  • The process of building belonging
  • Why lying and secrecy is a form of withdrawing from a relationship
  • How to shift from defensiveness to empathy and compassion
  • The 4 main words for love
  • How we often use unconditional love to say “Lay off me!”
  • The 5-session study guide to help you and your partner make the most of Dr. Kelly’s new book

PS: If you like this episode and you’d like a FREE copy of Kelly’s book, True Companions, simply write an honest review of this podcast on iTunes, take a screenshot, and send it to along with your address. I love to read your feedback, and I want to know what was of value to you!

''Loneliness is the shadow side of our uniqueness.'' - Dr. Kelly Flanagan Share on X

Big Questions Asked

  • What is a true companion? 
  • How do we live with our true-self and our false-self?
  • How does loneliness enrich companionship? 
  • How can we repurpose defensiveness to grow our relationships, instead of tearing them apart? 
  • Why do we lie to try to protect people? 
  • Why is it so hard to be okay with being wrong?

Go Deeper


More About Dr. Kelly Flanagan

Dr. Kelly Flanagan is a clinical psychologist, author, consultant, and speaker who enjoys walking with people through the three essentials of a truly satisfying life.
Kelly Flanagan

Kelly has a Ph.D. from Penn State University and is the founder of Artisan Clinical Associates in Naperville, IL. In 2012, he began his now popular blog, where he writes regularly about those three essentials: worthiness, belonging, and purpose. His writing has been featured in Reader’s Digest, The Huffington Post, The 5 Love Languages, and in 2014 a letter he wrote to his daughter led to their appearance on the TODAY Show.

In 2017, Kelly published his first book—Loveable: Embracing What Is Truest About You, So You Can Truly Embrace Your Life—and it debuted as the #1 New Release in Interpersonal Relations on Amazon. His next book—True Companions: A Book for Everyone About the Relationships That See Us Through—will be published in February 2021. Kelly is married to another clinical psychologist named Kelly—because they decided to make life more complicated than it already is—and they have three children: Aidan, 17; Quinn, 13; and Caitlin, 11. They live in a small town outside of Chicago. Connect and learn more at

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