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Relationships are messy + delicious. Learn about how Robyn D'Angelo, The Happy Couple Expert uses science to effectively help couples in Orange County, California to master the messiness of couplehood, together.

The Blog

Relationship Rehab: Loving Your Funky Partner

Emily Porta

We all have emotional dips at times.  Or, as I like to put it, we all get into funks once in a while.  When you're experiencing one of those downturns, what does it look like?  What do you need?  And what does it look and feel like for your partner?  This week's video takes a look at the importance of communicating needs during (and even preemptively!) these slumps so that you can both move through it together.

So many of us in relationships struggle with a number of things.  Some of us struggle with anxiety.  Some of us struggle with things like depression.  Some people are very particular.  You know that type of person.  We might call them "Type A" or they've got OCD, or what have you. 

And then there's times where we just get into what I like to call just a funk, where we notice we're feeling down, where our energy is really low.  Our moods might be all over the place or maybe they're just pretty low consistently. 

Maybe we find it hard to come up with the right words.  Some of us even get a little clumsy, start walking into walls or, you know, you go to take something out of the fridge and put it back but you put it in the cupboard. 

And you're like, "What is going on with me?  I feel like I'm in this really weird funk." 

I want to talk to those of you who have experienced this and I want to talk to your partners.  I want to teach them how to love their "funky" partner. 

I want you guys to know, first and foremost, that getting in what I call a funk and feeling this way--it's our body's way of trying to get our attention.  It's our brain's and our body's way of saying, "Hey, pay attention to something.  I need you to slow down and pay attention to something."  And that could be a number of things, and could be a whole other conversation.

But right now, I just want to talk about how the people in your life can support you during this time.

I wanted to share this because I recently had a moment--a couple of days actually--where I was just in this total funk and my partner showed up for me in a way that blew my mind. 

Well, and of course this has been many years of kind of being able to connect with him and talk with him and show him what I need in those moments. 

And, it takes a lot of being able to have open, honest conversations with your partner to be able to do this. 

And, I just want to say that, if you can connect with your partner and talk about it before our funks happen, and talk about what are the things that you feel at your most vulnerable, like you're operating at your lowest capacity, what are some things that your partner can do for you and either help catapult you out of that funk or just support you while you navigate through it yourself? 

An example is something that I personally need and appreciate so much from my partner is when I'm in a funk, I just need a hug.  I actually need a lot of them.  And, he's wonderful at that. 

And the way that we learn about this is I just asked.  I said, "You know what, I'm having a really hard time right now and I just need a hug." 

And I can't tell you how many times he just hears the words "I'm just having a hard time right now" and he knows. It's like his little radar goes "Oh, I know what to do right now." 

Not only does that make me--a person who's going through this funky moment--feel really supported and cared for and loved, it makes him feel like he can actually help.  I can be a part of this solution.  I can be a part of supporting my partner, rather than just standing back and feeling totally helpless (which is really hard for partners to see in the first place). 

So, I want to encourage all of you to have conversations with your partner and talk about:

1.  What happens when you're in a funk? 

2.  What does you being in a funk look like? 

3.  What are some of the things that you need when you're in a funk, so that your partner can show up and help you through it?

4.  Then ask the same questions about your partner's funks.

Start a conversation because that's the best way to start getting your needs met, as well as learning how to meet your partner's needs.  

If you have any questions and you're really maybe struggling with, "How do I start this conversation, Robyn?" feel free to reach out

And, if you have comments about how this has worked for you or what you've observed in yourself or your partner, let's continue this conversation in the comments below.