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I LOOK FORWARD TO MEETING YOU SOON!

-Robyn

23151 Verdugo Drive, Suite 201
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

714-390-1652

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 relationships while learning how to love + be loved, better.

The Blog

How to Avoid Relationship Cardiac Arrest

Robyn D'Angelo

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This weekly running group of mine has really forced me to up my game.

Meaning I've had to dust off my running shoes + get back out there.

What I was NOT prepared for, was how much training my body would need to keep up with this weekly physical activity.

So, I invited my husband to join me on a 3 mile "Rock" this weekend.

If you're not familiar with this term, it's what I call my run/walk sessions.

I run a little, I walk a little, + I repeat that until I meet my goal.

To be honest, walking during a planned run used to be unacceptable to me.

I used to proudly announce how my fitness regimen required me to "Wreck myself into wellness." (there was no room for walking)

Then I turned 30... then 35 …and now 37.

And my body has prematurely adopted what I call the "Fuck-it-Forties" (aka: when you turn 40 you naturally give less fucks about much of anything) and is forcing me to slow down, listen to it rather than what I think I SHOULD be able to do, simply because I once could. But I digress.

  My new apple watch ROCKS!!!

My new apple watch ROCKS!!!

While I was out on this ROCK with the husband, sporting my new apple watch (which is so rad, btw! I love not having to hold my phone to track my milage/pace) he asked me a seemingly innocent question:

Are you monitoring your heart rate?


GASP! My first thoughts (in no particular order):

What are you asking?

Am I that old that I need to monitor my heart rate?

Besides, who cares what my heart rate is, I can still run. See me running? I'm fine!

Does my huffing + puffing make me sound like I can't do this?

Is my face beet red, indicating that I can't keep up with you?


But I all that came out was a sharp,

"No! Why ... do YOU think I should be!?"

(my inner angsty teen had her arms crossed, nostrils flared, + daggers shooting out of her eyes at him with that one)

He gently went on to explain the importance of knowing the difference between STRESS + STRENGTHEN.

He shared with me, how important it is to strengthen not only my body when starting back at such high levels of physical exertion, but to also strengthen my lungs.

ok, I’m interested. Keep talking.


And then he said the words that nearly stopped me in my tracks:

“Most importantly, you need to slowly strengthen your heart.”


Of course me being the #LoveGeek sap that I am, started to tear up (or was that just sweat in my eyes? 😉 )


I must strengthen my heart. I must have a strong heart. Yes! I dig it. But there was more.

And this is where it gets really good. He went on to say:

"Can you imagine, if every time you set out for a run, it was a full on sprint? Your heart would only know massive stress. If the only time you needed it to show up for you, beyond a normal amount of daily movement, was to SPRINT, it wouldn't be able to handle it. You have to strengthen it, little by little, with incremental stress so that it doesn't seize on you.”

💥 KAPOW!!! 💥

(that was my mind being blown by the way, not my heart exploding, thankfully.)

"You're right! You're so right. On so many levels! I never thought about it like that. If I don't keep an eye on my heart rate, I won't REALLY know what is too much. Or what too little feels like."


His eyes lit up. Remember ladies, those two little words that EVERY SINGLE MAN needs to hear from us but rarely does, goes a long way. “You’re Right.”

He went on to share:

"Yes + you can really hurt yourself. You could go in to cardiac arrest! OR if you're not pushing yourself hard enough, you may never reach your goals of getting faster, stronger or increasing your endurance."

While I'm stoked to use this information to up my running game I was so grateful for the metaphor.

Because just like your heart, your relationship also needs to be strengthened before it's put under all that stress. It must have the foundation that can withstand the pressure.

If you don’t strength train your relationship, it can go into cardiac arrest.

In order to withstand the stress of big blow ups, painful arguments, frightening life circumstances, or any other MAJOR stressor on your relationship (birth of a child, death of a loved one, buying a new home, selling an old home, losing a job, starting a new career, health scare, etc) you’ve got to lay a solid, strong foundation + tend to that foundation OFTEN, to keep it strong.

So, if you’re constantly in chaos, confusion, + conflict, you’re constantly putting stress on the relationship.

So let’s talk about ways to strengthen, then stress.

  1. Warm-up. Start warming up to your spouse more often by verbalizing what you know about them + their experiences each day. ex: “I know you had a big meeting this morning, how’d it go?” or “Hey how was your run tonight, I know you were a little sore from this weekend’s rock.”😉

  2. Practice. Tell your partner how you feel, about the situation, + make your request. Using emotion words + those trusty old “I statements” you can actually have a conversation rather than a raging monologue. ex: “I feel …. (lonely, disconnected, irritated, etc.) when … (describe the situation: I come home + dishes are all over the sink, etc.) “Going forward, I’d like to create a system where dishes are done each night before bed so that we can both come home to a clean kitchen. What time are you free to have that 10 minute conversation tonight?”

  3. Cool-down. Make time to reflect + connect through out your day or at the end of it. ex: While lying in bed at night, after the kids are in bed, laundry is done, + you’re catching up on Ozark season 2, turn to them + say, “You know, it’s been so awesome the way you’ve helped the kids with their school work these last few nights. It’s really allowed me to focus on some of my other “to-dos.” And when I am productive, I find it easier to relax + connect with you at the end of our day. So, thanks.”

All of these are examples of conversations that strengthen the relationship, create connection + build intimacy.

Which is exactly what’s required to sustain the strain that shows up in EVERY relationship.

So, if you’re ready to get transformational relationship support so that you don’t have to TRAIN for the messiness of relationships on your own, click the button below + let’s chat.

Don’t let your relationship go into cardiac arrest - get the help you need, to create the relationship you deeply desire + deserve. TODAY.

It's all about where you do it.

Robyn D'Angelo

Recently, I was chatting with a friend about a weekend getaway with my husband to celebrate our wedding anniversary.

This was no usual getaway. And I mean, it was so far out of "the norm" for us, that we hardly recognized one another.

We slowed down where we would usually speed up, do more, see more +  explore a whole lot more.

But we didn't. 

We snuck away to a friend's cabin, in the mountains, 2 hours away, + if it weren't for the wifi, we would have been totally off the grid. 

Together, we slowed down.

We sat. 

We binged on season 6 of Orange is the New Black (finished the whole thing in 2 days + it was glorious!)

We drank wine + whiskey through out the day. 

We ate microwave popcorn for dinner. (YUM!)

And we just vegged out. 

Together. 

And as I was sharing this with my friend, feeling a little guilty for our anniversary being "so many things we could have just done any other weekend at home, he said something that really stuck with me: 

"Sometimes, it's all about where you do it, Robyn."

We both giggled a bit, but I was profoundly moved. 

His words swam through my brain. 

I smiled. I giggled more. And then I wrote this to you.

Because so often we think that in order to really slow down, connect, have great sex, relax, + enjoy the one person (who's been driving us crazy Monday-Friday), we MUST go do things so ADVENTUROUS that it mentally + physically rips us away from reality.

But that wasn't the case this weekend.

And that isn't the case, in general. 

Yeah, we were in traffic for 4 hours, to a location that technically should have been 2 hours away (thank you So Cal traffic), but it wasn't like a total escape from reality.

There's this big misconception when it comes to reconnecting in relationships ... 

You have to go all out by scheduling an expensive spa day, booking a weekend at the Ritz, all while documenting every moment on Instagram just to create deeply connected, lasting memories. 

I call bullshit. 

 
 

Sometimes, you just need to change things up ... a little.

And what better way to do that, than to change where you do it?

  •  Maybe it's sending the kids to grandma's so you two can pitch a tent in the backyard, camp under the stars + giggle at hilarious YouTube videos.
  •  Maybe it's letting your spouse choose a new location for your weekly date night. 
  • Maybe it's meeting each other at the beach, on your way home from work, to watch the sunset + sneak in a make-out session. 
  • Maybe it's getting breakfast at the new cafe instead of trying to figure out what to cook tomorrow morning. 
  • Maybe it's inviting your man to join you on quick a walk around the block to talk about what's for dinner.
  • Maybe it's flashing your bare buns to him, post-shower, as a playful invitation for a bathroom counter quickie.

Get creative. Do it someplace new. Together.

You see, connecting with your spouse doesn't require a the two of you to experience some life changing event together. 

Because let's face it ... even that experience does not guarantee connection. 

Now + then you just gotta change your environment. 

Get outta the house.
Get outta town.
Get outta the crazienss of everyday life.

As my wise friend said, "Sometimes, it's all about where you do it."  

So, where will you do it next?

Where will you go to connect, laugh, hold hands, have sex, cuddle, + have fun? 

If getting outta town isn't possible, consider getting into my office. Let me create an a safe, not-your-living-room space for the two of you to deeply connect + create the relationship you both deeply desire. Click the "Get Away, Together" button below + let's chat. 

 

The best mistake you'll ever make in marriage.

Robyn D'Angelo

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Let me introduce you to someone.**

Someone who was afraid to fail.

And I mean deathly afraid. I get it though. I would be too, if failure was something I wasn’t used to.

Not only that but for more than a decade, he was told he couldn’t.

He was not allowed to fail.

He heard the usual “You’re the best of the best,” comments from his superiors but he also heard, “You MUST BE the best of the best. That’s what’s expected of you. That’s your job.”

So over time, he was conditioned to believe he WAS the best.

Because if he wasn’t … what was he?

That’s one of the many ways the Marines shaped him.

  • To be confident in his words, decisions, actions, + leadership.
  • To be confident in his ideas, knowledge, + ability to be right.
  • To be confident that he would never make a mistake.

He had to be all of these things. The lives of his fellow soldiers depended on it.

And then he met HER**. And everything changed.

She challenged him on every front that he was so accustomed to being praised for.

She was this deep feeling woman who was told how kind, caring + empathic she was.

She came into his life + asked him to do things that didn't make sense to him...

>> She asked him to “not care who won sometimes” when playing board games.

>> She asked him to consider that others way of doing things were “ok” even if they weren’t the “best” way.

>> She asked him to RISK being wrong. To be ok with making mistakes. Now + then. Over + Over.

Because in relationships, that's what you do. That's just what happens.

In relationships, often times you, you make mistakes.

And, it’s ok.

Because in relationships, being wrong, failing + making mistakes makes you vulnerable.

And what we know about vulnerability is that it is connecting.

There’s not room for that in the military, or as the CEO, or the surgeon or any other HIGH-PRESSURE-perfection-is-required position.

  • You’re not there to connect deeply - you’re there to get the job done.
  • You’re not there to understand the people you’re with - you’re there to get the job done.
  • And you’re certainly not there to show tenderness + kindness - you’re there to do your job to the BEST of your abilities.
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Because if you don’t, people can die.

But your intimate relationships are MUCH different.

What a stark difference from marriage.
What a stark difference from any deeply intimate relationship that requires you to care, connect + be wrong sometimes.

Recently, this man who feared failure + this woman who cared deeply had been feeling incredibly disconnected.

It’s an awful feeling. It’s lonely. For both of them.

And for someone like her, who thrives from lots of tenderness + hugs, it was terrifying.

One night she was sitting there, hot tears streaming down her face, mid-fight, and all she needed was his arms wrapped around her, telling her that everything was going to be ok … 

She didn’t make demands.

She didn't scream + yell.

She didn't dare look up to see when the hug came.

She just waited...

She waited. And waited. And waited some more.

And then she looked up.

There he was. Just standing there. Looking at her. Quietly. Thoughtfully.

And she knew. He was afraid.

They'd been bickering all week. And he was afraid. To fail. To say the wrong thing. 

He looked at her crying, with his sad eyes, + asked, “Is there anything I can do for you right now?”

“Are you shitting me?!?!” she thought to herself..

 Ughhh, yeah. You know the drill. Get your ass over here + hug me. Make me feel loved. Tell me everything is going to be ok, even though we’re both mad. Get over here! LOVE ME!

But nothing came out. None of that. Those words were burning her from inside like hot lava.

She just cried more.

He was so afraid to fail, to hurt her even more or to make a mistake that he didn’t do the thing he FELT was the best.

He was thoughtful + logical … but that is not what they needed most in that moment.

His logic told him to stay right where he was. Not to risk going toward her pain. Because he might make it worse.

His logic told him to “Figure out the RIGHT thing to do first, then do it.” So he searched for the "right" answer.

His logic trumped his emotional response to seeing her in pain.

THEY needed him to allow his feelings to guide him. (which went against everything he’d been trained to know is the RIGHT way to operate).

And I say “They” needed something else, because his ability to make a mistake by loving her, is exactly what their relationship needed.

It’s what SO MANY relationships need.

To have the courage to make the mistake, by loving your partner.

We readily make lots of mistakes in our relationships …

  • By trying to prove our point.
  • By trying to be heard.
  • By trying to be right.
  • By shutting down to avoid pain/conflict.
  • By trying to convince the other person.

But what we really need is to practice making mistakes by LOVING OUR PARTNERS.

That means …

When you’re afraid to go in for that hug, do it anyway.
When it makes the most sense to offer a solution, try, “I’m so sorry that happened to you,” instead.
When you’re not sure how to support them, look at them lovingly + say “I can’t even imagine what you’re going through.”
When all you want to do is run because it’s so uncomfortable to see them sad, angry, or scared … stay right by their side + say, “I’m not going anywhere. I’m here with you.”

Take a risk of being wrong, failing + making a mistake by loving your partner.

Make the mistake by loving them.

And if making mistakes isn’t your jam, I get it. Do it anyway, your relationship needs these kinds of mistakes. Your relationship depends on your ability to lovingliny make mistakes.

If you’d like some help in loving your partner, even if it means possibly failing now + then, let’s chat.

Click the "Let's Chat" button below to sign up for a complementary quick chat about how you can start making mistakes by LOVING your partner, TODAY. They’ll thank you for reaching out. They’ll thank you for loving them the way they’ve been craving you to … for too long.

** The individuals portrayed in this writing are not actual clients.

How to Slow the F*ck Down.

Robyn D'Angelo

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Themes.

It’s what therapists look for, listen for + feel for when supporting + guiding their clients.

A theme is defined as:

noun: the subject of a talk, a piece of writing, a person's thoughts, or an exhibition; a topic.

It’s central to any good book, movie, and story.

And since our lives are simply a collection of stories (tragedies, action, super hero, love + more) it’s no surprise when I start to hear similar themes in the stories of my clients.

And while it should be absolutely no surprise when those very same themes pop up in my own life … it still takes me by surprise now + again.

The Theme We {you + I} Share

There’s this thing I say a lot. I say it in session with my clients. I’ve said it on the phone + via text to clients. And I’ve said it to friends near + far.

And more recently, I’ve been listening to my friends + mentors say it to me.

It’s something we all need to hear now + then.

And it’s something we all must do now + then.

And when we don’t … everything seems to come crashing down, or to a screeching halt.

SLOW THE FUCK DOWN.

If you’re anything like me, you find it challenging to slow down. (I even contributed an entire article titled: A busy person’s guide to resting). I know, right? 

You find it maddening when “zenned out people” in your life remind you to slow down.

And it’s the most annoying when you find yourself telling those even busier than you, to consider slowing down.

But have you noticed what happens when you actually do this? 

When you actually pause long enough, to look around you and SEE, FEEL, + LISTEN to what your world is telling you?

I’m curious, though … what would it take for you to slow down? And I don’t me barely tapping the breaks, I mean a legit slowing the fuck down.

Pulling over, putting it in park, + stopping now and then.

What will it take?

Will it take sustaining some sort of physical injury?

Will it take your spouse serving you with divorce papers?

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Will it take your kids choosing time with the sitter over you?

Will it take family members no longer inviting you to holiday get together?

Will it take dear friends ignoring your rare attempts to connect over coffee?

This is my plea to you …

Don’t wait until there’s some sort of rupture, to slow down.

Don’t wait until something is broken, bleeding, or completely lifeless to attempt resuscitation.

Check Yourself.

Remember my mention of themes a little earlier? Yeah well, I will venture to guess you’ve got a few popping up in your life right about now, right?

Look at these areas of your life, + check yourself. Do you notice any themes running through them:

  •       Relationships: Romantic, Friends, Family, Professional
  •       Health: Intellectual, Mental, Physical, Spiritual, Emotional
  •       Interests: Creative, Physical, Intellectual, Personal
  •       Contributions: Community, Professional, Financial

These are just a few areas for you to slow down and assess – what’s going on.

More importantly what’s NOT going on? What’s missing?

Are people in multiple areas of your life making similar comments?

Are you hearing things (themes) like:

“We miss you – where have you been?”
“What’s new in your life – I feel like I have no idea what you’ve been up to.”
“When do we get to see you again? It’s been forever!”
“I’m worried about you.”
“You’re not looking so good these days, is everything ok?”

I can almost guarantee that if your body is not screaming at you in some way (stomach issues, sleep issues, skin issues, foggy brain, high irritability, acid reflux, body pains, etc) those around you who love + care about you are.

Or are about to. OR perhaps they’ve stopped because you’ve been so unresponsive.

How to Slow the Fuck Down.

I’m going to share a little secret with you on how to slow down.

It may seem impossible. You may want more detailed instructions. And this may seem too simple.

But here it is.

JUST DO IT. (Thanks for that one Nike)

Just choose an area of your life, and slow the fuck down. Here are a few ways to do just that:

  • Take an afternoon off from work, get a sitter + take your spouse out for lunch.
  • Pull up the calendar at the yoga studio you’ve been paying $100/month to attend but haven’t gone since January’s New Year’s Resolution + go to a candlelight yoga class this weekend.
  • Turn off the tv, get off social media, + pick up the phone to call your sister whose two kids just moved all their stuff out of the house to go off to college + now she's an empty nester.
  • Crawl in bed with your littles, Sunday morning, to snuggling, giggling, + daydreaming about the day instead of rushing everyone to get out the door to church. (just this once)
  • Invite a friend to the sunrise beach clean-up this weekend, then go get pancakes + coffee to talk about what you both just experienced.
  • Take the entire day off, while everyone else goes to work + school so that you can sleep in, sip coffee in peace, take a long hot bath, zone out on reality tv, + maybe take a solo stroll.
  • Make a list of all the little ways you would love to slow down, so you have something tangible to look at + start planning.

The thing about SLOWING THE FUCK DOWN, is that you get to decide what it looks like.

You get to choose if this is a 2-hour thing, a half day experience, or a weekend away from it all.

Yes, it requires conversations with people in your life who depend on you, and consideration for the responsibilities + demands on your time … but welcome to adulting. That’s never going to stop.

The purpose of slowing down physically in your life, is so that your mental, emotional, + spiritual parts can slow down a bit too.

I don’t know about you, but when I am go, go, go for too long, my brain feels like it’s humming, I feel scattered, and my nervous system feels revved up. It’s not a great feeling long term. And it’s not healthy long term, either.

What would happen if you just slowed down?

Last month I attended a "work retreat." I was PUMPED!

I would use these 3 full days, with 19 other kick-ass therapists, access to my fabulous business coach/mentors + I'd get so much shit done!

And then two weeks before the retreat, when I shared all the things I wanted to focus on with my business coach, she lovingly asked me ...

"What would happen if you just used this time to slow down? You already do so much. All the time. What if you just relaxed this week?"

Ummmm... WHAT?!?!

I was going to be there with 19 other brilliant minds, compassionate people, + professionals who love helping others as much as I do, how could I not use that time to jam things out that would help my business grow?

I thought about this for a while. I still made lists of what I wanted to accomplish while on this working retreat.

As it got closer to the retreat, something shifted for me. I was reading comments in the FB group of everyone who was attending. They were listing out what they wanted to focus on while attending the retreat. 

And all I could think about were my business coach's words, "What would happen if you just used this time to slow down?"  

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LONG story short. I did just that.

I. SLOWED. DOWN.

I did yoga at 6am on the rooftop of this incredible beachfront condo.

I ate food that nourished my body.

I talked to other compassionate + loving therapists about their businesses.

I read a book. 

I went running,

I sat. Still.

For the first time in a LONG TIME, I just sat outside to listen to ocean, the sea gulls, + the chatter.

I slowed the fuck down. More on that another time. 

For now, I want you to think about what would happen if you started slowing down today? 

Just a little.

How can you slow down this weekend?

What’s one thing you will commit to doing (or not doing) over the next 3 days?

If you’re STILL not sure where to start, or how to make slowing down an actual part of your life, let’s talk.

Click the button below that says “Help me slow down” and let’s talk about what you can do TODAY, to slow the fuck down.

I don't need you to read my mind, I just need you to know me.

Robyn D'Angelo

I'll never forget the day, I walked in the house, exhausted, after a long day supporting couples in distress, and after my own 90 minute yoga class ...

To see my husband sitting on the couch, watching tv, loving on our sweet pup.

Nothing wrong with that. 

EXCEPT ...

My eyes immediately scanned the room for what needed to be done, and hadn't been done. 

Do you ever do this? Do you immediately look around to see what they COULD HAVE done, but instead are choosing NOT TO, meaning that now YOU have to take care of "the stuff?" 

Yeah, that happened. And my eyes found the counter littered with dishes from last night's dinner, that I HOPED he would have done before I got home. 

Then all that negative mental chatter started ...

"Seriously? You couldn't just look around when you got home 2 hours ago, see what needed to be done, + just do it?"

"Why is it so hard for you look around + see what I would see?"

"How come I have to be the one to do EVERYTHING?!"

Yep, I went down that rabbit hole, silently, + full of resentment. All in my head. 

I felt my blood begin to boil. 

And then ... tears. Yep, hot tears came streaming down.

And before my husband could even get a greeting out of his mouth, he'd hopped up and anxiously asked what was wrong + attempted to soothe me. 

In the past I would have lost it. Crying, begging, and pleading with him to just get these things done. "What's so hard about looking around + seeing what needs to be done + just doing it? I do it all the time!" 

And his frustration would inevitably (and rightfully so) say some version of... 

"I can't read your mind!! I didn't know you wanted the dishes done before you got home! This is so not my fault." 

In that moment, something happened for me. Something magical clicked.

This was not the first time I'd gone through this silent (and sometimes) not so silent pleading with my husband. 

But for the first time I realized something ...

It wasn't that I wanted him to read my mind, I just wanted him to KNOW ME.

When you are known.

Here's the thing, so often we expect our partners to just read our minds. 

"They should know what I want, I've asked for it so many times!"

Sound familiar? 

Let me see if I can shift things just a bit for you. 

What if instead of your partner just knowing what you want them to do ... they knew YOU better.

  • They knew that a clean, clutter-free living space is the most relaxing thing to walk into at the end of the night. 
  • They knew that there's nothing you love more than the smell of your fave jasmine candle burning in the bathroom.
  • They knew that your favorite time is 30 minutes before the sun came up every morning, so you can sip hot coffee, while cuddling with your babes or pup. 
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Here's the thing, when you are actually KNOWN, your partner is more likely to show up in ways that you can appreciate + that say, I get you.

How often do you feel like, "OMG, you just don't get it. You just don't get ME!" 

Yeah, it can feel disconnecting, exhausting, + hopeless when you're constantly feeling like your spouse just doesn't know you.

Help them know you + Get to know them, too.

No one wants to constantly nag to get what they want. 

And no one likes to be asked over + over + over to do or remember to do things. 

So let's move the focus from "Why can't you just ... (read my mind)"  ...

to "Let's learn more about each other." 

Start with some version of this: 

"I don't want to expect you to read my mind anymore, that's just silly + not fair to you. Besides, it's crazy frustrating for me, too. Let's get to know one another better so we can start doing the things that actually fill each other up."

Here are a few questions to get to know each other better:

  1. What's your favorite time of day + why? 
  2. If you could create your dream day, what would it look like, leave out nothing. (Have two versions, a regular work day + one weekend/vacation day)
  3. What's your least favorite chore to do around the house + why?
  4. How do you get through stressful times when you're at work/home with the kids? (anytime they're not around you)
  5. What's the thing that relaxes you most at the end of the day? 
  6. Tell me what smell makes you smile the biggest.
  7. Who do you talk to when you just need to vent or gain some perspective?
  8. If you had a gift card for one "get pampered" activity, what would it be? (massage, personal fitness training session,  facial, mani/pedi, personal chef, etc)
  9. You've got 4 hours all to yourself, no kids, no work, no phone/computer ... what's your ideal way to spend it? 
  10. You've got 24 hours to do anything you want, with me ... what would we do, where would we go, how would we get there, what would we eat? 

NOW ... here's the important part.

What you do with this information is how your partner will feel that you truly know them.

Here are a few examples from the questions provided.

1. Fave time of day is morning. Pull out a coffee mug the night before + stick a little note on it wishing them a productive day + mention that you can't wait to see them tonight.

2. Dream Day includes making time to listen to their fave podcast while cozied up on the couch. Purchase the softest blanket you can find + new earbuds for them to enjoy.

3. Least fave chore: cleaning the bathroom. Take 10 minutes, wipe down the bathroom + light their fave scented candle while they're gone so they return home to see their least fave chore is done.

4. Stressful times: they grab their phone for a quick scroll through FB or check football stats. Next time they're all stressed out, ask how their fave football team is doing or if they've seen that hilarious new meme on Facebook. 

5. End of day relaxation: Clean counters. (Yum!) Make sure to get a heads up when they're 15 minutes from home + quickly do a tidying up of the kitchen. it will make their day!

OK ... you get the idea, right?

 

The more you + your partner KNOW one another, the better you can show up for one another.

The more you know what lights them up, what calms them down, what brings them joy ... 

the more likely you are to want to do those things because you know the response you will get vs trying to remember the exact things they've said they need you to remember to do. 

It's not about mind reading. 

It's about KNOWING your partner. And it's about making sure they KNOW you. 

 

If you're struggling to get to know your partner or simply struggling to DO something with what you know, reach out. 

Click the button below + let's get you truly KNOWING each other. Today. 

Conflict: Let's Go Deeper

Robyn D'Angelo

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Think about the last fight you had with your partner. 

Go back to that argument. And I mean REALLY go back there. 

  • What do you remember them saying?
  • How did it make you feel to hear those words?
  • What was your response to it all? 

Take your time with this. See if you can actually jot down a few answers.

Now, let's see if you can go back there from an observer's perspective. An onlooker. Outside of the argument. 

Imagine you're in a large broadway theater. It's empty. Except for 3 people.

You ... sitting up in the balcony. (great seat, by the way. You've got a killer view of the stage)

And the two people on the stage: 

You + your partner during your most recent fight. 

Yep, you're watching it all from that killer seat you've got, so that you don't jump right back down on stage + feel all the feels. You're simply observing.

Be in the balcony

Ok, now that you've cozied in + got your popcorn. I want you to really watch + listen to what went on.

Listening is only half the battle.

We've all heard this before, but what does it really mean?

When in conflict, rarely are we listening to our partner's to understand them. Let's be honest. We're listening for inaccuracies to carefully craft our rebuttal.

We're listening for absolutes "you always" or "you never" to defend against.

But rarely we listen to truly understand what our partner is thinking + feeling. 

So, as you're watching from the balcony, what do you HEAR your partner saying to you? 

Go deeper with me, for a minute... 

This is different from what you REMEMBER them saying. 

It's what you HEARD them say. 

Often times, we get so stuck on what we THINK they mean. 

What they must be inferring. And what they're assuming with their comments, that we actually lose the content. 

Content first, Then meaning. 

Often times therapists will say, "I don't care what you're saying, I care how you're saying it + what it means." 

And I agree with that. Partially.

But again, here's where you can go deeper, to cultivate connection during conflict + not just angry disconnection. (like usual)

While the "what" or content of the argument is not the MOST important, it's important to start there. 

Meaning, if you're not clear on what the person said, your reaction is going to muddy things up.

Think about what Maya Angelou said:

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

When you can display that you actually heard what someone said...

They feel cared for. They feel understood. They feel respected. 

Pssst! All the keys to successful conflict include: kindness, understanding + respect. 

 

How to Go Deeper in Conflict:

1. Show them you're actually listening.

The best way actually listen to your partner AND show that you've heard them, is to repeat back to them what you heard them say. Here are a few samples:

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"So, if I'm hearing you correctly, you're saying ..."
"I want to make sure I'm really hearing you, you're saying ..."
"Wait, before you go on, I want to be clear on a something you just said ..." 

2. Allow room for correction or clarification.

By repeating back to them what you heard them say, they have an opportunity to either clarify what they meant, reword the phrase to actually get their point across, or in some cases it's an opportunity for them to apologize for something said harshly or disrespectfully. 

"Oh shit, that did not come out the way I was thinking it. Let me try that again."
"That's partially it, but it's more like this."
"wow, that is so not what I meant. Gimme a sec to gather my thoughts."

3. Slow down + share.

When you listen, allow space for correction or clarification you've now created space for a thoughtful response.

The key to good listening, respectful, kind + productive conflict, HOW YOU RESPOND to your partner.

Get thoughtful about how you respond to your partner -- both verbally + non-verbally. Body language, coupled with words are what create the experience.

"Well, that's definitely hard to hear you say. It never feels good to hear these kinds of things. What needs to happen now?
"Ouch. That feels super shitty even though I know it's totally where you're at right now. So ... what can we do about it?" 
"It's so hard to listen to you say these things + not get defensive. But I'm trying. Can we slow it down a bit. I really want to get through this without losing my shit." 

You've heard me say it before + I will continue to say it over + over again until this becomes second nature to us all ...

SLOW DOWN. 

In everything you do. 

Especially in conflict. 

When you slow down, you can go a little deeper + even stay connected. 

If you're struggling to listen, or slow down or most importantly to stay connected, even in the midst of conflict, let's talk about how working together can fix that. I'm not here to fix you. I don't believe your broken. 

I am here to fix broken relationships. I'm here to take you deeper.

And in that, teach you how to master the messiness of couplehood. 

 

Your Morning Routine to Maximize Connection

Robyn D'Angelo

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Your morning routine matters.

Just ask Tim Ferriss, he's an author, motivational speaker, + business guru who wrote books on how to maximize productivity in work, nutrition, and fitness.

And it all starts with your morning routine. 

But one thing he doesn't talk about, how how to Maximize Your Connection to Your Spouse. 

Which I won't knock him for - he's a business dude. He's not in the business of Epic Love. (That's MY jam!

When I first heard about Tim Ferriss, I had just signed up for a 12 month business coaching program.

I was ready to create a private psychotherapy practice that flourished so that I could help as many couples learn to master the messiness of couplehood, as possible.

I won't bore you with the details, but as a solo business owner, I dove in.

  • I studied.
  • I recorded (an absurd amount) of video blogs.
  • I wrote blogs
  • I tracked my website traffic. 
  • I wrote + rewrote content for my website. 
  • I did all things social media. And much, much more.

And what I learned from this dude Tim Ferriss, was that how I started my day deeply impacted the rest of my day. My energy. My focus. My mood. And most importantly (for my business) my productivity. 

And he was right. I implemented some of the most simple, yet powerful tools to skyrocket my productivity in my business. 

But then I started noticing something. 

While I was loving how well my practice was flowing, that I was working with some of the most amazing people, + helping some of the most courageous couples transform their relationships ... 

I was neglecting my own marriage! 

You read that right. 

The Happy Couple Expert ... the biggest #LoveGeek around, was actually SUCKING at connecting with my spouse. 

And I knew I had to do something about it. 

So I came up with my own Morning Routine to Maximize Connection. 

And mine only takes 2.5 hours a week! (Eat your heart out, Tim 🤣 )

I want to share with you, what you can start doing THIS WEEK, to maximize connection to your partner:

 
ReviveYourMorningRoutine
 

3 Step Morning Routine to Maximize Connection

(that only takes 2.5 hours a week)

Step 1: Thoughtful Preparation

Are you and your spouse coffee drinkers? Take time to ask your partner what their fave flavor of coffee is, if they have a fave creamer or syrup. And set up the coffee maker, and all the fixens the night before. Thoughtfully choose the mugs you two will use. Set them out with the intention that tomorrow morning is all yours. 

(Not coffee drinkers? That's ok ... get an array of teas, fave breakfast foods, or some sort of  food or beverage that can be quickly prepped + enjoyed early in the morning. TOGETHER. 😉).

Step 2: Wake up... a little (or a lot) early. 

For some of you, this may be a really BIG ask. You may have little ones that kept you up all night, + require your attention early in the morning. Others may only be able to hit the gym if the house is left by 4am. Or perhaps you just are NOT a morning person. I get it. 

But I want you to make an attempt at least ONCE this week. Can you carve out an extra 30 minutes? Set your alarm, and just do it. Like Mel Robbins says, use the "5-4-3-2-1 GO!" strategy and launch outta bed the FIRST time your alarm goes off. 

Step 3: Talk, connect, cuddle ... nothing fancy.

This is where keeping things simple, light + easy comes into play. This isn't the time to talk about irritating logistics of the day + how you already know your partner is going to not meet your expectations today. Nope. Not the time. So table it. There will be plenty of time to talk about that.

This is time to just sit quietly. Together. Maybe hold hands. Sip coffee. Can you just take in the sunrise with your partner? I personally like to put music on really low ('Chill Out' radio on Pandora if you were looking for ideas) + just snuggle up with my husband. Sometimes we chat about meetings he has that day. Or how many clients I'm seeing + when I will be home. Other times, I get lost in the silence. Tracing the outline of his fingers or twisting his wedding ring on his finger. We just take the time to slow down + connect.

Even if we went to bed irritated with one another, our morning coffee is a chance to recalibrate. 

If we need to revisit + repair last night's fight, we know we will ... later.

In that moment, in the morning it's time to connect. Quietly. Softly. Quickly. Purposefully.

This isn't something we've always done. It's something that was created out of necessity. 

It was simple. It was not super convenient. But it was a little tweak we made to create connection that had been slipping away due to our focus being on so many things other than US. 

So, if you find your connection slipping + you're ready to up your morning routine game, try this out. 

If you can do 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week - awesome!!!

If you can manage 15 minutes once a week - good. Just start somewhere. 

Know that your morning routine sets the tone for your day, your mood, + your energy. 

So, slow down + connect with your partner. You both deserve it.

And if you are totally on board with this concept but are struggling to figure out how to implement this, (or how to get your partner on board) click the button below + let's chat!

For ideas to on how to be more productive, check out Tim Ferriss's suggestions. They rock!

Are you waiting for permission?

Robyn D'Angelo

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Have you ever wanted something so badly, that you didn't REALY think it through before committing to it, only to find out that you really DIDN'T want it but it was too late? You'd already committed?

Yeah, I know that feeling well. 

Last week I did something I am not proud of. 

Something, that normally I'd be quite embarrassed about + not tell anyone. 

Typically, I'd just keep quiet, stop posting on social media about it + just go dark. 

But this time was different.

Let's back up to December 2017. FOUR months ago. 

I got all pumped up, reached out to a handful of girlfriends I used to run half marathons with + talked them all into signing up for + running a half marathon with me this May in Chicago.

They were stoked. We are scattered all over the U.S. so we were excited to meet "in the middle" + run 13.1 miles together, again. 

It has been years since we did this. We're all in our late 30's now. Some are parents now. Some are career-focused, some are kicking ass running their own businesses and some are doing all three! 

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Needless to say, none of us are in peak running condition anymore. 

 

6 Months. We gave ourselves 6 months to train. That's twice as long as I've ever given myself to train for a 13.1 mile race, "so I should be golden," I thought to myself.

Well, here we 2 months away from the race + I just started training 4 weeks ago.

  • I'll spare you all the details of the things that your lungs produce when you start running again after NOT running for a while.  🤮
  • Or how blisters can actually form WITHIN OTHER BLISTERS on your feet if you're talented enough.  😩
  • And I won't bore you with explicit mental images of what HANGRY Robyn, 3 miles into a 6 mile run sounds like. (She's not very pleasant)   🤬

 

But I will say this:

Over the last 4 weeks, of getting up early to run...

Running at night after a long day of sitting ..

And running while on vacation, while everyone is drinking mimosas at brunch...

I really was not having fun. 

Running alone is SO not my fave. It's lonely. I won't push myself. If I want to stop I will, then I will feel guilty for stopping because "I should be able to keep going, it's only been 2 miles."

And so on, and so on.

Back to last week. If you recall, I wrote about all the people that really inspire me lately. And one of them was my super awesome colleague + friend, Ken Graves. 

While I was driving to a local spot to go for a run, I got a text from Ken that said, "Enjoy your run!" 

I scoffed a little a rolled my eyes. Not at him or his text but at the fact that I was totally NOT enjoying these runs anymore.

OH who am I kidding, I wasn't EVER enjoying the runs. They felt forced. They were HARDER than they'd ever been. And honestly ...

They were just so lonely. 

So I replied to Ken with a super whiney,

"Ughhh I really am over this whole training thing. Can I just go to Chicago + have a fun weekend with my friends? lol" 

The text I received back was exactly what I needed to hear. 

Ken said,

"Life is too damn short to hate what you're doing! You have my support to STOP."

I'd just parked my car + was ready to get out + start my 3 mile run when I read those words.

In that moment, I just paused. 

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I read + reread his words.

"Life is too damn short to hate what you're doing! You have my support to STOP."

The moment I realized, I didn't need ANYONE'S PERMISSION.

My eyes welled up with tears. He was right! Life IS too short for this bullshit. 

To do something, that is not bringing me joy, and all because I was worried about what my friends would think of me. 

I was worried what others would think of me. 

I had d committed to doing something FOR me ... that ultimately no longer brought me joy.

And I thought I needed someone's permission to NOT DO IT. 

A part of me was strangely hoping that I'd get an injury that FORCED me to say no.

Have you ever been there? 

WAITING for permission to do what you actually want to do? 

Or in my case, STOP doing what I didn't really want to be doing anymore?

And guess what I did? The thing I would normally have been too embarassed to do.

I text my running buddies + told them, I'd given MYSELF permission to NOT run the race. 

I wasn't for sure NOT running, but I'd given myself the green light to decide the morning of the race, if running it was something I felt ready to do and WANTED to do. 

Because once I saw Ken's text, I realized ...

It's not permission I was waiting for, it was support. 

I just wanted someone to say, "I totally support you in whatever you choose to do."

And once I got that, I totally felt good about doing what was best for me. IN THAT MOMENT. And feel good about it. 

And I would venture to guess, that if you've made it this far in my story ... you TOO have just wanted someone to support your decisions. 

You probably find yourself yearning for someone to validate your choices. 

And if taking a step back to look at where you're at in your relationships, career and family shows you that you've been doing things out of miserable obligation (self imposed or not) I think it's time you hear this ...

 

YOU HAVE MY SUPPORT TO DO WHAT BRINGS YOU JOY. 

 

Read that again. To yourself. Out loud. Whisper it if you have to.

Your choice to take care of your needs + wants are supported. 

If this resonates with you...

If this is something your heart has needed to hear ...

Or if you're just realizing, holy shit I've been waiting for permission and it's time to do something different... 

Then take this in. Feel it. Let it marinate. And when you're ready ...

CHOOSE to do what brings you joy. TODAY. 

And if you're in need of support, guidance + someone to cheer you along the way, click the button below + let's chat. 

Today, you get to feel supported to do (or NOT do) the thing. Whatever it is. AND still be supported. 

 

 

What inspires me ...

Robyn D'Angelo

I am inspired on a daily basis. 

Sometimes by documentaries I watch. Podcasts I tune into. Songs that I listen to while getting ready in the morning. And especially by my clients. 

My most memorable inspirations usually come from those who I've gotten to know over the years. Professionally. Personally. Humanly. 

Today, I want to share with you, what inspires me. And WHO inspires me.

 

In the case that you're in a little extra need of inspiration today. 

Enjoy.

Be Inspired.

"There is no neediness in desire. Needing is one thing. Wanting is a completely different thing. Women have known this forever. Anything that brings up parenting, usually decreases the erotic charge."Esther Perel: The Secrets to Desire in Long Term Relationships

**When desire dips in marriage (which it eventually does) THIS is my go to watch + share with clients.  Great reminders. And Esther is funny as hell, too.

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"Life is too damn short to hate what you're doing! You have my support to STOP."Ken Graves, LMFT (it's always a treat when your friends are therapists)

**Text message I received when I admitted to hating training for a half marathon I'd signed up for. But boy does this apply to so many other things in life, or what? Thanks Ken!

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"I'm one decision away from a totally different marriage, a totally different life, a totally different job, a totally different income, a totally different relationship with my kids."Mel Robbins: Motivation is Garbage

**Interview I make sure to watch monthly, when I'm down on myself for not maintaining healthy habits like exercise, nutrition, self-care + compassion in my relationships. 

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"Something I learned a long my own journey with marriage and family and just life in general...it's a constant redefining process, looking at what your hopes and expectations were, grieving them, and then redefining them. The question is....have you grieved at all?"Dr. Kimberly Ciardella

**That moment you realize the resentment + anger you feel is simply because you have not yet grieved. Redefinition can't happen until you grieve. Thanks Kim.

---- 

"Trust is built in really small moments - I call them Sliding Door Moments. When there's an opportunity to build trust, there's also an opportunity for betrayal."John Gottman: Sliding Door Moments

**When attempting to rebuild trust after any kind of rupture in a relationship, you must know about sliding door moments. You can build or break trust. It's your choice.

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"Under moderate stress, women have a stronger emotional reaction. Under big stress, men have a stronger emotional reaction. Big stress for men: A problem they can't solve + can't forget." - Dr. John Gray: Mars Brain/Venus Brain.

**Helpful reminder to have compassion for the men in your life. Especially when they're most frustrating.

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"The sign of a master therapist is that they walk into the therapy the same way they walk across their bedroom."Terry Real: Author, therapist, speaker. 

>> This quote has shaped the way I show up for my clients.

Unlike many "traditional" therapists, I am real in the room with you. I will tear up with you, I will giggle with my you. And yes, I drop an occasional FBomb with you. Just like I would in my real life.

Therapy is a human experience, so I show up human, to honor the humanness you are so brave to share with me.

If you're looking for a therapist who will show up for you, as they do in real life, imperfect + ready to connect, listen + guide, click the button below. Let's get human, together.

 




 

F*CK Epic Love... I just need to matter.

Robyn D'Angelo

Well hello there. 

Looks like you're visiting from the "Fuck Epic Love" space today. Welcome.

Let me start by saying... 

 

welcome to the club.

 

Sometimes, this LoveGeek is seriously annoyed with EPIC love. 

So, you're in good company. 

 

Maybe you're feeling exhausted from doing all the things. 

  • Making sure everyone has clean clothes.
  • Getting everyone to their sports, lessons + performances.
  • Grocery shopping.
  • Scheduling doctor's appointments.
  • Cleaning the house.

I'm sure I've left out about a million other items on your "To Do" list, but did I hit on a few for you?

  Yeah, there's a lot that you do. And yet, there's so little that you get in return. 

Right?

How many times have you laid down in your bed at night, hot tears streaming down the sides of your face, soaking your pillow as you think to yourself ...

"What the hell happened?
How did I get here?
When did this get so hard?" 

I've been there. 

I know how absolutely maddening it is to feel like you're SCREAMING, PLEADING + BEGGING to be noticed + appreciated.

I know how painful it is to just wish you mattered. To the one person you're supposed to matter to. 

And then you get all these messages about EPIC love from social media, and you're rolling your eyes, scoffing and making passive aggressive comments to your spouse. 

"Boy, it sure would be nice to come home to someone who was as happy to see me as the damn dog is." 

And all you're actually yearning for, is to KNOW + FEEL like you matter.

 

I'd like to give you this little gift. From me to you. From my heart to yours:

When you slow down + create your own joy, EPIC love is way more possible. 

 

Yep, Slow the Fuck Down. That's my gift to you.

 

It's been coming up a lot in my work with couples. 

It's been coming up in my conversations with friends.

And you guessed it, it's been a theme in my own marriage for a while now.

 

SLOWING DOWN + MAKING TIME TO CREATE MY OWN JOY.

 

When we get to the point where we're begging + pleading for ANYTHING, we rarely are satisfied with what we get.

LET ME REPEAT THAT:

When you beg, plead for something, the result is rarely satisfying. And once again, you're let down + pissed off. You're hopeless. 

So, what if you started giving yourself the attention that you're craving?

What if you gave yourself the gift of a house cleaner just this one time?

What if you gave yourself the gift of a haircut appointment next week? 

What if you gave yourself the gift of a sitter for a few hours, so that you can run errands at your own speed?

 

Yes, EPIC love is dandy. But when we're so focused on how it's NOT in our world, it's less likely to be seen.

So before you demand that your partner show you that you matter ... how about YOU show you, that you matter?

Give joy to yourself. 

Give time + space to yourself.

Give love, freedom + acceptance to yourself.

And then, when you're feeling really WILD, give yourself a little pamper. 

Ever heard the saying, You catch more bees with honey? 

It works in your relationships, too. 

When you're feeling good, from the inside, from SELF-CREATED JOY, you become a magnet for more joy. 

So, SLOW down, book yourself some joy, + then see if you suddenly start to matter.

See if you're suddenly more appreciated.

See if you miraculously start receiving that very thing you crave. 

To Matter.

To be noticed.

To be appreciated.

And then at some point, to have your very own EPIC LOVE that lasts

 

Want a little support + guidance (or just someone to celebrate with) along the way?

Click the button below. I'd love to join you on this journey.