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

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Filtering by Tag: happiness

How to Desire What You Already Have

Emily Porta

What makes you WANT your partner?

Today I want to talk about desire.  How does it show up in your relationship?  Does it show up at all? What does it feel like within your relationship? 

I started thinking about this after speaking with a colleague of mine and she mentioned Esther Perel, and her take on desire and eroticism within long-term relationships.  And it just got me really curious, and thinking how do we show our partners that we desire them?  Are there things that they do that we notice our desire and our longing increases? 

We know when we are clearly turned off by our partners or when we're annoyed by them, but when do we really and truly desire them?  

Something that Esther Perel said really struck me.  She talked about there are times when we're really feeling desire or want toward our partner (which is very different from needing them--she actually talks about need gets in the way of desire), and what resonated with me is this: she said that when you see your partner in their element and they're just radiating confidence, that is one of the most desirable qualities within our partners. 

I wonder if you have ever taken the time to think about that; to take a step back and just check in with yourself and see what happens to you emotionally or physically when you notice your partner just rocking it.  Whatever it is they do, whether they're a performer on stage, whether they're a out at a networking event and you can just watch them working the room.  

Then, more importantly, how do you relay that to them?  How do you communicate that desire or attraction to them?  Do you?  Do you sneak up behind them and, you know, give them a kiss on the cheek?   I want you to take a look at this, I want you to think about this--desire: how it shows up in your relationship and what you can do to maybe start increasing that.  

And if you're not sure, call me.  This is a great topic to work on with couples. Or maybe individuals, if you're just trying to find some ways to increase desire within yourself, within the context of your relationship, I'd love to work with you. 

Give me a call (714) 390-1652 or shoot me an email at Robyn@TheHappyCoupleExpert.com.  And let's start talking about ways to put the desire back into your relationship.

Is It Better to be Right or to be Happy?

Emily Porta

What's really more important?


In the spirit of the Couples Conflict Summit that's been going on--it started on Sunday--I just want to talk a little bit about conflict and when it shows up in our relationships, you know, what happens to us? 

We all have our own default go-to's.  Some of us shut down.  Some of us get really, really overwhelmed.  We can't talk. We feel like we can't breathe.  We feel like we're pushed into a corner.

Others feel like "Let's just talk this out."  We pursue.  We go after our partner, whether it's verbally or physically and just say "Hey, let's figure this out. I want to solve it right now." 

I want to propose a question to you, for you to think about the next time conflict is coming up within your relationship.  I want you to ask yourself (not your partner--YOURSELF) this question:  Within this conflict, whatever topic it is, do I want to be right or do I want to be happy? 

Often times that can dictate how we respond to our partners.  If I want to be right, I might be defensive.  "No, no you need to hear me.  This is where I'm coming from." 

If you want to be happy, things may feel and sound a bit different.  Maybe you take a breath and you take a moment to really listen.  And think to yourself, "I'll share my side of it maybe later.  Right now, I'll just listen." 

It's super hard to do within conflict, but think about that. 

Next time you are fighting with your partner, do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?  And see how just taking a moment to think about that changes the feeling and the experience of the conflict. 

I hope you guys have all signed up and are attending the Couples Conflict Summit.  If not, check it out at www.CouplesConflict.com.

How to overcome the "have-to's" of life and get your happiness back

Emily Porta

Ever had the thought "I have to" do something? It most often arises when you don't want to do something or you feel pressure - strapped for time or money or emotional resources. 

The "have-to's" end up being a force that stymies your creativity and leaves you feeling limited without options. I find that these pressures we place on ourselves (yep, we are doing it to ourselves) are a way of holding onto something that only is hurting us. 

Let me give you an example...

This blog. I feel like I have to write every week. And I haven't because every time I sit down, I feel stuck. The have to takes a task I enjoy and turns it into a chore. So here I was, staring at the last date I wrote and feeling embarrassed. I mean, in my other business of coaching - I tell business owners to blog weekly. It's hypocritical.

Or is it? Maybe I am just a human being that puts so many expectations on myself, I only feel more burdened than excited and challenged. I was letting what I thought had to be done become the dictator and I the victim.

So how do you stop it? How do you ditch the "have-to's" and regain some sense of control. 

• Notice your red flags. I call it the shoulda, woulda, coulda's. When you find yourself saying those things or "I have to" take note, slow down and really look at what you are telling yourself. Because it is in that moment that you are already starting to hurt yourself.

• Evaluate your options. Sure, everyone may expect something from you but the truth is, you get to decide. If you recognize that you are choosing the power is back in your hands. If I feel like I have to write a blog, I recognize that I can choose to respond to that thought or take a moment and sit with it then decide what feels to be most true to me.

• Learn who is boss. Do you want others' judgements to drive your decision making or do you want to treasure your sanity and health and make decisions that are best for you? Again, you decide.

When you make decisions from a place of caring for yourself and your life, you will be happier. It isn't easier but it is necessary in order to free yourself from the "have-to's" and turn them into I choose to. Do you find yourself feeling like you have to do certain things or be a certain way? Share below how you cope with the pressure.

The best years of your life!

Emily Porta

Have you ever heard that before? "Oh! These are the best years of your life!" What are you suppose to do with that? Some people think their teens were the best - carefree, no responsibility. Others say their 20's - "the world is your oyster." Maybe it is the middle years - raising a family, building a career. Or retirement might be the best - traveling, no children needing to be raised. 

I think some of these concepts are really more mythic. Every person has varying experiences and when we are taught to believe that "this is the best" we set ourselves up for confusion and disappointment when it really isn't all that great. Life certainly has its own ebb and flow. So no matter your stage of life, it can fluctuate from wonderful to painful very quickly and then back to wonderful again.

How about looking at the moment? It is all you have anyway. Living each moment, intentionally, can bring about a great sense of being in the present and escaping the fantasy of what your life should look like. Whenever we live in the "shoulda, woulda, coulda" mentality, we aren't living presently. This moment is all you have. Enjoy it, understand it, and be in it.