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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: intimacy

Cuddle Up, We're Getting Intimate This Week!

Emily Porta

Hi, Robyn D'Angelo here, The Happy Couple Expert.  I want to talk with you about intimacy today.  This is a topic that, especially as someone who coaches people on how to have amazing relationships, comes up often. 


There is a three part definition for intimacy:  1. it’s a closeness, a familiarity, a friendship; 2. it’s also private or cozy atmosphere, so you think of maybe a concert that you go to where there's only a handful of people; and 3. then of course is the act of being really close.  Often times, it's sexual intercourse, but not always.  Could be cuddling, kissing, holding hands, dancing, anything that requires closeness of you and your partner.  Intimacy is huge, but it's also really vague and abstract!  

I actually just recently read an article but Zoe Hicks, about the Five Stages of Intimacy and I won't go through all of those, but I encourage you to look it up, it was really fascinating.  She compares it to kind of the five stages of grief because they are both intense and there is dullness and then theres gains and then theres losses.  Intimacy is different for everyone.  

She talks about it starting with the stage of infatuation and I thought this was really important to share because we've all been there, right?  You meet that person, you go "Oh my gosh! This is the one!  I can't stop thinking about them! I'm texting them all the time or I'm checking my email.  I want to be with them!" And, you know, research shows that when we hit orgasm, our brain releases so much dopamine (up to 95%) that it looks like and mimics our brain on heroine.  This is phenomenal.  This also means that it's not a sustainable state, right? Like, our brains would fry if we like operated at 95% dopamine release similar to, heroine use.  Not possible.  

Which kind of leads into the next stage which is about, I think she calls it landing, where you wake up one day and you're like, "Who is this person that I got married to? Their jokes are not funny.  Oh my gosh, you know he's so neurotic, I can't believe it.”  And there was an article in Psychology Today that I think said, "The day you wake up and say 'Oh My God, I've Married the Wrong Person!' that's the day your marriage or relationship begins."  Because, it's the day you start to realize, ok I'm dropping out of the infatuation, but we're still really close, like we're so close that we're showing each other the parts of us that aren't so glamorous.  And that's real intimacy.    

So, I just wanted to share a little bit with you about intimacy and what this looks like and I want to encourage you to have a conversation with your partner: "What does intimacy look like and mean in your relationship? Do you want more of it?  Do you know how to create more of it?" And if this is something that you struggle with, please know you're not alone.  My goodness, you are not alone!  

I'd love to work with you if this is something you feel like you'd like a little bit more help with in your relationship.  Feel free to reach out, contact me directly.  This is what I do.  I help couples reconnect, deepen the intimacy, maybe even create it in new ways.  Intimacy, it's simple.  It is, but it's not easy.  So if you need some help, reach out, let's connect, let's work together! And, here's to building a more intimate relationship. Talk to you guys soon. Buh-bye!

What's Your Foreplay?

Emily Porta

Intimacy = Foreplay. We all want more intimacy - but do you want more emotional or physical connection? Watch this video to learn a few ways to get BOTH.

Today I'm talking to you about how to build intimacy and friendship with your partner.

I know most of us are going, "Oh my gosh, this is what I've been needing.  Actually, my partner needs to hear this." If that's the case, sit tight, hang out and listen, and forward it on to them if they need to hear this too.

There are two basic ways that we connect intimately with our partners: emotional connection is the first one, and then, of course, there's the physical, sexual connection as well. I want to focus on those two. I'm going give you a couple ways for emotional connection, as well as physical connection.

The first way to emotionally connect with your partner—it seems pretty basic, but its just getting to know them.  And that means asking them what's called open-ended questions.  That is, any kind of question that we would not answer with a yes or a no is an open-ended question. "So, what would you like for dinner tonight?" --Open-ended question.  "How does this dress look on me?"  --Open-ended question. (Maybe a loaded question.  Careful with that one!)  Anything that you can ask your partner that gets them thinking beyond yes or no, like, "So how are you today?  Share with me." That is a way to definitely emotionally connect.

Another way is called "building a culture of appreciation".   So, instead of always looking for or automatically seeing what's wrong with our partners or maybe what they're doing to drive us crazy is, can you catch your partner doing something right?  And then, can you follow up and let them know how much you appreciate that? Just saying thank you, maybe even going beyond that and saying, "You know, that really made my day.  I've been thinking about this since we talked last night."  Let them know that it made an impact on you positively and carry that with you.

I'm going to jump over to the more physical kind of intimacy that can be built and I want you to remember that being in a relationship is constant work.  It doesn't ever stop. It shouldn't ever stop.  And once it does, you're probably in trouble.  So, remember that you're constantly courting your partner. And what does that look like? Think about when you first started being interested in them.  You found them highly desirable I'm guessing.  Go back to that time. Share the things you used to share with them. Let them know how much you desire them. Whether that's with little winks from across the room, whether it's hand holding, physical touch--all of that leads to physical connection.

And the second thing is everything that you do positively in your relationship that puts a smile on your partner's face is considered foreplay.  That's right, I said it. Anything that brings your partner joy automatically connects you on an emotional level. And typically for women, that is what's needed before a physical connection can take place.  So, men, keep that in mind. I think that's where the saying "Happy wife, happy life" comes in, but happy husband, happy life as well. So, anyway, keep your partner happy.  Keep them being joyful. Do the little things that you know puts a smile on their face and I can almost guarantee that physical connection will follow shortly after.

If this has been helpful, let me know. Leave a comment below.  Or, if you'd like to learn more, since this was clearly just a little snippet of ways to build intimacy with your partner, let me know. Reach out. You can email me at or you can call me directly at 714-390-1652.  I'd love to hear from you.