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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: relationships

Crush the Criticism in Your Relationship

Robyn D'Angelo

When it comes to getting your needs met, there's ONE BIG nasty communication habit that most couples struggle with. CRITICISM. 

In today's video I give you the THREE STEPS you need to follow to CRUSH THE CRITICISM.

Did you get all that Criticism Crushing Info? 

Complaining without Blaming your partner is the KEY to getting your needs met. It's simple. And with enough practice, you will be well on your way to mastering the messiness of couplehood. 

Complain Without Blame: Three steps to Crushing the Criticism.** 

1. State how you're feeling using an emotion word.

2. Describe the situation (NOT YOUR PARTNER).

3. Make a request. 

** Watch the video for full details + examples.

Loved this video and want to catch it live next time? Head over to: https://www.facebook.com/TheHappyCoupleExpert/ and "Like" the page. Then be sure to tune in every Wednesday at 12pm pst | 3pm est for your Mid-Day #LoveBreak where we tackle YOUR most burning relationship questions. 

 

Make A Decision!

Emily Porta

 
 

Life is nothing but a series of choices.  And I say that in the context of relationships, because oftentimes I get my clients and people in general just kind of asking me, "Well, what do I do when I just feel like somethings not fair or I really truly feel like I'm in the right and they're in the wrong and I just need them to see me and hear me and I need them to change their minds?"  

You have a choice.  We always have choices and in a moment, your relationship can change simply based on a choice you make.  So if you are trying to connect with your partner or you're having a fight or you've just had a fight, think about your choice of what you're going to say, how you're going to respond.

Do you choose to turn toward them? Do you choose to walk towards them when you really just want to run for the hills?  You always have a choice.  

And oftentimes when you choose what's right for the relationship and you think about the relationship, rather than your wants and your feelings and, but what's right for the relationship and you choose according to that, it makes the world of difference.  

So, keep that in mind next time you have a fight or something just really hard comes up.  Think about, "what is my choice right now?" And just make a decision. And then if you don't like the outcome of that decision, make another decision.  That's the beauty in this.  There's no right or wrong decisions, there's just decisions with outcomes.  And then based on how you feel on that outcome, make a different decision.  

So, there you have it.  And if you don't know how to make those decisions or you would like help making those decisions, call me!  That's what I do! I help couples every single day learn how to love and be loved and that includes making decisions.  So, reach out.  Thanks for watching, I'll see you next week!  Bye!

Getting Your Needs Met

Emily Porta

 
 

Have you ever attempted to tell your partner what you need and gotten a response that was really lackluster or just really wasn't helpful at all when asking for something that you needed?  It's hard to talk to our partners about our needs and it doesn’t get easier when you get a response like this.  

Maybe, even saying 'Hey, I need this' is tough for you to do.  Maybe, because you have a history of your partner not being able to accommodate your needs or not understanding them or simply not caring when you asked for something you needed.  Well, today I want to give you a simple exercise for you and your partner to do to hopefully change thing conversation, to enhance this conversation, and to connect the two of you.  

I recently rediscovered a book that I’ve had on my bookshelf called, "His Needs, Her Needs."  It's a classic.  And there's something in there that really stood out to me.  It’s these 10 basic emotional needs that most of us have within relationships.  This is all based on research and surveys taken by the author.  

What I would love for you to do, is for you and your partner to sit down and write out these 10 emotional needs.  I'll go over those in a minute.  But then, just take some time to separate, go on your own, take a look at them and prioritize them.  You know, 1 through 10-- what's top priority?  And then pick your top 5.   And then have a conversation about this.  

Let me go through those 10 for you so you know what I'm talking about:  so there's affection, there's admiration, conversation, there's domestic support, family commitment, there is financial support, there is honesty and openness, there’s physical attractiveness, recreational companionship and sexual fulfillment.  

So these are the 10 basic needs in most couples relationships.  So, when you take the time to prioritize these and you find your top 5, I want you to come back together and talk about what your top 5 are and what they mean to you because when someone says, 'Financial Support'  that can mean something to one person that is completely different to what it means to you.  

Start this conversation.  Start talking about how you can accommodate some of your partners needs-- things that maybe you're not comfortable with, which then leads us to boundary setting, which will be another video in the future.  But, just talking about and identifying 'What are my needs and what are my partner's basic needs?’

I can guarantee you this will be an eye opening conversation for the two of you especially if you've never done it in such an open and honest and loving way.  

So, try that out.  If you have any questions or you want some more support through that please reach out.  You can, you know, contact me directly or leave a message below-- leave a comment.  

What was this like to sit down and prioritize your needs and talk to your partner about this?  

Alright you guys, good luck!  I will see you next week! Take care!

Do I Settle... or Leave?

Emily Porta

 
 

Hi, Robyn D'Angelo here, The Happy Couple Expert. I want to talk about a topic that I am seeing all over the place-- on magazines when I'm checking out of the grocery store, on different blog posts.  I don't know if it's just because summertime is coming up and the hot weather is getting to people or what, but I keep seeing this topic of have you chosen the right partner?  Are you with the right mate? 

And, what I keep seeing is there's these twolines of thought which are: you have two choices, right? Stay and settle or leave.  

You get into a relationship and all of the sudden you're asking this question: Oh my gosh, what have I done? Who am I married to? Who is this person?  This isn't the guy or gal that I married.  This isn't the person that I thought would sweep me off my feet or we'd be traveling the world by now or we would be phenomenal parents-- what happened? Who is this person?  Which by the way are very very normal questions.  

These questions can either come a couple months into the relationship or a couple years, but these are really normal.  There's even a therapist out of Boston that calls this, "The Normal Marital Hatred."  Ha!  And he talks about this in an attempt to normalize it because so many couples experience this.  

Anyways, back to these two trains of thought.  You can either settle in the relationship that you're in or you can leave.  I don't know about you but that is really grim.  I refuse to believe that there are only two options when it comes to maybe noticing that the passion is dwindling in my relationship.  I would venture to guess that you feel the same way.  

So, when the passion is dwindling or the desire just isn't there anymore or who am I kidding, maybe you don't even look at your partner and feel attracted to them anymore— hang in there.  

I think all couples in really healthy relationships go through this.  There are even studies that say, that moment when you experience “The Normal Marital Hatred,” it's almost like clarity, it's a real wow moment!  You recognize, the person who you thought was here to like save you from any discomfort and pain proof your life and live up to this romantic movie partner-- that's not reality and that's actually not a place that we can live forever.  

If you're asking yourself this question or you're feeling the same low-desire, low-passion, lack of attraction-- hang in there!  In fact, THIS is the precise moment for you to take action.  

You might be wondering, 'Ok Robyn, now what do we do with this?'  Great question!  There's a ton of advice I could give you, there's a ton of 'try this and this and this' but you know what?  I'm going to give you one step, one thing that you can do today to kind of get you back where you wan to be or in a new place with your partner.  It's really simple.  Are you ready for this?  Maybe get a pen and paper, you might want to write this down.  

Here it goes: Ask you're partner to sit down with you, carve out 30 minutes, 30 minutes, and just talk to them.  Ask them how they've been feeling in the relationship.  Ask them about areas that they'd like to see more connection, passion-- what that would look like?  Ask them what you've been doing right?  Ask them if they can point out or share with you, things that really help them, or really really make them feel special and loved and cared about by you.  

What this does is, it not builds up your confidence that you’re doing some things right, and there's somethings to keep doing.  It gives you a game plan.  And you can talk with your partner about ok, so this is what you're looking for, this is what you'd like a little bit more of-- let's talk about how to incorporate that and really get it into our relationship-- making time for that.  

It's about having a conversation with your partner and if you struggle with this, know that you are not the only couple going through this.  This is hard stuff that no body teaches us how deal with, until now--ME!  I would love to work with youIt is my passion to help couples connect and reconnect and change the way they connect so that they can have these conversations and come out feeling really productive on the other end of that.

You're welcome to contact me directly if this is something you and your partner struggle with or if you just want to work on your own and see 'How do I do this? How do I start this conversation?' 

So, reach out and I'd love to hear from you too.  Leave a comment.  Let's hear what happened when you reached out and had this conversation with your partner.  Alright you guys, good luck and I will talk to you next week.  Buh-Bye.

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!