Couples Therapy & Texting Decoded
Here on Dates & Mates, we like to cover topics for every type of listener. Whether you’re single, wanting to move into a long term relationship, or someone who’s already found the one and wants to stay on track – we’re here to help.
That’s why all summer long, Damona is opening up the Dates & Mates vault to bring you incredible conversations from the early days of the podcast or other secret sessions that have been locked away for VIP clients only.
For today’s installment of our Summer Encore Series, we’re revealing an interview with Dr. Jenn Mann. You probably know her as the host and therapist for VH1’s long-standing hit shows Couples Therapy with Dr. Jenn and Family Therapy with Dr. Jenn. She will share her techniques for improving your relationship through communication and conflict management.
DATING DISH W/ DR. JENN MANN (2:00)
(2:00) What your boyfriend’s texts really mean.
Inspired by an Elite Daily article from 2019, Damona and Dr. Jenn get into the anxiety surrounding text frequency and what it really means if your partner doesn’t respond right away. Hint: Dr. Jenn believes that consistent communication is good, but it doesn’t have to be responding in five minutes.
D and Dr. J also discuss something called “status grounding” and how it can help take the pressure off of communicating with your partner.
(5:05) What makes people fall out of love?
Do y’all know the four biggest predictors of divorce? According to Dr. Jenn, the Gottman Institute nicknames these four factors “The Four Horsemen” – criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. Dr. Jenn goes into each of these factors, and clarifies the line between feedback and criticism
Hot tip: Anytime you can frame something as a request rather than a criticism, you’ll avoid any potential defensiveness and keep your path of communication open.
JENN MANN (10:14)
Dr. Jenn Mann can be infamously seen as the host and therapist for VH1’s long-standing hit shows Couples Therapy with Dr. Jenn and Family Therapy with Dr. Jenn.
She has appeared as a guest expert on hundreds of other shows including: The Today Show, The Early Show, Dr. Oz, Wendy Williams, The Doctors, and more! And she is the author of The Relationship Fix, which spent 5 weeks on the bestseller list.
(11:20) Conflict is an opportunity for growth.
Not only is conflict a significant opportunity for growth, it’s a chance to practice communicating in a healthy and effective way that will ultimately bring you and your partner closer. Dr. Jenn notes that one of the keys to taking advantage of this is to fight fairly (i.e. don’t raise your voice, no name calling or blaming).
Dr. Jenn also details the Four R’s for an effective apology – remorse, room, respect, & responsibility.
(14:53) Can couples rebuild after infidelity?
If you’ve been a long-time listener of the podcast, you know how many times Damona has gotten questions about infidelity. Particularly, is it possible to get past cheating? And are there things we can do to prevent a partner from cheating?
Much like the factors of an effective apology, Dr. Jenn says that remorse is key to building back trust after infidelity. The partner who cheated has to be able to recognize the ways in which they hurt the other partner, and voice that recognition.
If you have been cheated on and you choose to stay with your partner, remember that things are inevitably going to trigger you. Dr. Jenn encourages building enough trust and communication where you are able to openly voice your insecurities.
(19:45) How does your childhood trauma affect your attachment style?
Dr. Jenn brings us some new takes on attachment styles. As y’all probably know, the first three years of life are when we form our foundation for attachment. These years also inform our impression of the world as either being a safe or unsafe place (i.e. how much your needs were met as a kid).
In terms of adult attachment, Dr. Jenn says that we tend to anticipate whatever relationship dynamics we grew up with in our romantic ones. She adds that we will sometimes even pick partners that reinforce the stories we tell ourselves about how we were raised. Dr Jenn explains, “Our unconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between past, present and future. It’s always trying to heal old wounds and current time.”
Check out more of Dr. Jenn’s advice in her book, The Relationship Fix. And be sure to follow Dr. Jenn on IG, Twitter and Facebook @drjennmann.
DEAR DAMONA (24:50)
Submit your Dear Damona questions on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and hear your answers in a future episode of the show!
- Question from IG – If a girl brings a friend to a first date, it’s over… right?
- Question from IG – I’m dating someone with an STD. How screwed am I?