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Dating Smarter with Clinical Psychologist Dr. Carla Manly

Today on The GenTwenty Podcast, Nicole and Marina discuss dating smarter with clinical psychologist Dr. Carla Manly. Dr. Manly is the author of Date Smart, a guide to “creating compassionate self-awareness and stronger self-esteem.” 

Connect with Dr. Manly on her website here.

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This transcript has been gently edited for clarity.

Nicole Booz: Welcome back to the Gen Twenty Podcast I’m Nicole…

Marina Crouse: And I’m Marina! And today we’re speaking with Dr. Carla Manly, a clinical psychologist speaker and the author of Date Smart. Dr. Manly, welcome! We’re really excited to talk to you today about dating.

Dr. Carla Manly: Thank you so much for having me. It’s a pleasure.

Marina Crouse: And so we’ll get started with talking about your book Date Smart which has the tagline “transform your relationships and love fearlessly.” Can you tell us a little bit about that new book?

Dr. Carla Manly: Absolutely so as a clinical psychologist and author this is my third book. I really work based on a holistic approach body mind spirit approach and what I found in my clinical practice speaking and working with groups is that so many people were coming to me about dating issues. So regardless of the demographic age group gender dating seems to be a huge issue in our culture.

And pre-pandemic, it was an issue, and with the pandemic an issue, and now as we’re moving out of the pandemic it continues to be an issue and in some ways it’s more amplified because of people coming from, you know, hibernation back into the world and thinking, oh my goodness is this what I have to do in order to find a partner and so what I wanted with Date Smart, and I have a great publisher who really believes in content that is really value driven. And that’s what Date Smart is all about it’s not judgmental in any way but it does take us back to the roots of healthy relationships and that’s what I’m all about is really coming to our roots of who we are as authentic human beings with all of our imperfections and really working from the inside out to build a healthy relationship with the self so that then we can then move into the world of dating and relationships in the most healthy ways possible.

Marina Crouse: I love that I have been reading your book Date Smart for the last few days and that’s something I definitely noticed was the lack of judgment in in the words and I’m single I’m super single and so I have all this, anticipatory anxiety about dating again, especially after the pandemic and dating like dating in my twenties was already hard and then now that I’m thirty and we’ve gone through this pandemic and all of these hibernations like you’re talking about I feel like so clueless because it seems like there’s unwritten, unspoken rules that everyone else knew that I never figured out and there there are games that people play that I’m just like I’m not here for. So can you talk a little bit about how to foster that better communication and have healthy boundaries as you start dating.

Dr. Carla Manly: Absolutely and you know knowing that you’re single is really helpful because when when we look at what it means today to be single there and this is a piece that I dive into from the beginning in Date Smart that we are given the message often in society that if we are single here’s something wrong with us. That we should be partnered. That we are only half as good or unworthy or unwanted if we don’t have a partner. And I really look at this piece first to Date Smart which is if you are single and you don’t want to be dating. That’s okay.

It is so important to know when in your life whether it’s certain periods after you know, a long-term relationship or you just want to do self-discovery and self-exploration without having the energy. Energy consumption that’s required for a relationship, right? So there are times where we want to be single or need to be single just so we can recalibrate and find balance, and so then as you were talking about, when we go into the dating world if we are ready if we decide this is the right time.

And you talked about games and I get questions around game playing and manipulation all the time and I believe that there is no place in any relationship for game playing and that when we date we are putting ourselves out there and it’s easy to get hurt if you’re a trusting and honest and straightforward individual by people who are using the dating realm as a way to feel better about themselves and and manipulate others and use their power so to speak. To plow through people as if they are you know, disposable entities and I don’t believe that any of us are disposable and I think that it again comes back to looking at the foundation.

So for you or anyone who’s venturing out into the dating world, and you have this anticipatory anxiety which is really common, is to move through the anxiety with wisdom.

That’s one of the things that Date Smart is really good at. All of the books that I write I create in a work as you’re finding and Date Smart there’s actually work to be done so and that’s one of the things where so many self-help books don’t give you work so you read the book and you go oh that was a great read and then you’re back to your life as it was before reading the book and one of the things about Date Smart is it really asks you to do some self awareness work and when we increase our self-awareness we tend to decrease our anxiety because one of the first pieces of Date Smart is what do you have to offer in a relationship and we don’t often look at that.

But I think that’s such a brilliant way to start for all of us because if we say, well you know work is my focus or my family of origin is my focus where I have kids and they’re my focus. So what do you have to offer maybe somebody? All they have to offer is you know sex once a week or a play date once a week or whatever it is and not judging that is right or wrong, but be straight about it. Be straight about what it is and then you know what you have to offer and then you say well what do I want and so those two work together that if both people in the dating world are being straight about this is what I have to offer whether it’s a lifetime with someone in an exclusive relationship or a one night stand you’re being honest about that.

And there are also times where we don’t know what we want. We think we want a committed relationship but we’re really looking just for the right person so we can say that we can say I’m looking for a long-term relationship but I am being very very choosy about who that is so I think again it it comes from so much. Of doing the work to be self aware and from that place of self-awareness then we can communicate our needs does that make sense.

Marina Crouse: Yeah, absolutely.

Nicole Booz: In the book, you also talk about increased red flag awareness so kind of jumping to that from self-awareness where what are some red flags that people are looking for when they’re starting to date and meeting new people?

Dr. Carla Manly: Nicole that’s such a good question because that’s the other piece of the self-awareness, right? Where we can be aware of what we need and what we want and particularly if we are not manipulative individuals. We might be blind to other peoples games because we expect people to treat us as you know we would treat them so we might not be looking for games or manipulation and so what I tell people even though you know it’s natural when you’re dating and you find someone where you feel like there’s a good match.

It’s natural to want to jump in with both feet and really enjoy enjoy the moment but there’s also a part of really being able to also step back and listen to your gut when something comes up that doesn’t feel right and you want to pause to speak to that for a moment because the gut is what informs us about red flags meaning gut instinct and for most of us you know, regardless of gender that paying attention to the gut instinct is trained out of us. We are taught oh you’re too Sensitive. You’re too emotional think with your brain not with your heart not with your gut. Well I actually teach not exactly the opposite because of course we want to use our brain but we also want to pay attention to what the body’s telling us well, you know the stomachs are our stomach. The stomach might sink if somebody’s chronically late and the brain will make excuses but the stomach the gut saying this doesn’t feel good I am being disrespected and so that’s the way we can learn to pay attention to our red flags.

Noticing somebody’s behavior and if it doesn’t sit well with us then speaking to the person about that behavior and watching how they react and so again using that is an example if somebody is chronically late and you say, “I feel disrespected when you you know, show up routinely thirty forty five minutes late I feel very disrespected.” If the person says, “I’m very sorry you know I keep my intention is to be on time I will do better work keeps me late every night but I just need to leave on time.” That is and so that would turn that red flag into maybe a cautionary a yellow flag and then you watch does the person actually show more respectful behavior in the future.

However, using that same example, if somebody responds with, “oh you’re so picky. What’s the big deal about being late? That’s your problem?” Well then we can get a glimpse into what the future of the relationship is going to be like that’s a person who’s going to likely evade responsibility or get into, you know, mind games and so that’s the piece where when we date we often see red flags. Whether it’s how somebody handles their finances, their straightforwardness or sexuality. All of those little pieces. Honestly we want to see somebody as we hope they’ll be rather than for who they really are and that’s why we get in trouble.

Marina Crouse: Yeah I think that resonates a lot with me because I was as you’re speaking I was just thinking back on all my all my relationships and I I feel like after the breakups have passed and I’ve healed or moved on. Looking back is when I can see red flags and I’m realizing as I’m reading your book that I never learned how to ask for what I want in a relationship because for so long I don’t know if it was society or mainstream media, but I was kind of shown these images of how you should be dating how you should be a “good girlfriend” but it has taken me a lot of work and in in reading your book I’m realizing, oh I can ask and set these boundaries and say no and I need this from a relationship.

Which I think is for me huge to learn but can you talk a little bit about like being able to use your voice in dating and setting those boundaries because I think at least for women a lot of times it feels like hard to. Say what we want and need without being ridiculed or rejected.

Dr. Carla Manly: Absolutely Marina really good talking point I’ll use an example just from yesterday I was working with a client and we were talking about, you know, she’s ready to move into being sexually intimate in a relationship and she said what do I do and I said well first step is you know ask the individual to give you a copy of recent STD test results have him get tested just for you. She says, oh my goodness I could never. And I said well you are. If he asked you for keys to your house, would you give him keys to your house. Well no, you know. Not not yet and I said but you’re willing to give him keys to your body without knowing if he’s going to give you an STD. How fair to you does that sound and she laughed.

So using that as a jumping off point we can see that we have become so accustomed to giving away parts of ourselves whether it’s our heart or body without setting a strong boundary and saying wait a minute you want access to my body I want to make sure you’re clean and you’re not going to give me an STD and That’s absolutely somebody’s right. Absolutely your right to speak that truth and here’s the beautiful part, I find this really lovely, You get to watch how somebody responds to that because if somebody and that’s what we need to learn to do in dating as watch for the responses because that’s indicative of how somebody will treat us in the long term and if the person says well absolutely you know makes perfect sense. You know can you also give me clean STD results I would like to see that as well. And then we can move forward mindfully and know that we are both safe. That’s a really healthy positive response.

However, if the person across from you says absolutely not nobody asked me for that I’m not going to do that. You’re not worth it. Well we know everything we need to know right?

So We can see that again. Not that it’s There’s a right or wrong here I’m not saying if people don’t want to get tested that they’re bad certainly not I don’t look at life that way I see it more through the lens of what’s healthy. What’s not healthy. And so as we learn as individuals and particularly for for women all this you know it’s not a gender issue certainly but we forget we are taught to be good. We are taught to be good girls or you know good good boys or whatever it is So We forget that.

We can be very air quotes good and also speak our truth and that’s why dates smart very quickly and heavily moves into know your truth because if you know your truth and you know your needs for me. For example, and this is my framework and how I work with clients, dignity respect kindness, tenderness, honesty, and in essence integrity with kindness are non-negotiables in relationships and that might not be every person’s paradigm but for a healthy relationship, you generally need those elements in order to feel safe and then once we feel safe. Then we can be vulnerable and then we build trust over time and we are afraid often to speak that truth to somebody as we’re dating and say wait. These are my values. This is what’s important to me. Whatever it is and this is what I’m looking for and if the person does not match on those core values and those core needs. Whatever they are somebody might say my core value is money right? And that’s the most important thing to me well generally that person will do very well with somebody who has money as a core value.

However, if you have somebody whose core value is money and the other person’s core value is love and family. It might not be a very good mix because money will be the priority for the 1 person and it sounds you know for the other person. It might be very much that relationship is the core value.

So you really want to be well matched on those core values and the only way to do that is to first know your core values and then be able to express them so that the person across from you that you’re dating can let you know if you’re matched on that. And if there’s not a match on core values. It’s generally pretty rocky for the rest of the relationship and 1 of the areas that I routinely find that it’s a core value for many women is emotional intelligence and emotional connection and so when they’re with ah.

Ah, man or a partner who is not emotionally intelligent and willing to connect. Emotionally they’re constantly chasing that person and frustrated and angry and then the relationship collapses. And it can go the other way. There can be a man who’s really interested in emotional connection and the woman who’s not or you know 2 partners or whatever gender. But the point is we really want to take the time to especially for long-term relationships. To know that we are moving in a direction where we’re matched on core values and it’s even the same quite frankly for a hookup if you if somebody wants to hook up and the other person’s looking for a long-term relationship. There’s going to be hurt if if there are mixed messages. But if they both say hey we just want.

You know to have a hookup for the night and they’re both honest about that. Well then there’s much less likelihood that either person’s going to be hurt.

Nicole Booz: Yeah I think that makes complete sense and I think that I’d also like to make me dig into a little more Real-w world example of like what this looks like so where we’re talking about emotional intelligence if that’s 1 of your core values. How are you recognizing that in a potential partner like what does that physically look like.

Dr. Carla Manly: A great question Nicole and emotional intelligence date Smart has ah has ah a fun quiz in it to help people understand where they are at in the realm of emotional intelligence and 1 of the core pieces of emotional intelligence of. Course is being able to know your emotional state and that no emotion is bad or good. All of our emotions we have 5 core emotions I work from the 5 core emotion paradigm they are anger sadness.

Fear joy and disgust they all have a primitive reason for being in the body and in the psyche they are informative for us and on an atavistic level. They really helped. Survival of the species because they gave us information about the state we were in and what our needs were. For example, if somebody was angry. It was because likely somebody was taking their food or harming their you know their child. Or something if they were disgusted. It came from a place of oh I ate something that wasn’t good for me so you know I need to get this out of my system joy was of course helpful because it allowed us to continue to procreate because if we didn’t look at a baby go oh my god this is wonderful I love this little creature. We wouldn’t continue to have babies right? and so the species would have would have died out right? and so we look that all of the emotions have an important message to give us so what about feelings the.

The emotions give the gut information they give the brain information and then the emotion goes through the brain latches on to historical information and then spits out any number of feelings. There are thousands of feelings. So For example, I might be. Disgusted when I see a lemon because maybe children pelted me with lemons when I was a child you may look at a lemon and in your brain go ah excitement because as a child you made copious amounts of lemonade and you.

Had great joy doing that and so you might feel happy and fulfilled and excited when you see a lemon and that’s how our emotions work so we want to be able to look at a partner somebody. We’re dating and seeing how are they with their emotional world. Are they okay with all of their emotions. Can they if they’re angry and they’re mad at me. How do they handle that anger when they’re feeling as though I forgot our date or was I was late or whatever it is do they throw a temper tantrum do they shut down. You know, do they throw something at me. How do they manage because Anger again is a really good emotion. It’s a signal but it’s how we handle the emotion. The other thing there are people who are joy junkies who want to stay in a chronic state of Joy. So they might use all sorts of substances in order to stay away from the other emotions and really each emotion sadness. All of them are information so we want to be with someone ideally who is able to acknowledge all of their emotional states. And not simply answer I’m fine I’m okay because then you know eventually if you have children or whatever or you’re working with them on something they’re going to be fine or they’re going to be okay or maybe they’ll have outbursts of Anger. So that’s 1 really important element that you can. Notice about someone who has emotional intelligence. How do they regulate themselves again. No emotion is bad but it’s how we can use our emotions that can be very destructive so that’s 1 piece the other piece and this is a big piece about emotional intelligence. Is. The communication is the person stuck in blame are they stuck in shame are they hypercritical when you do something do they you know jump and target you do they shut down. Do they run away. Do they get in their car and speed off after an argument or a discussion.

And there are some people who want to argue who are just looking for the next high and that’s in air quotes the next high of the fight or makeup sex and that is you know a dynamic or are they a person who’s manipulated and likes telling lies and. Watching you get surprised or hurt is that are you working with the gas lighter all of these things are signs of a lack of emotional intelligence on the other hand somebody who is emotionally intelligent will be able to come to you and say. Nicole or Marina Crouse: I feel really hurt that you promised to make me dinner. You know Friday night and then you went out with your girlfriends I feel really hurt and sad I’d like to talk to you about that and then. You would talk through it. It would be a learning experience. You would figure out what the mixed messages were and you’d do better the next time those are the real life ways where we see emotional intelligence. It’s much like playing tennis in a relationship.

And I’m not talking you know Nasty tennis I’m talking the gentle volley of back and forth and back and forth and so that’s 1 realm the other realm that’s really important in emotional intelligence is looking for patterns of honesty versus dishonesty. Because an individual who is dishonest and makes that a way you know or manipulative dating to people at once without saying that. That’s what they’re doing, that’s a sign of dishonesty.

So We really want to be looking for all of this because emotionally intelligent people not that they are Perfect. It’s actually the opposite of that they acknowledge their imperfections and they’re able to say oh yeah I see where I got that wrong or where I made a mistake sorry about that. How can I do it differently in the future to avoid hurting. You. That’s the Energy. We want to see in a healthy relationship.

Marina Crouse: Wow I would really love to date someone who’s emotionally intelligent I’m just sitting here thinking as you speak. Dr.Manly I’m the last few men I’ve dated I I kind of joke that I have had to break up with myself for them because their behavior changes. And I wait to kind of see and I I’ve worked a lot on my own confidence because in the past I wouldn’t call things out or ask questions because I felt like I quote unquote wasn’t allowed but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to basically break up with myself because the people I’m dating. Are not also not good at communicating and not willing to have the hard conversations about things not working out so this is really helpful to hear. Oh, so for example, I’m trying to give you example so ah.

Dr. Carla Manly: Marina, What do you mean? break up with yourself.

Marina Crouse: It’s like when you notice a change in the behavior of someone you’re dating and they you ask them about it and they say oh I’m fine I’m fine and they basically keep behaving more and more poorly until you’re forced to break up with them.

Dr. Carla Manly: Oh okay.

Marina Crouse: Because they’re not willing to do the hard part. So it’s like you’re basically having to break up with yourself because they want out but aren’t willing to do the hard part of having that conversation.

Dr. Carla Manly: Got it and I personally would reframe that because and it’s coming from a psychologist perspective. Of course that to break up with them to protect yourself is a move of empowerment.

So You are breaking up with them based upon your needs your beliefs your empowered self-aware ever evolving being to break up with yourself means that you are in my eyes right? So very I work also from a neurolinguistic perspective. So I. Really pay attention to how the words we use affect the psyche the messages we give ourselves. So if I were saying that I broke up with myself I would feel as if I’ve ruptured a part of my own relationship with me my relationship with me rather than what you’re describing.

I would see that as actually bonding my relationship with me every time I take a stance that supports me I am making my relationship with me stronger I am holding I’m seeing myself holding hands with me hugging me does that make.

Marina Crouse: oh absolutely I love that and Nicole and I are both writers so we are very passionate about the power of words and I think yeah, that’s a great explanation of reframing for sure.

Dr. Carla Manly: Yes, because I think what you are describing when we break up with someone because there are red flags and they’re not making moves to connect right to be connective that 1 of the best things we can do to stay true to who we are to you know, really embrace our true selves is to say you know you’re a wonderful human being and I can see you’re on a journey but your journey is vastly different from mine and and so maybe we’ll meet up again in the future and we’ll see how you’ve evolved if at all.

Dr. Carla Manly: And we might not say it quite that frankly, but really, that’s that’s the message and so I really see that as as an an important concept for us all to E evolve to to embrace that we are evolving if we choose to and that that’s the kind of. Partner that we want to seek and I really stress that in my work that none of us are perfect, but what is the key dealbreaker to be whether or not somebody wants to be on a journey of self-development.

Dr. Carla Manly: Because if you have 2 people and they’re both interested in working on Self-development Magic can happen absolute magic because we can often learn best in relationship and even when it gets pretty tricky and there’s a challenge in a struggle. Those are some of our greatest learning opportunities if we stay with it in a very respectful way. But when somebody when we’re dating someone or in relationship with someone who does not want to do the work. It can not only be extremely exhausting for the person who wants to do the work but it can also really send them backwards if they stay with the relationship too long if that makes sense.

Marina Crouse: And I I like the gentle word wording. You’ve used because it takes kind of the ah how to phrase it. It. It makes it less personal I think so often in a in a. When you’re in the situation. The emotions are heightened and it feels like something like oh something’s wrong with me or it you know when when relationships end it can feel like a big failure or a big.. What I’m going try and say vince can you. Vince? Can you delete this stuttering. I Think so often when relationships end they often, especially if you’re still working on yourself. They often end kind of explosively and it can you can take it personally thinking. There’s something wrong with you or can feel really bad. But if we take some of the. Anger out of it and see it a little bit more not linearly, but objectively that this is a journey and I’m learning I think that’s really helpful to be able to view dating that way. It’s a little bit less intimidating to get started.

Dr. Carla Manly: Absolutely and I love the way that you reframed that to rather than looking at as all or nothing either I’m a success or I’m a failure. Our relationships are our greatest teachers if we allow them to be. And so if we go into you know you had said after you know your breakups and and you wonder what’s happened in all of this I think those after breakup periods can be so enlightening because that’s the opportunity to do journaling about. Okay I Miss these red flags. Well why did I miss them. Not judging yourself. But putting on more of a researchers’s hat I say you know really be objective and non-judgmental and I say that frequently because we don’t get anywhere when we criticize ourselves or others we do make however, a great deal of progress when we slow down and say hmm. What went wrong there what went amiss and if I were to redo it. How would I redo it that would help my evolution and so when we go into that space of let me redo it in a positive way. We’re wiring our brain. And I know you had mentioned Nicole has too little ones right? and so ah, as parents right? when we see that we’ve done something that we’re not very proud of or we wish we could redo we can either you know self-flagellate or we can say okay when that arises again.

Dr. Carla Manly: How am I going to handle it. What is the better way to do it and so when we spend more time not beating ourselves up for the mistake we made. But and it’s the same in the dating world. But okay, well, how would I do it differently? Okay, there was this explosion at the end of the relationship. And I wish it hadn’t gone down that way. But if I were in that situation again. What would I do hm I’d call a timeout I’d let my person know that I’m going for a walk I’d come back and try to restart the conversation from a more centered place if it stills. Go south maybe I’d absent myself for a couple hours or say hey you know this is what I’m doing. But yeah, that’s how I would replay it for the future and then when we spend more time in what we would do well you know what we would like to see in the future and I say that you know what would I do well in the future what would be my best course. That’s how we change our brains and we change our relationships because too often and and it’s wired into us often from the time we’re little where we spend time beating ourselves up for the Mistake. We’ve made.

Rather than saying. Okay, yeah I made that mistake Oops. You know, not a great choice at the time. Okay, but now how how would do I Want to do it in the future and the minute we continue to shift our thoughts to a better action in the future. The more we are training the brain to seek the positive to seek the healthy to seek the beneficial and then we carry that energy into all of our relationships because then as we start dating, We’re bringing that that level of expectation healthy expectation.

With us and so we notice sooner if somebody’s being yeah, this is a funny personal piece I remember when I was dating and I’m a big you know, open the door for someone kind of person and not that that’s right or wrong. But I open doors for people as well.

But I remember I was dating someone he was like okay you know now we’re on our fourth date I’m not opening the door for you anymore and I said well yeah, you are. That’s our thing and that’s to me a sign of respect for me, he goes Well you know you can sit there and I’m going to go to dinner and I said yeah I will sit here.

And he walked down the street and was going to go to dinner and he thought I’d get out of the car and I didn’t and I just sat there and he came and he got my door and it was actually the last time I went out with him because that taught me from that little red flag moment that and that’s why I look at red flags right? Not that the.

I Can’t open my own door but it was a sign to me that he was going to stop dating me that he was already in that place of oh I don’t have to treat her as special anymore and for me treating a partner special is a lifetime I treat my husband special you know I date him every day.

And I really think that that’s the energy that we want to see in our dating relationships because we don’t want to put on a mask as we’re dating and then take it off and say okay now here’s the real me right? Well, of course we want to be dating as the real me the entire time.

And if you’re a kind, respectful loving human being and that’s what you bring to the table will plan to carry that through the life of the relationship does that make sense.

Nicole Booz: Yeah, it does. Yeah so with 1 final question that we have for you with all this talk of like self-awareness and I think as we’ve been talking. It’s kind of been playing there that.

Marina Crouse: Oh absolutely.

Nicole Booz: Relationships are constantly a work in progress like as you’re saying you’re still dating your husband and so I kind of wanted to ask you? How do we approach relationships with realistic expectations from the get-go.

Dr. Carla Manly: Oh my goodness Nicole it’s 1 of my favorite questions I think when we write our expectations down that gives us a start because we have things.

Moving around in our brains rolling around and we don’t really know what they feel like or look like often yet when we put it down on Paper. We can become more objective again putting on that researcher’s hat. So for example, if you write down your expectations for a partner. And then you know you’re dating and you know what you’re expecting if you’re expecting that person to carry all the weight of the ah relationship you know handle all the trip planning handle all the dinner dates do the laundry do the cooking then you go wow these are unrealistic expectations. Even I can see that when I take a step back.

Or do I expect this person to have the perfect body to look perfect all the time to be Perfect. You know in bed every or do you know have the exact same libido I have what are and when we look at our expectations and put them in writing and ask a partner to do that We can. Often see that our expectations are too low which happens or too high and I think that really takes that level of self-awareness because for me expectations. It’s important to have expectations. It really is but healthy ones. And I think that that’s a part of relationship that is so important as being able to communicate your expectations and know that they are realistic and this is an important piece of this this expectation. Is 1 of the most difficult for all relationships I should not have to change for my partner and that expectation kills many relationships here’s why I want to change every day.

My clients are changing every day we all change every day and here’s the important piece given that we change every day. Don’t we want to be in control of how we change and don’t we want to be changing because it’s intentional rather than life doing it to us. And of course when you take 2 people from unique backgrounds and histories to make 1 You know 1 life out of that you know a relationship an ongoing relationship. Of course you have to change and people confuse change with losing independence.

And so for me and I tell this to my partner all the time I’ll happily change. You know if it means you know turning out a very soft voice so he’s often asking me to turn my voice up or or whatever it is absolutely if you’re not asking me to change a part of who I am.

That deals with my integrity and my core values of course I’ll try because why not I Want to be a malleable flexible human being and it’s how I work with my clients I don’t have a protocol that I have to follow for them I Am there to be of service to them and guide. And when we look at relationships whether it’s in our relationship with someone you’re dating or a partner or a child. Of course we want to be able to change why because that allows us to be attuned. To tune into another person’s needs which is the core of attachment work and if we are not willing to change to move a little bit to become attuned to another person and we are stuck in saying. I want it my way on my terms 1 hundred percent of the time and that’s how it’s going to be.. We’re really limiting ourselves and our relationships I Hope that answers your question because it’s such a fabulous 1.

Nicole Booz: Yeah, yeah, it really does I think that it’s just such an important point because we really are changing every day and I I mean I think being in relationships you know is a choice and it’s something we’re choosing to do every day and it’s kind of unrealistic to expect yourself not to change.

But expect someone else to constantly change to meet your needs. You know So I don’t know I think that’s part of healthy relationships and I think it’s also really smart to write down your expectations. Yeah.

Marina Crouse: Definitely I Know that’s what I’ll be working on this weekend.

Dr. Carla Manly: It’s and it’s ah it’s so funny when I ask people to write things down. They’re like oh that’s so much work and I said well when you’re making dinner and you’re going to the store for a special you know dinner Recipe. Don’t you write it down so you know the ingredients that you need and they’re like well of course I do well. Wouldn’t you do that for a relationship when you’re considering investing your life and all of your energy If you’re willing to do it for a chocolate chip cookie or Thanksgiving dinner. You know, recipe Why wouldn’t you do that for something that you’re going to invest your heart and your soul in.

Nicole Booz: exactly exactly so Dr. Manly thank you so much for joining us today and where can our listeners find you if they want to learn more.

Dr. Carla Manly: My website is DrCarlaManly dot com d r c a r l a m a n l y dot com.  same on Twitter Facebook, Instagram, LinkedOn and then of course my books date smart and my books are all available on Amazon through my website and through my publisher.

Nicole Booz: Awesome! Well thank you so much for being here today and this a wonderful conversation. We’re so thrilled to have you here that thank you and Marina would you like to sing us out.

Dr. Carla Manly: Thank you so much. It has truly been a pleasure I appreciate it. Thank you.

Marina Crouse: This has been another episode of The GenTwenty Podcast. Thanks so much for listening you can leave us a five star rating and review and we’ll see you next time Bye.

About the Author

Nicole Booz

Nicole Booz is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of GenTwenty, GenThirty, and The Capsule Collab. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is the author of The Kidult Handbook (Simon & Schuster May 2018). She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s probably hiking, eating brunch, or planning her next great adventure.