Couples Therapy LIVE

the

Nicole Walters Podcast

The Nicole Walters Podcast

Join me each week for a new episode packed with what you need to know to gain clarity, grow your network, and monetize your life using the proven corporate strategies I’ve mastered in 10 years as a Fortune 500 executive.

Spotify          Apple Podcast           Google           Stitcher           Radio     

SHOW NOTES

Dr. Morgan Anderson is here to share what she believes to be the missing piece to the dating puzzle. Yes friend, pull your car over, stop that workout, and grab something to take notes with because Dr. Anderson is not holding back!

Did I mention that the Misterfella is here as well so you get to hear our first couples therapy session! If you aren’t familiar, Dr. Morgan Anderson is a clinical psychologist, Attachment Theory expert, and relationship thought leader who has dedicated her career to understanding the science of love and connection. Friend you are in for a treat with this episode!

Hit play and then head over to Instagram to let Dr. Morgan and I know what you got from this episode!

 

Nicole:

Hey, everyone. I am so excited. You have no idea the energy that is coming into this chat, partly because I have two guests in studio. Y’all that never happens. One of them’s already grunting in the background. Alex is back. I’m not even gonna get an intro. Alex is here.

Alex:
I’m back.

Nicole:

He’s back. And we’re excited that he’s here just because I actually needed his help for this interview because our special guest is Dr. Morgan Anderson, y’all. I’m telling you right now. This is going to be a treat. We are doing our first couples therapy session.

Alex:
<exhales>

Nicole:

Why are you exhaling?

Alex:

That’s excitement.

Nicole:

Exhaling excitement. Okay, good. We’re doing our first couples therapy session here. Not formalized. Obviously. We’re just going to chat through some things. And then and then we get to learn all about Dr. Morgan. Now if y’all aren’t familiar, this is our generation’s Dr. Ruth. This is our cool hip Tinder friendly. Explain it so we can do it, dating guru who’s applying actionable practical tools that we can use every single day to have the relationships that we want, need and deserve. Dr. Morgan, thank you for being here.

Dr. Morgan:

Thank you for having me. Can you hang out my bathroom with me every morning? And say that, please?

Nicole:

Oh, no you don’t want my trauma in there with you. I’m so glad that you’re here today. And we have a lot of ground to cover. Before we kick off. Just tell us a little bit more about how you get because first of all, if y’all can’t see she’s gorgeous, she’s smart. She’s giving good hair, strong eyebrows. Trustworthy. And I just wonder this is not the vision I think that a lot of us have of what therapy is like, how did you even come to this? Because you are giving so much on the relationship front.

Dr. Morgan:

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And I’m glad you notice my eyebrows. Yeah, these are real. Okay, so I just like a lot of people who get into clinical psych, I experienced childhood trauma, I actually lost my mom at a really young age, I was five years old. And then watched my dad go through three different marriages. And I just had to grow up really quick, really, really quick. And then of course, I’m getting my doctorate in clinical psychology and I kind of thought, Okay, I’m gonna do things differently. But it turns out I had so much unconscious stuff going on, that I attracted really, really unhealthy relationships over and over in my 20s.

Nicole:

Oh, wow. So I mean, what you’re telling me right now is, it’s actually possible while we’re trying to learn to do right, that we can do wrong.

Dr. Morgan:

Oh, for sure.

Nicole:
Story my life <laughs>

Dr. Morgan:

Logically, I knew what a great relationship was, but unconsciously my blueprint for what a relationship was was so unhealthy. So I essentially hit rock bottom. You know, like so many people that create something great, you have that moment. And for me, it was my second year of graduate school. I was dating a narcissist, who I did not know was a narcissist to begin with. And then…

Nicole:

They’re good at hiding, right? They’re good. This is what they do.

Dr. Morgan:
The love bombing stage.

Nicole:

I mean, especially if you lacked before and they look for people who are in that state, ya know, so…

Dr. Morgan:

Highly empathic, right? I’m so so vulnerable to it. And he had a great family and I loved his family. So successful…

Nicole:
Sounds like it was hot, too.

Dr. Morgan:

Oh, yeah. So yeah, I hit this rock bottom moment, I was filing a police report in the lobby of my apartment building. People walking by. And it was just this moment where I said, I just need to do something different.

Nicole:

Right? Like, how did I get here? How did I get here on it? Yeah. So then, that was really I think, a shift right? Like where you really came to the specialty of your craft because there’s a lot of places you can go in clinical psych. Yeah. So I mean, really, just spending your life now this has been your mission work, helping empower women with the tools they need to pick the right partner, while getting to know themselves is huge. So your specialty, you know, is really around attachment theory. Can you just tell us because I was trying to explain this to Alex earlier because for y’all who don’t know, Alex grew up in like this idyllic family. I mean, like, I’m telling you.

Alex:
Yeah, it was good.

Nicole:

I mean, he’ll be the first to tell you like his parents are so loving. They’ve been married. How long have your parents been married?

Alex:

Um, yeah, like 30 something years. It’s probably it’s probably 40 years.

Nicole:

Y’all they on time they like the one of the first things Alex told me about his parents was What do you remember about how they are? And how they like and your memories of their relationship?

Alex:

What about the falling asleep on the couch thing? And like watching movies? Yeah, watching movies. My dad always the fall asleep on the couch. My dad always comment on our hair, like, you know, oh, had like kind of like cutesy thing like things. It’s kind of like, I don’t know, keep the love alive.

Dr. Morgan:

They have secure attachment!

Nicole:

Attached! So we neither of us were like, are really all the way up to speed on attachment theory. We just know kind of, you know how it’s like, you know what’s good when you see it, but you may not know what it is to look for it yourself. So the definition is so important. So I did not grow up like that Alex obviously grew up differently. I have repeated patterns. Alex has not. So tell us more about in practice what is attachment theory?

Dr. Morgan:

Yes. When I first started to research it, I realized pretty quickly, this is the missing piece to the dating puzzle.

Nicole:

Ooh, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, y’all write this down. You’ve been looking, you’ve been searching, we got answers. Attachment theory is the missing piece to the puzzle. Tell us more.

Dr. Morgan:

Because it helps you understand why you do what you do in relationships. And we know that if we want to change what we’re doing, we have to understand it so that we can have compassion towards it. When we have compassion, right? Yeah, compassion for ourselves, and then we can let it go. So by understanding attachment theory and applying it to your relationships, you get that understanding that then gets you to compassion. And then you can choose differently.

Nicole:

I love so it’s a tool that we can actually use in order to help us understand ourselves better, which will then help us pick better partners.

Dr. Morgan:

Yeah.

Alex:

And you were saying that there’s a couple different kinds of attachment theory?

Dr. Morgan:

Oh, yeah, we’ll get into it. Let’s go.

Nicole:

Oh, you don’t understand people right now are pulling over their car, they’ve stopped working. They are standing in the grocery store, they are frantically writing down in their phones. And if they’re not there they are now because this is the answer, right?

Dr. Morgan:

Yeah. So I like to think of attachment theory, in a lot of different ways. But one of the most helpful ways is understanding the attachment styles. So there’s four main attachment styles. And if you think about like, you have a relationship toolkit, you actually have all the styles available to you. But it’s just which one do you use the most, which one was modeled for you? Which one fits your template?

Nicole:
So no one’s born with a specific attachment theory, we all can be any of the above, but depending on what happens in our life will lead towards one or the other?

Alex:

What you’ve seen as a child like kind of affects relationships.

Dr. Morgan:

Zero to seven with your caregiver has a huge impact. Your early adult romantic relationships have a huge impact. Oh, wow. Because it’s your template for oh, this is what a relationship is. 

Nicole:
That’s good. So that also matters for those of us who are mamas out there listening? You know, what we have our kids around ages zero to seven, you know, and in those early formative years is really what they are likely to replicate unless we imprint other things.

Alex:

Yeah. It’s crazy. Because yeah, you probably don’t think about the kid, you’re like, Oh, I’m just living my life and stuff with kids are picking up everything. Like, I mean, even recently, I was telling you about the way I grew up, and then you’re like, Have you ever told your dad that like, blah, blah, blah? You know.

Nicole:

I say this all the time.

Alex:
Yeah. Have you ever told your dad that you remember this? And that? And I was like, No, I don’t think I’ve ever actually mentioned it. And then I would go back and mentioned and he was like, really? Like, you remember that?

Nicole:

They pick everything up. Like they have no idea. But it’s so true.

Dr. Morgan:

Yeah, we all have those stories from early on.

Nicole:

Good and bad because I definitely remember negative things like simple things like the way that Alex will talk about how seeing his parents fall asleep on the couch, or holding hands or being affectionate, or even saying I love you, or how can I help?

Those are not things I grew up with, you know, and, and I don’t say that in a way that it was, you know, one thing is good or bad. It depends on what you’re looking for in your life. But I will say, I’m sure Dr. Morgan might say otherwise. She’s like, No, that’s bad girl. No. I’m just trying to be nice to the listeners. Okay. therapeutically. But what I will say is that, culturally, that wasn’t the norm, you know, it’s not a naturally affectionate household. So my parents did not grow up like that I did not see holding of hands or cuddling on the couch or much affection, you know.

And so affection was in the form of tasks and doing and yeah, those sorts of things. So, what’s crazy is I think a lot of people confuse attachment styles with love languages.

Dr. Morgan:
Oh, they do.

Nicole:

So can you explain the difference between the two for people right now are like, Well, my love language is buying gifts, but that’s not necessarily an attachment style, like I’m attached to nice things to y’all. But that’s not the only thing that equates love.

Dr. Morgan:

So yeah, and we’ll definitely get into all the styles, but to make that distinction is so important. Your love language helps you create secure attachment. If somebody knows what your love language is, you’re going to feel more securely attached. But it’s not the way that you show up in a relationship to get your needs met.

Nicole:

That’s good that yeah, that’s good. So these four attachment styles, the first one you keep referring to as secure, which sounds like it’s the sane.

Dr. Morgan:

It’s where we all want to be.

Nicole:
So stands for saying, you want a secure attachment to be secure, secure is sexy. I received that. Okay, I received that. Okay. And so, what? What are the other ones?

Dr. Morgan:

Okay, so we’ve got anxious.

Nicole:

That’s me. That’s my baseline. My baseline is anxiety. I live in a perpetual state of anxiety. It reflects in everything I anxiously order at Cheesecake Factory like everything I do. So okay,

Alex:

So secure and anxious.

Dr. Morgan:

Avoidant, and then disorganized.

Nicole:

Oh, I’ve never heard of disorganized before or avoidant.

Dr. Morgan:

Yeah, so we’ll get into it.

Nicole:

Yeah, let’s get let’s get into it. Okay, tell me about, well, let’s start with secure.

Dr. Morgan:

Okay, so secure is where we all want to be. This is where I matter you matter your needs matter my needs matter. I can set boundaries I can communicate how I feel. I’m able to feel secure in the relationship knowing that it’s going to last and my partner offers me reassurance to create that security and the connection.

This also makes you feel so independent and empowered. And it allows you to go out into the world and really do what you want to do because you have that secure base. You know you have your partner.

Nicole:

That sounds parental as well.

Dr. Morgan:

Oh it is.

Nicole:
That like as the foundation that’s what I would want from that’s what I aim to give my kids. I want them to be like Oh yeah, home is always here, but like please go out into the world. You’re capable, you’re able, like yo, but like, I love you, you matter and I care but also you’re not gonna do whatever you want in this house. You know what I mean? Like healthy boundaries, you know? So it’s like that. That sounds like a parenting thing.

Dr. Morgan:

And Nicole, it did start with parent child is where attachment theory started with was studying parent child relationships. And then it was applied to romantic relationships.

Nicole:

Makes a lot of sense because I listen, I am nobody’s mama and I have found a lot of men. A lot of men. I know they’re women here nodding their heads right now looking to be raised. I’m not raising a good husband. Yeah, that’s not the move.

Dr. Morgan:

So in interdependence, not codependence, not hyper independence, interdependence. I depend on me and I know I can depend on you. Right. So that’s a healthy romantic relationship. So the insecure styles all the others I listed, we have anxious attachment. Anxious is where I have prioritized the relationship over myself.

Nicole:

Oh, I’ve done that. That is like, I was like me before, I’ve done that.

Alex:

I’ve had personal issues where they’ve done that to me. <laughs>

Nicole:
<laughs> I was like you did that!

Alex:

I’ve experienced that from the other side. And it creates a lot of stress on the relationship. You’re not paying enough attention to this relationship. You’re not doing enough and I’m like, I feel like I am.

Dr. Morgan:

You put someone on a pedestal.

Alex:

I also have my own life. And that’s okay, too, you know, and they didn’t have their own life. You know what I mean? It’s like this balance, but it’s all about the relationship. Yeah, there’s no independence there.

Dr. Morgan:

It’s fear of abandonment. Right, we talked about fear of abandonment, and you will think about all the ways that you’re going to be abandoned, and you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop all the time. sending those 17 text messages when you don’t get a reply.

Nicole:

Oh, oh, someone right now is like…

Alex:

All the memories, all the memories.

Nicole:
I’m hoping here like, wow, get out of my therapy sessions. But I was joking with him this morning. I was like, Look, you have no idea. This is who I used to be like, and not like, I wasn’t the 17 text messenger. I wasn’t like that. Because I’m well therapy, thank God, you know, but in my head, like, I’ll hear and feel these feelings where I’m like, Am I okay? Is this secure? Is this safe? What do I need to do? How do I need to change things? But I just take it to therapy, you know, and I say like, I’m feeling this type of way. I don’t think it’s valid, you know, what do I need to do? What should I be communicating? You know, and that sort of thing. So you don’t see my crazy because a lot of it lands with my therapist.

Alex:
You keep telling me there’s a lot of crazy. I’m starting to get a little worried. <laughs>

Dr. Morgan:

No, this is healthy.

Nicole:

You just enjoy what you’re getting. You’re getting the filtered, healthy version.

Alex:

Okay, so far, so good.

Dr. Morgan:

And I want to just say to that, everything we do in a relationship is to get connection and love and we need that to survive. So we had to remember like, these are the things that we learned to do at one point, it was helpful for us to use these strategies to get love this way.

But then trying to create healthy adult relationships, those same strategies that you had to use in your childhood are sabotaging you, right? So compassion.

Nicole:
That’s so good. Be nice to yourself as you learn as you learn in therapy, Lord, therapy for those who are Christians, and you’re seeing yourself out therapy and Jesus, you can do both. Yeah, both are already helping. So okay, that’s good. So, and it sounds like people can kind of float through these in the relationship, right? So even if you’re mostly secure, you could have moments of anxious attachment. If you’re because I will honestly say, like, we’ve I’m not gonna tell all of our business. But we have had times where we, I would say, we hover insecure, you’re giving me the light, which about to say, face?

Alex:
I’m on the edge of my seat.

Nicole:
No, I would say we definitely are consistently in the secure area. But if you know that I’m going into an environment that you may be less than thrilled about, you know, whether it’s like an event or a certain type of trial, which is rare. Usually you’re like, go be out in the world, whatever. But if it’s something that you have particular concerns about, I know that if I even if we’re just like my safety, you know, you’ll be like, hey, when you get in, reach out to me, and if you don’t, then you’re a little bit more like anxious about it.

Alex:

That’s happened for sure. Like, I remember, I remember there was one time where you went to an outing, and I was out of town on a gig, and I didn’t know where it was she was going, you know, it was nighttime. It was late, you know, like, you know what I mean? And I was just, I don’t know, I just had this feeling of a layer of anxiety, and I knew she’d be okay. Yeah, you know, and I had this feeling of anxiety because I can’t check in if anything happens, I can’t be around to like help out or whatever. But like, everything was okay. You know, when you checked in, you know, when you could.

Nicole:

So is that anxious attachment, because also a whole adult, or is that just anxiety?

Dr. Morgan:

So I think it’s really important to clarify that. Yeah, insecurely attached relationships will have those moments. But you’ve just moved back to secure quickly,

Nicole:

Right. Yeah, it was just kind of oh, I’m okay. And then it was we were able to talk about what could I have done differently? Yeah, just help. Make sure, like more check ins. And actually, we haven’t had a moment like that since once we learned.

Dr. Morgan:

Yeah, I think it’s helpful to remember like, climate versus weather.

Nicole:
Oh tell us more about that.

Dr. Morgan:

The climate of your relationship is secure. But you can have little bouts of rain showers.

Alex:

Yeah. Yeah. And ever since we started, got a really good balance. I mean, for example, I just got off the road. Like, last night, I was gone for like four days, doing some shows up north. Yeah, I just got in this morning, for the morning. Oh, my God for being here. And even during all those times, I’ve really been intentional about being good about checking in. I have arrived at my destination. I’m on the road. I’m back at my hotel.

Nicole:

He wasn’t in the beginning at all.

Dr. Morgan:
This is a great example for everybody listening, this is a great example of reassurance, you’re offering reassurance to help create the secure attachment.

Alex:

Right? And it’s I feel like it’s not even out of any kind of insecurity. But we’re generally worried about our partner, like, did you make it they’re safe? Just let me know. It’s like, it’s like, it’s like taking a flight somewhere. Let me know when you landed. It’s just like, you know, just reassuring. I’m okay, everything’s okay. You’re on through life. Yeah, I’ll be checking in with you. And then when you don’t check in, that’s when you know…

Nicole:

There’s an issue because probably not the norm. And it wasn’t like this. In the beginning, I think to be fair, part of what I hear from some of my friends who like you’re saying those 17 text messages, and now the guy doesn’t want to be around you because you were teamed too much in the beginning. But like when we first got together, neither one of us came from a place where we had to check in with people. I didn’t have to check in because I wasn’t in a partnership where my partner cared if I was okay or not. You weren’t in partnership, you were just single. So it just didn’t, you didn’t have to check in with anyone.

So when we first got together, it was kind of like he would go off. And I’d be like, hey, like, did you make it? Did you not you know, because now we’re with people that we care about, you know, and he like, had to say, Oh, this is something that I should do, because it helps. And then the fact that he does it without prompting now, like literally don’t even worry.

Alex:

Well, that’s what I was gonna say was that it’s not like a requirement that we’ve set for each other. We do it because we want to do it. You know what I mean? It’s not like you must call me or I’m gonna, like forgotten or like, it’s not even that energy. It’s just like, oh, yeah, I’ll call you when I get in.

Nicole:

Yeah I even thought you were checking in a lot. You could do less.

Alex:

I’m going to remember that one!

Dr. Morgan:

He’s going to go dark. <laughs>

Nicole:

Oh, no, I would show up. You know it, I would pop up like that. So good. So that’s secure and anxious. I love that we’re able to give real world application I know whenever I listen to podcasts, I’m always like, I get what you’re saying in theory, but how does that look in practice? So this is and y’all if you have not read Dr. Morgan’s book, Love magnet. What’s great about it, there are exercises. There’s action and it’s like a good quick read. We’re not talking about like a 5000 page book where we can’t just highlight and use it. This is like 90% actionable. So like the stuff we’re talking about here. There’s stuff you can apply in the book. It’s called Love magnet. It’s out now you can grab it, but let’s keep going. So the other two types.

Dr. Morgan:

So avoidant attachment style, and this is where you feel like you might lose yourself in the relationship, and you prioritize yourself over the relationship and a lot of times, this comes from fear of, I could be a bad partner, I’m not good at relationships, I might let people down.

Nicole:

Wow.

Dr. Morgan:

And then it also comes from just fear of like, this person is going to just take up too much of my time, and I’m going to lose myself and lose the things that I really care about.

Nicole:

I hear this a lot from guys in this generation. Oh, yeah. Like, it seems like it’s a very like, like, this is what I hear from I mean, fortune, I didn’t have to date for long. But like, I’ll hear from my girlfriends who are out who are like, look like these 35-45 year old men are not trying to settle down because they’re like, No, I don’t want to spend my whole life taking care of a family, blah, blah, and I just want to travel and it’s like, but you also want to be with a girl or be in a relationship. It sounds like they may have some avoidant tendencies versus because also people are justifying, like, No, you should be able to be free, and you should live your own thing. But the truth is, I’m better in my partnership, I really am.

Alex:

I will, I will say as the as the male in the room with a mic. I will, I will say, I mean, I totally understand it. And I totally understand what you’re saying, because I feel like there’s a lot of guys and who are afraid of letting go of the way that they have been, that bachelor lifestyle, if that’s bad, I can sleep in, I can play video games, like hang with my boys, I can go out, I can do all this stuff. And all that stuff is cool. And if you’re in a secure relationship, you should still be able to do those things right? It just might look a little different. And I feel like that’s the misconception of like losing yourself in the relationship. It’s like yeah, you might not be able to do those things as often as you might want or have done before. But like if you want a successful relationship you also need to find like a balance. You don’t have to lose yourself but your life is gonna look a little different inherently if you’re in a partnership.

Nicole:

Tell them Alex, tell them! The man in the room!

Alex:

I still make time for my boys. I make time for my video games or board games or whatever.

Dr. Morgan:

And I will say this I think men are socialized to be avoidantly attached in relationships.

Nicole:
Really? Really? Yeah. Do you think it’s gotten worse?

Dr. Morgan:

I think it’s I actually think it’s getting better.

Nicole:

Really? Tell me more about that because women right now they’re like, No, it’s gotten worse. Like these guys don’t want these relationships. You know, and I think almost there’s I’ve noticed a response of some women being like, well, I don’t want that either. You know what I mean? Like he’s just the fun thing. You know?

Dr. Morgan:

I think more women are becoming avoidantly attached than ever before. The hyper independent I don’t need a man, you know, no scrubs. Yeah.

Nicole:

Yeah. I’m Ss the opposite. I’m like, I love it. I love being a mom, I ship. I love it. Like, it keeps me It keeps me from being too independent. You know what I mean? Like the right partner actually keeps me grounded. You know?

Dr. Morgan:

Yeah, I don’t know, I think a lot of men grew up in families where it wasn’t safe for them to cry, right? It wasn’t safe for them to be vulnerable. It wasn’t safe for them to really need someone so then they learn Oh, that’s weakness. And they don’t really feel comfortable expressing themselves. So then they’re terrified to do it with a significant other, and they think they’re gonna fail at it.

So they would just they’re so much more comfortable in their career. Career is I work harder. It’s on paper. So yeah, so just their, you know, inputs equals outputs, whereas this world of relationships and be vulnerable.

Nicole:

And it’s still input equals output, I guess it’s just different feels more like it to figure it out. Like the rules of the game are harder to figure out.

Dr. Morgan:
A different kind of input. Sure. Sure.

Nicole:
Yeah. Oh, Dr. Morgan’s over here preaching to the people right now are like, oh, so I will say Do you mind? I don’t know. Do you mind me saying this? I’m about to say it.

Alex:
Do I have an option? <laughs>

Nicole:

I’m about to say this. I was considerate of it. I decipher. So I’m because I’m in a relationship with someone who has no problem being vulnerable, like and he’s always been like,

Alex:

I’ve always been an open book. I mean, I don’t really care. I feel like you know, talking about the things that most people are afraid to talk about are things that people can learn from in you know, like if nobody talks about being those things like how can anyone just deal with that stuff?

Nicole:

It’s weird, it’s odd. I mean, coming from my cultural backgrounds, my parents being African and you know, coming from us strong male you know, almost toxic masculinity prototypes are like a thing that you know, perpetuated and encouraged you know, but I will say that you know, it’s interesting because I’m in relationship with someone who is not like that. I wouldn’t say Alex is not a softy by any definition like you push the wrong buttons and you will you will meet the beast. Okay, like he really is firm. Yeah, to me. he’s firm in all the right places, you know, and like, that’s what I love and required I’m attracted to, you know, oh, come on. Oh, come on. Fro the mamas, headphone warning, I mean, not because it’s actually a spicy chat, but just because I had clearly in the room.

Look, gather yourself.

Alex:
Gather yourself.

Nicole:

That’s what I meant. What I meant, I meant he’s got what moving. The point is that, you know, he understands who he is, you know. And that also means that there are times where he can be incredibly soft and like authentically, you know, showing me how he feels, you know, without worrying about whether or not he’s going to be ridiculed or made fun of, but I will tell you sometimes when he is, like, more emotional, I don’t even know what to do with that.

You know what I mean? Like, in a way where I had to say, Yes, this is huge. So yeah, I have to, like, I know that it’s, I respond differently. But there been times I’m like, I don’t know what to do with this. I’ve said that to you.

Alex:

Sometimes. I mean, we all have our days, ya know? Like, I had an experience the other night at a show.

Nicole:
Okay, not with me. I was about to be like, I don’t want nobody knowing my business. <laughs>

Alex:

Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Yeah, that long story short. I did the show. And I met and I met this girl afterwards. And she, she was the older child, she was with her younger sister. And she told me after the show, it was such an amazing night. And she was like, today is the seven year anniversary of our middle sisters passing. And the little sister was obviously upset. And also I was like, how are you? I was like, must be holding it together for your younger sister. I was like, you’re such a good sister and all this stuff.

And she just just the waterworks started coming. And I told her, I was like, you know, it’s okay to like, not be okay, sometimes, you know, and then just like more waterworks, you know, because people are used to being strong and holding it together. And I’m the same way but over the years, I’ve tried more to let myself, if I have, if I’m having those days, you know, just just have it, you know what I mean? Just have the day otherwise, it’s just gonna, that day could turn into a week or longer or like, whatever. So just, you know, just let it go. Let it go. You know what I mean?

Nicole:

But it’s been different being in a relationship with someone like that.

Dr. Morgan:

I think women have to get comfortable with that. Yeah, because we haven’t been around.

Nicole:

You know, like, safe and knowing that, like, whatever He’s showing us authentic. So I think part of just because, uh, since we gonna talk about trauma, my trauma is that, you know, I worry about those emotions being manipulative. And that’s because I’m aware of my previous trauma and people using it in that fashion. But I know that that’s never the case here with him. And so when I see it, I can literally feel myself saying, Oh, no, like, the person I love is clearly having an emotional response.

And this is legitimate, we got to figure this out, you know, but not one, not immediately, I guess the way someone might naturally be like, Oh, my God, you know, like, it’s not like there’s an extra processing step because of my past. But thank God for therapy, rather than me being like, this is fake or walking away, or whatever, you know, based on my trauma, I’m able to actually be there to support him in the way that he needs or even asked him sometimes I said, What do you need, you know, and not in any, like, negative way, but like, How can I help? How do I need to respond?

Dr. Morgan:

That is the best way to respond is, you know, how can I support you not? How can I fix this? 

Alex:

Yeah, right. And that’s something we regularly held tight to all at all brace. I’ll go ahead and say, I’d say it. No, no, it’s cool. Like, I’m gonna say it though. This is very applicable. It is. So because sometimes there have been certain things that come up, and she’ll respond as like, almost as like the mother figure, like, how can I fix it? And then I’ll get like, a little upset towards that angle. Because I’m like, I don’t need you to fix it. Just let me vent and be this be my girlfriend and just like support me in this. I don’t need you to fix it. Like, I’ll deal with it.

Nicole:
It’s happened more than once.

Alex:
I don’t need a solution. I just need someone to talk to you right now.

Dr. Morgan:

This is the high-functioning successful woman. Like I’ve been there too. Yeah, it can be…

Alex:

She has solutions for a lot of people. People pay a lot of money for her solutions.

Dr. Morgan:

My poor boyfriend dating a psychologist. I’m like tell me more.

Alex:

Yeah, I’m not paying for this, I’m not with you for that. I’m with you to be with you.

Nicole:
And sometimes he’s like just give me a hug.

Dr. Morgan:

It’s beautiful that you get to that place because so many couples never get to the bottom of what they actually need. So the fact that you’re vocal about that, and then you do it. That’s great.

Nicole:

No childhood trauma. So you know, he hasn’t had to carry the bag, or the trash and then the rest of us have had to sort through.

Dr. Morgan:

My boyfriend’s family in Columbus, Ohio, went to their neighborhood. It’s all beautiful horse, like, the West Wing of the home. I’m like, Oh, wow like wings. We had different childhoods. Yeah, so I hear you.

Nicole:
Yeah I get it girl. So okay, there is another attachment. Disorganized, I’ve never heard of this one.

Dr. Morgan:

So the actual term is disorganized. A lot of people call it fearful avoidance. You’ve probably heard that.

Nicole:

Yeah, I’ve heard that one. But that’s a smash. I guess I’ve always put it under avoiding then as well. Yeah. Tell me more about it.

Dr. Morgan:

So disorganized attachment is only 5% of the population. It is correlated with childhood trauma. And this is a very painful attachment style. This is when you go from anxious to avoidant very quickly. So you pendulum swing between the two.

Nicole:

Like, oh, I really need you. Nevermind, you’re nothing.

Dr. Morgan:

Yeah, we had a great date. Bye, I’m going to Cabo tomorrow, like, I don’t want to talk to you, like, so it’s like the, here I, you know, get close to me. And then I’m going to push you away.

Alex:

In that moment, we can have a really great experience. But in the grand scheme, like, this doesn’t matter, I’ll move on to the next great experience with somebody else or like, just do something else.

Dr. Morgan:

For sure. Or you come back to that person. It’s very chaotic isn’t the word that comes to mind? You maybe have dated somebody like this?

Nicole:

It’s weird, because I mean, that just doesn’t work with my life. So it’s very easy for me to be like, Oh, I don’t have time for this. Yeah, it’s just, it’s just too much. It’s like the demand. But then also dealing, I will also say, because this is relationship in general, I’ve had friendships that were similar to this as well, you know, like, where the person pops up regularly. And they’re using different angles to try to get into your life, you know what I’m talking about?

Alex:

Right? Right. Right, popping up a different thing. Yeah. And I will say, I think I think I’ve talked to you about this before, and it kind of makes me think of, I think I talked about in terms of friendship, but I imagine it can also be towards relationships and whatever.

Like, if you’re the kind of personality and I imagine, for this particular style, you have to be a very outgoing person, you’re probably like, very social, you’re probably very outgoing and all that stuff. So you can probably have a great experience or a great time with anybody you meet. But so like, what define self to that person, it can be like what defines a genuine good experience that’s worthwhile exploring if I can have that with anybody, or anywhere?

Nicole:

Just bouncing around. Yeah.

Dr. Morgan:

Yeah.

Alex:

I mean, yeah, like, if I can have that with you. Okay, great. That was great. Let me move to the next thing. I can hop over here too.

Dr. Morgan:

And to go a little bit deeper below, as this person is scared of intimacy, they’re scared of being able to maintain intimacy and to be vulnerable.

Nicole:

So chasing the high of that initial is so much better than the hard work of the deeper connection.

Dr. Morgan:

This is the person that you meet at the coffee shop, and they tell you their entire life story, and you hang out for hours, right? And then you never hear from them.

Nicole:

Like we had this amazing connection, right?

Alex:

Because they were probably at another coffee shop the day before doing the same thing with somebody else. <laughs>

Nicole:

Feels so good, right?

Dr. Morgan:

And once again, this is people who had a really chaotic childhood. Sure. People in and out of their lives, they might have been the foster system, like there’s a really

Nicole:

Big and deep but then they’re nothing. Wow. It’s like I definitely I know people like for sure.

Dr. Morgan:

And I help a lot of them because they’re in a lot of pain.

Nicole:

And that’s where it really is. I mean, I think what I love about everything you’re saying here is that, look, we all fit into one of these categories, or have been one of these categories where they pop up for us at various times.

But everything that you said in everything that’s in your book, Love magnet really emphasizes that we have the ability to apply tools to change, and to show up the way we want to if we’re willing to work on ourselves.

Dr. Morgan:

Thank you for saying that. That’s what makes me different than other books. Because there’s the book attached to the big attachment theory book.

Nicole:
Yes.

Dr. Morgan:

And he’s kind of like, oh, you’re avoidant, you’re avoidant for the rest of your life.

Nicole:
Like, listen, this is my least favorite thing about therapy is that people will go to therapy for 1000 years and be like, I know what’s wrong with me says, but are you working on it? Yeah, you know, what I do? Difference, like people will be in therapy all day know, their definition, and then walk around thinking that that is the work is that oh, I got to the bottom. That’s so annoying, or like people like, I mean, you have friends where it’s like, they’re well aware that they like don’t do anything, or that they have areas of growth, but it’s like, what are you doing to actually change that thing? But you know, also that you could speak to it all day, the core belief of like, do you believe you can, you know, so?

Alex:

So what would you say for anyone who’s identifying with any of these types? Like what I mean, I’m sure it’s all in the book. But like, what is the first step? Is it just therapy to like, kind of like work on these issues? Or like, how do you tackle these things?

Nicole:

I was like, I don’t even have therapy money like that. Do you have issues, we only have room for one set of these issues.

Dr. Morgan:

I love this too, because having a securely attached partner helps us build a secure relationship because you do have that one person who has the model, although so to start to work on yourself, right, besides looking for that secure person, which is out there, but if you want to work on yourself, I have this exercise that I love called the relationship inventory.

And I have you look at all your past relationships, and we write out where you heard? Were you seen? Did you feel loved? How did you know you were loved? Wow, what was the attachment dynamic?

Nicole:
Can you do this by yourself? I feel like that’s like scary to do on your own.

Dr. Morgan:
It’s really scary. Which is why I have my program, right? Because people do need support. Yes. But hey, if you’re brave, it’s in the book like yeah.

Nicole:

So the program that Dr. Morgan talks about. She has an eight week program that you can go through that’s a guided experience to help support you with this. So grab the book and get the course so you can go through this and get the experience too.

Dr. Morgan:

Yeah, with coaching and group coaching and support and you know, it is helpful.

Nicole:

It’s the foundation. I can’t tell you how many times people don’t realize that like, just to get back out there. I mean, before I started dating, like, and I’ve talked about this on the podcast before my divorce, I had to do so much self work coming out of my previous relationship, figuring out like, what went wrong, you know, and I mean, me and Alex have talked about this on the podcast before, one of the things we’re so happy about was we met each other at the right time. If I had met him here before or a year later, I don’t even know.

Alex:

Oh, yeah, there was, yeah, there were certain lifestyle changes that I made just right in time that coincided with our, you know, the life that we have now. And it just like, worked out timing wise. Really great. Yeah.

Nicole:
Yeah.

Dr. Morgan:

You know, and it is that combination of can you get yourself to a place where you can show up in a healthy way. You can show up imperfectly.

Nicole:
Yeah I’m still a mess, like, sure clear, it’s just that I feel myself getting better. Oh I don’t want to get teary about it. I feel myself getting better in this relationship, if I bring my mess, because every time I’m messy and it doesn’t like burn anything down, you know, or messy, and I’m forced to step up and grow past the behavior that I’d used before. You know, like, it improves me, you know?

Dr. Morgan:

I’m so happy for you. I’m in the same boat. So I really get just how powerful that is.

Nicole:
Thank you for saying that too. Because like a lot of times people forget that experts are people. Yeah. And you know, it’s really good to hear you say that you’re also applying what you know, to get the results and then teaching people too.

Dr. Morgan:

Oh, yeah, to two years with my man and like, I just never thought that somebody like him existed.

Nicole:

I love love so much! Everyone get married.

Dr. Morgan:

I wanted to tell you the clinical term for what you just described.

Nicole:
Oh you know, I love a clinical term. I’m going to write this down.

Alex:
I love a clinical term <laughs>

Dr. Morgan:

So it’s a corrective emotional experience.

Nicole:

I’m gonna put it on a shirt. My whole life is a corrective emotional experience. My money is a corrective emotional experience. My man is a … this is a shirt right now.

Dr. Morgan:

Yeah, because you’re healing. A lot of people don’t realize that they’re like, oh, I have to be fully healed. No, you heal in a relationship a lot.

Alex:

Oh, yeah. And there was a lot of things in the beginning, where, you know, we would bring certain things from our past experiences with partners into this relationship where like, this is something that I dealt with in my last relationship, so this must be a thing. Let me deal with it in the same way, but it’s like, no, I’m not the same person. She’s not the same person. And so you can’t bring those same things into your Yeah, you gotta love him. But you got it. You’ve got to deal with the person that’s in front of you. Yeah. Do the things are that in front of you not the things that you’ve dealt with before.

Nicole:
I don’t even feel like you had stuff?

Alex:

I had some stuff. And also you <laughs>

Nicole:

I really don’t remember no, that’s great. Yeah.

Alex:

You’re so excited that I had stuff.

Nicole:

In my eyes, like not pedestal you but the stuff that you have for me is so like, not worth even I’m just so grateful you don’t I mean that I’m like oh these things I deal with for a lifetime like they’re not you know, like…

Alex:

We were talking about earlier it’s some of these like little detail things that like just make…

Nicole:

You have things that are like one big thing you entertain me but they’re so they’re not like you don’t I mean? Like he’s messy. Man like are messy, meaning he’s not dirty, which is like dirty which is a factor for me like I don’t want to it’s actually like filthy. He’s just not tidy. You’re not a man but like that’s not like I’m not throwing you out for like listen, we can pay for help. He looks good. Ten points.

Dr. Morgan:
He looks good, he smells good. I can vouch for it.

Alex:

Who knew the standard was so low <laughs> he bathes.

Nicole:

So listen in this world, guys just fade swipe right world. Okay, right now we have really adjusted. So we’ve gone through all these attachment types. Now let’s go we’re gonna do our therapy session. Oh, good. Okay. I am so into this dude. And my biggest fear. I’m just gonna start with the fear because that’s a good place to start.

Dr. Morgan:

Just start with your core fear.

Nicole:
Let’s just get vulnerable. This is Oh, you have a podcast? What’s your podcast called?

Dr. Morgan:

Let’s get vulnerable.

Alex:
Right on time <laughs>

Nicole:

So my biggest fear, I’m not even kidding. And I say this all the time to my therapist, but I’m gonna say it out loud to my friends because if Alex was in here, I talked about this too, is that I am so worried about not getting it right. Because I was in the wrong thing for 12 years, and I knew it was the wrong thing from year one, you know, but I’m a fierce fixer, corrector like, and honestly, like, I professionally deal in hope, you know, so I’m always like, oh, there’s always another way. There’s always another strategy. Let’s and I had a partner who was team move the goalposts, you know, so and for for tons of his own reasons, I have a lot of forgiveness, because I’m aware of like, his background.

So it’s like, we just weren’t a good match, you know, we literally enabled the worst parts of each other, which, you know, is not good. So it’s not really, like, it’s not a terrible person, you know, altogether. It’s just, you know, stuff didn’t work out in the relationship. But with, with Alex, my biggest concern is really like, I don’t want I know, he’s a great person. I don’t want to mess it up. But I worry sometimes about like, will we be together long term, will I because I’ve never felt anything. Sometimes the highs feel so high that I worry about it. And my therapist always says like, well, has he been consistent? Yeah, is he consistent. And the truth is, it’s been so consistent that I am increasingly anxious about the steep decline. I’m like, This is so dang good. There’s no possible way this will continue at this rate, you know, like, what’s gonna happen, you know, and I don’t want to it’s that other shoe dropping? It’s the worst part of the lowest developed form of me. Yeah, you know, and it doesn’t show up. I’m trying not to let it affect. Yeah. But what do I do? Because he’s just kind of he’s so chill. He’s literally like, No, it’s good. I love it. Everything’s fine.

Dr. Morgan:

I definitely have so much I can tell dive.

Nicole:

Do you feel this from me?

Dr. Morgan:
Yeah, I want to check in with him.

Alex:

I have felt that from you. But what the funny thing about it is kind of takes me back to the things that you know, what I was saying before, like bringing certain things into the relationship and that kind of like anxiety. Yeah. But like, frequently, you know, we’ve come up with the term like, don’t think for me. Yeah, yeah, that’s something that we that we say for each other all the time. 

Less nowadays, because we’ve, like, gotten better about it. But sometimes we will try so hard to anticipate the other’s needs, that we end up messing up even more. Like, let me just like we’ve learned to just do the thing that we feel is right. And if there’s a problem, we will expect our partner to say that there’s a problem.

Nicole:

Yeah, like there’s a face on your face.

Alex:

I’ll say to her, there’s a face on your face. If I’m not there, she’s like, I can you know what I mean? That’s, that’s like a phrase.

Nicole:
So or say it messy. That’s another one.

Alex:
She tells me. She tells me say it messy if I don’t know how to phrase something, she’ll just say it just say messy.

Dr. Morgan:

This is so good. So I’m proud of you all.

Nicole:
Yeah. Doing relationship. And then this is just because you haven’t done a lot of therapy. This is how it starts. Next will be like, but here are some areas where you can grow, right?

Dr. Morgan:

Here we go with the sandwich technique. <laughs>

Alex:

Yeah yeah yeah.

Nicole:

Here are some areas you can grow, it’s all a hot mess. But also keep at it keep at it. That’s therapy.

Dr. Morgan:

No, like, like, seriously that so many good things that you shared. So for you recall, I would say remember that when you are different, you get different results in a relationship, different inputs, different outputs. It’s science. Yeah, yeah, that you show up different, you get different results. You are so different from that version of you before.

Nicole:

So, true. So true.

Dr. Morgan:

So you got to remember that and then I would say and I feel like you’ll like this, I want you to lean into your relationship vision of how you want to feel. Ooh. So I want you to think about what are your core emotions and how you want to feel in your relationship with Alex.

Nicole:

Skinny. <laughs> Youthful. You’re laughing at me!

Dr. Morgan:

I love that that’s what you come up with. You want to feel adored. I want to feel adored, safe, emotionally safe. Yeah, that’s true all the all day believe yourself, too. Yes. So you do that. And then here’s the cool part, you write out what that looks like in practice. Like all the ways that those core feelings that you desire, your Northstar. Your emotions of how you want to feel good.

Nicole:

You know, he does a lot of that. Wait do I have to give him that list? Or is it just for me?

Dr. Morgan:

Well, it depends. You could give it to him.

Nicole:

Like are these action items or is it more like, like, a practice? So like, if I want to feel respected? Yeah. Right. And in order for me to feel respected, he manages the budget, you know, or something, I don’t know how to like abstract or whatever, would I then say I need to communicate that or is that something where it’s just like, I can keep it in my mind and if it happens, I can say yes, I am respected. Like so

Dr. Morgan:

It’s a little bit of both. It helps you know, okay, this is how I want to feel right. So it helps you know what to give feedback on and then it also helps you go oh my gosh, this is exactly how I want I feel and he’s doing this thing and wow, this is my, this is my relationship vision. I feel this way.

Nicole:
So here’s how I feel. Oh okay, so here’s how I feel all the time because I’ve never done this exercise, I will pop up in my house and this fellow will be in there. And I will find lots of little ways where I’m just like, holy cow, he loves me. So things like what’s the thing that you’ve been doing very consistently that you know, if I come home and see it, I’m gonna be like, best boyfriend in the world.

Alex:
It’s so simple.

Nicole:
I tell you, I see this and I will, I will dang near tear up because it’s just so loving. So loving.

Alex:
Making the bed.

Nicole:
Making the bed. Let me tell you how it came up, though. So we move in together. And when we move in, I up until moving in not to make the bed person. He didn’t even know I was that person. But it was because I was coming off of a divorce, a state of my life like I just like.

Alex:

We were together for almost a year, never. I had no idea it was a thing.

Nicole;

But a part of it was the represent you’ll love this as a therapist, like I had just bought a new house full of lots of furniture. So the things I had before were like, not mine, I didn’t feel permanent. It just the level of care I was putting into my life was not reflective of the best version of myself.

But in this new relationship, this new foundation, we’re building a home together and like my kids are with me and like I really wanted to show up the way that I my best evolved self, which includes making my bed in the morning, you know, and like I was returning to myself, you know, and so I felt bad because I literally looked at him. I was like I need to tell you something. I’m a make the bed person and I was like, really? Yeah, and I was like I’m so tell me more about this on you. I know that this is not what I mean. This is like when we first started dating I told him I was like, I lose socks in like laundry and…

Alex:

The stress you had over socks MY GOD because I enjoy fun socks. I enjoy a fun good pair of socks because nobody sees them. They’re just for me. They’re silly.

Nicole:
You can mismatched fun socks. I buy all solid black ones so I don’t need the pressure of matching.

Alex:

I mean, but it turned into like a real conversation. I was like maybe they’re just socks like it’s okay.

Nicole:

I’ll never get it right, it’ll be mismatched. Like how committed are you to like the hamburgers with the bananas. But it’s because I’ve been overdoing it also, like I literally end because I’ve had the the one relationship that didn’t pan out the way I wanted it to. Plus I’ve been super therapy. So I am so tender with this fella. Yeah.

Alex:

To me about the funniest thing, laughable. Because I’m just like, it’s socks. Like, it’s cool. I’ll buy new socks.

Nicole:

From a healing standpoint is watching him be not dismissive, but not as serious about things that I’m so nervous about heels. Me too, because I’m like, Oh my gosh, it’s kind of like, you know, being a Christian like, you know, the Bible talks about how God cares about the big and the small, you know, like for God to give me a million dollars, but also give me green lights on the way home. You know, it’s one of those things where you’re like gosh he really is everywhere and cares about me on all levels.

And so with Alex Yes, like he does big things like bring me flowers, you know, and he does big things like for every holiday occasion birthday anniversary, even things that I’m like, I don’t even care like or I have like a big deal I sign or something this guy was the first person to say we will celebrate. Yeah, and I will plan it I will surprise you like to celebrate each other in those moments. I don’t even know what that is, though. That was like not my previous relationship. I literally didn’t get birthday gifts it and get Mother’s Day gifts. I you know, for over a decade.

Dr. Morgan:
You’ve got to just soak up how good this feels. So stinking good.

Nicole:

I literally have to say to myself, You know what, even if this whole thing is going to be a mess, he is setting a new bar, the next guy is gonna have to be amazed. Because I am learning.

Alex:

Because I what I will add to what you just said and I have talked to other friends in relationships who have had this particular problem, who’s been together for like, a long time, like when you’re with somebody for a while, like you evolve in certain ways, and you change in certain ways. And then it’s very easy to be like, Well, you’re not the person I married or you’re not the person that I first got with it’s like, you shouldn’t be. You shouldn’t be the person to say 10 years ago or five years where you know, there should be certain changes and so, you know, when you were like I’m gonna make the bed person I’m like, Okay, if this is we’ve evolved you are now I’m like, Okay, I accept you. Oh for you you even if you are make the bed. But it’s like those little things. You know what I mean?

Nicole:
Like we didn’t finish the whole story, he’s become a make the bed person.

Alex:

Because I’ll walk in and I’d be like, You know what, it is nicer when you walk in the bed space. It wasn’t really a thing that I did because like my parents tried to get me to make the bed and I was always very resistant. Sorry, I’ve made like, this is my space. I don’t care about this. Who cares? But now that I’ve done it on a regular basis, I see where that simple act of making the bed translates into other parts of your life. Just making sure this one thing, bed, you know, like, yeah, just yeah, just translates into different work keeping your room tidy, or like it translates to professional life in these weird ways that you didn’t see coming, but it does.

Nicole:
I love you so much! I mean healing. Like the stuff you’re saying right now. Like, I have been dismissed for things that, like, he’s just saying, like, I mean, I would say, hey, this thing is important to me. And here’s why. And the idea that you understand, you know, being seen, heard and understood, like, I get that from this man, you know, and then to know that, like, just simple things, he was leaving for tour, and I came back and I know what it’s like when he’s running out the door. This is the king of I forget all my stuff. I’m scrambling. I don’t want to be late, like a mess, right? He is worried about leaving his instruments and his mic, right.

So I know what it’s like with him running out the door. I came back after, you know, he’d left after the work day and the bed was made. I don’t want to cry about it. But it’s true. It’s like knowing that like even in that chaos of him leaving out the door and worrying about all his stuff. He still was like, I could do this one thing. So she can come back to a neat bed. And it was just any even said to me, I don’t know if I make it the way that you make it. But if you want to show me like I can do that too.

Dr. Morgan:

I love it.

Nicole:
Like I was, he’s a professional boyfriend.

Dr. Morgan:
So good. This is attunement, attunement to you and to what your needs are.

Nicole:

And I’m like, there’s no way I could be this good of a girlfriend to adult like there’s no way.

Alex:

You are. We both are, we help each other out when we need to. I mean, like we, we need to. I mean, I even remember I got into a conversation with this random guy on an airplane. And he was like, literally this guy was sitting next to me. Yeah, this guy was sitting next to me. And like, I don’t know, if I put the energy like, I’m an open book. You know, I’m like, let’s talk about this stuff. I don’t care. And he was just like, he let out this sigh. I looked at him. I was like, bro, you okay? And he was like, I’m just, I’m just getting into it with my girlfriend. I’m like, can you look at this text? Can you show me like, what’s going on?

Nicole:
This is his life.

Alex:
I’m like, Alright, let me see. Let me see.

Nicole:
He also likes the tea. He’s like, looking at the drama.

Alex:

I’m nosy, nosy. But so he started showing me his texts. I’m like reading this stuff. I’m like, you know, I was like, Well, where did this come? Where he’s like, Well, you know, I’ve been on this trip. I was with my boys. And I didn’t pick up calls and stuff and all this stuff. And I was like, Well, did you ever like send a text or call or just check ins I was like, I’m just like out like, what do I have to do all that I’m like, you don’t have to but like, like, this is like, you’re gonna get some of this.

You know what I mean? Because like they think like, like the women were saying, out of sight out of mind, you’re not thinking of them. All she wants to know is that when you’re gone, you’re still thinking about her. That’s really all she probably wants to know.

Nicole:
Professional boyfriend I’m telling you.

Alex:

I was like, just drop a text be like, hey, love you. Like, think about you. I’m out with my boys. I’ll talk to you later, or pick up the call and be like, Hey, I’m out. I love you. I’ll talk to you later. Simple.

Dr. Morgan:

And the deeper level is you’re creating secure attachment when you do that. Most arguments are because you feel like you might have some insecure attachment.

Nicole:

So when a woman asked for stuff like that, you know, first help us with some levels on this. You know what I mean? Because guys will say all the time you’re clinging. Like that’s too much. Why are you obsessed with me? Why are you trying to control me? Other women will say like, Am I too needy? Am I asking for too much? Do I need to, I shouldn’t have to do all that like, yeah, I should be able to trust it, like help us level set that because like, I know that I one thing we’ve always said in our relationship since the beginning is we don’t care what other people’s definition is. Like, if this is what we need. This is it. Like if he told me Look, the way that I can feel loved is every day I come home have a hot plate ready for me. And for me, that is negative nothing to do because it is he knows like I don’t care about that at all like and, like I’ll do it. You know what I mean? That’s the and I’ll apologize if it’s not done. If I said that that’s an expectation that you know, I’m going to do so in our relationship. We definitely have some things spoken about and unspoken about, that we do for each other. That is, may not be what other people would do. You know?

Dr. Morgan:
You are talking about one of my favorite things. Relationship culture.

Nicole:

Ooh, tell us about that.

Dr. Morgan:

Every relationship has a culture you have spoken norms, unspoken norms and customs.

Nicole:
That’s so interesting. So when we hear from people who are saying like, Oh, that’s clinging Oh, that’s this. Maybe they just haven’t defined what works in their relationship or

Dr. Morgan:

Yeah, I think well, I will say like, there is a point where you have to learn how to show up as securely attached as possible, right? And create that open, honest direct communication. I believe that should be a part of every you know, every person’s relationship. Open, honest direct communication. You do have to be able to get to a place where you say, what is helpful for the relationship, you know how you were talking about filtering.

So many people need to learn this.

Nicole:

I have a therapist. So I never feel like I really have to Filter Filter, because there’s always a place I can put it.

Dr. Morgan:

Exactly, yeah, and I don’t even really like that term. But it’s this idea of, I’m going to be intentional when I go to my partner, I’m going to bring to the relationship, what’s helpful in creating secure attachment. And I’m going to do that intentionally because I really care about this person, I care about our relationship.

So there’s some things that are just about me, or maybe even about my childhood or about my past relationships, I could spiral out of control and send those 17 text messages. Or I could work on that for myself, because I need to work on it, and bring to my partner what is needed for us to create secure attachment.

So it’s both right when people say that, Oh, they’re so clingy. They’re needy, it’s like they probably just don’t know how to express or the other person is very avoidantly attached doesn’t have capacity to hear them. Right. So there’s just so many different factors.

Nicole:

How do you know you’re dealing with a crazy though?

Alex:
A crazy, what is it? That’s the worst way to word it <laughs>

Nicole:

Red flags? Are we saying to ourselves, no. Red flag. So Sis, I want to let you know your avoidant personality attachment style is showing and I need you’re anxious, and I need you to understand that you either put that away and get secure, or we can’t be together because Alex will do that with me. Like, I’ll do stuff that I’m sure for some guys might be like red flag, you know, but Alex will be like, you don’t think that you’re gonna have any red flags? That’s why we together. Yeah, you liked green to him. He’s colorblind. He can’t see the difference.

But all that being said, like, you know, is it just that you have to find a partner where you know, the red flags work for you? Cause a narcissist, a narcissist, right? And our system will send you those 17 messages. And it’s like, I don’t want to go to them be like, Hey, this isn’t working for me on this level. And, you know, or is it their response to the boundaries that tells you they’re crazypants.

Dr. Morgan:
So there’s, there’s so much here, I feel like we could do another three hours.

Nicole:
We could, we could. I mean, I love this.

Alex:
Me too.

Dr. Morgan:

But I mean, you have to be able to give feedback. I feel like in our culture, especially with the abundance of people on the dating apps, people are so quick to just be like, this is an uncomfortable conversation. I’m just gonna ghost.

Nicole:

That’s right. I’ll just swipe right to just go find someone else.

Dr. Morgan:

So I would say I challenge you to give feedback, allow people to grow with you and give people feedback. And then once you give feedback, if they’re still not able to course correct, or you know, they don’t respect your boundaries, then hey, you have your evidence, and they can’t grow.

Nicole:
You are so healthy Alex. Did you know he does that? Remember, when I told you I was like, how will we know this isn’t? How do I know you’re not harboring? I’m telling you, I mean, I really needed therapy. Let me tell you, when we got into this relationship, the first thing I said to you was like, Well, how do I know you’re not secretly like harboring and you don’t want to talk about it? Like you’re not because just because of my previous relationships like resentment, resentment, and then all of a sudden it to spill, you know.

Alex:

And I am guilty of that. Sometimes I don’t always speak up when something kind of rubs me the wrong way are amazing as you are. And I know you don’t think you’re ever annoying, but sometimes blessing everyone, no noise, everybody sometimes. That’s just like a relationship. So you say, you’re perfect, you’re perfect.

Nicole:

And I’m a blessing. No, but no, but like, we would have things you know, to him. And then he would say, look like even in a relationship you give them feedback, yeah, feedback, then eventually, if it doesn’t change, then you know, it’s not a good fit, because he’s had long term relationships.

Alex:

And I would always have a long term relationship. Yeah, five years, three years.

Nicole:
I’m like, How do I know you’re not just gonna be with me for five years? And then leave me yesterday? Me and like, what is like, how do I know that you’re not just like, perfectly satisfied, then you’re not. Because I’m the type where I’m like, it’s like a business. You know what I mean? I’m like these, this math ain’t mathing I don’t need five years. Right. But he’s not like that. So I was like, what’s going on and he told me.

Alex:

I was also like that, it was circumstantial. So I was also like, 22, you know, that? You know, there was also like, 22. And, yeah, right. And I was also like, since the beginning of that particular relationship, you know, she was from the East Coast, and you know, in LA, and she was constantly telling me from the get go, Oh, we’re probably doomed to fail. I’m going to end up moving back to New York. Ladadika. So, and she said, That was a phrase she said a lot. And so in my mind, I was like, Okay, I’m gonna be with you because I like you are you work hard? I can learn from you. This is something good, but also, I don’t know how much stock I can put in this because it feels like it’s going to end. Yeah, you know what I mean? So if you’re setting that expectation from the beginning, you know, she was also the type where it was like, even over time, if we had any issues, there was no transparency there. Communication are any Yeah, cuz she was from a background where it was like, that’s how he did where it was like she’s the perfect housewife like she cleaned, she cooked, she worked hard, she did all this stuff.

And I was like, she was like, This is what she was brought up to be from her from her mother with immigrant mother. And I was just like, that’s all fine and great. But that’s not like what I’m looking for. 

Nicole:
And I was raised this way too.

Alex:
And maybe this is the ideal, but this isn’t what I want. And we’re having this and this and this and issues. And every time I bring it up, she wants to sweep it under the rug, literally pretend like it doesn’t exist. Otherwise, there’s not like this picture perfect relationship. And like, I don’t want a picture perfect relationship and I want a real one.

Dr. Morgan:

I love you brought this up. Because I always say you got to find someone where you want to build the same kind of relationship. You wanted a vulnerable, connected real relationship.

Alex:
If we’re having issues let’s talk about and pretend they don’t exist.

Dr. Morgan:

Some people want perfect. Some people want the surface level, let’s just be in our roles, you know, but you want to build with somebody that wants to build the same kind of relationship that you want.

Nicole:

But you also want to be safe, too, you know, like, and it’s crazy. I mean, we watch White Lotus, there are some people who are okay with the surface level perfect. And that is really what they want is I just want to be perfect. And we all do our own thing.

Alex:
We look perfect, but behind the closed doors.

Dr. Morgan:
Oh I gotta watch it.

Nicole:
So I know we could stay here forever. Honestly, I appreciate all of the feedback. Alex, do you have any final pieces that will help affirm how much of a catch you have? Go?

Alex:
She is amazing, and beautiful and smart and I’m dumb, and she’s beautiful and I’m ugly.

Nicole:
The secret to staying in a relationship? Right there.

Dr. Morgan:

I want to give you two feedback. I just feel like…

Nicole:
Oh wait a minute now.

Dr. Morgan:
Can I?

Nicole:

Please, please, this is amazing. Thank you for giving us free feedback. For this, y’all seriously buy the book, I’m telling you I feel like I should pay for this. So yes, feedback. Tell us all the things because we also want to stay together. Yeah, that is the goal.

Dr. Morgan:

Yeah. Well, I feel like you have a great foundation, it’s so clear that you care so much about each other. And I think that you’re very good at allowing each other to still be individuals and supporting each other in that. And I would say just enjoy what you have and continue to find ways that’s all about you. Yeah.

Nicole:

She’s talk to me. <laughs> Here’s a feedback. So Nicole, calm down girl. Okay.

Dr. Morgan:

Here’s, here’s my phrase for you are okay. You’ll remember, it’s short. It’s super short. Yes. The better it gets, the better it gets.

Alex:
I like that.

Nicole:

Like, my nine year old right now was like, yes. No, it’s true. Yes, Ah, it’s so true.

Dr. Morgan:

And you too, are such a light. And I’m just excited for you to grow and just even what you’re going to do in the world and the examples that you’re going to be for the young kids in your life, with your relationship. So it’s beautiful. Yeah.

Nicole:

Not Dr. Morgan putting babies at me. I’m ready for it. On this note, Morgan, you are incredible. You are brilliant. I am so grateful. You’re in this world doing the work you’re doing just because there’s got to be a next generation. You’re speaking our language, and we need it. We really, really need it. So thank you so much. And where can we find you? We’re all listening to your podcast. Let’s get vulnerable already. That’s already happening. So where else can we find you? And how can we work with you?

Dr. Morgan:

So I’m on Instagram. It’s Dr. Morgan coaching. I have a daily posts on there with information. The podcast let’s get vulnerable. The book Love magnet, available everywhere books are available. And that’s it, honestly, but I love to hear from people.

Nicole:

Are you taking any patients?

Dr. Morgan:

Oh, yeah. So I am. My program is the only way to work directly with me. So I still I work with inside of the program. It’s empowered, secure, loved. There’s an application because we just want to make sure it’s a good fit. Sure. So I can get you that link. But it’s all on my Instagram. 

Nicole:
Yeah, it’ll be in the show notes. Yeah, one if you are finding yourself desiring a relationship, or if you’re even in that waiting season, which is very real, where you’re like, I don’t even know when it’s coming or what I’m looking for. But this is a great time to ready yourself. You know, and, and I think a lot of us take that for granted, you know.

Alex:
It seems like they’re already in one and there’s something they want to identify.

Dr. Morgan:

I do help people who are already married. It’s right. But it’s kind of like so if you need help doing the work and you’re like what the hell is the work right? Because as we’re saying, like you have so much awareness but if you want to actually move beyond awareness and take action and learn how to show up differently. That’s what my program is.

Nicole:

I love that. You know, I love a tool. So thank you so much. You are a gift, a blessing, a light. Everyone check out the show notes, listen to the podcast, get the book and get better because it only gets better, if you better.

Alex:

Wise words from Nicole Walters. <laughs>

Dr. Morgan:

The better it gets, the better it gets.

Nicole:

The better it gets, the better it gets. Thank you so much, Dr. Morgan.

Dr. Morgan:

Thank you. Thank you for having me. So fun.

 
In this episode, we chat with Dr. Morgan Anderson about:
  • Attachment theory and how to use it in your relationships!
  • Why Dr. Morgan found this to be the MISSING PIECE in the dating puzzle,
  • A clinical term you’re going to love as much as I did, and
  • How to become aware of your attachment style so you can show up healthy in a relationship

Resources and links mentioned in this episode:
  • Find Dr. Morgan on Instagram and listen to her podcast HERE
  • Get Dr. Morgan’s book HERE or wherever you buy your books!
  • Work with Dr. Morgan by going HERE
  • Find me on Instagram and Facebook!
  • Book a 20 min call to see if working together is the right next step for you!
  • Don’t miss our last episode on reviewing your year
  • I love reading your reviews of the show! You can share your thoughts on Apple here!

More about The Nicole Walters Podcast:

If you’re looking for the strategies and encouragement to pursue a life of purpose, this is the podcast for you! Week after week Nicole Walters will have you laughing hysterically while frantically taking notes as she shares her own personal stories and answers your DMs about life, business, and everything in between.

As a self-made multimillionaire and founder of the digital education firm, Inherit Learning Company, Nicole Walters is the “tell-it-like-it-is” best friend that you can’t wait to hang out with next.

When Nicole shows up, she shows OUT, so tune in each week for a laugh, a best friend chat, plus the strategies and encouragement you need to confidently live a life of purpose.

Follow Nicole on IG @NicoleWalters and visit inheritlearningcompany.com today and click the button to join our betterment community. Your membership gives you access to a world of people and tools focused on helping you build the life you want.