'Put A Ring On It': Dr. Nicole Has Advice For How Couples Can Improve Their Relationships
OWN’s dating reality series Put A Ring On It is back! The third season of the hit show features a new batch of couples who are at a crossroads in their relationships, deciding whether or not they should get married or end their relationship. In a particularly spicy move, the show has the couples date outside of their relationship to see what areas need strengthening to make their relationship better. xoNecole caught up with the show’s relationship coach Dr. Nicole LaBeach who says that fans can expect more of the same messy drama and “more couples trying to figure it out.”
Here’s Dr. Nicole’s best advice on how couples can improve their relationships.
xoNecole: What is it about dating outside of the relationship that brings clarity to couples about their own relationship?
Dr. Nicole LaBeach: [It’s] not just dating outside of the relationship, it really is [about] having a coach to help the couple figure out the answers to the questions that they've really been seeking to help them make a different move in their relationship. A lot of times our couples have thoughts in their mind, “Is the grass greener on the other side?” “If I would've done this differently, maybe this would've been a different result.”
What the dating of other couples gives them the opportunity to do is push those limits. To see are you really interested in watering your grass over here and making this grow and flourish, or is your intentionality to do something different? And if that's the case, then maybe this is not the opportunity for you to build forward in the future.
xoNecole: What are the biggest problems you have noticed couples face when trying to commit to marriage with one another?
DN: Communication. That's the big one. How they communicate, how they resolve conflict, what’s their recovery time is in resolving those conflicts. And can they really build together and give each other enough room? Because it's really about both people being able to be a part of what is the winning relationship. So, can they make enough room for each other and can they communicate effectively with some of life's greatest challenges and the simple ones and still be together in the process?
xoNecole: What is your advice for couples who want to communicate better?
DN: A lot of times our communication patterns have been learned from different relationships, often [from] our family of origin and different places that sometimes serve us very well and sometimes don't. It's our job to recognize that listening is very important and listening to hear and understand, not just listening to respond. So often when our mate is trying to communicate something to us, we've got an instant choice to make: do we really wanna hear what they have to say, or do we wanna hear to defend our position?
In our show what we get to do is help couples recognize that self-criticism will cause harm [and] criticism to their partner and criticism to themselves in communication will cause harm. Defensiveness will cause harm in the communication of the relationship [as well as] stonewalling [which is] where you just shut down. There are couples that shut down and for a couple of days, they are not on the same team. They're not talking to each other. They're not relating to each other. That will cause harm or even contempt. Research has shown that [these] things in communication can really be the make or break a couple being able to move forward in [the] long term.
"It's our job to recognize that listening is very important and listening to hear and understand, not just listening to respond. So often when our mate is trying to communicate something to us, we've got an instant choice to make: do we really wanna hear what they have to say, or do we wanna hear to defend our position?"
Courtesy of OWN
xoNecole: You’ve been a relationship coach for some time now, what made you want to branch your expertise out with this show?
DN: One of the things I love about the show is that the couples realize when they go through the process that this is really about the choice that they need to make to decide if they wanna build where they are and see it flourish. Are they really deciding that this is not the opportunity for them and they need to do something different? And I love that part. I love giving couples the opportunity to be nurtured, to have the hard conversations, and to champion them in the process so that they can make a winning decision for their relationship.
xoNecole: What is your advice to couples who are watching this show who are still undecided about whether they should take the next step in their relationship?
DN: Watch the show and talk during the commercial breaks. One of the things that we've heard a lot from our audience is that yes, in one space you are looking at it, you're peeking into the relationship of other couples, but the things that we talk about on the show are conversations that every couple has the opportunity to talk about in reference to their circumstance. So make the commercial breaks count with some popcorn and snacks and then return from the commercial break. So you have something else to talk about in the next break.
The new season of Put A Ring On It airs on OWN at 9 p.m. EST / 8 p.m. CST.
Featured image courtesy of OWN
How Content Creators Hey Fran Hey And Shameless Maya Embraced The Pivot
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
Savannah James Credits Her Mom For Helping Her Deal With Fame By Instilling Self-Confidence In Her As A Child
Savannah James has won the hearts of many over the years because she showcases the power of self-confidence and staying true to oneself through various fashion and beauty posts, regardless of the current trends and the opinions of others.
The 36-year-old, who has been with Lakers forward LeBron James for over two decades, shared she was able to form her own identity with the help of social media by unapologetically being herself because of a past experience and the lessons her mother, Jennifer Brinson, instilled in her long before LeBron became a basketball star.
During a recent interview with Vogue, Savannah revealed that one of the reasons why her mother was adamant about her having self-confidence and self-assurance was because Brinson didn't want her to conform to societal pressures as she entered the spotlight alongside LeBron.
Savannah On The Self-Confidence Her Mother Instilled in Her
In the discussion, the mother of three recounted a time when she experienced a hair disaster before her prom due to not explicitly informing her hairdresser about the particular style she wanted.
Savannah disclosed that after viewing the finished product, which consisted of a "partial updo with long bangs," she left the salon with tears streaming down her face. Although she made the best of the situation after composing herself and even posed with LeBron for the infamous prom photo, Savannah explained that was the last she remained silent about what she wanted.
As LeBron got drafted into the NBA in 2003, and the spotlight increased for the pair, Savannah stated that when it came to her looks, she took into account the past horrible experience and the advice her mom gave her about being herself to become the woman she is today.
"My mom always instilled a certain level of confidence and self-assurance in me, so I didn't go into LeBron being in the NBA and having all these spotlights around thinking that I needed to change anything about myself," she said, "I was just going with what I knew, what I was comfortable with, and what I felt looked good on me."
Savannah also mentioned to the publication that she feels it's "pretty dope" that she receives positive remarks about her life, beauty, and fashion choices.
"I'm honestly just being myself. I don't put on air or try to pretend to be something that I'm not because I can't do that very well. So for people to receive me for being who I am, that's pretty dope," the star added.
Savannah On The Talks She Has With Her Daughter Zhuri When It Comes to Hair and Beauty
Later, Savannah opened up about why sharing the experiences she learned about self-love and self-confidence with her 8-year-old daughter, Zhuri James, was necessary.
In the interview, Savannah revealed that once becoming aware that she was welcoming a girl in October 2014, she asked God for Zhuri to have a lot of hair so that she could do it "all day."
"Once I found out I was having a little girl, I was like, 'Please Lord, can she have a lot of hair? Because I just want to do her hair all day.' I never thought it would get to where it is now. You get what you pray for," she said.
Savannah also mentioned that her wish of wanting Zhuri to have long hair wasn't solely based on her physical appearance but rather on the bond they would build overall as they do beauty routines together, something she did with her mom growing up.
"It's important for me [to do her hair] because it's something that I did with my mom. It was a true bonding time that we had, and a time for her to instill confidence in me, tell me that my hair is beautiful, and embrace my curls. I do the same with Zhuri, and we can have an open dialogue about not just hair but other things too," Savannah explained as she shared details about the conversations that occur between her and Zhuri.
Whatever tactic Savannah uses when it comes to being in the spotlight, it appears to be working because she is trending so often on social media for just giving fans an honest view into her life, which is commendable.
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Feature image by Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images