Von Decarlo, also known as "Coach Von", is a multi-talented author, producer, performer and relationship expert who wrote the book "Speak Fluent Man", based on her own experience in a long-term and loving relationship.
We interviewed Von Decarlo so she could help us shed some light on what healthy relationships consist of and how to build one.
1. What is your book “Speak Fluent Man” about and why did you decide to write it?
Von: Speak Fluent Man is a book about relationships based on my very successful, 10 year partnership with Patrice O’Neal; a comedian well known for his out of the box philosophies on relationships and brutally honest approach. Many years before Patrice’s passing in 2011, he asked me to write book about his philosophies from my female perspective.
2. How do you help men and women improve their relationships?
Von: Reading my book Speak Fluent Man can help people realize the full potential of any type of relationship, by helping them to understand how to have the courage to live in your own truth, and accept the truth of others unconditionally. One on one, I can help couples identify exactly where they are going wrong and give tips on how they can improve. I can also help them to identify the truth as to whether or not they really want to be together or not. Sometimes, especially in long-term relationships, people know they are unhappy and want to move on, but they are afraid of change and they are afraid to be accountable for someone else’s pain.
3. What do you think the main cause (or causes) of unhappiness in couples is and what makes a couple a happy one?
Von: I think at some point in relationships, people start to not only take each other’s presence for granted, but they also start to feel some type of entitlement for the things that they do for each other, as opposed to reciprocating appreciation and respect. You should always treat the person you are with as you did in the beginning, and as time ensues, better. Both men and women tend to fall short of this, and when desires and needs aren’t met (both physical and emotional), that is when the door of cheating usually opens. Happy couples are those that consistently pay attention to their partner’s desires and needs, and increase their love, attention, appreciation, and respect to one another as time goes on.
Giving should make you feel good. That is all you need in return...— CoachVon (@VonDecarlo) August 9, 2015
4. What is one common mistake women tend to make in relationships, and what do you think women need to learn from men?
Von: I think the biggest mistake most women make is feeling like they can change whatever it is they don’t like about a man to fit what they want. Women have to realize that the only option they have with a man is to grow with him. Changing him is not an option. What women can learn from men in general, and specifically in my book, is how to think logically above their emotions.
5. What is one common mistake men tend to make in relationships and what do you think men need to learn from women?
Von: A common mistake men make is decreasing their attention once they are comfortable in the relationship. What men can learn from women in general, and specifically in my book, is how to be more affectionate and increase attention without being taken advantage of by the woman.
6. Social media can affect relationships. What would be a good use of social media when in a relationship?
Von: Social media has no place in relationships on a day-to-day basis. It can be informative to friends for things like weddings, parties, hangouts, etc. after a certain point in a relationship, but, in general, while social media can be a great place to meet new people, it can also be the relationship killer!
7. Why do some people find themselves incapable of sustaining a solid, healthy and long-lasting relationship?
Von: It is likely because they are just not ready, or have not met the person that makes sacrifices of their time and space worth it. If such is not the case, then it is likely that the person is entering relationships dishonestly and/or not being accepting of the other person’s truth. Many people spend the beginning of a relationship fabricating their truth and trying to change the other person’s truth to fit their lie. Obviously, that does not work, but surprisingly, most people will take this approach so often that it’s in their subconscious, and they don’t even realize that’s what they are doing.
If someone treats u special, reciprocate...— CoachVon (@VonDecarlo) August 8, 2015
8. When is it healthy to break a relationship?
Von: Life is short and you have to be courageous enough to say no to unhappiness. No one is worth living in regret and time is something you do not get back. It is healthy to break the relationship as soon as you know that you no longer want to be with that person. The more time that passes, the harder it will be, so no wasted time equals no regrets.
9. Do you believe in soul mates?
Von: Yes. I am a very spiritual person and I believe there are many things in this world that we do not know how to explain or put into words; you can just feel it. I also believe that people can possibly have more than one soul mate, as there are many different seasons and chapters in our lives. The 10-year chapter I spent with Patrice ended in 2011 when he died suddenly at age 41. I am hopeful that lightning can strike twice for me and I connect with a new soul for my next chapter.
10. What advice would you give to those ones that are tempted to give up on relationships?
Von: First, buy my book. The reviews I have been getting from people are astounding. Most of which are declaring that reading my book has changed their life and their way of thinking for the better. Again, life is short and you have to be courageous enough to say no to unhappiness, and take steps towards finding your own peace. Life has many ups and downs and each valley and each mountaintop is a place to learn and grow. I believe that you are always in the right place at the right time, and if you are at a place in life where you feel like you need to put relationships on hold and be alone, then do that. You will likely come out of that valley stronger and meet a great person if you look at your valleys as positive experiences and not become bitter. One way to stay hopeful is by learning and growing. I sincerely believe that my book Speak Fluent Man does just that for people. It helps all people, both men and women, learn and grow.
VISIT SPEAKFLUENTMAN.COM to purchase the book and use discount code GIRLSASKGUYS for $3 off the book when purchased directly from the site. EBook and all major retailers excluded. Expires October 1, 2015.