Young Hip & Married - Staying In Love

Published November 1, 2017

Vancouver Wedding

Photo by Erica Miller Photography

Tell us about yourself?

My name is Shawn Miller and I am the founder and owner of Young Hip & Married. I am a husband (of 13 years) to my beautiful wife Erica, and Papa to my four incredible children, Zion-9, Vannden-7, Onyx-5, and Emmanuella-3. I’m a Master Practitioner of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programing), a professionally trained Life Coach, and Wedding Officiant. When I’m not working on Young Hip & Married you can find me on the mountain, outdoors with my family or experimenting in the kitchen. I love to fill our home with laughter and conversations between good friends. I believe that every day alive is a gift that in turn should be given away.    

How do you define marriage?

First and foremost, I do not believe in one definition of marriage. I believe that marriage, at its core, is a legal agreement between two individuals in a personal relationship. But that sounds pretty boring and doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the magic that takes place when two people in love commit their lives to one another. For me, marriage is the commitment of my life to Erica’s. I have committed my life to her, in service of helping her live her best life possible. In turn, she has done the same thing for me. It is often said that marriage is a 50/50 relationship, but for Erica and I marrige is 100/100. And when we are both leaning in 100/100 we’re able to create some serious magic in our lives.

How do you define love?

For me, love is servitude. Love is meant to be given away and it always puts others first. Yes, there are many intense emotions and feelings that come along with love but it is so much more than that. Ultimately, it is about living your life in service of another. And it’s much easier said than done.

What are the main reasons couples fall apart?

Couples fall apart for all sorts of reasons. We have all seen a couple who is perfect for each other and then three years later, their relationship is over. What happened? At the end of the day, I believe it comes down to a few things. One of those is open and honest communication. You don’t just wake up one day and decide your relationship is beyond saving and that you are out (ok, maybe this has happened before). But my point is, that before this decision was made, things would have been brewing beneath the surface. Often we have doubts about our relationships, or question our feelings towards our partners or their feelings towards us; this is very common. Where we mess up is when we do not talk about it. We need to talk about how we are feeling, and not just the good. We need to talk about the bad and the ugly as well. Bringing issues and concerns out into the light allows them to be discussed and challenged. In turn, this prevents them from transforming into something that can kill the relationship.

Vancouver Wedding

Photo by Erica Miller Photography

How do couples stay in love?

In order for a couple to remain in love they both must be receiving and giving to each other as well as to their relationship. Every couple will have their own set of guiding principles that govern their relationship. Often, these principles live beneath the surface of everyday life and are never defined or discussed. They are the unwritten rules of the relationship.  As long as both parties are living according to these, love will exist between them. The thing is, we change, and the rules change and we neglect to talk about it. A great question to continually ask each other is: “How loved by me do you feel?” or “What can I do so you feel loved by me?” These questions are a game changer but they only work if you are committed to following through. So once you ask the question, you need to be ready to take action.

How do you build a strong foundation?

A foundation is first laid down when you are getting ready to build. For most of us, the foundation of our intimate relationship is built long before it has even come to our awareness. With that being said, we can always go back with our partner and look at the foundation we have built. Do you like the relationship you have built? Are there parts of your relationship foundation that need to be re-examined or replaced? A great place to start is by discussing what you want out of the relationship. How do you define a successful relationship? What is the end game? What do you want to get out of life? The foundation you lay will help sustain you as you grow and navigate your way through life together.

Vancouver Wedding

Photo by Emily Nicole Photos

What values are important in a relationship?

What ever values you have, I believe it is very important that they are shared. A couple with strong conservative religious beliefs will likely have very different values from a couple who is more liberal or agnostic. The point being whatever values you have, it is important to be on the same page.

Do you have any other tips to keep the relationship strong?

  • Never stop dating each other.
  • Have as much sex as possible.
  • Don’t have secrets. Talk about everything, especially the hard stuff.
  • Dream together about the life you want to build.
  • Ask for what you want and be willing to sacrifice in order to give your partner what they want.