Jay Cadet, Life & Relationship Coach Interview

written by Jenni Lewis, photos courtesy of www.co3studio.com


Howdy Folks,

Ever heard of the saying “First Comes Love…Then Comes Drama?”  It’s quite funny but also an evitable truth for most couples. Conflict is a natural part of life; it’s how we deal with it that defines us and ultimately defines our happiness.

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Jay Cadet, Founder of [co]3studio to pick his brain on some the challenges that a couples face and how coaching may be just the tool needed to navigate those choppy waters. Jay is certified life and relationship coach that specifically (though not exclusively) works with the Gen-Y crowd on their unique set of relationship woes. [As old as I feel, I am technically still a Gen-yer…SMH] He is also author of the fun and informative Just Let Your Relationship Be Great. Could it really be that simple? Go squeeze into your favorite Reading Rainbow t-shirt, sit back and let’s find out!

Jenni: So Jay, is it true are men from Mars and women from Venus? Do I need to get my space suit out of storage?

Jay: Though it might have easily been the case 20-30 years ago, it’s definitely not our reality today.

Many of the traits that set men and women apart with regards to relationships are scripts simply given to us by those who influenced us growing up. Those very social norms for men and women alike have been broken down and challenged over the years, leading to the conclusion that each and every one of us approaches relationships in a unique way and should be treated as such.

If there’s one thing I’ve experienced is that the way we love and feel loved is unique to every person, and not specific to gender roles. The assumption that it is often leads to the very friction that leads couples to want to come to see a relationship coach in the first place.

While stereotypes may hold truth for some people, the only way to learn your partner and build intimacy with them is through communication and shared activities. It is through these two things that we get a true sense for who our partner really is.

Jenni:  As a certified relationship coach, what  do you feel is the major difference between coaching and couples therapy or couseling?

Jay: A counselor is someone who gives you their expertise on what a great relationship should look like. A coach is someone who pushes you to explore yourself and what a great relationship means to YOU.

In other words, a counselor gives you answers, a coach helps you find your own answers.

Jenni:  So do you find that most men push back on the idea of seeing a relationship coach or couples counselor?

Jay: This was my expectation for how things would probably work when I was getting into the business. Interestingly, I’ve received more inquiries for my coaching services from men than from women, which is great. It just goes to show there are a lot of men taking initiative for the quality of their relationship and taking the wheel to make things better.

Jenni:  A lot of people are now throwing around the terms millenniums and gen-Y. Why do they need their own specific type of relationship coaching. 

Jay: Generation Y are currently twenty something’s and early thirty something’s and take an entirely different approach to our relationships than the generations that preceded us.

Things like the dramatic change in gender roles, growing up watching the generation before us fail miserably at marriage and also growing up with social media and online dating have altered the way we define successful relationships and how we approach them. goods-letyourrelationshipbegreat

We don’t simply follow social norms and will challenge all conventional thinking with a big WHY. In my eBook, “Just Let Your Relationship Be Great“, I speak about how not only did we move away from them, but have even developed a skepticism around how the previous generation approached their relationships as a whole.

Jenni: Speaking of … Gen-Y has the all night highest divorce rate like ever – why do you think that is? I know you specialize in unmarried couples, but do you work with married couples as well?

Jay: I do work with married couples, but my focus is working with unmarried couples, for that precise reason. Because the divorce rate is at an all-time high, folks are delaying making the big decision more than ever, so they can ‘get their lives in order’. We live in an age where the self-help industry is booming and people want to get it right the first time.

Almost paradoxically, there are still many married folks who view divorce as a viable option to dealing with their relationship problems. It’s easier to do than ever and is almost encouraged as an ‘easier way out’ of your challenges [although there’s nothing easy about it]. Unfortunately, the divorce rate for second and third marriages is even higher and people are beginning to realize that maybe it’s not about marriage itself or even about the people they’re with. More and more folks are coming to the conclusion, “Maybe it’s me.”

Jenni: As a relationship coach, do you often get the question “is this [relationship] supposed to be hard?”

Jay: Yes, although not in the form of a question, but a belief they’ve come to assume about how their relationship should work. I always say that one of the keys to success in a relationship is being enthusiastic about where it’s headed. When couples have a clear vision for the future of their relationship, they begin to see the hard work as simple stepping stones that will get them where they really want to be as opposed to seeing problems as mountains in the way of their happiness.

Think about school work. When you took classes you were excited about learning, the work became fun and exciting. Only when you were in a class you didn’t really see the value in, did you see the work as a chore. That’s a really important thing to remember that I discuss more in depth in my eBook.

Jenni: When do you think is the ideal time to seek coaching, at the start of the relationship or when the honeymoon is over?

Jay: The best way to avoid problems from consuming your relationship is to be proactive about them. Whether that’s during the honeymoon phase or after getting engaged, I encourage folks to get coaching as soon as your ready to get serious about how to build a solid foundation for your relationship to last, the same way you’d get an inspection before purchasing a home.

If you know there are things you’re bringing into the relationship that you want to change, it’s never too early to get coaching. If it’s about getting you and your partner on the same page about where your relationship is headed and how you’re going to get there, it’s never too early to get coaching. As much as coaching can help when things get tough, tackling those molehills before they become mountains can save you a lot of time, energy and stress.

Your relationship is an investment that should appreciate in value. The only way to do so, is to make sure you’re proactive about it’s weaknesses and get a handle on them before they get to tough to deal with.

Jenni: As you know, I recently attended one of your Couples Game Night. Even though I feel that my hunny and I were robbed of third place {!}…we had a ball and some yummy burgers after (shout out to Harlem Shake!). How did you get into hosting game night?

Jay: Well my wife and I always enjoyed going to events and seminars that focused on building better relationships. And one night while attending a fun event for singles [we went to support a friend’s book release], I couldn’t help but be jealous. Here are all these single folks who are having a great time and meeting new people. There were fun activities, good music and drinks. It was an awesome event.

I kept thinking, “How come there aren’t any events like this for couples?” I mean, it’s harder for couples to meet other couples actively, without coming off as strange or with some freaky agenda on your mind. After a while, date night can get boring and everyone loves fun and games. So I decided to create that space for us to do so.

I started Couples Game Night for three reasons. To provide a space where couples can come to make new friends, talk about some of the topics we often don’t address, but in a fun and safe space and to simply have a good time.

Couples who come always leave having made some great connections, which always makes me happy. Even myself and my wife have made some great friends through the event.

Couples always walk away having some food for thought and interesting new perspectives on some of the challenges they face in their relationship. The thing that keeps most of us from addressing these topics is the fear of what our partner might think of us or how a perceived problem might affect the relationship. Doing so in a fun and competitive space with couples who are also dealing with them often eases those fears and opens up the dialogue between couples long after the event is over.

Lastly, simply having fun and taking a break from the stresses of your work week and other areas of your life is essential for couples, regardless of whether their relationship is great or struggling. Couples Game Night is a great alternative to the typical dinner and a movie date night.

Jenni: I’m going to have to get all in your biz for quick sec. I am dying to know how  your experience as a coach helped with your personal relationship? Like do you use your coaching super powers to steer clear of drama?

Jay: Haha, that’s perfectly fine. My wife and I took advantage of pre-marital counseling and therapy to help us get things in order before we tied the knot. It helped us both deal with some of the deeper issues that stemmed from our past, but coaching is the process that really got us on the same page and propelled our relationship forward.

Speaking for myself, being coached pushed me outside of my comfort zone and forced me to really be honest about some of the qualities that I was bringing to the relationship that were getting in our way. For instance, being stubborn in my ways was something I struggled with for a long time. My coach really helped me get in touch with the fears that were keeping me from simply experiencing my life and my relationship outside of my narrow views. She really challenge the beliefs and assumptions that I harbored for such a long time and helped me understand how they were affecting my relationship with my wife. She was non-judgmental and encouraging, which made it so much easier for me to want to make the change into the best version of myself I could be.

Although there’s not a relationship without disagreements, we’re able to be more proactive about them by getting a grip on things before they get out of control. We’ve been able to learn what works best for both of us when we’re not on the same page and give each other the space to handle our differences with respect and patience.

More than anything, my coaching ‘super powers’ have given me more control over myself and how I show up in our relationship. As a result, my behavior has influenced my wife as well, and vice versa. We’ve realized that a healthy relationship is not about giving and taking, but about giving and giving. Reciprocity is a beautiful thing.

Jenni: When you were younger, did you ever envision that one day you would be a Love Guru?  

Jay: Growing up, I never saw myself being anything other than an architect because it was all I was interested in from a young age.

As I became older and sought more meaning in my work and my purpose, I felt strongly the importance of building better communities through bettering the built environment and applied that purpose to my work in architecture.

When I realized that I had a knack for coaching family and friends through their relationship challenges, I realized that my true purpose was still in building better communities, but through helping couples build stronger relationships. At the end of the day, the quality of our communities is dependent on the quality of our relationships.

Our generation struggles to see the value in long-term commitments and struggle with making the transition from me-to-we in an independent focused society. My job is to really help them break through the personal challenges that keep them from being able to make that transition into a life-long commitment with their partner. That, to me is a lot more powerful and direct way to build better communities.

Jenni: Thank you for chatting with me and letting my pick your brain. I’m sure a lot of folks will want to reach out to you, what’s the best way to do so? 

Jay: I love to spend time on my social networks like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, chatting about relationship challenges and giving my two cents about how folks can better equip themselves to handle them. Signing up for my mailing list on my website is a great way to get the latest updates on my events [like couples game night], blogs and special offers only offered to my subscribers. Not to mention, you’ll get a free copy of my eBook, “Just Let Your Relationship Be Great” when you signup!

Website: co3Studio.com | Instagram & Twitter: @JayCadet | Facebook: facebook.com/co3studio


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