A student was fighting with her boyfriend about a tattoo he wanted to get, to which she was very much opposed. She sought advice from her “Marriage 101” professor Alexandra Solomon, a licensed clinical psychologist and adjunct faculty member at the School of Education and Social Policy.
Solomon encouraged the student to look at her family of origin and her boyfriend’s family of origin. Rather than just talking about tattoo vs. no tattoo, Solomon helped the student understand the bigger issues around loyalty, religion and family dynamics she was bringing into the conflict.
The strategies for navigating the ups and downs of intimate relationships taught in Northwestern’s popular “Marriage 101” class can now reach listeners everywhere when Solomon’s “Reimagining Love” podcast debuts Oct. 26.
The podcast is inspired by conversations with students and Solomon’s desire to bring more people into the discussion about relationship topics that are as relevant to 20-year-olds as they are to people in a decades-long marriage.
Podcast topics will include relationships in times of crisis, conflict-resolution, self-care and healing, family dynamics, parenting, sexuality and cross-cultural relationships.
Undergirding the podcast is Solomon’s theory of Relational Self-Awareness.
“Relational self-awareness is an ongoing curious and compassionate relationship that we have with ourselves that becomes the foundation of happy and healthy relationships with others, including an intimate partner,” Solomon said.
“Relational self-awareness is a meta-skill, a practice, a way of life. It is about coming back, again and again, to the question, ‘What can I learn about myself by studying my reaction to this moment?’”
The “Reimagining Love” production team includes producer Elizabeth Vogt (WCAS ’21), and research assistance by Megan Gaumond and Samantha Hardy, both graduate students in the M.S. in Marriage and Family Program at Northwestern. Theme music for the podcast was composed by Slade Warnken (Medill ’20).
“I hope listeners will come away with a more curious and hopeful understanding of themselves and of relationships,” Solomon said. “I also hope listeners will pick up some new tools and skills for cultivating more gentleness during difficult moments, more presence during wonderful moments and more ease during all of the moments in between.”
Listen to the podcast
“Reimagining Love” can be accessed on most leading podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts. Listen to and follow the show here.
Alexandra Solomon is a licensed clinical psychologist at The Family Institute, an adjunct faculty member at the School of Education and Social Policy, and an assistant professor of psychology at Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on relationships, family dynamics and sexual education. Solomon is the author of the books “Loving Bravely” and “Taking Sexy Back.”