USTMAX Luminary Lecture on Enduring Connection: Turning Romantic Love into Real Love
Though longtime actors Alana and Steve Monroe recently relocated their family from Hollywood, California, to Conroe, Texas, the couple’s resilient, real love is no act. At the core of their relationship is Christ’s love, according to Steve, who has also worked as a licensed marriage and family therapist for many years. During the upcoming USTMAX Luminary Lecture, he and Alana will share valuable experiences and the tools they use to cultivate enduring connection. The June 8 program, from 5:30 – 7 p.m., at Sacred Heart Catholic Church Parish Life Center, is titled “How to Communicate and Connect to Turn Romantic Love into Real Love.”
Romantic Love vs. Real Love
Steve, who has a private practice in The Woodlands, explained, “For love to endure, it must evolve. It’s unreasonable to persist in ‘the feels’ or ‘the butterflies,’ and with the stressors of everyday life, be they sickness, death, or even bills to pay, it gets ‘real’ very quickly. Searching for resolution, in the context of a committed relationship, brings us face to face with our own shortcomings. Then, at the choice point, you either withdraw because ‘I’m no longer feeling it,’ or choose to act in love, and trust you’ll find richness in relational healing on the other side of the pain.”
Alana added, “Romantic love is the butterflies. That’s ‘Hollywood love’—married, divorced, and newly married on the same day. Real love is supporting one another through a meal in an assisted living facility in our golden years.”
Who Will Benefit from this Presentation
The couple hopes to appeal to a broad and diverse audience as they largely speak to married or engaged couples, those in committed relationships, parents, and families who share a Catholic Christian faith.
Among the key points will be the following:
- “Love is not blind; it is visionary” – We seek and find in our partners the very conflict we have yet to resolve within ourselves.
- Where there is empathy, there can be intimacy.
- With communication tools, we can learn to “talk it out” rather than “act it out.”
- Relationships have the capacity to either exacerbate pain or heal pain.
On the Personal Side
Alana and Steve have been married for 12 years and have two daughters, ages 9 and 11. They are parishioners at Sacred Heart and refer to Christ’s love as their “true north.” Living in Conroe, they are happy to be close to Alana’s sister and mother.
USTMAX Center Senior Director Dr. Carla E. Alsandor was introduced to the couple by Conroe Mayor Jody Czajkoski, who also is a parishioner at Sacred Heart.
“When I met the Monroes, I was impressed with the love, respect, and support they showed for each other as well as their keen desire to serve their new community,” Alsandor said. “That is what inspired the idea for this Luminary Lecture. Their message of communication and connection within the family unit complements our mission, so I am happy to collaborate in this way. I hope the community will join us for this special presentation.”
The June 8 event is free and open to the public. Light bites and beverages will be offered. Attendees may RSVP here.