Five ways to tend to existing relationships in the midst of NRE

I've talked a lot about the impact that NRE can have in previous posts - but a lot of the issues that I see people dealing with are really about NRE affects someone's ability to maintain existing relationships. This post is all about how you can tend your existing connections while you're in the middle … Continue reading Five ways to tend to existing relationships in the midst of NRE

Beyond yes/no/maybe lists – the sex menu

A sex menu is exactly what it sounds like: a menu of items that you enthusiastically enjoy at least some of the time. It is a way of increasing your sexual intimacy by communicating clearly about your desires in a way that goes beyond the basic yes/no/maybe list. Some people like to work together with … Continue reading Beyond yes/no/maybe lists – the sex menu

De-escalating your distress during a break

We take breaks when we are very upset to down-regulate our emotions. The whole purpose of the break is to reduce the intensity of your emotional activation because that makes it much more likely that you can have a constructive conflict with the other person. Unfortunately, lots of us weren’t taught how to do this … Continue reading De-escalating your distress during a break

Communicating around breaks – Part 2 – Initiating a break in conflict

When you initiate a break in conflict it is usually most effective to focus on the fact that you are initiating it for your own benefit, rather than making observations about someone else's emotions or needs. We are the experts in our own emotional state and our own emotional needs. When we express those it … Continue reading Communicating around breaks – Part 2 – Initiating a break in conflict

Communicating around breaks – Part 1 – making agreements about breaks in conflict

As I said in the first post, breaks are a controversial topic. That means that lots of people have really different views on whether or not breaks in conflict are even an OK thing to do. That means that there are two parts to communicating around breaks – the first is about having conversations that … Continue reading Communicating around breaks – Part 1 – making agreements about breaks in conflict

How do I notice whether I need a break?

I’ve already admitted that this is one of the relationship skills I struggle most with, but on the plus side that means it is one I’ve given a lot of thought to. We all have a default when it comes to breaks in conflict. Some of us default to thinking that breaks are an excellent … Continue reading How do I notice whether I need a break?

Conflict skills: Taking breaks in conflict

There are few subjects more fraught than whether or not it is a good idea to take a break in a conflict. People have very strong opinions on both sides. Some people see taking a break as essential to their mental health, their ability to calm down and hear the other person, or their ability … Continue reading Conflict skills: Taking breaks in conflict