Even amicable breakups are difficult for most people. When a relationship ends there is an emotional and practical disentanglement from someone that has been important to you, perhaps even your most important person. Lots of people experience distress, loneliness, relief, longing, sadness, guilt and even shame. There is a person-sized hole in your life. There … Continue reading 5 reasons to get a breakup buddy (or two)
When I was thinking about writing this piece I recalled a session that I went to on Boundaries at South West Love Fest in Tuscon last year. At that session, Diana Ryan talked about boundaries in terms of what a home would look like depending on how your boundaries were maintained. This was such a … Continue reading Boundaries: From the broken house to the fortress of solitude
Boundaries are a really important part of all relationships, be they friendships, kinship, romantic or sexual. They help you to ensure that you are treating yourself and others with respect and dignity. Fundamentally, boundaries are about honestly and directly expressing the treatment you will and will not accept from others. This means being clear about … Continue reading What are boundaries anyway?
Naturally enough, there are lots of things to pay attention to at different times in your relationship. This is just a prompt to think through some common things that come up at this stage: 1) Did your chemistry mask poor compatibility? One of the reasons that the move from NRE to ERE can … Continue reading Five things to pay attention to in the transition to existing relationship energy.
In this post and the next one I’m focusing on the shift from new relationship energy to existing relationship energy in relationships that are geographically close and where participants are a regular feature in each other’s lives. I am deliberately not talking about long-distance or comet relationships, which often have a different trajectory. I have … Continue reading From New Relationship Energy to Existing Relationship Energy
There are often legitimate fears that make it hard to act in line with our values. Afterall, we develop coping behaviours for a reason. It is usually because they were helpful to us at some time in the past. Perhaps we didn’t have control of a situation and withdrawal was a sensible solution in order … Continue reading What fears must I face to take value-based actions rather than coping behaviours?
If you have worked through the last few posts you will have identified your values, checked that they really are values, worked out how effectively you act in line with them in conflict and figured out how you behave in conflict when you are really not doing well. As you have probably guessed by now, … Continue reading What value-based actions would you like to be able to take in conflict?
Conflict is awful, and we all find ways to cope with it. Many of us saw poor role models in our family of origin, and struggle to have healthy and productive conflict with our closest people. One of the reasons for this is that we have these inbuilt mechanisms for dealing with conflict that were … Continue reading What is your go-to coping behaviour in conflict?
Today's exercise is a brief one. It is about working out which values are relevant to conflict, and establish how effectively you currently live by your values in conflict situations. Many people, myself included, find it hardest to live by their values in situations of intense stress, distress or anxiety. It is much easier to … Continue reading Take stock of where you are now in relation to values
One of my favourite things on Meg-John Barkers blog is their work on opening up and closing down. They talk about lots of different topics in relation to this, most recently new relationship energy, and I think it is a great concept for thinking about what is going on in lots of different parts of … Continue reading Do your values open you up or close you down?