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 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

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

Boundaries: From the broken house to the fortress of solitude

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

What are boundaries anyway?

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?

Five things to pay attention to in the transition to existing relationship energy.

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.

From New Relationship Energy 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

What is new relationship energy?

New relationships energy, also talked about as NRE, is the emotional experience at the beginning of a sexual and/or romantic relationship. While the term is most popular in poly communities, it is also a feature of the start of most monogamous relationships. It includes heightened emotional and sexual excitement, and sometimes obsessive thoughts and urges … Continue reading What is new relationship energy?

Things to consider when meeting your metamour

Meeting metamours can be wonderful, scary, heartwarming, anxiety producing and all kinds of other things. How you feel about it is likely affected by the kind of relationship that you are in, how secure you are feeling and what you have heard about the other person. Before you make plans to meet up, it is … Continue reading Things to consider when meeting your metamour

5 wonderful things about slow relationship beginnings

I haven't always been a fan of slow relationships - the joys of falling deeply in lust with people upon meeting them have not entirely escaped me. I love the tummy churning excitement of first dates, the 'did she like me too' questions and even the other person’s intrusion into my thoughts on a more … Continue reading 5 wonderful things about slow relationship beginnings