Negotiating sex (and kink): map your erotic values

I love to find different ways of exploring my sexuality because each new approach seems to bring up new desires, new perspectives or new ways of talking about what I want with people I enjoy sex with. I delight in that exploration, especially when it increases my connection with the people I love. This approach … Continue reading Negotiating sex (and kink): map your erotic values

Transition planning

You might have seen several of my past posts about breakup planning, but I've not gone back to talk in more details about transition planning. The reality is that many of our relationships undergo transitions from time to time. These are rarely traumatic when they are moving towards deeper intimacy, in fact, they frequently involve … Continue reading Transition planning

Three exercises for noticing small emotions

Historically, I wasn’t very good at noticing emotions when they are small. In fact, for the longest time I really only noticed emotions when they became too overwhelming to ignore. This was not an effective strategy. It led to really painful interpersonal conflict and meant I spent a lot of time running away from emotional … Continue reading Three exercises for noticing small emotions

Working with emotional activation

In the last post, I talked about taking your emotional temperature, which is something I try to practice most days because it isn’t something that comes naturally to me. Nevertheless, I find it invaluable in helping me to notice and work with my emotions. As I have practised noticing my levels of emotional activation, I … Continue reading Working with emotional activation

Taking your emotional temperature

So, I’ve been spending more and more time feeling into my emotions, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the way I was taught to understand emotions as a younger person was dangerously wrong. You see, I was taught that emotions could be understood on a scale from sad to happy (and that you should … Continue reading Taking your emotional temperature

5 reasons to get a breakup buddy (or two)

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)

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 fears must I face to take value-based actions rather than coping behaviours?

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?

What value-based actions would you like to be able to take in conflict?

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?