I was recently asked, “Why is it that my Ex, who was never very affectionate or adventurous in bed, has a new openness about sex she never had before?” Good question. While I don’t claim to have all the answers, I do believe I’ve got this one covered. One of the most common pitfalls in a long term relationship is that we can get boxed in to a particular role or sterotype. We sometimes get stuck in the interpretations of others. So much so, that it becomes our truth as well. If our partner sees us as “frigid” or “boring in the bedroom”, it becomes very difficult to change. We live into that perception. In order to change the pattern, we’ll have to change the perception, too. Even if we really want to, it’s hard to make that shift when we have already been summed up and labelled. Without the support of our partner it’s seemingly impossible. If a real change is to occur, it will require some effort from both of you. So back to answering the original question…while there may be many variables to ponder, I believe one consistent factor is that when we are with someone new, we have an opportunity to recreate ourselves and a bigger space to grow into. Certain fish will grow to the size of their tank. We’re not that different. How big is your tank? Or the tank you put your partner in?
Posts Tagged ‘relationship tips’
As the Relationship Expert going through a divorce, I was about to become my own muse. Or at least my own guinea pig (although muse sounds so much cooler). So with no attachment and nothing to lose, I began my “research”. I decided I would own who I am, and people could take it leave it, but my days of losing myself in an effort to accomodate others were over. This was my chance to take ego out of it. “You’re not a good fit for everyone”, I would remind myself. “You’re not supposed to be. Not everyone likes chocolate. That doesn’t make chocolate bad”. Wait, huh?! Did she say, not everybody likes chocolate?
This was one of the most valuable lessons I had ever learned. And while it all began with dating, it’s applicable in EVERY area of life. No longer willing to pretend to know sports, love to cook, or enjoy working-out, I was ready to authentically represent myself in all my flawed and fabulous glory. This new ability was accessed somewhat by accident at first. I was newly single after 16 years of marriage and just too distracted and busy to learn the game.
Now, that doesn’t mean I didn’t have concerns. Oh, I had concerns. What if I’ve lost my retail value and been downgraded to resell? What if people just aren’t looking for what I’m pitching? What are people looking for anyway? And what am I pitching? The questions swirled in my head like a cyclone. I was a losing confidence altitude faster than I could recover. “Wait! I can do this. I can give up trying to win everyone over in favor of owning who I am and accepting that it’s not going to blow everyone’s hair back”.
So with a minor shift in priority, I was able to present myself to the world as unabashedly real! And it turns out…that’s kinda hot. Or at least refreshing and worse case, it’s living authentically and that’s worth everything! Think it’s worth trying on? I invite you to shed the need to look good in favor of bearing who you really are. I suspect what you’ll find is that people fall in love with your vulnerability. And sometimes, it even gives them permission to be real! Authenticity is contagious…go spread it around some.
Are you that real? Are you, really? If you had asked me a couple years ago, I’d have told you I was honest. That I operated with integrity and spoke the truth. And I did. Well, mostly. I guess sometimes that piece of truth that was really uncomfortable “accidentally” got left out. The short story, if you will. I wasn’t lying, but I wasn’t bare ass naked.
Bare ass naked truth is an advanced place of truth. It’s about owning the what is. The good, the bad and the ugly. And then finding self acceptance in the underbelly of your secret, private ick. Standing, exposed and naked under the florescent lights and unabashedly declaring, “This is me!”. It’s scary! Yes. And it is fabulous, too! When you can create the space for that degree of honesty and love for yourself, you can begin to bring that into your relationship and arrive at a whole new level of connection.
It can very liberating to discover that authenticity and acceptance are available to you. And better yet, at the same time! However, you must know that BANT requires permission and comes with a warning label. “Trying this at home without mutual consent and agreement can lead to injury“. Truth is, not everyone wants, or is capable of such a thing. It is imperative that it be embraced by both parties in order to truly contribute to the relationship.
So, are you ready to take it on? Does it excite you? Scare you? Intrigue you? How bare ass naked are you really willing to be?
No, this is not a “how-to” for sexy cooking enthusiasts. It is however, something important to consider. I first heard the phrase, “sex starts in the kitchen” from my co-host on The Sex & Intimacy Show and world class Sex Therapist, Dr. Neil Cannon. The point he was making is that sex starts long before you get to the bedroom and the sooner we acknowledge this truth, the sooner we are likely to see positive results. Sex is a process with a beginning, a middle and an end. Foreplay, as we know it, is somewhere in the middle. The beginning is more about attention…”How was your day”…”Can I get you anything”…”Go relax, I’ll do the dishes”…now THAT is sexy! Ok, maybe not on paper. But sometimes for your partner, it’s the difference between opening up and being receptive or not. Don’t just take my word for it, try it yourself!
No, I’m not talking about that! Although, that can be powerful too. I’m talking about loving the essence of who you are. You at your best…or not. Sure, we can (and will) always evolve and strive to be better. And that’s important, too. But how about loving the whole package, right now? Not when you’re more patient. Not when you lose 20 pounds. Not “someday”. But right now! It’s not about loving the good and ignoring the rest, but rather loving all the parts that make up who you are. If we are all here to learn anyway, maybe it’s okay that we don’t always have all the answers. Maybe fumbling through is part of the adventure. So why are we so quick to hide our flaws and cover up our issues? It’s not like anyone here is perfect. Just another soul muddling through, trying to figure it all out.
I can’t stop wondering how many of my own mistakes, failures and life lessons were overshadowed by my commitment to keep them on the down low. And how powerful it could be if I were to funnel my energy into allowing those “opportunities” to contribute to me, rather than embarrass me. Maybe the most honest way to improve our relationships is to begin with our self. Isn’t it time to own who you are, the great, the not so great, and all the stuff in between? When we can learn to accept our own imperfections, then maybe we can be more accepting of others, including our partners.
“Be forgiving of your own evolution.” ~Gandhi