Generosity Is The New Sexy

Generosity Is The New Sexy

I’ve found myself thinking a lot about generosity lately. As I experience over the top amounts of it in my life right now, with friends and family housing me during my “I think I’ll be homeless for 4 months, adventure!”, I’m beyond grateful, to say the least.

It’s also got me thinking about the places where I easily show up in an open hearted, generous way and what causes me to constrict, hold onto things tightly and fall into a sense of “not enoughness” and lack in my life. Quite fascinating.

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Should You Be Banned From Relationships?

Should You Be Banned From Relationships?

Ok, damn it. This is just not funny anymore.

I’m going to do something I’ve never done before and hope you’ll bear with me, as I rant and then get to my request.

For God’s sake, people! If you can’t handle yourself with even the smallest bit of integrity in relationships and through an “ending”, if that is where you wind up, then PLEASE don’t get into one, until you can. Ok?

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FOR BETTER OR WORSE – “Well, how bad are we talking?”

FOR BETTER OR WORSE – “Well, how bad are we talking?”

Vows. Promises. Intentions. Hopes. Wishes. Pinky swears.

When you’re in love and swept up in the possibility of it all, drenched in the newness, the prospect of building an entire, beautiful life with this other person is wildly exciting. Individuals who swore they’d never get married decide they want the “whole enchilada!” Even stiff, traditional vows, while not actually used as much anymore, have a sweet ring to them. The mantel of “I’d do ANYTHING for you” is happily carried, along with a dreamy look.

In the beginning of a relationship, a couple naturally looks for their “similarities.” They happily make a mental note of all the things they have in common and more easily accept the differences, actually seeing them as strengths that will balance them out.

Fast forward several years, a thousand miniscule incidents and enough time spent with the blinders off dealing with “real life” and most couples feel smacked hard up against the head, their mouths left gapping wide open, staring at the stranger that lives under the same roof.

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For The Love of Dirty Talk

For The Love of Dirty Talk

Ok. I succumbed. I’m finally tackling the topic of “sex talk”, or “dirty talk” in bed, so here we go! Honestly, I’m not sure why people are so concerned whether this is “ok” or normal in an intimate relationship. My guess is it’s because human beings are obsessed in general with whether they fall in the “normal” category concerning almost anything. As a Relationship Coach, I’m asked regularly for my opinion on what the “normal” amount of sex is to have during a week. Or month. Or year. Who cares how much sex everyone else is having? (By the way, if they’ve been a relationship for a while, they're not having as much as you think!) If you and your partner are feeling good about how often you are connecting, then how about you call it good?

So, let’s start here: Sex is supposed to be fun. Enjoyable. When it adds to deepening the intimacy in a way that compliments an already strong emotional, mental and spiritual connection, it can be absolutely amazing. Any of us that have experienced that kind of soulful, all- encompassing connection can attest to that!

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Why "I'm Not Perfect" Is the WORST Excuse

I'm Not Perfect

I’m not perfect.” Have you ever heard this from a partner?

Do you have a tendency to say it to others, yourself?

I want to admit right now, I have my own reasons for getting tense around this statement. I’m sure it could even go back as far as a father who used to drill into me and my brothers, every chance he got, “There’s no such word as ‘can’t!

But there’s something that goes deeper for me when I hear that comment from a friend, lover, family member or client. When I received a PM today from a man who’s never met me, beginning with “I’m not perfect, but you make me want to………..”, something clinched inside.

What is someone thinking when they throw that line out? My sense is that many times, there’s a belief that it’s a positive thing. They are affirming that they have “flaws”, are doing the best they know how to do at the time and acknowledging, from a place of honesty, that they will more than likely make mistakes along the road. They are attempting to connect from a place of transparency, possibly even working hard to share their humanness in a way that would have scared them in the past. That can’t be a bad thing, right?

My personal experience with this certainly colors my thinking. I’ve had more than one partner use this line repeatedly, after every hurtful action or broken agreement. “I’m not PERFECT, you know!

Yes, you keep showing me that.

My closest friend has been on the receiving end of that statement with a husband whose intention has been to deflect the specific issue at hand in hopes of discussing instead, how she is expecting too much from him. When it initially doesn’t work, he will include a whiney voice and pouty face, adding, “Maybe you’re perfect, but I’m not!”

I can feel myself getting all wound up inside again, just writing this.

Sitting around with a great group of friends over a glass of wine recently, I threw this out. “Is it me? Is this actually a wonderful admission that I need to change my thinking around? What do all of you hear when someone, especially a lover, says this to you?

Their responses, almost across the board, were like these:

  • When I hear it, I always feel like someone is saying to me, “Don’t count on me.”
  • My sense is that this is a person who likes to always have a “loophole” in their life.
  • I get scared. If I never asked for “perfection”, why are they even going there?
  • I hear, “Don’t ask much of me, and we’ll be Ok.”
  • I get a knot in my stomach because the healthiest partners I’ve had, have never said that line.
  • It feels like a way to try and avoid personal work.

Hmmmm. This is interesting, isn’t it?

I’m not perfect.” I’ve never uttered those words to anyone in my life, and yes, I’m sure some would say it was because I probably thought I was! At one point in my life, I’m sure that was true. Or at least, I was hell bent on trying to be and making sure people saw me that way. Thank God for rock bottoms and healing.

But I think the reason I’ve never had that mindset, is because I do believe in our innate “perfection” along with the amazing ability we all have to grow, change, clear things up and make real, heartfelt amends when necessary. It doesn’t normally cross my mind to consider whether I am doing something “perfectly” and right or wrong, I, for the most part, move through the world thinking I can do almost anything I put my mind to!

If we make a personal commitment to ourselves to be our best selves, to show up “fully”, to live from a place of integrity and hold our own feet to the fire around our behavior and actions in the world, do we really need to throw out a caveat for our intention to rest on?

 

What's your personal experience with and thoughts on this? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!

How Texting and Sexting Can Kill Your Relationship

How Texting and Sexting Can Kill Your Relationship

Texting and Sexting. You knew this post was coming.

Anyone who has known me for half a second knows of my aversion to the phone in general. Pretty much all of it. Texting. Calling. Constant notifications. Siri. (Come on... she actually announced to me from my purse one evening, "I think, therefore I am." Can you blame me?)

Those long, drawn-out calls with people you love, just to catch up? Not so much. I had to "process" with my friend, after she pinned me in the car on a recent road trip, about how I won’t call her regularly. Then she made me pinky swear to call her twice a month. Gotta love BFFs.

Facetime? No thank you. I don’t care to sit staring at each other's distorted faces on a tiny little screen. And talk. On the phone.

Texting. Really? How impersonal can you get? Not much more than that.

So while this Relationship Coach readily admits that the phone is not my "friend", and at the same time, that I sit on it for large chunks of time with clients, this brings me to my point; the deadly connection between texting and relationships. More and more, I find sessions with clients turning to "texting" issues and the countless problems being created from it. So let’s talk about some important "Do’s and Don’ts" that could help you stay out of trouble as you navigate this thing called Love:

DO text someone you just met to make an initial connection. Keep it short and light. Flirt, banter, see if he/she engages. Remember this, though: It may mean absolutely nothing. Really.

DON’T do this for weeks! If you’ve gotten what feels like a "go ahead" signal guys, ask if you can call, then do. Women, if he keeps texting, say you'd like to move it to a call and offer him your number. If he won’t make the shift, you might have dodged a bullet with a person who was hoping it would turn into some mindless "sexting."

DO text now and then as a quick way to reach out and connect if you are starting, or are in a relationship. Keep it simple, to the point and remember, punctuation can help get your mood across. "K" -vs – "Ok! That works!" Be warm and kind, even in a text.

DON’T rely on texts to be your main form of communication. You are playing with fire here, if you do. Unless your goal is to come off as someone superficial, lacking in maturity or you enjoy the tension of knowing that at any moment, the brevity needed in a text can leave information misconstrued, then don’t get lazy. Pick up the phone or wait until you are together in person. Emotional connection is strengthened by all forms of contact, but intimacy is deepened by heartfelt connection that requires being together.

DO discuss, if you are in a budding relationship, what kind of contact with "formers" works for both of you, when it comes to the phone. I can’t tell you how many times clients have hit a serious crisis point, simply because one of the parties thought answering or shooting off regular texts to their former loves was "no big deal." While they wouldn’t have actually gotten together with them or even sat on a call, the impersonal feeling of a text felt fine. Uh... if a text feels so impersonal that it feels "fine", then why are you wasting your time?

DON’T use texting or sexting as a way to soothe yourself, distract yourself from uncomfortable feelings or to fill your time because you’re bored. Come on. Seriously. Put the phone down and either deal with what is in front of you, or go engage in something meaningful.

DO use sexting if you are in a relationship, have tons of meaningful time together and are hoping it will increase the feelings of intimacy and closeness with your partner. It can be a great teaser and prelude to a wonderful evening, along with a life saver for couples navigating long distance relationships. Although, again, deepening that connection by hearing your lover's voice on the end of the line can be much more powerful.

DON’T assume that constant texts sent back and forth between you translates into something meaningful or even that the person is hoping the connection will go somewhere. It doesn’t. Trust me. I hear regularly that people simply don’t know how to tell someone to stop texting so much, are afraid of hurting someone’s feelings by not responding or that they are doing nothing more than enjoying the ego boost it’s giving them. Slow it down and see what naturally unfolds. If you aren’t blowing up the person’s phone and they then, aren’t texting you, you have some important information!

The wisdom here?

Your phone is not necessarily your best friend in the world of relationships. Put it down regularly and risk opening your heart to a real conversation, a real connection and the possibility of real intimacy. It’s worth it.