Healthy Happy Intimate Adult Relationship, Uncategorized

Healthy Happy Intimate HHIA Relationships 43

In Between

Ritual Romance

Sean here! And after our jaunt into relationship rituals last time, we are back. As I suggested, we are going to look at romance, romantic rituals and ritual romance in our HHIA Relationships and our lives in general.

To start, romance, love relationships and rituals are all separate and can be combined in a million different ways. Each of our HHIA relationships have a unique blend of these four elements. Every relationship is unique and our combination of relationship, romance, ritual and love are one of a kind.

Photo by Kemal Mehmet on Scopio

Definitions

For reference, let’s consider the definition of romance. According to Merriam-Webster romance is “a medieval tale based on legend, chivalric love and adventure, or the supernatural”. And just for the record, this is not a practical expectation in our relationships. A more realistic definition might be „a love affair“.

Romance

Each of us has a different and unique relationship to romance. And let’s be clear, romance, although often confused with love, is not love. In real life true romance is not an escape but rather supports our lives, our truths and our relationships.

Specifically, “Hollywood Romance”, “Romance Novels” and most of what our society sells as “ROMANCE” is at best a supernatural fantasy no one can live up to. At worst “ROMANCE” is a medieval legend that makes us feel less than; less than our peers, partners and friends.

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Romantic Notions

Secondly, butterflies, rainbows, and seing stars are great when they are great and even more so when they are mutual. Otherwise, they can distract us from the truth that we are creating trust and intimacy with another adult human being.

In other words, the things that turn my head, put a smile on my lips and a skip in my step may not be the same as my partner or you. I would suggest that the most romantic thing we can do is to meet our partners where they are and engage them as they need and want to be engaged. Listening and responding to their needs and desires is the most considerate and threfore romantic gesture we can offer. Always try to keep your partners in mind.

“Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are a bourbon biscuit.”

Frida Kahlo
Photo by Javier Sanchez Mingorance on Scopio

Romance4Real

On the one hand, our intentions and expectations are built on our experiences, understanding and awareness. On the other, our partners intentions and expectations are built on their experiences, understanding and awareness. Finding the in between is where we can build intimacy and even promote our own unique romance when we desire it and recognize it for what it is.

Romantic Rituals

Romance in the day to day includes making coffee and/or drinking the coffee that is made. Any number of chores, tasks or jobs that support our partners as well as recognizing their efforts to do the same. These are the true romantic gestures in our daily lives.

Photo by Maritza Hernandez on Scopio

Daily romantic rituals can include:

  • Notes
  • Texts
  • Emojis
  • “I love you” s  
  • Making coffee
  • Quick calls
  • Snuggling on the sofa
  • Cooking
  • Kisses
  • Hand holding
  • Doing a little dance
  • Sitting together for a minute or two

All the many things that make you feel closer to each other.

Photo by Cristian Vera on Scopio

“We loved with a love that was more than love.”

Edgar Allen Poe

Real Life Romance

Ultimately, our individual HHIA Relationships can be infused with romantic rituals from anniversaries to date nights and coffee in bed to foot massage Friday. It is up to you to determine together which rituals are best for you and your partners.

The variety can include:

  • Going to dinner
  • Cooking dinner
  • Reading to one another
  • Reading in silence together
  • Brunching together
  • Time together
  • Time apart
  • Going for a drive together
  • Working out together
  • Shopping together
  • Buying flowers
  • Sitting together
  • Holding hands
  • Doing the laundry together     

An important aspect of romantic rituals is that all parties involved understand and acknowledge the intimacy & trust building happening. This, intention and awareness, helps us to avoid habits and patterns that reduce our feelings of togetherness and intimacy.

We all deserve to be met where we are by someone who recognizes and accepts us as we are. This is real romance.  

Photo by Olga Shpak on Scopio

This is Sean. Try being aware of your romantic intentions for yourself (and with those who are important to you) this week and see what happens

.(You can always contact me for more concrete suggestions.)

Our earlier Blog-Lessons:

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Healthy Happy Intimate Adult Relationship, Uncategorized

Healthy Happy Intimate HHIA Relationships 40

In Between Each Other

Living Together (5)

Sean still here! And right now, we are going to take a look at moving in together and living under one roof. This is a direction many of our relationships take and is supported whole heartily by many of our societies, cultures and traditions, including marriages.

Simultaneously a wonder to explore and a challenge for ourselves and our partners/friends/spouses/families to embrace. In this moment we begin to share not only our lives but our communal space and time as well. 

Photo by Kristina Borzova on Scopio

Under One Roof

In other words, our sharing becomes shared and our lives tend become a life while our intimacy expands into our daily lives and infuses our time and space with our partners. On the one hand, this can be very comforting. On the other hand, challenges to our patience and understanding are built in to the permanence and constant communal existence. We discover that we are together:

  • at home
  • in the living room
  • on the balcony
  • on the sofa
  • in the kitchen
  • at the stove
  • in the fridge
  • in bed
  • at dinner
  • at breakfast
  • in the middle of the night
  • in the bathroom
  • under the shower
  • in the mirror
  • everywhere
  • every day of the week.
Photo by Javier Sanchez Mingorance on Scopio

Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell.

Joan Crawford

Home… Hearth

This coexistence and cohabitation can simultaneously intensify our feelings and challenge our relationships. However, we find ourselves in an intensified reality with limited opportunity for privacy, solitude or retreat.

Hence, how do we maintain, enjoy and find joy in our relationships while sharing our lives, our space, our time and our privacy? In other words, what happens to our relationships when we cohabitate?

Notice the Pandemic…

And these questions have been intensified by over a year of social isolation and distancing. Most of us who have been living with our partners/spouses from the beginning of the current pandemic are still here and still surviving and thriving as best we can. As are our friends, lovers and families who live alone or with roommates! AND IT IS OK – to do the best we can. Speaking to each other, to a confidant and to ourselves, and Laughing out loud helps a lot: 😊😊 Smiling does too!

Photo by April Lawrence on Scopio

Good News

Strategies, action and awareness can be employed at any time in our relationships to improve, refresh, expand, intensify and enhance our experiences with each other. One way to explore this is to take time for each other together. Check out the 5-Minute Exercises (Last Blog-Lesson)!! 😊

Love is a decision…not an emotion

Lao Tzu

Only Good News

When we actively choose to be together and communicate with each other, every and any challenge can be met, addressed and overcome. Often with good humor, happy thoughts and warm fuzzy feelings.  

A few daily options include:

  • Touching
  • Holding hands
  • Smiling at each other
  • Air kisses, light kisses, long kisses
  • Hugging with your eyes closed
  • Saying “I like you” – „I appreciate you“ – “I love you”
  • Hugging with your eyes open
  • Sharing flowers: real and digital
  • Sharing compliments
  • Saying „I am sorry“ – „I understand“ – „It’s my fault“ – I’ll try“
  • Talking to each other
  • Dancing together
  • Sitting in silence
  • Being together, on purpose
Photo by Andrii Omelnytskyi on Scopio

Communicating

Most important is to find and share the things we enjoy and like about each other and support and encourage those things. Most of the others are less significant and inconsequential when they are address, clarified and understood.

This is Sean. Try saying nice things to yourself (and to those who are important to you) every day this week and see what happens.

(You can always contact me for more concrete suggestions.)

Our earlier Blog-Lessons:

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Healthy Happy Intimate Adult Relationship, Uncategorized

Healthy Happy Intimate HHIA Relationships 39

In Between

Photo by Michael Williams Astwood on Scopio

Living Space

Sean here and we are together again! Our last Blog-Lesson focused on making space for our relationships to grow and develop. Getting to know one another better.

Now lets look at making space and time in our lives when we are living together. Living a life together. After feeling each other out and deciding we fit together. In other words we choose to make a life together and begin to address some of the realer and truer sides of ourselves our partners and our lives.

Living Life Together

Subsequently, we begin to share a life. For some of us this includes moving in together and for some of us it means sharing two apartments, houses, living situations, and so. Either way we find ourselves sharing two lives. In this intimate phase of a relationship, we begin to form more routines and processes which begin to revolve around our daily lives, rather than around our building our relationships. 

Daily Lives

Photo by Bliss Floccare on Scopio

Often, the more time we spend together sharing our lives and our days, the more comfortable we become. People being creatures of comfort and habit can get really comfortable in our communal experiences. Our shared lives become “our life”. And if we aren’t careful our life can fill up with all the little things:

  • appointments
  • school
  • jobs
  • further education
  • commuting
  • traveling
  • shopping
  • cooking
  • cleaning
  • volunteering
  • gardening
  • errands
  • laundry
  • dishes
  • bills
  • taxes

„Like mothers, taxes are often misunderstood, but seldom forgotten.“

Lord Bramwell
Photo by Hayley Johnson on Scopio
  • parents
  • family
  • friends
  • holidays
  • pets
  • children
  • website/blog
  • career…

Leaving less time and less room for romance.

On the one hand “our life” gets bigger and fuller. On the other hand our HHIA Relationships can be left to fend for itself. And, without enough attention our relationships can get lost in the shuffle or be left out in the cold without us even noticing.

Putting „us“ first… or at least back on the list

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So, how do we make space and time for us this great big life we have created?

I know we have heard this before, and yet:

The simple truth is we choose to make time and space for each other. This is true in every relationship form: friends, family, romance, business, partnership and marriage from day one to our diamond anniversaries and beyond!

Communication is key: Check out Blogs 25, 26, 37 and 38 to refresh. 😉

Science is not only a disciple of reason but, also, one of romance and passion.

Stephen Hawking

Five Minutes a Day

Here are a few 5-minute exercises to try together (daily, in silence, & preferably mobile/tablet free):

Just do something together in silence every day, when you can!

Photo by Javier Sanchez Mingorance on Scopio

Spontaneity is great! However, planning, scheduling and deciding together helps to create purpose intent and awareness which enhances the effect of our togetherness.

All of this helping to create, maintain, encourage and support a physical, bodily comfort and intimacy.  

This is Sean. Try doing something with yourself (and to those who are important to you) in silence for 5 minutes every day this week and see what happens.

(You can always contact me for more concrete suggestions.)

Our earlier Blog-Lessons:

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Healthy Happy Intimate Adult Relationship, Uncategorized

Healthy Happy Intimate HHIA Relationships 37

Where we want to be: Together

In Between

Where, When, How…

Here we go again, This is Sean. And the world keeps spinning, our stories, our lives and our HHIA Relationships  continue to grow, expand and deepen.

We have talked about introductions and initial meeting. We have gone through the digital spaces and potential first dates; like coffee. Now we can look at going on dates and dating.

Photo by Javier Sanchez Mingorance on Scopio

Dating

Dating someone is an exploration and pursuit of connections and intimacy. A balance of excitement and comfort. We share more and more of ourselves with the person/people we are dating.

On the one hand we are the explorer. On the other hand, we become the explored. Ideally, we become mutual pioneers venturing into a new world together.

For a dinner date, I eat light all day to save room, then I go all in: I choose this meal and this order, and I choose you, the person across from me, to share it with. There’s a beautiful intimacy in a meal like that.

Anthony Bourdain

An Adventure

In this vein, we tend to present ourselves in situations that highlight our pluses and minimize our minuses. Our dates are doing their best to do the same. In the process we hope to find a space and and a partner who accepts and appreciates us as much as we appreciate and accept them.

To this end, we want to choose our environment and presentation as much as possible. In the give and take of the dating dance. We can make choices and encourage our dates to do so as well.

Photo by Marek Kalhous on Scopio

Getting to know each other better

At the moment our choices are a bit limited but not impossible:

  • more coffee to go 😊
  • going for a walk
  • walking in the park
  • visiting a garden
  • making a tour of your neighborhood as tour guide
  • making a tour of your date’s neighborhood as a guest
  • a photo safari
  • be by the water
  • window shopping
  • picking up take out
  • grocery shopping
  • creatively cooking together
  • playing a game/cards
  • riding the bus/subway together
  • going for a drive

All of the above are good ways of getting together, inspiring dialogue and making choices together. Negotiating roles and experiencing our reactions with one another helps to create a deeper understanding and encourage intimacy on many levels. 

(All of the above can also be enjoyed with social distancing and both hygienically & socially responsible considerations. We are experiencing a pandemic in 2021)

Making Space

Choosing neutral spaces and our dates comfort and safety can also play an important role in the growth of trust and expansion of possibilities with each other. 

Photo by Bianca Brunschwiler on Scopio

A Better Place

Most important is to be clear and honest with yourself and your date. Speaking openly and honestly face to face about your needs, desires and concerns is much more effective than per text, email, voicemail or even by phone.

The fact is, when you date an artist, you have to know that they’re going to sing about you.

Tove Lo

Our Space

In person we can experience each other and create our own space in truly sincere and individual ways.   

That is all for now. Next time we will be looking at making space while sharing space.

This is Sean. Try just sharing your space with yourself (and with someone else perhaps) for a minute, an hour, a day, a week, and see what happens.   

(You can always contact me for more concrete suggestions.)

Love to hear your thoughts. Till next time!

Our earlier Blog-Lessons:

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Healthy Happy Intimate Adult Relationship, Uncategorized

Healthy Happy Intimate HHIA Relationships 36

In Between: Meeting in the Middle

Being Together (1)

Where, When, How…

Here we are again. Exactly where we want to be. Or at least where we choose to be. Those of us lucky enough to be able to choose….

But, I am getting off track.

This is Sean and I am here because I want to be.

Where are we now?

We are here in the moment creating, maintaining, supporting and improving our HHIA relationships. Our relationship statuses can affect where and how we choose to meet our others. After exploring how we make time, we are looking at a few potential places to meet and enjoy the company of others in this Blog-Lesson.  

On the one hand, where we are in our relationships can affect where we choose to meet our partners. On the other hand we can always restart, reboot and reframe how and where we choose to meet each other.  

With this in mind, we are going to start at the beginning:

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Digital space

Today’s initial meeting spaces include a variety of digital formats from Facebook to Grinder/Tinder and every portal in between. These spaces a have positive aspects, as well as, challenging aspect to them. They allow us to explore, examine and express at the click of a button. Simultaneously a separation between our inner-self; internal spirit and our outer-self: outgoing personality can develop and act as a hurdle for real connections; intimately or physically – in person.

Digital Management

Digital Management can include both time and space boundaries for ourselves and the people we meet/interact with in these spaces. Choosing when and how long we choose to be on/in a platform can help us to acknowledge and be present in both the digital format and our physical reality. Keeping them in balance. Choosing to be our most polite and considerate selves is another way to help increase and enhance our experiences in such spaces.

(Contact me for more specific suggestions which can be discussed in more detail: Changing Formats, Texting, Pictures, Chat, Voicemail, among other options.)    

Photo by Nicolette Wagner on Scopio

Space Age

They say any landing you can walk away from is a good one.

Alan Shepard

Where do we meet each other. We physically meet in a place, a space, somewhere. After our initial interaction with someone, we can choose to get to know them better. We can:  

  • Organize coffee,
  • make a date,
  • plan to get together,
  • schedule something,
  • see each other,
  • arrange a call,
  • work out a get together,
Photo by Robin Steffensen on Scopio

Coffee, Tea and Me

Let’s start with coffee. Meeting for coffee or tea in a café/coffee shop has a lot of advantages: It is

  • public,
  • safe,
  • daytime: morning or afternoon,
  • time limited in nature,
  • they are everywhere,
  • a great variety

There is the possibility of something sweet without the expectation of more than it is. Coffee is a great way to meet and share a moment with someone. A quick espresso to go can easily evolve into a sit-down Frappuccino with a croissant and/or biscuit with a smile and conversation. It’s all up to you both.

Coffee to go

I never laugh until I’ve had my coffee

Clark Gable

(This is of course when we can sit-down in a coffee shop again. In the meantime, coffee to go can turn into a picnic/coffee and conversation on the move. Flexibility in the pandemic is a big part of our choices at the moment – FEB/2021)

Photo by Lina Khalid on Scopio

That’s all for now. We will be back with a look at First & Second Dates, and living together.

This is Sean. Try just being with yourself (and with those around you) for a minute, an hour, a day, a week, and see what happens.

(You can always contact me for more concrete suggestions.)

Love to hear your thoughts. Till next time!

Our earlier Blog-Lessons:

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Healthy Happy Intimate Adult Relationship, Uncategorized

Healthy Happy Intimate HHIA Relationships 35

Back to the in Between (3)

Meeting in the Middle & Finding Time

…and we are back again. After looking at using our time and effort. This is Sean. And I am ready to delve into making time rather than timing ourselves.

In other words,  we are going to explore how we make choices and schedule ourselves around our relationship goals. This is important for all of us independent of our relationship status and experience.  

Actually, this is also an exercise in revising our options and strategies for creating, maintaining and/or supporting (repairing) our HHIA Relationships.

Photo by Nihal Raj on Scopio

Make Time not War 😉

Making the most of our time is not the only option we have. Actually, we can be a lot more proactive than we think or believe. We are making choices in every moment of our waking lives.

We choose to or not to:

In just the first 5 minutes…. 😊

  • get out of bed
  • snooze
  • make/drink coffee/tea/water/juice
  • shower
  • shave
  • make the bed
  • check our phones
  • read messages/emails
  • eat/cook/make something
  • or not

Making the time to do what we want is perhaps even more important than making the most of our time. We choose our actions. We choose how we spend our time. This is especially so when we actively think about our time, schedule our time, plan our time. Equally impotant is to stick to our plans/schedules.

Photo by Antonio Moreno Morales on Scopio

Time After Time

Often, we just let things happen. People tend to be creatures of comfort. We are also creatures of habit. This means that most of us most often choose the path of least resistance.

These choices tend to become patterns. And, unfortunately, these patterns can quickly become habits. Often habits we do not even realize we have created or allowed to manifest.

Time for a change

Sometimes, these patterns and habits begin to feel like “the truth” and “reality”. They are neither.

On the one hand “the truth” is of our own creation and on the other hand „reality“ is always in flux. Hence, we have the power to create/make/schedule time for the things we want and the things we desire.

Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

Anthony G. Oettinger
Photo by Tariq Keblaoui on Scopio

Back to the Future

Enough of what was and back to what we want. We want to have healthy happy relationships, intimate encounters, and adult time. This is all possible and even probable. The deciding factor is us.

How exactly do we make time? We schedule it. Stick to the schedule. Let our schedule free us. Freeing ourselves from indecision, insecurity, doubt or nervousness. All of this can be achieved in dialogue and communication with those we wish to be with.

Time is a created thing. To say ‚I don’t have time,‘ is like saying, ‚I don’t want to.

Lao Tzu

Scheduling is Key

When we choose to schedule ourselves, our goals, our partners, and their goals, we can find the time to get closer to one another. And as in most things practice makes perfect. If at first we dont succeed, try and try again. Every day is a new opportunity to love ourselves and others and achieve our goals.

Photo by Nneamaka Boyo-Emmanuel on Scopio

Together

We can make time to be with another person or persons:

  • Eating together
  • Sitting together
  • Walking together
  • Going to bed together
  • Waking up together
  • Working out together
  • Reading together
  • Watching _____ together
  • Cooking together
  • Just being together.

There is no right or wrong amount of together time. Each individual and each relationship has to find their own balance. At the same time, this is a big part of what relationships are about. Being together and spending time with one another.

Scheduling time together encourages “spontaneous” togetherness, patterns and habits which support our relationships.

Finding the balance between time for ourselves and time for our relationships is a constant juggling act. We have to be sure to keep our eye on the prize. The prize we want.

(You can always contact me for more concrete suggestions.)

This is Sean. Try just making time for yourself (and for those around you) for a minute, an hour, a day, a week, and see what happens.

Love to hear your thoughts. Till next time!

Our earlier Blog-Lessons:

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Healthy Happy Intimate Adult Relationship, Uncategorized

Healthy Happy Intimate HHIA Relationships 34

When, Where, How…

Photo by Chris Verster on Scopio

Back to the in Between (2)

…and we are back. Sean here with you reviewing our options and strategies for creating, maintaining and/or supporting (repairing) our HHIA Relationships.

Our current relationship status is irrelevant. It is important that we want to make our relationships a priority.

In Time

If we are not in a relationship, then we need to consider who we would like give our time and attention to explore the possibilities.

If we are in a relationship then we want to think about the focus of our time together and apart from our boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses, and/or partners.

Photo by Miguel Mimoso on Scopio

On Time…

Time is as much a part of our relationships as love, affection and communication.

On the one hand the time we spend together allows us to share love and affection, as well as, to communicate and share ourselves on the other hand the time we spend together has both limits and boundaries and the quality of our time is affected by the choices we make.

For example, if we only have an hour together, do we:

  • Cook and eat
  • order in or grab a bite
  • watch TV
  • read silently together
  • read to each other
  • play a game
  • play music
  • drink a glass of ….
  • talk
  • have a laugh
  • make love
Photo by valentina alvarez on Scopio

No right or wrong 

There is no right/wrong answer. The right answer is what makes you feel closer to your partner: Do you like to play games? Are you foodies? Do you enjoy a good book or poetry? Is music your creative outlet? Are you both cineasts? Can you go on and on about… Are you always in the mood.

Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.

Theophrastus

As long as you are both “on the same page”. It brings you together. It is important to incorporate a bit of confirmation and communication to ensure that “our time” remains fresh and inspiring to both ourselves and our partners.      

Photo by Michael Williams Astwood on Scopio

Quick Question

Sometimes just a quick:

  • Is this good for you?
  • Are you having fun?
  • Are you feeling this?
  • Would you like to do something else?

can be enough! These can go along way to ensure that our time is encouraging intimacy and togetherness rather than filling the void or space between us.

We can also talk about what we do and what we like and what is on our minds. This is especially true if we begin to feel like we are not enjoying our time an our togetherness as much as we used to. This is also true if we begin to wonder “why?”.

In other words, if we begin to get/be used to each other or our activities begin to be more habit than inspiration, we might want to change things up or at least discuss our feelings.  

Photo by Sarah Hammond on Scopio

Attention

When we give out time the attention it deserves we can help to ensure that the time we are able and choose to spend with others encourages and supports the relationships and feelings we have about those with whom we spend our time.

Thus, time is as much an aspect of relationship building and intimacy as much as we allow time for our relationships and intimate experiences.

Using our time is one thing.

Making time is another.

We will tackle this next time.

This is Sean. Try just enjoying your time alone (and with those around you) for a minute, an hour, a day, a week, and see what happens.

Love to hear your thoughts. Till next time! Our earlier Blog-Lessons:

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Healthy Happy Intimate Adult Relationship, Uncategorized

Healthy Happy Intimate HHIA Relationships 33

Back to the in Between(1)

Meeting in the Middle

Sean here: Back in the middle and ready to be in the in between. Whether we are meeting someone for the first time, the hundredth time or on our 50th anniversary. Meeting someone in a mutual space and with common interests is always an opportunity and a challenge.

On the one hand the opportunity is to build and establish more trust and greater respect and closer intimacy. On the other hand, the challenge can be to avoid conflict, unhelpful habits or repeating negative patterns.

Photo by Alexander Korenyugin on Scopio

All in Common

For too long in this society, we have celebrated unrestrained individualism over common community.

Joe Biden

Our direct communication and active listening skills can help us to establish and/or support trust, respect intimacy and even love. Additionally, our mindset and intentions can assist us in our expression of our common and shared togetherness.

Mind yourself

Mindset and intentions are significant:  

  • You are the most important.
  • I need…
  • Do you like me?  
  • Are you right?
  • Do I want to be right?
  • No matter what. 
  • Do you want me?
  • I know what I want.
  • Is being right more important?
  • I am unsure.
  • How invested am I in winning?
  • Who am I If…?
  • Am I ok with being wrong and/or apologizing?
  • Can I be loved and not know the answer? 
  • We are equal and stable together.
  • And on and on.
Photo by chelsey ray on Scopio

Vibrations

How we feel and think about ourselves and the ones we are with comes across. This is true whether we want it to or not. It is noticeable, recognizable and real. If something is not quite right with you or not quite with the ones we are with; we and they can tune in to the “vibe” if we want to.

Our intention and “vibe” can be focused on mutual, common and shared truth and existence. This allows us to be truly together in a space in between our needs, desires, doubts and insecurities. In other words, we can create a space just for us (me and you, you and me, I and the other). In this space we can be ourselves and find each other.

Creating and maintaining this space can take a moment, a while or a lifetime.

Photo by Javier Sanchez Mingorance on Scopio

This depends on the willingness and ability of ourselves and our others to let ourselves just be who we are, when we are, and where we are.   

When, where and how we meet in the middle next time.

This is Sean. Try just being with yourself (and those around you) for a minute, an hour, a day, a week, and see what happens.

Love to hear your thoughts. Till next time! Our earlier Blog-Lessons:

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Photo by yahya hajja on Scopio
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Healthy Happy Intimate HHIA Relationships 32

Indirect Communication (3)

Signals

This is Sean. I am back and ready to continue with our discussion on HHIA relationships. We have been exploring communication, both direct and indirect.

Direct communication includes: Eye contact, I statements, asking questions and active listening

Indirect communication includes cues, hints, signs and signals.  

Photo by Josh Joshua on Scopio

One Two One

One the one hand, direct communication and active listening are ways to encourage trust and intimacy. On the other hand, indirect communication can create confusion, frustration and insecurity. These feelings do not encourage comfort or affection.

Ready, Set, Go

We are ready to take a look at some of the signals we are confronted with every day.  

The signals we send and receive every day include:

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Ring my Phone

Ring tones are great and there are lots to choose from. But what happens when we give different Apps and different people different tones. Hmm… Sounds like a lot. How do we remember who is who and what is what?

This can also happen in our relationships when we give and/or receive more suggestions and signals rather than clear statements or messages. This can cause confusion and misunderstandings in our intimate relationships.

Intensity like signal strength will generally fall off with distance from the source, although it also depends on the local conditions and the pathway from the source to the point.

Charles Francis Richter
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Red & Green

Then there are signals which we are all taught and learn to interact with. A prime example are traffic lights, right? So, traffic lights are “universal” – almost always red and green and often with yellow.

Cherry Green

Consequently, we all know what these lights stand for:

  • Red = Stop
  • Yellow = Caution
  • Green = Go

Ultimately, they are far from absolute in response or reaction. Many if not most people slow down when they see a yellow light. However, some, if not quite a few, people speed up “with caution” to get safely through the light. I even know a driver who believe in the concept „Cherry Green“. In other words, racing through the first seconds of the red light.

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Stop-n-Go

Our relationship, romantic and intimate signals can be equally recognized by others and yet be interpreted differently. Thus, we are helping ourselves and our partners when we are able to give clear and concise instructions/ expectations associated with the signals we give. This is especially important around Stop and Go (Yes & No) messages relating to issues of consent and comfort.  

Happy Faces

One last, and seemingly omnipresent, „signal“ in todays’ world are emojis. Love them? Hate them? It really doesn’t matter. As texting, SMS, WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media and message services on our phones, tablets and computers continue to increase, so do the emojis and like symbols in our daily life. And every so often more of them come into play.   

These can be quick and cute and confused. Everyone thinks they know what they mean and how to use them but, do we really? Do we really always know exactly what it being intended, inferenced or alluded to?

Eggplant Parmesan – A quick illustration.

  • A young woman texts her mom “What’s for Dinner?”
  • Her mom Replies: 🍆🧀 😊
  • Girl Replies “😲Yuck… that’s disgusting. We are not having ____ ______ !”
  • Mom Types “😳What!!! We are having Eggplant Parmesan.”
  • Girl texts: “Mom you are never to use the 🍆 emoji ever again! 🤪”
  • (The blank spaces are to comply with the family & google friendly standards. For the solution contact me.)

It turns out the eggplant emoji just as many relationship and romantic visual signals and cues can be interpreted or used for a variety of meanings, not just the obvious ones, by different groups and individuals we interact with.

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Cristal

Clarity and the ability to explain what we mean when asked can really support our comfort and tenderness with our partners. Maintaining a bit of humor and a cool head when giving or receiving explanations or corrections of our responses to signals also encourages tender and supportive communication.

Understandably, misinterpretations and a need for clear explanations can occur as we learn and adjust our signals and interpretations. This it true with new partners and with partners as we grow together and enter new phases of relationship.

This is me. Try being clearer with yourself (and those around you) for a minute, an hour, a day, a week, and see what happens.

Love to hear your thoughts. Till next time! Our earlier Blog-Lessons:

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Healthy Happy Intimate Adult Relationship, Uncategorized

Healthy Happy Intimate HHIA Relationships 31

Indirect Communication (2)

This is Sean, back in the saddle and ready to ride, so to speak.

We are together again. After exploring some verbal communication that can be less than helpful; hints, clues, etc.

This time we are going to peak into the potential pitfalls of signs and signals when trying to communicate and understand each other.

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Signs of the Times

“Smiling is sometimes the sign of invitation, but do not take it seriously if it is only someone’s habit.”

Ehsan Sehgal

In other words, we can look at the signs in our lives and consider how well they inform us about the world around us. Signs we are considering include:

  • Stop Signs
  • Speed Limit Signs
  • Animal X-ing
  • Children at Play

Traffic signs are generally understood as being internationally understood.  However, the German word for traffic is also used for intercourse. Stop signs are pretty clear but many if not most of our traffic signs are open to interpretation. This is also true of the signs we experience in our intimate lives as well.  

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Traffic

Speaking of traffic signs, most of these are related to potential, in both directions (more/less, faster/slower). And, there are often more than one sign posted together. This suggests that the sign is not expressing exactly what is happening when we see the signs. A good example of these are the animal crossing and children signs. The truth is that there might be animals and/or children. The message is more accurately pay attention than „children at play“ or „Bear Crossing“. This often leave us to our own devices and expects us to understand and react “accordingly“. Hence, we are responsible for our reaction and the result. This can be a heavy burden in the bedroom. We can avoid being singularly responsible and absolutely to blame by actively communicating and actively listening to each other.

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Seen the sign

We have seen the sign(s) and we are expected to act accordingly. On the one hand this can be helpful for further exploration, on the other hand there are no definite or clear instructions/ direction. Through active listening and asking questions we can confirm our understanding of the signs we see.

and then there is also:

  • Advertising
  • Bilboard
  • Posters
  • Labels
Photo by Charry Jin on Scopio

Want Ads

Looking at advertising we have to remember that the advertiser is both attempting to inspire a reaction and a result. Thus, the message is often full of “meaning” and inference.

Form and Function

This meaning and inference is often culturally and socially specific and can be easily misunderstood. Let`s consider the experience of an American baby food company which tried to break into the African Market. The company’s very successful strategy and marketing included picture of beautiful pink smiling babies on the jars. Unfortunately, African food labels on cans and jars are known to picture the contents. Hence the African shoppers thought the jars contained babies as food!

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Steer Clear

Considering how devasting such a misunderstanding can be in our relationships. It is always a good idea to discuss and actively interpret the signs you and your partner use with one another; together. This can be done often. Some signs and interpretations and meanings can change over time. The clearer we are with each other, the better our communication and intimacy can flow.

This is Sean. Try being kinder to yourself (and those around you) for a minute, an hour, a day, a week, and see what happens.

Love to hear your thoughts. Till next time! Our earlier Blog-Lessons:

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