Healthy Happy Intimate Adult Relationship, Uncategorized

Healthy Happy Intimate HHIA Relationships 39

In Between

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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

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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
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  • 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!

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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 34

When, Where, How…

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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.

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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
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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.      

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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.  

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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 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.  

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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.

Photo by Tosin Arasi on Scopio

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 30

Indirect Communication (1)

Details and Context

Hello! This is Sean and here we are. We are delving into the indirect communication we discussed in the last Blog-Lesson: Cues and Hints. These are synonyms and associated with inspiring actions or responses in different contexts.

These communication methods are dependent on our understanding of the situations we are in and the messages being expressed.

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Cues

Cues are most often thought of in the theater or performing arts where they are used to instigate an action. In other words they are and indication that we should react.

First recognizing cues, such as:

  •  “Say Something…”,
  • ” …and you?”
  • “Any thoughts?….”
  • “Hmmm..,”
  • „…“ (an extended pause)  

Then, considering our situation, our cue giver, and/or the conversation itself can help us to respond in a way that supports rather than hinders our trust, intimacy and feelings in our relationships. 

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Hints

Hints have a similar function. However, we find hints more often in games and “intelligence” tests like quiz shows and party games

The greatest thing in family life is to take a hint when a hint is intended-and not to take a hint when a hint isn’t intended.

Robert Frost

Hints like:

All of these request and suggest that we already know the answer. We just need to makke a bit more effort.

The cursor: prompt

A good example of the indirect and often unclear intention of a hint is the cursor. The cursor is the blinking line on the computer screen “asking” us to give something of ourselves to the digital world.

On one hand we see the blinking line and feel the urge to do something while on the other hand we often are unclear on what we should type. we are promte to respond and react or in some cases to freeze!

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The naked truth

Simultaneously, making an undefined request and suggesting an expectation of understanding can be confusing, intimidating and even frightening. This is especially true if we are feeling vulnerable or exposed.  

In intimate situations when we are open, bare and perhaps even naked, hints can be really difficult to understand, follow, or respond to.

In such moments, through thoughtful direct statements and active listening we can transform hints and cues into clarity and comfort.

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That is all for now. Next time we will look at signs and signals and our responses to them.

This is Sean. Try being considerate of 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 29

Cues: Between and Beyond

This is Sean. I am back with you to further our discussion of HHIA Relationships and how we create and maintain them. Building on our exploration of actively expressing ourselves and actively listening to those around us, we are going to look at other modes of communication.

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Communication is Key

Relationships, especially Happy, Healthy and Intimate ones are based on communication. We have explored clear expression and active listening. On the one hand, these two activities are excellent ways of communicating. On the other hand, there are a lot of other ways we have learned and are taught to both give and receive information.

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Words and Actions

In other words, we have essentially two primary ways of expressing ourselves in the world: words and actions.

Words start out as sound and receive meaning through perception and interpretation. Some of our first words are no, yes, ma, da, and so on. Words then develop into sentences and eventually language.  

Actions are movement. In simple terms, we move toward things we like and away from things we don’t like. This action is initiated by attraction, belief, and/or intention. Truthfully, we do not know if we like something or someone until we actually interact. These actions become patterns and habits, ultimately creating behavior.

Between & Beyond Words    

We do receive information/input in from other sources between and beyond words and direct action:

  • Cues – “Say Something”, …and you? Any thoughts? Hmmm..
  • Hints – Warm, Cold, More, I am thinking of…  
  • Promts – „Jump“ „Simon Says“…  
  • Signs – Stop, Yield, X-ing, Children, Advertising
  • Signals – Traffic lights, Blinkers, Emojis  
Photo by Tyler McKay on Scopio

All of these things have a lot in common. They are all created/intended to inspire a response. We learn lots of these from our parents, family, friends, social groups, culture and religion. Another thing these things have in common is that they are often indirect, culturally varying and open to interpretation. This makes them all challenging to always understand and appropriately apply.

Music makes or breaks an atmosphere. It helps to create the mood and also is a very important aural cue; simply shut off the music when you want people to leave.

Lisa Vanderpump

Achieve and Avoid

Due to both their flexibility and their coded nature, we tend to use them when trying to achieve and/or avoid experiences. This has the potential to inspire misunderstandings, a lack of clarity, and is often experienced as nervousness or insecurity because we lose our sense of security and connection when we do not understand what is being expressed. We can be associated with the “fight or flight” response.

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Fight or Flight

Consider the times you have been misunderstood or misunderstood someone or something yourself. This is how we all feel when things become unclear or indecipherable. This is objectively noone’s fault and can be resolved when we calm down and clearly express, ask, and actively listen to the intentions and desires of ourselves and those around us.

In conclusion, I invite you to think about some of the ways you, your friends and environment use Cues, Hints, Promts, Signals and Signs to inspire and create actions and responses in your life.

  • Are they always clear?
  • Does everyone interpret them the same way?
  • Is the result always satisfactory for eyerone involved?

Next time we will explore some examples and how we can improve our understanding and our use of these communication styles further.  

This is Sean. Try being nice 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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Healthy Happy Intimate Adult Relationship, Uncategorized

Healthy Happy Intimate HHIA Relationships 28

In Between

Laughter is the closest distance between two people.

Victor Borge

Sean – in the mix. Whether we are expressing ourselves or actively listening, the in between is where we begin to share and create trust and intimacy.

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Just as with our intentions and actions, the intention is the beginning. The action is our attempt to express our intention. Then our partner’s reception and interpretation of our action is the result. Hence, what we create between us is key to the positive expression, reception and interpretation of both actions and intention.

What else is there?

In other words, the world we exist in is subjective and our perspective and interpretation of the world is based on our experiences. This is also true for your romantic interest(s), your girl-/boy-friend, your partner(s) and spouse.

The more positive input we have and try to put into the world around us results in a safer and more trusting environment. This environment is the space between ourselves and others.  

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Affirmative

In other words, maintaining our affirmative ambiance/atmosphere can be supported by the following:

  • Being nice to ourselves
  • Forgiving ourselves and others
  • Considering that most people are doing the best they can, in the moment, including ourselves

On the one hand the more positive we make our environment, the more attractive our environment becomes, on the other hand the more attractive our environment is the more we experience positivity.

Some ways of insinuating positivity in to your environment include:

  • Smiling
  • Eye contact
  • Active listening

Ultimately encouraging more communication between ourselves and others.

Photo by David Goncalves on Scopio

Talking

Naturally, we find it easier to talk with people who exist in and are creating a similar atmosphere.

Communication and understanding can become a little bit more challenging or strained when we have different backgrounds, upbringings, and perception of the world around us.

Hence, to improve are chances of both understanding being understood we can use active listening and positive expression to encourage a “trusting and save” “in between” each other as we communicate.

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Attraction

Attraction may be a completely different experience. When we are attracted to someone who is creating a different vibe than we are used to, it can be intimidating or interesting. Both can initiate excitement.

At the same time, when we meet someone who wants to share our space or even participate in creating it. Feeling the same and/or responding in kind can be a first step. And then, we are on our way to creating a relationship space.

It can be helpful to remember that our relationships exist both within our hearts and heads, as well as, outside ourselves in a realm of their own; in the in between.

This is Sean. Try being nice to yourself for a week, a day, an hour, a moment, 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 26

Express Yourself (2)

This is Sean again. I am back with you to continue our exploration of initial communication. After our last Blog-lesson where we looked at eye contact and body language. Now it is time to consider our words.

Use your words

There are two basic communication building blocks we need to consider.

One the one hand knowing what you want to say and on the other hand knowing how to say what you want to say. These two things are most important to achieve good communication. This is why we have been looking at ourselves and exploring what is important for us.

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What

Hence, we are aware and have considered our own likes, attractions, feelings and desires.  

(You can go back to earlier blog lessons to further explore these things.)  

How

  1. First, be clear about what you want to say: feelings, thoughts, etc.
  2. Second, make eye contact, use body language and be aware your posture (See Blog 25).  
  3. Third use “I sentences…”

I think, therefore I am.

René Decartes
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– I am, therefore I communicate

A great way to express ourselves are “I statements”.  In other words, using these are a way of expressing ourselves and owning our thoughts and feelings. It is a way of sharing ourselves without giving away our responsibility or our power.

A few examples include: 

  • I believe…
  • I think…
  • When… I feel…
  • I am …
  • What I like…
  • I would like…
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Questions?

The important thing is not to stop questioning.

Albert Einstein
Quotemaster

After, or even before, sharing ourselves, we can ask questions. Questions show interest and encourage others to share themselves with us. Questions can be open or closed, leading or not.

Some Questions:

Open:

  • Who……?
  • What……?
  • Where……?
  • When……?
  • Why……?
  • How……?
  • Which……?

Closed:

Leading:

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When you ask a question, be sure to listen to your partner’s answer. Then you respond with another question or an I statement of your own. By listening to your partners words, looking them in the eye and responding “on topic” , you create a communal space. Hence, a mix of questions and I statements can create a lively and really fun interaction and maybe even spark an interest that wasn’t there to begin with.

Take a minute or two and practice this kind of interaction with a friend. Do this with someone you like, trust or know well to practice. And let me know how it goes and what you think. This is Sean wishing you all the best.

Your thoughts? Till next time! Our earlier Blog-Lessons:

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looking inward through the lights
Healthy Happy Intimate Adult Relationship

Healthy Happy Intimate HHIA Relationships 25

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Express yourself (1)

Here we are again! This is Sean and I am here to say “We are on our way!” If you have been following this Blog-Lesson series then you have done the work on yourself with yourself! Consequently, we are now ready to share what we have learned and who we are with the world. In other words it is time to consider and explore communication.

I contact – eye contact.

Do you look people in the eye? If you want someone’s attention, give it a try. People are attracted to and captivated by our eyes. Their shape, color and sparkle.

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“I like you; your eyes are full of language.“

[Letter to Anne Clarke, July 3, 1964.]”
Anne Sexton

On one hand our eyes are one of our most sensitive sensory organs. On the on other hand our eyes are connected directly to our brains. In other words, they are also the window to our souls. They show us how we are feeling and express something beyond words. 

Mirror

Exercise1: Start with yourself..

  • Look at yourself in the mirror
  • Look directly at your eyes
  • Observe their shape and their color  
  • Can you see the whites of your eyes?
  • Roll your eyes and look at how they move
  • Watch them move, what do you see
  • Peek deeper into your eyes
  • See your pupils are they big, small or in between…
  • Look at your irises: blue, grey, green, golden or dark brown 
  • Look for the fire, the glint the energy and enthusiasm.
  • Smile!!
  • Look again and see the smile in your eyes.

Everyone else sees this too! At least those who are paying attention. Get people attention by looking into their eyes. 

An Eye for an Eye

Experiment: Start with friends, family, neighbors and co-workers. You will find they will notice, listen and be more attentive to you when you take a moment, stop and look them in the eye. Additionally, this seemingly small action encourages respect and consideration of the message and presence of others.

I look forward to hearing about your experiences.

Body Body

We have talked about caring for our bodies and hygiene. We have explored how our bodies feel and how we feel when we touch our own bodies. Hence, it is time to consider our bodies are also one of our first transmitters of information and communication. Furthermore, our bodies are a communication tool.  

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Mirror Mirror

Exercise 2: Find a full-length mirror.

  • Stand in front of the mirror.  
  • Look at yourself.
  • Turn to the left.
  • Look again.
  • Turn to the right.
  • Look again.
  • Spin all the way around while looking at yourself

What do you see? How is your posture? Where are your shoulders arm, hands? Are you standing up straight or slouching? Do you feel balanced? Are you stable on four feet/in your shoes? Do you like what you have on? Do you have anything on? Are you alone in private or in a public space?  

Strike a Pose

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A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind.

Morihei Ueshiba

Exercise3: Posture

  • Stand in front of the mirror.  
  • Look at yourself straight on.
  • Lift up your chin and look up.
  • Bring your eyes back down.
  • Lower your chin until it is parallel to the ground.
  • Looking at yourself roll your shoulder upwards and backwards until the sit slightly behind your armpits. Feel your body.
  • Pull in your stomach and push your hips forwards.
  • Observe yourself.
  • How do you look now?

Do you see a difference? How much of a difference? Do you like the difference? Each of these exercises can be done with or without a mirror. And can help us to be more aware of how we present ourselves to others in our surroundings. Try lifting your chin and rolling your shoulders before addressing a family member or a colleague and look them in the eye. See if this affects how the react and respond to you in the moment. 

Let me know 😊 what you think.

That is all for this time. Three exercises and two experiments are more than enough for one read. I wish you all the best in your explanations and communications. This is Sean “Be nice to you, please.”

Your thoughts? Till next time! Our earlier Blog-Lessons:

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