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.

Photo by Òscar Penelo on Scopio

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 HHIA Relationships 41

Creating space: trust

Sean here, back and ready to explore more. We have looked at creating space for our relationships through time. Taking time and making time. We have gone though introductions, first dates, dating, in relationship and living under the same roof. All of these require awareness and time to create, maintain and enhance our HHIA relationships.

J.M. Barrie “All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”

― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

On the one hand time is essential to our togetherness. On the other hand, we need more than just time to create intimacy. A sense of security and safe spaces need to be created, shared and enjoyed to develop intimacy in our relationships. And all of this is built on trust.

Photo by Joaquin Vallejo on Scopio

Trust yourself

Hence trust is one of the first building blocks and the foundation of all our relationships. In other words trust is one of the most essential aspects of happy and healthy relationships as well as a significant aspect of intimacy and well-being.

It is important that we trust our ourselves and our partners and that our partners trust us. So, how do we make this happen? We start with:

  • Paying attention
  • Being there
  • Saying what we do 
  • Doing what we say
  • Taking time
  • Asking questions
  • Making time
  • Telling the truth
  • Trusting ourselves
  • Bargaining
  • Making eye contact
  • Opening up
  • Answering questions
  • Showing interest
  • Communicating
  • Meeting our partners where they are; emotionally, physically intellectually, spiritually

Initially, we create a connection. Then over time we strengthen this bond through give & take, trust, communication, and cooperation. Ultimately, we establish trust and security which allows us to feel free to be ourselves, pursue our goals and be the best we can be both individually and together.

Photo by Abhishek Yadav on Scopio

Simply the Best

Ideally, both you and your partner/s support your best selves and can still grow together as your goals and plans consolidate into one. However, this is often a complex process we do simultaneously as we grow individually as well. This is where give & take and trust become vital. We sustain ourselves and our relationships with communication and cooperation.  

Often, as humans, we experience less than ideal moments, decisions, situations and choices. In these moments we can loose sight of our relationship, our relationships goals and advantages. Simultaneously, we find ourselves feeling unsafe or unappreciated and underwhelmed or unsure.  

In…. we trust

In a twinkling of an eye/blink of an eye we can lose the connection, security, and/or intimacy we share. We become you and me. You and I have the option to reestablish our togetherness or resign ourselves to this isolating moment.

In this instant we are tasked with a choice. The choice to trust or to doubt. Depending on our history the focus of this trust and/or doubt can be ourselves, our partner/s or relationship, our choices, our existence and so on. In a single moment and in a history of single moments we create memories and feelings that either support or hinder our trusting natures. In truth we are all experience dishonesty, loss and disappointment at different points in our lives. How we learn and grow through disappointment and loss has a great effect on our HHIA relationships.   

Photo by Joaquin Vallejo on Scopio

Most importantly, communication is the key to positive expression and growth through negative events and experiences. Check out Blog-Lessons 25, 26, 37 and 38 to refresh. 😉

Often that communication can be unspoken or silent: Experiment with 5-Minute Exercises in #39.

As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The choice is yours

Choosing to trust is a dynamic and spirited choice which can offer more options and opportunity than doubt. This includes trust in:

This is true in all the relationships we experience throught our lives.

This is Sean. Try trusting yourself (and to 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 HHIA Relationships 38

Making Space Together

In Between

This is Sean and we are together again. Our last Blog-Lesson focused on dates and dating. Getting to know one another better. For some of us this phase, at least in theory, is behind us and we have found someone. And our someone has found us as well.

In other words, some of us are in a HHIA Relationship. This relationship status is important to be aware of and to respect. Our relationships provide us with a subject and a regular partner with whom we can explore together. We can explore not only each other but the rest of the world together.  

by Roy Serafin

The better you know yourself, the better your relationship with the rest of the world.

Toni Collette

On Purpose

Being together with someone is a big part of our relationship goals and efforts. However, once we reach this level in life as in video games and many if not most things, success leads to the next level. On the one hand we have accumulated and collected all of our experiences, memories and emotions and found someone who wants to share them. On the other hand we are confronted with new perspectives, thoughts and feelings outside ourselves and a whole new set of ambitions and purposes.

Being in the Game

At this point in the game of life you and me becomes we and we make choices together as well as separately. We begin to include another person in our decision making and choices. This happens:

  • together
  • in concert
  • in conversation
  • menu choices
  • ordering
  • after work
  • at weekends
  • in clear decisions
  • through murky suggestions
  • with no words at all
  • consciously
  • unconsciously
  • perhaps even automatically, eventually 😉

As you get going in the game you just kind of go along and you play the game.

Matt Cassel

All previous Blogs still apply. We are just in a more complex situation when we put things into action.

by Chechui Oleksandr

How/Where/When

Ultimately, the question is:

How/Where/When do we find space and time for each other in relationship?  

Where/When/How do we find space and time for each other in a relationship?  

The simple truth is we choose to make time and space for each other. This is true in every relationship form friends and family to romance and even in matrimony!

Communication is key.

  • Checking in
  • Texting
  • Chatting
  • Writing notes
  • Talking
  • Asking questions
  • Active listening
  • Expressing yourself
  • Being honest
  • Saying yes
  • Being clear
  • Saying no
  • Being real: with yourself and your partner
  • Saying maybe, sometimes  
by Rainer Puster

We make time for one another in concensus, in dialogue and in our combined/collective schedule.

We make space in the same ways and ultimately make space in our lives for and with each other.

Unique & Opaque

This process is always unique and often opaque to the outside observer. As long as we are clear, satisfied and happy with the space and time we create for each other, we are good.

Next time: relationship time and space when we live together.

This is Sean. Try actively listening to yourself (and to those who are important to you) for a minute, an hour, a day, a 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 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 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:

Photo by Daniel Poggioli on Scopio

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
Photo by Dennis Ingara on Scopio

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.

Photo by David Gallo on Scopio

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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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!

Photo by Brycen Aiken on Scopio

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.

Photo by Tariq Keblaoui on Scopio

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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