HOW BOUNDARIES WILL KEEP YOUR RELATIONSHIP TOGETHER AND YOUR HEART FROM FALLING OUT.
No is the most powerful word in the English language. It is the kindest, best, and most versatile utterance in the history of utterances, and only the smartest people know how to use it.
It is mom's cautious hand against our chest, protecting us from oncoming traffic as we cross the street. It's a quick punch in the nose, or a talk to the hand. It can be fast or slow; a bullhorn or whisper, rolling over you like San Francisco fog. It can feel so fucking good to say and sometimes terrible to hear.
If "no" was a russian tea doll, you'd find another word just inside. That word is "boundaries," as essential to our lives as the morning after pill is to ABC's Bachelor Pad.
What if I told you that having good boundaries will improve your sex life, make you happier, healthier, and prevent your relationships from catching lesbian bed death, sexuality notwithstanding?
LESSONS FROM POLYAMORY THAT YOUR MONOGAMOUS RELATIONSHIP CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT.
Call me selfish, but I get a little upset when someone asks to borrow a book or if they can have a sip of my coffee. I'm not really into sharing. I prefer monogamous relationships to pretty much all other relationship structures; with my personal belongings AND my intimate partners. I can be jealous, manipulative, and possessive. And then on the 2nd date, my true colors really come out.
But it got me thinking: Why throw out the polyamorous baby with the bathwater?
For all intents and purposes, we successfully sustain polyamorous relationships in many areas of our lives. We share the love of our parents. We share love for our kids, our friends, our pets. Why then are we told how "natural" it is to be monogamous in romance? So I thought I'd take a tour of the Land of Poly...
I love Facebook. It helps me build community, make friends outside my normal social circles, or stay in touch with folks I might otherwise never see but for high school reunions (that I would go to over my dead and rotting body). It also lets me stay connected to family and friends, updating me on first words, last Friday nights, engagements and estrangements, feeding my concern and my sometimes morbid curiosity.
I also, however, hate Facebook. When my inner critic logs on, my newsfeed displays nothing but evidence of everyone else's perfect life: weekend farmers markets, impromptu picnics in the park, triathlons, and vintage flea markets. In fact, I’m pretty sure everyone I know is hanging out with Gwyneth Paltrow.
But like it or not, with more than 845 million users, Facebook is here to stay.
People leave us, we flunk out of college, our iPhones get stolen, our grandmothers die. Loss is a matter of fact for everyone walking this earth, and we each have our own unique and understandable emotional response. Grief is a natural reaction to the feeling that something or someone we treasure has been taken away from us. The grieving process includes a variety of coping strategies including denial, isolation, anger, bargaining, or depression. I'd like to add my personal favorites: righteous indignation, moving to a new town, or getting a morbid tattoo. The thing to remember, however, is that grief does not take orders from our brains!
YOU CAN'T HURRY LOVE, AND YOU CAN'T HURRY GRIEF.
It takes time to heal. Sometimes weeks, sometimes months, and sometimes if you're very unlucky, longer than The Final Rose Episode of The Bachelorette. But regardless of the time frame, remember to be patient and kind with yourself, and to let your process unfold naturally.
Let's be honest. Most of us have an ongoing list of reasons that WE JUST KNOW, render us utterly undatable, keeping us lonely forever. My list may or may not include items such as:
- Not exactly over my ex.
- I'm a total know it all.
- Violently competitive.
- Inexplicable need to use foul language around children.
If you're like me, you keep the list in your wallet so you can show dates when there's an awkward silence over dinner.
Others take another route, and try to hide these qualities, feeling ashamed or embarrassed of them. This plan often back-fires somewhere around the 4th month of the relationship, in which words like "sister wife," "sleep apnea machine," or "family week at rehab," enter the daily lexicon of the relationship, to your partner's astonishment and probable disappointment.
It’s right up there with getting eaten by a shark or falling from the sky in a 747. For many of us, there is no greater fear than ending up lonely forever.If you don’t relate to this scenario, then stop reading right now. Seriously, go somewhere else. Also, I don’t believe you.
But, if there are days when you’d gladly give yourself a haircut with a pair of craft scissors in exchange for the promise of a lifetime of love, companionship and Friday night plans, then you’re in the right place.
I’LL TELL YOU EXACTLY WHAT TO DO TO PREVENT BEING LONELY FOREVER.
Here is the secret, ready? Start liking yourself as much as you want your next date to like you.
If you genuinely enjoy your own company; if you think you’re hilarious and have a quirky, yet totally adorable fashion sense; if you like the sound of your own voice and you think you’re charming and smart and you can spend hours by yourself at the farmers market; if you can clearly hear the wise and quiet voice that lives inside you, then, whether you’re single or not, you will never feel truly alone.