Relationships are the place from which you invite your deepest learning--whether you want to or not.
The more intimate the relationship, the more powerfully designed it is to challenge your growth. Your unconscious mind chose your partner like the psychic genius that it is: your love interest is perfectly designed to both augment your happiness and trigger the living intolerance for change right out of you.
Knowing how to learn from and through your romantic and sexual relationships is the fastest track to your Best and Highest Self--knowing that you WILL learn through your romance and sexuality is highly motivating--you might as well do it consciously and well, rather than accidentally and badly.
Every couple needs to get away to focus on each other on a regular basis.
The Universe and your Learning Agenda do not always obey your hopeful command that “this weekend is just about fun.” If you’ve been avoiding growth, or your stars and planets are just aligned to fuck with you today, you cannot override that and force “fun” to be the primary agenda. If you've been sweeping your challenges, disagreements or resentments under the carpet, try not to act too surprised when your romantic weekend turns into the date night from hell.
If you’re willing to lay a little groundwork, you can keep even the “worst” learning weekend in the Romantic and Fun zone. Begin (or precede) your time together with the first skill/step in any negotiation:
Put Your Wants on the Table
This is a 3 step process, followed by an easy discussion until the lists gel. What makes this discussion easy is your mutual commitment to remember that you're simply discussing your initial layer of 'Wants.' You're not making demands, drawing conclusions or making a plan. Nothing is in stone, ever, and certainly not until you feel that sense of unity about the list.
- Get clear about what you want: for yourself and within the partnership/connection. Make a list. Knowing what you Want is one of the biggest challenges for humans, especially for American females. Think physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, sexually, entertainmentally. Keep it simple, but no holds barred. Remember, this is a Wants list, not a demand list. If listing your Wants is easy for you, go second.
- Ask for what you want, WITHOUT CONCERN or pre-accommodation for what you imagine the other’s wants are. You’re not making a decision or drawing a conclusion, or even a plan; you are simply stating your heart’s desires. These are changeable, malleable and shiftable; so OWN them with passion in this first round. If you go second, do not adjust your list in Round 1 to fit your partner's.
- Sit, stand and BE in full expectation and willingness to Receive Everything you Need and Most of what you Want. This isn’t specific, as in “I WILL have the tandem kayak experience.” This is broader, as in “Of course I’ll get exactly what I need and want—it’s just that kind of Universe.” Be open to your partner’s shifts in desires. When they say, “Okay. I’ll share a kayak with you,” DO NOT say, “Oh no, that’s okay. Let’s do whatever you want.” Instead--and tattoo this on your forearm for easy reference—say, “Okay. Great! Thank you!” Deal with your discomfort about receiving what you asked for with your therapist later.
Pre-Install the Practice of Check-Outs
We all suffer from stories we make up in our heads that match our history and experience so profoundly that we are certain they are Universal Truths. They are not. When you imagine you know what your partner thinks, feels, or is experiencing (especially as it pertains to you) you must CHECK IT OUT.
[Note: Your stories are probably wrong. Brace yourself.]
Check-outs start like this, “I have a check-out, are you willing to hear it?”
Your partner's job is to take a breath, make sure they are able to listen (ie: they don't have to pee really, really bad), remind themselves that your check-outs are about you, not them, and that an absolutely honest answer is absolutely required--no exceptions for hurt or uncomfortable feelings.
Your job is to identify the story you're making up in your head very specifically.
You'll say something like, “I am making up a story (or I have a fantasy) that you think X, or feel Y, or would rather be doing Z. Is that true?”
You must define specifically what you’re imagining, not ask open ended (stupid) questions like, “Whatcha thinkin’?” or "Why did you do that?"
For example, once you've gotten a "Yes, I will hear your check-out" from your partner, you might ask something as challenging as, "I have a fantasy that you would really rather be camping with your Dad & brothers instead of here with me. Is that true?"
Maybe it's as simple as but no less important than, "I'm making up a story that you wear that shirt because you know I hate it. Is that true?"
Maybe your check-out is the ever-popular, "I have a fantasy that you are enjoying the size/shape/firmness of our waiter's ass in his jeans. Is that true?"
When your partner asks a Check out Question you must, above all else, tell the truth (or I will personally hunt you down and cause you bodily harm). When a person is checking out their Intuitive Sense of Knowing (or their Super Idiot Monkey Brain, as the case may be) it is a supreme sin to “help” them calibrate that to a Lie. Make no mistake: if you lie, I will find you.
It’s a Yes/No question.
The only other option is "sometimes" or "partially." Don’t offer up an explanation, an excuse or assume you need to change anything. If you're answering the check-out, just answer the damned question and then shut your mouth for a minute. If you're asking for the check-out, hear your partners answer and process how their answer feels and sits with you.
- Before: a minimum of 3 prerequisite checkouts before/as the weekend begins, even if you have to make up “silly” ones
- During: ANY check-out that arises during the weekend, a minimum of 1 hour after you feel a disturbance in the Force
- After: follow-up check outs to keep it clear and lay the ground work for the next outing
If you've been clearing the decks in the relationship as you go, these simple (not necessarily easy) steps should keep your weekend on the fun, fun, fun side of things. However,
If something really big arises...
(ever notice how you can't talk about sexuality without the euphemisms abounding?)
But I digress... If something really big arises...
There are deeper skills you can employ including The Clearing Model. It's advisable to take a step back and have each of you utilize a method like The Clearing Model that works well for you to identify and remove the electric charge from your personal trigger, THEN come back together to share your contribution to the friction. There is no value whatsoever in pointing out what bothered you about your partner's behaviors/words and a there is a negative value to asking them to change their behavior so you can feel better or be happier. Many people believe that "good communication" consists of telling each other what you can and can no longer do in order to be happy together. This is why so many of us feel like we "lose ourselves" in relationships or feel "burdened or tied down" by them: Because we are.
"Compromise" is the first nail in the coffin of any love story. There are better ways.
Doing relationships differently than what we've been taught is a very high-level, mondo-skilled, co-commitment style of communication.
It's not for sissies.
If you know that you and/or your partner don't have this level of skill--especially if you can't imagine that anyone could be in a relationship without asking or demanding that your partner make changes in order to make your own life go easier/better, consider doing an Immersion Program into your own Sacred Sexuality.
NOTHING will grow every aspect of your life faster (including your business, your money issues, your parenting and your happiness level) than this program.
Discovering how to live in something beyond Romance Phase every day will blow your mind. Everyone wants to "get back to how we were in the beginning." You were BABIES in the beginning, running on adrenaline and the naïve hope that "we're different." Sacred Sexuality will rock your self and your world, and rocket your Relationship and your Sexuality into a dimension beyond what you can imagine.
You will learn things about yourself that you did not know. You will create an intimacy with your partner and in all your relationships that you did not think was possible. If you thought the people who have that incredibly intimate bond just "got lucky" or were "just better at picking" their partner than you were, think again. Your heart, in cahoots with your unconscious mind and the Universe Itself, picked EXACTLY the right partner to force your growth in EXACTLY the right way.