I’m participating in a project called Quest2016, run by Jeffrey Davis of Tracking Wonder. As part of this exercise we are given writing prompts 3 times a week for the whole of December.
The first prompt was “What I most need to tell myself about 2016…” In response I gave myself a little pep talk that could be condensed to “I have choices as to what I want the year to look like and how I want it to unfold.”
What choices would you like to make in the coming year? Let’s take this idea and focus on your relationships and your intimate life. I want you to remember that you get to decide how your relationships–with yourself, a partner, loved ones, friends, or business associates–will unfold. You get to make choices about how you engage in intimate relationships as well.
Because, here’s the thing–we make choices all the time.
We could play the victim and whine about all the crap that happens because we didn’t take charge of our own lives. Or we can embrace our ability to create a positive impact on our lives, via the choices we make. Never mind that right now I’m choosing to eat Harry And David’s Moose Crunch, which is caramel popcorn dipped in dark chocolate–fattening and addictively sweet—while I’m trying to drop a few pounds.
The first step is understanding that each choice we make leads to a range of possibilities–good or bad. We can’t really be passive about these things and then regret what didn’t, or did, happen. Obviously some things are out of our control. But, most of the time we have the opportunity to make good choices. What happens to us is dependent on how we show up and the things we choose to say or do.
Sometimes that one simple decision, like saying yes to an invitation for coffee, shifts everything.
There was a time, towards the end of my divorce when I was not making good choices about who I dated. I often let the guy lead the way and the more vulnerable I felt the more I silenced my own voice. I traded comfort and affirmation for feeling that someone, anyone, liked me enough to ask me out. As a consequence, I made a few bad choices.
Let me offer a few things for you to think about in shaping relationships as the year ends and you move to a brand new, shiny New Year.
- Ask for what you want. If the sexual activity isn’t going as you envisioned, speak up.
- Rather than assume you know what a partner is thinking–ask them.
- Are there certain things that are important for you to have/know/voice before getting intimate with someone? Do you need to speak them? Or just think about them?
- Do you have strong feelings about where you want a relationship to go? If so, does the other party know that? Does he/she need to know?
- Are there things you and your partner do that you’d like to see tweaked? Speak up.
- Are there things you and your partner do that you just love? Tell them. Offer up some words of gratitude, reassurance, compliments, etc.
- Don’t just focus on what isn’t working right, pay attention to the things that are going well (see above). Communicate that. Your partner is not a mindreader.
- Is there something you need in order to strengthen your skills, your relationship, your approach to sex? What do you need to do? Read a book, take a class, talk to a coach? This is about what you want for your personal growth.
Being passive about your life isn’t going to help. Rolling over and playing dead serves no good purpose. And that’s why we get to look at each hour, each day, or year, as a chance to approach things differently.
The choice is yours.
I’d love to hear your thoughts or specific ideas of what you choices you want to make.
photo by Andrea Di, Unsplash