Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Relationship Grab Bag: Quotes from David Nicho's 'How to Be An Adult In Relationships'

Getting ready for a trip to California.

There will be no posting next Tuesday.

To tide you over, here are some quotes from David Nicho's "How To Be An Adult In Relationships."

I've quoted from it before. If something speaks to you, maybe you'll enjoy the rest of the book.

(Note - The gender pronouns alternate from chapter to chapter so anything that mentions 'she' or 'he' can probably apply to both sexes.)

On Being Supportive

"There is sometimes a recondite, unreachable, unnamed feeling in a person's experience. She herself does not know what she really feels or needs in the moment. Support may consist simply in honoring that inner mystery."

On Intimacy and Commitment

"Not everyone is cut out for a fully committed relationship...Some people are more comfortable with--and only psychologically calibrated for--light relationships or friendships. They are driven not by fear of intimacy but by truthful recognition intimacy is not for them."

On Needs
"We know...what we needed was not there or being withheld...We may go on denying how deprived we feel...I just won't need what isn't there."

"Sometimes one partner does not meet the other's needs, but since he also does not do anything major [we] go on in the relationship without thinking of options such as change or separation: He will never be so bad that you will leave him but never so good that he will satisfy you."

"Mature adults bring a modest expectation of need fulfillment to a partner. They seek only 25 percent of their need fulfillment from someone else, with the rest coming from self, family, friends, career, hobbies, spirituality/religion, and even pets."

Life Cycle Of A Relationship
"The rose of relationship grows petals in romance, thorns in conflict, and roots in commitment."

New Relationships
"The trick is to enjoy [romance] with full pleasure, yet safely. We want to be thrilled but not wrecked as we sail into it...we fall, notice how we are falling, and catch ourselves all at the same time."

Unhealthy Relationships
"Both rejection and acceptance fire up our adrenaline, so both are equally exciting to the addict. Thus, adrenaline hooks us both coming and going; we are still hooked when we are breaking up. We can get a fix from our partner even as we leave him."

"In healthy relating, we connect but do not attach. We can only really possess what does not possess us. This leads to the great irony of addictive relating: We attach and thereby do not have. The second irony is that the more we rely on someone for security, the less secure we feel."

"People who believe they are lovable are people who love."

Clinging and Pushing Away
"She seduces because of her terror of being alone...she withholds because of her terror of being close. She is at the mercy of a panic that creates a reflex response...the seduction is not a lie nor is the withholding a punishment."

On Conflict
"The purpose of relating is not to endure pain...our challenge as adults is to live through it and move past it."

Fears of abandonment or intimacy stemming from childhood
"Am I the warden of a body in which every cell holds a prisoner pacing with rage for crimes he did not commit?"

"Our ego demands that our partner save us: "Stop doing what I do not want to grieve for.""

"Triangles form...when we do not want to let go of the original partner but instead only make the unlivable livable...The affair is not the disturbance but a symptom of the disturbance...A frustrated partner finds someone else to colonize the empty space rather than address it or grieve its emptiness directly"

"Those avoiding intimacy with the original partner will most likely keep avoiding it with a new partner. What's more, the secrecy and time constraints of an affair make intimacy ultimately impossible in that relationship too. So ultimately, two lovers are less than one."

"So many frayed strands, of disappointments, some barely noticeable, dangle from our hearts in the complex tapestry of a lifetime...Disappointment is a kind of loss, the loss of what we hoped something was or could be. At the bottom is the loss of an illusion to which we were clinging or on which we relied."

"When we feel disappointment, we need to work on our grief. But other people can help us too. If someone understands our disappointment...and shows empathy, it revives and comforts us."

"All relationships end. Some with separation, some with divorce, some with death. That means that in entering a relationship we implicitly accept that the other will leave us or we will leave him. Grieving is there for included in what we signed on for...We think we only feel it at the very end, but we have probably felt it during the relationship too."

"The worse the relationship was, the worse our grief will be. This is because when we end a very difficult relationship, we are not only letting go of a partner but of all the hope and work we invested in keeping something alive that had expired long before."

"We feel the pain most severely when we uselessly fight against a necessary ending. Holding on is the painful element of letting go."

My Personal Favorite...
"Our bodies cannot be fooled."

Also, on pages 90-93 is a beautiful letter from someone to a new potential partner.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

After The Bad Relationship: Two Directions

There are two directions you can go after a bad relationship.

Direction one is to get better, to become smarter and stronger at setting limits, recognizing what you want, taking care of yourself, and saying 'no.' All your relationships become stronger, and you see the effects not just in your romantic life but in other parts of your life as well. You feel a new confidence based on your ability to experience bad things and come back unbroken and stronger than ever.

Direction two is to become better at being in bad relationships. You're better at setting aside your own needs, dealing with crises, and putting up with bad behaviour. You can attract sicker and sicker people. Before you were dealing with someone who was just self-centered. But now you can handle abuse and addiction. Now you can live in the chaos of the Wheel of Pain and be so used to hurting that it becomes your normal.


Or risk having the choice made for you.

- May All Beings Be Sexy

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Diary of a Gateway Boyfriend: Lioness

I like your expressions: how you smile after we kiss like youre savoring some private victory, how you bite your lip, how your eyes can shift from cool, curious, feline detachment to an almost feral hunger.

I like your lips and tongue and teeth and the way they like to take and be taken.

I like how you surrender but never submit.

I like the noises you make, the way you murmur words in your pleasure that I'm never fully sure I'm meant to hear.

I like how when lean on your elbows and tilt your head back, the sun lights up the edge of your neck and gravity flows through your hair, turning it into a waterfall.

I like your legs and the way they ripple with tremors when I skate my fingertips along the inside of your thighs.

I like the skin of your back, the jut of your shoulder blades, the crease of your hipbone.

I love the taste of you. All of you.

Most of all I like the way how when I glide my hands down your body, it rises to meet my touch, flowing through my palms like Egyptian sand.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

(Editorial - for men) Commitment

I've been talking to a lot of men about their romantic entanglements over the past couple days. I'm beginning to think that a huge part of dating is the guy showing the woman he can commit.

I don't mean commit as in she's looking for a husband or some guy who will creepily follow her around for the rest of her life. I think we need a different definition of commitment.

To me, commitment is delivering on the promises you make.

I don't mean this promise has to be explicitly stated. You aren't raising your right hand and saying, "I do hearby solemnly swear to uphold the Law of the Wolf Cub Pack and to do a good turn for others every day."

The promise is often in your behavior.

If you approach a girl, the unspoken promise is that you are going to be more interesting than whatever else is going on around her.

If you're expressing interest in her and then refusing to make a physical move, you are not delivering on your promise. Don't take my word for it. Check out this link.

 If you say you want a casual relationship and then you spend every day with her, introduce her to your parents, and move in with her...you are delivering something different than what you promised. You are sending a mixed message and if things go south, you can't blame her for "not listening when you said you wanted something casual." Nor can you blame her if she decides you're being too clingy.

A big part of dating and relationships is trust. And part of being trustworthy is being reliable--doing the things you say you're going to do, whatever those things might happen to be.

Don't promise anything--in word or in behavior--that you aren't willing to deliver. Don't deliver something different from what you promise.

-May All Beings Be Sexy

Check out this link for information on how to get Dan's Dating for Shy Guys ebook.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Diary of a Gateway Boyfriend: Petty But Oddly Satisfying & Some Random Dialogues

Remember this story?  Here's Post-Script #3, and it's the weirdest of all.

Remember the part in the middle of the story where RadFem was hanging out weirdly with this other woman? It turns out she was also interested in RadFem and also got strung along. Months later, we ended up comparing stories, and eventually hooked up.

As rebounds go, it was oddly satisfying.

I cant believe she turned you down. Youre awesome.

I know. You too!

*naked high fives*

* * *

DAN: I'd like to take you to dinner. Do you have any preferences for food?
HER: Anything is good with me.
DAN: Right on. Taco Bell it is.
HER: I guess I should have been more specific.
DAN: One large drink, two straws...and all the Ketchup packets you can handle. Because you're that special to me.

* * *

Texting with comedian/writer Dawn Dumont about a new paramour

DAN:  I like her, but I'm also nervous about screwing it up.
DAWN: Stick with hopeful and passionate. These things are good.
DAN: Hope and passion engaged, Captain. Self-sabotage sensors on high alert.

*  *  *

HER: I dated a foot fetish guy.
DAN: Yeah, I've heard a couple stories about that.
HER: It was weird. He didn't want me to take off my clothes. Just my socks and shoes.
DAN: That's how it goes, I guess.
HER: And then he had me give him a foot job. I never even heard of such a thing.
DAN: Wait...what?
HER: I should have thought it through a little better. It was kind of a mess. I didn't want to put my socks back on, there were no towels available, and there was no way he was going to carry me to the bathroom...
DAN: I've had a lot of things happen to me, and I'm searching my memory for one that competes with that, but I don't think I'm going to find it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Why Do We Talk About Approaching Strangers?

Somebody wrote:

"Why do we talk about cold approaches, anyway?How many relationships actually start that way? It seems to me that "normal" people  mostly meet partners and hook-ups through their social circle. So, they usually are familiar with one another, or at least have friends to vouch for the other person."

That's absolutely true. I think though for a lot of people reading this blog that if that were an option right now, they would have done so already. People don't generally seek out the Gateway Boyfriend ecause what they're doing is working.

But first, a quick note on 'normal' people. It's easy to look at what we call 'normal' and compare ourselves to that, but I don't think it's necessarily helpful. We do not and cannot know what other people's lives are like.

Besides, what good does it do? All that time comparing ourselves to others can be better put to use working on our own lives.

Now, on the subject of cold approaches and why I encourage them.

Approaching strangers is not about whether or not one of those strangers becomes your boyfriend/girlfriend.

Cold approaches are a long shot even for people who are GOOD at them. But the thing to remember is they aren't about any particular result.

What cold approaches do is help people without social experience make up a lot of ground very quickly without putting the relationships they're already in at risk. There's less social consequences for both parties if you're strangers to each other. You don't have to see each other again at parties, work or social functions

Committing to approaching strangers means you meet a lot of people. You see a lot of different individual reactions.

You see how people are different and how they are the same.

You learn to deal with your own anxiety.

You learn to deal with rejection.

You learn how to deal with success, even success you don't feel you earned.

You learn that most people are good to each other and nobody wants to hurt anybody's feelings. You learn that you are likable and that you have something to offer and that other people aren't jerks or stuck-up bitches or dudebros or whatever.

You learn that you will make mistakes and neither you or the other person will die a horrible death.

You learn other people aren't perfect or normal either and that there's no secret formula that everyone else in the world knows but you. You learn that awkwardness is uncomfortable, but it's not the end of the world.

You also get to do it at a pace you can comfortably handle.

Happy Stranger Meeting

-May All Beings Be Sexy

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Diary of a Gateway Boyfriend: Siddhartha

A quote from Herman Hesse's Siddhartha.

I dedicate it to the Gateway Boyfriends and Gateway Girlfriends inside us all:

Siddhartha said nothing, and they played the game of love, one of the thirty or forty different games Kamala knew. Her body was flexible like that of a jaguar and like the bow of a hunter; he who had learned from her how to make love, was knowledgeable of many forms of lust, many secrets. For a long time, she played with Siddhartha, enticed him, rejected him, forced him, embraced him: enjoyed his masterful skills, until he was defeated and rested exhausted by her side.

The courtesan bent over him, took a long look at his face, at his eyes, which had grown tired.

"You are the best lover," she said thoughtfully, "I ever saw. You're stronger than others, more supple, more willing. You've learned my art well, Siddhartha. At some time, when I'll be older, I'd want to bear your child. And yet, my dear, you've remained a Samana, and yet you do not love me, you love nobody. Isn't it so?"

"It might very well be so," Siddhartha said tiredly. "I am like you. You also do not love--how else could you practise love as a craft?

Perhaps, people of our kind can't love. The childlike people can; that's their secret."