A lesson that I’ve learnt the hard way and is something that me and Charis speak about a lot, is the importance of sexual intimacy in our relationship.
It’s so easy to get caught up in life and forget to invest daily into our relationship, and that very reason is exactly why in the past, a relationship I was in, ended up being more so as a best friend and not a girlfriend and sexual partner.
It’s only upon reflection we can really see where we went wrong.
You know that honeymoon period that everyone says goes…
I truly believe it doesn’t have to, and can transcend into something far greater where you become lovers, best friends and life partners,
But there is an IF…
Initially my main reasons for investing in my relationship were through fear that I would lose that ‘I JUST WANT TO FUCK YOU’ feeling, especially after I’d been there before and had really hurt someone I loved, because I didn’t have the awareness or the tools to cultivate the type of relationship I wanted, and coupled with the lack of courage to communicate my deepest desires, this led me to take the ‘easy’ otherwise known as the cowards way out…
Now my reasons for investing in my relationship are different, I know what type of relationship I want, and I have a duty to Charis to always try my best to communicate and stick to my commitment that we both made when deciding we wanted to create a relationship together.
I’ve learnt that 2 people (speaking about monogamous relationships as I haven’t experienced polyamory or open) that like eachother and choose to be in a relationship, just isn’t enough for a relationship to flourish, It takes constant communication, challenges, fear, love and everything in between to build the relationship you truly want.
As soon as I stop investing in my relationship and become lazy and complacent, my relationship will suffer (I know shock horror), so in order for me to have the type of relationship where I look at Charis and want to have passionate sex (or a quickie, or anything else sexually) with her, I HAVE to put the work in!
I want someone I can share my fears with (this starts with me owning them first),
I want someone I can break down infront of (this is what i’m currently working on through counselling as I struggle to connect with my own emotions and express them),
I want someone I can do nothing with (everyone loves a ‘snacks and film’ night),
BUT…I also want someone I can enjoy sexually,
And THAT comes down to how willing I am to invest in myself and my own healing (we’ve all got layers we need to peel back and learn to love).
A question I would ask yourself if you crave more intimacy with your partner is…
‘where am I not showing up for myself, where am I not showing up in my relationship, where am I NOT putting effort in and what can I do right NOW to start reinvesting?
Very few of us ever become a master of anything, because to master something, you have to be so dedicated that you will do whatever it takes to get to the top of ‘your game,’ and for most, this level of commitment is seen as selfish,
I want to impose on you an alternative, a paradox if you will, where your mind will begin questioning whether or not you are indeed, a master of manipulation.
Now I don’t want to use the kind of terminology you’d hear from a hugely respected athlete that has come to the end of their career, and whose life’s mission is now to inspire and influence others to achieve greatness,
But instead, authored by a 31 year old man sat infront of his laptop, in a vest and a scruffy pair of ‘lounging shorts’ whose life’s mission is to provoke thought, and inspire change, so you can visualise and experience an amazingly fulfilling life outside of societies little cage.
Well put on your big gender neutral pants and follow me in to the fray…
Tread carefully my little apprentice for the ground is treacherous as we embark on our first mission…
Apprentice level 1: Do I look fat in this?
You’ve got a meal out planned with a few friends and their partners and as always the painstaking process of ‘operation queen’ begins hours before you’re due to go out.
a couple of hours later, you fearfully walk towards the flight of stairs as you try to pluck up the courage to make the climb…
The sound of ‘it’s raining men’ bellows into your ears as you are met with the intense smell of perfume, sweat and tears,
Every fibre of your being is telling you to retreat back to the sofa as you are hit with the apocalyptic feeling of deja vu, but for the greater good you trundle on.
You walk into The Lovemaking Quarters, where you are faced with a beautiful lady fighting with an equally beautiful garment, just as you were about to intervene the battle is won, and your beautiful lady turns around and utters the most earth-shatteringly feared words of all…
‘Do I look fat in this?’
You take a huge gulp and swallow back down your pounding heart as you wipe the sweat from your brow.
Although you think it’s not the most flattering how can you let her know this without her taking it personally and refusing to go out?
‘No, you look lovely’ as the weight of the world has just removed itself from your shoulders.
>>> LEVEL 1 COMPLETE <<<
That was a close call but don’t get complacent now that was just the beginning.
Putting on your mask: level 2
This is probably the most important of all, to hide your true identity,
Let the lesson begin!
You lift your left foot up, and just before you can put it infront of your right foot, you are immediately transported back in time to when you first met your partner.
You’ve got a jd and coke in your hand and vision impairment goggles over your eyes.
You see a stunning girl over at the bar ordering her drink, and in your drunken courageous state you decide to do the peacock walk over to her, puffing your chest out in the hope you can bag a date, or at the very least a phone number.
Obviously this is the stereotypical ‘good looking girls end up with dickheads’ because through your egotistical ‘trying to be alpha’ persona, you managed to persuade her to go on a date with you.
You wake up the next day with a mouth as dry as *insert a filthy metaphor and the sense of conflict bigger than the battle of Winterfell…
Do you show up as the deep thinking, polite emotional man that you are, or do you show up as the alpha, egotistical man that got you the date in the first place?
*Sidenote, think about every area of your life where you have to interact with people,
You hear the words of your master in your ears ‘this is probably the most important of all, to hide your true identity’
Before you have time to ponder anymore, you are catapulted into the exact moment before you walk out the door to go on your date…
I MUST NOT appear as my true vulnerable self, and with that thought you put on your mask, and walk out your front door.
>>> LEVEL 2 COMPLETE <<<
Awesome work soldier, now this next phase will grant you Master status!
Are you ready to become the Master Manipulator whose ninja like in stealth never truly being seen or heard?
Society conformity: Level 3
Suit up partner, this is where it could all come crashing down and you could giveaway your true identity.
You’ve been in a relationship for *insert how long, and you are happy, content and excited to continue creating a future together, but recently your sex life has become vanilla and routined at best, that’s when you are actually fortunate enough to have sex.
You’ve been watching more and more porn in private, and often find yourself fantasising about other people.
The last few weeks have had you scouring the internet for alternatives, as you DO NOT want to go behind your partners back and cheat on them.
You soon find blogs from couples and relationship experts that talk about consensual non monogamy, this begins to bring up a flurry of emotions that you’ve never had to explore,
Could I have sex with someone else guilt free even knowing my partner gave consent,
Could I deal with the fact my partner slept with someone else and not take it as a personal attack,
Could I deal with all the awkward conversations and judgements from friends, family and anyone that felt they were entitled to an opinion,
As the days go by and the sex is becoming a bigger issue and bringing up feelings such as resentment and frustration the thought about this whole consensual non monogamy begins to get louder.
You fear that if you openly communicate about this then you will hurt your partner and potentially end up losing someone you love,
You also fear that by not communicating openly and honestly then you aren’t showing up as your true self and this can only mean one thing…
Your partner doesn’t love the real you, only the version that you are allowing your partner to see.
Do you ask for advice from people who will only give you back their emotional biases and insecurities,
Do you speak to the person you love in order to be able to go another layer deep in your relationship and connect on a far deeper level,
I want you to think about your sex life now and ask yourself ‘am I showing up as the true me, or am I only sharing the parts of my self that I know are safe and easier to ‘love”
Is your partner a possession of yours or are you individuals supporting eachother to become the best versions of themselves and giving yourself permission to explore every part of your desires and curiosities?
It’s crunch time son…
Master status or removing your mask and identifying yourself?
In life we have a few constants but none greater than to tell your truth or to ultimately manipulate.
Every time you choose to hide your truth no matter how big or small you are falling into the manipulator role, trying to manage someone else’s feelings is a recipe for disaster and an unfulfilled life where you’re only teetering on the edge of all the amazing possibilities out there for yourself.
When you tell your truth it allows others the chance to really see you instead of a facade that you portray.
Your life is exactly that, YOURS and if you aren’t being true to yourself then your pushing people away from you that really should be in your life and attracting people that maybe shouldn’t be playing as big a role as they currently do.
NEVER stop exploring your personality and ALWAYS communicate your truth because who knows, by not having a potentially uncomfortable conversation you might be stopping your relationships from becoming something you have always wanted.
Do you want 110% real genuine people in your life?
Then first you need to become 110% real and genuine!
Assumptions only make an ass out of you and me 😉
To unbecome anything you have to first realise what you have become.
Since i’ve been communicating openly and honestly i’ve attracted someone into my life that pushes me to be the best I can be, and this allows for a relationship built on something far greater than just societies mould of what a relationship should look like, where we can both explore parts of ourselves that we’ve never felt comfortable before.
Part 1: The first and most important step in your journey towards self love.
So what is self acceptance?
Self acceptance is coming to a point in your life where you can physically and metaphorically look in the mirror and just say “yes, this is me” warts and all.
This takes a reasonably high level of self awareness because you have to be able to reflect on your life and the mistakes you’ve made while beginning to understand the reasons behind them.
If you can’t embrace your imperfections and fuck-ups then you have work to do,
But fear not, I will end this blog with some action steps you can take to begin to accept who you are.
Now why do so many of us struggle with self acceptance?
We are naturally emotional creatures and are hugely vulnerable to having our emotions controlled either by our subjective thoughts or even something as trivial as having to queue for a few minutes at the supermarket.
Just like anything in life responsibility is paramount and we have to take full responsibility for who we are and the things we’ve done wrong. For some people this can be the hardest part, all you narcissists out there are not ready to come crashing back down to earth and admit that they’ve ever been in the wrong so will live in denial and deflect all responsibility while seeking to point blame in someone else’s direction.
This can be a hard pill to swallow if you have overpowering narcissistic tendencies but what I want to throw into the mix now is insecurities…
Every single one of us has insecurities but some people let their insecurities control the majority of their lives,
Let me explain…
You’re in a relationship and your partner is getting ready to go out for a night with the lads/the girls, (wouldn’t want to be sexist to either of the TWO genders we have in the world ;)) you start to get a sudden sick feeling in your stomach as a result of your insecurity being triggered. This feels horrible to you but instead of being a mature adult and communicating with your partner openly you start ‘acting up,’ you know, how a 3 year old toddler does when they don’t know how to express themselves. You ignore your partner, go quiet and begin to sulk…
Now what someone who has got to that mirror stage of self acceptance will do is,
Feel the emotion and the sick feeling in their stomach, take responsibility for the fact that they are feeling insecure, accept that it is THEIR issue and either,
Option 1: Choose not to speak about it just before your partner goes out, say how amazing they look and that you hope they have a good night and promise yourself you’ll speak about how you feel tomorrow.
Option 2. Say to your partner “you look amazing, I sometimes wonder what I done to deserve you” you have given them a genuine compliment and also outlined the fact that sometimes you feel insecure which opens the door for your partner to reassure you.
Another very common insecurity is hating parts of your body,
Your mummy tummy,
Your beer belly,
Your double chin,
Cellulite on the back of your legs,
And this can have a huge negative impact on not only your own emotional well being but also your relationship.
Now someone who hasn’t reached the self acceptance stage in their life yet will wear clothes to hide their body, make excuses as to why they don’t want to go out, stop having sex with their partner, refuse to do anything about how they are feeling and look to blame.
Now someone who has reached the self acceptance stage in their life will take responsibility for how they feel about themselves and take the first step towards exercising regularly, embrace going out because they know that will improve their social confidence and speak to their partner about wanting to reignite their physical relationship.
Now you can see and possibly relate to how difficult it is to earn self acceptance, because it takes looking at all the things you want to change about who you are and instead of spiralling in to a self pitying mindset full of excuses, resentment and blame you use these things as motivation and inspiration to take action steps in becoming better, better than you were yesterday.
As always I want to reiterate the fact that I had to put a lot of work in over the years to earn this level of self acceptance I now have, it’s not something that you just have, the same as a confident person isn’t born confident they have to earn it.
So why is self acceptance the most important step towards self love?
In a nutshell, before you can address something first you have to recognise it’s there.
You are imperfect,
You have flaws,
You fuck up,
YOU ARE HUMAN!
My top 3 tips to achieve self acceptance:
Exercise, particularly weight training because as you see and feel your body getting stronger this will massively boost your confidence and have a huge positive impact on your mental strength.
2. Set yourself goals, start off with goals that are smaller and easier to achieve and this will begin to open your eyes to what you’re capable of when you put the work in.
3. Journal, this is hugely beneficial. Buy yourself a little book, I like spending a few quid on one that looks a bit pretty (princess, I know) so you actually take a bit of pride in it, and at the end of each day write down how your day was in regards to your emotions, what triggered certain ones and reflect on why then finish it with writing down 1 thing that you’re grateful for, ending your day in gratitude is reaffirming the positives you have in your life.
Self acceptance is like a muscle, if you don’t train it then you will lose it!
I’d love to hear your thoughts and any tips you have for accepting yourself so please do get in touch :)!