Determining One’s Needs Through Self-love Before Entering Into New Relationship

by Reid on September 11, 2019

Determining One’s Needs Through Self-love Before Entering Into New Relationship




Cathy: Someone wrote in and said, “When I was newly single after divorce I had all these men flocking to me and I was like having all kinds of hot poly kinky play, everything I dreamed of and then some I met someone special and we turned to monogamy when I realized I was sort of passing my energy around and feeling drained and I wanted to return the container of relationship focus and commitment. A year insecurities given way to frustration, I feel invisible, sexually shut down, defaulting to my partner’s vanilla, and wanting desperately to be seen a neo. I can’t determine if what I’m craving has to do with my needs not being fully sexual and not being met sexually in my relationship or am I just a woman who needs new relationship energy or stranger sex periodically to thrive or is widely be seen code for I just need to double down and work on the self-love before I go asking for an open relationship ick, what do I do?”

Reid: Oh my god, this is amazing!

Cathy: Yes.

Reid: You are all such smart human beings

Cathy: You’re wonderful

Reid: who write us these amazing things

Cathy: They really are

Reid: I am sitting here with Cathy Vartuli of

Cathy: And I’m here with Reid Mihalko from

Reid: Excellent

Cathy: Yeah and I think

Reid: We…we agreed that we’re sitting with each other.

Cathy: that’s often

Reid: This is important.

Cathy: It’s good to start with basics.

Reid: Okay and we agreed that this is a great chair. Please keep

Cathy: Ye

Reid: sending stuff to us

Cathy: Yeah, no these are wonderful. I love the vulnerability and the…and the question.

Reid: Alright, solve their problem. In two sentences, go!

Cathy: Two sentences. I think one, humans need different things at different times. So I…I was brought up that you’re kind of you’re you are who you are, that’s how you were born, that’s what you want but as I’ve gone through my life there were times where I’ve explored with kink and then there were times I didn’t want kink and they were…I think people are allowed to have variation in what they want to experience and what leaves them fulfilled. So just because last year you wanted something doesn’t mean this year you can’t want something else or today and tomorrow you can want different things.

So first just giving yourself permission to have different needs at different times and perhaps talking to your partner about exploring outside a vanilla or exploring within vanilla if that’s all that partner’s want willing to do might go towards helping you understand where your needs can get met within the existing agreement and then also just being really clear that “Okay maybe I do like a new relationship energy or a stranger sex sometimes.” There’s nothing wrong with that. I think doing the work on self-love is always useful, always valuable but it doesn’t change what are we prefer sexually or what our body might be asking for unless it’s something we’re using to escape who we are I think. I love your thoughts on that.

Reid: So first off, some of your questions are so awesome and like go don’t just take our advice for it

Cathy: Yeah

Reid: Go find other support maybe get a therapist, couples counseling, all kinds of stuff, right? Because none of that has to be the…the death knell that something’s wrong.

Cathy: Yeah

Reid: So that just, just, just say that. I, for this conversation or this email, right? Because it was very it seemed like this was not somebody writing who was just having their sexual renaissance like there’s a lot of thought and a lot of complex things that have been articulated in this email. So I’m going to give a really simple bit of advice that’s actually quite complex and my…my answer is to look at life from a Yes, And perspective. Yes, And traditionally comes from or where I found it first was in the improv comedy world where the secret to improv comedy is to always be yes and so you never negate to something that’s…that’s already been established, okay? This is pretty actually I’m kind of proud that I came up with this. I didn’t come up with this but like how I’m applying it right ‘coz I’m like “Oh like this is actually this is this is interesting advice.” So yes you have a monogamous relationship and you might need other things.

Cathy: Roleplaying with your partner on new sex or stranger sex or it might work or

Reid: Who knows? But it also might fall under the category of a monogamous relationship and I need non-monogamous things. So for me as somebody who…who coaches people through this kind of stuff, right? Or just in relationships in general, the conversation is alright so in your, your established relationship or and for anybody listening like if you have multiple relationships your established relationships like can you have this kind of conversation? Can you have a nuanced conversation about this context? It’s actually quite complex. I, you know “Hey honey, we have a monogamous relationship. I have this past where I had all this….this non-monogamy,” I was going to say freedom but it’s actually the air quotes around freedom. “I had all this non-monogamy and now I’m kind of curious that I might need to dip in dip back into the non-monogamy pool just to feel fulfilled. I’m not sure yet if it has if it’s a…has to or have to do this but like can we talk about it?” So do you have a relationship where you can you can initiate that conversation?

Cathy: That’s important.

Reid: And again I’m going to say from just a healthy relationship standard, whatever relationship you’re having or whatever friendships you’re having can you have that kind of conversation like which is actually kind of complex and that you’re now asking yourself am I dating somebody or if you’re using with friends or business partners or whatever, are we literate enough about being able to talk about multi-level of complexities to be able to even start having this conversation or are we actually not literate enough to do this and we either need to bring in a third party to help navigate this or we should go get the tools and then come back?

Cathy: And I think hiding part of yourself from your partner is not a good way to have a really solid relationship and if you’re having concerns or feelings being able to talk about them whether you can meet those needs in the relationships through fantasy role play or if you actually do this like we were talking about in another video, the sooner you start talking about things that you’re feeling the easier it is to deal with.

Reid: Yeah and talking about something doesn’t mean everyone’s agreeing that it gets to happen, it’s the beginning of mapping out what is there and what…what…what options we have and then when you all decide or choose an option to explore, then you map out what exploring that option would look like.

Cathy: Yeah

Reid: So again, some people think that if they start talking about three ways, they have to have a three-way and I’m like “No, there’s like a gazillion little steps to happen before that to do it right, to you know have everyone feel good about it about exploring it even if it doesn’t go well.” Like and that and that alone is a very complex situation, right? How do you know if your relationship can handle trying something new and did not going well?

Cathy: You can’t even talk about it, yeah

Reid: And then you both being like “Wow, let’s celebrate that we tried that thing but it was a train wreck.”

Cathy: It’s never going to run again.

Reid: When…when you can do that like when you have that kind of relationship then you can pretty much I mean it doesn’t guarantee that you stay together forever or they’re always happy but then you can adventure and explore in ways that were really not available to my mom and dad

Cathy: Yeah

Reid: based on their communication skill sets.

Cathy: Yeah and I just want to point out that self-love doesn’t always mean that we have to be alone, you were asking if you should double down and…and go in you know work on self-love. Self-love can also mean I have noticing these needs and I’m going to talk about it and figure it out that’s also a form of self-love or I’m going to talk to my partner about maybe I really do need to you know to open the relationship up, those are also self-love ways of approaching life. So I hope this helped, it’s a great topic and good luck.

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