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A variety of relationship experts are counseling men to pump up their masculinity and women to return to their softer feminine sides, in the hopes that some lost chemistry between the sexes will return. What’s great about these ideas is that it encourages men and women to think about pleasure, polarity and how they want to feel. But let's not sidestep the judgement in this way of thinking.

We know the limitations of avoiding big conversations and feelings in relationship on a regular basis, so avoidance is obviously not recommended as a long term strategy. But it can be used in moments, in small doses, as in the story above, to preserve a more important, agreed upon value.

Some people who have been enduring the Drama of the Gifted Relationship have simply tired of it. They want their relationships to be based on and about something other than processing feelings. Something like pleasure, or creativity, or both.

I usually go for seltzer water or fermented grapes, but sometimes you get the kind of news that is better swallowed with real spirits.

A client came to me distraught. He had been struggling in his relationship. His fiancée was non-responsive to his needs. She was consumed with and depressed about a touchy situation at work and wanted to stay home, enjoy take-out and watch TV, preferably with but even without him.