The time between New Year’s Day and just before Valentine’s Day is known as breaking up season.

Couples who have been struggling for during the autumn and through the holiday season often use the ‘new year, new you’ energy as an impetus to end the relationship so that they can look towards Valentine’s day as a time to start another romantic adventure.  This is breaking up season.

In mid-December, I toured WeWork Aldwych House in London.   If you haven’t been in co-working office space like WeWork, you might not know how much creativity happens in casual conversations in the hot desking common areas.  Co-work offices provide hot desks which are tables or desks that you can either reserve or just claim when you arrive in the space.  Most spaces have great Wi-Fi, free beverages and a variety of comfy seating arrangements.  You sit down and work and during the time you are there, often enter into a conversation or two with the people working around you.  People can be from any field, business or discipline.  In any event, I ended up in a conversation with one of the local team.  We were talking about what I do for a living and he said that there really should be a good guide to breaking up since there didn’t seem to be any guides to help people refrain from emotionally shredding each other when they leave a relationship.  That is how I came to be writing this guide.  This blog is an introduction and outline that identifies the problems and gives some good hints and tips to avoid the worst of the pitfalls.  If you want the full guide, you can purchase it here.  I have laid it out as an eBook/eworkbook.

I have been working with individuals, couples, families, and relationship groups for the past 30 years.  Most of the time when people come in with relationship problems, they will say they are coming in to therapy in order to save the relationship.    In reality, in at least 60% of the cases, one of the people has come in with the desire to end the relationship and wants help so that the end is not absolutely horrible and destructive.  Most people know that acting on the intense emotions that are frequently present at break up time can be destructive to themselves in addition to their soon to be ex-partners.  But they still cannot help but lash out.     Even people who are usually excellent at negotiation and have great emotional and social skills can behave like out of control bullies when involved in a break up.breaking up

Why do people behave so badly when breaking up?  Here are the most common reasons:

  1. They have been betrayed by their soon to be x.

Breaches of trust cut incredibly deeply.  There is nothing worse than discovering that the person you have trusted with all of you has betrayed you.  The most common betrayal is an affair but there are other betrayals.  All betrayals involve lying and/or withholding truth (pretending).  The ones that have gone on the longest are the most emotionally damaging.

  1. They are betraying the person they want to break up with.

In this case, the person projects their own bad motives and behaviour onto their partner.  They become angry and horrible because they cannot admit their own bad behaviour.  They feel guilty about breaking up and it makes them angry.

  1. They find it too hard to be honest, vulnerable and make a clean break.

Being angry and belligerent pushes the other person away.

    4.  They don’t want to stay friends and don’t know how to end the relationship with compassion without their partner wanting to stay connected.

  1. They have no empathy.

There are people who have little or no empathy and cannot place other people’s needs before their own needs.  Sometimes they are just thoughtless.

  1. They know that breaking up is the best thing for both parties but don’t feel they can stay separate if there isn’t animosity.

  2. They feel helpless in the face of their partner’s sadness and upset and this causes an angry reaction.  Anger is easier than powerless feelings.

  3. They cannot stand their own feelings of sadness and grief and find anger much easier to bear.

What are some of the pitfalls to an amicable or friendly breakup?

  1. It can be hard to stay away from the person you are breaking up with.

You are in the habit of spending time, sharing things.   If things are friendly, those habits are too easy to continue.  You may not have a new routine for emotional support or sharing the little things about your day so this too will make staying separate hard.

 

  1. Making the decision to end a relationship that is not meeting your needs is often a huge relief.

Once you have made the decision, sometimes a lot of the negativity will lift and you will find being together more comfortable and even more fun.  Sometimes people remember what it was like at the beginning of the relationship when they were really into each other and things were going really well.  Suddenly the relationship may feel like it is salvageable.  This is the time when people forget the reasons that they decided to end the relationship.

  1. Going back out into the world can be harder if you are still close to your ex-partner.

Many people find it uncomfortable if a person they are dating is close with an ex.  Also when you are emotionally close with someone, you may compare new people to the person and this may put you off developing closeness with someone new.

breaking up

Some tips and tricks to avoid behaving badly:

  1. If you have been betrayed, do some personal work (counselling, therapy, coaching, talking with a trusted friend – whatever works for you) to resolve some of the intensely negative feelings you are experiencing.
  2. If you were the one who was having the affair, own up to it (at least to yourself) and make a clear effort not to project your stuff onto your soon to be x partner. You might benefit from some personal work (counselling, therapy, coaching, talking to a good friend – whatever works for you).
  3. Use journaling to help you get what is in your head out onto paper. If journaling doesn’t appeal, try some type of art work.
  4. Create a separation plan. This is particularly useful if you have been living together or leaving lots of stuff at each other’s places.  It’s also useful to help manage the emotional and social aspects of separation.  If you attend a regular social event with common friends, this is where you can address who will be attending in the future and who will not or how you will both manage to attend.    This can be a detailed plan that allows you to address all the ways your lives are entangled or it can be simple and just have some basic rules.
  5. If you are attending the same events, it can help to go with another friend to avoid awkwardness.
  6. Build in time for your favourite stress reduction activities and plan these around when you have to deal with the breakup.
  7. Remember that breaking up involves loss and so there is a grieving process that most people experience. If grieving isn’t something you are good at, get some help to learn how to grieve (which usually means to learn to allow yourself to feel the loss until you are finished feeling it instead of trying to suppress the feelings or push them aside).

Working towards ending relationships without lots of destruction is one of the best things you can do as you will need these skills in multiple places over your lifetime.

Sometimes we end business relationships, friendships and even familial relationships and all of these can be as traumatic as ending romantic relationships. 

If you found this introduction intriguing and useful, look for my Modern Guide to Breaking Up eBook/eWorkbook on https://the-intimacy-coach.com on the products page to be released on 25 January 2018 or simply set up a discovery session with me by going to my website https://the-intimacy-coach.com and then my contact page and clicking where it says ‘click here’.

breaking up

How Erotic Love Making Can Bring the Heat Back to Your Relationship

Rough sex has become more and more trendy over the past five to ten years.  There’s been lots of emphasis on spicing things up in a relationship by become rougher, trying things like spanking and flogging, and engaging in power exchange.  Rough sex can be really hot and can certainly spice up your relationship but it is not the only way to do so.     Erotic love making is another approach.

The hottest, most exciting and most enduring sexual relationships include a good variety of approaches to sex.

Erotic love making is one that isn’t often talked about.  Perhaps this is because people feel that being erotic is easy and that other approaches are more foreign and so more difficult.  But being truly erotic takes significant skill.  At its heart, erotic lovemaking requires patience, flexibility, connection, focus and the ability to be fully present (mindful) during love making.

Let’s start with a definition of love making.

The distinction between love making and sex is important.  Love making involves mutuality.  The idea is that both of you are fully involved and gaining pleasure from the physicality.  Sex isn’t driven by mutuality.  There may be some but the driving force is more selfishly focused.  In love making, the divide between the self and the other dissolves, if only temporarily.  Two become one.  In sex, this divide continues to exist.  Erotic love making looks at uniting where sex does not necessarily.  Sex can look more at objectifying or possessing.

Erotic Love Making

I am not denigrating the value, importance and sheer pleasure of sex.

I am making a distinction between love making and sex and suggesting that it is wonderful to be able to enjoy both.  In love making you surrender yourself to the other and get lost in each other. It is reciprocal.  In sex, you might surrender or you might take control.

Erotic is defined as sensual, seeking to arouse sexual desire and pleasure.

Erotic love making in this context is love making that is ignited slowly from the sensual, seeking to arouse further desire and pleasure until full desire blossoms.    With erotic love making, physical and emotional intimacy combine until you no longer feel separate.  Energy moves back and forth between you until you no longer know where you end and your lover begins.  For some, this experience becomes a spiritual one.  Others focus on the emotional aspects and talk about how close this type of love making causes them to feel with their partner and still others focus on the raw physicality, the amazing sexual pleasure.

Robert lay next to Annie waiting for his breath to return to normal.  After a few minutes, he fell asleep.  Annie sighed, got out of bed and headed for the loo.   When she got back to bed, she took out her favourite clitoral stimulator, fired it up until she was alight with pleasure.  She was so engrossed in her orgasm she didn’t notice Robert had woken up.  In the morning, Robert brought her coffee in bed and said, ‘I woke up when you were playing with yourself last night.  I know I get off quickly, but I didn’t realise that I left you hanging.’  Annie started to tell him it was no big deal and then stopped.  ‘You did.  I enjoy sex with you but you don’t often last long enough for me to come.’  She looked away quickly, expecting Robert to be angry.  When he didn’t shout, she looked back and noticed how sad he looked.  ‘I’m sorry Annie.  I’ll see if there is anything I can do to slow down.’  Robert telephoned for coaching the following day.

There are as many ways to engage in erotic love making as there are people.

Approaches and styles differ but the end results are the same: intensely delicious love making.     The best erotic love making includes some common elements.  Mastering these elements will create all-consuming, distance dissolving intimacy.

  • Know Yourself.

  • I say this a lot when talking about creating great sex.    The better you know yourself, the easier it is to connect sexual with your lover and make sure that both of you are fully, deliciously satisfied.    If you have sexual problems or issues, attend to these.  Learn what really turns you on, what kind of touch you like, where your limits are.  Robert did some research and decided to study Mantak Chia’s methods of orgasm control.  He found these methods worked well for him and he was able to use these methods along with sex & intimacy coaching to resolve the issues that caused his pre-mature ejaculation and to create new skills that allowed him to fully connect with Annie.
  • Create protected time and space.

  • Erotic love making requires plenty of time and a safe comfortable appealing space.   This is not a time to multi-task.  Turn off the phone, the email, unhook and unplug.   Put a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door.  Make sure the kids are looked after by family, friends or a baby sitter.  Lock the door.  Do what you need to do so that you won’t be interrupted.  If being at home is too tempting, check into a hotel or a b&b or head to the woods with your tent or to an RV/motorhome/caravan site.   Lots of people find it hard to unplug completely when they are at home.  You can change this but it is a hard habit to break so it is worth starting away from home.   Once you have created some positive habits, it will be easier to squash the negative ones at home.    Making the space appealing can be as simple as tidying up the bedroom and as complex as using special sheets (silk perhaps), scented candles, your favourite grooves.
  • Erotic Love Making
  • Start with seduction.

  • There is nothing like a slow seduction.  Take your time, appeal to all of your lover’s senses, start with light touch and move to firmer touch.  Try an old fashioned strip tease.  (No seriously – here is an old fashioned one.) Pay attention to how the heat is building between you both.Erotic Love Making
  • Observe closely until you can no longer do so.

  • The more you observe, the more you will notice the things you do that work the best, the things that impact your lover the most.  Do this until you can no longer concentrate because you are so immersed in your feelings and sensations.
  • Approach and retreat from orgasm in order to build the intensity.

  • As you move towards orgasm, back off a bit and then build again.  Do this until you can no longer stand it and have to surrender to the orgasm.

Erotic love making will rekindle even the most banked flames between you.  It is a wonderful way to renew your sexual connection and develop and deepen intimacy.  Interest in learning more?  Email me or book a free 30 minute discovery session with me.

We experience shame when we cannot own something we have thought, felt, or done or some part of ourselves. Guilt can be appropriate when we have done something we know is wrong and harmed ourselves and/or others. It serves the purpose of getting us to look at the wrong and highlighting the wrong so that we can make amends, change our behaviour.