LIVE talk given by Love Coach and Dating Expert Jessica Elizabeth Opert on the single woman finding her sensual power in love, dating and SEX!
This past week, I’ve been talking quite a bit about sex & sensuality with both my dating & relationship coaching clients. Whilst I don't define myself as a sex coach, you really can't facilitate transformation around love, dating, relationships & partnership, and not talk about S E X!
For my dating clients, the issue swirls itself around the messaging we get as women about when, how and with who, we are ‘allowed’ to have all the sex.
For my relationship coaching clients, more often than not, its about… sex?!?! UM, WHAT’S THAT?!?! Post baby(s), mid career ladder, daily responsibility and stress uptick and a healthy dollop of being years into a partnership… sex is no longer something on a weekly, or even monthly rotating schedule! YIKES!
So this week, I will be offering up TWO blogs on ONE BOLD TOPIC, that I do hope offers everyone a bit of insight, hope and clarity around, well, SEX!
PART 1; SEX FOR THOSE IN RELATIONSHIPS:
I know you’re squirming a bit reading this. It’s okay. Talking about sex, makes most people a bit uncomfortable. Yet, talk about it, we must! I tell you what, sit back and let the brash American take the lead in the convo, and you can just sit back and read, for now.
Why do we need to talk about SEX? Well, my dear, SEX is one of the SIX major components of any romantic partnership. Period. It isn’t always the MOST important for a couple however, if you are not having it, or unsatisfied in that area… addressing the elephant in the bedroom, can create an epic shift in your relationship. In order to have a well-balanced, healthy and lasting partnership, sex needs to be a nourished part of the equation.
John Gottman, of The Gottman Institute, who has been researching couples and relationships for over 30 years, states in his research and books, over and over, couples who prioritize sex vs. leave sex as the very last thing on the to do list, not only have lasting happy partnerships, they are RELATIONSHIP MASTERS.
Let me break this down to its absolute essence.
LOVE requires connection. Without connection, LOVE FADES. Connection between two people is built on many things, however TOUCH and yes, SEXUAL TOUCH is the most relevant and epic way to build and maintain connection. Whilst touch is not the ONLY way, it’s not a one over the other, deal. Thinking of connection as a series of touch stones. SHARED INTERESTS, SHARED ACTIVITIES, SHARED PHYSICAL TOUCH, to name just a few, ALL must be included in our touch stones. We can touch some stones more frequently than others; however we cannot neglect a stone for too long, without the connection faltering. When people begin to sense loss of love, and question if they still love someone… what we really need to focus in on, is the connection. Think of love, almost as a bi-product of connection. Connection is the horse. Love is the cart. And oh all the wondrous things we can pile into that cart of love!!!
One of the larger factors that stops physical touch and sex, beyond it dropping down the priority list, is a drop in our own feeling of sexiness and sensuality. Please note, this is one of the root causes for singles AND couples AND for men AND women!
I think we are often quick to assume that sexiness and sensuality are primarily feminine qualities. They are not. Or at least not in the way we think of them.
It has been proven out that one of men’s most common fears, is, they will be laughed at… in bed. Humiliation and ego are tied to this however mainly, the fear is about a loss of respect, ability and power, which we as a society, have primed men to equate with their own sexiness. There are people who do not care whatsoever if the other person is getting pleasure from sex, however those people do not typically commit to relationships, or remain in them for very long… so chances are your ability, as a man, to perform and satisfy your partner sexually, has a direct result on your own view of your sensuality.
Similarly, for many women, their sexiness and sensuality is tied directly to how they perceive themselves physically. How themselves and their partner views them and their body, during sex. No offenses fellas, but our own determination of how sexy we look actually contributes to how sexy we feel way more directly than yours. It’s why, no matter how many times you tell us, how sexy we look, it doesn’t usually effect how we feel about it ourselves
Interestingly, if we follow this trail back to its source, for both men and women, we find self-esteem staring us in the face. Our self-esteem is how we value ourselves. How we truly evaluate ourselves is primary to how others values us. Begin at the beginning, dearest one.
What are the things that YOU DO that help you feel more worthy of enjoying sex?
What are the things YOU DO that make YOU feel more sexy? Even when no one is around to see or appreciate it?
WHAT can you start DOING more of, to feel more confident, sensual… starting TODAY?
Going to the gym?
Booking in that weekend away, ALONE? To just do all the things YOU want to do?
A new suit?
A big win at work?
Creating something with your own two hands?
A journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step. Ready to take your first baby step towards reclaiming your sensuality?
If you want more access to my expert knowledge on curating and maintaining empowered relationships, please do join us in the free facebook group, THE EMPOWERED LOVE & RELATIONSHIP SCHOOL! I post actionable tips and thought provoking commentary in the group daily, and go LIVE weekly talking about topics that can help you, have the relationship you both deserve.
Yup. It’s time to talk money. How very gauche, I know!
And yet, it needs saying and doing, my dear. Recently, divorce lawyers weighed in on a country wide survey about the most common causes for divorce and separation.
Right in the top 3? FINANCES.
Spending the money. Managing the money. Agreeing on the money. It can be any couple’s nemesis.
It’s not uncommon for couples to have very different core values around money. Sometimes this is directly influenced by their own upbringing, however, people can have very similar childhood experiences with money i.e. being raised with hardly none or more than enough, and come into adulthood with widely varying mindsets around money, even if the environment was the same growing up.
And yes, it would be best to partner with someone who shares the same core values and mindset around money… however many of us either didn’t know how important this would prove down the road or simply had no idea why it was important at all, before we got into our relationships. And now. The disagreements around money are sucking the life out of us.
Ironically, having more money does not solve this disparity mindset and arguments around money. Studies have shown that couples with less money, fare better overall in challenging area, than those with a all the money.
I guess the Notorious B.I.G. was right… mo’ money mo’ problems. Indeed.
We can shift our mindset around money quite a bit, but our core values are typically only truly transformed by a life changing event, like birth and death, for example. Perhaps we have always saved every dollar/pound we’ve made, and then we experience the unexpected and swift decline of a friend due to cancer… we suddenly realize, life is too short and start to truly treat ourselves to holidays, spa trips and the like. We may have an elderly parent, facing severe economic struggles as their own health declines, and realize that if we do not temper our own values around money and start saving, that too could be us some day.
But, what do you do, if your partner is on the other side of the money mindset as you?
More in more, in our modern day, couples are separating their finances completely from one another. This can be a solution, however, more often the lack of transparency sows the seeds of distrust, that undermine real partnership. Add in the need to negotiate separate payments month on month, of shared expenses and holidays, and it only creates more opportunities to disagree. If one partner is financially more capable than the other, due to an earning difference, the 50/50 split of all things in such a separate manner is rife with limitations, discontent and resentment.
- Unpicking the core values behind your own and your partners beliefs around money can be incredibly enlightening, and open the door to empathy and respect.
- Learning how to communicate your needs and hear the needs of your partner, around finances, is also crucial.
- Compromise means we find a halfway point, a beautifully curated meeting place, where both partners get their needs met. And the money gets spent or saved, in a way that makes sense to both parties.
It's time, to talk about Ben and Jenny...
Recently, I had two lovely private coaching clients, a couple named Ben and Jenny, who really struggled around money. And by struggle, I mean fought bitterly over how to spend it. The more they made, the more incensed the arguments became. In our work together, we took some time to step outside the familiar old box of arguments, and have a good walk around.
Both Ben and Jenny had grown up in households where money was quite scarce. And yet, they had completely opposite core values in response to that early experience of finances.
For Ben, money was meant to be spent.
All his hard work, was so he didn’t have to deny himself, or his family, like he was denied as a child. Holidays, gifts, dinners out... were all rewards earned and money well spent.
For Jenny, money was meant to be saved for a VERY rainy day,.
Money tucked away for when the chips were down in life, to spent in the far off future on absolute necessities.
As we began to dig in...
Jenny realized, if it wasn’t for Ben, AND HIS CORE VALUES AROUND MONEY, she would never EVER had seen all the places around the world they had visited. She would not have allowed herself these holidays. These absolute highlights in life, she enjoyed so very much!
Ben realized, that if it wasn’t for Jenny AND HER CORE VALUES AROUND MONEY, they wouldn’t have a growing nest egg for their children’s university education. It was Jenny's core values that were allowing them to provide for their family in an incredibly high impact way.
Once we established some concrete appreciation... empathy, understanding and love could come back into the space, where finances lived, in their relationship. Once we have those three superpowers back in the ring of a relationship, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!
It was a powerful pivot point. One they hadn’t thought possible, before our work together.
Are you tired of bickering about money? Done with years of trying to convince your partner that your way, is THE WAY, forward, with little success? Let’s start the process of sorting it, once and for all.
I have something that could prove very VERY valuable to you. A space where you can learn and love. Recently, I started a closed Facebook group, in order to provide you with more access to the incredible knowledge and tools I have to offer, to creating the relationship you both deserve. Your exclusive invitation is right here!
Come join us in this FREE group @
The Empowered Love & Relationship School!
Boundaries; Defining them, setting them, respecting them. NONE of it was my forte!
It felt incredibly limiting. At the time, I’m not sure who I was afraid to limit, you or me. I can now say, that at the very root of that fear, was that if I told you NO… you might not like me. That IF I wasn’t everything to everybody, I wasn’t enough… good enough, worthy enough, loveable enough.
From the outset, boundaries doesn’t necessarily sound like a good thing.
1. No one wants to be told NO or be told what to do. And was I really worthy of that respect? And was I willing to pay the price of self-ownership, if that price was you not loving me?
2. And what about ME being FREE spirit, a law unto my very own?!?! Wouldn’t boundaries, force me to stay penned up in one place!
I had no evidence to back up any of these suspicions, these fears, however every inch of my mind, body and heart was feeling, that my fearful feelings were truth. When I start to blur feelings with facts, I’m usually half way down the wrong road of decision making. I know this today, as one of my personal ‘red light indicators’, like the hazard lights on a car blinking frantically into the night, that something has broken down in my thinking.
I also, wasn’t sure why I would want to keep people away.
In dating, I was having a hard enough time meeting ANYONE… the concept of narrowing what already felt like a bottle neck, was terrifying. Wouldn’t I be ‘putting Baby in the corner’??
In my relationships, the idea of laying in boundaries, felt like fencing off connection… and I desperately wanted and needed human connection.
What I was missing???
Boundaries are not about other people, boundaries are about me.
BOUNDARIES AREN’T FORTIFIED DEFENSIVE WALLS WE PUT UP TO KEEP PEOPLE OUT… BOUNDARIES ARE THE WAY WE RING FENCE OUR OWN SPACE SO WE HAVE THE ROOM TO BREATHE, GROW AND BE HAPPY!
The metaphor I use with clients, is that of owning a horse.
How many acres does your paddock have to be to have a horse? And two horses? Three or four horses? If we place two horses in a paddock sized for one… what will happen? The horses will not have enough room to exercise, enough food to sustain them, sickness will be more likely to spread from horse to horse, in such closed quarters. You will wind up with two very unhealthy, unfulfilled and unhappy horses.
Instead of thinking of boundaries as the fences that keep people way, grab on to this concept that boundaries are about creating the space YOU and YOUR partner needs to be healthy, fulfilled and happy!
When we do not create firm boundaries, and willingly kick down the paddock fences to let every Tom, Dick and Jane come on through… we compromise the respect people will have for us. If you want a relationship, and the person you just started seeing, says they do not, they prefer casual… IF you don’t hold your boundary, (ahem, in hopes that somewhere down the line, they will hopefully, possibly maybe want more) guess what? They are way more likely to NEVER want more than casual with you! Human phycology has shown us, that when we break from the structure of our offer… in love, sales, business, family… we cheapen the product by default. We subtract value from ourselves in the other person’s eyes. In order to commit and LOVE someone, truly, people have to know it’s worthy.
If someone we just started to date, wants to start calling us girlfriend or boyfriend after just a few dates, it can be very tempting to hop right on that! However, going back to the paddock, its key that you both define the term. To create a paddock that is the right size for you both to grow into a healthy relationship.
Oof, where to begin? People inherently treat us, as we instruct them to. If our instructions, our boundaries are unclear or unstable, our partners have no idea how to ‘get it right’.
If we are running around, trying to be THE BEST, wife, husband, mother, daughter, son, employee, football coach, pinterest worthy cake baker, INSTA famous interior designer, friend, lover, holiday planner, yogi, all while maintaining our place on the ‘best dressed’ list at the school runs… YIKES!
Boundaries can also look like us truly reconciling our assets and limitations, and leaning into being PERFECTLY IMPERFECT. Boundaries mean we create a paddock where WE can thrive, as well as all of our relationships too!
So, boundaries as defensive walls? NO.
Boundaries as the ring fenced space for you to thrive, with all you need to be happy healthy and free? HECK YES!
What's does your paddock look like? xx
The Law Of Attraction is bandied about these days like wild fire. Celebrities, CEOS, coaches, gurus.. you name it, THEY LOVE IT!
So, WTAF is the Law of Attraction? And how does it really work?
Simply put the Law of Attraction is the universal law that states that every person has the ability to attract things into their lives through their own thoughts and intentions.
If someone is thinking and believing negative things all the time, they will attract negative things into their experience. If someone is thinking and believing positivity things all the time, they will attract that into their experience. In theory, ( and how most people speak about it) people can use the Law of Attraction to attract situation, experiences and even, material objet into their life.
(Before we move ahead, I will be referring to the Law of Attraction from here on out as LOA, to streamline this a bit, for me and you.)
A great deal about what is said about the LOA is only HALF the story!
Attraction is ONE OF TWO forces contained in magnetism. The other is REPULSION. Magnetism does not operate without out both poles. In other words, if you accept that you ate currently attracting elements (both good and bad) into your life, then you must accept you are repelling elements (both good and bad) as well, simultaneously. In fact, you are probably repelling a lot more than you are attracting! Your entire life experience, everything you have attracted to you, is very small in comparison to all the possibilities that are being repelled. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There are good reasons to repel more than we attract. One reason, of course, is that if we attracted ALL THE THINGS, it would be quite overwhelming!
I had three simultaneous really wonderful job offers once, and it was absolute agony trying to decipher which one was the right choice! What if that was ten offers? Twenty?
Head. Officially. Done. In.
Of course, changing or mindset, being more positive has a profound effect on our confidence, however it also has a profound effect on our physicality. Our tone, stature, body language and even how widely and genuinely we smile, is impacted, which of course is going to also hugely impact out engagement with other people and things!
But the Law of Attraction is SO MUCH MORE than simply sitting around thinking positively about how everything is possible and chanting ‘Manifest! Manifest! Manifest!!’
It’s is and needs to be so much more than repetitively thinking, saying and setting our intention, with ideas and statements like, “I will have lots of money” or “I will have all the love”.
Affirmations will not do the trick alone!
Darling %FIRSTNAME%, please DO read on, as these next TWO crucial bits are what either make the Law of Attraction actually work or not work!
For LOA to be functional, there must be CLARITY.
We must know exactly what we want and need in which to to attract it. The LOA requires us to use acute visualizations and descriptors for our thoughts and mindset of what we want to have, be and do, in order to consistently call it out to the universe, and attract it.
If I walk down the street, yelling JOB JOB, I NEED A JOB. ANY OL’ JOB. I WANT A JOB!
I may actually attract some job offers. Do I want to work in the mobile phone store? Or the flower shop? NO? Oh, well maybe we should be saying.. JOB! JOB!, I want a digital marketing job with a fortune 500 in San Francisco, JOB!
Similarly, it is incredibly helpful to boost our positive thinking with “I am ready for love” or 'I am lovable” however, that’s not using the LOA.
If you walk down the street chanting 'LOVE, LOVE SEND ME THE LOVE, ALLLLL THE LOVE. ' The Universe may very well respond… with a puppy! Which, I mean PUPPY (!!!OMG!!!) HOWEVER, I bet you meant something, a bit different. We don’t want just ANYONE who wants to love us… someone with a pulse, a plausible sex addiction and £/$200K in debt, though crazy in love with you they may be, is not the look you’re going for!
BE CAREFUL WITH WHAT YOU WISH FOR. TAKE GREAT CARE…
Take great care and time, and energy, heck even some money AND get crystal clear on what exactly want to use the LOA for... visualize, journal, speak with people who love you about it, take a long hard look at your past, get a coach, see a therapist...do whatever it takes, so you can craft a clear picture and concept around love, your future soul mate & partnership.
Last, MAGNIFICENT, life changing part of the LOA?
Alright, in order to get to that I NEED to say this next thing...
One of the largest proponents for LOA, is THE SECRET.
Straight up, I'm NOT A FAN of The Secret. Lemme tell ya why!
The Secret, in a nutshell, asks us to visualize and act as if our future intent is already our present.
Back on to that street… chanting I AM A LOTTERY WINNER, I AM A LOTTERY WINNER, I AM A…
Hold up. Have you even bought a lottery ticket? Oh, no? Um….
Now, how about “I AM MARRIED. I HAVE A FAMILY. I AM MARRIED. I HAVE A FAMILY!”
Oh boy. Who's looking all crazy pants on the street now?
What’s really interesting, is many of the original Secreters (is that a thing?) who traveled the world speaking about and teaching this, are now reporting back something really important. They say, if they could do it, write that book, all over again… they would add one TREMENDOUS things that is currently missing. ACTION!
Here’s is the deal. For the LOA to work, YOU MUST BE DOING! You must take actions, risk, time (oh yeah, no overnight sensations) and even MONEY, to attract the things you want.
Its gonna take some WERRRRK, girl. Hard, worthy work!
I can and do give the women I coach all the heart mending, mind blowing, world changing tools & techniques in the world, however if they don’t TAKE ACTION… by embracing them, trying them AND take the show on the road… ZERO RESULTS! WOMP WOMP.
However, when THEY 'DO', take those brave actions, step out on some faith and take all the magic, out on the road... WOWZA!
Being open minded to new ideas, to new possibilities plays and taking on a more positive mindset, is step 1 of LOA.
Being honest, and I mean dig deep, SHAME FREE, honest about what and who you are looking for in a relationship and partner to create that crystal clear visualization is step 2 of LOA.
And being WILLING, to do the work, to take some risks, to take action on those new ideas, new adventures. To push yourself way beyond where you have been, is the final CRUCIAL step of LOA.
If you want something new & different, then you are going to have to DO something new & different!
I went LIVE about this very topic just the other day in the FEMINISTA SEEKS LOVE facebook group. All day, every day, I am in that group handing out inspiration, tips, techniques and so much love...
YOU should totally JOIN OUR GIRL GANG!
How's your Blame Game skills these days?
Ahhhh yes, The Blame Game. I'm well acquainted with this party trick, for sure!
It’s typically the very first thing we go to, in the heat of the moment, when we are hurt and angry. Which is actually completely normal. When someone feels victimized, when we are hurt, we naturally focus our attention on the person, place or thing that has hurt us.
If I am burned by the stove, after whelping a very loud ouch or, in my case, most likely a high volume expletive, my eyes will go to, the stove! If, on hearing me scream out, you come running into the kitchen and ask, ‘What happened?’, I will point at the stove!
If we further unpick this analogy, we realize that the stove didn’t burn me. I burned myself on the stove. I got too close to something hot, I was careless, doing too many things at once, the stove, of course, did not leap across the kitchen and burn me!
So when we are hurt by our partners, whether that harm is real or perceived, intentional or unintentional, the finger will naturally rise and point at them.
The Blame Game, is when we never stop to unpick our part.
The Blame Game is when we are always carrying around with us, all the things they have done, to cause us harm.
The Blame Game is when we decide unequivocally, that the problems and failings in our partnerships, are completely (or most often) their fault.
I know what you’re thinking… BUT JESSICA, IT IS THEIR FAULT!!!
Yes, sometimes the blame is absolutely, justified and pointed in the right place!
Here’s the thing;
THE BLAME GAME, IS A LOSING GAME.
If you want to change the communication in your partnership, and start to garner some truly effective transformation in how you express and then get your needs met… The Blame Game MUST go!
Here’s some tips on doing just that;
- Never make your partner feel selfish, inadequate or incompetent. Effective communication will dissolve if we focus on pointing out the other persons shortcomings. Any human being’s natural reaction will be to go on the defensive AND/OR to be demobilized by shame.
- Find a time to have the discussion when you are calm. Attempting to have effective communication when emotions are running high, especially anger is a contradiction in terms. When we are angry or hurt, most of us will immediately pick up the blame game. Again, that’s normal to do so, it’s just not okay to try and communicate effectively when we are in that place. Take a walk to cool off OR Set a day and time, in advance, with your partner to discuss what happened. This allows both of you time to cool, to prepare mentally AND no one ever feels like they walked into an ambush.
- How things sound in our head and how they sound in reality, can be very different. Especially when we are hurt or angry. Speaking to one or two trusted friends or a coach/therapist can help us ratify our thinking and shift away from the blame game, BEFORE we speak without partners.
Remember, you can still advocate for your needs, and point out where your partner goes wrong… just drop the BLAME GAME and pick up the tools that actually result in effective communication AND you getting what you need! LOVE!
Over the last weeks, I have been posting about Attachment Styles, and how understanding and accepting your own attachment style was one of the most crucial keys to changing the dynamic in how you seek, attract, give and receive LOVE!
Today, it's ALL aboard… the SECURE ATTACHMENT STYLE train!
3 of 3 in the Attachment Style series,
THE BEST ATTACHMENT STYLE, REVEALED!
I mentioned last week, that this was one of those rare topics where everybody, doesn’t get a prize.
That there was a specific attachment style that is, the winner. An attachment style that is THE BEST type to be when it comes to giving and receiving love AND when it comes to long term success and happiness, in relationships.
And the crown goes to…
THE SECURE ATTACHMENT STYLE!
Oh yes. I said it. The best type of attachment, is SECURE.
It’s the best to find in a partner, it’s the best to overlay over, our own default attachment style.
I always think of it as the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. The secure type is the tortoise, the slow and steady wins the race kinda’ gal or guy. Whilst the Avoidant is the hopping hare, jumping away quickly and the Anxious is the hopping hare, jumping up and down frantically without getting anywhere. The Secure Tortoise plods along, winning the race.
The Secure attachment style folks, are solid, reliable, consistent, calm, steady, resilient and direct communicators. Secure types inherently have an overall deep sense of trust, worthiness, dignity and respect, first for themselves and then, for others. They believe themselves to be trustworthy and they will extend that same trust to you, almost immediately. They are incredibly respectful and are often completely befuddled when respect is not an immediate part of the negotiations.
And don’t even try to play the jealously game with a secure type. You know, when you want to ‘test their love’ and subsequently drive yourself a bit crazy trying to poke them so they get jealous. Chances are, they won’t blink.
They are with you, because they trust you. If they didn’t trust you, they wouldn’t be with you. Simple, cut and dry, that’s the secure type. So they’re not going to get jealous. It’s a emotional response they just don’t go to and if they do find themselves in a relationship that does not have trust, dignity respect and calm, two things will happen. They will walk away. They will lose their secure attachment style and get all sorts of Avoidant and/or Anxious.
Secure Attachment styles do not freak out when things get intimate, they don’t constantly worry about their relationship status.
Do Secure types have any downsides?
Of course! Secure types, can be so resilient, have almost too much of saint like patience, that they put up with way more crap in a relationship then they should.
They can become so involved with their need for security and steadiness that they don’t want to ‘rock the boat’ by bringing up things they are unhappy about within a relationship.
They can become so disorientated in a relationship with a partner who is avoidant or anxious, in a relationship that doesn’t allow for free flowing trust, dignity and connection, that they lose their innate sense of security and latch on to a different attachment style.
Remember, we can change and overlay any attachment we want, both consciously and unconscionably, and often people who start off in life and even in early relationships as quite secure can find themselves now, many years later, quite anxious or avoidant. Maybe they had their security threatened as a young child, maybe their Anxious partner has threatened their calm sense of security, maybe after years of dating avoidants, they have lost their sense of belief and security in love in general.
Secure types are often pass over in dating, quite easily. Let’s face it, the secure attachment style isn’t the most glamorous. And it sure doesn’t sound like what all the messaging (songs, poems and rom-coms) are telling us, about love. Where’s the drama? Where’s the fireworks? Where’s the plate smashing??? In today’s modern world, we can mistake these secure types for disinterested, lack luster and even label them a bore! Especially if we are usually are an Anxious attachment style. And if we are avoidant?? Ooof, the consistent intimacy offered by secure types? Freaks. Us. Out.
What can we do if we want to attract a secure type, be more of Secure type OR keep a secure type in our current relationship?
Once we truly familiarize ourselves with the Secure Attachment style, even in just reading these blogs I offered, you will begin to be able to spot the three attachment styles in yourself and in others. With the women I work with privately, most of which are NOT naturally secure types or sure aren’t after years of unsuccessful dating and relationships, we focus in on building self worth and faith in ourselves and love. Remember, someone with a secure attachment style, is someone who expects respect, dignity and trust because they offer those things freely. If we want to not only attract a secure type, but also BE more secure in our offering of love, we need to walk the walk!
When one partner is secure and the other is not, the work for the partner who is NOT secure mimics the work above. However, we also work deeply on communication skills, so they can understand their secure partner AND communicate their own anxiety and avoidance in a way that produces a constructive way forward for both towards one another.
For the secure partner, sometimes we need to create a safe, loving atmosphere for them to feel secure enough, to 'rock the boat' and communicate the concerns they have about the partnership.
If, after reading these blogs, you are still unsure which attachment style you are OR what you can start doing to lay bold claim to the SECURE attachment style, I invite you to get on the phone with me, and have a chat!
I’m currently offering my signature FREE 45 minute Breakthrough to Love Call, and would love to hop on the line, and have that chat with you in the next couple of weeks!
Earlier in the week, I emailed you about Attachment Styles, and how understanding and accepting your own attachment style was one of the most crucial keys to changing the dynamic in how you seek, attract, give and receive LOVE!
First on the LOVE LETTER chopping block was the AVOIDANT attachment style; In case you missed that blog, feel free to read it here
Today, we are going to dip in and have a sneaky peek at the ANXIOUS attachment style. AND how this effects who we choose as partners AND how we engage in relationships. This fascinating topic & blog series, applies to those looking for love… AND those fighting to keep that love!
Let's get to it, shall we?
THE ANXIOUS ATTACHMENT STYLE;
This is not one, we want to acknowledge. I mean, right from the title 'anxious attachment', it doesn't sound like something we want to lay bold claim to, now does it?
However, unless we do just that.. acknowledge and accept… we cannot gain the learning and the tools to overcome it either.
I'll go first; Hello, my name is Jessica Elizabeth, and I absolutely have the Anxious attachment style.
When our attachment gets activated, we zoom in on the frenetic energy. We cling to the highs and lows, the roller coaster and 'FALLING' in love, is what we know best. We spend time worrying about what they're doing when they're not with us, and worrying about what they're thinking about, whilst they're with us. We over analyze our own behaviors and actions, desperately trying to root out, what did we do, that put them off? How did WE screw k this up. Often frantically caught up in our own heads with how to make our relationship better, even if things are actually going quite well.
Oh my, we HEART fantasy, big time! To escape into our own heads and fantasize and catastrophize about our relationships, it's a gold medal sport for us!
We struggle to find contentment, to allow ourselves to enjoy the moment when its working, because we fear and feed off the thoughts of what happens, when it's not working. Overly sensitive to others feelings and actions and prone to own the whole process, the responsibility of connection and love, as ours and ours alone to create and sustain.
We question ourselves and our partners constantly. Whatcha' thinking? How much do you love me? Do I really love this person? Is he/she THE ONE? What if they're not? Am I wasting my time? Why haven't they sent a Good Morning text today? Are they losing interest? What if my family doesn't like them? How soon is too soon to intro them to family? What if I get a dream job offer 10 years from now in another country, will they come? And about 50 others on a relatively exhausting loop. Sound familiar?
When someone who has the Anxious attachment style, dates Avoidant types, it ain't pretty… however there is something about push and pull of their kind of attachment, that speaks to our anxiety, that activates the anxiety…that we are drawn to, like moths to a flame.
That's because it's REALLY easy to confuse our anxious attachment with the intense crazy feelings that all the poets and songwriters describe, when it comes to LOVE.
"You got me so crazy in love" – Beyonce
Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh… is right Queen Bey!
How do we move forward if this is our attachment type?
Some of us, after years and years, and years of the love struggle being realAF, finally get so spun out on the crazy love, that we finally welcome something, someone, different.
Sometimes it's the right decision! (hallelujah sweet, sweet surrender!!)
Sometimes we settle for someone, not right for us, not able to love us, because we are just so broke down and jaded.
Want to skip the years and years? Already invested the years and years?
Here's a secret. CHEMISTRY isn't what you probably think it is…
Chemistry by definition is the combination of elements along with a catalyst that creates a reaction and something completely new.
The catalyst, is THE SPARK we all spend so much time and energy chasing. However, the SPARK is not chemistry. It's just the catalyst. ALL THE OTHER ELEMENTS MUST BE PRESENT TOO! If you have all the other elements… shared hobbies, shared sense of humor, core values, easy conversation, shared goals and ideals… but no spark? NO CHEMISTRY.
If you have THE SPARK but very few or none of the important elements of long term companionship. NO CHEMISTRY.
Once we are aware that we are predisposed to confuse our anxiety with feelings of love. Once we clearly define what we really want AND need in a relationship.
We have some power over our default attachment style. We are back in the drivers seat, where we belong!
Often when the Anxious attachment types meet and start a relationship with someone who has a Secure attachment style, over time, we mellow out. We finally feel consistently safe enough, due to the other persons Secure attachment style, we realize that all this worry, obsessing over getting it right, the constant fear of the future, is not warranted and not helpful. We can relax into the serenity and calm of this kind of love. We can adopt and make our very own, the SECURE attachment style.
Sometimes, we never allow ourselves to enjoy it. We push that Secure person away. We doubt the connection cause.. where the fireworks? Where's the passion? WHERE'S THE DRAMA????
You may find yourself in a relationship with an avoidant! This does not mean, you necessarily have to get out of dodge, however, you do have the power to change the current dynamic, from your end!
You can choose to make yourself crazy with worry, constant questioning, chasing your avoidant partner all over the house asking and demanding of them, what they simply cannot offer, i.e. the constant validation you seekOR you can choose to accept them as they are, and meet your own needs. Get on that self love and self care train... fill the well from within!
Wherever you find yourself on loves journey, either in or out of a relationship, ABUNDANCE is a life saver for the Anxious attachment style folks.
There is infinite love flowing all around you, no need to hustle, chase and worry yourself sick that you will not get your due. Love is coursing all around you, flowing freely from inside of you and into you! TAP IN!
Lately, I’ve been digging in a bit again, around 'attachment' styles. WOW, is this really fascinating stuff!
Over the next couple of weeks I will be guiding you through a brief introduction to these various attachment styles, so you can begin to identify your own default style, rumble with how that’s effecting both your search for love AND how you are engaging in your current relationship + how to begin to change up your attachment style for better results in love and relationships.
YES. You read that right. These next few blogswill be invaluable to those who are still looking for love AND those fighting to keep love!
Attachment styles, is our natural default engagement with attraction, attachment and love.
Attachment styles, directly influence who we choose, how we interpret feelings of love, how we respond to love and how we show love.
There are three major attachment styles, Anxious, Avoidant and Secure.
Oh, and this is NOT one of those contests, where everybody gets a prize. There is ONE DEFINITIVE attachment style that is THE BEST. That when we are OR overlay this particular type we have better, longer lasting, happier and more fulfilled relationships! So stay tuned, throughout this series, dearest ones!
First up… the AVOIDANT Attachment Style!
The Avoidant attachment style is REALLY interesting.
The avoidant style always manifests itself. Which is to say, it requires some proactive thought or action, even if only subconsciously to consistently be maneuvering to keep people, and partners at an arm’s length. The Avoidant attachment style, determines to a great degree what you expect from relationships, how you engage with romantic situations, how you interpret what prospective and actual partners want from you and want to give to you.
The Avoidant often self-identify as ‘free spirits’ and they view ‘NEEDS’, especially needing other people, as a weakness. The avoidant will tend to repress emotions instead of expressing them. When someone takes a step closer to them, offering connection, intimacy and even safety, the avoidant will take two steps back.
Here is the super abbreviated version of what you really need to know;
1. We come across them SO MUCH whilst dating because they are the largest population of the dating pool.. they avoid relationships, so stay single and dating longer and/or have a higher turn over in relationships, hence dipping in and out of the dating pool more often. (#ghosting #mixedmessages #saytheywantarelationshipthensaytheydont)
2. Avoidant can be a secondary attachment style, many of us adopt and lay over our natural attachment style as a survival skill. We come to believe, maybe after being hurt in love or due to abandonment or instability (as example) in our childhoods that self-reliance and avoiding attachment is the safer option. This self-reliance is fear based, so please don't confuse it with independence. It ain't, doll. I often witness women brandish 'I don't need a partner/I love my single status' as a shield (and a mask) which is not truly authentic OR helpful, if it comes from a place of fear and ego! And by 'witness', I mean I've also seen it in the mirror too! 😲
For those in relationships, we may have been hurt by our current partner, so we recede into the depths and into our fortresses, avoiding intimacy and vulnerability, for protection. Again, if we are engaging with love from a place of anger, resentment and fear...then we‘re not engaging with love, at all. If our partners actions are forgivable, we need to forgive and if they aren’t, if there is no love left on the table worth fighting for, it may be time to stop digging and move on.
3. For those of us with a more anxious attachment style (more on that later) we are often drawn to and fall for the Avoidant because we confuse the highs and lows of our anxiety attachment with the feeling of 'falling in love'. Avoidants are the worst attachment style for Anxious types, as they cannot offer us the stability we require to feel safe. And yet, when we meet Secure attachment folks, because the frenetic energy of our own anxiety attachment, the crazy highs and lows, are not activated we think there is no 'spark'. Hellllo vicious cycle!
Fascinating stuff. And a bit of a head scramble, but in a good way! 🤣
Here are a few quick tips to help move you forward through and beyond The Avoidant Attachment Style.
How do we ‘avoid’ Avoidants whilst dating?
Abundance is a top technique for dodging avoidants. The more people we date, the more active we are on meeting new people, the more likely we will get in front of people who do not have the avoidance attachment style. Of course really understanding and accepting our own attachment style, what we really NEED in a relationship (versus what we want sometimes) is they super duper ninja move.
Yikes, I may be in a committed relationship with an avoidant, are we doomed?
NO. The Avoidant attachment style, like any other attachment style, can change. Sometimes, they really want to love us, and the wall inside of them is blocking them, as much as it is you. Threatening, badgering or making demands of an avoidant, is the worst possible tactic. They scare easy, no matter how tough they may act. If you can consistently offer them safety, they will step out of the fortress. This won’t happen overnight or even after a week of trying. This is a long game, my dear. Once you have created an atmosphere of safety, you can logically lay out how their behaviour makes you feel and tell them specifically what they can do to support and love you better. Think of it as saying “we’re here. Would you like to go there with me? This is how we can get there together and it would be most helpful if YOU did X, Y, Z for us to get there.”
Uh oh, I am an Avoidant… now what?
There is a whole lotta work to do around changing and tempering your attachment style. KNOWING IS HALF THE BATTLE! We can absolutely overlay other attachment styles, over our default. We can zig, when your attachment style is telling us to ZAG. We can choose partners who offer a secure attachment style. If we are in a relationship, and we can see how our own avoidance is creating damage, we can have a brave conversation with our partners, let them know how we operate and what we need (scary word for the avoidant) from them to help us try to do better at giving and receiving love.
Later this week, I will be reviewing the Anxious attachment style, so stay tuned!
Attachment styles is a well researched area of human engagement and connection; covering it ALL in a blog, will never be possible. Helping individuals and couples understand, accept and move forward with their attachment styles is part of the deeper work I do with my private clients.
There are many MANY books on this however one I have come to rely on is 'ATTACHED, by Dr Amir Levine & Rachel Heller'. #recommendedreading
#attachmentstyles #avoidantattachmentstyle #dating #relationships #betterrelationships #choosingbetterpartners #love
This week, we are discussing one of the larger stumbling blocks and hurdles, to moving forward in finding and attracting love…. OUR PASTS!
Past heartbreak, past partners, bad relationships, betrayal of trust, dysfunctional model relationships in our childhood are just a few of the larger ‘ghosts of love past’ I’ve seen blocking too many women from engaging with new love
Sometimes the past, is more recent. We have had a long string of dud dates over the last two years OR we have been wandering the desert, miles & miles (years & years) and NOT a drop/date to drink!
Sometimes in our past we have experienced deep trauma.
Perhaps the most common tale of love past that is stopping women dead in their tracks from moving forward with love, is a past relationship. Recently I was in a session with a one of my amazing private clients, and her EX made yet another appearance in the conversation, metaphorically speaking of course.
This relationship, and the pain of the breakup was like a ghost haunting her every move. FOR THE LAST 8 YEARS!!! She really loved this man, thought he was ‘the one’ and for the last eight years, she has allowed comparison and fear to keep almost everyone other person, at an arm’s length. In fact, over the last eight years, only 3 people had come even remotely close to being in her hearts direct sphere. And I do mean ‘REMOTELY’, because really, they never stood a chance. How could they, when she has been dragging the dead body of her last relationship with her, everywhere she goes?
Grrl, it’s time to bury that ex’s body far away from your home and heart. How can we live with the stink of that rotting corpse in the closet?
Another client, told me (and herself) over and over “I can’t do relationships because I don’t know what a healthy one looks like” because her own parents relationship was definitely not one to model.
Why are we allowing our parents relationship to define how we interact with love, today? Why have we assumed ownership of their relationship filled with mistakes and pain, as our own? And, Is that statement ‘I don’t know what a healthy relationships looks like’, really true?
Once we dug out that limiting belief out, and really examined it, turns out she had MANY people around her that were in healthy relationships AND she actually had a very clear and healthy definition of what a relationship should look like! She couldn’t see it, because the statement “I can’t do relationships because I don’t know what a healthy relationships” blinded her from looking at what was right in front of her all along!
And your broken heart? Ya know, the one you locked away up in the tower, safe and secure, all those years ago? Oh lady. She is rattling her cage, SCREAMING to get out!
The heart has four functions.
1. To pump blood.
2. To love
3. To be loved
4. To be broken
She isn’t afraid of heartbreak because she KNOWS she has the incredible ability to heal AND that she must serve her purpose, all four of them to carry on. She wears her battle scars like exquisite tattoos, proudly!
For some of us, the past has been very traumatic.
We have experienced, sexual assault, molestation, child abuse, addiction and mental illness in our families or within our-self , for example. And these issues do come up for some of the women I work with, and I help them, find the help they require. I offer empathy and compassion necessary to seed the hope. If this is you. Please know, you are not alone. You are not irrevocably broken, that there is a way forward. If you have some psychologically traumatic events in your past, please do not allow the stigma in your heart or the chorus of nasty voices sniping in your head, convince you away from seeking and receiving professional help, you deserve. You are worthy of forgiveness, of love of recovery from this trauma.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to give you that knowing look and now drop that one-liner, fix all on you, ‘Hey babes, you need to LET IT GO’
Because it’s going to a lot more than an email and us humming the song from Frozen, to do that.
In order for us to let ANY of our past go, we must first accept it happened.
Rumble with, reconcile and own, the cold hard truth of what happened, when and where. No fluff, no denial, just honestly and openly, admit & accept, that it happened. Only then, can we be in a place to surrender this experience. I mean, If I am going to let something go, or turn it over… I better know exactly what I’m letting go of, right??
Then, we need hope. We need to come to believe, there is life beyond it.
That we don’t need this experience, this heartbreak, ex, or even trauma to define who we are, and how we move through the world. What would your life be like, if you no longer had these ghosts whispering in your ear? How would you feel? Lighter? Happier? More willing to love and be loved?
Now, you’re going to need some help.
Letting go, is never a one woman show. We need to have someone or something, we trust enough, to hand this past over to, so we can walk away and forward. Is it a best friend? A parent? A therapist? A coach? A higher power? If we are going to turn this experience in to the lost and found, and be done with it… we need a lost and found office! So we can rock up, drop it off. AND GO!
Lastly you will need TRUST.
Trust is, I am safe with you. Trust is, I am safe with me.
Trust is built by the smallest actions, brick by brick. Often, we have lost trust in ourselves and others. What areas of your life do you still trust yourself in? To do the right thing? To make the best decisions? Who do you trust, that always has your best interest at heart? Who always offers you kindness and love? Lay out the evidence.
You may FEEL like you can’t trust yourself or anyone, but dearest one…
FEELINGS AREN’T FACT. BOOM!
Lay out the evidence, chances are, you do still trust yourself and others, your emotions are just clouding the facts.
My darling, YOU are the captain of your own ship.
What has happened in the past, is done. There is no going back and changing it. HOWEVER you have absolute POWER and a direct RESPONSIBILITY for WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. You. This life, is YOUR SHIP now.
Take the helm. It’s a new day, sail forward into that sunrise!
Love: (noun) - a strong feeling of affection.
Huh, that doesn’t sound as nearly as tricky as I expected. Considering all the great, art, poetry and songs that lament how complicated, painful and disastrous finding and being in LOVE can be.
The reality is, finding… falling in… feeling… and attracting LOVE isn’t the hard bit.
Maintaining, nourishing and growing a strong feeling of affection that lasts years? A LIFE TIME?
Now THAT’S, the nitty gritty hard bit!
So, how do we learn to do that? Is it a class in school, we skipped? A course we opted out of at University? Does it fall to our parents to teach us how to love and be loved, to communicate, resolve conflict, anger and resentment, to rebuild trust? Who was supposed to teach us all the skills and techniques to extend that strong feeling of affection, no matter what?
Like, you know, when life does what life does?
The dream job, turns nightmare? You haven't slept in 2 months because, new baby!? The investments, bottom out? The market dips and the you’re now underwater on your house? Your sweet child gets a diagnosis you didn’t plan on? YOU get a diagnosis you can’t even say out loud yet? The money is gone? Your mother passes away? Your father-in-law has to move in with you for 24 hour care? His kid has suddenly morphed into devil spawn tween? Your kid is football star in the making, with 3 practices a week to show for it? Your boss is making your life hell? The commute is gobbling up 3 hours of their day? And Sex? Ahhhhahahaha, What’s that?!?!
When and where was THAT seminar, the one for ‘keeping that strong feelings of affection’, alive and kicking, when the shit’s really going down?
Breathe. You’re not the only one. WE ALL MISSED IT!
Because, ‘relationships’, isn’t something, as a society, we structure into a formal teaching.
Which is kind of odd, no?
I mean, we wouldn’t throw someone into nuclear physicist work without any training, schooling or expertise and say, here you go, power the country and reduce our carbon footprint please!
We wouldn’t pick some wonderful kind super well intentioned person with no skills, no real track record of long term success and say ‘hey you, stop world hunger! Here is the head seat of this charity, now get this done and no mistakes, okay buddy??
I wish I could write here, we wouldn’t vote someone in to run a country without… but UM, yikes!
In all seriousness, I picked some VERY important jobs, didn’t I? However, let’s be real here.
LOVE is a HUGE part of our ability to be happy with our lives. RELATIONSHIPS, deep meaningful LONG TERM connections with other human beings, has been proven to not only increase our satisfaction in life and mental health, but our actual life expectancy!!
So why aren’t we investing in more personal development, learning and teaching around love and relationships?
Well hello old frenemies, FEAR & SHAME.
Somehow, we have come to believe, that asking for help in this area, means we have already failed.
Which, again, is pretty odd.
If I wanted to get a degree in business, it wouldn’t be required or assumed, it’s because I’ve failed in business. If I wanted to get a certification in Yoga, the opposite would be assumed, people would natural think, I must be really good at yoga already if I want to become an instructor!!
Whenever there is not a structure in place to teach and to learn, fear and shame have all the space they need to take root and grow. Fear & Shame lead to hatred and distrust of what we don’t know. We definitely DO NOT need any more of that in our world today!
So, is this point of the blog where I say, HIRE ME, I’LL TEACH YOU!!
No. Nope. Not even close.
I just want to let you know, it’s okay… that you don’t know.
That you don’t know, how to communicate better with your partner. It’s okay if you’re not sure if you LOVE them anymore. It’s okay that you may even have a roadside littered with past failed relationships.
LOVE, the strong feeling of affection, takes work to sustain, not magic.
I write, offering the kindness and compassion in the sacred knowledge that NO ONE IS BORN WITH ‘IT’.
And with the HOPE that YOU CAN GET BETTER at relationships.
Just like you did with yoga, or rowing, or your career, or at making smarter investments with your money, or at being a parent, improving your tennis game, or negotiating your salary for a new job, or baking pinterest worthy (and not so pinterest worthy) cakes...
Communication, conflict resolution, overcoming the negative head chatter, rebuilding trust, facilitating goodwill and true partnership, are ALL skills that can be learned and improved upon. Even the SKILL that is LOVE, the feeling of strong affection, is a muscle that requires an exercise regime.
Today, simply embrace this kindness, compassion and hope.
Kindness, compassion and hope, is how you kill fear and shame, with fire!