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Beginning and Ending Intimate Relationships

Updated: May 22, 2021

Every human communicates differently. We respond through our own unique rhythm and timing. That doesn't mean we can't ask to have our communication needs met.

When we are setting up clear communication agreements, it's alright to articulate what is important to us, while remaining fluid around our expectations. Doing so creates much needed space for honest conversation. That's part of relating - to move out of our comfort zones in order to grow. If we aren't prepared to do that the relationship simply won't work.

Rigid expectation or behaviour dooms a potentially healthy relationship.

I don't like the word compromise because it sounds like you are sacrificing something of your essential self. There is a difference between sacrifice and growth, because the later asks us to release expectation and story made up by our thinking mind. Only you can know where your boundaries are with that. Whether you are motivated by a limiting belief or fear from the past or an actual sovereign boundary that needs to remain intact.

Recently I've had the experience of asking to have some more needs met in fairly new intimate relationship. At first I patiently waited, but after not hearing anything back after a week I began feeling pissed off. They were not doing what I wanted them to do. His lack of communication actually had nothing to do with me at all. It was more about what he was going though and what he was unable to share. That doesn't mean it was ok - I was in a great deal of emotional discomfort and my thinking mind wanted to go to town on judging him and taking his silence very personally. Turns out he needed to sit with my requests and let something clear drop over the week and it did. Neither of us could agree to meet the others needs without compromising our own. Sadly we finished our romance.

Dr Louianne Brizadine suggests that men's brains are designed for action not emotion. What is a natural state for most women is not for men. In order to access their emotional brain men have to cross their corpus callosum and then return back with their new emotional intel. In Brizadines book "The Female Brain", she explains why most men take longer to respond than women.

I remember many years ago reading "Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus" and having a few ahaa moments around how and why men and women communicate differently.

Beginnings and Endings

Set Up Agreements

Agreements can be set up by chatting about what you both might need when stuff comes up, and stuff will come up.

With that understanding in place you are then able to give each other compassionate space if and when it's needed.

Relating, especially for women prone to overthinking , is best done from an embodied approach. To stay or land back in our body rather than react from out of our head reduces white noise and assumption. Our "manna mind" will drive us insane with suffering, comparison and unkind fiction. Rather than make up stories or make assumptions ask them what's going on for them and give them space to respond. They are not us - they may not be able to articulate in that moment so allow them some reasonable time to respond.

Self Parent

While awaiting a response, unless you are enlightened, you are potentially going to experience something beyond the current situation. its going to impact your nervous system and your heart. It may bring up old wounds from childhood. So parenting yourself is key. Check in through breathing practices, relaxation and visualisation techniques to talk to the part of you that feels unsafe, abandoned or scared. You'll get a sense of whether its your inner kid or your teenage self. Reach out to a professional if you need guidance. It may be the support you are projecting onto your significant other. They can never fulfil that sense of self value and safety and worth - only you can give that to yourself.

Example exercise: Inner Child meditation / Teenage meditation - link to resources in Info Hub.

Don't Beat Yourself Up

Come to terms with being flawed. We are all flawed, we all react at times, regardless of how much loving kindness we practice. Forgive ourselves, forgive them for being human. When and as you can, compassionately step back to an understanding of both parties needs.Choose responding rather than reaction.

Creating apace for a man to go into his cave, for example, is smart and grown up. But if he loiters and broods in there forever and can't come back and communicate with you - he simply may not be the right partner for you. Depends if you just want to be retriggered into trauma over and over again perpetuating some story about not deserving to be respected and heard and be prepared to listen when they do emerge from their introspection.

Remember that if you are in an intimate relationship with someone they are also your friend. So be kind and explore your boundaries.

Its ok to ask for a need to be met even if its from a wounded part of you than not saying anything.

Complete with Forgiveness When Possible

If they don't come back after 3 or 4 days there are other things at play beyond you.

If they are not phone friendly for example - set up agreements that work for both of you.

If you need something met and if its important enough that you are prepared to walk away as painful as that may be - and it might be very painful - it may be better long term to have a develop mutual respect rather than a lopsided scenario.

Show them through example what you need and want. Not talking at them or shaming ask for more quality time per week or instigating more social engagements outside of each others homes. Give examples of what that might look like.

If they are unable to meet your requests it doesn't mean they are wrong or a bastard or bitch.

Something bought you together and the essence of that, despite not being able to reconcile each others needs, does not takeaway from that connection unless you let it.

If it needs to complete then a conversation face to face is challenging but may be one of the most healing things you can do. If they don't want to complete in person then ask them for your sake. If they still refuse then you can employ gestalt techniques that might serve your own healing process. Reach out to a professional if you need support.

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