Yearnings: Follow Your Inner-GPS to Express Your Wants and Needs in a Relationship

Do you feel like you’ve been fighting over nothing lately? Does every little thing become a nitpicky fight between you and your partner?

Are you expressing your wants and needs in your relationship? It’s a tricky question, but one that most of us have pondered before.

We believe (or maybe expect) that a relationship should meet our wants and needs. We hope that our partner will “get” us and do those things that help us feel connected, happy, and fulfilled. But most of us have probably realized that our partners aren’t mind-readers. We have to express those feelings to get them on the radar—but how?

If we want to meet our wants and needs in a relationship, we need to dive in and discover our yearnings. Here’s how.

When the Thrill is Gone

It may sound harsh, but even the best relationships hit rough patches. As the old song goes, “The thrill is gone,” and some of us might be wondering where it went

When a relationship starts, we’re often energized, engaged, and ready to put our “best foot forward.” But after a few months or years, we shift out of the lavender haze and may start to feel a loss of connection. We may feel like we’ve been fighting over nothing lately. Every little thing becomes a nitpicky fight between our partner and us.

After we cool down and step away for a minute, we might think,

  • “If we could just get away for a few days, we’d probably get along better,” or…
  • “If we’d just have sex, I’m sure we would feel reconnected.”

We may feel dissatisfied, but we can’t pinpoint the actual problem. We know that neither partner is having an affair. No one has a substance abuse problem. We still genuinely love and care about each other, but we don’t get the same sense of excitement we once did. We may even find ourselves thinking about other people or remembering other relationships fondly.

Essentially—the thrill is gone. But is it really? And more importantly, can we get it back?The good news is that all of these common relationship feelings are rooted in our yearnings.

We long to have our wants and needs met in a relationship, but we might not know how to get there. These longings are what we call yearnings. They are feelings that we all have—hunger of the soul. They go deeper than “I want to look good naked” or “I want to go on vacation.”

Yearnings speak to the desires of our heart:

  • We yearn to be acknowledged and known.
  • We yearn to be seen, valued, and loved.
  • We year for respect, connection, intimacy.

For most couples, yearnings and unmet yearnings are at the root of dissatisfaction and at the heart of every fight. Our yearnings drive us. Like GPS, they steer us toward the direction of greater happiness and satisfaction. Our yearnings push us toward the things we want.

We often say that yearnings make couples tick, and unmet yearnings tick couples off.

We can imagine for a moment: what it is like when our yearnings are met in our relationship. Think of a time when we got home, and our partner’s eyes lit up when they saw us. They told us how much they missed us and couldn’t wait to hear about our day.

Imagine telling that partner about something extraordinary that happened during the day and knowing our partner is thrilled for us. Envision asking them for something that we really wanted—a dinner, a long walk, a conversation, physical contact—and having them enthusiastically agree. Or imagine telling them something we’re dissatisfied with, and they acknowledge our feelings and work together on a resolution. These would be examples of interactions that speak to our inner yearnings.

When our yearnings are ignored or unmet in our relationship, we may find ourselves drifting in opposite directions. Maybe we’re feeling distant from our partner, but we aren’t sure why. We might be afraid to bring up problems and discuss our feelings because we’re sensing a hidden middle finger (or giving one ourselves). We might withdraw from the relationship and feel a sense of disconnectedness.

Expressing Your Yearnings: It’s Not Actually About His Socks on the Floor

Our yearnings are extremely powerful. They go deeper than wishing that our spouses would stop putting their socks on the floor. But sometimes, something as simple as socks on the floor can make us feel like our yearnings are ignored and brushed aside. If having a clean, organized home is important to one partner but not the other, there might be an incongruency. That difference is underscored when the preference isn’t something that’s been clearly expressed. Often one partner doesn’t realize the importance of picking up the socks, while the other partner feels ignored and frustrated.

Years of socks on the floor pile up, and so do frustrations. Each night the irritation builds as we silently pick up our partner’s socks and seethe about it. Eventually, this can lead to resentment. We make a crack about our spouse’s sloppiness to friends. We make something he hates for dinner. We ignore his comments about his day. We’re silent and angry, and our spouse is confused about why we’re so cold and annoyed with them.

But at the root, we probably grew up in different households with differing standards of cleanliness. To one partner, socks are no big deal—a sign of feeling relaxed and comfortable. To the other partner, socks on the floor are an affront that says, “I don’t care about the work you put into our household. I don’t respect you or notice your efforts.”

We’re often engaged in these little power struggles in relationships, and we aren’t even aware that they’re happening. These little resentments and actions build up and can even cause explosive fights that seemingly go nowhere. Our partner might start picking up the socks, but it doesn’t resolve the underlying issue. At the root of the fight is often an unmet yearning.

Yearnings are significant wants and needs in a relationship. They may be:

  • Yearning to be respected,
  • Yearning to be cared for,
  • Yearning to be safe and secure,
  • Yearning to nurture and grow, and
  • Yearning to be appreciated.

Notice that nowhere on this list is “yearning for picked-up socks.” That’s because the true yearning isn’t really about the laundry pile. It’s something more poignant that runs much deeper. Yearnings are connected to the core of our humanity, existence, and identity.

Wants and Needs in a Relationship vs. Yearnings

It’s important to understand because there’s a difference between basic wants and needs in a relationship and yearnings. We often express what we think are our wants and needs, but when we get them met, we still feel unsatisfied, as though the larger issue still looms.

  • We can want our spouse to have sex with us more frequently.
  • We can want her to clean out the car when she uses it.
  • We can ask him to stop splashing toothpaste on the bathroom mirror.

When we express our wants, our partner often complies, but we may still feel annoyed. We feel like we’re nagging them or like we always have to tell them what we want. That’s a sure indication that we haven’t addressed the deeper yearnings behind our desires. A superficial action, like putting down the toilet seat or rinsing a dinner plate doesn’t really address the heart of the issue. We find ourselves running around mopping up water without fixing the broken pipe and addressing the source of the leak.

Real, true satisfaction and intimacy come from expressing our yearnings and understanding why they matter to us. This can happen in or out of a relationship. It’s about first doing the work to understand what’s going on inside our hearts and minds.

The great part is that when we identify our yearnings, we can find many different ways to get them met. It’s not just about relying on one person to do a specific action. We may yearn to connect with others, and we can do that by connecting with friends, coworkers, family, or our spouse.

If our partner simply complies with our expressed demand without understanding or learning our underlying yearning, the interaction might feel hollow or superficial. We aren’t getting those feelings of being acknowledged, appreciated, or loved. We’re simply training someone to pick up socks.

Our Yearnings Matter!

So, what about when we fight? We don’t really yearn to “win” the fight when it comes to fighting. Yes, we may want to express our point; we may think we want to win. But after we feel briefly superior and proud of our status as the “winner,” we might realize that we haven’t solved anything at all.

At the heart of many of our conflicts is fear (or the simple fact) that our yearnings aren’t being met and that we aren’t clearly expressing and requesting them from our partners. Yearning is at the core of our survival. Yearning to love and bond keeps mothers caring for their children. Yearning to be safe, sheltered, connected, and respected all have a biological imperative behind them. When our yearnings are met, we experience a rush of feel-good emotions and chemicals. When our yearnings are ignored, we experience a flood of fear, adrenalin, and stress hormones.

When we understand the neuroscience beneath our yearnings, we can quickly see why they’re so powerful and why they play such a strong role in our conflicts, especially with our partners—the people we rely on and trust.

When we feel frustrated about something our partner did, we can step back and ask ourselves, what is the underlying yearning? What do I really want from them? Is it that I want to be seen? Heard? Respected? Connected? When we identify those yearnings, we can try expressing them.

What would happen if we asked our partner for more physical contact? What if we explained why a clean house makes us feel more secure? What if we “went there” in conversation and brought our yearnings out into the light?

If we want to build stronger connections and get our yearnings met in our relationship, we must first identify them within ourselves. Then we can take steps to express our yearnings to our partner. Acknowledging our yearnings is the first battle, one we must wage within ourselves. As we come to a better understanding of what drives us, we can start expressing those wants and needs to our partners. Ultimately, when we say what we really want in our relationship, we’ll strengthen our bond and start getting closer.

For more ways to strengthen your relationships, visit Wright Now. We offer an array of courses to help you build stronger connections, discover more about yourself, and move towards the life you want—a life of more. Start getting what you want today!

The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Love Is Messy:
Learn the Secret to
Awesome Relationships

Life is messy. Love is messier. Why? Because life and love are full of conflict. Conflict is the very basis for life as we know it; we are born of struggle and growth.

Whether you tend to embrace it or shy away from it, successful, happy relationships require conflict. When we don’t develop our engagement and conflict skills, we end up as bullies or wimps: either we avoid everything or we plow over everyone in our path. That’s no way to live.

Time and time again, I hear people say they want intimacy, but they don’t want the mess. To have real intimacy, there must be conflict and vulnerability. Intimacy involves putting yourself out there, engaging, and letting yourself be seen in the truth of who you are.

“If you want true love, you will need to feel everything: the fear, hurt, anger, and sadness, as well as joy and bliss.”

–from The Heart of the Fight

Getting Real and Fighting Fair

Here are a couple of the common relationship myths we bust in The Heart of the Fight:

  • Conflict resolution doesn’t lead to great relationships.
  • The purpose of a relationship ISN’T to make you happy; it’s to make you your best.

That’s why conflict is so important. It’s the root of lasting satisfaction. Conflict isn’t just about being right or wrong. It’s not about agreeing or disagreeing, either. It’s about letting out the truth and making your truth known.

When we avoid fights and stop engaging with each other, we become passive aggressive. When this happens, we try to act like we’re being nicey-nice toward our partner, when we’re actually holding back and bottling up our feelings. Those feelings have to come out somewhere, so we end up doing all kinds of little things just to “show them” how we feel—without actually showing them anything. We call it the “hidden middle finger”—we get silent, we do things to purposely piss off our partner. We pout around expecting they’ll get the hint.

These actions don’t help the relationship grow. Instead, when we’re being honest and agreeing with the truth—always (one of our rules of engagement), there’s no room for passive aggressive actions.

Here’s another great rule of engagement: we must fight FOR the relationship, not against it. That means sometimes you have to outright declare what it is you’re truly fighting for. Maybe you’re fighting for acknowledgement. Maybe you’re fighting to meet a yearning, like to be seen and heard, or to be valued. Whatever you’re fighting for, you have to embrace the messiness. Fight hard for the things you want, and get your partner to fight alongside you. If you’re both fighting for, rather than against the relationship, you’ll be able to resolve conflict in much more satisfying and growth-focused ways.

Really Going At It? Anger is OK!

Ever since we were little kids, we’ve been told to get along, not to fight, and to agree with things as much as possible. We’re told to listen to each other and not to interrupt. Unfortunately, this can lead to conflict-avoidant behavior, which becomes the complete opposite of intimacy.

When you need to be heard, it’s okay to yell. It’s okay to be angry and let it all out. Your partner has the right to express their feelings as well—as long as you each take 100% responsibility for your own emotions and feelings and you’re not placing more than 50% of the blame on one side (two more rules of engagement from our book). Too often, we find ourselves bitching and moaning about our partner, “venting” about the things they aren’t doing. The essence of complaining is to punish someone for something we want that’s not happening.

Complaining doesn’t get us anywhere.

Instead, we should be expressing our yearnings to our partner. We should be telling them what we want and how we feel. We should both be engaged and fired up, because our relationship is so important to us that we’re willing to take the gloves off and go all out to improve and grow within our relationship.

The Real Secret to Awesome Relationships

Healthy relationships are dynamic, alive, and engaged. Everyone in the relationship is expressing themselves and saying what they want. They’re putting their yearnings out there and taking responsibility for their satisfaction. They aren’t blaming someone else for the way they feel and no one is playing the victim.

In healthy relationships, we’re always caring about our partner’s needs as well as our own. We assume goodwill in the relationship. We want to help our partner meet their yearnings. We’re both fighting toward the health and evolution of the relationship. We are honest and we’re being seen for who we really are.

Love is a complex and messy dance. It’s revealing ourselves, shifting, and learning how to get closer and gain a deeper understanding of our partner. It’s exciting as we develop increasing trust. We can be vulnerable and honest about who we are, and we grow to let our guard down and be truly intimate with each other. We evolve with our partner and move towards a deeper and greater understanding—and that is a beautiful thing.

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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Addicted to Conflict?
Here’s How to Save
Your Relationship

Many of us fear conflict. We take it as a sign our relationship is doomed or damaged, so we avoid it. We hold back from engaging with our partner because we’re afraid of fighting—yet, we end up feeling disconnected when we do.


What happens at the other end of the spectrum, though? What happens when it seems like all you do is fight or when it feels like the only way our needs are being met and we’re being acknowledged is when our partner is angry?

In our forthcoming book, The Heart of the Fight, Judith and I discuss some of these themes surrounding relationship conflicts. We talk about the rules of engagement and fighting fair. We also talk about the ways conflict can actually strengthen your relationship—because when you’re fighting, you are engaged.

In the first years of a relationship (even the first ten), we’re engaged in a control struggle and we’re trying to find our footing and balance of power. We want to be loved in an open and honest way, and to be seen for who we really are in the here and now. Our partner wants the same and we’re pushing each other back and forth in this battle to see if we can test each other. We’re trying to see if our partner will really meet our yearnings.

Through this testing and conflict, trust is built—and respect. I’ve talked about the ways our relationships are both a crucible that forms us and a womb that nourishes us. It’s a place for transformation, where we can learn and grow, and yes, transformation causes heat and conflict.

What to Do When You Want a Partner to Change

One common source of conflict is the desire to change or modify the behavior of a partner. Maybe you’re a vegetarian and they’re a meat lover or maybe they’re a sports fanatic and you want your Sundays quiet, spent reading The New York Times together and going to brunch with friends.

Whatever the behavior, we need to examine our own motivations. Are we jealous of our partners’ hobbies and habits? Do we want to change the behavior because we’re concerned about their health? Is it a moral issue?

Here’s the deal: if our partners change something simply for us, they’ll probably resent us for it. If we ask them to change and they don’t, then we’ll resent them. Thus, a conflict is born.

First of all, you simply can’t change your partner (but you will make each other miserable trying to force it). You can support your partner, enabling him or her to reach a place where they’re prepared for transformation, but even the most annoying habit in the world can’t be changed because you argue it so or withhold until they give in.

Reframe your approach and consider the work you need to do for yourself. What are your yearnings? How do they shape your feelings? We all bring yearnings into a relationship and a hope that our yearnings will be met. If we’re clear and up front about those yearnings, we can assume goodwill on the side of our partner and know they want to make us happy, just as we want for them.

You both may be different people who enjoy different things, but accepting your partner for who they truly are and respecting these differences will go far. If it’s a health issue (your partner overeats, smokes or drinks) then consider what comfort they might not be receiving on your end. The next time they’re going to reach for something to soothe their yearnings, how can you soothe them instead?

How to Break Old Patterns

We all come into relationships with baggage. Most of our early personality traits and desires are formed well before adulthood. If your parents withheld affection or modeled a relationship where fighting was the norm, you might see these patterns emerge in your adult relationships.

It’s not about dwelling on where this conflict is coming from and shifting the blame to our parents, but rather, it’s about understanding it and then figuring out if you’re using conflict as a platform to deepen your engagement. Ask yourself what you’re fighting for and if you’re making progress.

Some conflicts can be long lasting and in-depth. It doesn’t spell doom for the relationship. Fighting fair and honoring the rules of engagement will keep your fights from becoming a standoff where you end up spinning your wheels.

Follow These 7 Rules of Engagement:
  1. Minimize the negative.
  2. Accentuate the positive.
  3. No one gets more than 50% of the blame.
  4. You must take 100% responsibility for your own happiness.
  5. Express and agree with the truth.
  6. Always fight FOR something, not against; and
  7. Assume goodwill.

If you follow these rules, your conflicts will become more productive and growth focused. You’ll find you’re engaged in respectful discussion (even if it’s harshly worded and impassioned) and you’ll walk away stronger.

Meshing Your Personalities

We all have different personalities, different backgrounds and different yearnings than our partner. Judith is an Energizer and I’m a Regulator. We spent years in therapy and we’ve seen several different couples’ counselors—some who even told us we should just cut our losses because they couldn’t see we were actually using conflict to keep us more deeply engaged.

When it comes down to it, there are plenty of things that can irritate us in relationships and breed conflict. We are different people who are trying to work together on a shared vision. Understanding your personality type and your triggers, and being honest and open will help you work out anything that may arise.

The good thing about conflict is it means you are connected. You’re fighting for something. Make sure you’re both fighting FOR the relationship rather than against each other and you will find some common ground.

When a relationship is just starting out you want to test it even harder. You want to know it will stand the test of time and endure. Engage in deeper conflict as you’re figuring out where you’re headed. If you’re both committed to growing and transforming together, then conflict will make your relationship even stronger.

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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Literotica: 50 Shades of Grey

Ah…50 Shades of Grey…chick lit, literotica—books we all like to read (okay, maybe not on the train or in public), but we don’t always readily admit it.

Jokingly referred to as “literary porn” or “porn for women,” these page-turners might not be classical literature, but they’re entertaining and fun.

Taking a deeper look at the “why” behind why we’re drawn to these books (as well as chick flicks and sitcoms) brings up some interesting things about who we are, what we want, and what our secret yearnings are when it comes to relationships and dating.

Discussions about Christian Grey bring up some blushing and giggles even among friends, or at the very least, nervous laughter. These aren’t necessarily things we feel comfortable discussing even with our closest buds, because maybe we aren’t comfortable with the things we secretly want. There might be a little shame, some hang ups, or the feelings your desires aren’t “normal,” or maybe even that they go against your feminist ideals. There’s also a fear of rejection when we share a fantasy with a boyfriend or girlfriend. What if the person goes, “Wow, you’re a freak!” and heads for the hills? (Spoiler alert: if you’re engaged in open honest communication, they won’t.)

There’s a lot we can learn about ourselves from our admiration of this version of love, sex and romance. Sex without emotional attachment, potential hurts, disappointments and expectations can be an appealing prospect. In movies we see couples who seemingly never fight or “fight cute” and things always have a happy ending. In life this is rarely the case.

Similar to porn films, the idealized portrayal of sex in these films eschew messy emotional attachments, the yearnings of our heart, vulnerabilities, proclivities and our intellectual sides that can prohibit us from letting go sexually. There’s also a fear of facing boundaries and knowing the limits of our own allowances.

In the novel 50 Shades of Grey, the protagonist Christian Grey exudes confidence, success and alpha-male attitude. While some us may find the character off-putting on paper, we would have to admit many of the qualities he has are attractive. Success and confidence are universally appealing qualities. It’s no wonder many of us secretly swoon when we read about him.

So, how can we apply this to dating life?

Being clear about your yearnings and desires is certainly part of it. It may be difficult to talk about what you want with a first date, but as you become more comfortable with your partner, let them know what things you find appealing. Try things and be clear about what turns you on and what doesn’t do it for you. The worst that can happen is you have some awkward sexual moments, but you’ll ultimately end up with an even more satisfying life in the bedroom.

Talk with your partner about what turns you on and what turns them on, but don’t rely on idealized fictional relationships to be the marker of what your relationship should be. In literature we see superficial “romance” of flowers, chocolates and perfect couples. As we know, while romance is an important part of relationships, there are much deeper ways of connecting.

In fiction, we also see the concept of “The ONE” or a woman who can “tame” the wild alpha male. In reality, as we all know, there isn’t a perfect match out there or one person who can “fix” us or repair our broken heart. If someone’s holding back on intimacy or failing to engage, they need to do some internal work on their own (not meet the perfect dream girl). Holding the bar at this standard isn’t realistic. There’s nothing wrong with a fantasy as long as you realize it’s just that.

As we found out from our discussion on this topic, a lot of guys have a hard time figuring out how to navigate the world of fantasy vs. reality as well. While the “literotica” market may appeal to the ladies more than the men, the fantasy aspect’s the same as it can be in porn. It’s about making a correlation and a compromise between the things you see and read about, and the things that fit into your life and apply to your relationships—not using them as a substitute for real intimacy but as part of a healthy fantasy and sex life.

If you have open lines of communication and you’re being authentic, honest and engaging with your dates, you’re going to be discussing these yearnings and bringing them out in your relationship.

True relationships are about connecting and communicating. Fiction can be fun and a way to escape into a fantasy world, but keep yourself grounded in reality to maximize your happiness. Make sure you don’t fall into the realm of soft-addiction and too much escape into your fantasy life. Romantic books and movies should remain fun and entertaining and there’s no harm in a little of that!

You’ll be able to read all about these ideas and more in Dr. Bob and Judith’s Wright’s new book out now: The Heart of the Fight: A Couple’s Guide to Fifteen Common Fights, What They Really Mean, and How They Can Bring You Closer. (Available on Amazon now!)

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About the Author

Monica is the Admissions Coordinator and Marketing Specialist at the Wright Graduate University. As the admissions coordinator and head of marketing for WGU, Monica oversees recruiting, student admissions, customer services and marketing efforts.

Blog post image courtesy Flickr user jeepersmedia.

The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Love or Sex…Are You Getting One, or None?

Relationships bring out the best in us. When we truly connect with another person and we work together towards goal-oriented transformation, we can find ourselves truly engaged in a partnership based on reciprocity.

Sex can strengthen and solidify that bond. Skin-on-skin, intimate contact touches us at the most primal level. Since early childhood, we have learned to crave touch and associate intimacy and affection with love.

So, why is that in many relationships we find that something is lacking? We resort to the cycle of blaming, stepping into what Dr. Steven Karpman coined the Transactional Analysis Theory or the drama triangle. This cycle of victimhood, persecutor, and rescuer can become a vicious pattern that destroys otherwise healthy relationships.

In our book, Transformed: The Science of Spectacular Living, we discuss a way you can break this cycle, take personal responsibility, and improve your relationship. Two of the important ground rules in any relationship: 1. No one should get more than 50% of the blame, and 2.) Each partner needs to take 100% of the responsibility for their own happiness.

If you’re finding that the intimacy and passion in your relationship has flown the coop, then you need to look at the limiting beliefs you’re focused on about yourself, and examine how your behavior may be contributing to this cycle. Often our relationships reflect something within ourselves that might be holding us back (or making us head for the hills).

Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em

Are you finding that once intimacy and sex are on the table, the relationship takes a nosedive? Maybe you find that you’re pulling back, or you catch yourself avoiding the other person. Suddenly, the things that drew you in might be the things that repel you.

If you find yourself in the Groundhog Day version of repeating the same pattern again and again, it’s time to explore how your core limiting beliefs are affecting the way you deal with intimacy. Many of us feel we aren’t worthy of love or that we only want love (and sex) that we have to constantly chase and pursue.

We’re addicted to the seduction rather than the connection.

There’s the cliché that men are the only ones who are guilty of this mindset, but it’s not true—women can also feel stifled by intimacy or put off in relationships where they feel “too wanted.”

Why don’t we want, in the words of Groucho Marx, to belong to a club that would have someone like us as a member? Oftentimes it can go back to those core beliefs that were formed by the time we were seven or eight years old. If we were fighting for the attention of a parent, or had a mother or father who was withholding of affection, we may find ourselves constantly engaging in a chase that we will never win.

To overcome this pattern and break these self-fulfilling prophesies you must change your beliefs and change your actions. Sometimes it can feel strange, but it’s easier to change our actions and watch our beliefs follow. Try new actions by confessing your fears before things escalate, let the person know you can feel yourself starting to have feelings for them, and it’s scary. Being vulnerable and opening up can lead to profound growth and transition. Even if it doesn’t feel “normal” to you, when you change your action your core belief will start to change as well.

Break Your Patterns

Perhaps you’re the one who’s often getting “ditched” in relationships or you have a pattern of choosing partners who don’t meet your needs or leave you feeling less than fulfilled. Even in these cases, the onus is still on you to change. As we know all too well, while we can share with a partner and work together, we are responsible for our own behavior and actions.

Set yourself up for relationship success by breaking your patterns. The next time you have a date that’s not working, give yourself the go ahead to say, “It was nice meeting you, but I’m not interested in pursuing a relationship any further.” Reclaim the power you have to walk away and reframe the belief that you HAVE to make every date turn into a relationship or that this is your “only chance.”

When the Sex Becomes Routine

In a new relationship you’re embarking on adventure, exploration and the thrill of connecting and getting to know another person. Intimacy, sex, and that all-important skin-to-skin contact are key to building a relationship, and part of the fun.

What happens when things become blah? And yes, it happens to almost everyone—after a time, we fall into patterns—get up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch the news, go to bed (and sex is nowhere in the picture). As humans we are drawn to routine behaviors and establishing levels of normalcy; it’s just part of our nature. Because of this, yes, things can occasionally become less fiery and passionate than they were at first, but they also can become more deeply intimate.

If you’re committed to growth in your relationship and you and your partner are working together, you can achieve an even greater level of closeness, support and connectedness. It becomes less about physical intercourse and more about verbal and emotional intercourse. As you realize your own needs and articulate them to your partner, you’ll find ways to fulfill them yourself. At that point, sex is just the icing on the cake.

There are those couples that claim to still be all over each other like teenagers, while the rest of us look on with a raised eyebrow.

The truth is, that yes, perhaps both of you have very high sex drives and enjoy sex greatly, but a completely sexually driven relationship may be lacking in other areas of intimacy.

Be sure you aren’t using sex as a way to compensate or to connect over emotional distance. If you suspect this may be the case, then it’s time to do some exploration and transformational work to get your emotional intimacy back on track.

Love and sex are two different aspects of an intimate relationship, but they can be very beautifully intertwined. When you have a partner who is embarking on life’s journeys with you and you’re both challenging each other, it can be very fulfilling and help us work towards our best selves. Sometimes it’s hard work, but it’s so worth it.

If you’re looking for deeper, more meaningful relationships, you can order our new relationships book: The Heart of The Fight, out now. To learn more about intimacy and the health of your relationships, go to Wright Now, right now!

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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.