Category Archives: Communication

good man, evolved, emotional intelligence, communication skills, relationship advice, dating advice

Is The World Ready For Emotional Men?

We talk a lot about wanting men to be able to communicate their emotions, but do we really want them to own how they feel?

Have the men of generations past and the historical absence of emotional transparency created a lack of credibility when the men of today share how they feel?

I’m interested to know your thoughts. Please share in the comments below!

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Why I Wish You Would Cheat On Me

Sometimes our fears can truly get the best of us. We can exist in relationships that don’t satiate a single cell in our body. Often it’s a fear of looking in and asking the tough questions. Questions like, “Why am I feeling this way? Why is my relationship feeling disconnected? Should we still be together?”

But we don’t ask. In avoiding the pursuit of actionable knowledge we have the excuse to stay the same. We get to keep living in the story that, “This is what relationships are supposed to be like. We’re supposed to grow apart. No one is happy forever.”

I have such a deep understanding of what this feels like because I have known this scenario all too well myself.

We loved each other. Maybe not on a “elevated” or “enlightened” level. And in hindsight maybe it wasn’t whole. I can’t tell you because I didn’t have the awareness.

In that moment of time I had no idea how I had become so accustomed to monotony. To playing safe and not appreciating every wonderful thing about her. I don’t think I could’ve intellectually conversed about the current state of our relationship. It was a feeling. A deep sense in my heart that I wanted more. That this relationship had run its course.

But we stayed. We satisfied the “list”.

And isn’t that the greatest irony? That we won’t forego anything on the list for a higher level connection, but often we’ll skip right by needing a connection to satisfy the list.

Money, comfort, stability, appearance. All these things can have such a glaring spotlight that we fail to miss what we always knew: This relationship, for whatever reason, is not where I want to be.

We have this giant fear as humans:

When relationships grow apart we can’t let them go.

We can’t have them end.

Is relationship longevity really the sign of relationship success? If that’s true I know a lot of successful relationships with some sad people in them. This societal, cultural and religiously engrained belief system has us avoiding conversations and truths. And instead we embrace misalignment, constant anxiety, and the desire to “stay together” has us distancing ourselves further and away from who we are as individuals.

What an insane irony:

Needing to be with someone else has us becoming someone else.

Don’t we want more?! Don’t we crave more?! The reality of this is that your truth will always catch up with you. And this is why we cheat, disrespect our partners with words that scathe, and begin and continue to build a script that has us resenting ourselves for putting “Being Together” ahead of being ourselves. We are so afraid to go against the grain that we become another robot. Another person in society who says yes to the bullshit and reinforces our relationship dysfunctions and our fear of being an individual and being alone.

I’ve lived this. I lacked quality sleep. The line of behaviour that was acceptable with other women got greyer. I started to take her for granted. I got shorter tempered and being with her every day was a reminder of my misalignment.

I hated her for that.

Yet I chose it. Everyday. The pain was not enough for me to have an adult conversation and say from the largest space in my heart, “I love you dearly. I am no longer invested in this relationship, and I no longer wish to be. For that reason I need to let you go. To find a love that would love you in the way you deserve.”

My selfishness and my fear of hurting another human had me paralyzed. I wished she would just break up with me. I hoped she would get so tired of how I was behaving and the choices I was making that she would just leave me. Or, my ultimate plan, was if she cheated on me it would just make it so much easier. Because not being romantically in love anymore was not enough of a reason. If she cheated I would have to leave. How could I stay with someone like that? Everyone would respect my decision to walk away.

So she did. And I stayed.

I know. Mind blowing. 

And we worked it out. And we got right back to the same place we had been hovering for so long. I lived in a constant state of anxiety. Anxiety I chose.

We avoid the pain. We run from adult conversations that have us breaking hearts and changing lives into a more positive direction. A direction that aligns with our dreams and desires. It’s interesting this paradox. Maybe it’s that we’re scared we won’t meet someone new, or that they won’t be able to go on.

Imagine if we went about it differently.

Imagine if we spoke to people from the belief that they have all the tools they need. They will cope, they will find the space and strength to move forward, and that they will grow from the experience and be grateful for the role we have played in their life. And even if all of these tools are not present at the time of the breakup, they will reach out to their network and ask for help. And isn’t it crazy that this fear has US playing small? It has us sitting in mediocre love because that is better than stepping into the unknown.

The unknown is where the juice is. That’s what love is. Uncertainty. The fear of loss all whilst being buried in the deliciousness and exhilaration of merging hearts. Hearts that can never guarantee forever. With a soul that says to us,”I’m in this with you. I’m going to do my best to give you all of me…and when I no longer can I will let you go with love and appreciation for what we’ve shared.”

Every partner and experience is another piece of DNA that composes what love and relationships mean to us.

I finally had the conversation. We ended the relationship and we both moved on. We both survived, and we both have since loved again. Grateful for what we had taught one another and how we had set such a platform for what love meant to us. She will forever be one of the largest contributors to the man I am today. I cannot, and would never take back or change anything from the experience. What I can do to honour her and our experience is choose differently moving forward. I can take all of these learnings and bring them to the next relationship.

Know that your relationships are allowed to end. You’re allowed to not be in love anymore. You’re allowed to grow out of relationships. You can live and love any way that fills your heart. No one else has to live your life. So live it for you.

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Quit Being An Average Partner. 7 Ways To REALLY Show Up In Your Relationships.

I have always been really intrigued by what makes some relationships last and others not. I used to think it was the couples who were still together were the successful ones. I long since realized that staying together is not the mark of a great relationship. It’s the couples who are still happy who have my heart. This realization had me wondering:

What do happy couples do differently?

It’s no doubt that relationships are complex. Two people. Two pasts. And the complexities of two human hearts. How do we take such an amazingly convoluted equation and make it equal love and happiness?

What separates happy couples from the rest?

It’s their daily rituals. 

They have struggles. Just like all other couples, they experience ebbs and flows. The difference is in how they handle the ups and downs. These couples, in essence, have learned and observed different behaviours and habits and consistently (for the most part) live these.

Here are 7 ways that happy couples show up differently for one another:

1. Choice. They choose each other. Everyday. Their relationship isn’t dependent on their commitment to “forever”. It’s broken down moment by moment. They see arguments as an opportunity for growth and understanding. A chance to connect and get deeper.  Happy couples turn micro experiences in a macro choice. To be and grow together.

2. Individuality. They live independent lives. They have separate goals and dreams. They are individuals who are happy when alone, and choose to be together. Their relationship is another organism; one that they nurture and feed as a team. They still have ladies nights and boys trips. They participate in activities that feed their individual souls. It is through this commitment to themselves that they can fully show up in their relationship.

3. Love is a verb. Their actions speak so much more than words could never achieve. More importantly though, the intention behind their actions is love. Playing with her hair, stroking his arm, even the way in which they pass the salt has a way of demonstrating kindness. He doesn’t get her flowers because it’s Valentines Day, he gives them to her because it’s Tuesday. She doesn’t surprise him with his favourite latte because he wants one. She surprises him with it because she knows the smile it brings when he feels loved. Love is born through everything that we do. It is not reserved for words. Love, to these couples, is a verb.

4. Fights aren’t just fights. One of the biggest predictors of divorce from Dr. John Gottman’s research is the way in which we start an argument. Research shows that discussions invariably end the same way they begin. If we start an argument harshly by attacking our partner, we will end up with at least as much tension as we began with, if not more. Happy couples know that even the most difficult conversations can be communicated from a place of kindness. They start their arguments gently. They choose to communicate from a place of love.

5. They win. Together. When our partner comes home from work and tells us they just got a promotion, our immediate reaction is very predictive of whether our relationship will thrive or fail:

Unhappy couples will respond with a statement like,  “Oh great! Now you’re going to have to work more hours!”

Happy couples respond much differently. They allow their partner to savour the wins. They respond with something like, “That’s amazing! You’ve been working so hard. What are you most excited about in your new role?” This allows their partner to savour the excitement. To look back on all the things he/she has done to get to this point. Their home is a place of love and support, and their relationship is a space to celebrate and thrive.

6. Words become worlds. If number 4 and 5 didn’t stress it enough, I’ll say it again. Communication is the most important skill whether it’s in the boardroom or the bedroom. To be a high functioning partner, we need to be able to ask for what we need, as well as set and honour our boundaries. Our job is to create an environment where it is safe to communicate. That vulnerability is welcomed. Where pain and fear are embraced and pleasure is celebrated.

On top of that, relationship masters use humour constantly. There’s a reason that humour is one the most desired traits in a partner. Happy couples use humour to grow, connect, and have fun in every moment. They use it to diffuse tension and create a space in their relationship to laugh off the little things and allow joy to be experienced. Laughter is truly the best medicine. Happy couples know this.

7. Intimacy. Listening and sex are more interrelated than we may think. Happy couples take the time to connect on every level. Intimacy is not just sex, but every little interaction that makes each other feel special. The connection to sex? Men generally need sex to feel loved and women need to feel loved to want to have sex. The answer: Meet in the middle. Pun intended.

Couples_feet_in_bed

There’s no magic recipe that will make all couples work. The truth is that we’re all human, we all make mistakes, and we all have the ability to learn from those mistakes.

More importantly though, we don’t have to wait for relationship breakdowns to start learning.  We can all strive to be better partners. We just need to choose to.

Happy couples don’t have it all figured out. They weren’t born with any different innate skills than you or me. The real secret to becoming a happy couple and a high performer in a relationship is the willingness to show up and do the work. To commit and choose, day-in and day-out, and be ready to embrace and embody the desire to love and learn. There are times when you will not want to, and it will be in those times that you will need to make the choice.

The truth is that the success of our own relationships is up to us. We have the power to choose that this is the life and love we want. That moment is now.


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Emma Watson, Heforshe, feminism, gender, human issues, gender equality, equality

They’re Not Gender Issues, They’re Human Issues. #HeForShe

I fell in love with Emma Watson today. Well, let’s be honest, I loved her when she was in Harry Potter but she was too young to say that then. So I’ll say it now.

Her UN address for the #HeForShe movement was beautiful.

But my love is not just reserved for Emma. I love all women. Always have. Some would probably say I’m girl crazy. Others say it’s the Scorpio in me. I would argue that it’s both evolutionary programming as well as a general appreciation for women’s beauty.

I grew up in a home where we were free to be who we are. There were no gender requirements, and I’m lucky to have a mother who commanded respect and adoration simply through the way she freely loved. She has always been involved in supporting women and their rights. We used to joke and poke fun at it and yet she never got angry or persecuted the men in her life. She only lovingly attempted to include us in the conversation so that we could understand.

I didn’t really want to understand though. In my teens and twenties I didn’t believe I was ready to. I rallied for women’s rights with the not-so-secret intention of enjoying topless women roaming the streets. Although I do support that movement now my intention is less perverse and I see that the path to equality is through all humans.

As I’ve begun my journey working with men and women on communication I see the glaringly obvious divide that exists in the invitation for men to participate. We want men to show up in relationships and support the feminist movement yet men who display feminine qualities are scoffed at for not fitting the traditional archetype of what it means to be a man: an archetype which is outdated and to the detriment of the lives of young men. An archetype vastly promoted by men too. I see that.

So, for this reason, I have long had a problem with feminism. My understanding of feminism has always been the “Us vs. Them” mentality and so I couldn’t get on board. The most outspoken feminists tell men that they don’t need them: that a divide is necessary to move forward.

I believe the opposite is true.

And that is why a feminist movement involving just women can never be successful. Like it or not, we need each other. And the way to combat inequality and exclusion is not to have more of it. Exclusion serves no one and there are many men who are on the side of equality and women’s rights. Including me.

We need to choose love, acceptance and to coexist in a world where we support one another as humans.

That’s why #HeForShe has me ecstatic beyond belief.

The struggle that Emma speaks to is so important for all humans. We love to fit things into gender. This is what “men” do. This is how “women” do things. It’s so much more complex than that.

We love to separate and create divides.

But you know what?! Between each gender is a MASSIVE variation. We miss all of the grey when we commit to putting people into boxes, and we fail to see the bigger picture:

They’re not gender issues, they’re human issues.

HeForShe, Gender, feminism, love, equality, men, women

We often equate sensitivity with women. We attribute aggression and a lack of ability to communicate emotions with men. Sure, those attributes can be true, and more often than not you’d be right if you said men are ‘this way’ and women are ‘that way’.

Here’s the real risk in those assumptions. Not only do you make decisions and actions based on perceived archetypes of what men and women are, but you also negate the opportunity to understand the specific human you’re dealing with, and allow a man or woman to exist in the constructs of what makes them unique.

We are SO complex.

How arrogant of us to assign generalizations.

Men and women are different. Easy statement. Each human is different. Gender is a very small piece of the pie. We try to hack our understanding of what the person in front of us is like. There are no shortcuts, the key is to choose love. Love of all humans. Love of equality. Let’s stop ignoring one gender to save another and instead embrace all that it means to be human.

We live in a world where choice and abundance are a pleasure shared by too few.

When Emma Watson so eloquently asked,

“If not me, who? If not now, when?”

I reach out to all of you deliciously amazing human beings to say “YES” to #HeForShe and do it “NOW”.

If #HeForShe is the new Feminism then I say let’s all become Feminists.

Share this message so all of our fathers, sons, brothers, mothers, daughters and sisters might experience this same amazingly beautiful  life and all its opportunities.

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How To Master Communication And Get More Of What You Want

Communication is often cited as one of the most desired traits in a relationship partner.

And for good reason.

We know that being an effective communicator is a major driver of success in not only our relationships, but also every other facet of our lives.

We often cling to the idea, “I’m just not good at talking about my emotions!”

That this ability to communicate is a skill we’re born with. I disagree.

Our ability to have emotional and vulnerable conversations is a strength and skillset we can build over time.

And a skill that we should build.

This skill allows us to express our expectations and what we need from our partners. It can turn arguments into discussions. It can determine whether we build and learn, or cause pain and damage.

Even more importantly, it will offer us the opportunity to celebrate wins and let our partner know when we feel joy, satisfaction, gratitude and love.

Being a great communicator will bridge connection through vulnerability and get us through the ebbs and flows of life and love.

In the end, it will be the largest contributing force in the satisfaction and longevity of ALL our relationships.

The secret is to try. To start with the words that we know. The rest will come with practice.

Be supportive and patient with each other’s personal development and offer an environment that is open to learning and making mistakes. It’s how we grow. Together.

Our kids will learn all these skills from us too. No pressure.

Want to become a great communicator? Learn how. It’s all in this video.

Please share if you think other people would benefit from this information.

Much love to everyone.