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How to Navigate Romantic Relationships During Challenging Times

Hello everyone. I'm Melanie McClure with Ecstatic Hearts here with my honey today, Scott McClure, and we are joined by the wonderful Sita and Dala. And we're going to talk about relationships during the challenging times, and what's our relationships, our life during COVID and lock down and challenges we're facing and what we're doing about - doing about them and how we might keep our relationships thriving, using contract practices and principles.

So relationships during lockdown, Dala, Sita. Tell me what are like some challenges you guys have been having or, or has it just been all fun and games during left after you guys?

Sure. So, I was lucky enough to have a partner that I'm not sick of yet. However, I know that that's occurring all over the place. However, I think that the whole working from home and constantly spending every day ordering in Instacart, logging in from home, it is creating like, first off the sex and excitement was phenomenal. And then now we're like six, seven months into it and I'm like, Oh, I'm a little burnt out.

Like, what else can we do to live in it? So for me, it's been more about communication and talking about that, which has been uncomfortable at the start. Because you never want your partner to feel like. Oh, I'm tired of having sex with you, but I love it, but I'm also like I'm with you literally seven days a week and we need something else.

We need some extra juice there. So communicating about it has been key for me. and getting over the fear of being honest about what you want and what you don't want all the time. like active listening has been key, for me. but what about you? Yeah, so I agree the - there's - it's COVID or being in lockdown has kind of had its ups and downs at the beginning you're like, Oh, like you're kind of, there's maybe some fear and uncertainty.

And then after that, perhaps for some of us at least, it's like, Oh, this is awesome. We get to spend so much more time at home. I don't have to commute. We get to spend more time together. And so it's like, March was like the longest decade of my life, but then April through September has been like the shortest month ever.

And so, at the beginning there was a lot of novelty and that that made it exciting and sexy in some ways, or at least perhaps after you get over whatever stress, but then you settle into whatever your lockdown routine has become and it can become just the same old day after day.

Cause kind of just blurred together and goes by really fast. And so I think what has been challenging for me and what's really helped me is not falling into the group groove of just doing the same thing over and over again, even though you're in the same environment. And so one way that I think that we bring that up multi into our lives and into our relationships is through our interactions with other people, our social interactions. And even if, even if you're in a monogamous or monogamous relationship, like we are, even though we're not hooking up with other people, when we go out and socialize with other people, there's an energy exchange there and social interaction and that brings a little bit, a different energy into your life and can help to kind of like.

Spice things up, but a lot of us during lockdown, aren't seeing other people and are in the same environment day after, day after day. And so there's, there may be a lot less novelty in our lives. And so for me, it's really been about listening into my intuition about whether I - do I need to bring more spontaneity into our relationship and try something novel, something new that we haven't been doing to spice things up, or are we like constantly trying there's like not enough of a ritual involved and we really re re need to rekindle that connective space and then like time to be sexy and connected and special together.

Right. Yeah for us, for me, during the whole COVID thing at the beginning, I did not think that it was novel and sexy. I was very stressed. It's like our whole, like everything, our business, our plans, all of our, opportunities for money to sweat. Off the table, 20, 20 cleared up. And that was very stressful for me.

And, no worries. Contrary events, very sad for me. So I was feeling less sadness, stress and depression, the first few months, really. And it wasn't until my private practice came back online and I'm like, Ugh. We won't go bankrupt. We will make money. We will eat. We will pay our bills. All is not lost.

That I started feeling more relaxed again. And I just cut doing grounding, centering and relaxing practices just helped me, like, not get too depressed or anxious or I'm all in sad. So I've been really doing grounding, centering practices. like gardening and meditating outside and walking our dogs daily together.

Just to bring me back into that good place to be in. And I totally there now I've been there for like a few months now. It's doing great. That's what my libido on a dye plummet. And then it's like, come back up and we're like, almost that tomorrow. Well, now I'm getting there still, not all the way. But what I've found to be really helpful to like maintain our relationship and to help bring our relationship from the lows of stress, overwhelmed with depression back into relax, happy, connected, loving state, was maintaining our monthly rituals of spending an entire weekend together, focused on each other, being romantic with each other, having sex.

Even when I'm feeling all those other things at the same time. And then once things started opening up and everything having weekly date night. So it was like you said, I'm falling back on the rituals that help to maintain our relationship. Even during the tough times, even when we're not feeling like having sex or being sexy and we're overwhelmed or stressed out or not feeling good or whatever.

I'm falling back on the rituals of bait, a weekly date night and monthly romantic weekends. Even if we're not going anywhere, we're just staying at home. And then within that, having ritual of our Gaia sets really helps us to like shift our energies, shift our mood, come back into love and connection. Find my turn on again.

Cause sometimes I feel like my turn on gets lost. Where'd it go? I don't know you're doing all the things that turned me on feeling no response over here. So like actually doing our, tantric practices, like the Gaius that really helps me to like, Find where my turn on went and get back into my own body and get my own juice pack.

One of the great ones specifically is the Shakti shape. Whenever we just stand out, we shake a lot. That actually really helps activate my body and shake away all the stress and the overwhelm and any low vibrations I'm feeling and just shake long enough until I start feeling like the buzz and the tingle returning to my body and the energy returning to my pelvis region and start to feel like a turn on returning into my body.

So that's, that's one of my favorite practices for dealing with all that stuff. Wow. So I just want to say, I think people are under a lot of stress and no two relationships with the same. So I'm sure that, a lot of people are going through a lot of different challenges. And, but I do think that most people are going through stress.

I mean, not just the fear around COVID the changes in our patterns with lockdown. And so I just want to say if you're experiencing that. just know that, give yourself a break, like don't beat yourselves up too much. I'd say approach your relationships with more caution, like, with more patients.

Because, yeah, because I know for us, there've been times when we've kind of blown up a little bit more with each other more than we normally do, just because of the extra stress and so forth. So it's like, I think during this time just kind of. Breathe more slow down a little bit, really appreciate the time that we have, because it is, it is pretty amazing that we have this much time to spend with each other and we too are not sick of each other.

That's good. and yeah, and so, well, you guys have kind of already jumped into it, but I was wanting to talk about what, what, What are some suggestions on how to make these things better or to keep your relationship juicy and alive? you, you guys already all mentioned stuff you want to just recap real quick.

What you, what would you suggest? I wanted to add something else to what you guys were talking about earlier. the, the situation that many of us are in, and we know a lot about those because we've literally spending have been spending all day every day. For like most of the past 11 years together so that part's not new for us, we really enjoy it.

So, but one of the things that happens when you spend all day, every day together with your partner is your energies. Start to meld together a lot. Okay. And what helps to create that spark of chemistry and attraction and arousal is having polarities and energy. Having a synthesis separate in this, in our energetic bodies and then ourselves.

So feeling those separateness and then coming together with that polarity and that separateness actually creates a lot of the chemistry. Like whenever you're dating and you don't live with someone, you see them only on special days, it's been special time together, got love, polarity and chemistry together.

Then we get together. We live together, we see each other all the time and our energies just kind of like meld together, oneness. And then. Stay there. And we don't have that debt separation and coming back together again, as, as defined, I have to create that and like, notice that that's what's happened and take time for it ourselves to do our own thing, even when we're saying in the same household together and mostly together.

So what I do is I spend a lot of time in my garden. Pursuing my passion for gardening and, playing with my animals and, journaling reading. And, so that's one of the things that I do that grounds me in my feminine energy and centers, me and myself. And then what do you do, Darlene? Just tell of you and yourself.

I don't know, he reads a lot of his fantasy. I can jump in on this one, please. Well, one thing that it has really been working well for me in, in terms of both grounding and centering myself and also when we're feeling like we're too together too much, and there's not enough polarity is just getting out into nature and reconnecting with nature.

And that's something that surprisingly, I'm at home all the time. Now, I worked from home and I have a lot more time because I don't have to commute, but I spend way less time outdoors, which is bizarre. And I could even like work partially outdoors and I, but I don't. And I imagine that's probably true for most people.

And so I've found that when I can get out, like you said, in your garden or what I've been doing a lot lately as well, It's just taking a walk through my neighborhood and it's like, even if you don't have some vast expansive forest or something like that, like reconnecting with nature can both help create that polarity in your relationship and give you time away by yourself to just reconnect with yourself.

And it can also really center and ground you. Yeah, definitely grounding. It helps release stress. And so we've actually been seeing a lot more time out in the garden and we think it's been great. So that's been really good. It's been wonderful. The other practices that I absolutely love that helps us to come back together with that polarity and create charge for us again, is partnered dancing.

Partner dancing, where we like come together and then we can separate and create space. And then we come together and we separate and create space. So we're like physically creating the dance of coming together and separating and being in our own expression and then coming together and melding together.

And for me, that's super juicy and that absolutely gets my turn on again. Absolutely makes me, helps me to fill that romance and that charge and that passion get reawakened. So that's another favorite practice you might want to try out with your partner is. Dancing together and coming away and coming back together in a, in a dance like that.

Yeah. One of the things I think some people are starting to explore and experiment with is like going out in small groups and maybe just a double date or something like that. And I think that's been good too for us it's like, cause we're both extroverts, so we need other people.

We actually been doing a lot over zoom. So we're actually going to be doing a, a double date via zoom here later this week. And, we certainly been doing a lot of communication with our friends and so forth of resume. And I think if you have responsible people that are taking care of staying separate from other people and you can get together.

And then, we even had one where we had like 10 people, but then we all like stay isolated for a couple of weeks after it was just to be safe, but it was really great just those at least once a month or something or Nancy to more frequent to go see just a couple of friends, I think also really helps keep our social life.

Yeah, that's really helpful for me too. Cause again, seeing other people creates that sense of separateness and then seeing the person from a little bit of distance and then coming back together afterwards. So highly recommend, visiting with a few people. If you can't. So SEDA are valid. You guys have anything else on suggestions on how people can maintain the juiciness of the relationships?

There's a lot that's been said. So my brain is a little bit like turning right now. I love the idea of waxing and waning. Like you both were, all of you were talking about, even. Quarantining for two weeks just to save up to like, see someone for one day is so special now that I don't think we ever appreciated before and social media, I feel like.

It's either more important than ever to certain people, or it's less important because we're all craving physical contact. So that's the romantic part about coven, honestly, I think is again, and yeah, so again, in our relationship, we didn't get every single day together, like 24 seven, and now it's a new normal for finding a new normal.

And that means like cooking together more or going on walks in the evening and like cherishing the hour that we do that new habits that never existed before. So that's really awesome. I'm really grateful to 2020 for that. and yeah, I mean, I think also switching up your sex position or getting kinky in a way that like before you were used to always spooning.

Lazy like comfy, adorable sex. And now you're like, you know what? We have, we do that all the time. Let's do something different. Let's switch it up. And I, I'm excited by that. I think that 2020 it's been really good for us. I know that we're lucky all four of us in that way. but yeah, finding a new normal, finding a new experimental playful way to be together.

And yeah, I guess that's where I feel complete for now. And I just want to reiterate some of the things I'm hearing is that a gratitude is really key. Like just being grateful for what we do have the fact that we are healthy for those of us that are, that we have someone that we are in a relationship with.

I think it's even more challenging. It's all the topic really see people that are single out there trying to create. And, find relationships. and so, then just breathing, one of the tantric techniques for stress is like, like how I just take a breath, slow down like a really, I think that's one of the things that's been really great for.

A lot of my friends that we've talked to too, is that it's given us that opportunity to just slow down a little bit and really check in with our bodies and figure out what we want to do with our lives and be more present and be more in here now. And, yeah, I like getting out in nature and moving our body similar to what let's just go around we're right at time.

What is like one suggestion, like your top suggestion each on what you would do to, to spice up a relationship, keep it zesty for whoever knows how long we're going to be locked down. Who wants to start? I'll start. so my, my top suggestion would be to follow your intuition and play with.

Neutrality or switching things up or that duality just play with it and follow your intuition.

I'll follow that up. I'm actually gonna give you a twofer because I can't pay. So I think active listening is massive this year for me. listening and being open and honest and connecting verbally on a level that you didn't have before, when you were busy, busy, busy. so active listening and then two would be hugging and breathing the way that we hug and Contra dropping in not being so busy and like melting hug with each other.

Just it's - I feel like it ground it's grounding. It's connected. It's emotional, no matter what's going on in your weird and wacky 20, 20 day, I think. Dropping in and melting into a hug is one of my favorite, quick ways to read that. Oh, I just had something else come up for me. So one of the challenges we were experiencing earlier in COVID, was my, my shadow side.

My dark side was rearing its ugly head. And one of the things that my shadow has is. I was just getting upset with Scott and then complaining about everything and criticizing him good, old complaining criticizing. And we know how that really increases the love and relationships kept reminding me, darling, from that complaining and criticizing Calabash you offer me requests. Big requests about what you would like, babe. So like, all right. For some reason I had so many huge resistance to making requests for so long, but I have been working hard to be conscious about not complaining or criticizing about everything, catching myself.

Anytime one wants to come up and just making loving requests. So I can request what I want versus complaining and criticizing that Scott's not doing X, Y, and Z. I don't even remember the last time you criticized. It's been months. It's been, it's been, it's made a night and day relationship, change and making our relationship so much better.

And I was just, I guess I'll end with, sex with thought schedule where you do nothing, but. You romantic, it doesn't it if you don't know how to have sex for 12 hours yet, come be more contract. But if you are maybe that just be with each other and make it a romantic evening, like schedule, like don't answer your phones, put away your work, make it a sacred moment.

Cause it's, it's easy just to get caught up in the day they thing, but, or even just a date night, it's like looking for the next two hours, we're gonna make the sacred and special and we aren't going to. We're going to make it distinct from everything else we're doing. So we just really focused on each other.

I really appreciate what of each other, whatever that looks like. And part of what helps that to be special. It was like creating the sacred space and the sacred container for your date night and cleaning that house and having flowers or chocolates or something, something that makes it special, lighting a candle, having that mood lighting.

And another note on that. If you don't yet know how to actually have sex all night long, stay in that romantic, intimate connection all night long. So like actual sex doesn't have to be happening, just staying in that connection of romance, intimacy and presence with your partner, exploring pleasure and following what gives you bliss.

All right guys. That's all we have time for today. ScottieO, Melanie, Dala and Sita all with Ecstatic Hearts. So thank you so much for listening and a check. Say in touch. Check in later. Bye. Bye.

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