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Go to to try online therapy through BetterHelp.

Links to videos I reference:
21 Sex Mistakes:

Book recommendation: Two Step by Eileen McCann

Dr. Doe's contact info:
Support Sexplanations by becoming a sexpla(i)naut:
I'm Dr.

Lindsey Doe. This is Sexplanations.

Today's episode about one of the biggest dating mishaps I know of is sponsored by BetterHelp is a place to find licensed counselors and therapists who can address relationship issues. They offer couples and partners counseling online, more conveniently and affordably than other options. [WHIP CRACKING, COUGH].

I've talked about 21 sex mistakes we make relating to other people. And there's another Sexplanations video of relation-tips to do better. What I haven't discussed is one of the biggest dating problems and how to fix it.

Let's start with a story of two guys, Jason and Samir, which I've made up to illustrate. They're attracted to each other, they tell their friends, “he's so dreamy” “I love his sense of humor” “I'm really into him.” They start hanging out more and one of them, Samir, learns “Jason doesn't floss.” “He has a scratchy beard.” “Jason cares too much about his mom” and “he hates giving head.” They go on dating, maybe even falling in love, with Samir thinking “gah, if he would just change a few things, it would be perfect.” If you've ever been in a relationship and tried to alter how they speak, improve how they dress, bathe, and eat, remark on their physical activity, question where they're going, or why they don't spend more time with you, then you might be a little like. Samir and susceptible for a huge dating error:.

Trying to change someone so you'll be happier. The person you're dating was complete when you met them, alive and attractive enough to you that you thought “yes, I want to hang out with you.” I want to hang out with you and fix you, I want squeeze you with my affection until you're better, so I can be happy. This tendency usually comes from growing up in a home where someone was behaviorally and or emotionally unavailable, creating the belief that if “I could somehow get your attention, we will be okay.” In the story, it would make sense if Samir's family member or friend struggled with alcoholism, addiction, an eating disorder, and or mental illness - diseases that affect one's ability to be available.

It instills in Samir that if things are going to work out he needs to take control and manage. Jason so they can live happily ever after. However, instead of being sweet on Jason and LOVE'ing him (L-O-V-E, let others voluntarily evolve), Samir MMMMS him, the four

Ms: he mothers, manages, manipulates, and martyrs (signs up to suffer). It's a MMMMM mess. Upset by Jason's scruffy face, Samir says things like: “Ouch,” “ouch, “ouch,” “damn your beard.” Shaming him. “You could shave every morning.” Unsolicited advice. “I think we might become a couple that just doesn't kiss.” Building insecurity, manipulating. “If you can't deal with your facial hair, I'm not going to get close.” Threatening. “Fine, I guess I'll just get road rash every time we make out.” Martyrdom. It's fine to not want to kiss or to help your partner troubleshoot decisions that affect the relationship, but the above aren't dignified.

They're not showing Samir respects Jason. They're showing that Samir doesn't trust Jason to voluntarily evolve. Maybe Jason changes.

Maybe he changes and he's resentful. Maybe he changes and finds Samir has new changes for him to make. It's possible too that Jason could change and Samir doesn't like flawless Jason.

Now he's like a brother, there's no passion. Jason may elect not to change, grow it out, it's his face. Samir could continue to harass him, he could be resentful, he could say and do things that really harm their relationship.

There are lots of possibilities. Samir could change. He could identify that something about his past or his relationship with Jason triggers a need for control and ask for help.

One of the biggest relationship dilemmas, the dating bummer, is that people don't ask for help. They think they've got it figured out, “change Jason,” but the outcome of trying to power through is another turbulent partnership. Learn to let others voluntarily evolve by reaching out to a third party for clarity and perspective.

Say, “Could you help me?” Put into place things that are helpful. I've found this book, the Two Step, is really helpful. “Out of our fear we vie for power. Power can mean who's on top? ...or who gets their way?

Some power struggles are very basic. Other power struggles grow more complex over time.” It's SO good! Don't you love the illustrations?!

Another thing I do for help is to ask others to share their experiences with me. “What did you do when you wanted to open the relationship but your partner wanted monogamy?” “How did you handle your partner's loss of libido from medication?” “Was their penis shape a dealbreaker?” It removes a lot of shame to hear about the struggles other people have and I can learn from what they learned. I also go to comedy shows or watch comedy on TV as a way to not take myself so seriously. It's hard to be scared and laugh at the same time.

Then there's a lot of self-care (massages, dance, good food, great masturbation). And a biggie, I pay for professional help -- others trained for years in how to navigate the booby traps of my brain so I stop messing up my relationships. There isn't a recipe for dating.

Especially not that I can do on my own. All of us will, you, me, Jason, Samir have had troubles that affect us now and will have more troubles in the future. We get to keep learning and asking for help.

We get to stay curious. I want to thank BetterHelp for sponsoring this episode. It's awesome when sex education is supported.

I'm also really grateful to them for providing the service they do. Counseling is not always available to people. It can be hard to get to an office, pay for appointments, find someone who won't shame you, or who work around your schedule.

It's really cool that BetterHelp makes it easy to talk with a licensed therapist -- to individual counseling and or counseling for partners. Please check out their link in the description and poke around the site. You don't have to set up an appointment, just know what's available so you're familiar when you're ready to let someone help.