Moving from Disconnection to Connection

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Jason: Oh, so it’s time. Hey, what’s up everyone? This is Jason Polk, giving you some Coffee Shop Relationship Advice. Unfortunately, we are still not at the coffee shop. But that’s okay. And today I want to talk about repair and moving back into connection. Jason: Say you and your partner are in a state of this connection, and all you can make up in your mind is how you are right, and how your partner is wrong. I get it. I’ve been there many times. How do we get back into connection? Well, we have to talk. And by… Continue Reading This Article

We Always Have a Choice (in relationships)

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Jason Polk: Hey, what’s up everyone? This is Jason Polk giving you some coffee shop relationship advice. Thank you. However, we are not filming in a coffee shop this morning. I’m actually in my office due to the quarantine. But today I want to talk to you about choice. We always have a choice, whatever comes up. The great Indian philosopher, Krishnamurti says that true freedom is freedom from our automatic responses. Jason Polk: Let me give you an example. You and your partner had planned a quarantine date. Due to the toilet paper shortage, you are out looking for… Continue Reading This Article

Have Difficult Conversations

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Hey, what’s up everyone? This is Jason Polk giving you some coffee shop relationship advice. However, not in the coffee shop, the coffee shops are currently closed, coming to you live from my office, and I’m going to give you some awesome advice, so take a deep breath so you can really take it in. That’s (beep) weird. I want to remind you to have difficult conversations. Don’t wait for resentments to bottle up, make sure that you get them out. A good way to do that is to first lead with relief before you bring up something serious, for… Continue Reading This Article

Collaborating in Times of Fear

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As the Coronavirus hits our country, so does fear. Fear can be helpful when it helps us navigate dangers and stay alive. However, fear can also create stress and make us less likely to be open, collaborative, and loving at home. I’ve seen memes implying that since people are now home, they will be having more sex, and in nine months there will be a generation born called “coronials.” I don’t know about you, but for me, worrying about a pandemic and a likely recession, while the kids are also home from school or daycare, doesn’t naturally rouse my ardor…. Continue Reading This Article

Date Nights are Self Care

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My wife and I recently had a date-planning service arrange a restaurant and a hotel in our home city. Without any great interruption in our schedules (we didn’t want to drive far, and we both had to work the next day), we were pulled out of monotony and into a shared experience of connection and novelty. It was a date to remember.¹ Our brains are drawn to and shaped by such experiences. First we shared the excitement of picking a new restaurant we could walk to, and then staying in a hotel we had never been in before. We had… Continue Reading This Article

Boundaries and Walls: What’s the Difference

Jason: Hey, what’s up everyone? Jason Polk giving you some coffee shop relationship advice. Hang on one second… That’s actually green tea and not coffee, full disclosure. I want to do an outtake just so I can show you how awesome my socks are. And shout out to my little bro Steven for the Christmas socks. Beignets and coffee mugs. Jason: So anyway, today I want to talk about the difference between a boundary and a wall. And examples of walls are anger and shutdown. Coffee shop Guy: Hey, man. Why are you recording a video in a coffee shop?… Continue Reading This Article

Three Ways to Mitigate Anger in Relationships

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When we are upset, our anger protects our hurt, our vulnerable feelings, and can lend us a momentary sensation of strength. This sensation can be intoxicating; when hurt, the impulse to reach for anger can be as strong as an alcoholic’s impulse to reach for a drink. And unfortunately, like alcohol, anger doesn’t provide lasting relief or solutions. In fact, when we indulge in anger, it creates problems that we’ll have to clean up once we come to our senses. Thus, it’s in our best interest not to reach for the “bottle” of anger, but to find ways to calm… Continue Reading This Article

Plans for the Holidays: Two Ways to Help Your Partner During Family Visits

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We often derive great meaning and a sense of belonging by visiting with our family of origin during the holidays, but it’s not always the same for our partner. However, with proper planning you can successfully maintain healthy relationships with both. Planning with your partner before holiday events conveys that you two matter most. It signifies that you two are the priority and that familial stress is not going to negatively affect the relationship. #1 Identify difficult individuals and plan for them. You and your partner may agree on who the difficult individuals are in your family, or you may not…. Continue Reading This Article

6 Principles for Secure Functioning Relationships

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The following list is adapted from my study with Stan Tatkin and from attachment research. A secure-functioning relationship allows us to be the best we are as individuals. It doesn’t mean we will be consumed by the relationship, or will lose our freedom and voice. Ironically, we will have more of those as trust (synonymous with secure-functioning) puts several relationship insecurities to ease. 1) The purpose of a serious relationship is not what you can extract or gain from it. It is about the safety, security, and mutuality you create with your partner. 2) Know your partner’s vulnerabilities, also know… Continue Reading This Article

Reconnecting with the Consequences of Anger

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Sometimes a partner in a relationship will say, “I’m unable to control my anger.” On the surface this sounds reasonable enough, but if you really think about it, it’s an excuse – an excuse to separate you from the consequences of your behavior. However, in life and relationships, you are responsible for the consequences of your behavior. Author and thinker Terry Real points out that if you really couldn’t control your anger, you would be in jail or an institution. If that’s not the case, it means you can control and limit your reactionary instincts. Such control arises from the… Continue Reading This Article