Why Emotional Fluency is Key for a Successful Relationship

It’s a skill that’s very much learnable, but probably not covered in your fancy liberal-arts education, unless you went to a super-progressive school. “We’re just not trained to speak in emotional language,” Gleason says. But in an intimate relationship, you’re constantly feeling some sort of emotion, whether it’s longing or anxiety or joy. So it would behoove those of us interested in having actual long-term, growth-oriented relationships (they’re possible, really!) to be able to put those emotions into words, to have a medium for your partner to know what’s going on. “The more that we’re able to put into some sort of language and convey it to our partner, that these are my inner experiences right now, the more empathy there is in the relationship,” he says. “The obverse of that is that the less I can say, this is my inner experience, the more my partner is going to be reacting to my outer behavior, oftentimes with judgement and frustration, rather than where they would relate to your experience with empathy.”

 

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Maybe Monogamy isn’t the Only Way to Love?

“Her book examines the long, sometimes awkward legacy of philosophers’ thinking on romantic love, and compares that with a new subfield in close-relationships research — consensual nonmonogamy, or CNM. While singers and thinkers alike have been riffing on a “one and only” for decades, she argues that space is being made in the cultural conversation to “question the universal norm of monogamous love, just as we previously created space to question the universal norm of hetero love.” These norms are more fluid than they appear: In Jenkins’s lifetime alone, same-sex and cross-ethnicity relationships have become common.”

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