Feeling stuck in your relationship? Here’s how to see new possibilities.

August 18,2020

Confession time: I’m stubborn as hell. 

I’ve been working on being more laid-back and someone who just “goes with the flow” for years, but my stubborn side is strong! 

I get ideas of how things are “supposed” to be, and I have a hard time adapting if things don’t end up going the way I had anticipated. 

Last week, we talked about how we’re all given very strong lessons about what our relationships are supposed to look like. Those messages can get in so deep that we have a hard time even imagining that things could be different. 

It’s easy for us to feel trapped, and like we have no other options. Things just are the way they are, and they will always be that way. (My stubborn streak gets me stuck like this ALL. THE. TIME.)

But the reality is that there are SO many more options than you might think.

You just need to flex your creativity to start identifying them.

This week, we want to challenge you to think about one of the relationship rules that you were taught to believe, but is no longer serving you. 

And we want you to think of 3 different possibilities for how that rule could change in your relationship.

When you’re brainstorming these possibilities, we want you to focus on the word “possibility.”

You’re not saying you’re definitely going to pursue this option. Or that it’s even the “right” option. Simply that it’s a possibility.

Here’s an example… at one point in our relationship, Xander and I were struggling with how to handle individual purchases. We had made the decision to combine our finances, but we were each having a little bit of judgment with seeing how the other person was spending money. (Xander’s vices were DJ equipment. Mine were – and still are – fancy skin creams. Man I’m a sucker for skincare products!)

We both believed we were “supposed” to be open and transparent with each other about how we spent money. But the reality of checking in with each other so frequently just wasn’t feeling very good.

We felt stuck with our finances for a while, because that “should” was so strong for both of us. But finally, we decided to play around with the idea of other possibilities.

We sat down to brainstorm together, and came up with these options:

Just the act of brainstorming other possibilities felt really good to us. And as we named each option, we started getting clarity on what felt right for us.

This process of being creative and thinking outside the box is SO important. 

Even just naming other options – even if you don’t end up following them – can feel amazingly freeing.

It helps you realize that as stuck as you may feel, there are always other options. 

We have to repeat that, because it’s so important…

There are always other options!

So that’s why we recommend going through this process with any relationship rules that you have. 

Make a list of the rules that just aren’t working in your relationship, and start opening yourself to other possibilities! 

P.S. If you’re not currently in a relationship, we’ve got your back too! We’ll be sharing a brand new video all about the dating “rules” that you should definitely be breaking.


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I'm Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist and writer specializing in helping you have more fun in the bedroom.

I have bachelor’s degrees in human sexuality and sociology from Brown University, and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. I’m also a licensed psychotherapist. I’ve been working in the sex therapy field since 2002 and have been featured by The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, and many more.

If you’re interested in improving your sex life, you can work with me via my online courses or personal coaching sessions. I look forward to supporting you in creating the sex life you’ve always wanted!