HEALTHY RESPONSES TO CONFLICT
This week is all about discerning healthy communication patterns in response to conflict in all your relationships. Conflict is going to happen no matter what. It’s normal. Whether you’re self-partnered, dating, or in a relationship it’s important to look inside take a moment to prepare for healthy conflict.
Marla Mattenson is an internationally recognized relationship expert specializing in working with entrepreneurial couples using her background in neuroscience and mathematics. Over the course of her 25+ year career, Marla has helped more than 12,000 couples including Academy Award winners, NBA players, and Grammy Awards winners!
She’s here to give us all the answers on healthy communication!
More on that later, first we have headlines!
Are you and your partner headed for a breakup?
According to Elite Daily, 55% of couples see moving in together as a step towards marriage. According to Marla, if your partner is giving you more gifts than normal this is a SURE sign you’re headed for a breakup.
Tim Tebow has tied the knot and FINALLY popped his cherry
Wedding Bells for Tim Tebow and Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters. No word yet on whether she’ll add another hyphen to her name.
Roasting for Romance?
Some new research from Appalachian State University indicates that roasting – sarcastic jabs at your partner – can actually be healthy and bring you and your partner closer together. Damona and Marla disagree.
HEALTHY COMMUNICATION (15:30)
Marla and Damona go in-depth on exploring your childhood conflict when it comes to healthy communication:
- Fight, Flight, or Freeze
- It’s not your fault, it’s your biology
- Insightful knowledge as to how we handle conflict
- Three key ways to effectively navigate the situation:
- Acknowledge your childhood
- Introduce awareness to the conversation
- Press the reset button on all default settings
- Introducing a safe word in your relationship to let you partner know when his/her “fight, flight or freeze” default setting is kicking in
- Speaking your truth
- Getting Unpleasant feedback
- Why you need GEJF in your life (Grace, Ease, Joy, Flow)
TECHNICALLY DATING (36:27)
- IG – This guy I’ve been in a situationship with has been working a lot lately. He told me at his job someone was eyes him and asked if that person was flirting with him? But then he said he felt uncomfortable. Should I be concerned? Is he asking me how to read the signs?
- EMAIL -I have been this guy long time – after a long period of being broken up, I have found him again on Facebook. I miss him, love him, and want to marry him. We haven’t seen each other in three months. He either changed his phone number or blocked me. I want another chance and to be with him for Valentine Day. I bought a Valentine’s Day present for him. What should I do?
- IG – I’ve been divorced for about 10 years and I’m just getting back into dating. When I was 18, I needed an ileostomy to save my life and now I’m wearing an external pouch. My ex had no problems with it because it doesn’t interfere with intimacy. ButI’ve told guys after a few dates about my pouch and I’ve also waited to tell them. In most cases the guy ghosts me. Do I wait until there is a deep emotional connection and risk being emotionally hurt? Or do I tell them up front and lose the guy sooner than later?
WANT TO GO EVEN DEEPER? HERE IS A TRANSCRIPT OF THE SHOW IF YOU WANT TO FOLLOW ALONG!
Hello lovers Welcome to dates and mates. Thank you for making this your go to dating show for the past seven years to all the new listeners who watch my dating profile polish on E Welcome to the fam I am here to love up on you and support you at all phases of dating and relationships and so is my guest for today. Marla Martinson is an internationally recognized relationship expert specializing in working with entrepreneurial couples. She uses her background in neuroscience and in mathematics to do this. And over the course of her 25 year career. She has helped more than 12,000 couples, including Academy Award winners and beyond. Players, Grammy Award winners millionaires, y’all. She’s the real deal. Please give big smooches to Marla Martinson. Thank you so much for being here.
Marla Mattenson 1:10
Thank you so much. I’m super excited for this show!
All right, this is the gold standard of advice, y’all. So, get your pen and paper ready because we are going to give you some really key advice about building healthy relationships, and communication. Even when things get a little bit uncomfortable, especially in a fight. We’ll be talking about fighting it’s gonna happen y’all. So we’ll tell you how to navigate through so that you both can get your needs met in the relationship. And we’ll also be covering this week’s headlines including What are the signs that you and your partner could be heading for a breakup and Tim t bow tie the knot and finally popped his cherry Garcia we have the decision about that was is it good for you to roast your partner will tell you the answer to that in a minute and then we’ll answer your question. Including, should you be worried that someone is flirting with your boo at work? And what do you do? If you want your ex back? Especially when you already have a Valentine’s Day present for them? Oh, is this gonna be a spicy one? Marla?
Are you ready to dish though?
All right. All right, our friends at elite daily gave us the skinny on the four signs that you may be headed for a breakup. I have to admit I did give a lot of the advice for this for this article. But I’m curious Marla because you work with you work with couples. And I’m sure you have seen a lot of these signs coming up. I’ll just go over some of the signs. Y’all should read it on your own. We’ll put the link in the show notes. But I told them to look out for a change in communication style and a decline in sexual intimacy, signs of annoyance or them needing space from you and I think those are just some of the signs, but I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of other signs and people want to know like, what is my partner thinking? What should they be looking for before things get into crisis? I love this article, actually,
Marla Mattenson 3:14
I think it’s really fantastic. It’s a great sign post, there’s not a whole lot more to add to it To be honest, except gifts. If they start giving you more than you’re used to, then that kind of a change, also more than just in the communication style. If they’re starting to go above and beyond, it might mean that they’re trying to put in the extra effort, just in case maybe it will work.
Oh, wow, way, way, way way. Wait, because I know a lot of our listeners are saying, Oh, this is great. Like my partner is really leaning in. And they’re they’re showering me with attention. And this is something that I see also in dating in the early phase that I tell people to look out for that when somebody is too too romantic. too aggressive with trying to lock down the relationship? I say that’s actually a bad sign. So that’s also a bad sign on the way our on and the relation. Yes, yes.
Marla Mattenson 4:10
It’s sort of like a last ditch effort. It’s it’s, it’s actually something that I coach on as well in relationship is you want to put in your real hundred percent efforts that maybe you have been holding back because you’ve been waiting for your partner to show up and do the work. And they haven’t. So what I teach is you show up and you do the work. So you put in the extra effort and you see how your partner responds. And so because I know that I offer that as advice to my couples, if they’re having a lot of challenges, I know that sometimes that’s what’s actually going on, someone’s putting in one more big huge effort at the end to see is my partner going to change? Are they going to do anything different or they’re going to still be the curmudgeon? Are they still going to be you know, bitchy, are they still going to have problems and you know, complain, etc. Or they going to see me a new because the idea and relationship as you know is you have have to be able to see your partner with fresh eyes every day, every moment of the day. And if you can’t see your partner with fresh eyes, then you’re always going to be looking for the things that they’re doing wrong. You’re going to be looking for those problems, rather than looking for what’s new and fresh about my partner today. How can I honor and love what he’s all about today are what she’s all about today, rather than looking for all of the issues and the problems and the challenges,
yeah, I like the idea of really focusing on the present and I talked to daters about this a lot. What about if we were to look into the past many of these, these cohabitation situations, which is really what this article was talking about, like signs, your partner may be moving out, not just breaking up with you. I think that some of the problems begin before the point of that this article begins. And according to the article 55% of people see moving in together as a step toward marriage. I actually hosted a TV series for a networks called a question of love were removed couples in together for the first time. And they had to go through this intensive experience for 30 days and see if they wanted to stay together or move out and break up. And I found that so many of the times as we move these couples together, they were like, yeah, I’m ready for a relationship. But the moving in together meant something different to each of them. Many of them hadn’t had conversations about like almost sort of a prenup of what’s going to happen if we break up. And it was it’s continually surprising to me with clients as I help them through the dating process. that so many of them are are focused on let me get to the moving in like then now I’ve now I’ve got something, but it’s so much more complicated when you’re living with someone. And I find a lot of these questions aren’t being asked early enough. The dating process
Marla Mattenson 6:54
definitely you know, meaning making is one of the biggest challenges and relationships My partner, Julian, he could literally walk across the room and I can make meaning out of that. How he’s walking across the room, the look on his face what he’s paying attention to, you know. And so if you start paying more attention to the inner world of your own, and you start asking yourself, what meaning Am I making out of moving in together out of how he’s doing this, how she’s doing that, then you’re going to start to understand more about yourself, your own needs, your own desires, and then instead of waiting for your partner, to show up and be all of what you want, you actually know what you want, and then you can articulate it. And you can actually verbalize, you can say it, you can speak it out loud, and then you can see how it lands and how it lands matters, right? Because then you can feel the sort of reverberation of how it lands no matter what they say. You can feel the truth in the vibration of the tone of the vibration of you know, their body posture or their arms folded, look away. You know what’s happening as you’re saying Speaking your needs and your desires to your partner.
Well, one person who seemed to be very clear about his needs and his desires was Tim Tebow. He loved love. We’re on board for this. He married Miss Universe Demi Lee Nell Peters. She has a lot of hyphens in her name. I don’t know she’s going to definitely mail Peters t bo. But here’s the catch with this story. Tim was very vocal for many years about his faith and about his desire to stay celibate until he was married, and only 3% of the US population waits until marriage. I was not aware of that. I was not either. But I I’m curious what you think about the faith aside about making this declaration of not having not being intimate until you get married, and if you’ve seen like any couples that have been successful waiting or unsuccessful in not been finding out later that they weren’t intimately compatible.
Marla Mattenson 9:04
Yes, that I love the way you just said that. That’s really wonderful. I wonder if Tim did not have his faith if he would have been celibate. That’s my first wondering, because I believe that celibacy and faith tend to go hand in hand for our youth now, and there is a movement for celibacy in our youth that has nothing to do with faith that just has to do with I’m saving myself for the right time, but it’s not necessarily marriage. saving yourself for marriage is different than saving yourself for love. So celibacy till marriage is a completely different animal and I have to be honest, unless it’s your faith, please don’t do it. Don’t wait until you’re married to have sex. Okay,
Marla Mattenson 9:56
Okay, because exactly what you said which is sexual portability is a real thing. I mean, I have a client who a former client who she ended a relationship with someone she really loved because of the way his anatomy hit her on the inside, in a way that caused pain every time they tried to make love. And it was just him. It was it was just the way he curved to the left a little bit that hit her and they tried I gave them all kinds of coaching on that, you know, different positions this and that. And it was painful. She couldn’t enjoy sex with him. And so he was really big,
right? No, no, he wasn’t actually okay. We don’t even Okay, we
Marla Mattenson 10:45
don’t have to go there I go, there I go.
Marla Mattenson 10:51
But it’s sometimes the anatomy is an issue and if that’s an issue, you do not want to be in a lifelong relationship with someone that is Going to have that kind of a problem that’s just starting with a foundation that’s really shaky. That’s very challenging, even when you love someone, so literally, there are so many issues in the sexual arena that have nothing to do with compatibility that have to do with taste and touch and the way you hold each other and you know, how, how rigid or contracted you are versus how much you can relax. There’s so many nuances to lovemaking that, you know, you kind of want to take the car for a test drive before you buy it.
Yes, you know, just don’t like move the car in your garage before you know you know where you’re going to be driving it. There you go. Okay. As we are looking at different qualities that make a relationship successful beyond the INTIMACY COMPATIBILITY. Community communication is obviously something that you specialize in and something We’ll be talking about more later on in the show. There was an article Marla in the sun, obviously a very reputable source that said, roasting your partner every day makes the relationship stronger. I’m going to just go out on a limb here and say, this goes against everything I know about healthy relationships. And they were saying that it’s good for the the energy to kind of rip them on certain qualities that irritate you rather than nag them. But I kind of feel like if you’re having that much contempt in your relationship, you know, that’s what one of john Gottman four horsemen, you’re feeling those feelings towards your partner. I’m not sure that roasting them is the right way to
Marla Mattenson 12:48
bring it to the surface. I’m so glad you feel that way. I can
say on this lady, so I was ready.
Marla Mattenson 12:56
I’m a hell no for that.
Marla Mattenson 12:57
So it makes me question. I’m not The sun they’re just reporting but it makes me question the research and the ages of the participants. It makes me want to question how many people they interviewed it makes me want to question how long they’ve been in relationship it makes me want to question a number of things about the actual research and it feels very teenage It feels like a teenage You know, when you’re in middle school and you kind of negative each other like, you know, you can’t
write boy makes fun of you, like sells your hair, then he likes you
Marla Mattenson 13:32
Why is that a thing and that should not continue into a healthy adult relationship. So preamble also to just add on to what you said is, you know, I love dr. john Gottman and it’s if you are using sarcasm in your relationship in any way. Sarcasm, the definition of sarcasm is tearing flesh. I mean, it is not kind it’s saying something that you’re hoping somebody Going to get a message underneath of a truth. Why not just say the truth? And why don’t we because you know, we don’t want to deal with the actual reaction from our partner. So if we are sarcastic instead, then we can, if there’s a negative reaction, we can easily just say, oh, babe, I was just kidding. Oh, why can’t you just roll with it? You’re all you’re so serious, you know, rather than, you know, actually that hurt my feelings. I didn’t like when you said that. That doesn’t feel good to me. To me. Building a loving healthy lifelong relationship with your partner means you pour love and kindness into the union of your relationship the big week, right? You don’t pour sarcasm and jokes that are meant for little digs. Just to get some you know upregulation of hormones so that you can get horny for each other.
Marla Mattenson 14:51
You know, that’s not that will keep you
it’s not sustainable to now walking off into the sunset now. This is this is getting interesting, Marla, this is getting very interesting. And I know you have many more insights to share on how to build a healthy relationship, how to deal with conflict, like what we were talking about, and how to have this partner in crime that you you live with, that you love, and maybe even that you work with, that you can really build a long term standing relationship with. So yeah, we’ll be talking about that right after the break. But first, I just have to acknowledge one of our listeners who left this lovely five star review on Apple podcast. Darling Nikki says, Wow, I’m obsessed and I can’t believe I never heard this pod. I can’t believe you haven’t either. loving every app and don’t want to sleep just binge. Thank you, Nikki. We’re so glad that you found the show and we are so grateful you took the time to give us a review. Whether you’re a binge listener like Nikki or a casual fan of the show, please leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform so we can shout you out and give you some love on a future episode. More with Marla Martinson in just a moment.
Welcome back. We are here with Marla Martinson and we’re talking about dealing with conflict and relationships and building healthy communication. Marla. Now, you alluded to this in the first segment, but you also work with your partner, Julian colker. He’s a little under the weather today. So we’ll have to join us on a future show. But first of all, how is that because so many people tell me so many clients say I really want to find my partner in crime and somebody who’s going to support me through not just like, love but also life and business. You’ve done it. Yes. How’s that working for you? It’s amazing.
Marla Mattenson 16:38
It’s amazing. And it’s challenging. It is challenging from time to time, right? You know, we’re just like any other couple, we get into the arguments that sometimes spiral down into the pit of hell. And then we come out together the other side, but really, we look at it like it’s kind of like an obstacle course that we go through together. So even when we’re spiraling down, we’re aware because awareness is always the first Step in any process that you’re going to master at some point, you become aware at some point in that conflict. Oh my gosh, wait, I’m in a conflict with the person I love the most on this planet. And when you can pause long enough to remember that that’s the point to insert a knowing that actually it’s not your fault. It’s your biology. Your biology is telling you lies about your partner. Wait, what does that mean? So this is like, this is inner game, inner game, baby. All ready to go in.
Marla Mattenson 17:37
Okay, let’s do it.
Marla Mattenson 17:40
So, when you’re aware that you feel like you want to attack your partner, verbally, just even in your mind, right? You’re saying really awful things in your mind about your partner, blaming them angry, you know, why can’t he or why can’t she just get it or whatever it is. for you in that moment, when you become aware that you’re thinking negative thoughts about your partner, that’s the moment to say, I must be activated. I must be activated about something. It may even not be about my partner, it may be about because, you know, we can’t pay this bill or you know, the mother in law just called or you know, something else is happening with the kids or something is going on in your life. You’re feeling stressed, you’re looking around. I’m not sure if you saw this burn a brown video of it’s hilarious. She talks about how she’s in her kitchen, and she accidentally drops a mug of coffee on the floor. And her husband is nowhere to be found. He’s not even in the house at the time and she yells his name out and blames him for it. And she dropped it and she dropped it.
Right girls you know it,
Marla Mattenson 18:53
like the closest person to like ttttt Oh, you You’re the problem. It can’t be me. Right because our ego Won’t let it be us as the problem. So as soon as you realize you’re in that loop, the crazy loop of I want to blame. I want to blame my partner for how I’m feeling right now, even if it is their fault. Okay, here’s the thing. One of our philosophies is it’s never you versus your partner. It’s never you, it your partner is the problem. It’s always the two of you versus the problem. Yes, right. Even if your partner is the problem, we still look at it like we’re sitting next to each other, rather than across from each other across from each other is actually very aggressive. It’s an animal aggressive state to be exactly opposite each other looking into each other’s eyes, rather than sitting next to each other at a table and looking out or going for a walk together and talking about a problem. So the thing is, is that our biology is telling us your partner is a threat. He’s a threat, he’s the problem, or she’s the threat. She’s the problem. The lies that go on our chemical. So your body is is telling you through cortisol through norepinephrine through all the chemicals flowing in your system when you feel attacked in some way. There’s no saber toothed Tiger anymore. We’re not running from a lot of wild lion anymore. But now the threat is can we pay our bills? Right? Is my partner having an affair? Are it does he really love me? You know, all of those things. And when you get into a conflict, it’s a mini microcosm of that old fight flight or freeze response that happens.
Right? So talk to us about this fight, flight, or freeze. I’m sure people have heard fighter flight. The talk to us about what the freeze element means and then, you know, as we are just nothing but mammals. Yeah. How does it How is it really affecting us in relationships in our biology?
Marla Mattenson 20:53
Yes. So, fight so if everybody has one major default In the fight flight or freeze response so as as everybody’s listening, you can listen for your own. And sometimes it’s a combination sometimes you go back and forth and sometimes it’s all three and that’s the like, you know, trifecta of horror, when they’re all three activated. So the fight is something happens. Your partner does something they say something they could load the dishwasher wrong in your eyes. Something happens to me, right once.
No, no, on the regular rice, right? Because there is a right way to load the dishwasher according to each of us. Don’t we want the dishes to be clean? I don’t know. But okay, go on. Okay, and then we’ll and then we’ll come full circle back to analyze me later. Okay.
Marla Mattenson 21:42
So the fight response is your first inclination is to lash out and to say something to take action. So if your first response is, I need to say something about that dishwasher. The first response is, hey, hey babe, may remember put the glasses on the top Remember, right? Exactly that okay, though, remember. So that’s also kind of like the nag, the nag and the fighter are kind of cousins. So that’s if you have your first response is some action. It can also be a passive aggressive action, which is, let’s say there’s a towel left on the floor every morning, okay? And so white response is, I’m going to pick up that towel and put it back on the hanger. that’s a that’s a it’s a lower level version of the fight response, because on the inside your mind is saying to yourself, that so and so why can he ever just pick up that’s how I’ve told him a million times? So even if he’s not even there, you can still have the fight response when there’s nobody listening. Okay, yeah. Okay. So that’s the fight response. The flight response is, you just want to exit the building, either actually, or in your mind. So these are people who sort of shut down. They they You know, hey, I gotta go handle these other things. They want to put everything on pause.
Marla Mattenson 23:04
This is the people that ghost
Marla Mattenson 23:06
these are the ghost tours, the fighters are they can’t handle conflicts they will avoid at all costs. They’re the ones who actually will use sarcasm and then pretend like it’s not a big deal to actually try to communicate. So the flight people will get the same chemicals but chemicals bond and they start reacting in the way that they learned how to deal with conflict by witnessing and experiencing from childhood.
Oh, yeah. Okay. So let’s talk about that. Okay. A lot of people come into relationships with their own conditioning, and they think, I don’t want to do that. My parents did that. And that was uncomfortable for me. So I’m going to be different in my relationship. Do you find that people if they are able to consciously acknowledge what their childhood conditioning was? Are they able to rewrite it? Or do you find that they end up just falling into the same pattern?
Marla Mattenson 23:56
You know, both. I’m just gonna I’m going to answer all of the above Because what happens is just because you’re aware of it doesn’t mean you have a new pathway. So typically, when you become aware, oh, I don’t want to recreate this pattern that my parents did. Typically we do the opposite, which is the opposite side of the same coin. So you’re still doing the pattern, you’re just doing the pattern, the opposite, it does not heal the pattern. To heal the pattern, you need to do something completely new, have a completely new response. And so part of the work that Julian and I do with couples and that we practice ourselves is really excavating family lineage patterns. Because Where did you come from? You didn’t come from nowhere. You came from somewhere, and you learned through experience. And up until the age of seven, we’re literally just open vessels receiving we have no ability to deny or reject or say no to anyone or anything.
And you’re not talking just about parental relationship. You’re talking about lineage like what has been passed down generation Right, Andre, she says,
Marla Mattenson 25:00
Did your parents do the work to excavate their material from their parents? Or did their parents or did their parents or their parents, everybody? You know, at one point, what your current parents taught you was very helpful. But that could have been five generations ago. But we’re still using those things today, because who has taken the time to look at their family lineage around, let’s say, pleasure? What did you learn about your family? lineage from pleasure? Like, what did you witness your family doing around physical pleasure? Guess what, it’s in your bedroom? Yeah. And we can excavate that. So really, taking a look at the biology of what’s happening inside of you, is really the most important first step. So becoming aware and pausing long enough to listen to your own thoughts before they fly out of your mouth. And that’s one of the hardest things to do. Right? Because especially those of us who are fighters who just want to say it and then also if you happen to be articulate as you are, as I am Right, you can say things in a way that are logical, they make sense and they’re obviously non combative. But are they building intimacy? are they building more connection? And there are plenty of times where what I say to Julian is not building intimacy and how it’s not about being perfect. It’s about how quickly can I become aware that oops, I just said something that is not in alignment with who I really am. That’s an old version of Marla. That’s the kind of Marla that’s the little hurt girl right? The one who just wants to be loved and doesn’t need us understand all I need a hug. All he needs, whatever, but how does he know that I need a hug when I’m throwing prickly, you know, dark energy out and him right? And he’s like, I’m just gonna stay away from that until that calms down. It’s like a porcupine, you know, right. All the plumes come up, and he can’t get close to me.
And then what is his conditioning to is the other side of that Right,
Marla Mattenson 26:54
exactly. So the Exactly, so the other side of the pattern is what is he conditioned to do and part of I’ll just share because we share all apartments cereal. Thank you, right?
We’re open book. Yeah. Jason made? Yes.
Marla Mattenson 27:08
So you know, part of his side of the pattern is he doesn’t want to be made wrong. Oh, well, isn’t that the perfect other side of the pattern? I get to be right and he has to be wrong. And so when I find that I’m feeling righteous, or justified or verified in my, because I have a long list of reasons why my way is correct, even if it is, that’s not going to build the intimacy and he will feel wrong. And so that will activate him. And so when he gets activated, and if I’m activated, we call that double activation. And that is the most challenging thing to go through. And that’s when you start spiraling down. And so when one of us has the courage to say, pause, hold on. We’re in it. We’re in it. This is it. This is the moment can we go through the rest of this together like that? Okay, oops, we didn’t do so hot the first five minutes. But How about now?
Right now, it’s like kind of bringing it back to what you said earlier of having that moment. Living the moment again, and you’re you’re right there, you’re not like in what just happened five minutes ago, or what happened last week, or what is going to happen next week, it’s being in that moment with your partner and being on the same team, like you were saying, exactly. And
Marla Mattenson 28:26
we actually have a technique for that. I can teach it in two seconds, teach it, it’s called the redo.
Marla Mattenson 28:33
redo it. And so what it is, is you ask for Rito. So if I’m the one who kind of started it, then I’ll say Wait, can I get a redo? If I, if I can be aware, and then we pause, and he’s, we’re both sort of calm enough that I can say, Can I get a redo, babe, I really did not. Start that the way I really wanted to. And he’ll go, Okay, hold on, give me a second. I gotta shake that off. First. They’ll shake it off. I’ll shake it off and then I’ll go okay. And the idea is You bring sparkly eyes, you bring your open heart, you bring your best self and you both reenact the same scenario. But this time you show up as your best self as your loving self as the self who wants to build love, intimacy and connection, even through challenges and chaos. And when you redo it, you’re literally rewiring your brain in the moment because when you think back on a memory, you remember what happened mostly at the end? Yes, okay. You remember the beginning and you remember the end, you don’t really remember the murky middle, okay? That’s all where it gets very subjective. And so when you redo it, you have redone it and you end smiling. So when you remember the beginning next time, you’ll also remember Oh, yeah, and we did the redo. And we went
through it together, and we ended up smiling. Yeah. Marla, how do I get how do I deal with this dishes that you know, I know, how do I get the towels off my floor? I’ll tell you. I mean, of all the things it’s pretty a pretty minor thing. We’ve been together so almost 17 years, 16 years, I’ve, I’ve also just realized, like people sometimes have their patterns and limitations and like, I can be mad about the towel on the floor, or I can just pick it up and move on with my life and let it be over. Yes. And so that’s what I 17 years later decided to do. But honestly, I seriously don’t know you guys. Is that, is that what you recommend? Or is that like, is that a flight response?
Marla Mattenson 30:29
Okay, let’s let’s chat about it.
Marla Mattenson 30:30
Yeah, it depends. And the reason it depends is because it depends on your state of mind in the moment. So, next time, he leaves his towel on the floor, if you will, first of all, I’m assuming. So let let me not assume Let me ask a question. Have you mentioned this to him in the past?
He like years ago, like years, okay, it’s been years and then now it’s just like, oh, there’s gonna be towels on
Marla Mattenson 30:55
and so is it every day that there’s two or every time
Marla Mattenson 30:58
I mean, it’s like 6040 Okay, 6040
Marla Mattenson 31:03
So, okay, so there’s a couple of things. First thing is you can with a whole fresh new attitude and love in your heart, you can have a new conversation with him to say, you know what, I realized that I’ve kind of let this thing go, but it actually is still kind of a little bit of a thing for me. I wonder if you’d be willing to make an extra effort to hang up your towel after you use it every day. And then wait for the response and have a conversation about it. And you can also say, and I want to let you know that if you forget from time to time, it’s okay. But it’s still okay. Like it’s been okay this whole time and it’s also still okay. And I also just want to let you know, like, it actually would still feel loving to me, if you would make an even an extra effort, right now, how does that feel to you? And then wait for his response.
And now let’s play out the different responses. Okay, everybody. So let’s say the response is like, you know, and just for listeners, like we’re talking about towels, with This could be anything in your relationships. Right? And it’s like a woman. Why are you talking to me about these towels again? I don’t think he would say that. But let’s just play devil’s advocate that
Marla Mattenson 32:10
Yeah. Yeah. What is it about me asking you that bothers you? Oh,
Marla Mattenson 32:16
so whenever someone that’s not that’s not.
Marla Mattenson 32:20
That’s not a fight response. So know if you’re in a calm place, and you ask genuinely because you’re curious and you really want it like, ooh, up. Okay, that’s your reaction. I wasn’t expecting that. And that’s totally fine. I’m just curious, what, what is it about me asking you that feels so off. And you really want to know, and this is the thing is that we don’t really want to know certain things about our partners. And so we just don’t ask and we don’t ask. So I’m a big fan of asking.
Yes, that is so important. Like in all we’re talking about conflict, but that’s just important at all phases. Building the relationship curiosity. Oh, yeah. Yo, you hear in her I curiosity comment is what I say for people when they’re dating, like be curious about so good about what you need to know about that person just like be curious on a date. So it’s the same thing in the relationship. And people always ask me, How do you keep the relationship feeling fresh and feeling new and discovery? Right? You still have to stay curious. You talk about something, a philosophy called gaggia. Yes. What is gaggia?
Marla Mattenson 33:32
Okay, gaggia I just have to say I hated that word for many years. And it finally in 2020 is actually a thing. It’s a thing and Julian named it okay, but it’s our philosophy of grace, ease, joy and flow. So get GIF getcha getcha g JF gadget that it’s just easier to say yes. And so it’s like our philosophy is, you know, you can’t control what’s coming at you in life, you know, there’s always the UPS, there’s always the downs, you have no control over that. But you do have control over how you respond. You do have control over that. And if you respond with, I expect grace, ease, joy and flow, even through conflicts, even through challenges, and through the joy and through the happiness, then you start living your life that way. And then when something bad happens, you get a car accident, you know, life happens, right? Then you’re prepared because that’s what you’ve been practicing. I want to run one more thing, which is the freeze response. We didn’t get to that. Can I just say that really quick? The freeze response is and it’s so interesting that it almost is forgotten, you know, because the freeze response is literally like the chameleon just blending into the wall. It’s you know, the octopus that can turn into anything. It’s, you know, the the freeze response is feeling paralyzed. You have no words, no words will come out of your mouth. You’re not trying Two eyes out your partner but you just can’t find any words. Everything in your mind is confusion and your partner’s articulate and you have no idea what to say. So you just say nothing. So the freeze response is a really delicate response that is challenging for people. You know, I actually am an introvert people don’t realize that about me. But I can get into the freeze response. When I’m really activated. I go right into that little girl space where I’m like, I’ll just be like the silent little Good girl where I don’t know what to say. So I’m going to say nothing.
Hmm. And so very fulfilling for your prey.
Marla Mattenson 35:33
It is not they’re not
Marla Mattenson 35:34
know and it’s trying to work through the GED. Exactly, exactly. And
Marla Mattenson 35:39
so you know, then you find ways to sort of down regulate the emotions and allow those chemicals to flow through your system and pass through and give yourself a little bit of time and then you come forward again, and you go Okay, let’s, let’s try this again. Let’s do a redo.
I love that. And I’m also married to an introvert who’s like Now he’s uh he’s like an introvert mascot yeah found power in introversion but yeah it’s it’s it’s hard when everyone else is is talking and everyone else is in like fight response if your tendency is to go inward and and shut down or we’re not be able to find the words like me right now
Marla Mattenson 36:24
if you tapped into the introvert I did you tapped in
like channeling him. This is all such such great information and I know you have insights that our listeners are going to want to hear in our next segment because we got a lot of questions. I so appreciate it y’all. I appreciate you. trusting us with your love lives. We have some very, very challenging questions, but I know Marla Martinson is up to the task so don’t go anywhere. We have more dates and dates right after this. Welcome back to dates and mates.
We have some Very challenging questions on this week’s show that have been sent to us far and wide from all different sources Instagram, email, Facebook, you can hit me up on any of the platforms at Damona Hoffman if you if you have a question for a future show. This one Marla comes to us from Instagram. This gal says this guy I’ve been in a situation ship with has been working a lot lately. He told me that at his job, someone was eyeing him. And he asked if that person was flirting with him. But then he said he felt uncomfortable. Should I be concerned? is he asking me how to read the signs? So this person it seemed in situation ships, so it’s kind of a new relationship. But the guy’s asking or like somebody seems to be flirting with me. I don’t really know. What do I do?
Marla Mattenson 37:58
Yeah. How would you read this? This I think this is such a beautiful question because it’s very clear that he wants to move things forward with the woman who wrote that, because he wouldn’t say anything to her about someone flirting at work or potentially flirting. If he wanted to go off and flirt with that other person or start something with somebody else, he would he would probably just go do it rather than talk about it or ask about it. So it’s really beautiful that and it’s sort of a celebration that he is coming to you with this information. And so it’s it’s um, it’s kind of like a toe dip in like, how honest can we be with each other in this relationship? He’s checking to see if you’re going to greet him with love and affection. Or and this may be conscious or unconscious in him okay, but he’s coming to you with Are you a safe person to reveal the truth of my life too, or are you going to freak out, are you going to judge me? Are you going to blame me? What are you going to do with this information? So So the idea here is, in my experience and opinion would be to ask him a question, to get curious to get curious about him and say, Wow, first of all, number one, always when someone brings information to you that they wouldn’t normally bring or they don’t have to bring. The first response is always two words. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for bringing this to me. I really appreciate you sharing this with me. What did that feel like to have that happen? What what Kate, what came up for you like if you become the open, curious space for this person to come and share this information, the number one, he’s going to bring more to you. And number two, you’re going to bond over the fact that you can get curious about this very benign situation because he wasn’t That flirting, if he was into that flirting, then he would have just gone into that flirting.
Yeah. So well done. I agree with you. It seems to be a sign of desiring this to become more serious. I do wonder though, if there’s an element of, I’m telling you someone else’s flirting with me to let you know, like, I got options here. Yeah, so yeah, let down
Marla Mattenson 40:26
this Right, right. Exactly, exactly. So. So before you nail it down, though, you want to make sure that he’s not just playing a game, you want to actually ask questions to see how he shows up in the response. So he’s checking to see how you’re going to show up. But you also want to check to see how he’s going to show up. So gathering more information through experience, not just through your thinking about it, but through actual questions and having him answer and having a beautiful conversation about it is what’s going to help the two of you together come to Oh, yeah.
Marla Mattenson 41:00
Well, I don’t want anybody flirting with you at work,
Marla Mattenson 41:03
I want to flirt with
Marla Mattenson 41:05
flirting with you or you know, so you can get playful with your responses and show him if you want more in the relation. If you want the situation to be a relationship, then you can offer up a little bit
more like playful. Okay, I need everyone. I just have to pause for a second because I need everyone to really hear what Marla just said. It is so important in the early phase of dating and getting to know people that you find that playfulness and that flirtatiousness as you are trying to figure out where things are headed. So a lot of times my clients get very stressed in that period of when we’re trying to DTR figure out is this going to be a relationship or not, and they don’t know how to find the words to really express what they want without feeling like they’re being raw and vulnerable and potentially getting going to get hurt. But you have to you have to get Curious, and you have to present it if you present it in the way that Marla said. It’s it keeps it light, but it keeps it also intriguing. I would say yes.
Marla Mattenson 42:12
And if Also, if you’re not curious, if you’re not bringing curiosity to these conversations, then you’re bringing something else. You’re bringing your assumptions. You’re bringing what you think is going on,
you’re bringing your assumptions, you’re bringing your desire to get married and have a baby yesterday into whatever outcome you’re trying to create. You’re trying to create an outcome, right? That’s kind of the bottom line. That’s right.
Marla Mattenson 42:35
That’s right. So you’re not actually available for what the real outcome is. And the real outcome unfolds, you can’t control it. It actually just kind of naturally organically comes together more and more, the more you’re open and vulnerable, rather than what a lot of people try to do. And I know you’re a master at this is, is helping people understand that if you try to control the dating process, you could actually end Up engaged to someone who doesn’t really know you. Because you’ve been showing what you think they want to see every step along the way, rather than who you really are
or manipulating the outcome or
Marla Mattenson 43:13
exactly, exactly, exactly. So curiosity. No, we don’t want that for you don’t do that.
Okay, that’s actually a perfect segue in. Okay, this was an email that was sent to me, I’m going to kind of paraphrase hope it’s okay to the listener who’s on this question. But basically, she was with this guy for a while. They broke up, they got back together. They were together for a few years. And then, about three or four months ago, they broke up again. But she’s saying, I miss him. I love him and I want to marry him. We haven’t seen each other in three months. He either changed his phone number or blocked me. I want another chance to be with him for Valentine’s Day. I bought a Valentine’s Day present for him. What should I do to get him back
Marla Mattenson 44:00
I have a little yikes on that when I noticed, I don’t know go easy. So I don’t know how to say this in, I’ll just say it in the most gentle kind way I can. If you want to give a gift to someone, a gift is a one way direction. It is not a two way direction. It’s you want to give a gift. And it’s received by the other person and the person can do whatever they want with they can throw it in the trash, they can cherish it forever, they can do whatever they want. Right? I
Marla Mattenson 44:30
Marla Mattenson 44:32
Or, and then if they want to respond or reciprocate than they can, but there’s no no guarantee obligation at all for them to have to respond. So if you’re giving a gift with the hopes of getting something in return, then that’s the first question. I would ask yourself. Why do I want to give something to someone who I can’t even get ahold of right now? Like what is it in me that wants to still Reach out and give to someone who I have not received from in months and that I literally don’t really even have any way to get ahold of that. So to me, that tells me that there’s something in you that needs nurturing, and need love and needs attention and affection from someone who loves you, meaning you, you, you need to love yourself first, more than wanting to get married to this particular person. So if you start fulfilling your own love first, you know, then the way the universe works is you shift yourself, then that sends the vibration out to the universe. And then if he is meant to come back to you, he will and if he is not, he will not.
Marla Mattenson 45:54
But let’s look at let’s just look at facts. I mean, they were together for a year I said I was going kind they can No, and then they got back here.
Marla Mattenson 46:01
I’m glad that you went kind. But I do want to also just realize the reality of the situation. He is being very clear about how, what he sees in the future for this relationship. If he blocked you or he changed his phone number, he’s not responding to you. He is saying, I need a clean break here. And there. I just like you said, I don’t see an positive outcome in chasing a relationship that one person does not want to be in.
Marla Mattenson 46:37
Okay, I’ll say something more about that. That so I appreciate that. So the thing is, is
Marla Mattenson 46:43
you either want harmony in your life, or you want suffering, and it’s conscious or unconscious. And when we chase after someone who clearly is sending the message, no, you’re asking for suffering. So if you you know what would happen, let me let sort run through some, some scenarios. My background is in mathematics and neuroscience pattern recognition is my thing. I can run through all the iterations of what might happen, let’s say spreadsheet, let’s
do it. You’re talking about language. Okay,
Marla Mattenson 47:10
so what if you dropped off the package at his house and you saw him? Get out of the car, from you know, kissing somebody else? Oh my gosh. And then what you’re standing there with this present, just dropping in a suffering, you’re going to suffer, everyone’s gonna suffer? What is going on inside of you? That you want suffering? And it’s obviously unconscious, because nobody consciously wants suffering. That’s not that’s not what we do. As humans. We don’t consciously want suffering, unconsciously we recreate family patterns. So ask yourself, can you actually receive love from someone who actually loves you? Who wants to build a life together because as soon as you can really let go of this particular person, in your mind, in your heart, and your soul in your body, go do some cleanses or something like go on a on a solo journey, take a trip by yourself get go to the local park and look at the flowers, take some time for yourself, and then start loving more and more of who you are. And then that’ll shine out. And you’ll actually attract someone who values who you really are
so true. Yeah, and just just just to cap it off. I hear this all the time, like I want. I was in love with this person, and I wanted to marry them. And I just have to remind you, if you’ve said that to a relationship that has ended, you’re not in love with that person. You are in love with the idea of that person. They may are in love with the time you invest in or the idea of marriage or the idea of marriage, but you are not in love with that person. Because if that relationship was going to fulfill all your needs, it would be happening. I’m so
Marla Mattenson 48:49
glad you said that because people fall in love with the idea of a person.
Marla Mattenson 48:54
And we have to really I’ve been married in my
Marla Mattenson 48:56
But it was so Different when I met my husband, and then you look, I swear, you look back at those other relationships and you’re like, how could I thought that that was going to be it for me? So so if you look at it from that perspective, maybe that’ll give you a little bit of hope to that something greater. Yeah is out there for you if you do the work that Marla is recommending, we do have one more question. I want to start. Okay, this is this a little bit different. Jenny says I’ve been divorced for about 10 years, and I’m just getting back into dating. She says when I was 16, I needed an ileostomy. I’m not sure exactly what that is. But she said she needed this position, this medical procedure to save her life. And now she has to wear an external pouch for you know, digestion. So she said her ex had no problems with it. And it didn’t interfere with intimacy. But she’s told guys after a few dates about the pouch, and she’s also waited to tell them in some cases, but in most of the cases, she’s told them the guy ghoster she says, Do I wait until there’s a deep emotional connection and risk being emotionally hurt? Or do I tell them up front and lose the guy sooner than later?
Marla Mattenson 50:12
So you think it’s a great question. I think this is a really like beautiful vulnerable question. Absolutely. And
I’m sure a lot of people like maybe you don’t have the the pouch like Jenny does, but maybe you have another mental medical condition or,
Marla Mattenson 50:27
or feeling shame around certain part of your body or something
body shame, mental health challenge, whatever it is. Everybody has their something.
Marla Mattenson 50:34
Yeah. How do you do this specific thing is a special case scenario really is.
Marla Mattenson 50:41
I would say,
Marla Mattenson 50:43
it depends on who you are. So knowing yourself, so some people are a little more shy. So Jenny, if you’re more of the shy kind of a person, then I would say wait for a significant amount of time before you share that bowl. detail about your life. If you’re more of like a bold, brazen kind of unapologetic person, then then I would say it very early on, I would go very early because if somebody can’t handle that about you, then they can’t handle you.
Marla Mattenson 51:15
So, bye. Bye, Felicia,
Marla Mattenson 51:18
we don’t need any of that. Right, right. We need people in our lives who accept and love us for who we are. So if you’re the bold, I’m more of the bold type. So I’m the type who, hey, I’m just gonna lay it on the table right now from the beginning. And if you don’t dig that about me, that’s okay. We won’t be friends. And that’s okay, too. You know, we should doesn’t mean literally like,
Marla Mattenson 51:38
No, no, no. No, right. Okay, thank you. I appreciate that.
Marla Mattenson 51:44
don’t deal with it. Hey, what about this?
Marla Mattenson 51:47
You know, and there’s a way to do it, obviously, I’m sure you’re very way more nuanced than what I just tried to say. But really knowing who you are because this is not just about Jenny right? This is about everyone who has that one thing that they don’t Really want to share the beginning they’re not sure. I mean, I actually just wrote an article about, you know how to have difficult money conversations with your partner early in a relationship. And, and so that is it’s so tender to talk about the things that we keep very private, that are just for us that are just for the people who really love and know us. And then we’re opening up to the possibility of a new relationship. You know, on some level, you want to test the waters First, make sure this is someone who’s worthy of that kind of information, not just somebody that you met, that you may be interested in, you know, you want to make sure that it’s on the other side, like there’s one side of it is, who are you? Right? You’re bold, or you’re more shy, where are you in that sort of spectrum? That’s how long you should wait and then also, who’s the other person? Are they worthy of hearing these details? Because you don’t want to just share this with someone who’s gonna go post it on Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat or you know,
or Yeah, or judge you and Fairly for it like, right. our listeners have heard me say that on dates early on, people have to earn information that’s right from you. So is it something that you would share with like your coworker on the first day at a new job? Is it something that you would tell the person on the bus next to you? If it’s not, then maybe you wait until that you feel that you’ve you’ve earned a little bit of trust in that person? Yeah, they have earned a little
Marla Mattenson 53:26
and also you can be playful with it. Yeah, right. Yes, like transform it into a superpower. Like, oh, oh, you still use some digestive juices to digest your food. That’s amazing. Because mine totally goes into a bag. Yeah. I’m saying like you could do or whatever your particular bag is. You know, some people have a philosophy bag. People have different things. So you can use your quirky thing as a way to be playful with it.
Yeah, and some people like her situation. is sort of invisible until she becomes intimate, right? There are people I know that are dealing with very, very visible disabilities challenges, like I had a client who had a very pronounced stutter. That got worse when he was attracted to someone or, you know, sexually, you know, interested. And what we worked out with him is for him to acknowledge it just right right away, but to also turn it into a compliment. So he’d say, I’m sorry, I, I have a stutter. And and I actually stutter more around beautiful women. And so then it became sort of brought them it’s almost going back to what you were saying about putting your partner on your team it put your date on your team. Yeah. So that you acknowledge the elephant in the room, but at the same time you brought that person into it?
Marla Mattenson 54:46
Yes. And then it’s not made into a problem. And here’s the thing. The other piece that I want to say is, if you make your own and it doesn’t sound like you are Jenny, I’m just saying, if if you’re making your own thing, A problem, then that’s the energy that’s going to come through how you communicate it. So before you communicate it, you want to make sure that you’ve made best friends with whatever issue it is that you have, so that you can bring it to the table as not this big huge issue. But as just this is just me,
this isn’t is it? You know, it’s just a thing. Yeah. Yeah. This is such great, great advice. Marla, I’m so glad you could be here to share all of your wisdom with us. And this is such valuable information for people who are both dating and in relationships. And if you go into a new relationship, using some of the tools and techniques that Marla just shared, I’m telling you guys, you’re going to have a completely different experience of it. You can find Marla and Julian colker on social media at the intimacy experts. You can find her online at Marla martinson.com will also be sure to put those links in the show notes. Thank you so much for being here. Marla.
Marla Mattenson 55:59
Thank you so much. Much. Also don’t forget,
you still have time to find a date for Valentine’s Day. So if you are ready to date differently in 2020, but you don’t know how to get started, the 30 day dating playbook could be your solution. I’m just going to go out on a limb and say it is your solution. And it has worked for so many of my clients before and it works quickly. 90% of my clients last year, left my programs dating someone exclusively in as little as eight weeks. So give yourself this gift, get yourself launched into a relationship and maybe even snag a date before Valentine’s Day. You can find that at 30 day dating.com. And that has all of the five steps that I lead my private clients through that help them to go through their dating funnel figure out where they’re looping and get themselves into the relationship that they dream of. And it’s 30 days it’s self led so you have no excuses go to 30 day dating.com And I’ll put the link to the 30 day dating playbook in the show notes as well. And for those of you who want more love support, but maybe you’re not ready for the playbook. We will be launching a Patreon Friends with Benefits Program in February. So please stay tuned for that we’d love to welcome you into the community. I hope you enjoyed Episode 294 updates and mates again, I’m at damona Hoffman on all of the socials. And we’d love to have you join in on the conversation. You can send me your questions for future episodes and you can leave us a review like darlin, Nikki. And also don’t forget to share this episode with a friend who needs to hear Marla’s unbelievable relationship advice. Thank you so much for listening until next week. Wish you happy dating