emotional baggage, drama, and lasting love.

Each of us, even if we’ve never had one romantic relationship, comes into relationships with some baggage. No matter how emotionally healthy we are, we definitely have some things that we are carrying into the relationship.

Everyone has an issue or two or a dozen more.

When two people (with a few issues each) start falling in love sometimes they create a relationship of many ups and downs that sends them jolting and wondering if they will be thrown violently out of love and into despair.

When you and your partner both have emotional baggage the probability of their being drama is high.

Drama as in…any situation or series of events having vivid, emotional, conflicting, or striking interest or results.

Back in the day, when I was less aware of the emotional triggers that my baggage caused it was extremely easy for a partner’s actions to set me off and the dramatic fireworks would begin. I was one of those people with a lot of baggage that tended to create unnecessary drama in my relationships and drama is what breakups are made of. Who can love someone regardless of the amount of conflict that they bring into your life? Better yet who wants to?

Yes, love should be unconditional but loving someone as they come and loving someone that brings drama into your life are two very different things.

Yet, these two things sometimes do become entangled…

What if you fall in love with someone that because of their baggage isn’t yet aware that they create drama?

What do you do then?

In my life there are currently a few people that are in relationships with people that are good people but their past isn’t something that they have worked through enough to not bring unwanted bullshit into the lives of the ones they love. It is really hard to watch people that I care about be in these relationships because they are so torn about whether to stay and love them as they do the work or go.

When my friends talk to me about their relationships one of the things I always say is, “all relationships have their ups and downs.” That is a true statement but do all relationships have drama? The relationships that I’ve seen work, the ones in which love is still alive and healthy do have their ups and downs but these relationships are for the most part drama-free.

I find myself taking a closer look at the entire history of my relationship, taking a closer look at my past relationships, and taking a closer look at all the relationships around me that work and don’t work. There is a definite answer when I look closely but it I definitely think…

How do any of us make relationships work when we all come with baggage, are capable of drama and so many of us didn’t grow up in families where there were healthy examples of love?

What makes love last?

The first answer that comes to mind is peace. The more peace and tranquility that my partner and I approach problems with the better we can overcome them. For love to last you cannot create drama within your relationship. The world will already bring plenty of drama, stress and bullshit to your door that will test your love and will definitely push those triggers that you came into the relationship with; no extra drama needed.

As I sit here wishing that I could shake the shit out of a few smart good people that could be better partners to those I love my heart aches and wants to scream, “Stop bringing all this fucking drama!”

And the second answer that comes to mind is a question…

Do YOU BOTH want the same relationship?

Because there are some people that do want and enjoy drama and will be quick to blame their past for their current actions…

If you want lasting love it is best if you stay away from *that* kind.

Yes, my heart wants to scream…

Stop the fucking drama, unpack your baggage and move the fuck forward before you lose what could be lasting love!

xo, Anaín

sex with others – the beginning

It has been well over a year since the idea to start a live and interactive web show about sexuality, in which I sit down with other sex educators and smart perverts struck me. About a month ago I decided that this August no matter what I would launch this live show in one form or another. I set the date of the launch for end of August and hoped that it would come together. Well, did it ever come together just this Monday after having lunch with my dear friend Jamye Waxman.

Since we have been talking about doing something together almost since we met, I decided to ask her about how she felt about cohosting the live web show with me. Jamye loved the idea because it had crossed her mind to start something like it before. Instantly she said yes and on the spot we started planning it out. Sitting in her car before we both went to our respective after lunch meetings we set the date for the first show (August 15) and decided that we would name the show, “Sex With Others.” The next day we announced it to the world via Facebook and in less than thirty minutes our new Facebook page had over 100 likes. We later announced that we wanted to sit down to talk love, relationships and sex with other sex educators and smart perverts and we got several responses and private messages within minutes.

As we walked from Starbucks to her car planning the show Monday afternoon we agreed that this show was something that both of our readers, friends and colleagues would like and if done properly would be great, but we never expected there to be so much support and interest for it before our first show. Although we never expected we are extremely grateful for it. Thank you!

Sex With Others launches Wednesday, August 15 at 10 p.m. EST!

Will you be watching us chat love, relationships and sex with others?

That’s awesome!

Monday, Jamye and I will be putting more information on the Sex With Others Facebook page but for now please click here to RSVP for Wednesday’s show.

We welcome and would love your thoughts and opinions!

  • Yes! We want you to suggest show topics and/or pose questions you’d like us to tackle.
  • Yes! We want to know which sex educators and smart perverts you want us to have on the show.
  • Yes! We want you to join the conversation and ask us and our guests questions during the show.
  • Yes! We cannot create a great show without y’all so please do not be shy about sending us suggestions.

Are you as excited about Sex With Others as we are? Pun intended.

xo, Anaín

women do know best & hardly settle

Had a very troubling conversation with some of my girlfriends on the phone that bothered me enough to write about it. We were chatting about relationships, love and life in general when one of the women on our call (she’s more a friend of a friend than my friend) started to belittle another woman we know for “settling” in love. Friend-Of-A-Friend went in about how the person Lady X married didn’t have as much education as X and the list of her complaints about X’s partner went on and on. I usually won’t touch the topic of settling  when it does come up but this time was an exception. I decided to take on Friend-Of-A-Friend, but before I tell you how that went I want to tell you about a very revealing conversation I had with another friend of mine on this very topic.

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine asked on her Facebook page:

When people say “settle” in love, what does that word, settle, mean to you?

When she asked, I definitely stayed out of the debate on Facebook but the next time we spoke on the phone about her upcoming book the subject came up and we chatted about it. Like me, she doesn’t care for the word. She asked the question as part of the research for her book and she was asking about it in a completely different light than most people usually do. Our initial talk on the subject was short mainly because we agreed on most things but a few days later I called her to share the epiphany I had about settling since our last conversation.

I rarely hear anyone say that men settle when it comes to love.

Honestly, when was the last time you heard anyone say that a man settled in love? People usually don’t say that. Yet, society loves to stress the point of women settling over and over again. Why is it that people are so consumed with this idea of women settling? (more…)

fourteen years of marriage

On June 12, 1998 at around 10:30pm my love and I got married at the Chapel of the Bells in South Lake Tahoe, California, after only 45 days of knowing one another. We had only kissed once and had never had sex before we said our marriage vows. Our marriage began as our way of moving off base so we could hold on to what we could feel was growing between us. Our marriage was something we treated lightly during the first few months; we were friends playing house.

By October 31, 1998 it had become extremely clear that there was something powerfully healing that bonded us on top of the easy friendship that filled our lives with laughter and our sexual attraction. As time passed, circumstances beyond our control and many of the choices we made together and as individuals tested our marriage; we passed test after test. Passing these many tests over the last fourteen years has etched different dates in our memory that mean to us just as much as our wedding anniversary and October 31, 1998.

A lot of people look at the love we now share, a love that is stronger now than ever before, a love that is filled with hope, a love that is vibrant and shiny and easy and comfortable and everything that many people want and these people say…

You’re so lucky!

Well, we are lucky that at the young age of 21 we against all strange odds were paired up to clean dorms together for a week. We are lucky that we both agreed to do the craziest dumbest smart thing in the world by marrying one another just 45 days later. We are lucky that the Celestial Planning Committee made it so that we were together on October 31, 1998 so that we could realize that an easy friendship and laughter meant more to us than anything else at that time (and it still does). We are lucky in many regards but luck has never been what has kept us together.

there’s no reason to stay together if you can’t forgive

In my fourteen year relationship I have forgiven and I have been forgiven.

We would say that we forgave one another, we would make an attempt to move forward yet we would still not feel healed, we wouldn’t completely move forward and nothing would be resolved. It was as if one event started to make the relationship go sour, we forgave yet an unspoken baby elephant became the third member of our relationship, then time, bad choices, revenge, and each disappointment fed that elephant until eventually we became so used to feeding it that we stopped nourishing our love. The elephant sitting between us was huge; what was left of our love was tiny and starving.

This happens to many couples even though the circumstances that caused them and the new problems we face are different. It is so easy to have our perfect love crush us, pull the rug from underneath us, terribly disappoint us and/or completely destroy our trust. When that happens we often look back wondering was I intoxicated by romantic love so much that I did not see this person clearly but you did see them; it was that time had not yet given them enough opportunity to fail you. Almost everyone we love from parents and siblings to spouses and children to friends and business associates will disappoint us if given enough time and opportunity.

We know that people aren’t perfect and that they will at one time or another do something that causes us to hurt but why can’t we forgive when they do?

After all the hurt in my relationship I had to learn that to truly move forward forgiveness was about more than saying it or wanting it to be true. Giving someone another chance involves accepting that the person you love and have created a life with is capable of disappointing you again.

during rough times have more sex

Hard times, problems and stress are things that we can’t avoid forever. We all eventually go through times that are rougher than others, we all have problems that corner us, and we all have our stress limits. These things are universal but how we cope with them varies from person to person. For many avoiding sex while they are going through rough times is standard. It is easy to put off intimacy and avoid being sexual with our partners when we have real life problems attacking us from all sides. Sex doesn’t seem that important when you’ve been laid off, when there’s barely any money in the bank or when you aren’t sure if you’ll be able to make all your bills this month. I have known this kind of stress and too often I’ve fallen back on worry instead of falling into my partner’s arms.

At times when stress levels reach maximum overload our sex drives slow down.

There isn’t a person among us that can’t say that at one time in their life they’ve completely lost their sexual appetite due to dealing with life’s problems – if it didn’t go away it at least slowed down or was ignored. Our sex drives are meant to push us towards having procreation sex not recreational sex which is why we instinctively find it easy to avoid intimacy and sex when life is turbulent.

We are programmed machines that know that the last thing we need and desire is bringing a child into a world in which we are barely managing. Our bodies shut down that side of us and it is too easy to say, “Sex just isn’t that important right now. I’ve got a lot bigger things to worry about.” We are programmed machines but thank heavens that these days we can control our procreative powers therefore we don’t need to shut down our sex drives. Ever.

5,000+ days of loving you

When in 1998 a handsome young man walked into my life, I instantly told myself don’t do anything stupid with him I had no idea that over 5,000 days later I would still find myself doing stupid things with him.

the first hundred years are the hardest.

A few years before meeting *him* while heading home from an Air Force physical at the Tri-Rail station in Miami I met an elderly couple. Both of them seemed to be fragile but vibrant. They sat close to one another and they laughed as they held hands. The husband helped his weaker wife get on the train. I looked at them lovingly thinking what was their secret to a successful long marriage. Young idealist me boldly decided to ask them their secret; assuming that they had always been together and that this was their first and only marriage. My assumption that I would never make today had been right they had been together for a long time.

This is how the conversation went…

Me: You two seem so very in love still. How long have you been together?

Him: We just celebrated our 75th anniversary last year. Our children threw us a great celebration for that.

The wife smiled and they held hands even tighter.

Me: That’s amazing! What’s your secret?

Him: We don’t have one but the first hundred years are the hardest. It gets easy after that.

He looked at his wife and she smiled at him. They both laughed. It seemed like his response to me had been their inside joke for a long time. She smiled at me and I am certain that although I was smiling I had a perplexed look on my face.

it won’t mean any less if you have to ask for it

Back when I didn’t know any better I used to think that just because someone loved me and I loved them that they could read my mind. I figured that love would naturally gift them a supernatural ability for picking up nuances in my actions and minuscule hints I’d drop. If they knew, remembered, and/or understood without me having to ask, discuss, explain, and/or remind them then it was true love!

Back when I didn’t know any better you would have often heard me complain…

i shouldn’t have to tell you…

if you really loved me…

you’d know/remember/understand!

This way of thinking had me walking down a lonely path that I knew too well; that same old path my mother had traveled down while raising me. My mother always felt alone wishing that my father would read her mind.

My mother wanted my father to…

  • remember without being reminded
  • guess solutions without being asked questions
  • communicate without being invited to discuss

When I watched my mother nag, whine, complain, and rant about my father’s lack of love for her because he never knew/remembered/understood how she felt or what she needed it seemed insane to me, but (and this a big but) when it was me doing the same thing in my relationships I didn’t know better. I had learned from my mother the problem so well that even though I knew the solution I only knew how to mimic her problematic behavior.

The Problem: expecting others to read our minds!