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    Myths of Love, Sex, Dating, and Relationships | Myisha Battle

    Dating helps you understand what you need in a partner and recognize your sexual values, which can aid in personal growth. Accepting and being okay with what is rather than projecting unrealistic expectations of a perfect relationship is vital.

    enFebruary 13, 2023

    About this Episode

    This episode is part one of our four-part series where we’re counter-programming against the way Valentine’s Day is often celebrated, and examining different kinds of relationships including romantic, friendship, and family. 


    Today’s guest hews a bit more closely to the traditional Valentine’s Day theme and will do some myth-busting around all the things we tend to get wrong when we talk about romantic relationships. 


    Myisha Battle is the author of the book, “This Is Supposed to Be Fun: How To Find Joy in Hooking Up, Settling Down, and Everything in Between.” She also hosts the podcasts Down for Whatever, and Dating White. Much of her public work focuses on the early stages of relationships, but in her private practice, she counsels people at all stages, and in all kinds of relationships. 


    Content Warning: Explicit language and conversations about sex. 


    In this episode we talk about:

    • Five ways to improve intimacy and connection in romantic partnership
    • The nuts and bolts of sex, and how we often get intimacy and sex confused in unhelpful ways
    • Understanding men’s and women’s cycles to depersonalize issues in sex and relationships
    • The myth of finding “the one”
    • The orgasm gap
    • Bromance
    • And if you’re looking, tips on how to make finding a partner easier




    Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/myisha-battle-558

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • Love is not limited to romantic relationships, but also involves compassion towards oneself and others in different relationships. False expectations and misunderstandings can cause immense suffering. The "You Complete Me" model of romance is unrealistic, and love should not be confined to one person.
    • Relying on one person to fulfill all our needs is unrealistic and can place undue pressure on relationships. Embracing connections in other areas of life can lead to a more fulfilling and complete existence.
    • Love should be selfless and focused on the other person's well-being, not on fulfilling our own needs and desires. The pressure to be everything to our partner is overwhelming, and we need to nurture a wider spectrum of relationships beyond just romantic ones to find emotional fulfillment.
    • Our need for human connection can be fulfilled through non-traditional relationships and language is continuously evolving to reflect this reality. Embrace the idea of bromance and bi-romantic relationships and be open to friend dates as acceptable ways of fulfilling our innate need for connection.
    • Building a sense of physical connection beyond sexual acts fosters deeper intimacy and emotional bonding with your partner. Separating non-sexual and sexual intimacy, and prioritizing the former, can lead to a healthier and more fulfilling sex life.
    • Planning and effort in setting intentions for sex, understanding hormone cycles, and maintaining intimacy through making out can optimize the sexual connection in heterosexual relationships. Effective communication and understanding are crucial.
    • Educating oneself on sexual education and hygiene, setting actionable goals, and seeking couples counseling can depersonalize issues and empower individuals to overcome rejection and disempowerment in relationships. Communication, intention, and trust-building exercises can also reduce the impact of sexual dynamics.
    • Regular relationship meetings and dating your partner can improve intimacy and connection. Use tools like the Gottman Institute's structure for meetings and communication tools like marriage meetings to deepen understanding and prevent neglecting intimacy.
    • Regular date nights don't have to be expensive or extravagant, but they can help maintain the spark in your relationship. Communicate with your partner, find a regular schedule that works for both, and try new things together to avoid falling into old patterns.
    • Lack of knowledge and cultural dynamics contribute to the orgasm gap between straight partners. Education and communication on female pleasure anatomy help bridge the gap. Women should feel comfortable giving feedback, and men should be receptive to it.
    • Open communication is crucial for closing the orgasm gap and achieving sexual freedom. Consult trusted sources for accurate sexual information, identify core issues, and avoid over-communication. Recognize the importance of sexual health and pursue gentle personal investigations to improve your romantic partnership.
    • With dating apps, be authentic in your profile, build solid communication skills, weigh pros and cons of hookups, and don't compare yourself to others. Remember, you're in control of your own experience.
    • Focus on emotions rather than superficial preferences, create experiences to learn and connect, expand and challenge assumptions to reach something meaningful with curiosity.
    • Dating helps you understand what you need in a partner and recognize your sexual values, which can aid in personal growth. Accepting and being okay with what is rather than projecting unrealistic expectations of a perfect relationship is vital.
    • Focus on your values and vision, while being open to unexpected outcomes. Remember to have fun, accept rejection and keep trying.
    • Embrace personal growth by surrendering and finding joy in all relationships, including hookups and settling down. Support those who provide insightful information, and remain open to growth.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    Examining Love Beyond the Commercialized Romantic Celebration

    Valentine's Day is a commercialized celebration of romantic love, but its roots are more complex and involve state-sponsored murder. Our narrow view of love restricts it to a small band of human relationships, but love should be understood in a broader sense as compassion towards others, including self-love. The four-part series is launched to examine different kinds of relationships like friendship, family drama, and heartbreak, going a little bit dark for Valentine's Day. The false expectations and misunderstandings we bring to a relationship can create an incalculable amount of suffering for ourselves and others. The You Complete Me model of romantic relationships is problematic and leads to unrealistic expectations. Love should not be confined to a single person but should be spread among all relationships.

    The Problem with the 'You Complete Me' Model of Romance

    The 'You Complete Me' model of romantic relationships is problematic because it assumes that people are not whole until they find romantic partnership and puts a ton of pressure on individuals to find the perfect person. It also devalues other types of connection and the individual. The whole of someone's needs getting filled by one person puts a tremendous amount of pressure on them to try to fill. This can be a wedge and a block to sexual connection. It is multilayered and often reinforced by media. Instead of relying on one person to fill all our needs, we should find ways to have connections in other areas of our lives, which can help us lead more complete and full lives.

    The Evolution of Marriage and the Pitfalls of Modern Love

    Marriage before the Industrial Revolution was supported by faith and family, and often people didn't have a choice of who they married. Now we have the freedom to marry whoever we want, but we are unmoored from societal structures. This has led to overburdening our partner with unrealistic expectations, which can be crippling. The You Complete Me model is flawed, and love should be understood as being devoid of wanting or needing and instead be focused on the good of the other person, which covers a spectrum of relationships, not just romantic ones. The narrowing down of community and the cultural dialogue about emotional dependency on men keeps women from connecting emotionally with others, and the overburdening often falls on women to be everything to their partner.

    Embracing the Evolution of Relationships in Pandemic Times

    The pandemic has made people realize the importance of human connection. The idea of bromance, having romantic feelings for a friend without any sexual nature, is becoming more widely accepted. There's also a term called bi-romantic, which refers to having romantic feelings for two or more genders, but not necessarily sexual ones. It's crucial to understand that our needs cannot be fulfilled entirely by one person and that language is continuously evolving. Friend dates are becoming more acceptable to fulfill the need for human connection. We need to be open to different types of relationships and not limit ourselves to traditional ideas of romance and friendship.

    The Role of Non-Sexual Intimacy in Building Stronger Romantic Connections

    Non-sexual intimacy is a key indicator for how connected a couple is feeling. One must foster a sense of physical connection that shows they care about their partner and are there for them. Separating non-sexual intimacy from sexual intimacy and scheduling sex can help build anticipation and novelty, leading to increased sexual desire. Withholding sexual intimacy can occur when the only time physical connection happens is during a bid for sexual connection. Addressing areas beyond just sex can lead to better outcomes when it comes to feeling more intimately connected with your partner and improving intimacy and connection in romantic partnerships.

    Acknowledging Hormonal Differences for a Successful Heterosexual Relationship.

    Setting intentions and acknowledging hormonal differences are important for a successful sexual connection in a heterosexual relationship. Organic and spontaneous sex is an illusion, and putting effort into planning and showing up mentally and physically can enhance the experience. Making out is also a great way to maintain intimacy. Men and women have different hormone systems, and working with the natural energy provided by each partner's cycle can optimize sexual connection. Acknowledging these differences and not putting pressure on sex during certain times can help avoid a wedge issue in heterosexual couples. Understanding and communication are key to a successful sexual relationship.

    Understanding the Biological and Psychological Reasons Behind Personal Struggles with Sexuality and Relationships.

    Many people feel alone and broken when they face deeply personal issues around their sexuality and relationships. Lack of proper sexual education and knowledge about interpersonal hygiene can further worsen their situation. However, understanding the underlying biological and psychological reasons behind these issues can depersonalize them and make it easier to work on them. Educating oneself and building actionable goals around specific individual realities can be empowering and help overcome feelings of rejection and disempowerment. Communication, intention, and trust-building exercises like date nights can reduce the impact of sexual energy predictability dynamics in relationships. Couples counseling can help describe common patterns and pathologies in a relationship dynamic, and just recognizing these can make a huge difference in working through them.

    Scheduling Regular Relationship Meetings for Intimacy and Connection

    Romantic relationships are a skill and require work. Scheduling regular relationship meetings, such as weekly check-ins or yearly deep-dives, and dating your partner can improve intimacy and connection. Intimacy is deeper than just knowing daily routines; it involves understanding each other's thoughts, feelings, and struggles. The Gottman Institute has a fantastic structure for relationship meetings that is helpful for couples. Communication tools like marriage meetings can improve long-term partnership by providing a space and time for intimate conversations that are often overlooked. Organic check-ins with your partner can also be helpful, but scheduling meetings can be especially beneficial to make sure intimacy is not neglected.

    The importance of intentional date nights in maintaining a healthy romantic relationship during the pandemic.

    During the pandemic, many couples felt disconnected and struggled to keep the romance alive, but being intentional about regular date nights helped some of Myisha Battle's clients. It doesn't need to be expensive or extravagant, but having the intention of spending quality time together can go a long way. It's important to communicate with your partner and find a regular cadence that works for both of your schedules. Additionally, always be curious and try new things together to keep the relationship from falling into old patterns. Novel experiences and exploring the world with your partner can help to maintain the spark in your romantic relationship.

    Addressing the Orgasm Gap: Understanding Female Pleasure Anatomy and Sexual Communication.

    Many straight women experience fewer orgasms than their male partners, which is related to the lack of knowledge and research on female pleasure anatomy, especially the clitoris. Cultural dynamics also contribute to this issue as men are socialized to be the experts in sex. Moving away from the notion of penetrative sex as the end-all-be-all of sex and educating both partners on female pleasure anatomy can help bridge the orgasm gap. Women should feel comfortable giving in-the-moment feedback about their preferences, and men should be open and receptive to this feedback to become better partners.

    The Importance of Open Communication for a Fulfilling Sexual Relationship

    Open communication is the key to bridging the orgasm gap and achieving egalitarian experiences in the bedroom. Trusted sources, such as sexual health experts, should be consulted for accurate information that can lead to sexual freedom. However, over-communication about sex can sometimes be counterproductive, and couples should take the time to identify core issues and avoid repetitive conversations. It is important to recognize that sex is an important aspect of overall health, and that personal investigations for sexual knowledge can be light and gentle. By recognizing sexual issues and addressing them with open communication, couples can improve their romantic partnership and achieve a healthier, more fulfilling sexual relationship.

    Taking Control of Your Dating App Experience

    When dating through apps, it's important to remember that the app is a tool and you have control over your experience. Putting yourself out there can be intimidating but it's worth working through it. By putting more of yourself in your profile, you can increase the quality of matches you receive and progress relationships farther. Building sexual communication skills is also important. Remember that sex is a huge motivator for some people and it's okay to weigh the pros and cons of using dating apps for hooking up. The main takeaway is to curate your own dating experience, be true to yourself and don't compare your journey to others.

    Finding a Meaningful Connection through Dating Apps

    When it comes to finding a partner through dating apps, it's important to step back from societal expectations and focus on how you feel. Checklists based on materialistic and superficial things like job, education, height, and weight are not prerequisites to connection. It's important to create experiences where you can be yourself and give each other the opportunity to learn and decide if it's a good match. Racism, sexism, and fat phobia are the assumptions we have and they help us to disconnect. Expanding our vision of what connection is can help us reach something meaningful with dating apps. Curiosity is key to finding a partner who sees us fully, hears us, and is there for our growth.

    The Role of Dating and Relationships in Personal Growth and Development

    Dating and relationships are an important part of our transformational journey, even those that don't work out. Projection of thinking that problems will disappear once in a married or romantic zone can be a block, and it's vital to accept and be okay with what is. The search for a partner is a part of getting to that destination of having security but already are and the people you attract through dating are helping you along that journey by showing you what you need and want. Sexual values are just as important for growth and development as other values in life and recognizing them can help attract partners in app-based dating.

    How to achieve a dating zen mindset

    In dating, it's essential to have a vision of what you want and focus on your values, while also accepting that the ultimate goal of partnership may not happen exactly as you envision it. Strive for a dating zen mindset where you hold two contradictory things: the goal of partnership and the lack of expectation that it will happen. Avoid letting the desire for a relationship hinder your progress by not overthinking and just having fun while meeting great people. Rejection is part of dating, and it can be painful, but it's important to keep trying and hold on to your vision and values.

    The Importance of Personal Growth, Surrendering, and Joy in Relationships

    The people that cross our lives help us to grow and understand new things about ourselves. Surrendering is important to the process of meditation and achieving the ultimate goal. Maisha Battle's book, 'This is Supposed to be Fun', encourages finding joy in hooking up, settling down, and everything in between. Local bookstores and her website offer insightful information on sex and dating. The conversation between Dan Harris and Maisha Battle is informative for listeners. It is vital to support local bookstores and those who put valuable information out into the world. Stepping on someone else's toes is not productive for anyone. Embrace the process and remain open to growth.

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