The LoveLife Blog: guidance on mindful, bodyful, soulful loving!


#337: You Can't Search for Love. It's Already There. You Can Only Remove the Barriers to Let It In

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, February 14, 2022

So many people are looking for love, seeking it as though it is something outside of them, separate from them. 

Singles trawl the dating apps, date after date, hoping that this time it will be the one who will bring love into their life…

Couples engross themselves in their individual lives, becoming complacent, losing their connection. They feel the lack of love and seek it through work, children, or external lovers…

Yet the love is already there. It’s within us and it’s around us. Single or partnered, know yourself, love yourself. We need to do the psychological and spiritual work to clear negative patterns, to develop understanding and compassion for ourselves. It can be hard, and a life-long process, but so rewarding. We come to realise that ‘I’m ok’. We learn to let down the barriers, remove the armour that we created to keep us safe from the large or small hurts and neglects we experienced as children, to deal with the conditioning we received even though it didn’t feel right – ‘boys don’t cry’, ‘be a good girl’ – the message that we aren’t good enough unless… that we aren’t loveable unless….that we aren’t lovable.

Yet humans thrive on love, we are a bonding species, we need to connect to others, and to... read more



#336: How to Communicate Complaints Effectively

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, January 30, 2022


You are always going to have differences, you’re always going have challenges, there are always going to be things that you don’t like about your partner…you are always going to need to have difficult conversations, including when you have a complaint about your partner.

So, an essential skill in having a quality relationship is being able to communicate complaints effectively.

Couples with undeveloped communication skills will deal with complaints in one of two ineffective ways:

  • They’ll pretend the problem doesn’t exist and sweep it under the carpet… where it will fester unresolved until it re-emerges down the track in much worse form.

Or

  • They’ll go into full-on confrontation mode, with aggressive accusations… leading to full-blown war and generally no resolution, only, at best, capitulation.

Neither of these approaches are effective ways of communicating complaints. So how do you do it well?

If you are the person with the complaint:

  • Be gentle, make sure your partner is in a receptive mode and not distracted or busy, ask if this is a good time to talk and if not, when would be.
  • Start the conversation with a positive comment, use ‘us’ language. Then share what behaviour is causing you problems and why it is a problem for you. Keep in mind the issue is not the behaviour, it’s why... read more


#334: How to Express Your Emotions Without Being "Emotional"

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, December 12, 2021

Some people are labelled as ‘emotional’, as if it’s a bad thing. Well, you know what, we’re all emotional. All the time. We are all, every one of us, at every single moment, having an emotional experience. Experience, which is the state of being alive, is felt through our feelings, our emotions.

So being ‘emotional’ is being alive. 

Being able to be in touch with our emotions, to feel them, to know them and to express them is a very important skill in life. Particularly in relationships. 

A lot of us aren’t good at that. Some of us grow up thinking emotions are ‘bad’, particularly negative emotions. The message you get is: It’s bad to be feeling bad, so don’t feel bad. Um, so what you are supposed to do with those feelings? Well, either you suppress them, pretend they’re not there, and just let them fester. Or you become overly ‘emotional’, intense and not being able to express cleanly. 

It’s actually a little healthier to be overly expressive in your emotions than to suppress them. At least they are getting out and not festering. But if they are not being expressed well, they get violent or abusive and that is not at all good. That’s out of control. 

So how do you express feeling... read more



#332: Be Conscious Not Complacent

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, November 14, 2021


It’s so easy to become complacent in relationships. Hey, we’re busy people, we’ve got a lot on, we’re tired, we don’t have the time or energy to invest in our relationship, there are other priorities…

 And so, without the nurturance, it withers and dies…

 Like everything in life, if you want something to be good, if you want it to be a part of life that supports and enhances you, you need to focus on it. If you want to be healthy you have to focus on your health, if you want to be wealthy you have to focus on your finances, and if you want to be loved-up you have to focus on your relationship.

 If you get complacent you stop being consciously engaged with your partner and even with yourself and revert to subconscious beliefs and patterns, such as poor parental role-modelling, limiting cultural beliefs around relationships, unhelpful myths about sexuality.

 When you pay attention though, you learn about yourself and your partner and through that you develop a better dynamic. With that awareness you make better choices. If there are tensions or blocks, you work on them. You admit where you lack knowledge or experience and get help and learn. Then you practice, together, and... read more



#331: It's OK to Disappoint Your Partner

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, October 31, 2021

So often people tell me that they don’t want to say their truth as they don’t want to upset their partner, but what they really mean is that they don’t want to feel bad about disappointing their partner. There’s a big difference between those two statements.

Of course, we don’t like our partners to be upset, but that doesn’t mean we should do anything we can to prevent them having a bad feeling. That is intensely co-dependant.

We are not responsible for our partner’s feelings. We are responsible for our own feelings. Now, let me clarify that a bit.

In a healthy relationship we are interdependent. That means we are both independent and relational. The relational part is that we are attentive and supportive of our partner. We are always responsible for being caring and polite and kind and respectful to our partner. Absolutely. The independent part of a good relationship is that we are also attentive and respectful to ourselves. That means we need to express our truth to our partner. The relational element of this is that we need to express that truth in a caring, polite, kind and respectful way.

Then the independent element on our partner’s part, is that they are responsible for managing their... read more



#325: When Things Get Wobbly Assume the Best and Get Curious

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, August 08, 2021

It's inevitable that you will have wobbly times in your relationship. You are different - always have been, always will be! Sometimes you’ll have different wants or opinions, sometimes you’ll have inadvertently annoyed the other, sometimes stresses will come in from outside the relationship, and sometimes there will be a misunderstanding.

Whatever is the cause of the wobble, you need to do things:
 1. Assume the best of your partner.
 2. Get curious.

You have to assume that your partner is not deliberately trying to hurt you or annoy you or piss you off in any way. You have to assume that your partner loves you and you’re on the same team. So if they are acting in a way that seems unloving or not on the same team, get curious as to why. Ask them open-ended questions to understand what is going on for them. “Babe, I’m curious what’s going on for you…” “Honey, can you tell me more about that…” “Sweetheart, I’m feeling a little confused, could you take me through that again more slowly…”

This might sound simple, but it’s not always so as we can easily trigger our nervous systems and become emotionally dysregulated, so it’s hard to stay calm enough to assume... read more



#324: How Alike do You Need to be to Have a Good Relationship

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, July 25, 2021

My clients often wonder if they are really suited to each other. They thought they were at the start but over time the differences have become more apparent and they worry that they’re not compatible.

So how similar do we need to be to have a good relationship?

Well, it depends on what aspect of relating you are considering. In some cases yes, in others no.

In brief:

• You need to have common values.
• You need to have shared, but not the same, interests.
• You can have very different personalities.

It’s actually good to have different personalities, different ways of seeing the world, of being in the world. Different ways of thinking, different ways of feeling, different ways of expressing – these all broaden the ways you as a couple can live and experience life.

A big caveat here though is that you have to appreciate the differences, not make each other wrong for being different.

And you have to realise that the same qualities can have both good and bad aspects. Let’s take an example of a couple where one sees the other as “my rock”, solid, dependable, someone who makes them feel really safe and secure in the world. Yet, those same positive... read more



#315: Finesse Your Expertise on Each Other

Jacqueline Hellyer - Saturday, March 20, 2021


What makes a great relationship is being experts on each other.

You are different, always were, always will be. So, what makes you great as a couple is the ability to know, accept, appreciate, and work with the differences.

The similarities, the good stuff, that’s easy. No-one ever comes to me seeking help on how good things are!

Now, you might think you know your partner, but do you really? More likely your concept of your partner is a mix of how they were when you met (a time when you probably did pay a lot of attention) and your interpretation of who they are based on who you are…

Never assume you know your partner. You don’t. Keep paying attention and being curious. Keep discovering each other. You are endlessly fascinating. The more you each understand yourself and the other, the better you will understand your dynamic and be able to continuously co-create a secure, engaged relationship (or jointly and amicably agree to end it if it’s done its time).

Don’t make the other wrong. They are just different. The way you are, the way you see the world is not ‘right’, it’s just familiar, so it feels ‘normal’. But there is no ‘normal, we’re all individuals with individual histories and life experiences which... read more



#314: A Lingering Sense of Each Other

Jacqueline Hellyer - Saturday, March 06, 2021


Consider sex an energy rather than a behaviour. Just as we can sense love, and feel the energy of love with our hearts, the energy of sex is the same. With sex though, the energy comes from our pelvis, our sexual centre. 

But it’s not the ‘horny’ sense of sexual arousal, with an energy that wants to leave the body. That’s part of sex, sure. But the true sexual energy is a vital, life-giving force that rises upwards in the body, keeping us young and enlivened. When you let the sexual energy rise in this way, and combine it with your love energy, it becomes a beautiful potent energy that you can share with your partner all throughout your life. It connects you, nourishing your relationship and keeping an erotic flow going between you. This can be cultivated in myriad small ways of looks, smiles, acts of sweetness, through to longer friendly, intimate and sexual encounters. You feel it when you are together and also when you are apart.

After attending one of my couples retreats, one man described this as though their connection was “a frequency that had shifted from AM to FM”.

More recently, a male client described it as ”a lingering sense of each other”, which I think... read more



#312: Conflict is Inevitable So Learn to Prevent, Manage and Repair

Jacqueline Hellyer - Saturday, February 06, 2021


A ‘perfect’ relationship is not one that has no conflict. It’s not that you are so ‘perfectly aligned’ that you never differ. That’s actually a sign that you are either seriously emotionally avoidant and not sharing your true feelings, or that there is a major power differential in the relationship where one always defers to the other.

Of course there is going to be difference – you are different people with different feelings and ideas and wants and needs. You always have and you lways will. From the myriad of small things throughout the day – what you’re having for dinner, who’s picking up the kids from school, through to major life issues like parenting styles, where you live, how you deal with aging parents, and of course sexual issues– you will inevitably differ on many issues.

Does that mean you have to fight and have a fractious relationship? Not at all. But it does mean that you have to develop your relationship skills so that you handle difference well.

I describe this in three ways: how you prevent conflict, how you manage it when it occurs, and how you repair quickly if it goes bad.

Prevent Conflict

As I said, difference is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean it has to turn into conflict. A... read more



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