June Recommended Relationship Resources

I’ve started keeping track of the resources, tools, podcasts, and videos I assign clients every week in session with the hope they might be excellent tools for all of you as well. I’ll be posting my favorites every month this year so you can find them with ease.

Read more recommendations here.

If you have suggestions or recommendations for this list please send them to me- I always welcome more. Email them to gina@ginasenarighi.com Thank you!


LISTEN IN: PODCASTS ON RELATIONSHIPS

I love listening to podcasts, and often reference them in session with clients. They’re a really easy way to learn about the science of relationships and often are a simple way to learn something new while driving, lawn mowing, or getting other things done. I wanted to share a few of my recent favorites and the most common episodes I send to the folks I work with.

INVISIBILIA - THE END OF EMPATHY

As you likely know, Invisibilia is a favorite podcast of mine. This episode handles understanding the perspective of another- even one who feels like an enemy and how we work to take each other’s perspectives into account. I will warn you, this was a really hard one for me to listen to- but I still highly recommend a listen.

INVISIBILIA - A VERY OFFENSIVE ROM-COM

Over the years I’ve heard many stories from clients about racial inequality and racism in their online dating experiences. This episode dives deeper into the experiences - specifically of Asian and Asian-American men in the online dating scene. It’s fascinating, and for some of you will be incredibly validating.


Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  Let me know if I can help you:

Gina Senarighi Relationship Coach
  • move beyond jealousy, fear, and insecurity 

  • manage intense emotions that arise in conflicts

  • rebuild trust after infidelity or dishonesty

  • shift stuck communication & codependent relationship patterns

    I lead couples retreats, host workshops, and see private clients online, in Portland, Oregon (and soon in Chicago, Illinois and Madison, Wisconsin). 

Call me for a free consultation to rethink the way you do relationships.

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in healthy communication, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my most popular conversation starter posts right here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. What did your family teach you about personal space?

  2. What did your family teach you about boundaries?

  3. What did your family teach you about affection in relationships?

  4. How did you respond to conflict in your family growing up?

  5. Have you ever been cut off from your family? Why?

  6. Did you ever run away as a child?  What happened?  Where'd you go?

  7. How important is it your partner get along with your family?

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.  

Swoon Podcast: Episode #13 – Freak Like Me: Working with Your Erotic Template

swoon-podcast-1

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


Swoon Podcast Episode 13: Freak Like Me: Working with Your Erotic Template

Embracing the full complexity of your sexual self - including desire, fantasy, and even some of the areas that can feel confusing can help you have a more fulfilling sexual life.

Join us for this week's episode with Julie and Gina focusing on understanding your own erotic template and exploring yours with a partner.

This episode covers:

  • What is your erotic template?

  • How it can help you to understand your turn-ons and desires with a larger perspective.

  • How you can explore your erotic template with a partner.

  • What to do when shame gets in the way of sexual exploration

MEMORABLE QUOTES IN THE PODCAST

On a more holistic sexual conversation -

“Often we limit our sexual possibility because we just focus on 'I like this or I don't like this' like an on/off switch with a binary rather than an orchestra of possibilities that make us unique individual erotic people.”

"So what this is about is looking at the bigger picture of what creates willingness or openness." "Yes, and building anticipation... Sometimes thinking about it and building it up for it is way more erotic than just seeing a naked person in front of you. There are all these moving parts and everybody is a little different if you allow yourself to explore these pieces."

"Sometimes the erotic template can be really raunchy and dirty and sometimes it's really tender... It's more about exploring where I've come from, where I've been, where I am and where I want to go."

On erotic fantasy -

"Fantasy plays into this as well. And a lot of the people I work with feel nervous to talk about fantasy because sometimes the things we fantasize about are not things we want to experience in real life. They're not safe in the confines of our relationships or personal safety. But if we look at and deconstruct fantasy too, sometimes it's not about the specific act we're imagining but it's about the energy. It's about surrender, control, power. It's about taboo. It's exploring all these pieces which I might say, "if I don't want to experience it's not part of my erotic template, but it is because it's really erotic and sexy and I might explore it by myself or if I really trust the person I'm with I might as them to explore with me."

On embracing your less mainstream desires -

"Sometimes specific kinks get wired in based on something we experienced when we were young and we're trying to shift it when we grow up."

"Owning what's in your erotic template is a really important self-empowerment practice for people. We can have a lot of shame about our desires. 'There's this thing I'm interested in, am I a pervert? Is there something wrong? Am I not a feminist? Am I a sex addict?' And we have to unpack that. It is okay for you to be fantasizing about or desiring all kinds of things. All kinds of things. When things start to impact other people we want to be really careful about the boundaries about how we behave that can impact on other people. But you get to fantasize about whatever you want to. Coming to own that I have this fantasy or dream or piece of my history coming up and it doesn't mean there's something wrong with me, it just is part of me can help people feel so much more sexually empowered."

"Dwelling too much in the 'why am I this way' can sometimes stoke the fires of shame."

"There is a super common fantasy about being raped. I don't know anyone who wants to have that happen in real life. When I talk with people about this they're like "this is horrible, what's wrong with me?" And it's like no, sometimes a fantasy is something that would shock us in real life or make us feel humiliated in real life and we don't often explore the areas that can be really erotic if you're using them in a way that's really safe."

Resources Shared in This Episode

The Erotic Mind: Unlocking the Inner Sources of Passion and Fulfillment, by Jack Morin

Arousal, by Michael Bader

Action Steps from the Podcast

Using these guided questions to open up a more complete conversation about your sexual template from Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson: Create a how-to manual for your partner about what you want sexually.

If you wrote out a Brief Guide for the Lover of ________ and inserted your name, what would you put in it? Basic directions might include answers to the following: 

  • What helps you begin to open up emotionally and physically to sex? 

  • What turns you on the most before and during lovemaking? 

  • How long do you expect pleasuring or foreplay and intercourse to last? 

  • What is your preferred position? Do you enjoy fast or slow lovemaking? 

  • What is the most stirring way for your lover to move you into, stimulate you into deepest engagement in lovemaking? 

  • Can you ask for this? 

  • What makes sex more satisfying for you? (This may not be orgasm or even intercourse.) 

  • When do you feel most unsure or uncomfortable during sex? When do you feel closest to your partner?

About Your Swoon Hosts

Dr. Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my most popular conversation starter posts right here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. What did you do during recess time as a kid?

  2. What did you do after school?

  3. Who was your favorite teacher in school and why?

  4. Were you in extracurricular sports or clubs? Which ones?

  5. What was your favorite book as a kid?

  6. What subjects did you struggle with in school?

  7. What was your greatest educational accomplishment?

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.  

Swoon Podcast: Episode #12 – Three is the Magic Number - Nonmonogamy

swoon-podcast-1

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


Swoon Podcast Episode 12: Three is the Magic Number - Nonmonogamy

In this episode Julie and Gina discuss monogamy and nonmonogamy. They talk about different relationship styles, different forms of intimacy, relationship expectations and some of the ways people may get their wants and needs inside and outside of their primary partnerships.

This episode covers:

  • What is nonmonogamy?

  • Different relationship configurations.

  • Is non-monogamy right for your relationship?

  • How default monogamy may not serve you.

  • The importance of talking about relationship agreements and expectations, even if you are monogamous

  • The reasons people may explore nonmonogamy.

  • The reasons nonmonogamy might not be a good fit for a relationship.

MEMORABLE QUOTES IN THE PODCAST

What relationship style is best for you -

“Being monogamous is hard, for all sorts of reasons. Being nonmonogamous is hard for all sorts or reasons. Not being in relationship is hard for all sorts of reasons. There's not an easy path.”

“Everybody wants to know, 'What's the best way to do is?' There is no one right way to do relationship. There are so many factors. I've seen people do monogamy beautifully and do nonmonogamy beautifully and I've been people crash and burn in both too.”

If you and your partner have different desires -

“Your options are – your partner tries to meet you in a way that doesn’t feel good to them, you subvert your wants and needs, or you find a way to get those wants and needs met elsewhere.”

“If we were talking about anything outside of sex...if I was like, “Oh man, I love scrapbooking and my partner’s not into it, people would be like 'Julie! Go join a scrapbook...scrapbook with everybody, spread your scapbooking seeds all over the world!' Right? But because it's sex? Yeah, you should only scrapbook with your partner, ever.”

On monogamy -

“We think nonmonogamy is one thing and monogamy is one thing. It's way more complicated than that on both sides. The trouble people get into with monogamy is falling into a default setting and never talking about what it means to be monogamous for me and you and what to do if we have a crush or want to dance with someone etc.”

On nonmonogamy - 

“If you have a strong history of infidelity...I see a lot people come to this because they always cheated on their partners, some people can make that transition, but it's different than cheating or infidelity. And if you have infidelity in a relationship, nonmonogamy doesn't solve it on it's own, we need to look at, 'What's the context that lead to deceit?' So that deceit doesn't continue in nonmonogamy. You can cheat in nonmonogamy.”

“Some of the things I love about models of nonmonogamy are the levels of agreements, boundaries, shared language and shared expectations.”

“People think that nonmonogamy is an orgy every weekend – it could be, I mean, good luck!”

Resources Shared in This Episode

The Ethical Slut

Opening Up

More Than Two

Action Steps from the Podcast

Worksheet about monogamy

Talk about your expectations and boundaries.

Worksheet that looks at the forms of intimacy

What can you get met in your relationship? What do you want to meet elsewhere?

About Your Swoon Hosts

Dr. Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

FREE CALL ANNOUNCEMENT: Overcoming Trust Issues in Healthy Relationships

MONTHLY FREE COACHING CALL

Every month I host a free call for a small group on topics essential to success in love and entrepreneurship. 

We focus the conversation on tangible skills you can easily implement in your relationship and small business to build the deeply connected life of your dreams.

One hour max.  Always fun.  Always free.


OVERCOMING TRUST ISSUES IN HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS

Fri, June 14, 2019

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CDT

Online/Video Call (join from the comfort of your home)

JOIN US

Join this month's free call to learn the five foundations of trust and how to nourish them in the relationships that matter most to you.

Here's what we'll cover:

1. The trust we've uncovered in research about trust in relationships.

2. How to cultivate more self-trust.

3. Practices to nourish trust in your intimate partnerships.

4. How to repair trust when it's been broken.

We'll end with a quick coaching session to answer your specific questions about trust in your own relationship!

When you register I'll send you an access code for my free relationship tool library, which includes eight specific tools and guides for healthy communication.

And you'll get a copy of my workbook, Overcoming Trust Issues in Romantic Relationships.

Sign up today and join the conversation!

ABOUT YOUR COACH

gs headshot 3.jpg

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

She coaches online clients all over the world and leads retreats in the U.S.

Call me for a free consultation to rethink the way you do relationships.


Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my most popular conversation starter posts right here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. What did your family teach you about love growing up?

  2. What did your family teach you about trust?

  3. What did your family teach you about conflict?

  4. What did your family teach you about safety?

  5. What did your family teach you about forgiveness?

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.  

Swoon Podcast: Episode #11 – A Matter of Trust: Trust Issues & Love

swoon-podcast-1

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


Swoon Podcast Episode 11: A Matter of Trust: Trust Issues & Love

Has trust ever been an issue in your relationships? Join Gina and Julie this week to talk through the finer points of building, repairing, and nourishing trust in your intimate relationships.

This episode covers:

  • How common trust issues are - even in strong in relationships

  • How to identify the pathways to rebuild trust in your relationships

  • The subtle and nuanced ways we build and erode trust in partnerships

  • How the way we experience trust in our early life influences our present-day relationships

MEMORABLE QUOTES IN THE PODCAST

On addiction in families and trust-

“If you grew up in a family where there is addiction you learn not to trust your own intuition because you're like 'there's something off here' and all the adults around you are like 'no, everything is fine. There's no problem.' So then it's like, I don't trust myself necessarily, so it's hard for me to show up and trust another person."

On reliability in relationships and trust -

"A lot of this is founded in our early experiences of reliability. Early on, when people said they would do something, did they do the thing? Or acknowledge the agreement?" 

On trust and safety -

“We can't really do trust if we're not in a safe place. I'm not thinking about trust and intimacy if we're in an earthquake... ...because I am just trying to keep my body safe. And if I have a history of trouble with safety it's going to be hard to work on trust with other people."

"Creating a space of non-judgment reinforces a sense of safety in relationships."

On boundaries and trust -

“If our agreements aren't clear it can be easy to break trust even without intention or without malice. Because I am not following through on agreements you think we have it's easy to break them. And a lot of times we're not very clear about our agreements."

"We often think or just assume we have the same expectation, lived experiences and we have the same wants and needs because we think it's "normal" because it's what we see in other people. And what's normal to me may not be the same for you."

"There is an idea that boundaries are what keeps people out but I like to think about boundaries are what keeps me safe."

On personal accountability -

"If we don't have a way of taking accountability in relationships there's no way to reinforce boundaries or reliability."

"It doesn't feel very sexy to nag someone or be nagged or to micromanage or be micromanaged."

On self-trust -

"Some of this is an internal process, like when I think about boundaries, reliability, and accountability I have to ask, how reliable am I to myself? How much do I respect my boundaries? How much do I own my own shit? How much do I own my contribution to things?"

"It's hard to trust other people if I don't trust myself."

"When our trust is broken it's not just hard to trust the other person, but it's like 'how did I not know? ...and feeling like I can't trust myself is so painful."

"Follow through is the only way to demonstrate reliability. It takes time to build trust because I can make all these promises and do like five good things... and you're going to have to do five good things every day for a while to build back trust."

On sex and trust -

"Sometimes people underestimate how sexy trust is and how having that trust allows us to open fully in a way sexually that can be so exciting and so wild. Sometimes we think of sex as boring old married couples who are predictable and stable, but if I know you will be here and witness me and I can show up fully the possibilities are endless."

"If my body doesn't feel safe I may not be able to have certain physical experiences that I want to have."

Resources Shared in This Episode

The Anatomy of Trust - Brene Brown

Action Steps from the Podcast

Watch this video with a notebook and ask yourself:

  • How have I contributed to trust in each of these areas?

  • How have I helped erode trust in each of these areas?

Or, look at how have you built, repaired, or eroded trust in your past relationships- to help you avoid carrying these patterns forward in your next relationship.

About Your Swoon Hosts

Dr. Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my previous conversation starter posts here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. What did you like about school as a child?

  2. What do you wish was different about your school experience?

  3. Share one memory from your elementary school experience.

  4. Share one memory from your middle school experience.

  5. How did your family or community support your education?

  6. What were you good at in school?  When did you feel proud?

  7. What did you imagine you would be when you grew up?

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.  

Swoon Podcast: Episode #10 – She Drives me Crazy - Attachment Styles and Your Relationship

swoon-podcast-1

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


Swoon Podcast Episode 10: She Drives me Crazy - Attachment Styles and Your Relationship

Are you repeating the same patterns over and over again in relationships? How you bond with your early caregivers can affect how you partner and show up in relationships.

In this episode Julie and Gina discuss the 4 main attachment styles and how they influence your current or future relationships.

This episode covers:

  • What “attachment style” means.

  • How your early attachment influences your relationship patterns.

  • The 4 main styles of attachment.

  • How knowing your attachment style can help you feel validated about the choices you make in relationship.

  • The different areas of your relationship that can be affected by your attachment style – intimacy, conflict, sex, communication, expectations and more!

  • Stan Tatkin's language for attachment – Anchor, Wave and Island

MEMORABLE QUOTES IN THE PODCAST

What is attachment style -

“Attachment theory is the vitamins of couples therapy work. You want to know about it”

“There is so much about relationships I wish we learned in school!”

“There's not a hierarchy of good attachment and bad attachment, like “you're a bad person if you have this time of attachment.” This is all created when we are little. And it can shift and change over time. Our primary attachment style is imprinted from early on.”

On early attachment -

“I first learned about attachment in graduate school. It's a very big part of our education especially if you are working with families and couples. A place it really started to resonate with me was when I was becoming a mom and focusing on my kid's attachment. And wanting to be able to be a secure base for her. Sometimes when I talk about attachment with people they say they understand that it is what a parent does with a kid, but they don't realize that that creates the person who is going to grow up and attach with another person and that can affect how we show up in relationship.”

On the ways attachment style affects your partnerships-

“Our attachment style can lie dormant but it gets heightened in certain moments and it really gets heightened when we move towards one another or move away. That can be global or very specific. Leaving for work, or going to bed at the end of the day, or leaving on trips, or coming together, or moving in together.”

“How you view intimacy and how you view partnership is influenced by your attachment style. How you deal with conflict. What your attitude toward sex is – what it represents for you. How comfortable you are coming together or not – the distance you keep or the lack of space you want to have. Your ability to communicate your wanting and your needs. And the expectations you have about your relationship or about your partnership – can all be influenced by this stuff that was imprinted ages ago! It’s so wild to me! The conditioning that starts so long ago, that is a foundational building block, then becomes a foundational building block for our relationship too.”

“When we have different styles then it can be really challenging for people because the very thing I need from you to feel comfortable is something that isn't comfortable for you potentially, or the thing that feels kind of typical or normal for me is a stretch for you. How do we meet each other? How do we meet ourselves sometimes? How can I better understand what you are wanting and needing and how can you better understand what I want and need as well?”

On attachment style and dating -

“For the folks that are single or dating – I strongly recommend they learn more about attachment because then they can not only know their attachment style, they can have a better idea about what kind of attachment style will best resonate with them or serve them depending on how they want to shift and grow in their lives.”

The Anxious and Avoidant couple -

“Partner #1 'Why can't you tell me you love me more often?' Partner #1 'Why can't you trust that I love you?'”

Resources Shared in This Episode

Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help YouFind - and Keep - Love by Amir Levine

Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner's Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship by Stan Tatkin

Wired for Dating: How Understanding Neurobiology and Attachment Style Can Help You Find Your Ideal Mate by Stan Tatkin

Action Steps from the Podcast

Really look at your rituals of connections and separateness throughout the day. Create connecting rituals – usually morning and evening work well.

How do we greet each other in the morning? How do we say goodbye? How do we greet each other at the end of the day? And how do we say goodnight? What feels really good for both of us?

Play with that idea of separateness and togetherness – moving towards and moving away.

About Your Swoon Hosts

Dr. Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my previous conversation starter posts here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. Which of your childhood experiences most influence your life today?

  2. Who were your relationship role models growing up?  Who are they now?

  3. What did your parents' partnership teach you about relationships directly or indirectly?

  4. What were the best and worst parts of your parents' relationship(s)?

  5. Which of your previous relationships most influences the way you show up in relationships now?

  6. What do you wish was different about your relationship history?

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.  

May Recommended Relationship Resources

I’ve started keeping track of the resources, tools, podcasts, and videos I assign clients every week in session with the hope they might be excellent tools for all of you as well. I’ll be posting my favorites every month this year so you can find them with ease.

Read more recommendations here.

If you have suggestions or recommendations for this list please send them to me- I always welcome more. Email them to gina@ginasenarighi.com Thank you!



WHAT TO WATCH: ESTHER PEREL SXSW 2019

IN her most recent talk Esther Perel draws clear connections between what we know in the world of couples therapy and the experiences of trust, connection, and communication in the workplace. It’s an interesting talk for entrepreneurs especially as you create teams and connections with clients and stakeholders. Check it out:

LISTEN IN: FAVORITE LOVE & RELATIONSHIP PODCASTS


INVISIBILIA - THE WEATHERMAN

Invisibilia is an excellent podcast series that explores behaviors, beliefs, and assumptions through science. This episode focuses on the way we navigate and manage uncertainty in the world with an intense narrative from an Alabama weatherman. I highly recommend a listen.

THIS AMERICAN LIFE: NO FAIR!

This is an incredible exploration of three takes on justice and fairness in the larger world- a concept that comes up all the time in relationship coaching sessions. It could be interesting to explore the topic from very different angles and see how they might apply to your relationship and/or your take on justice.


Hi!  I'm glad you're reading.  Let me know if I can help you:

Gina Senarighi Relationship Coach
  • move beyond jealousy, fear, and insecurity 

  • manage intense emotions that arise in conflicts

  • rebuild trust after infidelity or dishonesty

  • shift stuck communication & codependent relationship patterns

    I lead couples retreats, host workshops, and see private clients online, in Portland, Oregon (and soon in Chicago, Illinois and Madison, Wisconsin). 

Call me for a free consultation to rethink the way you do relationships.

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in healthy communication, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.  

Swoon Podcast: Episode #9 – Rock the Boat: Breaking Out of a Sexual Rut

swoon-podcast-1

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


Swoon Podcast: Episode #9 – Rock the Boat: Breaking Out of a Sexual Rut

Most long-lasting couples end up in some kind of sexual routine and lots of them ultimately find themselves in a sexual rut. They can feel uninspired, bored, disconnected or generally un-sexy and that’s where it can become a problem.

In today’s podcast Julie and Gina focus on the ways couples end up in a sexually stuck place and a few ways you can break out of routines that no longer serve you.

This episode covers:

  • How to break out of a sexual rut in your relationship.

  • Why diversifying your sexual interactions is good for your relationship.

  • How to start a conversation about what you want in bed.

  • Where to find inspiration if you need help coming up with ideas.

MEMORABLE QUOTES IN THE PODCAST

On why you got in a rut in the first place - 

“There’s nothing wrong with having a few go-tos… and for people who are feeling stuck or uninspired with that it’s good to have ways to expand your routine.“

“We create a routine because it works for us we find something that works and we’re like‘I want to do this again because I want to feel this way again’ so we keep repeating and keep repeating and keep repeating it.”

“We do what works because it feels safe, we know if we do it this way we’ll maintain orgasm and we fear if we change it we’ll lose everything.”

Why routine is a problem -

“It feels so stuck and people feel shame around it, like it means they’re boring or not sexy or not inspired. You can get sucked into that energy and get sucked into a hold of gloom about it.”

“Sometimes we fall into routine to protect ourselves from vulnerability… our routine instead of supporting connection protects us from that vulnerability.”

On bringing up your needs -

“There is nothing wrong with having fantasy or desire or wanting to try something new.”

“Sometimes a desire or idea lands on our partner like a request. You can run to a place of request and start implementation and problem solving and miss the opportunity to honor the vulnerability of my bringing it up.”

On finding inspiration -

“Sometimes people have ideas but they’re afraid to share what’s outside the routine. And sometimes they’re like ‘I don’t even know what we would do differently. This represents what sex is for me and I don’t know what else is out there.”

“You may not be into the most extreme ends of BDSM Play but you might want to be nibbled on or even whipped cream play could be something you’re interested in…. so this list is great to spark ideas EVEN IF BDSM isn’t something you consider part of your interest.”

Resources Shared in This Episode

Sexual Communication Episode Link

Sexual Self-Reflection Journal

Consent Worksheet for Relationships

BDSM Checklist

Action Steps from the Podcast

Seduction Bowl

Have a conversation with your lover about things you want to try during sex. A full list of things you’d be interested in doing if your partner was down right now.

These things can be very simple: lights on instead of off, undressing each other, etc not the most intimidating fantasies you have. Only include things you’re both on board and ready for.

Cut the list into strips of paper and put them into a container for inspiration in the moment.

So if you find yourself lacking inspiration in the moment of trying to initiate sex with your partner you pull one of these slips of paper out and do it.

Sexy Bucket List

Any items from your seduction bowl that take more time, preparation, or learning put on a sexy bucket list so if there is a day when you have more time to prepare or plan for an act you can do it with due diligence.


About Your Swoon Hosts

Dr. Gina Senarighi, PhD CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels:

Weekly Conversation Starters for Deeper Connection

Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, open to growing together fare better long-term. 

They're able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience.  And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.

Every week I send out questions to deepen your partnership to help you foster and nourish the intimacy you share with those most important to you.  You can sign up to receive those messages right here.

And you can read some of my previous conversation starter posts here.

I hope these help you connect in meaningful ways with someone you love. 

Warmly, Gina

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Here are a few questions to ask your sweetie this week:

  1. When do you feel most proud?

  2. What helps you feel confident?

  3. When do you feel sexy?

  4. What makes you feel most alive?

  5. What can I do to support your strength?

  6. When do you feel most connected to me?

  7. What can I do to foster more of that sense of connection?

questions for couples |date night conversation | conversation starters

Quick tips for these questions:

  1. Be present. Set aside some fully-present distraction-free time to ask and respond to these with someone you love. Put down your phone, walk away from any screens, and give your partner your full presence.

  2. Stay open to possibility. Even if you think you know your partner's responses listen to them without assumption so they have room to surprise you.  

  3. Show up. Offer responses in complete sentences and challenge yourself to elaborate.  This isn't about being brief- it's about growing more intimate connection.  Add specifics and details to offer more of yourself to your partner.

  4. Really engage. Ask your partner follow up questions. Part of this process is about engaging with your partner in meaningful ways. Asking more follow up questions will show you care and broaden the conversation.

  5. Connect with others. Collect all the questions and take them on a date night, dinner party, road trips, and campfires to inspire more meaningful conversation with your community.  

Swoon Podcast: Episode #8 – Honey, I'm Home - Division of Labor & Connected Relationships

swoon-podcast-1

Are you ready for a life and relationship that makes you swoon?

Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire.

Whether you want fresh and honest information about sex and relationships or tools to create more fulfilling intimacy and pleasure, this podcast is going to help you connect meaningfully with yourself and your lovers.


Swoon Podcast: Episode #8 – Honey, I'm Home - Division of Labor & Connected Relationships

Do you and your partner fight over the roles and responsibilities in your relationship? Does the division of labor feel equitable? Are you clear about your expectations?

In today’s podcast Julie and Gina talk about one of the most common sources of conflict in relationships – Division of Labor! They'll share tips for exploring your default roles and ways you can create a system that works better for your relationship and lives!

This episode covers:

  • The division of labor in households and relationships.

  • The way our culture or family of origin influences our default roles in relationship.

  • Different types of labor or contribution in relationship – primarily emotional, physical and financial.

  • The conflict or resentment that can arise around division of labor or relationship contribution.

  • Examples of how you and your partner can “weigh” different tasks in your relationship to help things feel more equitable.

  • The importance of checking in about roles and expectations to make sure your division of labor is still working for your lives and your relationship.

Memorable Quotes from the Podcast:

On division of labor -

“For a long time the main way I saw it come up with people was specifically talking about chores around the house and the things that keep the household running...in the last year or two it's come up more about “the big picture of the relationship” - the hopes and the dreams and the goals. Who's keeping the relationship moving forward.”

“Sometimes the work that goes into creating a family or a life or a team, some of it's really tangible. What’s the financial investment? What are the hours invested? Who's doing physical labor? And some of it isn't necessarily tangible - the management functions of tracking, coordinating or overseeing or planning...it's harder to name these things. So sometimes folks I see get in conflict over this because they are striving for an equal balance, that feels really important to them, they want that, but one of them tends to have greater strengths in one area and one has other skills. We each monitor our contribution and try to measure our partner's contribution to whatever our defaults are.”

“When we think of that big picture thing or the emotional labor, I think of the computer tabs you have open in your brain. And sometimes your partner doesn't even know that they are there. But somebody's got to have them. And I talk to people who are so beside themselves - 'How do you think this household runs? How do you not know this?'”

“In my partnership, my partner loves to do the dishes and I hate it. I hate it! I would rather throw out the dishes than do the dishes honestly. So it's been beautiful! I haven't done dishes in 10 years.”

On our default roles and expectations -

“The reason this comes up all the time in sessions is that it's usually something that we set up on default without a lot of talking about it or without a lot of intention and almost never do we have a system in place to check in with each other about how's it going.”

“We often create this system out of default. Like what our family taught us. Or what culture teaches us....Or what used to work for us but not longer fits with our lives.”

“You'll end up in defaults, potentially with resentment, if you don't have a way to talk about the ways the contributions sit right now and if you don't have a way to check in as they change.”

On division of labor equality -

“I like to tell the couples I work with, If you are aiming for an equal split, If you don't feel like you are doing more than your fair share, you are not doing your fair share. There is just so much to do!”

“Our culture hasn't done a great job of teaching half the people in it to take care of their home or their belongings. I've worked with a lot of men who are like, “I would like to help out, no one really taught me how to do this well and I feel like I'm letting down my partner all the time when I try...”

“There are some things that we sometimes just have to do to manage a life or a household or a team that neither of us are good at and neither of us want to do. Nobody wants to clean the cat box. Nobody wants to wrap the gifts for Christmas and still sometimes those things have to get done. So how do we do it in a way that feels like it honors not not our strengths but also honors the things we are avoiding or hate doing?”

On the importance of having a process to talk about your roles, responsibilities and resources -

“We need space to have these conversations. Yes, focused space. I think about how often in long term relationship or couples who are doing lots of coordinating and managing, you can read their tests and the beginning stage texts are 'La la la you're so cute. Tell me about the things you like' and the longer they are together the texts are like 'Can you pick up cat food? Did you remember the _____ I'm running late ______.' It's just not very cute.”

“In an ideal world we can sit down and have this beautiful conversation about who's going to take on what and how we got there, but there is all this pain wrapped up in this stuff too.”

Resources Shared in This Episode

How to Share the "Mental Load" of Chores With Your Partner

You should’ve asked

Women Aren't Nags—We're Just Fed Up

Action Steps from the Podcast

Have a regular management meeting 

Check in about Resources, Roles and Responsibilities

What are the resources you are contributing? What are your shared resources?

What are your roles (give updates about what is falling under your role or ask for input)?

How are you feeling about your responsibilities?

Household Management Meeting Template for Couples

About Your Swoon Hosts

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sexuality counselor and communication consultant specializing in healthy boundaries, passionate relationships, jealousy, and infidelity. She supports non-traditional couples all over the world as a retreat leader and certified relationship coach.
Connect with Gina

Julie Jeske, LPC is a sex and relationship counselor. She has a private practice where she helps clients increase intimacy, ignite passion and deepen their connection to themselves and others. Julie especially loves to help women discover who they are sexually. Through counseling, online classes, or in-person retreats; her clients learn how to talk about their sexual and relationship desires, and explore ways to make them a reality.
Connect with Julie


Every Monday, join Julie Jeske and Gina Senarighi, sex therapists, pleasure specialists, and relationship coaches, as they break down what everyone needs to know about sex, relationships, intimacy, love and desire. 

Join us and leave your review on any of your favorite podcast channels: