How Identifying Your Priorities Can Inform Your Relationship Structure
What happens when you shift your focus from seeking the perfect partner to cultivating a deeper relationship with yourself? How do your priorities play a significant role in shaping the structure of your relationships, and ultimately, your happiness? I'm In this episode, we'll unravel the complexities of relationship structures such as soloamory, monogamy, and non-monogamy by understanding the unique priorities that can fuel each one.
We'll break down the differences between needs, desires, and priorities. We'll examine how these factors influence the decisions we make in our relationships. Using a five-step process, I'll assist you in gaining clarity on your evolving priorities, and how they could guide your personal and relational journey. Join me, as we challenge societal norms and uncover the extraordinary potential that our intimate relationships hold.
This is Relationships Reimagined.
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Please note: I am not a doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, counselor, or social worker. I am not attempting to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any physical, mental, or emotional issue, disease, or condition. The information provided in or through my podcast is not intended to be a substitute for the professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by your own Medical Provider or Mental Health Provider. Always seek the advice of your own Medical Provider and/or Mental Health Provider regarding any questions or concerns you have about your specific circumstance.
Welcome to the Relationship Diversity podcast where we celebrate question and blower all aspects of relationship structure diversity from solar memory to monogamy to polyamory and everything in between. Because every relationship is as unique as you are. We'll bust through societal programming to break open and dissect everything we thought we knew about relationships. To ask the challenging but transformational questions who am I and what do I really want in my relationships? I'm your guide, Carrie , best selling author speaker intuitive and coach. Join me as we reimagine and all that our most intimate relationships can become. Jenny reached out to me after a breakup. I always seemed to fail my relationships. I can never seem to make one work. She said to me in our initial conversation. She told me that they usually lasted between three and nine months. This last one was with the guy who, when they started seeing each other, felt different from the others. He seemed to show more interest in her. Than past boyfriends and girlfriends. They had great sex and seemed physically compatible, but he seemed incapable of giving her what she really wanted, which we identified as emotional intimacy. Although she felt she asked directly, he never opened his heart and was able to be vulnerable with her in a way that helped her feel seen, heard, and loved. She said there was a lot there, but not enough to build a long term relationship with. When she found her way to me, she felt lost and frustrated. She deeply wanted to find her person. That person she could build a life with, but even more so she wanted to know why her relationships never worked out. Was it the other person? Herself, a combination or something else? As much as she wanted a relationship in the long run. At this moment, she wanted to hit the pause button on the search for the one and instead focus on herself getting to know herself, understanding herself on a whole new level. She said to me, I don't want to get into another relationship until I figure this out. I wanna focus on myself fully. Jenny wanted to prioritize the relationship with herself. She became her most important focus where in the past she prioritized dating and finding connection with another. Now she began to realize that in doing so, she lost sight of the connection with herself, and she saw that this foundational relationship needed attention. And to be put in front of a romantic relationship with another. And this is what I'm gonna talk about today. Question mentioning, uncovering, identifying your priorities in this moment of your life, and how this can inform which relationships structure will best support you in the current chapter of your life. In episode forty eight, I spoke about how timing can play apart in determining what relationship structure might be most supportive for you. I talked about it in terms of your desires and how these can shift and change over time. In this episode, I wanna give you another potential framework for looking at your structure to determine is it the one that is most supportive for you in this moment? And that framework is priorities. So let's start with understanding the difference between a need, a desire, and a priority because I think it's really helpful to understand the differences, and it's fairly common to interchange these words. I know I do sometimes. So first, let's look at needs. A need is something that is essential for your well-being. Happiness, and overall functioning as an individual. Needs are fundamental requirements that must be fulfilled to maintain a healthy and balanced life. They can be both physical and emotional. They can also be mental and spiritual. For example, basic physiological needs like food, water, and shelter are essential for survival. Emotional needs such as love, security, and belonging are vital for our emotional well-being. Okay. Next, let's look at desires. A desire is something that you want or wish for, but it may not be essential for your survival or well-being. Desires are many times based on personal preferences, wants or interests. They can be specific goals, experiences, or material possessions that would bring joy or satisfaction to your life. For example, wanting to travel to a bucket list location pursuing a hobby or owning a brand new BMW, those are all desires. And finally, let's look at priorities. A priority is the relative importance or ranking that you assign to a need or desire. It's the order in which you place things based on their significance in your life at any given time. And priorities can shift and change depending on your circumstances, personal growth, and the context of your relationships. The main difference between needs, desires and priorities lies in the level of importance and necessity. So now that we have clear definitions of the differences of needs, desires, and priorities, let's point our focus towards priorities, understanding that they can develop, shift, and change throughout your life. To help you in your own unique journey, I wanted to give you five steps to assist you in gaining clarity and insight into how your priorities might influence your relationship structure. Uncovering, understanding, acknowledging, accepting and connecting with your priorities gives you really important information and then empowers you to make good decisions or decisions that really feel resonant with where you are in your life. What are your individual and relational priorities? I encourage you to take a good amount of time to reflect on what truly matters to you at this stage of your life. Is it emotional intimacy, personal growth? Career aspirations, family or autonomy. These priorities will serve as the guiding stars in shaping your ideal relationship structure. Quiet your mind and take a deep breath. Give yourself the space to hear yourself, honor yourself, let your priorities be your own. When you land on something, write it down. Ask yourself, is this important to me or is it someone else's priority that I've taken on? This is the time to be intentionally and sacredly selfish. Be sure to take as long as you need possibly give yourself an entire week or an entire month where you're engaged in the inquiry and exploration. And remember, this is just a place to start because as I touched on earlier priorities shift and change. You want to bring yourself in the present moment as much as possible to ask yourself what is most important to me right now. Okay? Step two, consider the different relationship structures, and how they can align with your current priorities. So now that you have a clear picture of your priorities, it's time to explore the various relationship structures available. From solo amory to monogamy to open relationships to polyamory and everything in between Each structure has characteristics that can align with your current priorities. To help you in your exploration, I'm gonna go through three main structures and how certain priorities can support each one. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but hopefully it'll help you start the exploration. Okay. So here are some priorities that support solo amory or the desire to be solo or single. Personal growth, self discovery, and independence, freedom and flexibility without having to consider a partner's needs or desires. Building a supportive social network with the focus on friends and family. Self care, well-being, mental, emotional, physical, and or spiritual wellness. Here are some priorities that could support monogamy. Emotional intimacy, security, and the desire for an exclusive connection to foster a sense of security and trust. Desiring a monogamous style commitment, a commitment to exclusivity, love, and loyalty to one other person, And sometimes when people are healing continued in fidelity or lost trust possibly as a child, this commitment from one person one other person can be really healing. Starting a family, partners in monogamous relationships may prioritize creating a cohesive and closed family unit to establish the kind of family security they most desire and the monogamous communication style of clear and direct communication with a single partner to ensure understanding and harmony within self and the partnership. And lastly, here's some priorities supporting non monogamy. Autonomy and independence through multiple relationships or sexual or emotional experiences, honest and open communication, which non monogamous relationships required to ensure all partners are on the same page and feel secure. Emotional growth and exploration from different types of connections And just to note that this one can be supported by all structures, so getting clear on what kind of emotional, mental and spiritual growth you are wanting is really important. And exploration into identity whether sexual or gender, and acceptance honoring your identity. For example, if someone identifies as bisexual, they are more able to honor their identity by having the ability to explore all of their desires. Remember that these are just examples and priorities can vary widely among individuals even within the same relationship structure. The key is to understand these so that you can communicate your priorities openly and honestly with potential or current partners, which helps to ensure compatibility and alignment in your relationship. So more on the communication part of it in step four. Now on to step three, embracing, change, and evolving priorities. Life is dynamic and so are our desires and priorities. What might be the perfect relationship structure for you now might evolve as you grow and experience new things. Also, what might have been the perfect structure for you ten years ago or, for example, before you had kids may have shifted now that your kids are older or out of the house. It's essential to continually connect with yourself and your partner to understand how your priorities might be shifting. Like I said in step one, coming to the present moment while going through this exploration is so important. It could be helpful to do a relationship timeline inventory. Going through the major chapters of your life, looking at what structure you might have been engaged in, and see what your priorities might have been at that time. Can you see how your priorities may have shifted throughout time? Remember, this is natural and normal. Okay. Step four, communicating changes in priorities with your partner. So maybe through this exploration, you have given yourself the space to compassionately acknowledge your current priorities for the first time in your life. Or maybe you've realized that your priorities have shifted. Whichever scenario, it's essential to have an open and honest converse with your partner. Remember, communication is the key to a successful and fulfilling relationship. Approach the conversation with empathy and respect, acknowledging that it's natural for priorities to change over time. Share your thoughts and feelings with your partner emphasizing that this isn't a rejection of the current relationship structure but rather a reflection of your personal growth. Encourage your partner to share their own feelings and thoughts by genuinely asking questions. Sharing the experience you've gone through to look at and acknowledge your current priorities. The goal is to foster understanding and find a solution, a creative solution that respects both of your priorities as well as your needs and desires. And lastly, step number five, embracing flexibility and compromise. Relationships require flexibility and compromise especially when it comes to adapting to shifting priorities. Your partner might also experience changes in their own priorities. And together, you can explore new possibilities that suit both of your evolving needs. I've said this before and I'll say it again. Most of us want all or nothing. And so this is where creativity and compromise can come in. Ask yourself how you can bring qualities of the desired structure into your current structure. For example, if you have identified that your current priorities are pointing you in the direction of solo Amory, but either you're not ready to go into that structure fully or you really enjoy parts of your current structure which could be monogamy or non monogamy. Ask yourself how you can bring aspects of solo amory into your current structure. You can do this by prioritizing self care, real inflection, looking into new hobbies or interests, and these are all areas that you can prioritize the relationship with yourself while being in relationship with another or others. And if after having many conversations with your partner and feeling unable to come up with creative solutions, seek out a coach or a community that will help you think outside of your box and think of new ways to explore and enhance and honor your priorities while remaining in the structure that you're in. Remember, relationships are a journey of growth and connection. And by staying true to your priorities and having open conversations with your partner, you can create a fulfilling and harmonious connection with yourself, your partner, or partners. Stay curious. Thanks so much for listening to the relationship diversity podcast. Wanna learn more about relationship diversity I've got a free guide I'd love to send you. Go to w w w dot relationship diversity podcast dot com to get yours sent right to you. If you liked what you heard, please subscribe to the podcast. You being here and participating in the conversation about relationship diversity is what helps us create a space of inclusivity and acceptance together. The more comfortable and normal it is to acknowledge the vast and varied relating we all do. The faster we'll shift to a paradigm of conscious, intentional and diverse relationships. New episodes are released every Thursday. Stay connected with me through my website, Carrie J flo dot com, Instagram, or TikTok. Stay curious. Every relationship is as unique as you are. Are you wondering why you never seem to find lasting fulfillment in your relationships? Or do you create the same kinds of relationship experiences over and over again? Can you never seem to find even one person who you want to explore a relationship with? Have you just given up hope altogether? If this sounds like you, my recent book, why do they always break up with me, is the perfect place to start. The foundation of any relationship whether intimate or not is the relationship we have with ourselves. In the book, I lead you through eight clear steps to start or continue your self ex exploration journey. You'll learn about the importance of self acceptance, gratitude, belief shifting, and forgiveness, and given exercises to experience these life changing concepts. This is the process I use to shift my relationships from continual heartbreak to what they are now. Fulfilling, soul nourishing, compassionate, and loving. It is possible for you. This book can set you on a path to get there. Currently available through Amazon or through the link in the show notes.