Neither more transparency or more privacy is the ultimate truth. 

But learning to tolerate space is just as important as learning to be transparent.

Even people with the (most seemingly transparent) lives still have parts they keep for themselves and their loved ones.

Don’t be fooled by social media. 

Don’t be fooled in thinking that being open and authentic with everyone is healthy.

If we grew up in an anxiety-filled home or if we’ve had a parent that violated our boundaries, we may really struggle with oversharing with people too soon.

We’re ultimately pleading, 

“Here is everything about me. I just told you everything. I didn’t do anything wrong … don’t you see?”


It’s a way of protecting ourselves, strangely.


But it robs us of having a container in which to pick and chose what we are ready to share.

It robs us of honoring the processing time that we NEED (to understand ourselves) before we offer that understanding to someone else. 

It robs us of being attuned and present with other people’s comfort level in our intimate relationships.

And then we may take it a step further when we hurt someone and justify it with …

“Hey, I was just being authentic!”

Authenticity without tact or mindfulness of how we are approaching our partners sensitivities can be extremely cruel.

And just the same ... when we’ve had our boundaries violated, we may shrink up and stay (too internal).

We may feel too afraid to share anything about ourselves even when we are sitting across a very safe person. 

We may not know how to share without dis-regulating ourselves.

We may wrongly assume that if we overshare, we may get into ‘trouble.’

We may keep too many truths inside and make ourselves sick in efforts to try and regulate everything on our own.


These are two sides of the same coin. 


They are two extreme sides of how anxiety can manifest ... two sides of unhealthy self-boundaries.

We will often need to play out the other extreme of what we grew up with … until we find our own healthy middle ground.

Until we find the people who can help us re-claim and re-design how to be transparent ... but in ways that deeply honor our self-contained boundaries.

Silvy Khoucasian

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When we cross over from the first to the second stage of an intimate relationship, it is expected for our fears to come up.

During this second stage, the relationship is calling out for a little more space.

Esther Perel frames this concept just so beautifully.

She highlights that the (unconscious goal), at first, is to spend as much time together as possible …

... sharing our fears

... our dreams

... with this beautiful human, who is still very much a stranger to us.


She describes that in the first stage of love, we want to collapse any space between ourselves and our partner.


During the second stage of love, once we have become quite familiarized with one another’s internal world, we crave more space.

But here’s the important thing to note in all of this ... we don’t crave space for the sake of ‘having space’ itself.

Craving space doesn’t mean that there is anything WRONG with the relationship.

In fact, the more we feel trust in our relationship, the further we can explore the outside world because we know we have our partner to lean into.

We need that initial stage to the build a safe foundation and couple bubble to create this safety.


We crave that space in order to know parts of our partner that have not yet been discovered, even by them.


We also want space to go out and explore and bring new parts of OURSELVES to the relationship.

This is the point where many couples can get into trouble.

When one partner starts needing some space to explore those parts of themselves in the relationship …

... it can scare the other partner.

It can bring up fears of abandonment.

But we have to give ourselves (and our partner) permission to go out into the world and explore this new awaiting growth, otherwise, we can feel very stuck.

It’s okay to lean into the anxiety that this can bring up.

It’s okay to feel scared when our partner begins to courageously explore themselves in new ways.

It’s okay to acknowledge that it can trigger some of our own guilt when we begin to take care of some of our own needs too.


We can communicate those fears in ways that give (both) our pain a voice, and our partner, their freedom.


We can find safe places to reinvent ourselves so that we can bring those exciting discoveries into our relationship.

We can rely on outside resources in ways that can further nurture our relationship

We can maintain our sense of self and create rituals that foster the right amount of connection.

We can allow for different seasons of our relationship to shape and mold what feels right for both partners.

We can make space for this to look scary and confusing at times.

We can openly discuss healthy ways to make mutual self-discovery a foundational value.

I believe we can do absolutely that.

Do you?

Silvy Khoucasian

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There is an outside threat that bleeds its way through the fragile cracks of every intimate relationship.

Sometimes the threat can be social media.

Sometimes the threat can be a persistent ex-lover.

Sometimes the threat can be an anxious parent that tries to give relationship advice.

Sometimes the threat can be a close friend that wont give enough space for the new relationship to rightfully bloom.


Outside threats can create enormous conflict in a relationship.


When we try to dismiss their (very real) presence, we do a major disservice to our partner … to our relationship.

We fail majority here when we we don’t show our partner that their fears are important to us.

“I don’t have that fear.”

“That’s crazy … we have been broken up for 4 years!”

“Why are you making this such a big deal?”

Here is perhaps another way we can approach these moments ...

“I don’t have that fear … but I can see that it’s really important for you … how can I help you with this … help me understand what this means to you. I’m here.”

“It makes sense why that would feel threatening for you … especially because of some of the  childhood experiences you’ve shared with me.”

What threatens our partner must be important to us. 

We have to be willing to get curious about what these threats MEAN to them.

We have to make effort to understand the pain that lives underneath what is being spoken.


In fact, the way we approach and handle these outside threats or (thirds) as Stan Tatkin calls them … can make or break a relationship.


When our partner shows jealousy … do we soothe them and remind them that there no romantic connection in a non-judgmental and caring way?

When our partner shows discomfort with our time spent on social media … do we make adjustments?

When our partner expresses discomfort about our parents meddling into the relationship … do we set the necessary boundaries to protect the energy of the relationship?

Not every situation requires us to make an actual change … but some situations do.

Some situations simply need tenderness and patience … while others require us to come up with new agreements that both partner’s can feel safe in.

We can do a great deed by simply changing how we hear and respond to our partner’s sensitivities.

That gift alone can help dissolve many fears over time.

It can even help expand our partner’s ability to feel safe and stretch into new areas … in ways they never even knew was possible.

Don't we want to give that to them?

And if we are being really honest with ourselves ... don't we want the same thing too?

Silvy Khoucasian

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It’s hard to admit that often the very quality that attracts us most to our partner is also the biggest source of conflict.

The very thing we love most can also make us feel deeply insecure.

If we are more introverted, we may choose a wildly expressed partner.

If we are an extroverted person, we may admire the reserved and quiet nature of an introvert.


After the honeymoon phase, we can often find ourselves judging the very part of our partner that drew us to them.


We find ourselves wanting them to be more … like us.

And this can feel very confusing and disorienting.

Rather than feeling our own insecurity ...

... that is often being triggered ... we blame our partner instead.

Blaming is (always) the safer alternative.

How can we be so deeply drawn to a person at first and then find ourselves feeling so overwhelmed?

How do we understand and move through the judgment that we feel without directing them towards our partner?


Judgment towards our partner is simply (shame about ourselves) being directed towards our partner - as Jodi Rowe so beautifully and perfectly articulated.

Our judgment is pointing to a much deeper truth about ourselves … but we have to be willing to find it.

Please read that again.

Read it ... to free yourself from the guilt you feel when you judge your partner.

Read it ... to look deeper and understand where it triggers your own shame.

Read it ... to realize that it has NOTHING to do with your partner at all.

We can’t stay in criticism and judgment towards our partner and expect our partner to feel good.

We can take some time to reflect when we do judge and look into what it’s triggering in us.

"I’m realizing I have been judging you when you are really social because I have shame that I can’t be that way.”

"I feel triggered when you spend time alone because I’m realizing how hard it is for me to say no to people and take care of myself … I’m so sorry that I directed it at you.”

We need to communicate that part to our partner.

We can’t SKIP it.


We can’t skip owning what’s ours and freeing both ourselves and our partner from the shackles that judgment and criticism bring into a relationship.


We can lean into the initially confusing mirror that judgment offers us...  and witness ourselves transformed ... 

... with the simple, yet intensely difficult act of taking the focus off of our partner ... and bringing it back to ourselves.

Silvy Khoucasian

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