My friend Linda Abbott is my very favorite person to jam on dating, love, sex and relationships with. We debrief after many dates and conversations and experiences with men. We hold each other up in tender moments when things don’t work out, when our hearts get broken open (again and again), and when things do work out and it’s time to expand.
We also keep each other accountable to the healing we’ve both done around breaking old patterns and habits around codependency, tolerating poor treatment, and being able to see red flags and hold loving, compassionate and firm boundaries with both ourselves and others.
This chat is something we’ve been cooking up for months. We scanned over our texts and jotted down some of the most important things we’ve been through in the last year in all realms of the heart, intimacy, devotion, pleasure and more, and we committed to hitting a record and just talking until we were done.
That ended up being two hours and forty minutes, so grab some tea, break it up into sessions if you need to, maybe invite some friends to listen with you and instead of a Netflix binge session, have a deep listening session with us.
Since we’re both heterosexual women, our experiences are limited. We do however hope the conversations around boundaries, honoring ourselves, breaking patterns and habits, vulnerability, having tough conversations and getting clear about what we want in love can be applied across a wider range of relationship and sexual orientations.
We’re sure you’ll let us know if they do or don’t and we appreciate that.
One of the things we were most excited to emphasize was how all of these experiences have taught us a lot about men and ignited deep compassion within us for their experiences, too.
Not to excuse poor behavior or anything, but to see them as people too, not just perpetrators or adversaries which they are often painted as (and sometimes rightfully so!).
That said, share this with the men in your life. It’s a great conversation opener and probably a gateway into better understanding our side of things too.
Finally, we laugh A TON throughout this conversation…so be ready.
We’re so so excited to share this with you and can’t wait to hear from you after you listen.
To all of us walking each other home and through the epic, deep, winding, beautiful and excruciating journeys of the heart – may we be met, seen, held, accepted, supported and loved – and may we meet, see, hold, accept, support and love…better.
E + L
From Linda Abbott:
I’m an artist, a creative guide, a storyteller and one of my longtime friends calls me a “joy catalyst.”
My tools are a blend of photojournalistic photography, humor, presence, intuition and a genuine curiosity and love of humans.
Over the years I saw the connecting thread in my photography work and in my personal journey grow stronger:
I primarily help witness and reflect what’s powerful and real in women at different stages of their lives – documenting their relationship with love (weddings and engagements), with their families (documentary family sessions), and with themselves (woman alive photo sessions).
The full spectrum of feeling, women in their full expression.
When a woman is fully seen and celebrated, not just in perfect Instagram-worthy moments, as if (gasp) all parts of her and all aspects of her life matter, she can feel cared for, nourished, connected, and ignited.
And that is a very powerful thing.
Connect with Linda Abbott:
What You’ll Hear:
7:36 How Linda is feeling in her body right now
8:05 What intimacy means to Linda
10:28 Vetting dates to see how they handle stress
13:58 Pretending to be an ally
18:13 How casual sex triggers your wounds
25:08 Emotional intimacy in casual relationships
28:43 Why Linda struggles with celibacy
34:08 The importance of feeling safe in a relationship
39:03 Hearing everything with defensiveness
45:40 One of Linda’s deal breakers in relationships
51:26 Shutting down in vulnerable conversations
58:28 Avoidance behavior
01:01:02 Settling vs. compromising
01:07:02 Owning what does it for you and what doesn’t do it for you
01:11:20 Growing outside of your comfort zone
01:21:40 Showing up equally
01:25:40 Not being able to accept criticism
01:32:20 Values not matching in relationships
01:45:46 Understanding oppression
01:53:08 Elizabeth’s deal breakers in relationships
02:00:43 Men neglecting to learn about what you actually want
02:05:46 Elizabeth and Linda’s thoughts on nice guys
02:19:25 Why isolated people don’t have the capacity for a relationship
02:25:39 Watching yourself walk away from toxic people
02:29:17 Making intimacy a step to work toward
02:32:00 Why Linda has been pacing herself and taking her time
02:38:36 The difference of having time and having energy
02:42:13 The support and admiration Elizabeth wants from a partner
Click here to watch/listen or scroll upward to listen only:
“Intimacy means not having to be perfect.” – Linda Abbott
“Is a man pretending to be an advocate for women? Or has he has just learned to say the right words so he A.) doesn’t get in trouble or B.) gets what he wants from the woman or the relationship?” – Linda Abbott
“I’m starting to suspect that a lot of these guys are just lonely, not lonely because they don’t have friends but lonely for a deep connection.” – Linda Abbott
“There is a difference between ease and effort.” – Linda Abbott
“If I have to be with one person for the rest of my life, it’s not going to be someone who’s passive.” – Linda Abbott
“An isolated person will never have the capacity to be in a real relationship.” – Linda Abbott
“I can be avoidant. And I’ve learned that it’s nothing to be ashamed about, it’s just something to work with.” – Linda Abbott
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Was this episode helpful for you today? I’d love to know what quote or lesson touched your soul. Let me know in the comments below!