how our polyamorous clients build thriving relationships

Losing connection with your partner?

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Are you losing connection in your polyamorous relationship?

If you’ve been together for years, chances are that you’ve drifted apart. And you probably think that’s normal. Even expected.

Why? Because society is telling you that it’s normal to grow apart. For the connection and passion and friendship to fade. So when you’re lying in the same bed feeling miles apart, that’s what you signed up for.

That’s a lie. Not only is it possible to get back the love and intimacy you had when you first got together. But that connection should only be getting stronger as the years pass.

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Josh 0:00
All right, everybody. So on today's episode, we're going to be talking about connection and how most people expect it to kind of wane over time and to go away the longer they're together. And also the myths around that. And most importantly, how to get that connection back if you lost it and how to keep it in your relationship long term. So stay tuned.

Cassie 0:42
Here, at Touch of Flavor, we teach non monogamous folks how to overcome their obstacles and build thriving relationships.

Josh 0:48
This podcast is about answering one question, how do you create loving, passionate, secure relationships outside the box? Even if nothing has ever worked before? If you want to know the answer, you are in the right place.

Cassie 1:01
All of this information is 100% free. So please subscribe to and review our podcast.

Josh 1:11
Alright, so host chat.

Cassie 1:12
Yes.

Josh 1:13
What has been happening in our world since the last show? And the last host chat we did?

Cassie 1:18
Yes! So much. So we actually traveled. We went to California for a whole week of training and such.

Josh 1:30
Yeah, so we have been, anybody who's been, you know, tuning into the show knows, we've been both fortunate enough and careful that we've kept a pretty low risk profile through this whole-

Cassie 1:45
Pandemic?

Josh 1:46
I was gonna say apocalypse, whatever. But like, you know, all three of the adults in our house work from home. That wasn't the case, the whole pandemic, but they all do, right. Our two little ones are either old enough that they're in remote school or young enough that they're not in school. The one little one is bigger than both of us at this point.

Cassie 2:05
Yeah.

Josh 2:05
And you know, and like I said, Now, we all work from home, and of course, baby is unvaccinated, and there's all that. So we've kept- and your immune system sucks.

Cassie 2:14
Yep!

Josh 2:14
So we've kept a pretty low risk profile. And it was time to travel.

Cassie 2:24
Yeah. And the reason is, is because it is important, like this is a big training that we do, we do trainings throughout the year to better ourselves, as far as how we can serve our clients, us as coaches. And this was a huge opportunity to be able to serve our clients even better.

Josh 2:44
You know, it's it's funny, sometimes I get questions from people when I'm talking about like, what kind of training do we have? And stuff like that, I think we're gonna do a whole long thing on that here soon, like, maybe just an episode, talking about that kind of stuff. But I kind of chuckle when people ask that because, I mean, this was what we were gone for, like eight days.

Cassie 3:05
Yeah,

Josh 3:05
I think.

Cassie 3:06
I miss my babies so bad.

Josh 3:07
I did too. But I just want to keep this in context. I was doing the math on this. Because somebody actually asked me that question the other day, right? I was like, huh, we are going, I don't know if you realize this. This year, we will have spent $100,000 on training. And we will between us have spent 300 hours each in training this year, like we spend, and this is what got me thinking about this, you know, we spend 8... 16... I mean, even if you're taking off travel and stuff like that, like probably just talking like not the normal trainings that we do, like every single week. Yeah, like 13 days. Mm hmm. Like in training a year.

Cassie 3:56
And those days are long days, folks, like they're like, get up super early in the morning, and you go until like six, seven at night.

Josh 4:01
So when people are wondering what's going on our world: jet lagged.

Cassie 4:04
Mm hmm.

Josh 4:05
Enjoyed California. Got to see some really cool people and be with, honestly, some of the absolute best coaches in the world, in every field, which is always just incredible, folks, there is so much to be said about being in the right room.

Cassie 4:19
Yeah.

Josh 4:19
And being around people who encourage you to uplevel and around not being the smartest person in the room. Like there's so much to be said for all of that.

Cassie 4:28
Yeah, and just big hearts who want to change the world in whatever they do, because like, you know, we're spending time around coaches who coach in all different kinds of areas. And it's amazing to see all these people who, that's what they want. They want to they want to help the people in their space, be the best people they can be.

Josh 4:46
And it's funny, right? Because we went to training, like, all right, we're going to training and it's going to be busy. But you know what, hey, we're adults, like we're not going to have a baby with us. Because we were initially kind of months and months ago hoping to, you know, bring baby and have her babysat there but that did not work out in the world right now.

Josh 5:04
and Manda. You know, bring them along.

Josh 5:06
And we're like, cool. Like, we're gonna make this sexy.

Cassie 5:11
Yeah, I mean, we did. We did screw around a little bit.

Josh 5:16
We did a couple of things. But we didn't even this is what's so funny to me. We didn't even have the time to get in as much stuff as we usually do here with a baby.

Cassie 5:22
Yes.

Josh 5:23
And with clients and everything else.

Cassie 5:24
That is true. There were some really long days. And then like, by the time we had dinner, we were like, ugh. But we did get in sexy time.

Josh 5:32
We did.

Cassie 5:33
We did. We did. We made it happen, because it's important, folks. To make sure that no matter how busy you are, you find a little bit of time for sexiness.

Josh 5:41
Because connection is important.

Cassie 5:43
Is important!

Josh 5:43
Boom! Gonna bring that full circle, right? But I will say the hardest part of that whole thing. It wasn't this traveling and it isn't being jet lagged now and it wasn't it was being away from people.

Cassie 5:58
Yeah, it's not being able to see the baby and Mancub and Amanda. And then I think even the worst part is after we got back because we quarantined for a few days. And us being like right there. So our house is like split in half. Right now we're like in a different section. So like knowing that our child and our partner and our other kid is like next door. So hard.

Josh 6:24
Yeah, that is the most risk we've had in a while. We did a conference a few months ago. But it was smaller and-

Cassie 6:35
Yeah.

Josh 6:35
More vaccinated. And you know, but like, yeah, so we're here and this is the longest we have gone without seeing the little lion. Ever, ever. Like actually the most we've done before, was the last conference we were at in June, because all conferences before that, for the last couple years-

Cassie 6:55
Has been online.

Josh 6:56
Since she's born have been virtual, right? Actually, the last like live training that we were actually looking at going to that was live, we've done a lot of virtual stuff since then,

Cassie 7:06
She was born.

Josh 7:07
Was the weekend she was born. So we didn't go,

Cassie 7:09
Which was a good choice.

Josh 7:10
It was! Because she was born on that weekend.

Cassie 7:12
She was born on the last day of that training. So-

Josh 7:15
Which was right when she was supposed to be born.

Cassie 7:17
It was! She was born on time. Everything was well. And we were like, well, you think maybe we could go- no. So yeah.

Josh 7:24
But! And then like we're gone. And we're like getting videos and she like, looks different, even just in like a few days from like drinking normal milk. Like it's nuts. So we're gonna record this, and then we're actually, because we just got some tests, then we're gonna go unquarantine and see people and super excited about that. But anything else you want to throw in for folks?

Cassie 7:48
No, I think we should hop on it.

Josh 7:55
Alright, so we wanted to talk about connection. And we're going to try yet another set up here talking. Like now that we talked to each other looking at each other, like it feels super weird going back-

Cassie 8:04
To not looking at each other.

Josh 8:06
Somebody had suggested, and I thought I was really good idea , if we like have like cross cameras looking at each other, which I really appreciate. But we don't have the kit for that right now.

Cassie 8:14
No, we don't.

Cassie 8:15
So, but with that being said, we're gonna make this work. We're gonna do a little dance, we can move you close to the mic, doo doo doo doo doo.

Josh 8:21
So we're gonna talk about connection today, right? And if you are losing that connection, or feel like you've lost that connection, so why don't you kind of introduce the topic for people. And we'll go from there.

Cassie 8:37
So today, we're talking about that connection in your relationships, right. And honestly, connection is one of those things that all of us want. Like when we talk to folks, one of the first things that comes up is either, oh, my connection is great, or my connections not there, or whatever. It's always about the connection, because that's something that we want in our relationships. And unfortunately, for a lot of folks, they don't have that in their relationships, or it's not as powerful and as strong as it was when they first got together.

Josh 9:12
I think that's the big piece of it, right? Because I think, everyone, and you know, anybody I've talked to, for the most part, there's a couple people who really kind of like fall into stuff from like, convenience, or there's weird circumstances, that kind of thing. But for the most part, when people first get together, they have that connection. Right? So it isn't a problem having never had it. Like I said that that is very occasionally true, but not usually. The bigger problem is a lot of people, they lose that connection, gradually, over time, as the relationship goes. And the bigger problem with that, tht I think we are talking about today is that people expect that to happen.

Cassie 9:52
Yeah, it's one of those things that's ingrained in us from really society and everything else. It's almost this expectation. that, if we're together long enough, we're not going to have that same feeling that powerful connection that we did when we got together. And it's going to decrease and decrease and decrease as our relationship matures over time. Like, because mature relationships don't have that type of, of spunk, right? And I mean, this is embedded in everything from TV shows to like stories, you see it, it's like the two old people sitting on the outside furniture, you know, being crotchety and grumpy with each other. And that's what people expect. They expect that like, at some point, you're not going to be in that connective, awesome lovey dovey feeling and that you're going to turn into just kind of like two people who tolerate each other.

Josh 10:48
Well, and you know, when I think about that, right, I think about Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and kind of like for those of you haven't seen Mr. and Mrs. Smith. It's like one of our kind of jointly favorite movies, we watched it, you know, back-

Cassie 11:02
It has Angelina Jolie in it.

Josh 11:03
Which just works for Cassie. But it's it's a funny movie. Like, at the beginning. It's this couple who's like they've been together- it's only like five years or something like that, isn't it? And they're like, super, super, super disconnected. But here's the thing with that, right? It's a trope, like when you watch it in that movie, it's a trope. And it's a trope, because this is the expectation. And that's a huge problem. Number one, because it's not true, which we're going to talk about, right. But you know, the other problem with that is that when you have an expectation of this, when you have an expectation of your relationships, getting less connected, and less passionate and less loving, and less all of that fun and less all that stuff as you go, then that's exactly what you get. Because you know, one of the truths of our relationships and truths of our lives, is that you don't get what you deserve. Right, you get what you settle for. And when you settle for that, because you think that's the norm. Now you don't have it.

Cassie 11:58
Yeah. And of course, you settle for it, because you believe it's the norm, right? You believe it. So why would you fight or try for something else? And a problem that we see, you know, non monogamous folks, poly folks, have is they believe that that's true. And therefore the only way they can find that connection, and get that feeling that is supposed to only happen when it's new, is to find other partners.

Josh 12:26
Well, and so I want to talk about that. But let me ask you real quick, because I'm curious about this. Where do you think this idea, this trope, that that's normal? Like, where do you think that came from?

Cassie 12:39
Oh, my goodness. I mean, I think that's been around since like, television started, right.

Josh 12:45
But is it like, because people used to just like never, like break up, no matter how bad the relationship was, it became like this thing that the longer you were together, like probably the worse... I mean, what do you think that was?

Cassie 12:54
I think some of it is based on as you just said, that, which is folks used to never get divorced. Folks would stay in really unhealthy, bad relationships for a long time. Also, there wasn't a focus, really, you know, if you go back to like, the 50s, you're gonna pull out my like, historian person and me, please like, so if you go back to like, the 50s, or the 40s, or 30s, right, there was less of this focus on our relationship being this exciting, fun thing. And more of it, we're structuring this so that way, we have a family and we meet the American Dream kind of thing. So I think as time has gone on, we have moved towards recognizing that healthy happy relationships require work and working on those things. But it is a trope, it is something that has lasted. And I think that a lot of times, it becomes true in relationships, because people aren't getting their needs and wants and desires met in those relationships. So even though it's not something that has to happen, it is something that happens quite often.

Josh 14:07
But here's the problem. There's a lot of problems, right? Let's talk about the problems for a second. I mean, you know, I think at the core of it, and we talked about needs, but we talk about all these things, and we will I'm sure, but I just want to start with this. Like let's just let's have a real honest talk about relationships for a second.

Cassie 14:32
Okay.

Josh 14:33
Okay. Like the support involved in a relationship is great, like the family structure all that's great, right? But with that being said, like planning with people is annoying, and like dealing with people to a certain extent and having them in your space and in your life and sharing responsibilities and-

Cassie 14:53
Tell me how you really feel about me.

Josh 14:54
I'm just saying we've had this conversation before.

Cassie 14:57
I know, I'm picking on you.

Josh 14:59
Like being in a spot like where you are as closely interacting and as closely entwined with somebody as you are in a relationship is irritating. Right? Like, or I shouldn't say that's irritating, but there's lots of irritating things about it. Right? There's, there's downsides to it, definitely. And, for me, I think that when you are taking the fun, and the passion, and the connection, and you're taking all of that, all of the romantic happy things out of it, right, you're taking out the things that for the most part, make a romantic relationship worth having. Right, and you're like, left with a roommate, that maybe you're even less of a good fit to be a roommate with than you would if you just picked a roommate for the sake of being a roommate?

Cassie 15:52
Can I reframe what you just said?

Josh 15:53
Please do.

Cassie 15:54
Okay. So the thing is, we are humans, and we all have our own idiosyncrasies, right. And, of course, we annoy our partners. And there are things that we all have that maybe annoy us, or get on our nerves or things like that, like you with your peanut butter spoons around my house, right? There's, there's all these things-

Josh 16:16
That's time 4700 that that's been talked about on the show, someone's keeping track somewhere, it's a drinking game.

Cassie 16:23
Right. But when we have these connective romantic relationships, those things, we still have to deal with them. But there's the benefit that comes along with being with somebody, there is that, that joy, and fun and relationship that you have. So when you take that away, you take away that relationship where we feel good, where it's great, you are left with those idiosyncrasies, and little annoyances in your day to day. And that stinks.

Josh 16:58
Way to be way more eloquent about that.

Cassie 17:00
Yeah.

Josh 17:01
But I mean, here's the truth, really, at the end of the day, like when you take and you know, when you're in the spot where you settle, and you believe stuffs going to fade, and you take that as your truth. And then again, you get what you settle for. Right? You're left with best case, a roommate. Worst case, a lot of times and the bad things start overwhelming, but your left best case a roommate. And nobody who's in romantic relationship signed on to be a roommate.

Cassie 17:29
Not usually

Josh 17:30
Right. And that's the problem though. When you expect that that's where things are going to go. Right? That is where you wind up. And you know, at the core, like all of us have a need for connection.

Cassie 17:49
That is a basic need. And it's something that in order to really have a relationship that like stands the test of time, you have to feel connected to that person. Otherwise,

Josh 18:00
Why Cassie?

Cassie 18:01
Because it doesn't work, because they'll start to annoy you, right. But even beyond that, when we're not connected to the people that we care about, and that we share our lives with. We feel alone in those relationships. Like and it is worse, to be alone standing next to the person you love, than it is to be alone single, it is true. So it ends up being the downfall of a lot of relationships. And even the relationships that stay together end up being these sort of unhealthy, or at least downing relationships where you're not getting your needs met, you're not feeling happy, and you're not really living your life to the fullest that it could be.

Josh 18:45
Well, that's a really important point, right? Because we have a need for connection, most of us have a need for physical intimacy, we have a need for all these things. Right? When you're not getting those needs met in your relationship. Right, you are in a place very often where you're not getting your needs met. And this is an important distinction for people because I think a lot of times, people who are- so there's two things that happen here.

Josh 19:09
First is what tends to wind up happening, right? Is that you know, if I'm in a spot where I'm feeling disconnect with you, and I'm not getting my needs met with you, and I'm not getting the things that I want need. I'm not getting that passion, that connection and that love and those fun things from this relationship. Right? And I'm non monogamous, what usually happens? I go look to get that somewhere else. Right. But now you're not getting those needs met. And you're looking at me having those things. And this is a big place that jealousy comes in. Right? Because you know, it's hard to not be jealous when you're seeing somebody else getting the things that you want and need and you've been asking for and you're not getting, right. So jealousy comes in there. And the other problem becomes the jealousy on top of it. But like when we don't have that passion and that connection here. Very quickly, it's easy for that connection in that new relationship to start becoming more romantic. To start becoming stronger than what we have. And I don't mean just in like the NRE way, but I mean to where I'm actually now spending more and more of my time and more and more of my energy and more and more of my effort, because I'm getting what I want and need from this relationship, and I'm not getting it here. Right.

Josh 20:27
And the other thing here, that's really important, I'm going to kick this to you, because you're really good at talking about this. Right? And this is where I think a lot of poly people get this mixed up, because a lot of people say, Oh, well, you know, what's the problem with that, Josh? Like, you're now getting your needs met, that you weren't getting needs, your needs met before. And they don't understand the difference between needs that you need met in general and needs that you need met in a specific relationship? And you do a really good job talking about this. Could you just like, explain that concept to people?

Cassie 20:52
Yeah. So here's the thing, like, we all have things in our lives that we have needs for that maybe a particular person doesn't have to meet? Right? So a good example for me is, I like doing painting like that is art-

Josh 21:09
I thought you were going to say horror movies.

Cassie 21:11
Or horror movies. I wouldn't say horror movies is a need, it's something I enjoy. But art is something I actually do need. I recognize that, like, I need to have some kind of art, whether it's drawing or painting or something like that, in my life, at least once a week. Right? How much do you paint or draw Josh? Yeah.

Josh 21:30
Does doing the artwork for this podcast and show count?

Cassie 21:35
Sure.

Josh 21:35
No, it definitly does not.

Cassie 21:36
Anyway. So my point being, you're not somebody who sits down and like, does a paint night or draws, right? That is a need that I have. And because it is a need that I have, right? I need to make sure that I'm doing that. And it's also something that I need to do with other people. Right. So my point being, is it's not something I need in this relationship, like, if you never draw with me, never do art with me... It's not really going to impact our relationship.

Cassie 21:37
I mean, it clearly hasn't for the last 17 years.

Cassie 22:10
It hasn't. So that is something I need in my life, but I don't need in a particular relationship or from a particular person. But there is other things that we have, that we need from a particular person or a particular relationship. And for most of us, we need some kind of connection, actually, I will take that back. All of us need a connection with the people that we are romantically involved with, we need a connection of some kind,

Josh 22:37
because like you said, when we don't have it, we're in a spot where we feel unwanted, right? We feel unseen, for the beautiful, awesome, sexy person that we are, right? And we feel lonely. And we feel lonely even when like we're sitting and I can't tell you how often I hear this. Like, even when we're in the same house, even we're sharing space, even when we have time. Right? We're feeling miles apart. And in non monogamy, what that usually winds up looking like is we're sitting in the same room feeling miles apart. And now I'm texting my other partner, who is a lot more fun. And I'm a lot more connected with then what I'm having here.

Josh 23:13
And I think for people that you know, like it's really easy. Because we normalize, right, when we don't have that passion, and we don't have that connection. And especially we expect it to fade, which I know we're going to come back to, but we normalize that, right. And so sometimes we we forget, or we don't like to think about what it is that we really want here that we're not having and especially when we think we can just go get that somewhere else. Right.

Josh 23:41
But like for all of you here who like might be in this position, I want you to think and I want you to, there's a couple ways you can look at this. Right? Number one, like you have a partner who has another partner, who they're feeling more connected with right now and especially if it's something you feel jealous about, that's a really good time, right? To look at that and go what are the things that Cassie is giving to Amanda that I want? And I need? And I miss... that I am not getting, what are those things? Right. And the other thing, if your partner doesn't have another partner, or you don't really feel that way about the other person, is to kind of look back and look at... If I think of a time that our connection felt just the best, right? And really, it's helpful like if I pick a really specific event, right like a time that really sticks out for me like an anniversary or vacation or something around a child, buying a house, getting married, something like that. Like a honeymoon. But like a specific time and I think back to the point where I felt really passionate and really connected and really in love. And like my needs were getting met and I was full and I was seen... What are the things that I miss from that time? That I wish I had now? What are the things I fantasize about getting back or getting from somebody else when I'm laying there in the middle the night. Right?

Josh 25:22
I really want you to take a look. Because again, when we think that something isn't possible to have, and then we settle, what we start doing is we start telling ourselves stories about how it's not that bad, and we don't really miss those things, even though we do. But the problem with that is that just feeds right back into that cycle of settling. And then now it's not possible to have those things. So the first thing that you need to do if you are in this spot where that connection has fallen off, is to really look at yourself and take a good hard look in the mirror, maybe in this conversation, not at the mirror, but at those other things, at what you miss. And to really recognize what you would love to see and have back.

Cassie 26:13
Yeah, and again, going back to that, like need, like, what do I need in this relationship to feel connected to my partner? Right? Like, what do I need here for us to feel good? Not, do I need touch? Or, because I think a lot of folks get caught up on like, oh, well, what do you need where? But like, what do I need here? What do I need with this person to feel like our relationship is at a 10? Not what do I need, but what do I actually need with THIS person to feel good?

Josh 26:48
Well, and so here's the thing, right. And I want everybody to think about this. Because I think a really important piece of all this is to kind of debunk for yourself and recognize this, this falseness of this belief.

Josh 27:00
I'm just gonna keep dancing you back this way doo doo doo and that is the only problem with standing up. So now the mic is stable, but we're moving.

Josh 27:07
So when you look at things, right, one of the first things you have to do is debunk this belief - this bullshit myth - that you've been fed by the media and everybody else, and maybe the relationships you've seen with your parents and other people in your life. That connection has to fade. And, you know, a really easy way to do that is just to take a look. And all of you know people who have been together for a relatively short period of time, and that connection sucks. They're complaining, right? And they're unhappy, and they're miserable, and they're lonely. And then y'all know, people who have been together 10, 20, 30, 40 years, and they still have that passion and connection. Like everybody knows a few of those people. I know a few of those people. We're some of those people. Been together, like way too many years now, like, so many years that I know exactly how many it is. 17. You said it the other day. That's why I know.

Josh 28:17
But to recognize yourself that it is possible, and really to ask yourself, why wouldn't it be? Like, why would that not be possible? Why is it that the longer you're with somebody and you get to know them better? And you know who they are as a person and they know you and you fit each other? And you know how to make them happy, and they know how to make you happy? And they know what makes you feel connected? And vice versa. And you definitely know at this point how to please each other in bed like and you have the ability to like, you know each other well enough to like explore things that like maybe younger yous wouldn't have even like wanted to own?

Cassie 28:52
Are you talking about yourself personally?

Josh 28:54
Oh, that's a given. But like, Why? Why would that be necessary? Like that doesn't make any sense. Like when you think about it, connection should get stronger, really, if anything, as things go. But I think where that falls off in the non monogamy space is this expectation that people have around NRE. So can you help folks out with us? Yeah. So should we define NRE in case there's anybody watching this who doesn't know about it?

Cassie 29:23
Yes. So NRE is new relationship energy. It's that warm fuzzy phase, the honeymoon phase, whatever-

Josh 29:30
Bright shiny.

Cassie 29:31
Bright shiny. It's that new point of a relationship where like, you got the pink fog glasses on right? And you don't really pick up on the things that like otherwise would annoy you or bother you, etc. In a relationship. And we all go through it.

Josh 29:48
This is where they put you in a brain scanner and it looks like you're on drugs.

Cassie 29:51
Yeah. Because basically you are so here's the thing.

Josh 29:54
Love drugs.

Cassie 29:55
Huh?

Josh 29:56
Love drugs.

Cassie 29:55
Yeah, it's love drugs you're on. Actually I wouldn't even say love drugs, it's lust drugs, let's just be honest. Right? It's like, You're amazing. You're beautiful. You're awesome. And I want to do things with you. And that's where your brain's at. And it's cool. And it's amazing. And that's awesome. And the thing is, is that that is not actually all of connection, like, yes, you can have connection during that phase. And that does build connection, because you are in that playful, high place. But it isn't actually what connection continues to be, right. And what I mean by that isn't that you can't still have that fun, that spunk that like, I want to do fun things with you thing,

Cassie 29:58
You should.

Josh 30:06
You should!

Josh 30:11
That's the whole point of this conversation.

Cassie 30:44
It means that you do have a little bit more clarity, you will see things in your relationship over time that you're like, Hmm, I'm not happy or this needs to tweak. And it's actually an opportunity, right, for you to grow that connection even deeper, because you can learn more about that person, you can find agreements, and you can find things that actually bond you closer. The problem is people don't.

Josh 31:14
So what I hear you saying and correct me if I'm wrong here, but is that basically it isn't that you can't have connection, or I mean, NRE is connection, in a way, but it's that NRE isn't necessary. For connection.

Cassie 31:27
Yeah. Basically, the way I like to describe it as NRE is like getting like a huge, like, booster shot, like an adrenaline shot of like, BAM! All the emotions, all the feelings, all the things. So, of course you feel everything deeper, right? It's also why like when someone breaks up with you, like a couple of weeks in, you know, it's like that like "ughhh", right. So you have all these built up emotions, all these built up things. So it feels deeper. But the actual connection that lasts after that is still there, and you can can still build on that connection and grow your connection.

Josh 32:03
This is what I think is really important for people to understand. Right. So first off, the problem with relying on NRE for connection, is you're giving yourself a super hard way to go. Because really, if that's what you really believe, just play this out for me for a second, if you really believe that the only way to have that love and passion and connection is to have NRE. And that, you know, there is a clock, because this is what people believe, is that there's a clock. Like when you get together, there's a clock, and you know, at like, four years and 37 days that connection is gone. I'm magnifying a bit, right, really, I think it's more that like there's a curve at which you know, that connection will drop off. But I just want you to think about this. And like I said, play this out for yourself.

Josh 32:50
If that's how you're approaching your relationships, you are condemning yourself and your partners to a life where the only way over the long term to be happy and healthy and seen and loved and have passion and fun in your life is to constantly relationship hop. And that sucks.

Cassie 33:07
Yeah.

Josh 33:08
And let's just tack this on even more. Right, going to a new partner isn't enough. Because you know, if your runway that you believe connection last is six years, and six years into this other relationship, now you're having to ditch that, right. And let's say you don't ditch, I don't have time to maintain all those relationships. I don't have time to maintain like a new relationship every like six years in search of the new one. And now I'm what? I'm like 40? And I've got like four people I have that I'm not connected with I have to like keep in my life just so I can have the one who, like, what I-

Cassie 33:34
And you're saying six years, most people don't stay in NRE for six years. You're looking more like a year. Or three years.

Josh 33:42
But I'm saying even for the people who don't believe like NRE is connection. But the people just believe that there's a time limit. Right? Like I said, give it five years. Right? So that means in 25 years, right? You're going to be through five partners. So either you broken up with, or you're like you're still just like hanging around.

Cassie 33:58
You're just like the annoying room mate?

Josh 33:58
That you're not really happy with while you're- Yeah, I mean, I don't even know how that works, because you're not the annoying roommate to all of them cuz you probably just live with one of them. And then you have this new partner, who it's like, Hey, listen, I'm Josh, this is gonna be amazing. Let's give it a go for the next five years. Like that sucks for everybody. So wow, yeah, I'm just like thinking about that. And that sucks.

Cassie 34:23
And it's so normal that that's what we believe, though.

Josh 34:27
But people don't play it out.

Cassie 34:28
Yeah. That's pretty horrific, right? And the thing is, is like, folks get stuck here. And it's like, well, then what makes the change here like what keeps that connection going? And it's, it's making connection an action. Not just something you feel, not just something you rely on to just fall out of the sky, but something that you actually work towards creating in your relationships.

Josh 34:56
I've got like so many things in my brain right now. I'm trying to get them ordered. Okay, so first thing, I think that people need to understand, you have to adjust your beliefs on this, you can choose the belief that connections time limit, and in which case, we just talked about where that goes, right and where that's probably already gotten you. Or you can choose to believe that connection is possible to keep. Right? Which one is going to get you to where you want to go? So that's the first piece, right?

Josh 35:27
But the second piece is. So there's kind of two parts of it. So anyways, okay, like, connection can be kept. Awesome. I want that. I want love, I want passion. I want this person I've been with for 15 years, I want to no longer feel like a roommate here. I want to be in the same room to have their eyes light up when they see me. I want to be excited when I come home. I want them to be excited to see me. Right, I want to have some good sex. It'd be really nice to have some good sex. Really nice. Right? So the question becomes how I think there's two pieces we should talk about.

Cassie 35:27
Okay.

Josh 35:27
Okay. One is that connection is a skill. I think we should talk about that. But I want to put a pin in that for just a second. Because unless you have something else you want to talk about, I think we should hit on this idea that people have, where they don't understand that connection is like, and relationships in general, like a never ending journey that we're on.

Cassie 36:33
That's where I was going.

Josh 36:34
You hit that. And then we can talk about skill.

Cassie 36:36
So here's the thing, just like many things in our lives, it's kind of like having a plant, right. And connection is something that you have to feed, it's something that you have to continue to deposit in, or it's going to wither away and die. Right. And that's the thing about connection is that it's something that with care and with love, right? And and as you said, there is connection as a skill. But at a baseline, it has to be getting fed, I have to be feeling like there is connection in our relationship there. There has to be things that are done in our relationship, in order for me to have that feeling, right.

Josh 37:15
And this is one conversation we have with our clients all the time, which is you never hit a point in your relationships, where like, suddenly you set and you magically hit the level where that love and that passion, that connection, really your relationship in general is going to continue to be good without you feeding it and putting in time and energy and effort. We certainly haven't hit that point. Nobody's hit that point. Because it doesn't exist, your relationships are getting better, or they're getting worse. And if you're not putting in the time and energy and effort into them. They're getting worse.

Cassie 37:45
Can I give you a metaphor?

Josh 37:46
Sure.

Cassie 37:47
Your relationships are either full, right full of joy, full of wonder, full of amazing interactions, or they're starving. It's one or the other. They're either full, or they're starving.

Josh 37:58
I was like- I was talking about this bonsai tree that somebody gave me for my birthday. Right? I think I was actually saying this to our clients. Like I got this bonsai tree over here, right? And-

Cassie 38:07
A literal bonsai tree.

Josh 38:07
A literal bonsai tree. How do we keep doing this?I'm going to have to tape you a mark on the floor.

Cassie 38:13
I don't know.

Josh 38:14
I just take up too much space. Like this bonsai tree that I have in here.

Cassie 38:21
Real, live bonsai tree.

Josh 38:21
Real life bonsai tree. Doesn't matter how good care I take of it. Like, if there's ever a point where I forget about the damn thing for a bit, and I don't water it, it's gonna die. That's just how it works, right? We're always either growing, or we're dying. Our relationships are the same way. But this is where I want to draw a line for people. Because this is what I see with people, is that some people reach this point of like, wow, this sucks, it doesn't seem like connection should have to drop off, and they go cool. I'm just going to put in more effort and more time. Without realizing that that isn't enough. That connection is a skill that you have. Right? And that it isn't about the amount of time. This is why you can have people where like, they're long distance, or people travel for work or whatever. And they have really great connection and the people are living in the same house all the time, especially with COVID. And their relationship sucks. Because that the time isn't enough, it's a skill.

Cassie 39:16
You want to go ahead.

Josh 39:18
Um, my brain still kind of working. But it's a skill. It's a skill you can learn, right? And just like anything else in our relationships. So number one is skill you can learn, if you're in a spot, you can learn how to. Like we've been in a relationship a long time and we're no longer connected. You can learn: number one, how to repair that connection, how to relearn your partner, how to see them again, right. How to get back that fun, and that passion, that connection, and draw together and how to not only do that, but once you have it keep it. And this is what we do with our clients all the time is teach them those skills. I mean, we spend significant portions of time just focused on those skills of emotionally reconnecting and physically reconnecting.

Josh 40:02
But with that being said, I think it's also important for people to realize because even the people who make it that far, stop too soon. And I don't think we've talked about this for a long time, but we talk about connection being a meta skill, right? Which means that in order for our connection to really be good, our connection can never be great if there's other areas in our relationship, that are really suffering. Because so long as we're arguing, or I'm not hearing you, or, you know, we're feeling insecure about the relationship, so I'm withdrawing. Or I'm feeling jealous, so I'm lashing out. As long as there's any of that stuff going on, that connection is never going to be where we want it. So it's the skill of the connection, which like I said, we spend a lot of time with people on learning how to do that. But that's not enough. It's also just having a relationship. Somebody said to me a while ago, right, that the content of the relationship can't exceed the context of the relationship. Right. And that level of connection will never exceed the context of your entire relationship and what that looks like. Fair. How was that?

Cassie 41:06
Awesome. I actually don't know what to add after that.

Josh 41:10
Done. Bye. No. You've got stuff to add.

Cassie 41:13
Yeah. So the thing is, is that you have to work on all of those skills as a whole. You can't just focus on like the, I'm going to build connection from the fun stuff, and the date nights and the and the like, you know, buying a new sex toy, right? You can't-

Josh 41:28
I mean, do that.

Cassie 41:29
Do all of those things, have the date nights buy the sex toy.

Josh 41:32
Buy lots of sex toys.

Cassie 41:33
Yes. But that isn't going to build connection in your relationship. Also, too, there is the other side of things. Which is if you have jealousy, if you have ongoing blame in your relationship, if you're feeling unappreciated, if you're feeling unheard, those are things that you have to work at to feel that connection. And going back to that whole conversation around NRE. And why that feels so pure is because you probably haven't gotten to that point where those things are there yet.

Josh 42:04
You don't have all the baggage, right?

Cassie 42:06
And the thing is, our relationships as they get better, as they mature, yes, they have these things, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. And that's what a lot of folks think is oh, well, the baggage that's there is this bad thing. No, we're gonna have things that happen in our relationships. But we have to sort through that stuff in order to get to the connection. Did you want to add something?

Josh 42:31
No, I was just trying to see if there was actually anything that we missed in our outline, because we didn't really look.

Cassie 42:36
I didn't look at it the whole time. So, but that's the thing. Like, we're all gonna have experiences in our relationships where things weren't great, right? Or where we have challenges. It's us getting through those things, that makes us feel the connection later. It's not that we are not having them at all right? Because we're humans, and humans are going to have challenges. It's how we get through them and get past them. And if we're able to put that baggage down, that makes us be able to have that connection, and to continue to grow our connection. And here's something folks that I want you to really like sit with. How you and your partner go through challenges, and if you are a team, and you work through them, and you get over them, your connection is deeper, because you overcame that together.

Josh 43:30
I think you had a wine analogy you wanted to throw in here.

Cassie 43:34
I don't remember. Ah, okay! Yeah!

Josh 43:40
I just couldn't let you go without this. And it was your analogy, not mine.

Cassie 43:43
So yeah. So thanks, I've had it as a little pinpoint here. And I was like, okay.

Josh 43:51
Literally, it's the only thing from the outline we're gonna use.

Cassie 43:53
Yeah. Which is my wine analogy. So like, here's the thing, folks think that over time, things are supposed to get worse. Our relationships are like a fine wine, right? The more time and care that you put into them, your relationships can continue to grow into sweeter and sweeter things as they age, right? It's that care and intention in putting into things that actually make it over time become something that is amazing and awesome. So it can actually ripen into something even better. Like a fine wine.

Josh 44:34
Okay, so. Number one, stop buying the bullshit. You can look around you and you can see, that your connection does not have to fade as you go and the longer that you're together. Right. And like I said, if that's something you struggle with, really think through where that belief takes you and what your life and relationships will look like if you entertain that. It is not pretty. Let go of that. Because when you let go of that, you open the door to the possibility of not just of healing that connection that you have, and not just keeping that connection strong for- ever, maybe? However long you decide to have that dyad or that group or whatever. But along with that, you put yourself in position where whatever other relationships you have, you don't have to repeat the same patterns. The same patterns that you may have seen in other relationships, that you may have seen growing up, that you may be seeing in this relationship now of disconnection. You don't have to repeat those patterns. But the first piece is just acknowledging that it's possible to not do it.

Cassie 45:51
You want me to take the second piece?

Josh 45:53
Go.

Cassie 45:54
The second piece is actually working on those skills of both, you know, working on your relationship. And secondly, growing that connection, working on doing those things, but diving into the other things that are there blocking your connection from growing, getting rid of that baggage that's in the background.

Josh 46:17
Yeah, if you're not feeling connected, fix it. Stop settling for it. Right. And if you need to learn the skills to fix that connection, you don't know how, right if you want to be in a spot where you're able to do that, and you're able to repair whatever separation you have, whatever break in distance you have between you two, and you want be able to keep that strong and you want to learn those skills, or if as part of that, and there's, there's always some both. You recognize that, like we said, the content can't exceed the context, right? That you can't be as connected as you want, because of all the baggage. And I'm saying baggage. It doesn't have to be historical baggage. But because of all the other challenges that have either happened in the relationship or are happening now, those are things that it's very difficult to overcome on your own.

Josh 47:07
And just like learning the skill of connection, right, is something that is very difficult to do, because we're not taught it in school, and it's something that most people don't know how to do. And if you're looking for some help with either of those things, and if really, at the end of the day, whether it's that or anything else, you're ready to stop settling in your relationships, right, here's what I want you to do.

Josh 47:26
Go ahead, go to atouchofflavor.com/talk. Okay. And what you can do from there is you can book a call with our team, which at the time of this recording is gonna be either Cassie or I. As far as these calls and our coaching team. And what we're going to do on that call, it's a complimentary call, right? But what we're going to do is we're going to dive in, and we're going to take a look at your relationship, and we're gonna talk about what iit is that's working, what's not working, and we're gonna talk about what are the skills that you need to maintain that connection. Also, what are the things that are really standing in the way of that? Because most of the time, it's not what people think.

Josh 48:07
So, like I said, if you'd like our help with that, go to atouchofflavor.com/talk. It's going to take you to our calendar page, grab up a slot, you'll go to a short application, you can fill that out. And then we'll hop on the call with you at that time that you picked. And we're going to dive deep, and we're going to figure out how to get back that love and that passion, and that connection in your relationship and how to keep that strong. So you never have to be in this disconnected place again. Alright, with that being said, like I said, stop settling. This is going to be the motto of this show for like the next couple of weeks, because I'm really big on this right now. Right? Stop settling for places in your relationship that you aren't happy. Anything else?

Cassie 48:48
No. I think that wraps us up, folks. All right.

Josh 48:51
So it's a pleasure seeing y'all and until next time.

Josh 48:59
Thanks for tuning into today's show. We release new episodes every week. So make sure to subscribe

Cassie 49:06
If you're ready to transform your relationship and you'd like to see if you're a fit to work with us. Here's what I want you to do next. Head over to atouchofflavor.com/talk and book an appointment to speak with our team. We'll get on the phone with you for about an hour. And we'll get you crystal clear on three things. What's really not working in your relationships, what your dream relationships would look like and a step by step plan to close the gap and save your family even if nothing has worked before.

Josh 49:33
We talk with hundreds of non monogamous folks like you every year. And here's the truth, building loving, thriving relationships, that doesn't happen on its own. You need expert guidance to make that happen. And unfortunately, when you're building relationships outside the box, that's impossible to find and we get it but that's exactly what we do. We've helped clients all over the world save their families, get the passion back, and become best friends again.

Cassie 49:57
So if you want to see if we can help you do the same, head over to atouchofflavor.com/talk. I'm Cassie.

Josh 50:05
And I'm Josh. Let's talk soon.