Healthy Adult Relationships Are Boring: 5 Lessons You Need To Know

Relationships are supposed to be exciting.

And I’ve done exciting.

I had an illicit affair at a monastery. I bought an overnight ticket and showed up on a a woman’s doorstep with flowers. I’ve had sex in central park and on the long island railroad.

But despite all that excitement, nothing lasted. Except maybe the heartbreak and the stories. All of this has taught me that adult love healthy love isn’t really all that exciting, in fact it’s actually pretty boring.

Drama is for the movies

In the movies, romance is always exciting, but the love is rarely healthy or well balanced. When you watch movies pay attention to the background couples. The one’s going to work and making dinner, the ones the protagonist who can’t seem to get his shit together is always talking to.

These people are too boring for the main characters but they’re happy. They talk about their problems, they get along, they love each other, without needing to overcome triumphant odds.

Hot sex is never the answer

Immature passion is fueled by conflict and tension. Adult passion is generated from commitment, love, and devotion.

There are adults who are boring and passionless, but it’s easier to create passion with some romance and creativity than it is to create healthy love from dysfunction and co-dependence.

You can have hot sex, but it doesn’t have to come at the cost of stability and love. In fact being able to talk about your desires and find excitement means more hot sex as your relationship deepens.

Things that work are smooth

Anything that works well is smooth, a bicycle, a car, a train, a relationship. Yes relationships are hard, and you’re going to have breakdowns. Knowing how to change a tire and talk things out is important.

But if the ride is always rocky and you can’t go a few days without a problem or a total blow up, that’s not workable. It doesn’t mean either of you are broken. It’s rare a breakdown is due to a single part, instead it’s usually the system that isn’t working.

If you can go to a coach or counselor and get it worked out, great. But be honest if it never was that smooth to begin with.

It’s probably your fault

When things don’t go well we like to point the finger at someone else, but more often than not it’s on you. Not because you’re the one who’s the bad partner, but because you’re not being clear about your boundaries, what you want, and how you’re really feeling.

It’s easy to make things appear good by not talking about anything, but that’s not healthy. You’re just waiting for time bomb to go off. If you talk often, things settle down, they get boring, then even your disagreements become predictable. It’s not perfect, but healthy love isn’t perfect either.

Get responsible, clean up your side of the street, and if they can’t meet you there, walk away.

Life is mostly about boring moments

90% of running a marathon is boring miles and steps. There’s 5% at the beginning where you start and 5% at the end which is somewhat exciting.

That’s basically how life is. I live a pretty incredible life. I’m nomadic. I hike over 10 miles every weekend. I do work I love. And most of my life is boring. It’s just the good kind of boring.

Finding simple joy in the small things is a cliche for a reason, because life is literally made up of boring moments.

Sure it’s nice to look for someone you can run off into the sunset with. But what if instead, you looked for someone you’d enjoy waiting for a bus with. Or someone you wouldn’t mind getting up in the middle of the night with? Or someone you could sit across from dinner and say nothing with? Not because you had nothing left to say, but because you didn’t need to say anything at all.

That sounds like the kind of love worth looking for.


Extroverted? Here’s Some Tips From a Zen Monk on How To Be More Quiet and Reflective.

It seems like the world is obsessed with introverts. We want to understand them, laugh about them, and even try to change them. As an extrovert who has mostly dated introverted people I’ve laughed at the memes about introverts being relieved when people cancel plans, had my heart melt at comics about how loved introverts feel when people lovingly give them space, and even marveled at how my partners can feel totally depleted after a party when I feel fully energized.

In April 2019, Tom and Lorenzo responded to a tweet by Oprah that featured an article titled “Introverted? Here’s how to be more social”. He asked a simple question, “Where are the articles titled: Extroverted? Here’s some tips on How to be more Quiet and Reflective.”

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And he makes a good point. For the first twenty years of my life I was a passionate, outgoing, extrovert known for arguing any point that crossed my path and interrupting people to say “actually . . . “ and share my knowledge on a given subject.

But in my late twenties I moved into and lived at a Zen monastery for two years and what I learned there about being quiet and reflective changed my life. Sure introverts are interesting for their sometimes counterintuitive behavior, but what’s really unexamined is the strange thing that drives extroverts to talk and how changing it can help you in all sorts of ways.

Extroverts who learn self control around speaking and connecting . . .

  • Appear more confident and powerful
  • Have people listen to them more closely
  • Experience greater satisfaction and depth in life
  • Have stronger and more intimate relationships
  • Appreciate the small things in life more
  • And take fewer things personally

One thing most extroverts don’t understand is that . . .

Talking a lot isn’t always a sign of confidence, it might actually be camouflage for your insecurity.

When I lived at the monastery we spent a lot of time not talking. And at first this was really challenging. I noticed how often I wanted to make a comment, a joke, or offer an interesting fact about something that was happening.

But because silence was encouraged I learned how to bite my tongue and I discovered how deeply uncomfortable I was.

If I wasn’t talking, sharing my insights, making a joke then who was I?
Was I valuable as a person? Would people want me around?

I came to see that while I do love connecting with people my desire to talk and connect wasn’t coming from a deep commitment to connection, but an anxious yearning to have the people around me constantly reassuring me that I was funny, smart, and charming.

And when I let that go I had to face the reality that I wasn’t very confident at all, I was just addicted to the constant stream of feedback I got by being extroverted.

You see, many extroverts love to connect. They get energy from being around people, from loud noises, and exciting activities, but they sometimes struggle to be with themselves.

The silence can feel confronting, their own energy can be hard to contain, and so they go through life hooked on this social feedback. Slowly by being silent I learned to let go of this need and found that I could enjoy other people even more.

Because they were no longer a dealer for my social dopamine high, but rather actually really interesting people with whom I could connect and deepen relationships.

This leads me to the second thing I noticed:

The key to more connection isn’t more conversation, it’s more silence.

One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from friends about the dates they go on is that the person just talked about themselves the whole time.

It’s a mistake that can be understood by our current culture of producing content. Our job is to share, share, share and hope that someone will respond. This puts our attention on talking and sharing and not much on listening.

None of the platforms most of us spend much time on really encourage us to listen or engage. It’s why so many of my coaching clients are blown away by how much I simply listen to them.

When you’re quiet there’s more space for things to arise.

Practice talking less and notice what arises in you

If you want to actually connect with more people, be quiet and notice what arises.
When you’re listening are you really listening? or are you waiting for your turn to talk?
Can you slow down and pause before speaking?
Did you really hear what that person just said? Or do you already have something lined up?

What do you feel when you hold your comments?
What do you feel when you talk less?

By slowing down and talking less you can learn a lot about yourself and even find a way to be fully comfortable without having to talk all the time.


3 Reasons Why You Don’t Believe In Your Husband/Boyfriend’s Crazy Idea

Why You Don’t Believe In Your Husband/Boyfriend’s Crazy Idea

“He’s got this incredible vision for the future, but the problem is that I just don’t believe in it. It feels like a pipe dream and I feel like I can’t tell him that.”

Her face was so earnest and I could tell how much she loved her Fiance. He was a good man and she wanted kids. Because she was pushing 40 she was reluctant to find too much fault or take the risk of trying to start over with someone else.

She wanted to believe in him, but the vision he created (while inspiring) just felt unreal.

She told me about how he was struggling to get clients for his practice, how he’d sit on the couch for hours, how she had paid for coaching programs and consultants but despite her support he was floundering.

Of course she was already successful in their shared field which made his stuckness even harder to bear.

This wasn’t the first time I’ve seen this. A powerful, confident woman who loves a man who disappoints her and yet with all of her heart she wants to love or believe in him.

Why does this happen? Here’s what I’ve noticed . . .

1. Men Are Encouraged To Dream Big Before They’ve Really Grown Up

The heroes in the world of men are big thinkers. Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Tim Ferris to name a few. They have these iconoclastic playboy images that makes them the poster children for freedom and power. But they also embody a perpetual adolescence that can seem incredibly appealing.

For all of it’s problems, earlier times celebrated the stability and reliability of the common man. The man that provides for his family, works a stable job, coaches baseball, and fixes cars. Yes this image of men was also sexist, racist, and privileged, but in our desire to modernize masculinity we have also infantilized it.

Today, what gets left out is the need for men to be mature adults in their relationships. While it’s a good thing that men have been dethroned as the dominant providing force in their families, men have managed to toss off the need to be mature and capable adult partners in many cases staying as perpetual man children for an indeterminate amount of time.

And the ‘men’ that most men hold as heroes only perpetuate this problem. Men tend to focus on Big Dreams goals and ambitions or reject the idea of responsibility altogether, and the result is the same: they avoid this simple, mundane, and powerful practice of creating and/or co-creating a life of integrity, depth, and partnership.


Part of this rests on the reality that masculinity is actually a pretty fragile construct. While our society has expanded to accept femininity as being expressed in many forms (from Britney Spears to Sheryl Sandberg) masculine status is easier to lose. Men are brutal on one another in the realm of using threats of lost masculine status as a tool to bully and control other men and many women are no different.

With all the progress we’ve made with women in the workforce, men who stay home with their kids are still looked at sideways. Of course this doesn’t equal in any way shape or form the disadvantages women have to face, but men are very present to the fragility of masculinity. Combine this with the BIG THINKING obsession many men hold and you get men who feel pressure to be iconoclasts while at the same time being secretly terrified of being castrated.

Then, they bring this whole rats nest of BS home to their partners by asking them to treat them as fragile little boys for whom the slightest criticism will cause them to collapse. They will revert into boys playing video games and getting stoned. The resultant numbing that shows up becoming the punishment for their partners expressing exasperation at how immature and unrealistic they were being.

Anyone in partnership with this kind of man will find themselves in a bind. Do I go along with their pie in the sky idea that I know is doomed to failure? Or do I criticize them and risk having to clean up the pieces of their delicate egos?

The result of all this is that many women and men relate to their masculine partners as fragile making it hard to criticize or talk about their dreams and purpose in any meaningful way.


Faced with these shitty options many partners choose to pretend or fake belief in their partner’s bad ideas for a while until their belief reserves are totally depleted. What ends up happening is that their belief in their partners also falls apart.

Now not only are you humoring your partners crazy ideas but you start to humor them as well and usually start looking for the door.

BUT IT CAN ALL BE PREVENTED or at least stopped if you make a small shift.


Women and other partners of these kinds of men, it’s not your job to believe in their stupid or even great but unworkable ideas. Your partners aren’t really that fragile and they do have greatness within them.

What they really need is someone who believes in them. Who stands for the greatness, maturity, warriorship, and leadership within them. Not at the expense of practicality and equality but in alignment with it.

The trick is to simply focus your belief on them, their capability to vision and create a life for themselves. Encourage that, speak to that, and if you’re lucky they’ll start to step into that.

The alternative: lying to them until you’re exhausted and disappointed beyond repair OR coddling them by taking control of their lives like some weird co-dependent mother figure helps no one. Men don’t have to go back to being weird, dominant, sexist, jerks to be powerful.

They are (despite the evidence) capable of being both powerful, sexy, leaders and also conscious, deep, woke leaders.

It’s not your fault you don’t believe in their stupid idea. It’s also not totally their fault they’re concocted one. You’re both playing a game invented by unconscious men who managed to create some success.


Go First

It’s always easier to wait. For the other person to say I love you.

For the other person to apologize.

For the other person to admit how they’ve been wrong and stupid and childish

But don’t do the easy thing go first

Say I love you. Even if you’re not sure they’ll say it back.

Apologize even if you might be the more wronged party

Admit that you messed up screwed up and acted a fool

It takes a spoonful of humility and a bucket full of grace

But when you do go first and say

the thing that takes courage you can lead others from fear and doubt

into love and grace

and it all starts with going first


Are You Too Smart for Love?

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A Bright Guy

Are You Too Smart for Love?

Growing up people always told me, I had a lot of potential. I’m sure this sounds like a wonderful thing to tell someone but it always annoyed me. For a long time, I thought this bothered me because of the expectations it put on me. But then I had an epiphany.

I realized that every time they told me “I had potential” they were saying, “You’re smart, you’ll be successful. “ But what I really wanted them to tell me was ”I love you, I accept you.“ Though I have enjoyed being thought of as smart, I’ve never craved intelligence as much as I’ve craved love and connection.

As soon as I realized how important these things were to me, I began to see that other people have this same problem. We are living in a world so focused on achievement, intelligence, and admiration that often we lose track of what matters.

An Intelligence economy

Many of us want to have a great job, be brilliant in our field, and be the envy of our family and friends.

We praise the savvy businessman, the successful politician, and the genius engineer. But rarely do we praise those of us who have deep connections with those around him or her self.

At first, all these seem great. Intelligence can help us survive and thrive, achievement can help you make money and acquire possessions, and admiration can garner loyalty put us in the spotlight. But the problem is none of these traits gives us more connection or love on their own.

Sets Us Apart

In fact, all three of these things set us apart from others. Focusing on these three things with too much intensity can lead to alienation and mistrust from those we care most about.

Some part of us loves to be set apart, but it’s so important for this recognition to be balanced by connection. When we connect with each other, we learn humility, which keeps us, grounded, we learn compassion, which keeps us from becoming cynical, and we learn to trust, which keeps us being lonely.

The best thing is that when we put our mind to it connecting with other is easier than we think:

Five Ways to Create Connection

1.Listen – 

Listening deeply and openly is one of the best gifts we can give each other. Often the people we talk to are only waiting for their turn to talk. They are so anxious to be heard that they never take the time so just listen.

The first thing you need to do to listen better is not offer advice. Most of us offer advice without thinking about it. But if you want to listen you have to notice when you are about to do this and stop. Instead of trying to find a solution just be present with them.

The next step is to reflect back: If a good friend says they’re upset because their boss said something mean to them. All you do is repeat back what you heard. Say something like, “So you’re saying you’re upset because your boss got mad at you.” “Is that right?” By just repeating back what you heard and asking if you got it right, you show this person that you care about them and what they are saying.

2. Send Nice Emails –

Everyday I try to make my first email of the day a nice email to one of my friends new or old telling them why they rock. So often, the only time you hear that someone cares about us is on a holiday. Or when some sort of tragedy strikes.

But why should we wait, telling other people that we care about them is a simple way to offer genuine connection. I have found that other people offer their expression of affection for me as well.

3. Hug –

My mother told me that she didn’t hug people very often growing up. It’s not that she didn’t like hugs, but her family just didn’t hug that much.

The first time she went to visit my dad’s family she was surprised to discover how affectionate they were. And since then she’s learned to enjoy giving other people a hugs.

A hug is one of simplest and satisfying gestures we can offer one another. Often people feel awkward about hugging. But a hug is something most people really enjoy.

If you are unsure about offering someone a hug just ask. I often say‚”I’m a hugging person, can I give you a hug? ‚” I find that people are relieved you asked and happy that they don’t have to worry about whether you’d be open to getting a hug from them.

If they say no or seem uncomfortable, just tell them it’s no big deal and offer to shake their hands.

4. Spend Time –

One of the easiest ways to show others we care about them is to spend time with them. Especially if we can do this without an agenda. Just being willing to be calm and present with someone shows them that we care.

All you need to do is call them up or go over to their house and say you’d like to do something with them. Tell them you can do whatever they have in mind. It’s also not a bad idea to think of a couple things you can do if they don’t have something in mind.

5. Say I Love You –

The simplest and for some people the hardest way to express love is to just say it out loud. Most people fear expressing love, because they aren’t sure they will receive that love in return. Now I’m not suggesting you tell this to a man or woman on a first date, but very often, we don’t say it to those people whom we care deeply about.

The key to happiness and long life isn’t in making lots of money or in winning the Nobel Prize. The key to happiness and long life is connection. So, stop hiding behind you brain and open up your heart. I think you’ll be surprised by what you find.

My Challenge

My challenge for you this week is to tell at least three people you know that you love them. You get bonus points if it’s someone you don’t normally say it to. If you do this, please post below, and let me know how it goes.


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A Extra Weekly Run Saved My Relationship

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Tips for Transformation In Relationship 

I started saying, “You know it might be helpful if…”

But she interrupted me, “I know what you’re going to say; you think it would be better if we ran alone.”

I knew I had hit a nerve.

We both knew my goal pace was faster than hers. But maybe it came off sounding like my goal pace was to get away from her.  

No matter what, it was clear we had to come up with a solution. We did eventually, but I’ll come back to that. 

The Partnership 

Changing your life can be hard on your partner. No matter how supportive they are, it tends to create tension.

It’s wonderful that you’ve started meditating, exercising, or learning a new language. But this shift can bring up fear for your partner.


 This fear is very natural. Most people have had a relationship end, soon after their partner changed in some way. Even though that may be the last thought in your head, your partner isn’t in your head.

Your partner may feel neglected in your quest for a better self. They might be scared by the new direction of your life. They may wonder if there’s a place in it for your relationship.

This fear can bring up some of these thoughts:

  • All he talks about is triathlons. Am I not good enough?
  • Does she think she’s better than me?
  • More vegetables? What’s wrong with what we cooked before?
  • I feel like every time he leaves for a run he’s judging me.
  • If she wants to do new things, maybe she will want to be with a new woman?

You Need Back Up

Making changes are hard enough without having your partner sabotage you. So if you are going to be successful. You will need their help. Or at least their passive consent.

So here are the keys to making your journey of transformation jive with your relationship.


Make sure you acknowledge the things you love about your partner. Let them know you appreciate how they contribute to your life. Pay special attention to the little things they do that may go unnoticed.

Don’t Judge

Let them know you aren’t judging them for not being vegetarian or for not working out. Let them know you love them and that you are changing so you can be a better person and partner.

Don’t Get Preachy

Don’t get preachy about your new changes. Just work on yourself. If your partner sees it working for you, they might ask for support to make their own change.

Be Clear on Why

Explain to your partner why you are making these changes. If you are clear about your intentions, it will assuage many of their fears. It may even garner their support.

Togetherness Time

Make time and space to spend time together. This how my partner and I found our solution.

We would do our long run separately, but we would warm up and cool down together. We would also do a bonus ‘Togetherness Run” on Friday so we could spend time talking about our week.

MindFitMove Practice

If you are in a relationship, have a family, or just have a less active friend, sit down and talk about a healthy way to spend time together.  

Share ideas like going on a hike, going for walks, and see what sounds good.

The goal is to find a healthy way to get active and spend time with each other.

Make an effort to meet them where they are. You aren’t likely to convert your partner to CrossFit, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find something that will make you both happy.

Photo Credits



What Your Back Can Teach You

What Your Back Can Teach You.


Photo By RedKoala1

Recently my back went out. It was a result of over use and deciding to sleep on the floor.

It’s been a challenging experience that is still affecting me 2 days later. Even as I type this, I feel woozy as the results of the muscle relaxers I am taking.

My mother encouraged me to look for the lessons in this experience. So here are four things I learned about myself when my back went out.

1.The Human Body is Frail.
My body is mostly reliable. However, whenever it stops working I remember that it is also frail.

I am always amazed how the body can do so many things. But it’s very easy to take this for granted.

It’s important to find a balance between activity and rest; challenge and recuperation; pressure and ease.

If we don’t respect this balance trouble ensues.

2. No Part of the Body is Dispensable
We tend to preference some parts of our body over others. Nevertheless, every piece of your body is important.

Everything in our bodies is integrated. If one part gets hurt, the other parts do more.

Respect every part of your body. You may not realize what you use it for until you can’t use it anymore.

3. Partnership and community –
We all want to think we are self-sufficient. As soon as you become ill or injured, you realize how foolish this is. If it weren’t for my partner and my friends at yoga school, I would’ve been in big trouble.

Developing healthy relationships and community is one of the most important things we can do to support our body and mind.

4. Universal Health Care
Every time I get sick or injured, I am reminded that we need universal health care. No one should ever have to think about the cost of going to get a serious medical condition checked out.

When I broke my arm and hand in a bicycle accident I didn’t go to the hospital for 3 days because I didn’t have good insurance. If you are hurt, you shouldn’t have to think about how insurance effects you. You should just be able to go to the hospital.

We need universal health care in this country. No one should have to delay treatment because they don’t have enough money.

A Learning Moment
Being sick of injured is hard. We realize how helpless we are in the face of impermanence. I didn’t enjoy getting hurt, but I try to get the lesson out of every situation.

Be grateful for health everyday, because you never know when it will be taken away.

MindFitMove Practice
-Reflect on a time you were injured.
-What did it help you realize about yourself and the people you care about?
-What could you do to help someone you know is suffering?
-Don’t wait until you’re sick; offer help to others who need it.
Offer gratitude in advance to those who would care for you if you got sick.