Welcome to the Modern Therapy Seattle Blog!
Thank you for visiting!
Introducing "It All Matters" with Kate Stewart!
Do you have questions about love, sex or relationships, but can't make it in to the therapy office? Send your questions in using this question form. We look forward to hearing from you!
How To Handle Valentine's Day When You're In A Brand-New Relationship
Are you thrilled to have new love in your life, but terrified of the expectations that go along with Valentine's Day? You are not alone!
I was thrilled to contribute to this fun article about new relationship on Valentines Day! You can't imagine how fun the conversation was with Kasandra!
You're three weeks into a new relationship, and then suddenly it's Valentine's Day. What do you do? Try to ignore it and run away? Or make a huge romantic gesture? After all, everyone else is making grand declarations of love, so why not join in?
There's another option to consider — one that's somewhere in between ice cold and burning hot. Let's call it lukewarm. Or as Kate Stewart, a counselor and dating coach in Seattle, says, "scale your Valentine's Day from zero to medium."
That's dependent on where you are in the relationship, of course. If you're three dates in, maybe it's best to ignore the holiday altogether. (Might we suggest celebrating Galentine's Day with your best pals instead?) But if you're a month in and have had "the talk" — you know, the one where you decide you actually are in a relationship and not just hooking up — then something small and meaningful could be in order.
What's The Difference Between Polyamory & An Open Relationship?
Here's a question that people are on the interwebs are asking a lot, according to Google! It turns out the exact definitions of these two terms have yet to be determined. I'm honored to be consulted so regularly by writers in the media about questions on open relationships!
So much of what we understand about relationships and love comes not only from the people we know, but the television characters we feel like we know. So when consensual non-monogamy started to finally get some screen time in popular shows like Broad City, more and more people were suddenly having conversations about polyamory and open relationships.
Unfortunately, examples of polyamory on television aren't always accurate. After Ilana's "sex friend" Lincoln hooked up with someone else in season three, she literally celebrated by jumping onto the roof of his car and yelling, "That. Is. So. Hot!" That moment sparked essays about how Broad City got polyamory right. But did it?
Sure, Ilana and Lincoln had a successful open relationship — at least until Lincoln revealed that he wanted to be monogamous and was keeping that a secret from Ilana. But the show didn't show a polyamorous relationship. Even though they both fall under the umbrella of consensual non-monogamy, polyamory and open relationships are two very different things.
For many people, being polyamorous is an important part of their identity, not just a word to describe having multiple sexual or romantic partners at the same time. "Being polyamorous feels hard-wired to their love-lives," says sexuality educator Aida Manduley, MSW. Meanwhile, people in an open relationship don't necessarily think of non-monogamy as part of their identity as much as a personal preference.