Co-authored by Emily Polak, PhD and Effy Blue

Does telling your partner that you don’t want to go to their family for the holidays feel like it might explode into an emotional drama? Does the idea of giving your loved one feedback about how you’d like to be touched keep you up at night with anxiety? Do you worry that introducing the idea of an open relationship will make your partner feel rejected so you don’t bring it up but then feel resentful?

These may seem like they are isolated instances but in romantic partnerships, people perceive them as potential…

It’s time to move beyond our primitive fear of rejection and nurture conscious connection instead

Co-authored by Emily Polak, PhD and Effy Blue

The topic of consent is on everyone’s mind these days. With new accusations of assault and harassment coming out all the time, it is worthwhile to think about why people don’t ask for consent. While at least partly an issue of what we are taught is acceptable behavior, the idea of opening oneself up to rejection is something humans don’t do easily. It is beneficial to think about this issue in the context of evolution.

As accomplished and independent as the modern human is, we evolved to live in cooperative societies. It…

Co-authored by Emily Polak, PhD and Effy Blue

We often think of being nice as a positive, highly regarded way of being. Parents tell their kids, “Be nice to others.” Acting with the goal of being nice, however, doesn’t serve the giver or the receiver.

There seem to be three main motivations for being nice.

The first is ego-based and is about manipulating situations so you look good. It prioritizes how you are perceived over what is considerate. It is about pleasing people and being liked in order to feel good about yourself. It’s essentially emotional masturbation. …


I came across this video on my Facebook feed a couple of days ago and found it to be inspiring and relevant not only in the context of life but also in the context of relationships. In his 2016 commencement speech at Harvard Graduate School of Education, Dean James Ryan suggests that “there are five truly essential questions that you should regularly ask yourself and others.” …

Co-authored by Emily Polak, PhD and Effy Blue

Trapped, bored, annoyed, disconnected, dead inside.

These are just some of the feelings commonly reported by those in long-term relationships. They are also the fears of many about getting into one.

Most of us want to be in long-term relationships but we also have concerns about their viability. This can be explained at least in part because we’ve only been given a “one-size-fits-all” model for how romantic relationships look. As Esther Perel says in her book “Mating in Captivity,” adult intimacy has become overburdened with expectations. We expect our partner to be…

Effy Blue

Relationship Coach. Nonmonogamy expert. Nerd.

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