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What is a relationship manual?

Aug 23, 2022


In my last Q and A, I talked about having my like relationship manual or my user’s manual and people wanted to know kind of what that’s like.

I haven’t done a video on this before but Cunning Minx talks about this a ton.

Cunning Minx is actually who I learned about this from.

She is a fantastic sex educator out of Seattle.

So the idea with a relationship manual or a user manual for yourself is that you put down all the stuff you know about yourself in one easy document that you can share with folks very quickly and easily.

For me, my relationship manual is something that I try to go back to and check every month or two.

Whether I remember to check it or not is debatable.

Let me see if I can find mine so I can – ah-ha!

My relationship manual.

There is no one structure for this.

There are lots of ways you can structure it.

So I’m an ADHDer.

The thing that I have with structure is that I’m a Virgo rising.

So I keep trying to create systems and structures and then I keep abandoning them and watching them fall apart before my eyes.

So my relationship manual is pretty long at this point.

It’s what?

Like 10 pages and probably going to get longer as things go on.

I cover the following areas in my manual.

These doesn’t have to be the areas that you cover but it can give you an idea.

Conflict, therapy, communication, sex, time, landmines, gender, solo poly, kink, ADHD and relationship stuff, language, metamour relationships, relationship management.

So I will make sure that my assistant puts a link to this into my Linktree so that everybody can just read my relationship manual whenever they feel like it because again, this is intended to be something that I share with people who I want in my life.

There’s nothing in here that I’m ashamed about.

I will double check and make sure it’s still accurate before I share it with you all.

But for instance like one of the things I talk about is that because I have ADHD, rejection sensitive dysphoria is a really big thing for me.

So if I am in conflict with someone, I am not conflict-averse.

I am a big fan of productive conflict.

However, negative or toxic conflict gets very hard for me very quickly unless I like turn on my therapist self which is not what I want to be doing in my friendship or romantic or sexual relationships.

So one of the things I have in my communication section is like aim to use “I” statements and non-blaming or shaming language when possible.

If feelings are getting heated, we take a time out.

Timeout has a specific time where we circle back.

We spend the time during the timeout calming ourselves down so we can come back with clearer heads.

Strike when the iron is cold which means like go to bed angry because in the morning you will be less angry.

Don’t try to fight it out in the heat of the feelings.

Let the feelings cool down before you finish talking about it.

Another thing in communication is I much prefer volunteered information and proactive communication.

I’m happy to ask about what’s going on but I much prefer when someone fills me in without me asking.

So again like this is not – I don’t have like a questionnaire that I filled out to create my manual.

Cunning Minx probably does.

I think Cunning Minx has a whole class on like how to create your relationship manual.

But what I did for me was I sat down and I thought about like what’s the stuff in my relationships that has caused me the biggest problems and what’s the stuff that has done the best in terms of making them smooth and easy and work well.

Then I like put those two together.

So like I looked at the problems and thought about like what caused this problem.

What part of it was mine?

What part of it is situational?

What part of it was how that person handled it?

So that I could address it in my manual proactively so that when people relate to me, they understand where I’m coming from and what I’m like so that there’s a lot less weird like, “Why are you doing this?” especially because with ADHD, my brain doesn’t work the same way that a lot of other people’s brains do and so I want to proactively explain to you how my brain works rather than having to explain it as a problem comes up.

Like another thing in my communication section.

I am a terrible mind reader and my brain is an ADHD brain.

It works differently than other brains.

So I need you to tell me what you want and need.

As much as possible, I prefer for us to make direct asks rather than assumptions or hinting or passive communication.

So a relationship manual again can just be a collection of any of the things that you know about yourself that make relationships go well for you, that make relationships go poorly for you and you just put it all together so that you can send it to folks who want to know how to be a good person in your life.

Everybody does it differently.

I’m sure that Cunning Minx’s manual looks totally different from mine.

I also when I was making mine, I referenced Joreth InnKeeper’s relationship manual which is available online.

So look at a few different ones.

Think about it for yourself.

Create whatever format or structure works for you and just treat it as a space for you to give anybody who comes into your life the information that you wish people had in order for things to go smoothly.

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