Friday, April 12, 2024

What is the “Cheez-It” Threshold in Your Relationship? — Dr. Jenn’s Den

I’m generally a healthy eater. I’m a vegetarian, I ask for the side salad instead of fries, the fruit instead of the breakfast potatoes.

But sometimes I don’t. I’ll order the fries and the potatoes and then dessert too, if I’m out celebrating something with a friend (and I love finding reasons to celebrate). And sometimes I don’t realize that I’ve been using my “I deserve this, I’ve been working hard,” excuse until I’m a few months into that habit. In a 49-year-old perimenopausal body, this, unfortunately, has a quick impact on me.

Recently, though, I realized that I have a “tell.” When I’m starting to slip into easier diet choices and frequently “treating” myself, I buy a small bag of Cheez-Its from a convenience store like 7-11. Maybe it’s a snack to hold me over until a meal. Or a late-night treat after drinks with friends. Or something to eat after filling up my gas tank as I’m driving home.

My slippery slope – my decline in nutritional and caloric awareness — starts with Cheez-Its.

Why am I writing such details about my eating habits?

Because habits that can undermine your relationship in the long run, often start with minor shifts in behavior. Being aware of these “tells” can get you back on track.

What’s one sign that you’re slipping in your relationship? An indicator that you’re disconnecting, pulling away, or not pulling your weight? Could it be:

·      Watching more porn than usual

·      Using cell phone in bed too much

·      Hiding your fears and difficulties

·      Considering cheating

·      Drinking more in the evenings

·      More scrolling on social media or watching streaming shows

·      Working more at night time

·      You don’t know what matters most to you partner from day to day

·      No date nights

·      No sex (or physical touch overall) in a long time

What is it for you? What little shift in behavior or thoughts can too easily start a cascade of making the “easier” choice, instead of the mindful, caring, intentional, and courageous choice?

Once you notice where your slipping starts, create a reminder in your phone to check in on this behavior once a week, as an ongoing reminder to stay the course.

~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus — Intimacy Speaker, Relationship Coach, & Sociologist

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