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Taking initiative feels risky. But it doesn't have to.

Whether we’re initiating sex, a date, a request for help, or an idea for a vacation, initiation can feel risky. Here are some tips that I've found helpful.

Dear initiator...


Whether we’re initiating sex, a date, a request for help, or an idea for a vacation, initiation can feel risky. What if I get rejected? What does that mean about me, or about my desires? Furthermore, the act of initiation is just the tip of the iceberg. By the time we make our desire known to loved ones, we’ve often spent significant time preparing to make the request.  

Perhaps we’ve tried to use cues from a partner’s body language to anticipate what their reaction will be. Did they have a good day at work? Are they tired? We may have rehearsed the process of initiation inside of our heads before saying aloud. Should I say it in this tone? Should I be more assertive? Less? Often, we’re managing some kind of anxiety about initiating long before the act.

Because so much of this effort is invisible, it may be hard for your partner(s) to validate and empathize with what it feels like to initiate and how devastating it can be to receive a “no”. Try looping your partner(s) in on the parts of initiation that they don’t see: the thought, intention, and (maybe) the anxiety. Allow them to see what lies beneath the surface, so that they can empathize more effectively.

Want to learn more about initiation? Click here to download a free sample of our Initiation Styles guide from Expansive Ed!