Module Four: Self-Approval for Couples

Self-approval is a critical foundation for pleasurable living as a couple, but it’s widely overlooked. We’re conditioned to seek for approval outside of ourselves. To describe someone as “approval-seeking” is considered an insult, but we’re all doing it, often to toxic levels.

It’s core to the human design to require love, safety and belonging to thrive, and to feel that sense of fitting in to the tribe, we seek external approval and recognition of the other. This is natural, however after a certain baseline love and approval that’s already been demonstrated, to keep seeking that approval over and over again, can be an obstacle for pleasurable living, deeper intimacy and better sex.

When we are looking for approval, we’re checking outside of ourselves for signs that we are ok. We’re looking for signs that we’re good and lovable, and that our actions are meaningful and valuable. And while part of partnership is being mirrors for each other who reflect and validate each other, crucial for pleasurable living as a couple is providing your own steady stream of self-approval in the mix.

Especially in the sexual domain, if you’re looking for sexual validation more than you’re paying attention to what feels right for you, then it’s a recipe for sexual frustration and for crossing your own boundaries, unconsciously.

Self-approval has been widely confused as narcissism or arrogance, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Self-approval doesn’t mean I’m the best or I’m better than you, but simply, “I’m OK. I’m enough. I accept myself as I am, perfectly imperfect.”

When you give yourself self-approval you liberate all the time and energy you spent before, checking for it from your partner. You can use that time and attention instead to do anything you want, including being loving to your partner, and having a blast doing so.  When your partner gives themselves the love and approval they need to walk with their head held high, their spine straight and with swagger in their step because they simply know they are ok, without putting themselves down with criticism, and without needing to prop their egos up with validation.

Approve of your desires for deeper intimacy and sex. Approve of your kinks and fantasies. When you approve of your sexuality, rather than seeking someone else’s approval of it, you radiate confidence and become sexually magnetic.

1. Breathwork Practice: Pelvic breathing

Breath with an open mouth and relaxed jaw. This is “connected breathing,” breathing with no pause between the inhalation and exhalation. As you do so, make sounds or move your body. Approve of yourself with every breath.

2. Embodiment practice: Eye-gazing

Part 1 Inner Gaze

Close your eyes. See yourself as whole and complete.

Part 2 Lover’s Gaze

Sit across from each other and gaze into each other’s eyes having 50% of your attention on your experience and 50% on what your partner is experiencing.

3. Intention setting

For example:

I approve of myself, warts and all. I’m enough. I’m perfectly imperfect.

4. Integration: How was this for you?

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