Episode 12: Wanderlust, Adaptability, Chimps and the Velvet Revolution – What does it mean to connect to a place?

How can we feel a sense of connection with a new place? Is it easier to fall in love with some cities or countries than with others? Are some of us just more able to adapt to change than others, and is this a blessing or a curse?

61665097_356121341928133_2118324114300076032_nWe begin our journey with a story of international love across the Iron Curtain. Our guest, Eva, grew up hopping between three very distinct cultures – Denmark, the USA, and Communist Czechoslovakia. A self-described novelty seeker and chameleon, Eva enjoys getting to know places. And yet – though she feels very at home in USA (and many European countries), it hasn’t always been easy building a connection with the Czech Republic. She’s not giving up though! Now that she finds herself raising her teenagers and running businesses here in Prague, we talk about what it means to be a third culture kid, to ‘connect’ to a place and a people, and about what lessons we can learn from chimpanzees (she majored in Anthropology!) about being accepted into a new group.

Listen here: http://thewayweconnect.buzzsprout.com/160260/1189082-wanderlust-adaptability-chimps-and-the-velvet-revolution-what-does-it-mean-to-connect-to-a-place

Mentioned resources:

Expats.cz – giving expats in Prague information about news, jobs, events, services etc

Learn.cz – Eva’s business – teaching English and business confidence to Czechs

Migrants less likely to be retraumatised when they achieve cultural competence: George, M. (2012). Migration traumatic experiences and refugee distress: Implications for social work practice. Clinical Social Work Journal40(4), 429-437 (PDF)

Also useful:

If you’re interested in the behaviour of chimps when adapting to new societies, have a look at this article: https://www.mpg.de/12125811/grooming-social-relationship 

How to make a new city feel like home: https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/9-ways-to-make-a-new-city-feel-like-home.html

I also recommend www.meetup.com to find new events and groups!

Episode 11: Compatibility (Part 3) – Does it just happen, or is it carefully built?

Is compatibility something that just happens to us, or do we have to carefully construct and build it over time? Can we tell straight away how happy we might be with someone? If we are right for each other, should it always be plain sailing or does it require constant conscious effort?

A Valentine’s Day poll from the university of Monmouth polling institute in 2017 found that ⅔ of US Americans believe in Soul Mates.

In this episode, we talk to Luiz + Barbara, a couple who have been together for ten years and consider themselves the world’s happiest couple. But it wasn’t love at first sight – their connection grew slowly over time, and their happiness takes conscious effort and work. We talk to them about how they got together, what keeps them together and explore whether an initial ‘spark’ of attraction is really the best indicator of a successful long-term relationship.

Listen to the episode here: http://thewayweconnect.buzzsprout.com/160260/1122698-compatibility-part-3-does-it-just-happen-or-is-it-carefully-built 

Resources:

University of Monmouth study about beliefs in soulmates: https://www.monmouth.edu/polling-institute/reports/MonmouthPoll_US_020917/

Less That One – find out the statistical probability of finding your soul mate: http://www.lessthanone.com/ 

Barbara J Wilson – From Love at First Sight to Soul Mate: The Influence of Romantic Ideals in Popular Films on Young People’s Beliefs about Relationships – https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03637751.2013.776697

Books mentioned:

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Essentialism by Greg McKewon

Episode 10: Who says we need soul mates anyway?

What if there isn’t somebody out there for all of us? What if there are multiple people, or – more radically – what if focusing on finding one romantic partner for life is stopping us from experiencing the full potential of our friendships, talents, or careers? What does it look like to shift the paradigm away from searching for the right person?

In this episode, I talk to two fascinating people. The first, Rowen Bridler – singer, actress and author of Love Poems for People Who Don’t Like Being in Love,  talks to us about why she thinks people get so obsessed with finding a partner, getting married, and settling down, and about what it means to be a woman in your 40’s who doesn’t fit into society’s expectations. We discuss the lack of positive role models for women who choose not to have children or conform to a ‘typical’ lifestyle, and what life can look like when you choose to focus on excitement, pleasure, adventure, and developing yourself.

Then we talk to Natalie, who discusses what it means to be non-monogamous, demi-sexual and a relationship anarchist. Natalie is not looking for ‘the One’, but has their sexual, romantic and platonic needs met by a constellation of like-minded friends. We ask why do people feel that they have to spend their lives with just one person? Can’t things be different?

While this is likely to be a controversial episode for those with deep-set beliefs about finding love, marriage, monogamy or commitment, it is also a refreshing look at alternative lifestyles. What can life look like if we free ourselves of the idea that we are somehow a failure if we don’t settle down for life with one perfect partner?

Listen to the episode here: http://thewayweconnect.buzzsprout.com/160260/1060853-compatibility-part-2-who-says-we-need-soul-mates-anyway 

Resources:

Rowen’s website: https://dontlikebeinginlove.com/

Childless & Childfree Role Models – after Rowen’s comments that we lack positive female childfree role models, I found this!

The Ethical Slut (Referenced in the episode): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ethical_Slut – a great book not only for people exploring polyamory/non-monogamy but for relationship communication advice in general

The Relationship Anarchy Manifesto – https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/andie-nordgren-the-short-instructional-manifesto-for-relationship-anarchy

 

 

Episode 9: The never-ending search for “the One”

Is our true soul mate out there? Do we need to find them or can we be perfectly happy by ourselves? How do we know when we’ve found the right person?

In this three-part series, we explore questions of compatibility, monogamy, and look at alternatives to the usual story of “meet person, fall in love, live happily ever after”.

Plato used to look at romantic love with skepticism, even horror, and yet today it seems that we are obsessed with romantic love and sex. While marriage was once a financial necessity or a way of ensuring peace between families or nations, we now live in the romantic dream that somewhere out there we can find a person who will complement and complete us in every day. We are bombarded with messages in songs, movies, books and magazines about sex, attraction, romance and finding true love – how are we supposed to feel complete when we are single in a world that focuses so much on pairing up?

In part 1, Louise shares with us her trials and tribulations in love. She’s had ups and downs, with stories both tragic and comic, but she remains positive that the right person is out there for her. Join Lis & Gwen in this frank, open discussion about dating, love, sex, and discuss what it means to be comfortable in your own skin without needing a partner to validate you.

Listen to the episode here: http://thewayweconnect.buzzsprout.com/160260/1037402-compatibility-part-1-the-never-ending-search-for-the-one 

Mentioned in this episode:

The Love Song for Shu-Sin – perhaps the oldest love poem? 

Dr Carol Dweck’s Growth vs Fixed mindsets 

Also worth checking out:

A Brief History of Romantic Love (and why it kind of sucks) – Mark Manson

Episode 8: What does it mean to ‘fit in’ somewhere?

How do we fit in to new places? What does it mean to feel like you belong? And is it harder to feel that you don’t belong in your home town, compared to a completely new place?

Amelia has lived in many places, from Kansas to Prague, but the biggest adjustment came from moving to Namibia as a Peace Corps volunteer. In this episode, we discuss what it was like to stand out in a small Namibian village, whether she felt homesick, and how Amelia has felt about ‘fitting in’ in a variety of locations, from Kansas to Prague and everywhere in between.

One idea that came up in this episode was whether or not it’s harder to handle the feeling of not ‘fitting in’ to your own home town, as opposed to somewhere that you’ve moved to and where being an outsider isn’t so unexpected, anyway.

“One of the reasons I want to live abroad… is because there’s something more painful about not feeling like you belong [when it’s] in your own home” Amelia.

Amelia would like to apologise for using some Colonial names for places in Namibia, and hopes that they did not cause any offence.

Listen to the episode here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/160260/1037383-what-does-it-mean-to-fit-in-somewhere
Find out more about Namibia:

https://www.info-namibia.com/info/general-information 

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/tribes-and-ethnic-groups-of-namibia.html

Find out more about the Peace Corps: https://www.peacecorps.gov/ 

 

Episode 7: Radical Honesty – is honesty always the best policy?

Is honesty always the best policy? What are the pros and cons of being honest? And what is Radical Honesty?

In this episode, we invite Marvin Schulz – Radical Honesty trainer and coach – to discuss the practice of Radical Honesty. Originally created by Dr Brad Blanton, a psychotherapist who realised one day that the root of most suffering was some form of dishonesty or another – Radical Honesty is a practice in which people try to speak honestly to one another. But it’s more than that – it’s a way of being present in the moment, of recognising what is ‘true’ vs true for you, and of living in a more open, vulnerable and loving way.

The conversation takes us down some other interesting roads – when have we been honest or dishonest in our lives? What does honesty really mean? Is it better to be honest or polite, and in which situations? And what’s the difference between being honest and just being an asshole?

LISTEN HERE: http://thewayweconnect.buzzsprout.com/160260/691363-episode-7-radical-honesty  – or download from your favourite podcast app.

Resources:

Radical Honest website – https://www.radicalhonesty.com

Is is Better to be Polite or Frank? School of Life video 

Episode 6: Are we neglecting friendships once we become adults?

In a world obsessed with romance and couples, do we value friendships as adults as much as we used to as children? How important are friendships in adulthood, and why do we so often let them take priority after our partner, children, and job? How can we have fulfilling relationships with our friends as adults – even if we are busy with work and family?

Our guest, Anna, talks about one of the most influential friendships in her life. Unlike most of her friends, Anna did not have a romantic relationship during her teens and so friendships have always been the most important connections in her life, and she tries to continue to make them so today despite everyone’s shifting and changing priorities.

Join us as we explore the fine, fluid boundaries between friendship, romance, sexuality and love, take a look at the history of friendship and how ideals of romantic love for marriage changed the importance we place on friendship, and discuss the challenging of making and keeping friends as an adult.

Listen HERE! http://thewayweconnect.buzzsprout.com/160260/686659-episode-6-friendship or download from your favourite podcast app.

Resources:

One book mentioned was The Social Sex: A History of Female Friendships, from where we get the quote “it was understood that a woman could share the same soul with her best friend, but rarely, if ever, with her husband”. 

Anna referenced the article Why Do We Murder the Beautiful Friendships of Boys? and we also mentioned the Art of Manliness article about the history of male friendship (*Gwen said it was Australian, it turns out it’s American, sorry!) and gave a shout-out to the Hidden Brain podcast episode: The Lonely American Man. 

This article from Psychology today talked about how we are ashamed to talk about how we find making friends difficult and awkward, as if we feel shame that we “should have it figured out now”.

Some other interesting resources:

Radio 4: 500 Years of Friendship – a podcast looking at the history of friendship. 

The History Of Friendship: How Friendship Evolved And Why It’s Fundamental To Your Happiness from Huffington Post