How to Fix Toxic or Abusive Relationships

How to Fix Toxic or Abusive Relationships

Can you fix a toxic relationship? How about an abusive one? If you’re in an abusive relationship, the first step is to ask yourself if you really want to fix your relationship. An abusive partner does not respect you. They think that they are entitled to control your existence and your experience as a human. … Continue reading How to Fix Toxic or Abusive Relationships

Is it Toxic or Abusive?

Is it Toxic or Abusive?

How do you decide if someone’s behavior is toxic or if it’s abusive? That’s a really, really difficult question. It can be tough to clearly assess what someone’s motivation is through a lens of love or a lens of pain. We all have personal context that colors our judgment. We’re often inclined to give our … Continue reading Is it Toxic or Abusive?

Toxic Relationships vs. Abusive Relationships

Toxic Relationships vs. Abusive Relationships

What is the difference between a toxic relationship and an abusive relationship? A lot of people use either of those phrases to talk about unhealthy or damaging relationships, but we don’t have a clear breakdown as to what constitutes as toxic behavior, and what constitutes as abusive behavior. It’s often ambiguous, even to the people … Continue reading Toxic Relationships vs. Abusive Relationships

Troubleshooting Sex

Troubleshooting Sex

Sex can be physically painful, and that doesn't mean "you're doing it wrong". When we speak with young people about sex in frank and honest ways, one question that we often hear is "does sex hurt?" We hear this question because there's a common line in media and conversations about sex, which says how much … Continue reading Troubleshooting Sex

What Gaslighting Isn’t

What Gaslighting Isn’t

Something I frequently see is people using the phrase “gaslighting” to describe argument tactics in one-off online conversations. The problem with this is that gaslighting is something specific: the act of deliberately manipulating a person to doubt their sanity and judgment over a period of time. It’s not questioning someone’s judgment, it’s not calling someone’s … Continue reading What Gaslighting Isn’t

Why It’s So Easy to be Gaslit in Relationships

Why It’s So Easy to be Gaslit in Relationships

While getting ready for work one morning, one of my partners said, “I have 10 hours banked up. I’m not *really* needed in the office today. Maybe I should just take the whole day off.” “You could do that,” I responded, “but you probably shouldn’t. They’d like you to give input in that meeting at … Continue reading Why It’s So Easy to be Gaslit in Relationships

What is Gaslighting?

What is Gaslighting?

cw: abuse and abusive relationships. . . . What is gaslighting?   The textbook definition of gaslighting is an abuse technique used in long term relationships, where one partner manipulates the other into questioning their memory, sanity, or perception of reality. It places the abused partner in a position of vulnerability, where they don't trust … Continue reading What is Gaslighting?

No Rewards for the Bare Minimum

No Rewards for the Bare Minimum

On a weekend trip to Boston, several years ago, I met a cute guy at a club. We danced and made out, and at the end of the night we made plans to meet up at his place for a pancake breakfast the next morning. After a horrible trudge through the snow in sneakers, and … Continue reading No Rewards for the Bare Minimum

Misgendering: Never Okay!

Misgendering: Never Okay!

In my last few posts about respecting the pronouns of transgender people, I've used language like "if a friend changed their pronouns..." or "when speaking with a trans loved one..." when I've explained how important it is to use gender affirming pronouns. What I want to make clear is also this: if a transgender person … Continue reading Misgendering: Never Okay!

When NOT to Use Singular They

When NOT to Use Singular They

Something I occasionally see is cis people using the singular "they" to avoid correctly gendering binary trans people. And that's not okay. Singular "they" is a valid, grammatically correct pronoun to use for non-binary individuals who want to be called that. People who use they/them pronouns are usually people who don't identify as men or … Continue reading When NOT to Use Singular They