Sex as Relationship Builder or Deal Breaker

Sex can be used to build intimacy. But when a relationship is in trouble, sex can be used just as easily to maintain distance. In that case, sex stops being about sex.

The Power of Giving - in Action

There is nothing so valuable as having what we offer to others taken, made use of, and experienced as having value and being useful and helpful. Irrelationship blocks this.

What If Only I Am Ready/Willing To Work On Our Relationship?

When bottoming-out in irrelationship, it can be a painful moment fraught with terrifying insights into how wrong so much of what previously felt right about the relationship is.

Learning to Relate

Learning how to relate is extremely complex—more so when, very early in life, a child’s parents aren’t effective caregivers.

How Can Your Relationship Survive True Intimacy?

What we regard as the transience of love is really risk management. Love can endure, if only we become aware of our self-destructive efforts to protect ourselves from its risks.

How We Can Be Empowered Through Conflict

When we assume that conflict in a work situation means there's a problem, we create a problem by losing an opportunity for learning and growth. Here's how to do communication well.

“I’m Married to My Work”

If we think of intimacy as taking a chance on letting ourselves become known and accepted as we really are, “intimacy” can apply to relationships that develop in the work place.

Are You or Your Boss a Benevolent Tyrant?

The day-by-day sharing of space and tasks makes the workplace a powerful incubator for routines of irrelationship.

What Does A Successful Relationship Look Like?

Irrelationship allows us to interact with each other to maintain mutual unawareness of the threat of getting what we (think we) want in long-term love: intimacy, for instance.

Generosity as Isolation

Generosity and altruism are, of course, wonderful qualities. They are also the sheep’s clothes of irrelationship, allowing us to hide our anxiety about being close to others.

Listening to Hear

We don't know what your lives are like, but we're hoping that you can muster up six minutes to communicate effectively—to experiment with listening and being heard.

How Avoiding Difficult Dynamics Undermines Work Productivity

Community character, as a function of irrelationship, is a group defense that people in groups unconsciously establish/maintain to protect them from being overwhelmed by anxiety.

Later Never Comes—Betrayal and the Threat of Intimacy

Understanding avoidance, especially avoidance of awareness of the threat of intimacy, requires understanding how betrayal in childhood leaves its mark on adult relationships.

Why Do We Stay Unwell?

Being well or unwell in relationship and in irrelationship are both two-person processes.

The Threat of Intimacy in Our Daily Lives

Intimacy in our everyday lives is about our working through—together—our fear of accepting each other as we are: allowing ourselves to accept and be accepted, love and be loved.

Can We Co-Create Emotional Unavailability?

Irrelationship is not a self-against-the-world defense against the anxieties of every day life. It is a dynamic—a defense system that we co-create and co-maintain with others.

Valentine's Day—Love's Amateur Night

Valentine’s Day provides an opportunity to test the waters and see what it might be like if we allowed the intimacy and vulnerability of our partnership to happen every day.

Narcissism and Abuse as a Co-Created Relationship System

Labeling the other person as pathological to justify leaving them is one way to avoid intimacy. We don’t see how we repeatedly transform each other into what we don't want.

5 Steps to a Better Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is a day that can be fraught with and weighed down by expectations. Perhaps we can mitigate potential problems by prepping for it together.

The Cost Of Personal Relationships To Career Development

Without realizing it, do we think about relationships in outmoded 20th Century terms? How can we adjust our thinking to accommodate the array of options available now?

Making Sense of First Love

The future history of irrelationship will be revealed in what we experience as first love.

Beware of Performers Bearing Gifts

Being generous is, of course, a wonderful quality. It is also the sheep’s clothes of irrelationship, allowing us to hide our anxiety about being close to others.

Discovering Your Defense Against The World

Irrelationship is a joint psychological defense system, but how does our interaction with the world shape our relationship with ourself?


Holidating may be a way that irrelationship helps us—and someone not so close or special—keep the holidays blues, and anxieties, away.

Working and Living Through What Irrelationship Represses

This is the story of how two men—after a decade of struggling to reject their feelings for each other—love, work and love through irrelationship together.

Two Sides to Repression in Irrelationship: A Different View

Irrelationship can most certainly serve as a jointly created means of keeping the repressed—well—repressed.

Happy Holidays—Or Else!

Being haunted by the idea that other people are “better” at holiday celebrations than we are can drive us to “fix” our own family’s time together. But this preoccupation with “getting it right” can become an emotional wedge between ourselves and those we’re trying to please.

“Fix You,” Conscious Uncoupling and Irrelationship

We think “Conscious Uncoupling’s promise of a “Happily-even-after” makes good sense. Our one big concern, however, is that the description of "Conscious Uncoupling" also provides ample opportunity for irrelationship to do its very best—that is, each incident of conscious uncoupling might just be an incident where a couple has stepped on a land mine of irrelationship.

If You Spot It—Maybe You Got It

What we have found when working with people, couples, families, organizations and groups with the irrelationship model the real trick is to keep the focus on ourselves. We've also found that most people who have thus far been interested in the irrelationship notion are interested because it speaks to them. That is, it speaks to us.

Compulsive Scaregiving

Without a sense of security built on shared investment in empathy, intimacy and vulnerability, early company successes and wishful thinking can lull us into a false sense of security. Sometimes, someone is unconsciously relegated to “scare” us out of our sleep and into the serious work of mutually building actual security into the foundation of the organization.