Improving your self confidence in the Lifestyle
HUGE thank you to Andrew for taking part of this months blog series about health, confident and lifestyle! It is super refreshing to hear so many vulnerable stories from amazing lifestyle couples.
We hope you enjoy this Q&A session as much as we did
Tell us something about yourself or your partner, how long you have been together, where in the world you live and how long you’ve been non-monogamous
Andrew and LeiLani. We are high school sweethearts that live in Kansas City, Missouri. We have been together for 21 years, married for almost 18. And we’ve been non-monogamous for a little over 2 years.
Tell us about your health, have you always been into fitness? Have you always been confident? Have you ever been jealous?
When I was in my 20s and even early 30s I was not into fitness at all. My health was generally okay just because I was young, but I was overweight and out of shape for sure. LeiLani and I didn’t have particularly active social lives at the time, we lived kinda boring during these years mostly.
I have not always had good self-confidence. My confidence has improved since I became more active and have gotten into better shape, lost weight, etc. However, there are still a lot of better looking men than me out there. Also I’m short, only 5′ 7″, and there’s nothing I can do about that so over time there has been a healthy amount of just accepting myself for who I am.
“So, I struggled with seeing the attention she would receive”
Jealousy. Yes, we’re acquainted. When we first started getting into better shape, as I’m sure many people can relate to, I was better looking than I used to be but I still identified as an overweight, unattractive guy. But right in front of my eyes was proof of how attractive LeiLani was. So, I struggled with seeing the attention she would receive from other men. I was feeling a bit threatened by the attention she would receive and feeling like I wasn’t quite worthy.
Do you find there has been a change in you before and after joining the lifestyle
The LS has enormously improved my self-confidence while also helping me learn to understand and mitigate jealousy. It’s primarily experience and communication that’s done it for me. Our first non-monogamous experience was with a single lady, and the validation that experience provided greatly improved my self-confidence while also not exposing me to the potential threat of another man. This is probably what I needed at that time. However, my growth wouldn’t have continued to evolve if we’d stuck with just that I think. The first time we full swapped with another couple, we had a great time and everything went well, but she was right there with me the following morning and we were debriefing and reconnecting and it was clear her feelings for me hadn’t been harmed or changed by experiencing another man. Of course, this pattern has repeated a few times now and the stability of my self-confidence seems very secure now.
Do you experience any issues now since being in the lifestyle?
I no longer experience jealousy regarding the attention LeiLani gives to or receives from others. This isn’t to say it can’t happen. There could be certain situations that could cause it. The jealousy I sometimes experience now is actually one that she and I share, which is the jealousy that hits us together when a couple we’ve connected with turns around and connects with someone else. That makes us a little jealous.
Do you have more motivation, more concern, more effort or more strength now
Honestly, I certainly try to place importance on looking good, in terms of working with what I’ve got. However, as my self-confidence has improved and also as my experience in the LS has reinforced an understanding that women are attracted by plenty of different things, and many of them are personality-based and not physical, it may actually take the edge off of motivation just a bit. If I know I can attract women with wit and charm and humor, I’m not going to put myself through hell to be 3 lbs lighter or run a million miles to try and have 6-pack abs.
Andrew and LeiLani; water bunnies and lovers
Do you compare yourself to other people? Couples? Singles? Partners? If so, how do you compare? (financial, success, fitness, physical, etc)
Of course I compare myself. Anyone who says they don’t is lying, but the degree to which they stress over comparisons is the difference. I don’t stress much over comparisons. I often don’t consider myself the better-looking guy (or sometimes I do, it depends). When we get naked, of course I sneak a peek at his cock to see how it compares to mine. But, regardless of how the comparison comes out in my head it doesn’t seem to bother me.
As a couple we do compare ourselves in various ways to other couples, too. Mostly this is just about styles over the way different couples flirt and interact with each other and with us. It’s just dynamics that we consider really interesting to study. We really don’t stress over things like couples being more or less successful, wealthy, etc. The kinds of things we get jealous of are things like couples with a grandma close so they have easy babysitting for LS dates.
What is some advice you’d offer other people who might be dealing with the same thing as you now?
When it comes to self-confidence and jealousy, there is no substitute for putting yourself out there in real, vulnerable situations, and growing from experience. The key is to make sure you take baby steps, communicate well with your spouse so you don’t wind up with jealousy that goes unnoticed and made worse.
Is there something that helped you?
The 5 Love Languages was a good book for me to read, to understand the different ways that people receive and give love and how that’s not the same for everybody. Other than that, help for me has always come in the form of other people I’ve talked to, most of all my wife LeiLani.
If you’re still battling with it now, what helps you keep going?
I don’t really struggle with jealousy regarding LeiLani anymore. We struggle as a team with jealousy as a team over other couples sometimes, and in that case, at least we have each other to lean on.