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Rough Lovin': 5 Steps to Set Healthy Boundaries When Dating  

Hey there, folks! Welcome to another episode of the Monster in My Head Show. I'm BRE, and today, I'm thrilled to announce the release of my song, Rough Lovin' which is all about enthusiastic consent in dating relationships/hookups (You can check it out here!). But before we dive into that, let's talk about the inspiration behind this track, which is all about how to create and maintain healthy boundaries for yourself in dating.

In my personal journey, developing and sustaining boundaries in my intimate relationships has been transformative. Having experienced sexual assault as a teenager, the thought of creating and communicating healthy boundaries was foreign to me and felt damn near impossible. But after years of therapy and self reflection, it's now one of my strengths! The things I share below are applicable to everyone, regardless of gender identity. Enthusiastic consent and boundary-setting are universal and essential for us all.

Without further ado, here are 5 steps you can take to develop and sustain healthy boundaries while you're dating.

1. Believe in Your Worthiness:

  • Many times we allow people to treat us however they want because we don't believe we deserve more.
  • The first step in setting healthy boundaries is to cultivate the love yourself that will allow you to believe you are worthy of those boundaries.
  • If you recognize that you are a people pleaser and don't want to set boundaries because you feel you'll disappoint the person you're seeing, remind yourself that you are one half of the intimate experience - your feelings matter just as much as theirs!
  • Try taking care of yourself in the same way you would take care of someone you love. How would you want your best friend to be treated in an intimate relationship? Enforce that for yourself.

2. Communicate Openly:

  • Be overly communicative about your comfort level from the get go.
  • If there are things you don't feel comfortable with, let the person know explicitly, preferably before it starts happening, but also at any time that discomfort arises.
  • In a perfect world, the person you're with would actively read your body language and make decisions on how to interact with you based on that.
  • However, this tends to be the exception, not the norm. We can't expect someone to read our minds, and will sometimes be dealing with people who don't want to be told no.
  • Be very clear with what you are and are not ok with. If they don't like it, they're not right for you.

3. Don't Fear Hurting Feelings:

  • Prioritize your well-being over potential discomfort for others.
  • Someone who has good moral character will respect you for standing up for yourself when you feel uncomfortable.
  • You are responsible for your feelings. Therefore, it is your job to take care of yourself, doing what you need to do to be healthy and safe.
  • If the person you're with gets their feelings hurt by your honesty and boundary setting, that's their problem, not yours.

4. Recognize Manipulation:

  • If someone tries to manipulate, guilt, or pressure you into doing things you don't want to do, leave. This is a strong indicator of their character and shows quickly that they're not worth your time.
  • If someone refuses to comply with your requests to help take care of your safety and health while being intimate, such as using protection or getting tested, they don't respect you, and therefor shouldn't get the pleasure of your company.
  • Your safety and comfort are non-negotiable and are the top priority throughout your experience. Period.

5. No Shame in Your Journey:

  • Regardless of your experience with intimacy, there's no shame.
  • Society tells us we have to experience certain things by certain times, but all of our stories are different.
  • Some people need to take things slower than others due to trauma, anxiety, or just the desire to take things slow. All needs are valid and totally ok.
  • Your journey is as unique as you are. The main thing to do is just take care of yourself in the process!

Conclusion and Song Release: I hope these insights are helpful. Feel free to share your tips and stories in the comments. Also, don't forget to check out my new song, "Rough Lovin'," which encapsulates the power of enthusiastic consent. It's part of my album release, and I'll be discussing the meaning behind each song in future episodes.

Remember, you are valuable, deserving of love, and worthy of respect. Thanks for reading, and I'll see you next week!

Listen to Rough Lovin' here:

Watch the music video and learn all about the song:

Choose to Believe: 6 Steps to Overcome Dating Anxiety 

Welcome to the Monster in My Head Show, where we delve into real insecurities and issues many of us face. I'm BRE, your host, and today's special episode addresses a topic close to my heart—overcoming dating anxiety. This discussion is inspired by my new song, "Choose to Believe," which explores getting back into the dating world after heartbreak. You can check out the song here.

Navigating the complexities of dating anxiety has been an ongoing journey for me, and though I don't have all the answers, I've gathered insights that might resonate with you. So if you struggle with fear around dating and relationships due to bad past experiences (or lack of experience), this is the article for you! Let's dive in:

1.Recognize That Dating Anxiety is Common:

  • Thriveworks reports that the vast majority of people (77%) say that their negative experiences with past partners have influenced the way they show up for present-day and future relationships.
  • Almost all of us have baggage that causes fear and anxiety when instigating or entering new dating relationships.
  • The modern dating landscape offers unique challenges that many of us recognize, making it very difficult to be vulnerable.
  • Understand that your anxiety is not a unique experience. Most likely the person you're approaching has it too.
  • Fears around beginning the dating process is a shared struggle, and awkward moments are part of the process. Have grace for yourself!

2.Give People the Benefit of the Doubt:

  • As long as you approach someone with respect, assume that the person you'd like to talk to is not actively going to be an asshole.
  • Giving someone the benefit of the doubt when you start casual conversations will cause you to treat them in a way that will encourage good behavior in them.
  • Understand that most people are kind and not out to be dismissive.

3.Desensitize Yourself to Rejection:

  • Overcome the fear of rejection by realizing it doesn't define your worth.
  • Understand that a rejection in the very beginning of getting to know someone often reflects compatibility issues rather than personal shortcomings (And if there's something continually going wrong that you realize you need to work on, join the club!).
  • Do your best to desensitize yourself to rejection in order to make yourself more comfortable approaching people without knowing what the outcome will be.

4.Be Your Authentic Self From the Beginning:

  • Embrace being yourself in dating situations.
  • Avoid molding yourself to fit perceived expectations, as true sustainability comes from being genuine.
  • Though you may have more options in the beginning by trying to become what others may ‘want’ of you, long term potential comes from being your true and authentic self from the beginning, and letting that weed out the people who may not be compatible with that.
  • Additionally, people can sniff out inauthenticity. The more you are yourself, the more you will attract the right people to you.

5.Take the Pressure Off for a Time:

  • If you struggle with feeling pressure to find ‘the one’ when you date, take a year and view it as dating practice.
  • Designate that year to be dedicated to learning how to be a better dater rather than finding ‘the one’
  • This will allow you to show up in whatever relationships you come across more relaxed, more curious, and less attached to the results, which is in turn attractive!
  • Shift the focus from a specific outcome to enjoying interactions and gaining valuable insights.

6.Take It as Slow as You Need:

  • Embrace vulnerability at your own pace.
  • It's ok to take things slow with someone, both emotionally and physically, to get to know them.
  • Prioritize personal comfort and openness, allowing a deeper connection to develop naturally.


Dating anxiety is a shared experience, and there's no one-size-fits-all solution. As we navigate the complex world of dating, remember that being authentic and embracing vulnerability at your own pace can lead to more meaningful connections. I'm still on this journey myself, and I hope these insights help you feel less alone in your experiences.

Hopefully these tips have been helpful for you - feel free to listen to the entire episode below, and don't forget to stream ‘Choose to Believe’!

Listen to ‘Choose to Believe’ here:

Watch the music video and learn more about the song:

Monster in Your Head: 5 Ways to Overcome the Inner Critic 

Hey there, folks! Welcome to another episode of the Monster in My Head Show. I'm BRE, and today, I'm thrilled to announce the release of my song, Monster in My Head, which you can listen to here.

But before we dive into that, let's talk about the inspiration behind this track, which is all about how to conquer the monster in our minds.

The Monster in My Head is all about grappling with the inner voice that constantly berates you, labeling you as a failure, not good enough, or generally highlighting your shortcomings. It's that relentless voice that can make life feel like an inescapable nightmare. I wanted to share a few tools I have developed over the years that has helped me overcome this voice in case they are helpful for you!



Five Tips to Overcome the Monster in Your Head


1.Deal With Your Self-Talk

  • When you're dealing with an overly self criticizing inner voice, try to imagine yourself as the child you used to be 
  • Challenge the negative inner voice by asking if you would say those things to your younger self, and if what it's saying has any basis of truth for that child
  • If the answer is no, discard the words of the inner voice, look at each point it was trying to make, and speak truth instead. What would you say to that child in this situation?

This will help you treat yourself with more kindness, recognizing when your thoughts are coming from the self critic or from your true self.

2. Change Your Definition of Success

  • Redefine success in a way that focuses on internal growth rather than external achievements.
  • Make sure your goals are centered on things you can control, such as:
    • How much you can learn
    • Controlling your actions
    • Regulating your self talk
  • Once you start feeling successful internally, you can then set external goals from a place of abundance rather than desperation

Operating in this way will allow you to have lower stakes because no matter what happens outside of you, you will feel successful internally

3. Detach Yourself from a Timeline

  • Challenge societal expectations and timelines. WHY do you have to hit certain milestones by certain ages?
  • Understand that everyone's life unfolds at its unique pace. There is no ‘normal’, though our culture likes to tell us there is in order to sell us on products and services to help maintain it.
  • Your life is your life, and whatever pace want it to go at is completely valid

By detaching from made up timelines, you can remove the pressure and shame from your shoulders in order to figure out what you actually want and where you want to go.

4. Recognize that Hustle Culture is Bullshit

  • Reject the idea that relentless hard work is the only path to success. People who sell it are usually selling you something.
  • Work to find balance between pursuing goals and taking care of your well-being. A career that drains you of all energy and time to build into other areas of your life is not successful, no matter how much money it makes you.
  • Think about what you hope to see when you look back at your life from your death bed. What are the things that will matter most then? Invest in those things sustainably.

Think about what it looks like to prioritize sustainable success in all areas of your life, rather than chasing the carrot of monetary and status-based success to the exclusion of everything else.

5. View Life as an Adventure, Not a Journey

  • Shift the perspective on your life from being one of aiming for the end result of a journey to the joy of exploration in an adventure
  • When you see life as a journey, it can be easy to try to rush through each day to get to your goal, which we always think will make us happy, but rarely does for long
  • An adventure on the other hand is an experience where you take joy in each day and wake up excited to see what will happen next
  • This will allow for a more sustainably joyful life

The idea is to find joy in the process of growth and self-discovery rather than fixating on reaching predetermined destinations.

Hopefully these tips have been helpful for you - feel free to listen to the entire episode below, and don't forget to stream ‘Monster in My Head’!

Listen to ‘Monster In My Head’ :

Watch the music video and learn more about the song: