Love Living, Quit Hating, Everyone Relating

Archive for the ‘Intimacy’ Category

Men being vulnerable

In Emotions, Intimacy, Relationships on October 1, 2010 at 8:00 am

written by Swag  

There is something about intimate relationships that scares the hell out of most men. I read an article the other day that briefly touched on the need for men to be more vulnerable with their partners. Actually, the author was speaking on the male desire to be himself in a relationship. Men aren’t really programmed to want to be vulnerable. It’s viewed as a weakness and it never seems to have any advantages. Personally, I think that being vulnerable with my girl makes me more secure with myself. I am less worried about being Superman and more focused on just being a man.  


Having someone who you believe always has your best interest in mind can be very healing, if you allow it to be. The only problem is, many times, relationships don’t provide the opportunity to be intimately vulnerable for men.  

Laughing couple.

Image via Wikipedia


I know my female readers are probably shrieking right now.  

“Of course we provide the opportunities to be vulnerable.”  

“We would love for them to talk about their feelings.”  

While this may seem like it’s the case, when a man is truly trusting of his partner (which equates to being vulnerable and secure at the same time), he is able to tell her pretty much everything, given his communication is on par.  

If I can’t be vulnerably honest with you, then I do not believe I am on secure footing in our relationship and on some level I do not trust you. I do not believe you will accept me for who I am.  

If you want your partner to be vulnerable with you. If you want your partner to know he can be himself and not just a forced idea, then take note:  

I may not have the vocabulary. If you believe that I should be able to interpret your needs by the aura you give off, then bear with me as I figure out a better way to tell you how I feel than a grunt or shrug. Since I don’t talk about my feelings as much as you, I may not be as adept at labeling them.  

Stop divulging so much so early on. Just because you tell me everything about yourself doesn’t mean I’m going to do the same. Leave a little mystery and let the intimate details flow more organically. In your rush to have me accept everything about you, I may have interpreted some things you told me as ways I think you won’t accept me. For every secret you tell me without us being securely in a relationship, there is a chance I’m putting a personal detail about into the “Can’t tell her that” bucket. I know it’s an assumption, but since I don’t know you well enough to know otherwise, that’s exactly what I going to do right now…assume.  

Get me drunk. I kid, of course, but a little loose juice never hurt. If you want to know more about me, make me a nice strong drink and ask questions….SLOWLY! Wait for your concoction to work its magic before you start asking about my relationship with my pops. Also, time your investigation. Halftime, during Monday Night Football, is not the proper time to have this conversation (and YES, I will be watching Sportscenter afterwards to catch the highlights of the game I just watched).  

Let me be ultra-direct every once in a while. Sometimes, I just want to tell it exactly as I think it. Yes, there is a such thing as having tact and no, my intentions are never to hurt or demean, but I can feel stifled when I have to censor my words. If you trust that your partner cares for you, then you have to be able to take a little stinger every now and again. When he knows he doesn’t have to pull his verbal punches (given they are genuine and not spiteful) then the more honest, vulnerable and trusting he will become overall. Relationships don’t work unless there is a freedom to discuss the issues that may hurt, yet help, our partners.  

Learn to get around the guy version of the story. Sometimes, before my girlfriend asks me a question, she will prefix it with “Give me the girl version.”  This means she wants details and feelings and descriptions and perspective and ambiance and weather and mood and verbatim quotes and….ARRRGGHHH!!!. Sometimes I don’t know how to do that so the guy version still comes out. If this happens with your partner, learn to ask the right questions. More likely than not, he will give you something  you can dig a little deeper on. Asking him immediately about what you want to know may solicit an “I don’t know” response, so learn to ask him about what he would like to expound upon before delving further.  

I am probably out of practice. Guys may not want to but they certainly need to vent a bit about what affects them.  The truth is, though, most men are out of practice. They are not used to leaning on others for emotional support. It’s not hard to see when your partner is stressed, so make sure to take note of the non-verbal cues he gives off. If he looks tired grab him a beer, let him unwind, non-verbally communicate to him that you have his back without pressuring him to open up (this just amounts to nothing but more pressure). It may make him more inclined to actually talk to you when he has relaxed a little. One of the best things about my girlfriend is her ability to know when not to say anything and let me cool off.  

Just because the world wants to jam men into a tiny, simplistic box, it doesn’t mean they are really that simple. All humans have emotions and every human finds the best way for them to express those emotions. Take a week and observe how your man really works and use some of that information to create better suited opportunities for him to become more vulnerable with you. Neither you or him should expect the other person to express themselves as the other would. If you wanted to date someone exactly like yourself, you would carry a full length mirror around everywhere. It’s not that men can’t communicate their vulnerabilities, it’s that they communicate them in a different manner.  


True Love

In Intimacy, Love, Relationships on July 30, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I have to say, I would love to be like the Huxtables. I wonder how they would classify their love. How would you classify yours?

Falling in Love – Have you ever had a dream where you feel like you are falling? After you jerk awake, there is always that moment where you make sure you’re ok. When you fall, you feel out of control. It’s an unnerving experience. ‘Falling in love’ is so aptly named because you get the same sense of losing or having no control. Falling in love refers to the overwhelming feelings that occur when your hormones kick in. Falling in love is the gateway to the other types of love. It’s the growing pains of love.

Infatuous Love – The ‘I need you around all the time’ love. You just can’t get enough of the other person. You want to spend every waking moment with them and it physically hurts to be away from them. The person becomes a chorus that plays in your head on a never-ending loop. You can’t remove it and you probably don’t want to.

Passionate Love – The never-ending flame. The burning desire to touch, kiss, and “love” someone. Passionate love is akin to infatuous love except that it embodies a deep physical desire. Rather than missing them while they are away, you miss how they make you feel physically when they are close. Many times passionate love and infatuous love go hand in hand, but for our purposes here, we will distinguish passionate love as physically oriented. When you ‘fall in love’, many times, what you are dealing with is the overwhelming physical desire of passionate love plus the deep emotional longing of infatuous love.

Romantic love – Here love is more about intimacy than passion. While passion exists, romantic love is based on trust and comfort more than desire and want. You know romantic love is in effect when you feel elated by being in the other persons presence. Rather than giving you a fix like passionate love, romantic love tends to put you at peace. Romantic love creates that ‘all is well with the world in this moment’ feeling. Romance is born out of emotional intimacy. It is nourished when two people believe they can be secure with each other. Being secure means you can provide support and be vulnerable in the same instant.

Familial Love – Love you feel for your family and friends. This love is usually unconditional and/or reciprocal.  It’s either or because sometimes we love family that isn’t very loving in return. It is usually both with friends because we tend to choose friends that support us in times of needs, guide us in times of turmoil, and advise us when we are up to no good. There is always less pressure to be perfect in familial love than in other types of love. It’s easy to love friends and family because most times you already feel accepted.

True Love  – Here love exists in a recipricol, beautiful balance. In order for true love to exist, there must be mutually acknowledged commitment. The partners involved have to consistently value the other person. To love anyone is to place value in them. When your valuing process wanes and dips in intensity it’s you, falling out of love. But it is a decision and not happenstance. True love doesn’t just happen. It is planted by your emotions, nourished by your actions, and harvested with appreciation. True love dies without continuous gardening. 

Perfect Love – This is true love’s goal. I am not sure it is attainable because it is difficult to love anyone, all the time, perfectly. I differentiate between true love and perfect love because I believe the former is a process by which we seek to attain the latter. In order for me to perfectly love, I have to be aware of everyone I come in contact with. I have to be aware of their real needs and their real motivations. If love is to be truly unconditional, than it can not be conditioned upon a specific person. I need to love everyone, including myself.  It is necessary to note that I would manifest love in a different manner to different people . Perfect love exists even when there is no reciprocal commitment from others. I don’t need you to love me in order for me to love you. I will just love you in a different form so that I am still able to love myself.

Perfect love is having a loving nature. On the other hand, true love is having a committed, loving relationship. The first speaks of every action you take, period. The second speaks of every action you take towards a specific person. I think while perfect love is an ideal, true love is a decision. Every other type of love are events along the way. You can be truly in love with someone and still experience the other types of love. True love does not mean a lack of passion or romance. 

So the real question to ask is “Have I decided to truly love my partner now that I have fallen in love with them”.



The Cookie Jar

In Attraction, Intimacy, Relationships on July 30, 2010 at 10:46 am

It’s probably obvious that I won’t be talking about real cookies today. What can I say? I love a good metaphor. This post is directed at any man who actually wants to find love (and keep it).

I know I may shock the ladies out there with this one but men ‘fall in love’ about as often as women do. We get infatuated and caught up. We crush hard and go to sleep with you on our minds. Oh yes, guys can fall in love. The real difference, I would say, is how easily men can fall out of love.

So let me describe a scenario to the fellas. Say you have found the sweetest girl on earth. She has a great smile and an infectious laugh. Everything she does is either a turn on or an inspiration. She’s confident and classy, poised and pretty. She’s the sweetest thing you’ve ever known. You love everything about her and want to take it to the next level. You have only known her for a month or so but you can tell she likes you because she giggles and blushes when you compliment her. In fact, she seems to like you a lot and tonight will be the first time either of you has ever been over the other person’s house. You bring her over to yours, of course, so there isn’t any chance of her kicking you out. More control of the environment and situation means more control over the outcome right? Cool.

The night progresses and goes from light and airy to hot and heavy. The passion is heating up and you decide to change locales and take her to the bedroom…..

Keep your hands out of that cookie jar boy!! The men who are honest enough to speak the truth will agree when I say that if you follow through on this, then there is a good chance that you will stop chasing.

Seriously. We are brainwashed indoctrinated by society to want and need the romantic chase. Both women and men love and adhere to it. We have this picture that love is like a high-speed chase, where women are meant to be pursued with a vigilance only seen in movies. But in reality, we as men see many women driving way too fast, running from pain and heartache. Like cops we can’t allow those women to go unabated. “Not on my stretch of the road,” we think. “I’m the law around here.” And so the chase ensues. We chase and it’s fun. She runs by playing hard to get while trying to keep her emotions in check. But we know its only a matter of time before something breaks down and we get what we want. THE COOKIES.

YES, I said it ladies. Some guys are only looking to snack on your goodies.

But I’m not talking to the guys who believe cookies are the goal. I am talking to the guys that haven’t quite figured out why the fun stops after the chase.

I am speaking from experience when I say this. If you really like someone, then the time you wait before opening the cookie jar is worth its wait in GOLD. Sexual Intimacy changes everything. You don’t think about each other the same way and many times when you attain it too early fellas, your compassionate side tends to disappear.

This may not be of any surprise but when you take a cookie out the jar, you now own the jar. It’s yours for safekeeping. The problem is, we never take care of our own things as well as we would someone elses. We just kind of leave the cookie jar around, unattended. We think since it is already ours we don’t have to put much work into to keeping it. “Who’s gonna steal my cookie jar. My name is on it.”  (Or maybe we are dumb enough to think we ate all the cookies – “There is nothing left, you can have it”).

In order to truly understand the worth of your lady (beyond her cookie jar) you have to delay the gratification. It’s an exercise in valuing your partner. Humans are treasures and if you plan on trying to love someone properly, then you had better get a full appraisal before purchasing of their heart or their jar. If you can’t afford the payments, you may be getting a visit from the repo man real soon.



A Love Triangle

In Intimacy, Love on July 16, 2010 at 12:04 am

The post title probably got you all worked up. But its not that kind of party people.

Robert Sternberg created this concept in the late ’80s. He believes that Love consists of three legs.

A) Intimacy – closeness, warmth, communication and support
B) Passion – physical attraction, desires, longing, and strong emotional needs other than sexual
C) Commitment – a decision of devotion to someone

What do you think? Is this it? Isn’t there more to Love than a simple diagram?


%d bloggers like this: