Posts Tagged ‘connection’

In this series (see Part 1 and Part 2 here) we are outlining what qualities women are NOT after in a man. The purpose is to shed some light on your quest to be the best version of yourself for your wife’s sake by showing you which qualities you would do best to emphasize in your interactions with her. When a woman marries, she chooses and hopes for certain qualities. The problem is, it’s not always intuitive to a man what particular qualities his woman married him for and which ones he would do better to keep for use at work, with friends, or in the garage.

This post is about a certain quality that men often find themselves in a rut with. Picture the scenario in which you’ve been stressed at work, you have a friend going through a crisis and you’re overdue on some home projects. You need space and time: time to think, time to find some answers, and, hey, time to spend in your “nothing box” (a.k.a. the area of the male brain where literally nothing happens).

Your wife, however, is trying to connect with you and wants to know if you’re ok. You’re not sure you want to open up right now as this is risky. You want to hold back from sharing too much – you’re in an emotional holding pattern and want to stay there.

If you’re a married man reading this, you already heard the rest of the story. If you’re not familiar with this story… well, let’s just say it rarely has a happy ending. What’s with that? No man is really sure. But in falling into this trap something begins to become clear:

One quality she doesn’t want from you is silence.

You might pride yourself in being a rock. An island. Stoicism is maybe a quality that’s admired where you work. But the tendency to clam up and keep everyone and everything out, while you figure it out, is not something that she needs from you.

Connectivity, however, is. She wants you to speak willingly from where you’re at in thought and in heart. She needs you to need her to listen as you expound on the influencing factors of your life. Not in a surface sort of way, but to share your heart deeply with her.

This is why communication that’s honest and open is so important to her world. Connecting with your deep thoughts and dreams gives her perspective on your needs and how to meet them more effectively. And honestly, we want our wives to know us on increasingly deeper levels.

Of course, opening your heart when it’s not your habit to do so is much more difficult than retreating into yourself. Truly communicating your inner musings requires taking the trouble to find the vocabulary to share them. It’s about trust. It’s about shelving your quest for retreating into yourself long enough to consider how to be able to share your needs with your life’s partner. In her world, when she knows she has access to your heart, and she understands you, she’ll be the greatest defender of your need for time alone.

When it comes to your silence, she’s already had to live with enough of that. What she’s still waiting for your willingness and vulnerability to share your deep side. She needs to know you want her to know. Give her that quality.


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Holding Hands

To have a hand to hold is no small thing. When you don’t have a hand to hold, you want one – a lot. When you’ve finally got it, it’s fulfillment, in and of itself. When it’s new and a novelty it’s invigorating. When it’s normal practice it’s enduringly comforting and close. But when it’s a forgotten art a post like this comes as a good reminder.

Holding hands says something quite different than a touch to the arm, a hug or even a quick kiss. It says, “I want to feel your closeness, and I want it to stay.” Holding hands says so much without using words at all:

Walking hand in hand can tell your spouse you’re enjoying sharing life’s journey with them, and that’s what you treasure most. Holding hands at the movies can say this escape from ordinary life is made great by your company. Holding hands while talking with friends can say you can’t wait to be alone together again. Holding hands in church can signify how important sharing your spirituality really is. Holding hands while walking in the mall can say if you could buy the world, it’s still not worth more than having each other. Holding hands while falling asleep can say to each other your companionship means more than anything in the world out there.

Even if it’s a forgotten art in your relationship, the beauty of holding hands is that it is so easy to rediscover. Use it today to say, “I want to feel your closeness, and I want it to stay.”

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You might have read our last two posts on Vacation Sex (Making Love Happen and Your Turn) and found yourself wishing things were better between the two of you. Perhaps you’d like to employ the ideas of making specific time for your sexuality together, and taking turns focusing your sexual attention on each other, but things aren’t good and you don’t know how to “get there.”

Please remember this: while the quality of your sex-life is an indicator of the quality of your relationship, it can also be a driving force. That is, your sex-life can help LEAD and CHANGE the quality of your relationship, not just follow along helplessly. (For more on this here check out our post: Sex it Up to Live it Up).

This means, then, that you have more control than you think you do. It means that good things can happen when you reach past the resistance to prioritizing sex and do it anyway.

The best thing for a hurting or fighting family to do is to reach past all the angst and go on holidays anyway, purposing to leave the frustrations aside to reconnect around some fun and closeness. The best for a strained friendship is for the friends to go accomplish something together, face a challenge, go have some fun. They must reach past the struggle in the relationship to find the fuel and impetus to resolve the conflict.

It’s the nature of all relationships that what you focus on gets magnified. Most often, to focus on the fun, or camaraderie, or opportunity, is to magnify the connection to the point that the contention is seen for what it really is.

So reach past the angst. The unforgiveness. The issues. And determine to connect sexually with your spouse regardless of what he or she could’ve or should’ve done or even needs to do.

Purpose to put your frustrations aside for a time. Reach past the struggles in your relationship to find the fuel and impetus to help you resolve your issues. Make some agreed upon rules for your time together: no fighting, no bringing up x-y-z issue, no manipulation – just two lovers enjoying each other in order to bring perspective to everything else they face out there.

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This week we’re giving you three conversational “runways.” As a couple, you can introduce these concepts into your dialogue and watch your talking together soar in productivity. Tap into the “conversation beneath the conversation” and address dynamics that you may both know of, but perhaps are not exactly on the same page with. Aligning and fine-tuning on this deeper level will make all the other conversations that much easier.

Driving Your Conversations Deeper: Seasons

Life is lived in seasons. And similar to the natural seasons, there is a seeming tug of war between the seasons of life as one merges into the next and things change. A great question to be aware of and answer together is, “What season are we in right now in our relationship or in our lives?”

Periodically looking at everything in your life through this lens is a key to being able to flow with and appreciate what each season brings your way. It’s a crucial key to your attitude and ability to enjoy each season for what it is.

Talk about this analogy of seasons in your relationship. There are broad seasons like “early love,” “young family,” “empty nesters,” etc., and there are micro seasons as well. There will be seasons of excitement and growth in your love-life followed by times of tenderness and nurture. There will also be times of giving to others (sowing) and times of taking time for yourselves (reaping), times of busyness and times of relaxation.

Once you’ve established a description of what season you’re in together you can allow your expectations to shift around it so you’ll be better positioned to take full advantage of that season. You can use each season, regardless of what it is, to draw closer to each other and deepen your relationship, as long as you’re in it together.

Seasons change, and so will the place you’re in now in your marriage. And when a season starts to change, talk about it openly. Talk, discover, shape what’s coming down the road. Instead of having static expectations about your relationship, feel free to let them follow the natural rhythm of the seasons your love will pull you into.

Life is lived in seasons. Which one are you in? What do you like and not like about it? What season is coming? Face it together, hand in hand.

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This “Kissing 101″ series of posts isn’t for novices. (Click here to read our last post.)

In fact they don’t need it at all – have you seen their eagerness?! No, your need of Kissing 101 is directly proportional to your anniversary number. Its aim is to help prevent you from ever becoming one of those couples that don’t kiss anymore. And if you fear you have, this is your incentive to rediscover the magic of connecting with a kiss.

Never forget this: great kissing is about connecting, about touching the soul of another in ways that words never can. It’s a communication of your desire to know your spouse and be known by them.

That’s why you can’t connect in a kiss that is a commonplace habit, just another peck on the cheek before you leave for work. Sadly, casual or routine kissing ends up becoming unnoticeable, and the opportunities to connect become lost.

To become great kissers again is readily within your grasp. It starts with a desire to connect. As you enter your next kiss, identify your desire to feel more, to reach past the ordinary nature of the moment you’re sharing to touch something much deeper. Let your kiss be an interruption of the normal, and a reminder of the connection you share. Let it be an affirmation of how and what you feel about your mate.

A connecting kiss, by its very nature, is a longer kiss. It’s not sexual, although kissing is an entry way to more physical expressions of love. And it’s not selfish in any way. It’s primarily curious. It’s a desire to know more fully, to connect deeper, and to explore further.

As you probably well know, there have been some great quotes on kissing over the years, and it’s easy to trace the concept of connection through them all. Follow us on Twitter for our “10 days of Kissing Quotes.” Even if you don’t have a Twitter account, it’s easy to view these quotes: click on this link to follow us (www.twitter.com/couplethings) and check back daily between Oct. 7-17th, or search our Timeline for this time period.

Don’t ever let something so full of mystery and intrigue, so packed with emotion and longing, become dull and average between the two of you. Get in touch with the role of connection in your kissing, and let it never be the same again.

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This “Kissing 101” series of posts isn’t for novices. (Click here to read our last post.)

In fact they don’t need it at all – have you seen their eagerness?! No, your need of Kissing 101 is directly proportional to your anniversary number. Its aim is to help prevent you from ever becoming one of those couples that don’t kiss anymore. And if you fear you have, this is your incentive to rediscover the magic of a great kiss.

Great kissing involves surrender: a mutual surrender to that moment and to each other. The pressures of reality around you are suspended as you “lose yourself” in the intimacy of the exchange, allowing for a connection between you that will sustain you through the busyness of life.

That’s why you can’t surrender in a kiss when it is viewed as an interruption or an obligation. No, surrender requires acceptance of the interruption, of the priority, of the exclusivity of the moment.

To become great kissers again is readily within your grasp. Very simply, it requires surrender. Remember your last forget-the-rest-of-the-world kiss? In that moment, you surrendered completely to the moment and your mate, and your shared exchange became the only thing that mattered. So now, perhaps years later, don’t allow “more important things” steal your kissing moments. Remind yourself to welcome the interruption of a kiss, and revel in the intimacy of the moment.

As we’re sure you are aware, great kissing isn’t for analyzing, so get inspired instead, and note the element of surrender in this compilation of some of Hollywood’s great kisses.

When your lips next meet your spouse’s, be aware of surrender. Are you asking for it or giving it? Are you accepting the advance? The interruption? The invitation to advance? When you surrender, you heighten the experience of your kiss.

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This “Kissing 101” series of posts isn’t for novices.

In fact they don’t need it at all – have you seen their eagerness?! No, your need of Kissing 101 is directly proportional to your anniversary number. Its aim is to help prevent you from ever becoming one of those couples that don’t kiss anymore. And if you fear you have, this is your incentive to rediscover the magic of a simple kiss.

So what’s the big idea about a kiss anyway? Kissing elevates you out of the hustle and bustle of what just happened and what’s next. It suspends the reality of the mundane, about the cat, the dog and the kids, the next appointment and the laundry. It captures a moment and gives it its highest potential – which is knowing that you’re loved and together in the middle of it all.

Primarily, kissing is about capture. Kissing seals a moment and locks it, with all its context and potential, somewhere deep inside you and inside the one whose attention you arrest with it.

That’s why it’s a travesty not to kiss much anymore. Or, almost as worse, to kiss without noticing. Is there really nothing new to capture? Is the wonder gone? Is the rush of life really worth more than the moment you could have just had? Or, perhaps, you have just stopped noticing what’s under your nose. Travesty indeed.

To become great kissers again is readily within your grasp. It starts with noticing. Remember when you were dating? That first kiss? You sure noticed that moment, and you learned quickly to celebrate all those like it and seal them with many kisses. So now, perhaps years later, don’t allow your togetherness to become “normal.” Notice moments together again and seal them with kisses.

For a great refresher on how to notice and capture a moment with a kiss, watch this scene from the movie HITCH where Hitch (a dating coach) teaches Albert (his client) the keys to that first kiss moment.

Seize the next available opportunity and capture it. Write it on your heart and someone else’s with a kiss, and do it again at the next opportunity.

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