Straightforward Relationship Advice for Men: Getting the Love You Want

Getting the Love You Want Without Being Inconsiderate With any luck and no small amount of perseverance, we’ve all achieved important things in life: completed our educational goals, built successful careers, and maybe even raised children. Every one of us can claim at least one major success in life. When we want something badly enough, we’ll work until we get it. And yet, why does getting the love you want, feel so incredibly difficult? I get some version of this question almost every week. My response: Yes! Getting the love you want is tough. But the skills you need for intimacy aren’t much different than the skills you’ve already developed for life. You need to learn why and how to apply them. Believe it or not, success in any aspect of your life, including love; requires aggression. Sounds contradictory, I know. We think of our ideal love as gentle and forgiving, while aggression is best saved for the board room and rush hour traffic. But those are just two examples of aggression. What I teach in both love and life is the concept of constructive aggression, the ability to assert one’s self for self-preservation. In other words, it’s a fancy way of describing the act of sticking up for yourself. In a relationship, you may notice that a feeling is nearing a tipping point. Something about your partner, something they do or don’t do. Your partner doesn’t pay attention when you want it, doesn’t offer help when you need it, or they talk when you’d prefer they listen —is wearing you down. Maybe it’s on your mind all the time or causing symptoms such as excessive alcohol use or destructive fantasies. This is the perfect time to call on your constructive aggression to resolve the feeling. Believe it or not, success in any aspect of your life, including love, requires aggression. Here’s how. You have to either present your need to your partner or deal with your anger. For example, you could say, “I need you to please talk to your mom less during our evenings together,” or “I’m upset that you interrupted me when I was talking.” I admit that this can be tough. We tend to fear that using our constructive aggression will come off as mean or selfish. The problem though is that focusing on other people’s feelings more than our own is a recipe for disaster. …

Sex Dreams and The Meaning Behind Them

Intimacy dreams (sex dreams) is a very popular topic with my patients and anybody who finds out that I’m a psychiatrist. Intimacy dreams or sex dreams, and what do they say about us and our relationships? Well, they say quite a lot. However, what they say is not literal. All studies have shown that you are not so much in control of your environment and what you do as your unconscious is. Your unconscious is playing a more significant role in your life than you know or maybe care to admit. It’s there, and it’s very active, and that’s what comes out in our dreams. Your dreams are your unconscious talking to you. It’s a wonderful source to get to know yourself better if you can listen in a certain way. That’s why us Shrinks love dreams and not just night dreams but daydreams too, they are also really informative. Your unconscious is very important; it’s telling you about you, it’s typically a side of you that you don’t want to admit. Usually, it’s stuff that’s been shoved down, and it wants attention or to be recognized. And for some reason, your conscious has either thought it not important or has some problem with it; so it gets relegated. My patients know I call it the basement, it gets shoved in the basement where it causes lots of issues. Dreams are symbolic, not literal. People come to me worried that they had sex dreams about somebody else and wonder if that means they’re a cheater. No, it’s not that simple, it’s not be taken as real and literally, necessarily. There’s one exception, there’s something we call a residue dream, where you dream about something that happened during your day. That does happen, but typically, dreams are symbolic, and they are wish-fulfillment. So again, if you dream about cheating on somebody, does that mean you wish to cheat? Not necessarily, again, not literally. But we have to realize there’s probably a wish under there that we haven’t recognized or haven’t given attention to. How do we figure that out? If it’s not literal, how do we figure it out? Let me give you some examples. Let’s say you have a dream about being sexually attracted to someone who you consciously have no sexual attraction to whatsoever. Dreams don’t forecast the future you’re not predicting the future in your dreams. If you …

intimacy in a relationship

Intimacy vs Sex Quiz

The Intimacy vs Sex Quiz Which force drives your relationships? How much do you know about these two powerful forces? And which one is in the driver’s seat when it comes to your relationships? Question One: If your partner says (s)he wants to increase the intimacy in your relationship, how are you most likely to try doing that? A. Give her/him more gifts and initiate sex more often. B. Agree with her/him more. C. Make an attempt to connect with her/him emotionally, even when you sense you’re not on the same page about an issue. Question Two: In your experience, what’s the most prominent warning signal that your relationship may be on the rocks? A. You hardly have sex anymore. B. You may have sex as much as you used to, but you’re fighting more often. C. You seem to be living on two different planets and hardly spend any time together, let alone have sex with each other. Question Three: It’s often said that make-up sex is the best sex. Which of the following best matches your thoughts on why? A. The physical rush of sex takes care of all the pent-up energy from the fight and makes me feel better. B. Arguments can be mentally draining. Sex is a way of saying, “We’re still a couple”; it brings us together, instead of seeing each other as the enemy as we do when we fight. C. Sex can be just as emotional as it is physical. Make-up sex is great because if you’ve just resolved an argument together, you’re connecting on the most intimate level possible. Question Four: Foreplay and sex go hand-in-hand. Which of the following best matches your thoughts on how to ensure one follows the other? A. It’s all about getting her/him into the bedroom. If you spend enough time getting the mood right physically, sex is pretty much a certainty. B. It’s about finding the right moment. If either one of us is exhausted or distracted, there’s not much hope of sex. But when we’re both game, it’s a pretty sure thing. C. It’s all about connecting emotionally. If we waited until we were both in the mood or the kids weren’t sick, or neither one of us were stressed at work, we’d never have sex. Making a dedicated effort to connect leads to way more sex than jumping into bed together. How did you …

Lack of Intimacy in Relationship or Marriage

Lack of intimacy in relationship or marriage can be from the husband or wife’s viewpoint. Lack of intimacy could be verbal or sexual. Are you trying to figure out what to do about your marriage with no intimacy, and where does it come from? Let’s focus on what I hear the most, which is an internal struggle people have with feelings. They feel as though something is wrong with them or something is wrong with their spouse. The internal sense of feeling, “am I outside of the norm? Is the norm having this trouble?” The external struggle of what is going on is, “is my partner having an affair? Should we be going on more trips? Should I take more time off work?” They’re focusing on what to do about it as opposed to the feelings about it all.  The three things to focus on when dealing with a lack of intimacy: Where does intimacy come from? How does it make men and women different? What to do about it? We must understand first and foremost that sexuality develops in different stages as a psychological development in men and women. Women’s sexuality develops at a different stage from men, and therefore, there is some reason why women tend to focus more on verbal intimacy, and men tend to focus more on sexual intimacy. Women develop their sexuality in the oral phase of development. That’s the very first psychological stage we go through. Think about a newborn baby; they’re consumed with putting things in their mouths, consuming orally. It’s all dependent on the sites, smells, sounds that go along with that.  Men develop their sexuality in the anal phase of development. That’s when babies are focused on elimination, where to eliminate, how to eliminate, the relief upon elimination. That is why women tend to focus more on the setting of sexuality and men on the sexual act itself. What to do about it? The vital thing to remember whenever you’re dealing with your significant other is to understand that both verbal intimacy and sexual intimacy are important. What do we hear all of the time? That women tend to value more the verbal side; it’s more important to them. But they downplay the sexual act. We’ve all heard this; how women say, “all he wants is sex; all he wants is a piece, that’s all he cares about.” As if there’s …

spice up your sex life

3 Tips on How to Spice Up Your Sex Life

Spice Up Your Sex Life and Get What You Want in the Bedroom   Contrary to popular belief, there is nothing wrong with what you’re doing, or want to do in the bedroom. As long as both you and your partner are committed to the relationship and open to experimentation. There does not need to be any shame in the bedroom. Period. But how, you ask? How can I ask my partner for what I want? Here are 3 tips to a happier bedroom experience and to make it easier to spice up your sex life. One: Take advantage of the mood and the moment. Most of my patients find it most comfortable to talk about sex when they’re already having sex. In other words, use the moment to demonstrate what you like, to ask for more of it and to suggest something entirely new. Mood has a way of opening people up to new experiences. For example, try the following the next time you and your partner find yourselves between the sheets. I like it when you do that … You seem to like it when I do this … Remember the time we … Want to try it again? I’ve always had a fantasy about … are you willing to try it with me? Of course, you’ll want to build your experimental boundaries gradually, so be careful not to ask too much of your partner all at once. No matter how romantic the mood, dramatic changes can kill a moment. Two: Explore your physical/emotional connection Nothing will ever progress in your sex life unless your relationship stands on a solid emotional foundation. Experimentation requires trust. Trust that you won’t hurt or betray or shame each other, trust that you’ll respect each other’s boundaries and trust that you will keep your commitments to each other. I counsel couples and individuals alike to spend as much time reinforcing the emotional core of their relationship as they do the physical core. There are many exercises and conversations that a coach or therapist can facilitate for you. But there are an equal number of conversations that you can and should be having within the privacy or your walls. Before launching into new sexual frontiers to spice up your sex life, take some time to ensure you’re both ready and willing. Start with one or more of the following: Discuss and agree on …