Make Yourself Available
Men are taught to hide their feelings as a sign of strength and masculinity. But when it comes to loving and being loved, that belief is a sure fire guarantee of isolation, loneliness, and depression. Show up, because only what you show is available to be loved.
Honesty is Your Trump Card
Love can be trusted only when you know you are being loved for who you really are for your excellence and shortcomings, your toughness and tenderness all of you. Honestly letting your
partner know what you think, what you feel, what you want and need opens the way for her to know you and love you. Deceit is a child’s game. Don’t play it.
Genuine Love Requires....
As simple as it may sound, a relationship takes two. Both people must feel seen, heard, appreciated, and valued. If you are the only one that counts, your partner is as good as invisible. And if only your partner counts, what’s the point of being in a relationship? A real life, satisfying relationship grows out of your willingness to work with your partner, especially when she has the better point of view.
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Differences are Critical
No matter how much two people have in common, when they enter into a relationship they soon discover all the ways they are different from one another. How you treat those differences will either make or break your relationship. Trying to change your partner leads only to resistance and rejection. Opening to your partner as different from you sets the stage for a love that is real, trustworthy, and secure because she will know that she is being loved for who she is and not for some idea or image of who you think she’s supposed to be. And that’s the only love that lasts.
Fear is Natural
No one receives any formal training for intimate relationships. So you may expect that loving is going to be trouble-free. But once two people move beyond the bliss at the beginning, their differences become apparent. Then it’s natural to be anxious and fearful that maybe who you are isn’t going to be enough. That’s normal. Deepening intimacy entails the risk of revealing yourself, discovering yourself, and allowing your partner to do the same.
Intimacy is not Automatic
You can have attraction, curiosity, and even sexual desire at first sight, but intimacy takes time. Intimacy results when two people share their affection and their fear, their desire and their upset, their willingness to be known and know one another. Be patient with love, it is a garden worth seeding and weeding, watering and pruning for the rest of your life.
Reposted from Men's Health Network, May 2002
Contact: James Sniechowski, Ph.D.
Co-Author of Be Loved For Who You Really Are
Men’s Health Network, Co-Founder