I'm going to start this blog off with something that works as well on a first date as it does on a tenth, applies to casual conversation as well as intimate sex, and can circumvent 99% of all the friction that exists in a relationship.
I want to talk a little bit about some aspects of relationships. Two people meet, and they like each other. The get to know each other, find commonalities, and decide that they want to continue to explore each other. On a deeper level, maybe an unconscious one, something inside senses that this is the right person to satisfy some of their needs. What needs? Understanding, intimacy, support, sexuality, romance, excitement, security...
Everybody has their own priorities, and everybody's is different. (What's on your list?)
Now, our two people will each have their own list, and some of the items will be the same for both, and some things different. And they both hope that, whether the items are the same or not, this other person will be able to satisfy their own needs (and hopefully, be glad to do it).
And at first they both work really had to do just that. And they really get to know each other. And they both get really comfortable with each other. It becomes a relationship.
So why is it that it's usually at this point that the friction starts. Shouldn't it all continue to get better?
As people get more comfortable with each other, their defenses come down, their door open, and they feel freer to 'be themselves' and also to expect their partner to understand them and their needs. Sometimes it happens, and other times it doesn't and when it doesn't, it causes friction. The friction can come later in a relationship because it's only when people are really comfortable and trusting of each other that they begin to expect their partners to know what they need. Because trust has come into play, if their partners don't satisfy their needs, they feel betrayed.
Does this sound familiar? What's a person to do?
It's great if our two lovers can communicate so clearly that they can simply say, "sweetie, I know you care for me, but I don't feel fulfilled unless you scratch my toes." (or make me feel special, or share your feelings with me, or whatever their particular need is).
One problem that occurs is that, a person may not be consciously aware of their needs, unable to communicate them, or assume that it's so obvious that it doesn't need to be said. they might even begin to believe that their partner is deliberately leaving them unsatisfied, or being deliberately insensitive.
Meanwhile, the partner maybe trying everything they can think of to make their beloved happy, and it's being thrown back in their face. Unappreciated!
Soon, doors are slamming, people aren't talking, and furniture is flying through the air.
What's a person to do?
Hang on. When I first started dating, like everyone else, I didn't have a clue. I was fairly forward, and lucky enough to kiss and cuddle with a lot of girls at parties (and any other chance I got!), and I quickly learned something.
Every woman is different.
The "rules" about what women like worked fine on paper, but not in practice.
I tried to make up my own rules, but what made one girl happy didn't work for another. I made more rules, and more rules, but they still didn't fit the bill. It was at this point that I discovered one of the rules of science: You can always apply a more complicated system over a simple one and make it fit, but that doesn't make it the right one.
Eventually, I found the right one, and threw all my other rules away.
(Now understand, this works when you're interacting with another person, romantically or intimately, where their needs are concerned. It may not be the right thing for approaching or flirting. This is after you've already made connections). OK?
Touch your partner the way they touch you.
Physically, this is pretty easy, so I'll start there. It takes a little more imagination to apply it to other things.
Every start to kiss someone or hold them and even though they want you to do it, they don't like it when you do?
Women often complain that men are too aggressive or rough, and men sometimes claim women are too slow and gentle. And that causes frustration.
When touching begins, be aware of what your partner is doing to you, and give it back to them. For years, women's magazines have been insisting that men need to understand the importance of foreplay, for example, and that is very true. Many women love that slow wind up. most often, those women will also approach other aspects of their romance with the same approach: gradually warming up and getting more comfortable with the interaction. It's not true of all women, or women at all times. If a woman interacts more confidently, she may want a man who acts more confidently.
To the same degree, women need to know that for men, the slow build-up isn't ideal. Men aren't such delicate creatures, most of the time, and they want to feel the woman more strongly or their neurology doesn't respond as well. Neither is right or wrong, it's just how it is, physiologically.
Understanding the differences in your partner's needs can help you make them happier, and in turn, they will want to, and know how, to make you happier. Mind you, it isn't always possible or even fun for both to do this at the same time. So sometimes it might work best for one partner to focus on the other, one time, and then reciprocate. Just remember that each should get a fair share!
It wold be as silly for a man to say the woman has to learn to love it his way as it would be for a woman to say the man must learn to respond her way. Each person needs to be allowed to enjoy their own experience, and being able to give a person that is what makes a great relationship.
BTW, this is also true for same-sex couples. everybody is different, even then, and if your partner can't or wont talk about what they need, they will still show it in the way they approach you.
So how do we apply this to the bigger picture?
Just as we can become aware of the way a partner is touching us, and touch them in the same way, so to can we be aware of the way a partner tries to engage us in other ways and do the same.
Here's a classic scenario: Our guy calls his girl and tells her to get ready for a romantic evening. She excitedly agrees and tells him to come over at 7:00. When the time arrives, she meets him at the door in a cocktail dress, ready for a night of dinner and slow dancing at a fancy club. He meets her at the door in a flannel shirt and sneakers, with a bunch of DVDs under one arm and a bag of take-out food under the other, ready for a cosy evening snuggling on the couch.
Or perhaps is something as simple as a woman feeling unloved because her partner never returns her hugs, while the man feels unloved because she never returns his pats on the back.
Different people express themselves differently, but the way they express themselves tell you the way they also understand what their expressing. If a pat on the back feels like love to this guy, he may not understand the importance of the hug to her, just as she may not understand the importance of the pat to him.
Now what's really interesting, is that, at least in my experience, when you give people what they want in the way they want it, they are much more open and willing to return the favor, and may even do it unconsciously!
So, when you interact with people, and you want to express your feelings towards them, by all means do it the way feels right to you, but also be aware of the way that's right for them. They'll love you for it!
Now take this with you and try it out, and tell me what you think!