In keeping with the Hallmark holiday of romance, today's blog is all about relationships and, specifically, how to keep your man head over heels in love with you!
Very often, my clients bring relationship concerns to the coaching table, with issues ranging from "I want to find a partner", to, "I want to make my boyfriend propose to me", or, "We never have sex any more", and even, "My husband is a pig!"
Whatever the situation, intimate relationships play a huge part in our lives, and can provide a fantastic source of joy, when they're working, or a major heartache when they're not. So, why do some women excel at happy, fulfilling partnerships while others struggle to make and maintain a rewarding connection? To provide the best service to my clients, I have extensively researched and coached on this subject, and have discovered these incredibly simple yet often overlooked secrets about our men, that can lead us to the most successful, happy, fulfilling relationships.
Secret #1: He's not Christian Grey (and you're not What's-Her-Face)
Too often in life, we hold an idea in our head of what perfect looks like. In relationship terms, this might be an ideal that we've seen on TV, or what we believe our favourite celeb couple have, the 60 years that our grandparents spent happily together, the romance of Notting Hill, or the excitement of 50 Shades of Grey.
The best thing you can do for your relationship, is to let go of all that nonsense, and realise that the dream relationship you're after, doesn't exist. At least not in the terms that you're thinking about. So, stop impressing external pressure upon your relationship, by trying to model it against a fairytale ideal. Instead, do what feels right, inside of your partnership, and stop worrying about what other people will think, or wondering what it would feel like to be Anastasia. You're a real woman, not a two dimensional story character. And so is your partner. So have the confidence to allow your love to run it's own path. And, remember, even the most rosy looking relationship has it's challenges!
Secret #2: He just wants you to be happy
It may be a generalisation, but women tend to be much more in tune with their emotions than men. This can be a good thing, in that we find it far easier to express ourselves in emotional terms, and are less likely to bottle our concerns up, but very often it can turn us into moaning Minnies. So, we will constantly complain that he's not getting jobs done around the house, or that he forgot to pick up milk on the way home from football, or that he didn't notice our fabulous new hairdo. And, I know you don't think that you do it constantly, but I bet you do it a lot more than you realise. The thing is, that while you need to feel wanted, your man needs to feel needed, and he knows he's achieved this if he makes you happy. So, if lots of your interactions are around the things he doesn't do and the things that make you unhappy, you'll find he begins to shut off from you altogether. So, make him feel needed instead. Make your relationship a place of appreciation. Tell him how wonderful he makes you feel, how much you appreciate the man he is, and how you love that thing he does for you between the sheets.
Now, you may be thinking, "Well what if I don't feel those things? I couldn't possibly tell him that!"
If that's you, I'd encourage you to take this approach all the more. See love as something you do rather than something you have. Don't wait for him to prove to you how much he loves you. Love him! Be bold and make the first move, and you'll see that as you give him more love, recognition and appreciation, so you will see it reflected back at you. You will find he is more attentive to you and your needs (and your hairdo), less likely to forget that milk, and more inclined to complete those outstanding jobs, to keep the smile on your face.
Secret #3: He isn't a mind reader
Admit it. You've sat around with your girlfriends and complained that he just doesn't get you. That he's clueless about what you like in bed and out of it. That he buys the wrong gifts, or takes you to the wrong places, or says the wrong things, or is terrible at identifying when you're unhappy. Well, here's a completely crazy idea for you: how about telling him instead of your girlfriends. And, I don't mean in a moaning Minnie way (we talked about that already, remember?). If he's not giving you what you want then tell him what you like (rather than what you don't like). What's important to you. What your hopes and dreams are. What things you love to do. And what's upsetting you, rather than leaving him to guess. And I don't mean in a "hint, hint, nudge, nudge" kind of way. Don't leave a magazine open at a page featuring a great new perfume you'd like, just tell him. Men are not great at taking hints and, I know you want the surprise but, honestly, do you really want the disappointment of feeling like your relationship is a failure because he didn't get you what you want? For pity's sake. Just tell him!
Secret #4: There's a certain something that makes him feel loved
And I don't mean letting him watch the football in peace. The fact is we all have sensory preferences, and the most commonly used senses are seeing, hearing and feeling (taste and smell are relevant, but less prevalent in this area). So, what's your preference? If you could only choose one way to have him show you he loved you, would you need to see him buying you things, taking you places, or looking at you with burning desire? Do you need him to say the words and whisper sweet nothings in your ear? Or is it all about the way he touches and holds you? Whatever it is, if you're not getting it, then you'll probably struggle to feel confident about your relationship, so it's worth understanding it and sharing it. Even more important, is to figure out his preference, and you can most easily identify it, by paying attention to the way he demonstrates his love for you. Generally, because he doesn't understand that you're from Venus (and hence a different kind of animal), he'll use his own preference when showing you that he loves you. So if he's always telling you he loves you, he most likely has an audio (or hearing preference), and will therefore be most likely to respond if you say the words too. If he's always buying you gifts, he likes to be shown that he's loved, and is most likely to favour visual cues such as the way you look at him, or the way you dress for him. And, if he touches you all the time, then his preference is probably for feelings (kinaesthetic) and therefore he will be most responsive to being held, kissed, and snuggled into. Pay attention, figure out his preferences, and use these when you're demonstrating your need for him, so that he'll be more likely to respond in kind, and give you what you need. If you have differing preferences, be sure to tell him what you need to feel loved (see secret #3), otherwise he'll probably continue to give you what he needs.
So, what do you think? Can you make your relationship thrive despite the challenges of being from different planets? And what other secrets have you discovered through your relationships? Why not share your strategy for a successful partnership in the comments below?