How To Build Love & Intimacy
Suppose you are in the early stages of building a relationship…. you want more intimacy. You want to feel love… you want your man to love you.
Well, talking with your partner about how your relationship is going is essential. Nothing builds intimacy faster. But this can feel very scary as emotions can run very high, very quickly.
And talking about your sex life may be even worse – it can be hard to discuss sex openly and truly hear what each other has to say in a non-defensive way.
However, sex does get better when you talk about it.
Since the two of you are completely different people, probably of different sexes with different bodies, certainly with different potential problems and different preferences, it’s essential that you talk about what you want, about what’s going well for you, and most of all about what isn’t working for you.
How else would you ever find out what’s going on for each other? How else would you turn trust and intimacy into love? How else would you make a man love you?
You might be quite good at empathizing, in which case you might feel like you can read the other person’s mind, but in the end you’re just guessing and filling in the gaps of your knowledge with your own fantasies.
Asking the other person what’s going on in their head and heart is the only way of really finding out. And that’s how people fall in love with each other.
Tips For Talking About Sex!
Find an easy time to talk about difficult issues. Picking a time when you are both relaxed and happy with the relationship will make talking much easier, and won’t erode your feelings of love for each other. (Remember, trust is essential for love to grow, and trust is essential for a man to fall in love with you.)
Many couples find it easiest to talk about their sex life after they’ve just enjoyed good sex. Both of you will feel relaxed and loving towards each other. Also, you’re already in an intimate place with no outside disturbances. Your minds will still be on sex, so starting to talk about it will feel less abrupt and out of place than it might at other times.
Other good times might be in the evening before you fall asleep (perhaps after you’ve switched off the lights) or while you’re doing something else such as going for a walk or driving your car. In these situations you won’t have to maintain eye contact, which might make it easier to talk about potentially embarrassing or difficult issues.
Try and start your conversation from an Adult ego state position. In other words, talk when you’re as grounded and confident in yourself as possible. If you feel safe within yourself you’ll be much less defensive and you can really hear what your partner is saying without getting caught up in your own emotional stuff. And if you want to know how to make a man fall in love with you, then remember that listening to him without becoming too emotional or defensive is essential.
If you start to get emotional about whatever your partner’s saying, do your best to stay grounded and sooth yourself internally. Nothing destroys love like mutual conflict and misunderstanding.
Your partner probably loves you even if it doesn’t seem like it just now. In fact, what’s happening at times like this will probably just be a misunderstanding rooted in your different personal histories. Don’t take what your partner says as a personal attack or a rejection of you.
And please try not to escalate what is happening between the two of you into something else!
Keep focused on what is happening right here, right now between the two of you.
Suppose, for example, that you were having a conversation about controlling premature ejaculation. It would be very easy for a woman to start making accusations about her man’s inability to control his ejaculation – for example, she might fling out the accusation that if he really loved her, he would learn how to control his ejaculation during intercourse.
In the face of such a remark, which almost certainly comes from her disappointment that she cannot enjoy longer lasting sex with him, he may well respond with a critical remark such as suggesting that she is selfish and not interested in anything but her own satisfaction.
Carrying on a helpful discussion in such circumstances is not likely to be possible, and both partners need to become more grounded and stop their habitual stress reaction patterns from taking charge when they hear “triggers” from their partners. This has been called amygdala hijack! (A technical term.) But we would call it transference…. which is when you are trying to make a man fall in love with you and you suddenly start to see him as someone else, the embodiment of a figure from your past.
Choose The Right Time To Talk With Your Lover
If you find it hard to initiate a conversation about sex, it might be easier to plan this conversation for a time in the future rather than just jump right into it.
You could tell your partner that you want to talk about sex, for example by saying, “I love sex with you, and I want to talk about how we can develop our sex life at some point, maybe next week or so. What do you think?” or perhaps, “When would be a good time for you to have a chat about our sex life?”
That way you are giving yourself and your partner a bit of time to emotionally prepare for the talk without launching straight into it. On the other hand you have mentioned it, so it’s out in the open that you would like to talk about it. That’s a start!
Get used to talking about sex. What couples often need is an ongoing discussion about sex. A one-off conversation will help a bit, but it’s much better to be able to talk about sex in your relationship whenever you want. This needs practice.
Therefore, you need to get into the habit of talking about sex, so that it gets easier and easier to discuss it. This also helps you to get to know each other better and better, which in turn makes it easier to talk about more difficult issues.
First of all, you might tell your partner that you want to talk about sex, and then let it rest for a few days, so that you both get used to the idea.
Then you might have an easy conversation with each other about what’s working well for you and how much you desire each other. This will create good feelings and stop you thinking that talking about sex will inevitably be painful.
Next, you could start asking more questions about what your partner would enjoy during sex besides what you’re already doing – and you could also ask for some new stuff yourself. Slowly but surely you could build up to talking about the things you don’t like without too much anxiety for either of you. (Click here to read more on managing anxiety.)
Being able to talk regularly about sex builds up trust and makes it much easier to approach the subject. Every time you have a successful conversation about sex, it makes the next one easier.
Start a conversation by thinking about where your partner is coming from. Imagine there’s stuff you don’t like in your sexual relationship with your partner.
Instead of asking openly about what’s going on for the other person and where he or she is coming from, you might already have thought about this issue for ages, only to arrive at some very negative conclusions.
You then start a conversation by suggesting your worst case scenario to your partner – no wonder he or she starts getting defensive: you didn’t give him or her even a chance to explain where they really are at!
Remember this needs to be a dialogue between two people, not just a dialogue inside your own head. Give your partner a chance to tell you about their internal thoughts and feelings, their experiences and attitudes, and why they are the way they are. You can then think about what that means. Always approach a problem between you and your partner with curiosity, with an attitude of enquiry and interest!
Talking needs quality time. You can only talk about difficult things if you have plenty of time to do so. Most people need to feel safe with their partner before they can approach a difficult topic or respond to it.
So make sure you’ve spent some time connecting with your partner before getting started, and remember you’ll need uninterrupted time ahead so that your partner has time to get into the conversation.
Also, plan for several conversations so you can cover all the ground. That’s especially important if your partner finds it hard to talk. In this case, simply be patient and don’t fill the space by talking too much yourself. Half of all communication is listening to the other person!
You might also suggest that they get back to you about things next time you talk so they have plenty of time to think about what you’ve said. And always remember that you can slow things down if it all gets too difficult. This allows both of you to deal with the emotions that come up while staying grounded.
If it’s really hard for the two of you to talk, consider a different way of doing it rather than assuming you have to do this face to face. Sometimes it makes sense to “talk” about the really difficult things via letters or emails. This might include, for example, a declaration of your love!
This lets you write down what you want to communicate to your partner in your own time, without pressure. You can revise it as often as you want to before sending it to them, and this can be more honest and direct than talking face to face.
If you write things down your partner can read it in his or her own time, think about it and calm down or “process” their feelings.
This approach stops a common pattern which goes like this: you say something difficult, your partner hears it as a rejection, he or she gets upset, then you start to reacting to their emotion and it escalates from there.
A written dialogue will slow this sequence down and allow for more reflection. Remember that with emails your data may not be secure in transit and you will need to protect your privacy in some way.
If you do write things down state clearly at the end of your letter what you want to happen next, e.g. “Please write me a letter in response within one week. I won’t bring this up within our normal day to day life so we can stay calm with each other, but I am looking forward to your answer”. That way you are both clear about the next steps and you’re not left guessing what happens next.
Finally, trust the process: talk to each other and you will develop your love – making it possible to fall deeper in love with each other as time goes by – and your sexual relationship evolves over time. Sexuality is difficult for most people as it involves truly lowering your defenses and letting somebody into your heart and body.
Developing your love life together might be a slow process, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t moving forward.
Don’t give up on talking to your partner about what you want until you know each other well and have found a solution or a good compromise. Talking is important to make sure your thoughts and feelings, wishes and desires, are all respected and fulfilled if possible. It’s also important if you really want to make a man fall in love with you!
Additional reading with more tips on talking:
Zilbergeld, B. (1999) The New Male Sexuality. Revised edition. Bantam