The secret we've ALL been waiting for.
By Bryan Reeves.
Once when I was in college, a close male friend and I were surveying a group of attractive young women at a party when he leaned towards me and quietly whispered with an unforgettable air of smug confidence, "Bryan, don't you feel sometimes like you could make any woman in the world fall in love with you?"
I didn't know what he was talking about. I dismissed his question as arrogant and deluded.
I didn't have it easy with women. I figured women were simply difficult to convince. Besides, I couldn't see in me whatever they might see in me. Getting a woman to fall in love with me was always going to be hard, so I thought.
I now believe he was striking at a truth underneath all that youthful arrogance.
The experience of authentic love is simply awesome. Naturally, we are all ever-eager to fall deeply, passionately, exquisitely in love with one another. It's mostly our protective facades and fears—and perhaps a little chemistry—that ever prevent love from happening effortlessly.
In fact, two people can easily fall in love when the following conditions are present:
1. Authenticity & Vulnerability
True intimacy is only possible through vulnerability, which means being honest about who I am.
Nobody likes to be manipulated, and that's what our social masks are designed to do: manipulate other people's opinions and behavior in our favor. But a sensitive, open heart can feel through the facade, and one's carefully prepared fictions don't interest an open heart.
We yearn to feel the truth in one another. The Real. We ache for the Real.
Authenticity and vulnerability can be wildly sexy because they are acts of openly offering ourselves as Real as we come. Besides, when you see me honor and share my Real you feel more comfortable to honor and share yours. Which brings me to …
2. Radical Acceptance
Each of us ultimately wants to be accepted for who we really are, because it's exhausting trying to be someone else. When I am able to communicate to a woman that I can truly hold all of her, from her best to her worst—in sweetness and in anger, in adoration and frustration, in her smiles and in her tears—she can't help but start to love me for that.
Of course, to be able to fully accept a woman in her full range of being requires that a man connect to the true source of his power: his heart.
3. Connection to Heart
A man's true power isn't in his brains or his balls. It's in his heart. He can't fully accept a woman and her vast and complex range of emotional expression if he lives from brain or balls alone. His logical brain only works to solve the apparently endless problems she seems to pose for him, and his balls merely want her to gratify his needs.
It's only the deep love radiating from his own illogical heart that can continue loving her when she shows up looking like a problem his logical brain can't solve, or she won't satisfy his lusty balls. Only a man connected to his heart can cherish a woman in her wild and radiant fullness.
In a world that often tells her she's either too much or not enough, most any woman is aching for a heart-connected partner who can fully cherish her however she shows up in this unpredictable moment.
4. Confident Sexuality
Oh, the sexual shame and disorientation that still runs rampant through our modern world.
For much of my life, I wasn't always clear what to do with the sexual passions that would rage through my body like wildfire. The world mostly taught me to hide them lest I be discovered for the perverted creature I apparently wasn't supposed to be. So I often hid these passions from women, worried they would be frightened by me—at least until their tongues in my mouth gave me reason to suspect otherwise.
As a result, I let countless available women slip quietly away who might otherwise have fallen in love with me had I shown them in healthy, heart-connected ways that I was, in fact, cherishingly starving for them and not content on loitering long in the friend-zone. It took me a while, and admittedly, a healthy amount of sex with ravenous women, to realize that women are just as genuinely jazzed about sex as I am.
Sexuality is a wondrous gift. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Wielding it responsibly, ethically and in ways connected to heart, is an art form. But when embraced and perfected, this art form can inspire the most intimate parts of our being to arch backwards in eye-popping ecstasy and dissolve us blissfully into love … even before actual physical intercourse happens.
Nothing says "I am a safe, strong place for you to relax your weary self" more than showing a woman I have no intention to push her to do something before she's ready to. And nothing inspires a woman's love more than a man in whose presence she can relax her weary self, knowing he won't push her to do what she doesn't yet want to do.
That essentially means being clear with her about what I want from her—whether her time, affection, sex or whatever—while assuring her that I'm already enough in love with my own life that I don't need anything from her to be happy already. I'm self-contained and self-satisfied.
Into my pre-satisfied patience, then, she gets the great joy of offering her authentic gifts: her radiance, her brilliance, her smile, her love. And that's all most anyone really wants to do in life: give their authentic gifts to the world, and to each other.
One could argue that other factors are essential too, like chemistry and timing. But could it be that we are all powerful chemists capable of creating love reactions simply by mixing in the right empowering ingredients?
Regardless, I never knew how much capacity I had to create the opportunity for love to blossom until I began understanding just how much we all deeply yearn to fall in love with each other. As I turn 40 and reflect back on my entire life of relationships with women, particularly the ones that got away, I'm learning just how powerful I am—have always been even though I didn't know it—to create the space within which a woman can fall in love with me, and I with her, simply by showing up in my own raw authenticity, connected to heart, passionately connected to my truth and actively fascinated to explore hers. Throw in patience and a sprinkle of time and voila! a recipe for creating the experience of falling in love, regardless whether or not we follow through with it.
This article was originally published at The Good Men Project. Reprinted with permission from the author.