Learning to effectively ask for what you want is a key to relationship satisfaction.
5. Make sure you are willing to receive. Once, I traveled by car with a beautiful colleague, a former flight attendant. Passing through towns, she said: "My ex gave me two lamps like those in that store." "My first boyfriend gave me a dog like that." I finally asked her: "How do you have so many of the things you want given to you by men? Is it just because you're so beautiful?"
"No," she responded. "I know that a man I am with is going to want to give me things, so I just tell him what I want; and he gives it to me!"
"I believe I burden a man by expecting him to give to me," I almost shouted.
"Don't you like to give to people? Wouldn't you prefer to give them something you know they want?" Most people do!
Thenceforth, I changed my beliefs and actions. I still refuse to view a date or partner as a "gift-giving machine," yet I have opened my mind to receive what someone wants to give me. I have appended the old adage that it is "better to give than to receive." I now receive because I know it allows another person to give, while simultaneously feeling good to me.
We all love to get what we want in our relationships, whether "things" or "attention and acts of love." What I now know is that my friend was enthusiastic about receiving. The principle is "enthusiasm draws." Her enthusiasm for the gift and the giver encouraged giving. She also gave a lot.
—Ilene Dillon, Counselor/Therapist