5 easy steps to keep your man hanging on.
Let's face it, over time relationships, especially long-term ones, can lose some of their original luster. Here are 5 easy steps to either reignite the spark or if you're relationship is new, to ensure you never go off track.
1. Find Out His Love Language
Each of us has a Love Language. In his book The 5 Languages of Love, Gary Chapman lays them out:
1. Words of Affirmation
2. Quality Time
3. Receiving Gifts
4. Acts of Service
5. Physical Touch
The problem is that most of us know what our own Love Language is, but don't bother to learn about our partner. So, for example, you leave little love notes for your man under his pillow, or sneak them into his suitcase when he goes away because that's important to you, and while he likely appreciates your notes, what he really wants, the thing that touches his heart more than anything else, is quality time. You're speaking your Love Language to him, as opposed to speaking his Love Language to him and then you're wondering why he doesn't feel as wonderful as you would if you'd found little notes on your bathroom mirror.
So ask him...what of the five things listed above really speak to his heart? It might be more than one, but pay attention, because whatever he says is the golden key to his heart!
2. Have Your Own Life
The importance of keeping your own life, your own friends and your own interests cannot be overstated in a relationship. Your man fell in love with you because of all these amazing things that you brought with you to your union, but so often we let those things go over time in a relationship. Suddenly we wake up and realize that we feel like a shell of our past selves and our men can feel that too. They wonder why we don't go to the gym as often as we used to, or why we haven't been to GNO in months. Partly this is a symptom of being in love - we just want to be with him all the time!! But ever notice that our men don't do that as often as we do? Ever notice that they still have their routines built in? And that we start to work around them?
Let's face it, ladies, men like their alone time more than we do. They like to watch Sports Center or go out with the guys or whatever it is that they do when they're alone. And it's really importat to them. It's like their charging station. They're almost out of juice, but plug them into their hobby for a night and they're all recharged and ready to go. But they feel guilty asking for it because we can get so damn sensitive, and in our worst moments, a little hysterical. We train them that it's not worth the bother. But they're out of juice. And then they're not present with us. And then we get all upset about that. And then they feel like they can't win.
This is a recipe for disaster, and often a heart-wrenching break-up.
So do him, and ultimately yourself, a favor and make your own plans at least twice a week. Tell him you won't be home on Tuesday night and watch him breathe a sigh of relief. Not because he doesn't want to be with you, but because he needs his time to recharge. And the truth is, you do too.
Then watch your conversations take on new life...now you actually have things to share with each other!
3. Stay Fit and Healthy
The likelihood is that when you first met your man you were single and dating and you looked your best. In the course of your relationship you may have gotten lazy. Or maybe you were so in love you sat in bed eating ice cream together after luxurious love-making sessions and you couldn't stand to be apart for as long as it took to go to the gym. Maybe you're busier now than you were then. Maybe you're exactly the same. Whatever the case, pay attention to your fitness and health, not because you're afraid he's gonna leave you for someone skinnier or hotter (let's face it, if he's gonna do that he's not a keeper), but because it makes you feel better about yourself and when you feel better about yourself, you bring your best self to your relationship.
And you feel hotter. And when you feel hotter, you are hotter.
You'd be kinda bummed if he got lovehandles and a beer belly after you'd been together for a year, right? Don't do the same!
4. No Games, No Drama
Seriously. No Games No Drama. It's a rule and it's golden. Don't play hard to get, don't try to make him guess what you're thinking or feeling, don't punish him for not guessing what you're thinking or feeling, none of it.
The opposite of Games and Drama is Open Communication. Learn how to communicate your feelings in a positive manner that will promote trust and intimacy.
Here are 3 important steps to Open Communication:
1. Use "I" language.
2. Talk about your feelings.
3. Do not interpret.
As an example, "I felt really hurt when you were late last night," as opposed to, "You didn't come home on time last night because you have no respect for me and you don't care about me." The first one softens the emotional field between the two of you and opens communication immediately. The second one is blaming and interpretive and toxic. It will promote Drama and an immediate shut-down of communication.
This can take a lot of practice. If you're really upset and don't feel that you can have a constructive conversation, take a walk around the block and talk when you are able. No matter how angry you are, don't go for the jugular because by definition that is a lethal blow.
5. Dress For Success
Ever notice how at the end of a day you get home and can't wait to rip off your heels and your bra, settle down into your comfy jammies, maybe even that fluffy bathrobe and slippers and pour yourself a glass of wine and settle in to watch some TV?
And then your man comes home... He kisses you on the head and leaves the room...Fleetingly you wonder why your sex life isn't quite the same...didn't he used to jump into your arms when he came home?
And then you realize you're in your pink fluffy bathrobe that adds about 15 pounds and your piggy slippers you think are so cute you snort when you walk in them, your makeup all washed off...
Did you know that in some South American cultures, women will get gussied up for when their men get home? That being desireable to their men is a cultural priority?
So maybe that's extreme, but maybe we don't have to be so quick to rip off the nice outfit we've been wearing out in the world all day. What if you keep on the heels and the bra, or put on something even more alluring when you get home, or add some fresh lipgloss as you get out of the car and present your best and most beautiful self to your man?
The fluffy bathrobe can go on later...after he's ripped off your day clothes.
If you are a single woman in your 30s or 40s and are frustrated by the plethora of conflicting information out there about how to find love, if you're a single mom, or are in a troubled relationship, I can help! Sign up for my weekly dating tips here and check out my website for more information about how I work. We all need someone to coach us through the hard stuff. Let me be that one for you.