Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Relationship Fix for Men - Nonsexual Touch Is Good!


Maybe it's just me, but I suspect this is true of a lot of men - as I grew up, no one told me that it might be nice to simply enjoy the touch of a girl, the feel of her skin, her hand in mine, with no intention of it leading to sex. I suspect that I am not alone in having grown up as a teen and young man with the unconscious tendency to only touch my partner (aside from the occasional, obligatory hand-holding) when I wanted it to lead to sex.

Who knew that you could kiss her naked belly or the back of her neck without wanting sex? Who knew that offering a massage could simply be an act of generosity with no ulterior motive?

Seriously, there are apparently a lot of men who have not figured this out. They have no idea what they are missing.

John Buri, a Professor of Psychology at the University of St. Thomas and the author of How To Love Your Wife (2006), has a blog at Psychology Today called Love Bytes. His recent two-post series is called Keeping The Love Alive - Advice For Men. These are intended to be cliff-notes type bit of info to help men be better partners. They're useful, but the 2nd part is REALLY useful.

The 1st Of Two ("Cliffnotes") Pieces Of Advice For Men
by John R. Buri, Ph.D.

What do men need to do to keep the love alive?

Hundreds of research studies and books have proclaimed it.

Countless marriage therapy sessions have confirmed it.

The truth is --- we pretty much all know it already.

We have been told many times, and in fact, most of us can spout it back.

Ask nearly any dating couple, any engaged couple, or any married couple: What is necessary to have a successful marriage? What is necessary to keep the love alive?

I’d be surprised if you found anyone who was not able to tell you.


Does this strike anyone else as odd? We’ve heard over and over again that this is true. We have reams of evidence that it is true. We agree that it is true. But then over and over again, it doesn’t happen.

Read the whole post.

And now part two, this is where the good stuff I was talking about above can be found.

If we only touch and show affection to our partner when we want sex, she gets the unconscious message (or sometimes, overt message) that all she is good for in the relationship is sex. That's a horrible thing to convey to the person we love.

"But I Just Didn't Grow Up With Shows Of Affection." So What!

When people keep the love alive, satisfaction in the relationship thrives.

Furthermore, keeping the love alive provides a protective insulation against a myriad of forces that threaten to undermine the relationship.

As one woman told me, “I love my husband, but I’m not in love with him.”

That marriage is in danger.

So how do we keep the love alive?

This is the 2nd piece of advice specifically for men. [See last week’s Love Bytes blog, Keeping The Love Alive - Advice For Men #1, for the 1st piece of advice.]


If you love her, let her know it – and not just when you’re horny.

I have had hundreds of women tell me that they don’t want their husbands to get all affectionate, to touch them, to get romantic --- because the only time they do is when they are looking for sex.

So what we are talking about here is a display of affection that is not a part of foreplay.

Have you ever noticed that when we observe a couple sitting next to each other in a restaurant (as opposed to across from each other), holding hands or gently kissing each other, or sitting arm-in-arm --- how often do you assume that this couple is married? Typically we don’t --- at least not married to each other.

Why are so many men so affectionate before marriage, only to limit their affection as a part of foreplay after marriage?

Men --- if we want to keep the love alive, we have to let her know how much we love her.

A gentle touch.

Flowers with a (sappy) love note.

Walking hand-in-hand, arm-in-arm.

A back rub (and not part of foreplay!).

A prolonged kiss (not just a peck).

Her favorite ice cream treat.

A glass of wine at a patio bar.

Figure out what says to her, “I love you,” and do those things – repeatedly.

And by the way, also say it --- “I LOVE YOU!”

Over and over again, I have heard from men:

“But I just didn’t grow up that way.”

“I’m just not very comfortable with all that affection stuff.”

“Why does she have to hear it so often? I told her already. Isn’t that enough? Doesn’t it stand until I revoke it?”

Quite honestly, when it comes right down to it, such sentiments are irrelevant.

The reality is this --- if we want to keep the love alive, then we need to let her know (repeatedly) that the love IS alive.

As one woman told her husband: “If you love me, let me know it now….while I’m living. Don’t wait until I’m gone and have it chiseled in marble --- sweet words on ice-cold stone. If you love me, tell me now. Show me. If you have tender thoughts of me, let me know.”

That's pretty easy, eh? And you know what? It's nice. It feels good to show her some love and not WANT anything - and it makes her feel good, too.

1 comment:

do pheromones work said...

Most of the relationships start because marriage is not possible or not desired at that point of time, but living and exploiting someone only for fun is not called for at all.