intimacy

Are You Loved or Wanted?


As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, I thought I’d take it a little further and explore the underlying motivations of some of the relationships I myself have experienced and/or observed.

I was never the guy who went on lots of dates. If I approached girls at all (you know, shy introvert and all), they would be girls I found attractive and those I could see the potential for something long term.

I know there are many of us who sometimes get into a relationship, not because we are looking for love, but are instead longing for affirmation. We convince ourselves that we are satisfied with being wanted, although not necessarily loved. The fact that some person wants us becomes enough upon which to base a semblance of a relationship. Even if, in many cases, it is destined to fail because of the shaky foundation.

Of course there is a huge difference between being LOVED and simply being WANTED.

To have someone LOVE us typically means that they’ve committed to accept us; an imperfect person with all of our relationship baggage, emotional filters, and strange family dynamics. They’ve identified something within us that makes us someone they’d rather not live without.

To have someone WANT us often means that we are more akin to a possession. It’s not so much about who we are, but rather what we represent. We’re an award, proof that the person is capable of being with someone (anyone?), or perhaps we provide the person with bragging rights or some increased level of prestige. Depending on our previous experiences, either with family or prior relationships, we somehow find this acceptable.

If we settle for just being wanted, it can leave us feeling empty, unsatisfied and undervalued. And that’s an unhealthy dynamic for any relationship. Some people see being wanted as a means to an end. Some of the women to whom I’ve spoken are in their early 20s and are afraid that if they don’t settle for someone now, they’ll have no one later. They have convinced themselves that a relationship built on being WANTED can become one revolved around being LOVED. Unfortunately, shallow relationships rarely, if ever, achieve any depth beyond their initial superficial existence.

However, I can tell you unequivocally that LOVE is worth waiting for.

My amazing wife, whom I absolutely adore and thank God for every day, was 34 years old when she married me. That would seem late to some people, but we’re going more than 15 years strong and have six (6) beautiful children. As the Rascal Flatts song says so well, it was well worth the broken road that led us to each other.

So please don’t sell yourself short because of a false perception that you’re running out of time. Because when you have a fulfilling love, it can make the rest of your life feel like an eternity.

…entirely different.

Categories: intimacy, marriage, personal, relationships, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seeds and Desire


I’ve had the privilege of knowing some awesome women, who over the years have given me an earful of priceless information from the female perspective.  Some of them are in great relationships, while others are still searching for one. Still others are enduring a bad relationship simply for the sake of being able to say they’re in one.

One thing that I find interesting is that in all of these cases, to be loved was of the highest priority.  I don’t mean sexually (it’s sad, but without that disclaimer some people would assume as much).  It seems that from childhood women will often seek affirmation through “expressions” of love.  Whether it be gifts, or letters, or time spent together…

…the underlying desire is to be loved.

What seeds were planted in your childhood?

Material things aside, many of the women I know have said that they would be very happy knowing that someone thinks they are the most wonderful, most beautiful woman in the world.  However, this love needs to be demonstrative, without any ulterior motives.  They want to feel needed and special.  They want to be a priority in someone’s life.

Some of the women I know have even said that any rebellion exhibited as teenagers had more to do with their feelings of being unwanted, unaccepted, and made to feel unattractive, more so than just wanting to get into trouble.  I was told that if someone had loved them, the way they needed to be loved… they would have most likely become very different people.

I recognize the effects on women who grew up without a father, or whose mothers were inattentive.  Some of them have dealt with it. Others are still struggling to come to terms with their childhood.  Unfortunately, this can deeply affect their current relationships with both men and women.  Some of my female friends have confided in me that it seems hard to find a good man, mostly because they tend to run at the first indication that any man possesses characteristics similar to their absentee fathers or estranged mothers.  Friends who exhibit these traits are unceremoniously dismissed as well.

Honestly, I think both men and women truly want to be loved, though we may act otherwise.  Men are just more prone to hide this fact than women.

WOMEN: What has been your experience, if any, with your childhood affecting your desire to be loved, and the way you receive love?

MEN: What things have made you reluctant, if at all, to communicate your desire to be loved? 

Categories: commentary, intimacy, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

April 15, 2013


Categories: family, intimacy, marriage, personal, relationships | 2 Comments

Sexual Litmus Test?


*Warning: This post may be laced with TMI*

Okay, so back in early 2004 I was chatting with a friend online and I told them I had a good weekend and a great morning.  First thing they asked me was, “Oh, did you get some?”  I rolled my eyes at the realization that some people equate having a good morning or day, with having sex.  Like it’s the only reason anyone would have a good day.  I mean, I’m sure there have been plenty of people who’ve had sex and still had bad days (especially if the sex was bad ).  But anyway, I found this particularly interesting because most people who knew me would never have asked this question.

I proceeded to tell them that I hadn’t had sex since 2000.  Their follow up question was “Why??”, almost as if it was the most preposterous thing they’d ever heard.  They couldn’t believe that “someone like me” (their words) hadn’t had sex in 4 years.  I had no idea what they meant by that.  I mean, should I have like a Daily Recommended Sex Allowance label on my forehead?  Instead of going into all of that, I just told them, “Well… the last time I had sex was in 2000 with the woman who would become my ex-wife in March 2001.”  I explained to then that I didn’t believe in having sex outside of marriage.  And of course, this was a total shocker to them, as if the fact that Dre (my fiance at the time) and I had never had sex was unimaginable. 

“You mean, you’re gonna marry somebody you’ve never had sex with??”

“Uh… yeah.  And you find this strange?”

“Hell yeah, I do!  There’s no way I’d marry someone without knowing how good they were in bed first!”

“Um… so you’re saying that you’ll only marry somebody if the sex is good?”

“Not just good.  It has to be amazing!”

I thought to myself… “and you wonder why you’re not married.” shy Evidently sex (not just sex, but “amazing sex”, as they put it) is their prerequisite to marriage.  Now, I know a lot of people that have sex all the time, married or not.  But this was my preference.  Even so, I don’t think it should ever be a deciding factor on whether or not to marry someone.  There are other factors one might consider far more important… you know, like drug & alcohol addiction… criminal background… or even lifestyle and goals.  In marriage, great sex or not, you will never reach the goal together if you’re walking in different directions.

Categories: commentary, intimacy, marriage, opinion, personal, relationships, sexuality | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

DOVE NOTE #67 – Murder of the Mood


Okay men, raise your hand (or simply nod in sullen agreement) if you’ve even had one of those days where you and your wife have been eying each other up all day. Flirty text messages flying back and forth.  Leaving little notes around the house full of cryptic innuendo. Wearing her favorite fragrance. Having brief conversations on the phone full of titillating descriptives. All of this in anticipation of getting intimately skinected to one another later. And then…

You ask a brainless question about her choice of clothing, or make a sideways statement about weight whose context is misconstrued, or simply fail to see, remember or do something rather important and BAM! You’ve killed the mood and sex is abruptly OFF the table… for the evening, possible for the week depending on the severity of the crime. Of course, you feel blindsided and you have no idea how you went from the Playboy Penthouse to the Devil’s Dog House. 😦

If this sounds familiar, just know that you’re not alone. There are many men who have inadvertently murdered an otherwise amorous mood. I call these moments instances of “Sudden Libido Disruption“. Sometimes the SLD is so great, the rift now between you so wide, that there is usually little chance of recovery, if any.

So how do you avoid the relational faux pas that result in SLD? Well you have to start of by understanding what has taken place. As I’ve mentioned earlier, for many women intimacy is tied inextricably to the heart and mind. This is why it’s important to keep the focus on the two of you throughout the day. Those breathy phone calls and sexting go a long way to filling her thoughts with being together. A major barrier to arousal is anything that would cause her to become distracted or preoccupied. So you don’t want to introduce any topic, situation or circumstance that might hijack her mind. Mindjackers can manifest in the form of frustrating circumstances (ugh… you didn’t take the garbage out like you promised and now there are ants all over the kitchen!) or financial discussions (wait, I thought YOU were going to pay the gas bill?) or even comments that prompt “futurisms(sigh.. I just have to lose this last 15 pounds before Christmas). It doesn’t even have to be that she’s necessarily mad at you, but the result is the same: SLD.

The bottom line is this… be mindful of what you say and be sensitive to where she’s at emotionally. You won’t lose with healthy doses of encouragement, attention and good ol’ fashioned romance.

Categories: Dove Note, intimacy, marriage, relationships, Series | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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