Posts Tagged With: intimacy

The Feels: Importance

How many times have you felt undervalued by someone whose opinion matters to you?

How often are your actions dictated by the outcome you secretly hope for, but are not confident you’ll receive?

How many times must someone suffer disappointment before disappointment becomes their default expectation?

These and many questions like them have plagued me over the years. Why? Because when all is said and done, I want to be important in someone’s life. Whether they be relatives, coworkers and friends.  No, I’m not saying I want to be better than anyone. I just want to stand out amongst those they consider close. I don’t want to be lumped in with a nondescript group of “writers”, “singers”, “bloggers”, or “men”. I want something very specific to cross their minds when they think of me. Something that sets me apart from the rest. In a good way, of course. 

I can’t possibly be the only one who feels this way, can I?

Interpersonal relationships can be strange at times. I mean, underneath all of life’s chaos, I believe we simply desire true connection with other people. Even though we realize that many of these connections will vary in degrees of trust and intimacy. There will be some people you will have to keep at arm’s length. There will be others whom you will be able to trust implicitly.

Hopefully, we develop connections with people who desire the same type of relationship, and are willing to put forth an equal measure of effort. Because there’s something inherently draining about being on the short end of a non-reciprocating relationship. This has caused me to become somewhat apprehensive with people as I’ve gotten older. There is an underlying worry… maybe fear of rejection, fear of incompatibility, or the emotional (and physical) exhaustion of being an introvert who pours themselves out to depletion.

I think that’s part of the reason why I write, and specifically, blog.

It’s probably also one of the reasons it usually takes me a long time to get to know someone outside of seeing them at church, or through the words they send in an email or post on a blog, or even by the pictures I might observe in an album.

I have embraced caution. Perhaps too tightly, however.

Still, people are fascinating in the sense that they often bring a completely different personality to our interactions, or a heretofore unknown perspective on our world.  Even so, I understand that these types of relationships are vital. And in the same way that I desire to be important, I’m learning that there are many who likewise desire to be no less important to me.

And so, in spite of myself, I’m stepping out. (deep breath) 🙂 I encourage you to do the same. 😉

Categories: opinion, personal, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Confessions of a Bibliophile

I’ve talked about my love of books several times in previous posts on my blog. So I don’t think it’s any secret that I have a tendency to devour them any chance I get. Lately, I’ve grown quite fond of audiobooks as well. With a life as full as mine (with work, church and 5 children), it becomes increasingly difficult to find a chunk of uninterrupted time to dedicate to actually reading a tangible book. My solution of late? I’ve been resorting to audiobooks that accompany my commute to and from work each day. It has been a wonderful supplement to my voracious appetite for good fiction. It allows me the convenience of exploring new worlds and environments without forfeiting quality time with my family or shirking other responsibilities. What I’m finding out most recently is that I am often influenced by the book’s content in my everyday life.

For instance, I was reading (well, listening to)The Last Survivors” aka “Moon Crash” trilogy by the wonderfully talented author Susan Beth Pfeffer and after getting halfway through the first book, I went home and had a lengthy discussion with my wife and kids about having an emergency preparedness kit, and then deciding on an action plan for reuniting if a catastrophic disaster should ever befall us and we’re all in different places.

Anyway, I am now listening to/reading (and hold your judgements please ;-)) the Fifty Shades trilogy of books. While some of the subject matter (and let’s be honest, quality of writing) is questionable, I am finding myself a little more cognizant of certain influences when it comes to intimacy, communication and being forthright about my desires and expectations. My wife does not mind the additional tools I’ve acquired through this process :-P. For me, reading books can be both entertaining and somewhat of a treasure hunt, where elements of the story can be applied in real life.

Now, I’m a mature man who is completely capable of gleaning the best parts of a story for practical use and leaving the dross safely tucked away between the pages. But it did make me wonder if other people are influenced in this same way. It also made me realize the importance of certain literature being reserved for those who are mature enough to handle its content. I guess this is similar to the potential influence of video games and violent movies on young children. Certainly some things are best appreciated for their entertainment value when we get older. But as a bibliophile, I look forward to the treasure hunt in the next book I listen to or read.

Any suggestions? 😉

Categories: personal, stories, writing | 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

DOVE NOTE #19: Like Fine Wine

(from the forthcoming book “Dove Notes “)

Like fine wine, some things only get better with time…

I like talking about my wife. Mostly because I’m hopelessly in love with her, and my interactions with her provide ongoing fodder for, among other things, my blog and my book.  But I’ve had people ask me, “What do you mean when you say you’re hopelessly in love with her?” Oh, well let me explain…

Being hopelessly in love means that there is no hope for my love for her ever changing.  She’s got my heart sewn up and it’s safely tucked away in her care. She and I work very hard to define our relationship as one that gets better as the days go by. We actively pursue peace through honest assessment and vulnerability. She knows the areas where I fall down and helps me get back up again.

We believe that success includes being able to own your mistakes. When you make excuses for something you’ve done, whether or not it was intentional, you rob yourself  and your partner of the opportunity to work together to modify future behavior and prevent it from happening again. Accountability also allows you to celebrate your accomplishments together. If I’ve overcome a paralyzing fear of public speaking through her encouragement, support and nudging, it becomes a victory not only for me, but for her as well. Being transparent with someone is not a simple thing to do, but it is possible and the rewards are endless. Better communication. Better understanding of our needs. Better intimacy. The list goes on…

In many relationships, it’s not enough to be intelligent, beautiful, outgoing or talented. Nope. Those things are great. But what matters most of all is personality and character compatibility. See, you can have two relatively nice people who both enjoy music and dancing. But life experience, coupled with how they were raised… whether or not they have siblings… how they get along with their parents… and personal temptations (money, alcohol, attention, etc) can all have an adverse affect. One person’s tendencies can push another person’s buttons.

For example, let’s say a guy grew up in a family that consistently avoided conflict by ignoring the obvious elephant in the room. The girl comes from a family that addresses conflict immediately so that it doesn’t fester and become a bigger problem. Put the two of them together and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. While she pushes for communication, he will constantly blow off having an uncomfortable conversation. She feels ignored. He feels pressured. Do they still share the same interests? Sure. Do they find each other attractive? Of course. But unless this issue is dealt with, the relationship becomes unhealthy and eventually unsustainable. It’s another sad case of good people who unfortunately weren’t good together.

It’s all about finding compatibility with someone who is equally committed to creating a healthy relationship. And no, it’s not automatic. It takes time, effort and patience. But the end result is becoming another couple that’s hopelessly in love. 😉

Categories: Dove Note, intimacy, marriage, relationships, Series | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DOVE NOTE #61 – Mastering the Sixth Sense of Sex Perception

If you remember nothing else of the things I’ve written, please remember this when it comes to one of the key differences between intimacy for men and women:

For many men, intimacy originates from the eye.

For many women, intimacy originates from the heart.

Is one better than the other? Not necessarily. I believe they both serve a useful purpose.

Men are more visual. Because of this, they help bring an appreciation for physical beauty that translates into affirmation for every female body type. Meaning, some men prefer short, stout women, while others prefer their women to be tall and skinny (and everything in between). This reinforces the truth that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that women shouldn’t be overly concerned with looking like someone else. Aside from issues concerning health, they are encouraged to be comfortable in their own skin.

Women are more emotional. They bring balance to intimacy by preventing it from developing into what would otherwise become a very superficial pursuit. One that, when carried out, is a detriment to relationships of any true depth. They also help men learn to understand the relationship between the “physical expression of an emotional connection”. This curbs some men’s tendency to be selfish in pursuit of physical pleasure. This supports the healthy mindset that women are more than just arm candy and their value shouldn’t be reduced to that of a sex toy.

I honestly believe that it’s understanding these divergent motivations for intimacy that allow us to make a deeper connection with one another and bring about greater sexual satisfaction overall. The bottom line? Don’t settle for a one-night stand when you can have a whole-life adventure.

Categories: Dove Note, intimacy, relationships, Series, sexuality | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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