4 Min Read
10 Relationship Tips You Didn’t Think You Needed Until Now
We get It. You have it all figured out. Relationship advice is for losers who couldn't find a date on a palm tree. (Yeah, that's where dates come from.) But here you are, swiping right and looking for someone to "chill' with tonight.
It's okay. We won't tell anyone that you're reading an article about relationships. It'll be our little secret.
The problem is that most men confuse sex with intimacy. Did the word intimacy just make you throw up a little bit in your mouth? Here lies the problem.
Whether married or single, men struggle with intimacy. We're about to go a little deep here but hang in there.
According to therapists, vulnerability is the roadblock to intimacy in men. At a young age, men are taught to value toughness and invulnerability as the essence of what it means to be a man. Traditionally, real men hide their feelings from the outside world.
Many of us fail to recognize that vulnerability is what bonds us to our closest friends. We trust that our boys always have our back. We confide in them and rely on their support when other aspects of our lives lack stability or clarity.
So what's the difference between a relationship with a close friend versus a romantic partner?
That's right. Sex!
Busy getting busy
We live in an increasingly promiscuous society. Sex and relationships are gradually becoming separate ideas. With every swipe or visit to PornHub, the divide between sex and intimacy grows larger.
For our parent's generation, sex was part of a romantic relationship. Now, hooking up is simply a cure for boredom or stress relief. Finding a long-term partner is secondary to a good time, which is fine if that's all you want.
Unfortunately, too many of us try to find our future partners in relationships built on physicality and devoid of intimacy. We confuse the two and attempt to build a relationship on a faulty foundation.
If you want to build a long-term relationship, intimacy is the rock on which it stands. Follow these simple relationship tips that you didn't think you needed until now:
- When initially attracted to someone, try learning something about them other than how long the Uber ride is to their place. Share your story and make a connection.
- Don't be afraid to unveil your quirkiness. Hiding your true self leads to insecurity down the road. Finding a partner who shares your love of Star Wars or fascination with the Real Housewives creates freedom in a relationship.
- Look for someone you'll enjoy spending time with on a lazy afternoon. Long-term relationships involve a lot of downtime together. Every day can't be the Fourth of July.
- Accept that a healthy relationship involves venturing out of your comfort zone occasionally. There must be a give and take for it to work.
- Avoid oversharing with your buddies. You may want to brag about the one-night stand with the yoga instructor, but intimate moments between you and your partner should remain private.
- Crazy can be sexy, but it gets old quickly. Pay attention to why you're attracted to this person and consider if the novelty will wear off.
- Remember that a good person can still be the wrong fit. If your relationship is complicated now, it will only get more complex as time passes.
- Look for dependence inequities. Are you or your partner overly dependent emotionally, financially, or socially? If so, address it early because the imbalance hurts the relationship.
- Build trust and be accountable to each other. Vulnerability can only exist in a trusting environment.
- Understand that the one constant in life and relationships is change. You will change, and so will your partner. Expecting them never to change is a recipe for an unhealthy relationship.
Does that advice seem too difficult? If so, keep swiping. You'll get there someday.
Partner for Life
There's a time in almost every man's life when he thinks he's the lone wolf. We don't need other people or relationships to thrive. As long as we get a little here and there, a long-term relationship is a hassle that we can do without.
As much as we may want to believe this is true, statistics don't bear it out. Did you know that social isolation is a significant determinator of death from heart disease in men?
One study concludes that never having been married is a better predictor of poor health outcomes than either divorced or widowed. The same study also reports that social isolation earlier in life creates a greater long-term health risk compared to those in committed relationships at the same age.
Sure, being single and keeping our options open seems like the thing to do now. But, the next time you're out and see the older guy chatting up every girl at the bar, ask yourself, "Do I want to be that guy someday?"
Anther. Male wellness where it counts.