What Does A Man Mean When He Says He Wants To Take Things Slowly?

Guest writer….

Today’s “Dear David” comes from a lady named Sara who has run into a common, but confusing situation for women. Let’s see if we can help her out, shall we?

 

She says…

“Dear David, I’ve just started seeing this guy. We’ve both been single for a few years, and it’s so nice having that warm, excited feeling my tummy when I’m with someone. I’m confused though. Last night he told me that he really likes me, and wants to take things further, BUT that he wants to take things slowly. What does that mean?”

 

David Says…

What does a man mean when he says he wants to take things slowly?

If I tell you I want to take it slow, it might only mean I want to see you one or two days a week. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to be intimate with you. It doesn’t mean I’m going to start seeing other women. It just means I’d like to see where it goes, spend some time to get to know you, and take the time to communicate with you and keep moving forward gradually.

Another guy could say he wants to take it slow, and mean he just wants to see you at the weekend. Another guy could say it and mean he wants to date you, but he doesn’t want to sleep with you yet. Other guys might mean they just don’t want to jump into anything serious like moving in together too quickly.

There’s no one size fits all definition for what “taking it slow” really means.

So if a man says he wants to take it slow, you have every right to ask him what that means to him. Ask him up front. Tell him you’d like to know what it means to him. Let him know you respect him, and that you want to make him feel comfortable so you need to know what he personally expects.

You see, you build relationships on communication. Don’t be afraid to ask men to clarify what they mean. If you don’t you’ll end up speculating about what he wants. You’ll ask your friends about it, or you’ll email me. Taking it slow can mean so many different things you need to ask the source.

We’re so afraid to communicate and ask each other what we mean, and to me, clarification is the key to building any kind of trust in a relationship.

When you ask a man to clarify what he means, you’re setting the foundation for good communication in the relationship. You’re allowing open communication between two people. You’re also allowing two people to get comfortable together, so they feel they can talk about anything. You’re also showing him you’re happy to go at his pace.

I want you to read this again, and I want you to read it slowly. That way the next time a guy says he wants to take it slow, you won’t panic, and you won’t try to guess what he means, you’ll simply ask him. It’s always better to ask directly than try to guess how he’s feeling. Of course, if you want an in-depth understanding of how men think and feel, you should pick up my popular program, “What Men Desire.” 

Why does dating seem so hard? How are you supposed to meet and flirt with men? Watch my FREE video, “How to Speak Man” to STOP speculating and START winning his heart!

 

 

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Tales of Rock: Insane Stories From Aerosmith’s Drug-Fueled Rise To The Top – Part 1

Just how much did Aerosmith embrace the sex and drugs typically associated with a rock-and-roll lifestyle? Well, if it’s any indication, enigmatic front man Steven Tyler estimates he blew through a whopping $20 million on drugs. Their drug use was so notorious that Steven Tyler and Joe Perry were labeled the “Toxic Twins.”

Most of Aerosmith’s stories of debauchery take place long before most people ever heard the now-legendary “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” in the Armageddon soundtrack. The ’70s and ’80s were the band’s most hedonistic years, during which Tyler and Perry would swap women as wantonly as they would swap drugs. They even hired a roadie just to sneak cocaine under their noses during live shows.

Since their height of fame, Tyler appears to have come out on the other side and sticks to a strict 12-step program after numerous stints in rehab. That doesn’t erase the over-indulgent, mind-boggling toxic twins stories of Aerosmith’s past. Here are some of the craziest, most unbelievable shenanigans the band carried out in their nearly 50-year career.

Tyler Remembers Sharing Women ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Insane Stories From Aerosmith's Drug-Fueled Rise To The Top
Photo: daigooliva/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0
Tyler Remembers Sharing Women – And STIs – With Perry

Aerosmith, like most rock bands of the ’70s, were known for the sheer amount of groupies they worked their way through during their chart-topping career. Even though there were certainly enough women to go around, sometimes the band members decided to share. This didn’t always go in their favor. In fact, after one group love-making session, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry woke up in the same bed only to find out later that everyone had developed an STD.

 

“I remember one night on the road when Joe and I were sharing a bed with two girls and woke up in the morning with a seafood blue plate special…” Tyler wrote in his memoir Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? “Crabs for everybody!”

Perry And Tyler Confirmed The ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Insane Stories From Aerosmith's Drug-Fueled Rise To The Top
Photo: ChrisGampat/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0
Perry And Tyler Confirmed The Band Had A Roadie Whose Sole Job Was To Give Them Cocaine

The guys from Aerosmith were the kind of rock stars who didn’t wait until after the show to party. Both Joe Perry and Steven Tyler hired a roadie whose sole job was to give them bumps of cocaine during their set.

Joe [Perry] had vials of coke with straws in them at the back of the stage, and when the lights would go out he’d go over there like he was checking something or making a guitar change and [a roadie] would put the straw in his nose; he’d take a hit, then the lights would come on again,”

Tyler wrote in Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? Perry confirmed this fact to NME:

“Yep,” he said when asked if Tyler hired a roadie to give them coke on stage. “We’ve done everything… stuff happens man, and we’ve done it and managed to survive. We’re lucky.

They Once Got Arrested And Nar... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Insane Stories From Aerosmith's Drug-Fueled Rise To The Top
Photo: Jean-Luc/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0
They Once Got Arrested And Narrowly Evaded Serious Jail Time By Ditching Their Drugs In The Police Station

Aerosmith’s drug habits were so notorious that it’s unsurprising they had a few run-ins with the law. One of the most nerve-wracking was when they got pulled over, arrested, and taken to the police station with drugs in their pockets.

 

Bassist Tom Hamilton recalled the incident. The band was driving around the New Jersey Turnpike in a rented van. Each of them had drugs in their pockets when they were pulled over by the police. After a search, the officer spotted a marijuana seed in the car. He handcuffed the five of them and hauled them off to jail.  They were handcuffed to a railing in their cell so they were a fair distance apart from each other. So how did they get out of it? A little bit of luck and a little quick-thinking.

 

“Brad actually had two bags of pot,” Hamilton told NME.

There was a room right adjacent to where we were handcuffed and there was an empty room, lights were off. Steven said “Gimme the pot, Gimme the pot,” and he just chucked two bags of pot into this room. Then we waited a while. Then a detective or somebody came down, flicked the lights on and said “Okay, time to fingerprint you guys.” So, we all went in one by one to get finger printed and everybody could see where the pot was, but the police didn’t.

Angry Crew Members Used The Ba... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Insane Stories From Aerosmith's Drug-Fueled Rise To The Top
Photo: Baying At The Moon/Amazon
Angry Crew Members Used The Band’s Catering As Toilet Paper

Aerosmith band members were big stars with big personalities. No doubt their wild antics were a lot to handle – especially for the people in charge of making their shows run smoothly. Sometimes, the crew would get really angry and retaliate in the most disgusting of ways, or so Tyler remembers. Apparently, some scorned crew members would regularly wipe their butts with the bologna on Aerosmith’s catering tray and put it back for the band to consume like nothing ever happened.

 

“I found out years later (through a crew member confessional) that when the techs would get pissed off at the band, they’d wipe their ass with the bologna and put back on the deli tray,” Tyler wrote in Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?

SONGSThe Best Aerosmith Songs of All Timesee more Aerosmith lists
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Photo: SongLyrics/flickr/CC-BY 2.0

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How to Tell if Someone Has a Crush on You

Practical Ways of Detecting Secret Admirers

You may suspect one of your friends or coworkers is interested in asking you out on a date.

This is either good or bad news, depending on the circumstances, and your feelings.

Obviously, not all crushes are welcome or healthy.

Some progress into unrequited love —which I have dealt with for years in my professional life prosecuting stalkers. But some crushes are harmless, and some are reciprocal.With reciprocity, however, comes insecurity.

Your crush-detector begins to waver when you are already interested in the other person because you have traded in your reading glasses for rose-colored glasses, making it harder to accurately interpret signals indicating interest.

The good news is that there are some objective ways to determine whether or not someone has a crush on you. Here are a few ways to tell.

Proximity: The Not-So-Secret Admirer

You might remember this from grade school.

Someone who likes you wants to be around you. The fellow student who snagged the desk next to you in a class or found a way to squeeze into your table in the school cafeteria might now be the fellow coworker who grabs a seat next to you in the lunchroom, or the neighbor who joins you at the counter at the corner coffee shop or deli. But how do you know it is not just coincidence?

A potential suitor who pursues getting-to-know-you through proximity might not be obvious about his or her intentions due to insecurity or social awkwardness. Nonetheless, these people will likely do or say something to ensure you know they are there — from asking if the seat is taken, to saying hello, to finding another reason to spark (even brief) conversation. About what? Probably something you have mentioned to them in the past.

Selective Memory

Someone who is interested in you remembers what interests you.

From music, to travel, to favorite foods, a person with a crush wants to please you — often demonstrating selective memory through conversation. Someone who likes you remembers what you reveal about yourself. (This is also, by the way, why you should avoid revealing personal details to strangers.)

Someone with a crush on you will ask about topics or events you mentioned in passing. They want to know how you are enjoying the book you are reading, or the movie you said you were going to see over the weekend.

Admirers who know you fairly well ask about your family members and friends. The common denominator is their tendency to distinguish themselves from your other acquaintances by what they remember about you.

But hold on, don´t good networkers and politicians do the same thing?

You bet, which is why you need to examine more than one factor.

When it comes to selective memory, for example, potential suitors often act on the information you share. Ideally, this behavior is appropriately tailored to the setting.

A bag of peanut M&Ms left on your chair at work might be appropriate; a box of Valentine chocolate is not. Within more established relationships, two admission tickets to the county fair for you and your child might be appreciated, where a single ticket to the opera is inappropriate (guess who has the seat next to you).

Here is an interesting one. Do you ever take a lunch or a snack break with someone you suspect is interested in you? Pay attention to what they order.

When Snack Selection Reveals Affection

Xun (Irene) Huang and Ping Dong in “Romantic Crushes Promote Variety‐seeking Behavior” (from 2018) demonstrated through a series of studies that having a romantic crush increases variety-seeking consumption behavior. Apparently, as they explain, this stems from a desire to regain a sense of control — which is lost within the throes of an unreciprocated romantic crush.

Huang and Dong describe a romantic crush as the state in which someone has not communicated their feelings to the object of their affection, but has expectations for sparking a romantic relationship. A crush is therefore not a mutual relationship with reciprocal feelings of affection.

What types of foods did they test? In one study they found that participants with a crush expressed a more positive attitude to a flavored yogurt variety-bundle (containing five different flavors) than a single-flavor bundle. In another study they found that participants writing a story about their romantic crush selected more candy flavors offered to them afterwards than participants without a crush who wrote about a typical day.

How do you know if your variety-seeking lunch partner is experiencing a crush, but not on you? Good question. This is why we have to examine such behavior in combination with other indications of romantic interest.And sure, some people just believe variety is the spice of life and behave accordingly. But someone who reveals multiple different indicators in having a crush on you — probably does.

 

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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – My Altamont Moment

We were playing this gig at the Roxy one night. May have been ’83 by then. Girls were never a problem. Anybody who doesn’t believe guitars are chick magnets has obviously never strapped on a guitar before. Anyway, we played all over the state, working pretty steady, staying in all manner of “band housing”. We were at a better-than-average club and doing our normal thing.

This particular night the bar was having a drawing for something, I can’t remember what. We were going to have a longer break than usual after one of our sets so they could use our PA to do the drawing. I went to the bar and was getting a coke. A rather attractive girl asked me if we did a certain song she liked, to which I nodded and replied “next set, I think”. Our drummer was standing there waiting on me, as he wanted to get in a game of pool while we waited for the drawing to get over. We went to the tables and he racked up the game. I was lining up my first shot when I heard “hey, asshole”. I, of course, looked up to see who was calling who an asshole. What I saw was what turned out to be the butt end of a pool cue coming at my face at rather high velocity. It caught me on the bridge of my nose. I’m done. I’m collapsed on the pool table, screaming, blood pouring from my face. The drummer tackled the guy swinging the cue as he was lining up for another whack at me. Then the singer (not a small guy) jumped in. They, with a bouncer, dragged the guy out thru the kitchen and behind the bar where they damn near killed him. Turns out the attractive girl who asked me about the song had an extremely jealous ex-boyfriend who was in the bar and saw her talking to me.

A couple days later, after the swelling went down and my eyes were able to open, she took me to dinner. She was really embarrassed over the whole thing. Just dinner, too. She had another boyfriend already, a cop. Who just happened to be the responding officer that night who ended up arresting ex-boyfriend for assault. Guess there were a few too many witnesses for him to claim self defense.

Rock n’ Roll!

 

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Women are happier without children or a spouse, says happiness expert

We may have suspected it already, but now the science backs it up: unmarried and childless women are the happiest sub-group in the population. And they are more likely to live longer than their married and child-rearing peers, according to a leading expert in happiness.

Speaking at the Hay festival on Saturday, Paul Dolan, a professor of behavioral science at the London School of Economics, said the latest evidence showed that the traditional markers used to measure success did not correlate with happiness – particularly marriage and raising children.

“Married people are happier than other population sub-groups but only when their spouse is in the room when they’re asked how happy they are. When the spouse is not present: fucking miserable,” he said.

“We do have some good longitudinal data following the same people over time, but I am going to do a massive disservice to that science and just say: if you’re a man, you should probably get married; if you’re a woman, don’t bother.”

Men benefited from marriage because they “calmed down”, he said. “You take less risks, you earn more money at work and you live a little longer. She, on the other hand, has to put up with that and dies sooner than if she never married. The healthiest and happiest population sub-group are women who never married or had children,” he said.

Dolan’s latest book, Happy Ever After, cites evidence from the American Time Use Survey (ATUS), which compared levels of pleasure and misery in unmarried, married, divorced, separated and widowed individuals. The study found that levels of happiness reported by those who were married was higher than the unmarried, but only when their spouse was in the room; unmarried individuals reported lower levels of misery than married individuals who were asked when their spouse was not present.

Other studies have measured some financial and health benefits in being married for both men and women on average, which Dolan said could be attributed to higher incomes and emotional support, allowing married people to take risks and seek medical help.

However, Dolan said men showed more health benefits from tying the knot, as they took less risks. Women’s health was mostly unaffected by marriage, with middle-aged married women even being at higher risk of physical and mental conditions than their single counterparts.

Despite the benefits of a single, childless lifestyle for women, Dolan said that the existing narrative that marriage and children were signs of success meant that the stigma could lead some single women to feel unhappy.

“You see a single woman of 40, who has never had children – ‘bless, that’s a shame isn’t it, maybe one day you’ll meet the right guy and that’ll change’. No, maybe she’ll meet the wrong guy and that’ll change. Maybe she’ll meet a guy who makes her less happy and healthy, and die sooner.”

 

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What Happens to Your Body When You Give Up Alcohol

Here’s how a substantial phase of sobriety could affect your immune system, sleep, and even your skin.

“Giving up drinking doesn’t make you live longer. It just makes it feel that way.” That’s one of my dad’s favorite quips should his consumption be brought into question. The truth is that however much you enjoy the taste of alcohol or the way it makes you feel, in almost all respects, it does bad things to your body and brain. I experienced firsthand the upgrades that can happen when you stop drinking for a while when I got in shape last spring. Granted, giving up booze was just one of the behavioral changes I made, but I couldn’t help thinking it was particularly significant one. Here’s what science has to say about that and other things that would likely happen to your body when you give up alcohol.

Your immune system will be more effective

Drinking too often and too much is closely associated with several immune-related health effects. What’s “too often” and “too much,” you slur? Well according to the National Institutes of Health, it’s more than four drinks on any day or 14 per week for men; and more than three drinks on any day or seven per week for women—figures that manage to be either sexist or bad math or possibly both.

On average, drinkers have a higher susceptibility to pneumonia and other respiratory disorders, a higher likelihood of getting complications and poor wound healing after surgery, a higher instance of sepsis and certain cancers to name a few. “[Giving up alcohol]…will strengthen your immune system and make it easier for your body to fight off infection,” says Kristin Kirkpatrick, a registered dietician with the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. Kirkpatrick cites a 2015 study that showed that alcohol overexerts immune pathways, which in turn decreases the body’s ability to defend against a number of adverse invaders.

And you don’t get off lightly if you only go big every now and then. A study published in the journal Alcohol found that a single episode of binge alcohol intoxication leads to overexertion on the immune system and inflammation. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. (Typically this happens when men consume five or more drinks or women consume four or more drinks in about two hours.) The good news is, if you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, your immune system’s response will buck itself up after you give up the sauce. “What’s not clear is how long it takes the body to strengthen after alcohol is taken out and what frequency of drinking relates to this decrease in immunity,” Kirkpatrick tells me.

You’ll eat less, or at least with more intention

According to a study in the journal Obesity, the drunk munchies may be due to alcohol heightening the senses. Researchers found that when people received an intravenous alcohol infusion equal to about two drinks, they ate 30 percent more food than those who received a saline solution. Their conclusion? Even mild intoxication can increase your brain activity in the hypothalamus, making you more sensitive to the smell of food and prompting you to eat more. Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that alcohol is often linked people overeating and having a poor diet.

You’ll sleep better

I go to a party, I have a few drinks, and before long I’m out of gas and ready for bed. I get home, zonk out immediately only to find that I’m wide awake at 5 AM and unable to get back to sleep. Sound familiar? “Alcohol is a depressant, meaning that it slows down the body and naturally makes you sleepy,” Kirkpatrick explains, adding that booze is also associated with disrupted sleep because the body is working overtime to metabolize it. A few drinks will usually help you fall asleep quick but once you’ve metabolized it all, you’ll likely wake up or have a poorer quality of sleep.

A review of 27 studies backs up Kirkpatrick’s analysis that while booze may help people fall asleep more quickly and deeply at first, it’s not a prescription for restful and recuperative shuteye. When people drink, their sleep gets fragmented, which means they wake up more often in their sleep rather than sleeping through the night, says Amarjot Surdhar, an addiction psychiatrist at Northwell Health. “People feel generalized fatigue and malaise the following day after heavy drinking,” he tells me, adding that a suppression, delay, and reduction of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep is another way that you’re doing your brain a disservice. The REM sleep cycle is believed to stimulate the central nervous system, restore brain chemistry to a normal balance, and help us form new memories. If your REM sleep gets messed with, you’ll likely feel like crap the next day.

You’ll decrease your risk of getting certain types of cancer

In its Report on Carcinogens, the National Toxicology Program of the US Department of Health and Human Services lists consumption of alcoholic beverages as a known human carcinogen. In particular, alcohol appears to increase the risk of head and neck cancers, esophageal cancers, liver cancers, breast cancer, and colorectal cancers. There’s also mounting evidence that booze is associated with increased risks of melanoma and of prostate and pancreatic cancers. Conversely, putting a plug in the jug can decrease those risks.

Quitting booze could impact fertility in women

While pretty much everyone’s on board with the idea that getting wasted when your baby is gestating inside you is like, not cool, alcohol’s effect on fertility is less talked about. In one Danish study, the alcohol consumption of healthy women who were trying to conceive was monitored. Booze was measured in standard servings: 1-3, 4-7, 8-13, and 14 or more units per week. Women in the highest alcohol consumption group (14 units or more per week) had 37 pregnancies in 307 cycles, and those who did not drink had 1,381 pregnancies in 8,054 cycles. These figures equate to an 18 percent decrease in the probability that the women who drank more would conceive.

The study’s authors note that the consumption of fewer than 14 servings of alcohol per week seemed to have “no discernible effect on fertility.”

And decrease the likelihood of damaged or malformed sperm in men

A 2017 study found that while alcohol didn’t alter sperm density, it did increase the production of sperm with particularly large heads containing potentially damaged DNA. Authors of that study recommended that “men who plan to father children stop drinking alcohol at least three months before engaging in sexual intercourse that may lead to pregnancy.”

That rec might seem a little drastic since research has shown that it’s heavy alcohol consumption that can significantly affect sperm quality, says Michael Reitano, New York City-based urologist and physician-in-residence at men’s health startup Roman. Small quantities of alcohol can indeed have some effect on the shape of sperm but many large studies have determined that moderate alcohol consumption does not affect fertility, he tells me.

Your skin will likely look better

Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it makes you pee out more liquid than if you drank water. Pissing in double time prevents your body from extracting water from urine in the kidneys. The result? Dry skin that can appear lusterless or ashy. “A moderate drinker will most likely not see a detrimental impact on their skin from having a drink once in a while,” Kirkpatrick says, but cautions that that excessive drinking is can lead to the desertification of your face. What’s more, booze also decreases the body’s production of an antidiuretic hormone called vasopressin, which helps the body reabsorb water. Cut the drinking out or down and you’ll improve your skin’s appearance in short order, she says.

 

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8 Beautiful Ways to Tell Someone You Love Them — Without Words

Telling someone you love them is easy but showing them is harder.

Sure, it’s easy to say “I love you” to someone you love. But, have you ever considered ways to tell someone you love them without using words?

Are you falling in love? Isn’t it wonderful? Every day you share with your person is a new and wonderful day. You hope that you feel like this forever.

When you love someone, it’s important to tell them. But, it’s also important to put actions behind your words so that your person not only hears that you love them but they also feel it!

You can learn how to tell someone you love them without saying the words “I love you” (but you still should, every now and then).

With that said, here are 8 beautiful ways to say “I love you” without saying a word.

1. Love them as they want to be loved

One of the best tools in a successful relationship is Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages. He has devoted his website and his book to his theory that there are 5 languages of love — 5 ways people can express and receive love: Quality Time, Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, and Giving of Gifts.

For each person, one of those things is the thing that makes them feel the most loved when they are done unto them. When a partner tries to love them using a different love language, they don’t feel loved.

My love language is Quality Time — I feel loved when someone is truly present with me, listening to me, focusing on me. My ex-husbands’ love language was Physical Touch — he felt love when I was holding his hand, hugging him or, yep, that too.

Unfortunately, the language that we spoke best with each other was Acts of Service. We did things for each other, like changing the oil in the car or going to the grocery store. Stuff got done but neither of us felt loved.

If you’re curious about your love language, you’ll find a short quiz on the website that you and your partner can both take so you can start loving each other in a way that will work.

2. Take care of them but let them return the favor

Everyone enjoys taking care of someone but many of us are really bad at letting people take care of us.

One of the best answers to the question of how to tell someone that you love them without words is to let them take care of you.

Think about how good it feels when you do something nice for someone. How it connects you to that person and makes you feel good about yourself.

Imagine how good it would feel for your partner to do something for you. So, let him! Even if you can do it for yourself, let him do it. Let him feel good about helping you. It is an excellent way to show someone you love them — to let them show you the same.

3. Hear them

For women, an important part of being loved is feeling connected. Men often don’t understand what that means, to be connected, for a woman.

I have a client who wants his girlfriend to know that he loves her. He thinks that the best way to do that is by making sure they have good memories. So, he arranges trips and dinners and other expensive things, hoping to create wonderful memories.

His girlfriend has expressed her dismay that he is spending so much money on her and he brushed it off, telling her that she was worth it. She wasn’t happy.

I suggested that he tell her that he recognizes and respects her concerns and that he has arranged some free things that they can do together to build memories. She was happy.

For women, being seen, heard, understood, and acknowledged is an important part of feeling loved.

4. Share their passions

I have a client whose boyfriend loves working on cars. Loves it. He worked on cars with his father and he does so now with his son and he would rather work on cars than just about anything.

This love was driving my client crazy because he wanted to spend time with her but also wanted to work on his car. So, I suggested a compromise.

I suggested that she try to get interested in some aspects of his car work and learn from him so that she could spend time with him. In exchange, he would be willing to spend some time with her, doing things other than car work.

By supporting your partner’s passions you are letting them know that you respect and love who they are as a person. And sulking in a corner because you don’t like what he is doing isn’t going to buy you any love at all.

5. Support them always

Sometimes, our partner comes up with some pie-in-the-sky idea that is the new driving force in their lives. It’s exciting and new and all they want to talk about.

And you’ve probably thought your partner’s new idea is crazy.

I remember in college my soccer-playing, skiing, manly-man of a boyfriend turned to me after a dance performance and announced that he wanted to be a dancer. I actually laughed in his face. This was 30 years ago and I still remember the hurt look in his eyes. He never became a dancer.

To this day, I wish I had supported him. That’s what people who love each other do for each other. He might never have become a dancer but having the person who loved him believe in him would have been such a gift. Even better would have not being on the receiving end of my derision.

So, support them. No matter what.

6. Don’t be critical

You know how you feel when you go to visit your in-laws and your mother-in-law makes some passive aggressive, disparaging comment about something you did. You know how awful that makes you feel. And you don’t even really like your mother-in-law.

Imagine what your partner, who loves you, must feel like when you are critical of them.

I have a client whose wife gives him the once over every time they are headed out the door. She tells him if his hair is out of place or if his shirt is right or if he is carrying the right bag for the task ahead. And while she is quick to say, “Your pants have a hole in them”, she never says, “You are perfect today, honey. Thank you.”

My client at first tried to anticipate what his wife might want but as time went on, he only felt resentment towards her criticism. He actually started not only making choices that he knew would antagonize her but he ignored whatever she mentioned at the door.

So, be careful not to be critical. If you have something to say, say it with love. And if it doesn’t need to be said, don’t say it. Life will go on if his hair isn’t just right.

7. Don’t take things personally

There is nothing more insidious in a relationship than not forgiving someone for a wrong. And, for some reason, couples who love each other are really, really good at not forgiving each other. If someone does something wrong nothing they can do will make up for that wrong. And that wrong will be played out verbally, over and over, forever.

People are only human. We do things that hurt people. Rarely do we do things to hurt someone on purpose. And yet, in relationships, we often take the thing that someone does to us so personally that we refuse to believe that they didn’t set out to hurt us. And that is unforgivable.

I have a client whose partner was so late getting home one night that he missed a date they had planned. He was delayed at work and then got stuck in traffic and it was a disaster. She took it personally.

“If you loved me”, she said. “You would have gotten home on time.” And she truly believed what she said.

The reality is that he does love her. He just didn’t allow enough time. And he blew it, but he does love her. And it’s important for her to understand that. And it makes it easier to forgive. He was late. He didn’t plan well. He blew it. And he does love her.

Of course, another piece of forgiveness is that the wrong-doer must apologize for the hurt caused, because therein lies the issue that will carry forth forever — the hurt. Not so much the actions but the resulting feelings.

So, don’t take things personally. And apologize for the hurt. Forgive and move on.

8. Never show contempt

If there is one thing that kills love, it’s contempt. Do anything that you can to keep it out of your relationship.

Contempt seems to rear its ugly head when wrongs fester, when people don’t forgive, and when being critical is the norm and respect is lost. Contempt manifests itself with derisive comments about your partner, comments about who they are as a person.

My ex-husband had a really hard time getting things done around the house. I told him, over and over, that if he was my employee I would fire him. And I wouldn’t say it in a loving way. I would say it dismissively, almost with a wave of my hand. I can only imagine how it must have felt to be on the receiving end of my contempt.

Therapists say that when they see contempt in a relationship they know that it’s close to over. So, if you find yourself acting contemptuously STOP, assess and figure out what needs to be done.

Don’t let contempt kill love. Because it will.

Now that you know how to say “I love you” with actions rather than words, you can start showing your partner exactly how you feel about them.

Hug them and kiss them and have sex with them and tell them that they are wonderful and hang out with their friends and visit their mother. All of those things are an excellent way to show someone you love them.

But they will have a hard time accepting your love if you aren’t willing to forgive them, if you can’t support them, and are constantly critical of them. Back up your kisses with words and actions and they will know that you are the one for them.

 

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