If you’re a minority female in America, there isn’t a day that goes by that you don’t feel looked through and talked over. You often have to exude a face of confidence and self-assuredness to mask the insecurities you may feel inside. So, after a long day of wearing a mask, the last thing you need is to feel like you have to do it with your partner. The human species is continuously growing, changing, adapting, and evolving over time. So it takes a lifetime to truly know a person inside and out. If you’re not looking for ways to perpetually learn more about yourself and your partner as you grow, you need to get into it. Like yesterday.
So, if you feel this isn’t happening on a regular basis in your relationship, you aren’t alone. As women, we go through bouts of feeling like things have gotten too comfortable in our relationship. We may begin to feel unappreciated, like the spark is gone, or like we don’t have a voice in our relationships. If you can relate to any of this, let’s talk about ways you can begin to encourage daily attentiveness, curiosity, and intrigue from your partner. It all starts with learning how to be vulnerable, open, and honest with yourself so you can do this with your partner. Whenever he looks at you, he should be able to actually see your heart. Describing the essence and aura of who you really are should be easy for him. When you’re feeling neglected by the world, he should be able to crawl into that deep burrow with you, grab you by the hand, and know exactly what to say and do to pull you right out of it. Now that’s #relationshipgoals
So how do you get there?
You already know what I’m going to say. Yep, emotional intimacy! In order to feel seen by your partner, you must teach him how to love on you, support you, and give you what you need when you need it. In doing so, you’ll have the pleasure of being loved, cherished, and nurtured by him. So here are 8 ways to make that happen.
- Use your voice! A few personal skills you’ll have to master are owning your truth, being bold, and speaking up. The days of waiting to be asked for your opinion and needs have long passed. It’s up to you to let your partner know your wants, desires, and thoughts. When it comes to the male counterpart, they’re not exactly known for their mind-reading abilities. So, learn how to openly communicate with him so he can learn how to be there for you.
- Show up! You do not have to shrink your shine or live in his shadow. If you feel the need to scale any part of yourself back, that’s not only unhealthy for you, but it will cause you to wither and grow resentment for him over time. Besides, if he’s too insecure to praise and acknowledge how amazing you are, he doesn’t deserve to share your space, Sis. The right man will be inspired and intrigued by your tenacity. He’ll not only look for ways to celebrate you, but he’ll find ways to complement and uplift you. Feel confident being yourself and freely be the unique woman you were created to be.
- Make your “potential” absence felt. Nobody has time for that miss a good thing after it’s gone BS. People will always flock to light, so be the sun in his life! Show up in a way that only you can for him and he’ll know exactly how you enhance the quality of his life. Start by taking an inventory of his current needs and the things he loves to do, then support him the best way you can. While you’re at it, do the same for yourself and let him know how he can support you in reaching your goals. So whenever the thought of life without you crosses his mind, he’ll do whatever it takes to make sure you’ll stick around and vice versa. Yes! I see a power couple in the making!
- Find ways to intersect your lives, interests, and goals in a meaningful way. When I first started dating my husband, I learned he was a video gamer, loved sports, and wanted a motorcycle. For me, that was no, no, and hell no! But, over time, I started introducing him to the things I loved and dug deeper into his other hobbies and interests. Now we do almost everything together and have many of the same goals and interests. We’re both foodies and nerds at heart so we love playing Scrabble, doing puzzles, trying new foods, and binge-watching TV shows that neither of us would have watched if it weren’t for the other. Now, I won’t start a new show without him and he refuses to check out a new restaurant without me.
- Talk it out! Find ways to get comfortable with having the hard conversations needed to advance your relationship. Emotional intimacy cannot happen without a solid foundation of healthy communication. Learn how to read his non-verbal cues, familiarize yourself with his moods, and perfect your timing to make sure you’re broaching tough subjects at the correct times. On your end, you can be approachable so he’s comfortable bringing up touchy subjects to you. Tiptoeing around a subject isn’t doing anyone any favors and it will only damage things further. On the other hand, being insensitive by insisting on talking when he’s clearly had a bad day and needs a little time won’t work either. Learn when and how to do this, then commit to making it happen whenever necessary. It won’t be easy at first, but you’ll both be glad you did in the end.
- Be comfortable removing your cape. It’s no secret that men love to feel needed. It’s great that you’re already a whole vibe, Sis. But let him know there’s a place for him in your life and exactly how he fits into it. Don’t be afraid to show a little vulnerability when you’re feeling unsure of yourself or your next move. You’d be surprised how much insight he can offer and how helpful he can be in identifying ways to create boundaries and new opportunities in your life, your business, or your other relationships. And, if nothing else, he can always provide a nice, strong shoulder to cry on.
- Make him proud! We don’t wake up with perfect lashes, brows, and beat faces. With two kids under 10 and multiple businesses, I’ll be the first to say I’m a legging and t-shirt girl all day – around the house and outside of the house. But, every now and then, I like to make my man proud by getting a date night on the calendar, squeezing into a Spanx, and dusting off that freakum dress to spruce things up a bit. He loves to show me off as his arm candy for the evening and I enjoy making him feel proud and possessive. So, I encourage you to have fun being seen and admired by your man whenever possible. A little role-playing while you’re out or sexting one another during the hours leading up to your big night can kick the heat during your alone time up a few notches.
- Let him know he’s seen by you. Don’t get it twisted, men love to be pursued. So make him want to be a better man for you by acknowledging him regularly. I make it a point to flirt with my boo frequently, even when we’re bumming it around the house. I’ve learned “Damn, you’re working those joggers, boo” can go a long way on a lazy Saturday morning. That subtle smirk he gives you lets you know he appreciates it. And that it’s definitely going down later. Speaking of which, initiating sex with him lets him know he’s still desirable to you. It doesn’t always have to include candlelight and music. If the mood hits, seize the moment and seize his ass…right on the kitchen counter.
BONUS tip: Love yourself first! There’s no greater gift you can give yourself and your partner than to make sure you’re getting the love you need and deserve first. Your cup of love is for you and your overflow allows everyone else to be served from your saucer. When you love and care for yourself, you can show up in ways you’ve never imagined. So set your boundaries, take time for yourself, and rejuvenate. Then boldly go out and allow this world to experience all that you have to offer.