The 3 Best Reasons To Care About Your Love Life
I used to be so angry and exasperated about my romantic relationships with women. Make no mistake, I loved being with women and enjoyed sex, but the relational aspect just never seemed to pan out for me.
I just did what every other man around me did. Met women, had sex, then figured out if we wanted to be in relationship. Not surprising, most of the relationships lasted for a very short time.
Back then I prided myself on having some sexual prowess and being “good with women”. But I later realized I never had the skills to make any of them really happy; they always wanted more from me, something else, and I had no idea what that was.
Now, in my more mature years, I realize it never occurred to me that relationship was something you could be good or bad at; something that could be learned. I don’t believe I ever even used the word for “relationship” in my native Danish tongue.
Underneath, I really did want to find true love with the perfect woman (although I never admitted that to anyone). It was my unquestioned assumption that the “One” would just show up one day, we’d fall in love, get married, buy a house, settle down, have kids, and all would be well.
Every relationship followed the same script: Fall in love, have hot sex for a while, get bored, fall out of love, leave. Repeat. But as I went from one failed relationship to the next, it slowly became obvious that this “love thing” wasn’t working out like I expected it. My rinse-and-repeat strategy was flawed.
A nice woman finally asked me, “Has it ever occurred to you that the problem in your love life isn’t the selection of women? And who’s the one common denominator in all these relationships, anyway?”
Crap. Busted. Truthfully, none of that had ever crossed my mind.
Long story short, I set out on a long journey of mastering love, sex, and relationship. I vowed I would figure it out and find true love.
Happily, I succeeded in “figuring it out”. I found real love, the coveted “one and only”. And I became so passionate by the journey, I now coach and train men and women, couples and singles, on how to make love, sex, and relationship work out and exceed the fantasy (read more about Sonika’s and my story here …)
For the longest time, however, I thought to myself, “Why bother? It’s too much work. Women are impossible to please, anyway”.
In working with hundreds of men, it’s crystal clear that my experience was closer to the rule, not the exception. It almost seems to be a universal experience for men that we’re not naturally skilled at relationship, intimacy, and working through emotionally charged conflicts.
For any other endeavor in a man’s life, we’d say, “Of course you’re not naturally skilled. You need training”. If you set out to learn any skill, be it building houses, providing therapy, composing music, or giving financial advice, you’d never think twice about getting educated at a learning institution or from a personal mentor. How else would you learn? But when it comes to relationship, we just expect ourselves to be great with zero training. We get married, breed kids, buy houses, assuming we’ll be able to deal with any conflicts that arise while remaining in love forever.
How’s that been working for you?
So why would you bother learning the skills of keeping a relationship vibrant and alive?
It’ll take time and effort, no doubt. It’ll be frustrating at times. So what’s the pay-off? What’s in it for you, for me?
There are three main reasons to care about love and relationship (ignore at your own peril 🙂
1. Immediate Gratification.
When you know how to make your relationship work smoothly, or in other words how to keep your partner happy and fulfilled while being so yourself, you get immediate gratification in the form of …
a. Sex. More and better.
b. Freedom to pursue your own passions
c. Appreciations and acknowledgments for who you are and what you provide and contribute (that alone will make a man walk with a bounce in his step).
d. A happy partner (recognizing the truth in the old adage, Happy Wife Happy Life).
e. Ease and relaxation (the absence of criticism, blaming, and harping).
2. Success in life, health, money.
Long-term studies (here’s one from Harvard) consistently find that the single most important aspect of person’s life is their relationship. Our relationship lives have a bigger impact on our health, wealth, and overall well-being than any other factor in life, including income, success, fame, education level, physical abilities, you name it. People in happy relationships are happier, live longer, make more money, and their kids are healthier and perform better.
In my professional experience, the lack of harmonious, sexually alive relationship with your partner is absolutely detrimental to your ability to perform at your best in the world. On the flipside, when a man is feeling well loved, cared for, and sexually satisfied, he walks into the world with a smile on his face, a proud gait, and confidence in his own power.
That, in my opinion, is priceless!
3. The man you have to become.
Setting out to learn and master the skills of love, sex, and relationship will require you to open places in yourself that have most likely been shut down for many years. Like the profound, powerful love in your heart, and the painful sides of your “shadow” (i.e. the not-so-pretty sides of what you carry from your past).
Men have so much love to give. Men feel love and pain much stronger than they show their loved ones and the world. Often, what makes a man inefficient in relationship is his inability to express the sheer force of both his love and his anger and sadness.
Men in this culture are in some ways doubly challenged. We’ve learned it’s not nice or acceptable to be aggressive and forceful, so we’ve put a solid lock on that wild, masculine force that rages inside of us. We’ve also learned that men shouldn’t cry, that’s it’s weak to show emotions, to “man up” and “suck it up” (Check out the 2-part podcast episode, How Men Lose Power In Relationship here … )
So you could say we’ve hampered both the best of our feminine and masculine aspects. Hence, doubly challenged to make peace with, and express, the best of both the feminine and masculine side of ourselves. But when we do, we become whole, integrated men. In my humble judgment, this world cannot get enough of whole, integrated men. Such a man knows when it’s time to love, to cry, to fight, to stand up to wrong. And he can move from powerful to soft in a heartbeat.
That is the journey you set out on when you decide to master this “Love and Relationship thing”.
Is that worth bothering with?