Men and women often find themselves in a relationship rut. There’s a lot of talk of what’s missing but not enough talk about what is good. The old Mars/Venus argument is always front and center and one of the prime examples is the often cited “Cuddle” argument. Women want more, men don’t get it. Well I got to thinking that maybe the problem is in how we define it. How can we each get what we want when we each have a different definition of what that is? So….I decided to break down cuddling to its most basic form. Here’s what I think it should mean…
Many couples have issues in their relationship that could be simply solved by better communication. The woman who complains that her man is not attentive to her needs and desires could remedy that situation by making sure he is aware of those needs and desires. Most men will tell you that they are not mind readers. You can probably diffuse a situation if you just tell him what you need or want. And for the men, keep in mind that communication is a two-way street. You need to dig deep if necessary and let your partner know what you are feeling. It doesn’t have to be an onslaught of mushy emotional words, an occasional, ‘You look nice’, or ‘thank you’ or ‘I appreciate you’ can go a long way with your woman.
U: Unwind and leave the ‘ugly’ out
Don’t bring the frustrations from the office or the world home to your partner. Home should be your sanctuary where you can unwind and release those stresses. You should not take out the ugly realities and events on each other. Carve out some time (and preferably some place) where you and your partner can just chill and refresh with one another. It’s fine to bring up the difficult topics and discuss the realities of life, but make sure you set some limits. And make sure one of them is ‘never bring the ugly to the bedroom’.
This applies not only to your physical living space, but to your social and emotional life as well. In the same manner that you would de-clutter your closet—and please do if you haven’t—you should de-clutter your life. This means falling back from that friend who always drains you emotionally and takes up way too much of your personal time. It means easing back from always volunteering for the most complicated dish at the potluck and feeling okay about bringing the dinnerware instead. It also means leave the past in the past. Stop dredging up old hurts and pains with your partner. Doing so will free up much-needed emotional and personal space.
I know you’re thinking, “What?” Trust me here. Dancing can do all sorts of good things for your body and your relationship. Like a jolt of energy or good vibrations, putting on some music and dancing gets all the blood flowing and releases all kinds of yummy endorphins. And if you include your partner, you can up the ante considerably. Remember how you used to love dancing with each other when you first started dating? Remember how good his/her body felt next to you and how you enjoyed the touch and the scent? Next time either of you are bored or grumpy or not ‘in the mood’, get up and dance. It does a body good.
Yep. There’s no way I could leave this out. Both men and women constantly report how important a good sense of humor is in a relationship. Don’t let life get you so down that you forget how to laugh. Laugh with each other, at each other and at yourself. A deep belly laugh is both therapeutic and exhilarating. You get to see each other in a natural and uninhibited space when you laugh. And if you do it while dancing, it’s a double whammy.
E: Elevate and enhance
Lift each other up. Support one another even if you don’t quite understand what the other one is doing. A good relationship is made up of two people who enhance each other’s life. Be the ying to her yang, the lyrics to his song. Your partner should feel like if there is no other person in the world who ‘gets’ him/her, there is you. You should always strive to be the kind of friend and lover you would like to have.
Hopefully thinking about it in this way can bring some much-needed renewal and energy to your relationship. So the next time you feel things have become too blasé and the passion is dying down, grab each other and CUDDLE.