The 5 Habits of Highly Responsive Partners.

0

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

Views 10
Shares 6.2
Hearts 9.4
Comments 4.6
Editor's Pick 0.0
Total Ecosystem Rating 6.5
63 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.
4
17.4k

I’m fairly certain that (with the exception of very few anomalies) everybody over the age of 30 has demonstrated at least a passing desire for a stable love life.

There are a lot of negative connotations associated with the word “stable,” so let’s be clear: stable does not necessarily have to be boring. The need for stability is, of course, very pragmatic. Being the sort of person I am, I do not have a whole host of experience to draw from with regard to romantic stability, but I do have enough anecdotal information to say without hesitation that civilized human beings are usually more productive when they are engaged in loving and exciting relationships.

In an effort to provide useful information, I went beyond simple opinion and commentary, and I asked around a bit. Even though it is sometimes easier to find unicorns than it is to find artistic and creative couples that enjoy longevity and happiness, I did manage to look a few up and get to the heart of what keeps these marriages and relationships in their respective states of near bliss.

The information, distilled down to five key elements, looks like this:

1. Sexual effort. I try to be judicial and avoid stereotypes wherever possible, however, there are very few cases of women withholding sex from their partners because they are addicted to internet porn. It’s never a prudent thing to use the word “never,” but let’s assume it is a rare occurrence.

I am by no means a religious zealot, but I do believe that allowing sexual energy and sexual tension to build up naturally in a relationship, until things move toward their desired direction, helps to build a really strong intimate partnership. To put it in more blunt terms: stop looking at internet porn, stop messaging with your ex from college, and save that stuff for the person in the next room. The rewards are fascinating.

2. Repeat after me: “How was your day?” I know what you’re thinking. “Boy, that’s some cutting edge stuff right there…”—but the fact that it is so obvious is what makes disregarding it seem so frustrating and even insidious. It is kind of like the phenomena where everybody knows that the speed limit is 65 and yet traffic court is still jam-packed every week. Believe me, if you are not asking your partner this question at the end of the day, you are probably taking your relationship for granted and heading for issues.

3. Established shared rituals. Any couple that takes the time to meditate together, share a meal every day without cellphones, or take a walk together will reap unheard of benefits from the effort. Relationships that are huffing, puffing, and on life support usually involve one partner nagging the other to participate in these things. That can only go on for so long. As an engaging male partner, it is super helpful to volunteer or create these respites without being asked.

4. Develop the courage to be vulnerable. Let’s be honest: as emotionally evolved as a lot of us mindful men are, we are still very much biologically programmed and socially conditioned to swallow a lot of our feelings. I know for myself, just hearing the words “Can I tell you about something that hurt my feelings?” come out of my mouth, makes me cringe. This is not how we have been socialized to communicate. The fact that something “is,” however, does not necessarily mean that it is “right.”

Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable takes strength and courage—and it doesn’t happen overnight. The one footnote I might add here is that this is the sort of thing that needs to be utilized sparingly. If you find yourself sitting your girlfriend down every day to tell her about something that hurt your feelings, don’t blame me if she goes running for the hills.

5. Understand the importance of non-sexual touch. Research shows that couples who do a lot of kissing, touching, cuddling, and massaging have a tendency to be much more happy and satisfied with their relationships. In addition to these benefits, it has also been noted that these habits lead to better conflict resolution when the time comes. Besides that—come on—it’s fun.

Good, long-lasting relationships rely on many different variables, and this advice is by no means foolproof. Without attraction, passion, and common vision, these steps will only work so well. If, however, you remember a time when you couldn’t stop thinking about her day and night, and you’ve noticed that the butterflies are starting to wane a little, it could be complacency and neglect that’s driving the bus.

~

author: Billy Manas

Image: Unsplash/Clem Onojeghuo

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Relephant:

Relephant Bonus:

The One Buddhist Red Flag to Look out For.

The Qualities to look for in a Life-mate.

0

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

Views 10
Shares 6.2
Hearts 9.4
Comments 4.6
Editor's Pick 0.0
Total Ecosystem Rating 6.5
63 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.
4
17.4k

Read the Best Articles from October
You voted with hearts, comments, views and shares.

See Who Won

Billy Manas

Billy Manas is a poet, singer-songwriter, and truck driver from the Hudson Valley in New York, where you can catch his act at wine tastings and breweries. His distinct voice in both song and poetry is likely the result of his degree in literature and his teenage years spent outside of CBGB’s on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Catch up with Billy on his website.

You must be logged in to post a comment. Create an account.

Billy Manas Jul 21, 2018 10:59pm

Dena Barnum Have no fear! There are great people out there. We all get discouraged --especially these days--but I truly believe if we put out good, we get back good. Sending you my best thoughts.

Dena Barnum Jul 21, 2018 9:30pm

Billy Manas I have and it breaks my heart. I fear for my future relationships.

Billy Manas Jul 21, 2018 9:14pm

Thank you for your comment Dena. Yes, actually it's kind of funny...even in these comments men are defending it. Your story is more prevalent than people want to admit. Not to plug my own writing, but did you ever see my article "Why Internet Porn Is Killing Your Marriage" ? https://www.elephantjournal.com/2018/01/why-internet-porn-is-killing-your-marriage/

Shane Terence Jul 17, 2018 5:30am

You perhaps missed the most crucial habit of all.... speaking your partners love language/s. Fail to do that and the relationship is ultimately doomed to fail. It's easy when you have a partner with matching love languages. It's much more challenging when there's a mismatch and quite often there is. See Gary Chapman's The 5 Love Languages. Another matter to be aware of is attachment styles. If you keep screwing up your relationships it could be that you have an unhealthy attachment style. Or if you find your partner behaving in ways that seem a little irrational or disruptive then same deal. The absolute best habit for long term relationship success is personal growth and development.

Dena Barnum Jul 13, 2018 9:47pm

I love seeing a male for once admit that internet porn is bad for relationships. My marriage ended because my husband was so addicted to porn that he couldn’t make love to me and was uninterested in changing. Every boyfriend I’ve had since then has become almost hostile when I suggest they not watch it and focus on us instead. It’s a breath of fresh air to see a man acknowledge this.

Mark LaPorta Jul 8, 2018 12:08pm

You're certinaly right about the title; EJ -- and many others -- often do that, and I suspect deliberately. It's worse when the emphasis is on "female" problems.

Billy Manas Jul 7, 2018 9:14pm

Thanks Adam. That is definitely food for thought.

Adam Beall Jul 7, 2018 6:42pm

I'm going to agree that what you've laid out here is mostly good advice. I think the article might be misleadingly titled though, as the title is gender neutral specifying only partners, but the article is heavily biased toward the typical male dysfunctions. It's quite possible that browsing internet porn and texting college flames is more of a symptom rather than the cause of a floundering relationship or disinterested partner. Maybe sometimes you just need to move on, and people by and large let loss aversion cripple them when they could have something much better so easily. You're a bit damning of internet porn altogether as well, despite the likelihood that it's a substantial element of most people on this planet's sexuality, one in ten of all uses of the internet by any person at any time last I heard. Certainly pornography could be bad for a relationship just as a knife could be bad for someone's wellbeing when used by an attacker, but that's probably by far the minority of actual uses of the knife. I would also expount on point two that it's not enough to just ask how the day was. If you're not involved enough with the person to have some concept of what they've been doing at various points throughout the day or even shared decision making, you've already missed most of the opportunities to engage interest and build the sexual and emotion tension that's going to pay off when it's time for the touching, sexual and otherwise. And finally, while there may be very few cases of women witholding sex because of an internet porn addiction, there are immeasurably numerous opportunities of them witholding affection for any conceivable other reason to their own detriment. Maybe the take home message should be not for either to withold sexual effort for any reason if you care to have the world's most satisfying relationships.

Billy Manas Jul 7, 2018 4:56pm

Well thank you Mark for your very thoughtful comments.

Mark LaPorta Jul 7, 2018 2:09pm

Not bad at all. Not bad at all. In fact it made me feel like I might actually be "doing it right," which adds to hope and faith and confidence, which then make me feel like I might actually be "doing it right." Just a few supportive thoughts. The problem with "stable" is that many confuse it with "BORING, " AKA restless, irritable, and discontent. Boredom can be addressed in several ways, but it has to be done sincerely or it's fake and for show and momentary and doesn't get to the root; you can find exciting things to do, OR one can learn how to enjoy being present, the nuances, the depth. Meditative practices and personal inventory and accountability -- know thyself -- are key here. Many prayerful and enlarging spritual practices add dimension to life and re-orient the ego to usefulness. A content mate is not a cow, but a present and supportive partner. It's way too easy to insert self-defeating obstacles like drugs, porn, and any-holisms -- including "AlAnonism," (for those who have a family constellation of addiction/dysfunction; don't we all!). That's not maturity, the ability to sustain delayed gratifications. I expect that the wanting to touch and cuddle, etc., can be developed, but a lot of ot comes from just simply enjoying each other and Wanting each other, even it's a kiss on the forehead as you get off the couch with her and go get a popsicle; and remember to ask her if she needs anything on the way to the kitchen. Feeling desired and desirable is a blessing that can be strengthened. The same with asking about the day. I care. And I should maybe have something to offer about the events or thoughts of the day. Gossip can be toxic, however, so a good topic is ideas about ideas and hopes and solutions, not just problems. It is inevitable that occasionaly one will go to bed angry; the question is the ability to LET IT GO so a) one can sleep, and wake up with a clear head, and b) does it turn into a chonic resentment, which can be lethal, but is actually a symptom of a common thinking style, as are dishonesty, fears, and selfishness in general. Vulnerable? Absolutely. Need to constantly whine about it? Wase of time. My vulnerability allows me to have the rest of my feelings truly and deeply. The more I try to control my own feeling, the more I mess up my deeper self. Knowing a little about the Karpman Drama Triangle helps with awareness of codependent thoughts and behaviors (rescuer/persecutor/martyr-victim) which can be un-learned. THE WAY OF MEN brought up the principles of STRENGTH, HONOR, MASTERY, and COURAGE, which I appreciate you touched on. The beauty -- the trick -- is that each and every man must ascertain for himself what each of those dimensions mean. One man's strength or courage is another man's cowardice, etc. We humans are truly multidimensional and should allow growth in as many as we can recognize. Makes for a person who is more supportive and fun to be around and promotes physical, emotional, and mental health. Having a solid first-things-first relationship with a personal higher power is primordially powerful and positive. Too often we run our lives -- or ruin them -- based on ideas of Dr Jordan B Peterson's recent 12 RULES for LIFE really are an antidote to chaos and can help reduce the tendency or need to bubble over; NOT COMPARING is a critical issue. Balance in everything. In a different rubric, "Yoga" (ONE-NESS) can be sought via three sides of a mountain: (I'll leave out the Sanskrit) devotion/love, service, and study. Read. Deepen thought effort. I really liked the way you addressed mature (as opposed to "old"!) sexual desire. I remember when I was a kid in the early 60's, the cheap toys (like x-rays specs) in the backs of magazines? Sometimes you'd see a nightlight that said "Tonight's the Night!" Somehow I knew what that meant, if not the technical details. Sponteneity is grand but just a little planning adds spice, like anticipating the preparation and enjoyment of a fine meal. Yes, Billy, perhaps your culture and literature really do come through your voice. Thanks. I'll keep an aye out for you. ML PS>> I just looked at billymanas.com. It's possible we have at least 2 million friends in common. I thought I recognized the language.