Tag Archives: true connections

Strategies for Manly Married Men

Lots of men seem to be looking for a magic button of sorts to satisfy their partners in bed. I’m guessing that is why there are so many magazines and books focused on various sexual techniques, finding the elusive “g-spot” and other tips for men.

Notwithstanding the fact that women can be a bit complicated, when I read the following paragraph from Tom Basson’s blog, I thought it might just be the best sexual advice I’ve read for husbands to always remember. The article is called This one goes out to all the manly men, and he offers very good advice on how to create the love story in your life you’ve always wanted.

“Husbands, make love to your wife’s heart, not just her body. As ferociously as possible, find that woman’s heart and connect with it. Learn everything about her and connect with her in as many ways as possible. Understand her story and care about her past. Then her body will respond in ways she never thought humanly possible, and, for that matter, so will yours.”

The advice isn’t only intended to satisfy a mate sexually, but to build a better connection between both partners and satisfy a deep longing in both of them. Husbands and wives have a deep desire for connection, and the pace and technological influences of our day don’t help us meet that desire. Instead, they create obstacles that impede us in our drive for true connection, because they take our eye off the ball with many distractions.

What can you do to move your love story forward, and to bring you and your spouse closer together? How can you truly connect this week, understand your mate’s cares, desires and longings? How can you help stay connected despite your many obligations? How can you remove distractions that get in the way of your focus on your spouse? If it seems like too much of a challenge, read on.

How much time are you spending a day together?

Here’s one possible way to get a jump start. Dustin Reichmann at Engaged Marriage blog has a 10-minute test drive, with eight short things you can do with only 10-15 minutes of time to spend each day with your spouse. He nicely did the math for us, and explained that if we spend just 15 minutes a day connecting with our spouse, we will spend more than 91 hours together in a year. And this type of daily connection is more important than an annual vacation, especially if you are neglecting the rest of the year.

So check out the 100-minute challenge (10 days, 10 minutes) and you’ll see the steps are not at all daunting. For instance, day 5 is relaxing with your favorite dessert or drink together while sharing three things about your day, and day 6 is sharing a foot or back massage. Days 1 and 10 involve rating your marriage to see if you have made a difference in just 10 days. I think these bite-size challenges are a great way to infuse a little extra connection into your day.

What other ideas do you have to help you build a daily connection? Discuss your ideas with your spouse, and feel free to share your ideas here!

Lori Lowe is the author of First Kiss to Lasting Bliss: Hope & Inspiration for Your Marriage. The book tells the true stories that demonstrate that marriage can thrive even in the most difficult circumstances. Learn from 12 inspiring couples who experienced child loss, infidelity, drug addiction, cancer, financial crises, brain injury, stranger rape, military service, infertility, opposing religions, unsupportive families, interracial relationships, raising special-needs children, and much more. These couples found the pressures of life didn’t destroy them; instead, they crystallized their commitment to each other. Available from Amazon.com or at your favorite e-book retailer.

Photo by Ambro courtesty of freedigitalphotos.net.

Are 20-Somethings in a Relational Wasteland With No Courtship?

Chances are you met your mate, dated for a while, fell in love, got engaged, then got married. It’s the “courtship narrative” we were brought up with. But it’s not the case anymore. For many, “this narrative has been disrupted, without being replaced, leaving many 20-somethings in a ‘relational wasteland.’” Sadly, in this super-connected society, true emotional connections are becoming more difficult.

Brad Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project a the University of Virginia, writes in The Washington Post about young people who are Lost in a World Without Courtship.

Why the change? Sexual activity is starting much earlier than in previous generations, but the average age at which people marry is later. This leaves a hormone-filled gap—during which our culture (including parents and churches, according to Wilcox) provides little guidance. Casual sex generally fills the gap, with no discussion of love, and often no dating or courtship. (It’s not uncommon to hear about “sexual favors” being performed casually in elementary and middle school.) Even after graduating from college, many 20-somethings go out in groups and “hook up” as they wish, rather than go out on dates. Occasionally, a couple creates a “relationship,” but marriage is not the next step in their narrative.

Wilcox says young people have evolved their own narrative, and the next step is cohabitation. “For some, it is a test-drive for marriage. For others, it is an easier, low-commitment alternative to marriage.” From 1960 to 2007, cohabitation increased forteenfold. “Serial cohabitation trains people for divorce…and can poison one’s view of the opposite sex,” says Wilcox, adding that engaged couples who cohabit are generally not adversely affected.

The bigger problem for society is when cohabiting couples decide to procreate. “Cohabitation is no place for children,” says Wilcox. Three-fourths of children in such unions see their parents split by age 16, while one-third of children with married parents see them divorce. He says marriage is society’s best tool for binding the parents together in the common interests of the child. Children in single-parent homes are considerably more disadvantaged—financially, physically, mentally and emotionally.

Wilcox suggests the ideal age to marry seems to be in the early to mid-20s. Teen marriages have a much higher divorce rate, and those marrying after 27 are at risk of being too set in their ways or having unrealistically high standards. (Kathleen Quiring has just written a series on why early marriage can be a positive trend in her opinion. Read the series at Project M.)

What’s your story? How did you meet your mate and fall in love? Do you think courtship, romance, dating and love are dying out with the young? How do you think marriage will be affected for the next generation? What do you teach your children about love and sex?

True Connectivity

I’m a fan of Twitter and Facebook and find these and other sites help me connect with lots of different people for work and personal reasons I wouldn’t otherwise talk to. I think our use of these and other social networking tools helps fill a desire to be known by and connected to others. However, we should beware that filling our lives with technological tasks can, in some cases, actually reduce our true connectivity.

You’ve seen the friends who post details of their vacation every day and let you know when they stop for coffee. They air their grievances online. They carry their cell phone everywhere and never turn it off. They text in the middle of a dinner party. You probably know a lot more of these individuals than folks who take time out for silence.

Our frenetic pace doesn’t often allow for quiet time, for thinking, contemplation, prayer or meditation, for spending relaxing unstructured time with spouses and close family members. The wisest, calmest people you know probably allow themselves time of solitude. When we don’t take time for the bigger picture, we can begin to feel overwhelmed. We may even reach out to our social network to tell them how overwhelmed we feel or to complain about our busy schedule, which does little to solve the problem.

Many folks are finding they need to “unplug” from technology (including TV, ipods, cell phones and radio) for periods of time to help recharge their batteries, both for the more structured planning, praying or reading/learning type of activities, and for non-structured relaxed activities like taking a walk or bike ride or watching a sunset. I personally find that during these unstructured times, I often will find insight into a problem or a great idea that helps me with a project.

When you are lucky enough to be married, you have a partner for life, and someone you can truly know and be known by, an answer to our true desire to be connected. Once you allow yourself time of solitude to know yourself well, you can share yourself more effectively with your partner. Don’t allow gadgets or devices to get in the way of your personal sharing or to take away the valuable time you may need to reconnect.

This fall is the perfect time of year to appreciate the changing foliage together with your spouse while you share your feelings and discuss one another’s goals, challenges or concerns. Take time to listen and share. Don’t tweet about it, and don’t post a photo of the experience on your personal web page. Give yourself time to know your spouse and to be known. That’s true connectivity.

What gets in the way of your personal solitude or your true connectivity? Is there a way you can remove any obstacles?

We Need True Connections

As I jump into the blogging world, we have more ways to connect than ever before–email, texting,  and cell phone coverage all over the world. I’d like to hear from you about how technology helps or hurts your ability to create and maintain relationships.  

In online forums, you may have hundreds or even thousands of “friends.” But in all these contacts, I wonder how often we make true connections. What about your treasured friendships–does technology help you maintain them or does it get in the way, leaving little time for friends? Do you talk to your neighbors? Do you chat with a friend over coffee? Or are you more likely to send a short email or forward an amusing story? Does technology allow you to make great connections that you would otherwise have not made? My cousin recently married a man she was matched with on eharmony.  They were in the same profession in the same town and never had met–a great example of technology facilitating a true connection.

A recent study from American Sociological Review found that the number of people who say that have no one to confide in is increasing–from 10% in 1985 to 25% today. Are we losing our ability to truly connect with those around us, even when it’s vital to our wellbeing? Be on the lookout in your life for those who need to make a real connection today.