We all can use a little help being better lovers. Here’s why:
Think of it. At the beginning of any relationship, everything happens perfectly. You’re head over heels in love and you can’t imagine a day without your partner.
But this initial rush of excitement doesn’t last forever.
Every relationship will get to that point where things become too familiar. You’ve traveled to places you wanted to, you know almost everything about each other, and nothing appears to be exciting anymore.
This, however, doesn’t mean every relationship is designed to end in doom. What this means is that at some point, impulse and hormones are not going to be enough for you to be an amazing lover. You’ll need deliberate effort. No wonder Jordan Peterson wrote in Rule 10 of his book, Beyond Order,
“Plan and work diligently to maintain the romance in your relationship.”
In the long run, you’ll need to make plans and take deliberate steps to make your relationship flourish. That said, here are practical things you can do today to be a better lover.
1. Go beyond words
The music band Westlife wrote a song in 1999 titled More than Words. And the opening words sing…
“Saying ‘I love you’ is not the only words I want to hear from you… More than words is all you have to do to make it real…”
Sometimes we get carried away by the love we think we feel in our hearts. We don’t realize that as much as we love our partners so much, the only language they understand is how your love manifests.
Show through your actions that you care about your partner. Sometimes the reason relationships start having problems isn’t because there’s less love, it’s because there’s just too much complacent. No wonder Tony Robbins wrote,
“I’ve often shared with couples having trouble in their relationships that if you do what you did in the beginning of the relationship, there won’t be an end!”
You may not have needed special motivation to show your love in the exciting phase of the relationship, but it will take deliberate effort to consistently show that you value and care for your partner. And if you truly love them, this should be a fun thing to do.
Interesting Read: How to Make Your Relationship Last Long-Term
2. The importance of attention
There’s a non-verbal message we pass across when we pay attention to our partners.
When we notice the little things – it could be something as small as dirt in their hair, or as big as a change in their mood when they get back from work – we tell them, non verbally, that they are important to us. We make them feel special.
Think about it. When couples are not on good terms, one thing that often happens is that they stop paying attention to each other. Meaning, the less someone cares about you, the less attention they’ll pay to your business.
Besides making your partner feel special, paying attention helps you pick up non-verbal cues from your partner. Sometimes you can tell when you’re doing something wrong or right even without your partner verbalizing it.
3. Listening is not enough
To be a good listener, it’s not just enough to listen, you have to show that your partner has your attention.
Let me explain.
You can be on your phone or be watching TV and still hear what your partner is saying. However, doing this will make your partner feel disrespected and unimportant to you.
Talking with your partner and quickly picking up your phone to reply to texts, telling him/her that you’re listening doesn’t make them feel any better. What they want is your attention (and respect).
They need eye contact, nods, and that mutual laugh to the joke they just told. They need you to be able to recollect what they’ve told you when the time comes. No one wants a partner that they’ll have to repeat the same information to over and over again. That’s frustrating.
If you want to be a better lover, learn to pay full attention whenever you’re with your partner. It also helps to make the moments more memorable.
Interesting Read: 5 Common Dating Mistakes That Often Ruins Relationships
4. Know when to give space
“Forgone conclusions,” Esther Perel said in her TED talk, “Do not keep our interest.”
Now, Esther Perel is a relationship therapist and she’s one of the most sought-after speakers on issues regarding dating, sex, and relationships.
One major thing Esther has discovered in her years as a therapist is how space is important in making a relationship work. As Esther explained, couples often let their passion for each other cause an imbalance that makes them suffocate each other.
Hence, what you need to build desire (long-term) isn’t to always be with your partner. What you need is quality time. This goes back to the attentiveness that we’ve talked about previously.
As much as you don’t want to be with your partner all the time, when you’re together, your time together should be worth remembering. This is how you make him/her want you even if they already have you.
If you want to be a better lover, learn when to go away. Work on important projects. Get some alone time for personal development. But when you come back, make it special.
5. How respect makes you a better lover
Respect is much more important in relationships than you might think.
Think about it:
If you respect your partner, you’re less likely to cheat on them or talk about your problems to others. Partners who respect themselves pay attention to each other when they speak.
When you respect your partner, it means you don’t rub their flaws on their face or discuss it with others. It means you understand that damage to your partner’s image will be damage to yours too.
Having respect for your partner makes you make wiser decisions. You won’t just think of how your actions will affect you, you’ll also look at how they’ll affect the relationship. And this means that you’ll be more careful about places you go to, the things you say, and who you hang out with.
Respecting your partner makes you a better lover.
Related Read: 5 Major Mistakes Psychologists Say Silently Ruin Relationships
6. Support your partner’s dreams
The dream you have for your future is one of the most important things to you. Hence, whenever we see people who understand and support our dreams, they stand out to us immediately.
People who support our dreams make us more confident and motivated. They show us that they believe in us even when the result is not perfectly formed yet. This is a big deal, and it’s one of the best ways to demonstrate your love to your partner.
If you want to be a better lover, find ways to support your partner’s dreams. Motivate him/her. Offer assistance wherever you can.
Life can be tough, and big dreams can be hard to pull off. But having someone there, believing in you, and ready to support you always makes things much easier.
7. Keep doing what you did at the beginning
As Tony Robbins said, “If you do what you did at the beginning of the relationship, there won’t be an end.”
Relationships only go downhill when we stop doing the things that we did at the beginning.
Don’t get me wrong. In most cases, keeping up with how things were at the beginning will not come naturally. You’ll have to make deliberate commitments every day. Now, this also doesn’t mean it’s some kind of difficult chore (if it is, you’re probably in the wrong relationship).
If you love your partner, it should be fun.
However, it still has to be deliberate. There’s a natural decay that tends to set into things as they get older. And it’s the same for relationships. But if you take deliberate steps to have the best relationships you can possibly have, every single day, that’s what you’ll have.
If you want to be a better lover, be deliberate about the kind of relationship you want.
8. Do not hide monsters
Elizabeth Bourgeret put it best when she said, “Communication is the lifeline of any relationship.”
As Alain De Botton, a modern philosopher explained in a talk about romanticism, one of the problems with romanticism is that it has instilled in us this idea that someone who truly loves us should understand us even without us saying anything. And most people believe this.
But this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Not clearly communicating what you want will only frustrate your partner.
Most relationships only go downhill because of hidden monsters nurtured from years of silence. Some of us want things to float in the air and disappear.
But hidden monsters don’t go away. They lurk under the carpet, grow, and devour the relationship in the long run. Hence, if you want to be a great lover, learn to communicate clearly.
Related Read: How To Be A Good Boyfriend
Most relationships fail because we stop trying. When we leave things to chance, they are more likely to go downhill. As Murphy’s law so pessimistically states, “anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”
Hence, making things–especially relationships–flourish, requires deliberate efforts. If you want to be a better lover, you have to make a choice every day to raise your standards. Remember, relationships only go downhill when we stop doing the things that made them flourish at the beginning.