We Got Our Signals Crossed
Have you ever really wanted your partner to desire you? Like they can’t keep their hands off you- that level of desire? They say they are really into you and the actions (in your head) don’t match the words…
That doesn’t feel good. We all want to be wanted (when we want to be wanted).
John and Julie Gottman PhD talk about making sure you each know the other’s signals.
When she shaves her legs, for example, chances improve… or when her bra and panties match, that is often a really strong tell. Pay attention to patterns, realizing they are not set in stone. Anticipate when the odds are in the favor of being intimate. That is part one.
Part two includes having the conversation(s) about preferences and the conversation about signals. Do you light the candle to let her know you are in the mood if she is? And then do you tell her that that is your signal?
Do you have that favorite playlist going as she gets ready for bed? Do you mention that maybe tonight she might get lucky if she plays her cards right? Do you put your arms around her for a hug from behind? Do you offer a back rub? Do you get flowers and arrange a babysitter and go out to eat first?
What are your signals? Tell your partner what they are instead of making them guess.
My pet peeve is really indirect signals that you have not told your partner about. If you are sending a signal and it was not received and understood, your signal is not direct enough. Are you someone who was taught that it was impolite to talk about sex and preferences? Did your parents or friends or society tell you that sex was dirty and don’t think about it? Are you in touch with what you like and are you courageous enough to own your preferences?
Part three is about warm up- have the conversation about how much time each of you need for warm up. Some people have told me that they need their partner to be nice for at least a couple days (which seems like a super low threshold) and others say that when their partner shows an inability to listen to them, they feel devalued and nothing will get them in the mood if they don’t feel valued.
That warm up time includes clearing your mind from the thoughts of the day and changing gears mentally to being a couple instead of mommy/daddy or letting go of the events of the day.
What do you need for yourself for this and what do you need from your partner for this? Include this in your ritual of connection for sex and making love. Imagine being this direct, “I would love to connect sexually with you tonight and I am also feeling tired. How would you feel if we just made love but limited it to 30 minutes or less and then cuddled to sleep?”