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Last Updated on May 7, 2020

How to Be a Better Lover and Spice Up Your Relationship

How to Be a Better Lover and Spice Up Your Relationship

There are many differences between males and females, especially when it comes to sex, but one thing that can bring us together or drive us apart is the experience we have with our lover. The effects of an unfulfilling sexual experience are felt by both partners and can slowly undermine the very fabric that holds a relationship together.

In this article, I’ll share essential keys for how to be a better lover, both inside and outside the bedroom.

Many people think being a better lover[1] is just about sex, but that’s not the case. It’s about emotional as well as sexual connection, and it’s also about attraction, which needs to last the duration of the relationship. In fact, loss of attraction is a common problem among couples who fail to keep up their “A” game (note: “A” is for Attraction!).

How you interact with your partner outside the bedroom and how you present yourself as a person all have an effect on the level of attraction, intimacy, and closeness you can enjoy. If you want to be a better lover, it’s important to start here.

While sexual technique is an essential piece of the puzzle, if you feel disconnected on a mental or emotional level, then all desire for sexual intimacy with a partner can be lost.

We’ve all heard the generalization that males feel emotionally connected with their partner through a satisfying sexual connection and that females feel more open to and able to enjoy sexual intimacy with their partner when they feel emotionally connected.

However, when there is an impediment to connecting emotionally or sexually, either or both partners may begin to question their reason for being in a relationship with their partner.

How to Be a Better Lover Outside the Bedroom

Being a better lover starts outside the bedroom. It’s important to take a good look at what your relationship looks like on a daily basis. Try the following to get an idea of how you’re doing.

1. Focus on the Good

At the start of a relationship, we are focused on the best in ourselves and in our partner. We are constantly presenting the best version of ourselves and are completely focused on the best attributes of our partner. Unsurprisingly, this attracts our partner to us and makes us feel attractive and good about ourselves.

When we’re feeling good, we tend to focus on the best outcome, and life is rosy. This is also known as the Honeymoon phase of a relationship.

The Honeymoon happens because we are focused on the best. Physiologically, this type of focus triggers those wonderful, happy hormones we all enjoy, such as dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins.

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What we focus on attracts more of the related hormones.

Problems arise as we become accustomed to one another and secure in our partner’s love. As this happens, we can start becoming complacent, which can eventually undermine attraction and our partner’s overall desire for us.

We may put less effort into dressing nicely — or we only dress up to go out in public. We’re less tidy. We might complain more often. We don’t deal with those unresolved issues that may have led to the demise of previous relationships. We fall back into annoying habits and behaviors and also notice more of those in our partner.

We may even start becoming overwhelmed by the emotional reactions, which are constantly triggered by our thoughts and lack of corrective action.

Simply put, we are no longer focused on the best. And by focusing on what annoys or depresses us, we are constantly triggering stress hormones. Unlike happy hormones, these feel really uncomfortable and can lead to a downward spiral of negative thoughts, which often have negative consequences.

Emotional tension is not only felt by us; it has a radiating and repelling effect on everyone around us.

When we have an apparent lack of desire to make an effort inside and outside the bedroom, it communicates a lack of love and respect to our partner. This leads to further complications.

The less effort we put in ourselves, the less effort our partner will feel inclined to put into themselves, us. and our relationship.

They may even start believing that they cannot make us happy. This is when many relationships start breaking down.

2. Be Responsible for How You Feel

I’ve counseled many individuals and couples over the years for sex, intimacy, and emotional connection issues, and it’s surprising how often a partner will think they are responsible for their partner’s happiness.

Yes, our behaviors and actions can contribute to a partner’s satisfaction or dissatisfaction, which is why it’s so important to lift our own “A” game, as that will inspire our partner to lift theirs.

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But how we feel comes down to a few simple things we can be in charge of.

Dressing nicely to feel good about ourselves, making the most of what we’ve been given, taking charge of resolving sexual function issues in ourselves, and supporting and encouraging a partner to resolve theirs, being appreciative of our partner and all that we are creating in our life… these are all restorative actions that enhance how we feel.

It’s up to us to reprogram our reality. Remember that every action has an opposite and equal reaction.

If we’re focused on what’s wrong, what might go wrong, or our partner’s annoying habits, is that going to make us feel good, motivate us to lift our own game, and be that better version of ourselves? No, of course not. It’s going to be depressing at the very least.

To be a better lover, we need to be predominantly focused on the thoughts and actions that create the best outcomes for all, so we’re happier within ourselves and more engaging to be around. Yes, we will fall down from time to time, but that’s part of being human.

However, how long we stay down is up to us.

How to Be a Better Lover in the Bedroom

Once you’re able to improve your relationship outside the bedroom, move inside to work on the problems you may be finding there.

1. Deal with Intimacy and Sexual Function Issues

Now that we’ve dealt with outside the bedroom, it’s time to focus on upgrading our intimacy skills. I previously mentioned sexual function issues. These affect the vast majority of the world’s population. By combining statistics from a number of sexual intimacy studies[2], we can see that close to 80% of people are affected in some way by sexual dysfunction.

Sexual function issues, such as not being able to orgasm, problems reaching orgasm, vaginal dryness in women, and premature (early) ejaculation, erectile dysfunction (loss of erection hardness), and being unable to ejaculate all cause a lot of tension and stress inside and outside the bedroom.

These issues generally occur due to a lack of relevant sex education knowledge, such as what to focus on and when. I previously spoke about how our focus affects our outcomes. If we’re focused on the wrong thing at the wrong time during sex, then our brain is going to be confused as to what we want, and this will result in one or more of the above sexual “malfunctions.”

How does this relate to being a better lover?

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Many people go through life hopeful that these issues will suddenly resolve themselves and sex will become a fulfilling event. This is seldom the case because the person continues to apply the wrong action, hoping for a different result.

These issues can also result in failed relationships as a partner may look elsewhere for satisfaction. While this is a hard pill to swallow, it happens a lot. If we have a problem, we need to deal with it so it doesn’t contaminate our relationship and possibly cause challenges to our own mental and emotional health.

When we are distracted by a sexual function issue, there is very little emotional connection because we are focused on the problem and when it will (or will not) happen. This can lead to our partner questioning our desirability as a partner.

When sex is too hard (no pun intended) all attraction can be lost[3].

I’m speaking from my own personal experience here. I fact, it was the reason I got into this line of work. I am passionate about helping solve sexual dysfunction in both men and women because I know how prevalent it is and how it can negatively affect relationships and people’s self esteem.

Which leads me to my next point. Sex is about both partners, not just about one.

2. Care About Your Partner’s Experience as Much as Your Own

This is always great advice. However, you need to balance your sexual focus or this will cause problems. For instance, when a male focuses too much of his attention on giving his partner foreplay, it can cause him to lose his hard erection. A female partner overly focused on the emotional connection she feels with her partner during sex may render her unable to reach orgasm.

Even focusing on a couples’ spiritual connection can cause problems during intimacy[4] because their brains aren’t receiving signals relevant to completing the sexual act.

These are common problems people face when they are trying to be a better lover.

3. Don’t Spend So Much Time Stressing Over Sexual Function

Being a better lover requires corrective actions to resolve those sexual function issues which undermine our ability to truly connect with a partner.

Why? Because these issues continually eat away at both partners, lowering libidos and causing emotional and sexual frustration.

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For example, a woman who is unable to reach orgasm during intercourse is completely distracted during intercourse. Her partner can feel her disconnection and may start imagining she no longer loves or is attracted to them. This can lead to a weak erection or early ejaculation issue (in a male), which further compounds their intimacy issues.

While she may have consoled herself with the fact that she can sometimes orgasm during foreplay, she may not realize the stress this puts on her partner as he or she struggles to perform so that she may feel fulfilled sexually.

It’s hard work when your partner takes 20 minutes or more to reach an orgasm, especially for a male partner who has to remain hard as well as in control for this duration.

From the other perspective, a male who ejaculates early[5] is often judged by his partner as being selfish. Usually, he is simply noticing how arousing his partner is and how much they turn him on! Conversely, a male who cannot ejaculate is usually overly focused on his partner and not signalling to his brain that it’s time to orgasm.

What I’m saying is that these issues are frequently misunderstood. Sometimes it’s the misunderstanding itself that causes a relationship to break down.

4. Listen More

Everything we think, say, and do has an impact on how we feel. This is especially important in relationships as all of our actions also have a direct effect on our partner. To be a better lover, we need to be a better listener.

When we don’t give our partner our full attention, we tend not to hear beyond the surface of what is being said, and this causes problems, especially when they are requesting an important change.

It is said that the majority of communication[6] is non-verbal, and when we’re distracted we miss all those clues which demonstrate the importance of an issue.

This can lead to many drawn-out arguments where both partners blame each other for not understanding, whereas if the partner had fully listened and taken corrective action, that particular argument wouldn’t be occurring.

There’s nothing worse than feeling accused of something we feel we haven’t done, yet if we truly listen to our partner, we can realize what is being asked of us.

Final Thoughts

Being a better lover requires being the best version of ourselves. This means stepping up as an individual as well as actively listening and resolving the issues that are causing conflict in our life and relationships.

More Tips on Being a Better Lover

Featured photo credit: Toa Heftiba via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Jacqui Olliver

Psychosexual Relationship Specialist

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Last Updated on July 3, 2020

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

2. Focus on your breath

Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

3. Get organized and purge old items

A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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6. Smile more

Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

7. Don’t worry about the future

As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

8. Eat real food

The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

9. Choose being happy over being right

Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

11. Make use of filtering features on social media

You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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12. Get comfortable with silence

When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

13. Listen to understand, not to respond

So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

14. Put your troubles in a bubble

Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

15. Speak more slowly

Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

16. Don’t procrastinate

Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

17. Buy a coloring book

Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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18. Prioritize yourself

You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

19. Forgive others

Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

20. Check your expectations

Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

21. Engage in active play

Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

22. Stop criticizing yourself

The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

26. Manage your money

Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

27. Stop trying to control everything

Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

28. Practice affirmations

Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

29. Get up before sunrise

Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

30. Be yourself

Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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