Aside

No matter how long you’ve been together, every relationship needs a healthy dose of flirting.

When most people think of flirting, they tend to think of their early days of dating when capturing each other’s attention and affection was of the utmost importance. However, flirting plays just as important a role in long-term relationships as it does before a couple’s attraction grows into love and turns into deep commitment. Without flirting, affectionate touches, and playful teasing, couples risk losing the spark and passion that separates romantic partners from platonic friends.

Here are ten easy ways to bring flirting back to your relationship:

Seduce Him

Remember when you used to get ready for a date by buying new lingerie or booking a blow-out at the salon? Get back to those days when you had so much fun seducing him, and allow yourself to experience the confidence boost that comes from looking and feeling your best.

Compliment Him On Something Unexpected

He knows that you find him attractive, but when is the last time you complimented his sexy forearms or marveled at his kisses or the way he holds you? Give him an unexpected compliment and you will boost his mood — and his ego — for the rest of the day.

Be Hands-On…Literally!

Grab his hand in the middle of the supermarket, stroke his thigh under the dinner table, or sexily hop on his lap while you are watching television. Touch him every chance you get, and seize all opportunities to be physically close. Let him know, clearly, that you can’t keep your hands off him.

Have a Naughty Fantasy

Sometimes the best way to rev up your sexual energy is to spend more time focusing on sexy thoughts. Allow yourself to have a naughty fantasy or read some erotica to inspire your sexual imagination, and then channel that surge of sexuality into your relationship by flirting with your mate.

Send a Flirty Text

Technology can sometimes serve as a distraction in a relationship, but it can also be used creatively to generate some sexy sparks between you and your partner. Send him a text during the middle of the day that says, “I can’t stop thinking about your …” or text him during the middle of a double date and say, “Let’s get out of here so we can be alone.”

Be More Vocal

Your partner isn’t a mind reader, so when he does something you love inside the bedroom (or outside the bedroom), speak up (in words and groans of delight) to let him know. Positive feedback is one of the best ways to generate more good vibrations. Just acknowledging your pleasure strengthens sexual attraction and intensifies your flirty behavior, and he will take it as a compliment.

Lose Some of the Clothes

If you are in the habit of wearing sweats to bed, it might be time to swap out your usual nightwear for something a little sexier. Rethink your bedroom wardrobe and opt to slip into a teddy or a sexy pair of boyshorts and casually put lotion on your legs while he watches…riveted.

Go Ahead, Flirt With the Waiter

(A little.) While flirting can sometimes cross the line — and cheating is never okay — a little flirtation with other men can go a long way to remind your mate how irresistible you are. Just be super-nice to the waiter or the mailman. It can give you a boost of confidence to see that other men find you sexy, and it will make your partner doubly glad that you are going home with him!

Share Fantasies

Take the chance to exchange some of your most erotic  imaginings with the idea of being open to trying them out. Tell your partner exactly what you want him to do, and then ask him to tell you as well. It will be highly erotic to discuss these hidden fantasies and will lead to you both receiving the touches and strokes you desire.

Be Bold and Make the First Move

Don’t wait for your partner to make the first move. If you want more flirting in your relationship, then you need to take the initiative and start flirting yourself. Your partner will likely respond by matching your playful, sexy mood. And flirting will become more organic and natural in your relationship.

 

 

 

Source: Dr. Laura Berman

10 Ways to Flirt With Your Mate

What is Your Attachment Style: Anxious, Avoidant, or Secure?

Learn more about attachment-style theory to discover more about how you and your partner relate and react when you are in relationship.

When we look for a partner, there’s a whole host of factors that play into the process. Our relationship and personal histories, for one — including romantic, familial, and even workplace — have a huge impact on our love lives.

Considering our diverse and varied experiences and the unique connection formed by two people, every relationship is completely different. Still, research shows that when it comes down to how we form and behave in relationships, pretty much everyone falls into one of three categories: anxious, avoidant, or secure. It’s called the attachment theory, and according to astudy published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, about 20 percent of people are anxious and roughly 25 percent fall into the avoidant camp, while the rest of the population are considered secure.

Anxious  People who have an anxious attachment style crave intimacy and closeness. They love being coupled, but they consider relationships fragile and are sensitive to even minor shifts in a partner’s mood and the subtle nuances of relationships. A little thing, such as a partner neglecting to call, leaves them feeling vulnerable and insecure. Anxious-attachment-style people generally have a harder time telling love interests what they want because they don’t want to rock the boat or create conflict. Instead, they’re more likely to mope, withdraw, or even lash out: They ignore the calls they so anxiously await or flirt with others to make their mates jealous. This method of reacting doesn’t bode well for creating communicative, stable relationships.

Avoidant  The behavior of avoidant types can often be difficult to predict. Deep down they do crave intimacy, but they often think this connection will rob them of their prized independence. People in this category may feel uncomfortable or suffocated if they sense love interests getting too close. Often this leads them to pull away.

Although avoidants may seem like prime candidates for eternal singlehood, they do want to form deep romantic connections. However, to protect themselves from potential heartbreak, they repress those feelings and create distance between themselves and their partners. For example, avoidants may feel annoyed or even angry if their partners seem “needy,” and they opt to keep them at arm’s length. Or they may get overly annoyed and focused on the “small stuff,”like how they don’t wipe down the sink or crack their gum. They may use these perceived flaws to temper their romantic feelings.

Secure  People who fall into the secure category are reliable, relationship oriented, and do a very good job at communicating what they want as well as responding to their partners’ needs. When disagreements crop up, secure people tend to stay calm and are ready to talk things out. They are comfortable with intimacy: So instead of shying away from conflict resolution, they are willing to address relationship problems and thus work to grow closer and deepen their bonds with others.

Let’s face it, not all of us have a secure attachment style. But if you don’t fall into this category, don’t fret. Based on our changing life experiences and deepening self-awareness (and often therapy ), you can shift your attachment style. It’s not rigid or immobile. Our relationship patterns constantly evolve and change.

 

Source: Dr. Laura Berman

Aside

We crave our partner’s touch for a variety of reasons.

 

 

Touch is the most conspicuous of the five senses when it comes to exploring sex. Unlike with the other senses, sex simply cannot happen on a physical level in the absence of touch.

However, touch is far more than intercourse alone. The bonds of intimacy are woven through many different kinds of touch — including a familiar pat on the back, a quick squeeze of the hand and the somnolent cuddling that puts us in full-body contact with a lover. Inside the bedroom and out, touch is a powerhouse for intimacy.

The Science of Touch  Biological anthropologist Helen E. Fisher, a research professor in the department of anthropology at Rutgers University, eloquently writes in her book The Anatomy of Love: “Human skin is like a field of grass, each blade a nerve ending so sensitive that the slightest graze can etch into the humanbrain a memory of the moment.” The act of touching is a physiological and hormonal phenomenon that paves the way to good sex. Physical contact releases oxytocin, appropriately nicknamed the cuddle hormone. Since oxytocin spikes in response to touching, the more you touch, the better you feel and the more you want to touch.

When Words Won’t Work, Try Touch  Touch communicates in a way that words can’t. As women, we want to talk things out when faced with a relationship hurdle (often until we’re hoarse!). Men can find this to be more than a little frustrating. Sometimes, nonverbal communication is far more powerful than anything we could say. Touch can make words superfluous. Have you ever had a truly magical kiss? Or how about the wonderful feeling of your partner’s embrace when you least expect it? Touch sends the “I love you” message to our brains and relaxation to our bodies. This is so important to remember, especially when words have been pushing you and your partner apart, rather than together.

Being wanted and desired is what most of us long for at the end of the day. When intimacy breaks down, touch can fall by the wayside. Too many couples get caught in a sexual and emotional standoff: he’s not getting the physical contact he wants and she’s not getting the emotional intimacy she wants. Touch can help end the stalemate.

Use Touch to Get What You Both Want  When you take the lead and act more affectionate, your partner is going to feel loved and noticed and, as a result, will be more responsive to you. Women tend to crave more nonsexual touching, like a little backrub on the couch or holding hands as we do a daily errand together. He’ll start to get the idea if you initiate more contact with him (not to mention give him some extra loving in the bedroom!).

Of course, touch heightens the sensory experience during sex too. Skin is the largest organ we have. Almost any body part can feel sexual if touched in the right way. Try blindfolding each other and take turns touching and being touched to soak up the sensation. Also, experiment with textures like silk sheets or a feather tickler.

Touch can open up a whole new world for your relationship: Just reach out and touch yoursomeone…

 

Source: Dr. Laura Berman

 

Love Is a Hands-on Experience

Aside

Although we may not be aware that these quick-firing messengers are at play, hormones play a large role in sex and relationships for men and women.

Neurohormones are hormones secreted by the nervous system and controlled by neurons in the brain. Examples of these hormones include oxytocin, testosterone, vasopressin, and cortisol, as well as estrogen and progesterone.

Not only do men’s and women’s brains have differing levels of hormones, but our brains are also impacted differently by these chemicals. For example, when men and women reach orgasm, their brains are flooded with feel-good endorphins and the brain chemical oxytocin. Oxytocin (otherwise known as the “cuddle hormone”) creates feelings of intimacy and bonding.) Men might be less impacted by oxytocin because of higher levels of testosterone in the brain, which explains why they might be more likely to enjoy sex without feeling a sense of commitment and why one-night stands and casual sex might come easier to them. Women, on the other hand, are more susceptible to the effects of oxytocin, which could be why many women crave intimacy and cuddling after sex.

Vasopressin, another hormone found in both men and women, also seems to affect each gender differently. Vasopressin plays a role in bonding behavior, and it can also help a person size up a social situation and respond appropriately. A recent study from Bowdoin College revealed the dissimilar reactions among the genders. Study participants were given vasopressin and then asked to view pictures of smiling or frowning individuals. Men took a more aggressive stance when viewing the pictures and judged them more harshly, while women tended to respond positively to the photos.

The same disparate reactions are true in the case of the stress hormone cortisol, which can cause the fight-or-flight response in both men and women, though it seems that women also go into the tend-and-befriend mode. In other words, while men are socialized to be aggressive in stressful situations, women tend to make strong social connections and reach out to others to weather life’s storm.

Gender differences with regard to hormones can have a huge impact on sex and relationships because it means that the day-to-day stresses of life can affect a couple differently. While he wants to retreat into himself (flight) and relax with a beer, she might want to sit down and hear all about his day (befriend) to help soothe him. Additionally, while his increased levels of cortisol might rev up his energy and put him in the mood for sex (a way to release pent-up energy and enjoy physical release), cortisol might make her want to seek out the softer side of the relationship (such as cuddling, talking, relaxing, etc.). No wonder it can sometimes feel like men and women are from different planets!

As you can see, hormones play a huge role in our sexual lives and communication styles, and yet we might not even be aware that these chemicals are directing our moods and desires. By getting to know your hormones better and learningmore about your brain makeup, you can better understand your desires and needs and keep your relationship functioning at its highest level.

 

Source: Dr. Laura Berman

Hormones May Inspire the Urge to Cuddle — or Flee