If She Loved Me, She Would Be Physically Attracted to Me

If She Loved Me, She Would Be Physically Attracted to Me

I recently worked with a couple who was facing a very confronting issue. They both genuinely loved each other, yet she struggled to feel sexually attracted to him. He felt incredibly hurt and rejected by that. He assumed that:

 

if you love someone romantically, you should feel physically attracted to them.

 

She felt deeply confused and conflicted because she knew that her feelings for him were true. More than that, she described the depth of their connection as a “twin flame”, she saw him as her soulmate and hence she struggled to reconcile the feelings in her heart with the reaction of her body.

 

This situation is incredibly common and I have seen it countless times in my sessions, in one form or another. But it always comes down to this one grand assumption: If you love me, you should feel physically attracted to me.

 

But is that true?

 

It will really serve us all to unpack this statement and to look at all the different layers of our eroticism. Because when it comes to human emotions and arousal, things aren’t usually this simple.

 

1/ Sexual repression and shame

There are many different reasons why romantic love and physical attraction might not go together. And the most common one I encounter as a sex therapist, is sexual repression and shame that had been experienced earlier in life. These two are quite deadly for our sense of eroticism and arousal, and deeply affect our free sexual expression. A man or a woman who had been fed toxic, unhealthy ideas about their body, their pleasure and their genitals, will genuinely struggle to connect with or to activate their physical arousal. And it will have nothing to do with their partner and all to do with their own sense of self as a sexual being.

 

2/ Past resentment

Another common theme is the under-appreciated connection between past resentment and current arousal. Little hurts and disappointments that we’ve experienced because of our partner can add up and culminate in a subconscious refusal of intimacy with the partner. Also known as: “You want me to have sex with you after what you did???” syndrome. This one can be tricky because it can hide deep in our emotional body, away from the watchful eye of our logical brain. After all, it’s not ok to still feel hurt after all this time. So the body hides the grief, anger or resentment deep in the tissues to keep it away from the brain.

 

I have heard many clients insist that they don’t harbour resentment towards their beloved, only to be faced with uncomfortable truth upon closer inspection. It can be hard to look deep into your own heart and discover there something that you’re not proud of. But that’s the only way towards improvement.

 

3/ Too much togetherness

Third case is also quite common – a lot of couples I see have pretty much killed their physical attraction by overload of togetherness. And don’t get me wrong because I fully get it – it feels wonderful to spend plenty of time with the person you’re in love with. And it brings benefits too – deeper sense of closeness, companionship and emotional fulfilment. But the physical attraction will suffer.

 

You see, our sexual attraction to each other needs some separation, some missing each other and a deep sense of being your own person. Couples who don’t recognize that can love each other very deeply and will still struggle in the bedroom.

 

Of course, on top of these 3 cases, there are also plenty of other situations, scenarios and possibilities. And there’s nothing unusual, weird or uncommon about them. Almost all couples experience challenges with physical attraction at some point in their relationships. So if you feel like you might need help with untangling the beautifully complex aspects of your intimate connection, seek an experienced practitioner who can help. Overcoming this kind of struggles will work wonders in your relationship!

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Are Lifelong Relationships Obsolete?

Are Lifelong Relationships Obsolete?

I recently learned that two people I loved and admired (let’s call them Stan and Jo) were no longer together. After a few years of marriage, they called it quits. Both these people had spent years on a path of growth, inner healing and personal & spiritual development. Both had strong communication skills and a lot of awareness around authentic relating and building intimacy. So, the news about their breakup came as a shock.

 

If they couldn’t make it work, who of us can?!

 

But after an initial wave of shock and sadness, I actually felt happy and hopeful. Because a truly successful and healthy relationship is not measured by how long it lasts but by how aware and loving are people in it. And a big part of that awareness and loving is knowing when it’s time to stay, when it’s time to do the work, when it’s time to rest and when it’s time to leave. So instead of thinking that Stan and Jo’s relationship failed, I actually think that it was an incredibly successful one. And that both of them (and the people around them) got a lot out of their union.

 

I believe that as a part of our evolution as human beings, we’ll start to recognize old patterns and traditional views for what they are – obsolete ideas and repressive norms.

 

The institution of marriage isn’t any more sacred than the institution of divorce, or singlehood, or dating, or open relating, etc. Each one constitutes an option or a choice which is valid and healthy… as long as the decision we make about them is coming from a space of awareness, freedom and commitment to growth.

 

If the decision to stay in a relationship is motivated by religious guilt, fear, financial pressure, social expectations or worry about the kids, then the couple should seriously reconsider their commitment to each other. I’m not saying that they should necessarily separate but that they need to find better reasons to stay together.

 

These ‘better reasons’ can be different for different people.

 

It can be all about companionship, great sex, growth and healing, emotional support or common goals. But the decision should come from a place of free will and conscious awareness and not from a space of duty, obligation or moral norms upheld in your social environment.

 

I grew up in a Catholic family and the values and norms of the Catholic church were strongly imposed on my mind. But Catholic morality doesn’t feel authentic to me and I cannot accept it in my life. Promising someone that I’ll stand by them until death is something that I see as unhealthy and even potentially toxic.

 

But instead of that, why not stay together for as long as it serves both of us and makes us happy?

 

Why not stay together until we complete some kind of common goals that brought us together in the first place?

Why not stay together for as long as we both feel inspired to?

 

So this Valentine’s Day I wish all of us a celebration of relationships which are healthy, meaningful and full of conscious choices… even if they don’t last forever!

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How to Make Online Dating Work for You

How to Make Online Dating Work for You

Since I started running Soulmate Speed-Dating events, I’ve been talking to a lot of single people. And they’ve shared with me countless stories of struggles, challenges and disappointments of the modern dating life.

 

Somehow, it seems that finding The One has been getting more and more tricky these days.

 

A big part of that conversation usually is the internet and the world of online dating. Every time I ask people about it, I’m told that they are sick of it and that it has led them nowhere – message exchanges that don’t lead to a date, poor first dates that show no promise of compatibility or lovely get-togethers after which they never hear back from the other person.

 

And what that tells me is that we have it all backwards. The truth is that online dating absolutely can work and can lead to a meaningful connection with someone truly special. BUT we need to change our approach to it.

 

The way that online dating usually works is:

 

a) browse online profiles,

b) make your best judgement about others based on their photos and bios,

c) message each other in order to arrange a coffee date.

So we’re basically going out together and trying to make a connection with a complete stranger, someone we know nothing about. And to me that’s a recipe for disaster.

 

We’re meeting first and trying to make a connection later.

 

That’s backwards! In real life we go out with someone BECAUSE we’ve experienced some sort of connection or pull towards them first. In this traditional approach we connect first and THEN we date. But the online world has turned dating on its head and so the new approach is to date first and then to hope for a potential connection. Can you see now why you keep going on so many bad dates?

 

The success and popularity of my Soulmate Speed-Dating events can be explained by the fact that they facilitate deep conversations and vulnerable exchanges.

 

Attendees are guided to share their most authentic inner selves and to see the same in others. This allows them to detect quickly whether there is a compatibility there and a potential for a soulmate-type of relationship. After the event, these people go out together precisely because they had already experienced this kind of connection during the event.

 

So the question is: can you create the same thing in the online world as well? And the answer is ‘Yes’. You can absolutely create a connection first but it takes a little more time and work. But I believe that weeding out the potential disaster dates is well worth the effort!

 

The key is to create an opportunity for a deeper connection before you physically meet each other.

 

And you can simply do that on the phone. A phone call can be more stressful than emailing but it will reveal much more about them than a message would. So go ahead, call them and ask them about their cherished childhood memories, their sources of inspiration in daily lives or about their dreams and goals. It doesn’t really matter where exactly you take the conversation, as long as it goes into the more deep and meaningful territory. And then listen and share about yourself as well.

 

And this is where the magic will happen… or not.

 

Because that simple exchange will give you a deeper sense about your potential date. In many cases you’ll realize that you two have absolutely nothing in common or that the energy between you two feels just flat. And this will save you time or upset of a bad date. But if the conversation flows smoothly, you’re both enjoying it and you find points of connection easily, then you should definitely go out!

 

So now, equipped with that piece of advice you can turn your online dating efforts into a much more effective adventure. And you might even meet your soulmate!

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When I was in my 20s, I really loved dating. And a big part of my excitement were the preparations for each date – doing my hair and makeup and dressing up nicely for the man I was about to meet.

 

And I was absolutely certain that I had to show him the most sexy, gorgeous and attractive version of myself if I wanted him to stay.

 

There is obviously nothing wrong with that – men LOVE to look at beautiful women! But I was lacking a deeper understanding of men and of human nature. Because you see, men love to have sex with women who arouse their desire. But they fall in love with women who intrigue them and touch them on a very profound level. And pretty looks, short skirts or even boobie shots cannot create that kind of attraction.

 

So here are 3 surprising things that make men fall in love:

 

1/ Her passion

A woman who is deeply passionate about something is charismatic and very attractive to men. And it usually doesn’t matter what her passion is – it can be playing cello or collecting tupperware. He will find it exciting and even mesmerising to witness her talking about or acting on something that gives her so much joy that she immerses herself in it completely.

The reason why so many women get this wrong is that we’re conditioned to be pleasers. When a woman wants to impress a guy, she’ll adopt his passions and activities. But men see through this, lose attraction and walk away.

Instead of bending yourself backwards to show him that the two of you are alike, express yourself through what truly opens up your heart and makes your soul sing. He will see and admire your passion.

 

2/ Her authenticity

Most women at their core want to love someone and be loved in return. In order to achieve that, they might be willing to sacrifice their own views, opinions and dreams if these are not aligned with the decisions or views of the man they want to seduce or keep. But what huge majority of men find attractive is a woman who is fiercely committed to what she believes in and who won’t bend to please others.

We all need to be open to negotiation and a change of plans from time to time. But if you want him to stay by your side, show him that you have a spine and can make choices for yourself.

 

3/ Her femininity

Our culture encourages women to be successful, efficient and business-minded. We value punctuality, goals, results and hard work. But the essence of a woman is to flow, to be connected to her feelings and heart, instead of only living in her head. Women are softer than men, emotional and go through cyclical changes in line with their hormones and feelings. They’re intuitive and not always reasonable. To deny that aspect of a woman is to deny her true self.

Let go of the need to adhere to society’s standards and show him your feminine essence. The attraction between sexes is based on polarity between men and women. The more different we are, the more we attract each other. Men don’t always understand women’s complexity and emotionality but they’re always mesmerised by it.

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Fairy tales seduce us from early childhood with stories about finding that one and true love and of living happily ever after.

 

But as soon as we enter the world of romantic attraction and intimate connecting, we realize that romantic pursuits are not simple or easy. Each time a relationship starts, we’re full of hope for that forever after story. Every time a relationship ends, we wonder why we failed or we console ourselves in the knowing that we made a mistake and picked a wrong person. Not to worry, we’ll just continue looking for Mr or Mrs Right. Next time we’ll surely do better. But we never do and our relationships keep ending, one after another. And even if they manage to last, we struggle with issues and difficulties that we never saw coming.

 

So why exactly do we keep failing to find eternal happiness in a relationship? Because that’s not how romantic relationships work. We’ve been lied to. Relationships are not meant to make us happy. We can try all we want but the simple truth is that making us happy is not the role of the relationship or of whoever our current partner is. Relationships are about something else.

 

Relationships are meant to make us conscious, to make us grow.

 

And only when we truly embrace this idea, we’ll actually be able to find peace, understanding and happiness in our relationship.

 

When I first learned about this, it hit me like a tonne of bricks because I desperately wanted my partner to make me happy. I placed the responsibility for my satisfaction in his hands and kept waiting for the magic to happen… but it didn’t.

 

We obviously had good times – full of love, joy, compassion and trust. But eventually we would always somehow end up in an argument. There were misunderstandings, there were frustrations and there was anger. And I kept trying to fix things to make us happy again. It was a mad circle that I couldn’t get out of. Until I understood… that he was never there to make me happy. He was there to help me grow, to help me see what still needed healing, addressing or processing within me.

 

All relationships with other people serve us as mirrors of our own issues and shortcomings.

 

But a romantic relationship is one of the closest kinds of relationships that we can ever get into. And because of that it’s the most intense form of mirror that we’ll ever encounter. Our intimate partner is a perfect match to whatever needs addressing which is what makes that person so attractive to us. We fall in love because we subconsciously recognize that this person is able to show us our wounds, hurts and traumas. And if we choose to, we’ll grow, heal and expand together.

 

In this way, each relationship we enter, has the potential to make us more conscious, more aware and more healed. Most people resist this idea and refuse to grow and heal. These people usually end up feeling stuck, unable to overcome their issues. But the opportunities are always there and it’s up to us to accept them and welcome them with open hearts and minds.

 

It can be challenging to admit that we’re not as smart, mature or enlightened as we would like to think. But behind that step, there’s a world of new, deeper realms and possibilities. If we choose to accept them.

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There is a wide variety of perspectives when it comes to hooking up on a first date. There are the people who see it as inappropriate and are quick to slut-shame. There are also all your well-meaning friends who will warn you that ‘you’ll be seen as easy’, ‘he won’t respect you’, ‘you won’t respect yourself’, ‘you need to keep him/her wanting’, etc. And there’s those who reject the repressive trends and claim that we are all free to decide for ourselves and that there’s nothing wrong with sex on a first date.

 

Over the years, my own opinion on the matter has changed.

 

And I don’t fully agree with any of the popular points of view because I find that the complexity of human nature makes decisions like this one a bit more complicated and multi-dimensional. The same decision (either a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’) under different circumstances can have completely different results and consequences for us. However, after studying human sexuality for years and witnessing the intimate lives of clients from all over the world, I recognize that there are a few main points which are worth keeping in mind.

 

First of all, I do stand strongly against the guilt, shame and repression forced upon us by the religion, society and political organizations. I support sexual liberation and will encourage anybody who wishes to reclaim their own power and say, when it comes to their body, nudity and genitalia. So, from that perspective, if both people are consenting adults, nothing stands in their way if they decide to have sex on a first date.

 

But there’s also a deeper perspective that I’ve acquired over the years.

 

As a woman, I used to think that men would leave me if I didn’t give them sex. I believed that I needed to be not only sexually available, but also keen to please and pleasure them in many different ways. Otherwise, he’d probably never call me again, choosing to move on to a more available woman.

 

Now I see that I was driven by fear and that my decision to sleep with these men was not empowered at all but rather a response to my insecurities and anxieties. I was offering him my body in a hope that he would take care of my heart.

 

Similarly, women who choose not to go to bed on a first date out of fear that they might be judged or slut-shamed, are also disempowered. They allow others to dictate the appropriate behaviour and reactions instead of trusting their own inner voice, instead of expressing themselves truly and authentically.

 

This is why being able to separate the external influence (society, your friends and family, your date, etc.) from your own internal decision is important.

 

Being able to hear your own authentic ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is crucial here and should concern you much more than what others might think about your choice.

 

But what’s also important to remember is that there is magic in waiting. The anticipation of each kiss, each touch and each eye gaze is an intensely beautiful part of the early stages of being in a relationship.

 

I deeply believe that when it comes to sex, instant gratification is overrated.

 

And the longer you can drag out this initial ‘honeymoon period’, the more you’ll be able to enjoy it. People who fall in love often experience the delicious torture of not knowing – not knowing to what extent their feelings are reciprocated, not knowing when they’ll get to hold each other again, not knowing when they’ll end up in bed together… All this ‘not knowing’ is intensely exciting and will be lost once you settle into a safe routine.

 

Imagine starting a relationship with a prompt, impatient giving in to the sexual desire on a first date. Of course there is nothing wrong with that! But now imagine the opposite – initial dates full of sexual tension and anticipation, full of unanswered questions and curious glances, full of torturous anguish and extreme joy of each touch, kiss, caress…

 

Waiting is fun, it’s exciting, it’s arousing!

 

And if your date isn’t up for waiting with you, they probably weren’t the right person for you anyways.

 

When I first met Dave, we lived about a thousand kilometres away from each other. We spent hours talking to each online before we finally physically met. A month of virtual dating forced us to keep our hands off of each other until we finally arranged to meet. By that time, we had shared a lot of secrets, discussed our dreams and exposed the vulnerable parts of ourselves. The connection felt deep, strong and intimate. And the excitement of finally touching each other was intoxicating…

 

That mix of intense feelings and anticipation created a meaningful and deep connection for us which didn’t wane over the weekend that we finally spent together. And I loved every moment of it.

 

So my words of advice are – listen to your heart and make sure you’re being true to yourself. There’s no rush so make sure to give yourself as much time as you need. Remember that delayed gratification and anticipation of beautiful things to come can be absolutely wonderful!

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