My clients are all adults, although in some cases it’s hard to believe: they come to me wanting a positive, mature relationship with good sexual relating - yet they act like kids in the playground! They bully, they whine, they play games, they lie, they ignore, they’re rude, they’re insensitive…. And they think that this behaviour will result in mutual sexual desire!?
Name-calling, sarcasm, rudeness, withdrawing, clamming up, insults, aggression, contempt and so forth are not conducive to harmonious relationships. It
sounds obvious when you read it here, but are you actually putting it in to practice yourself?
A mature relationship is based on individual confidence and mutual respect. Consider this as love of yourself and love of your partner. The two individuals are confident within themselves, not needy of having their partner agree with them on everything or share identical views, desires and intentions. Coming from this internal strength, they can then relate to their partner with utmost respect.
Respect means two things: to admire someone for their qualities, and more importantly to have due regard for their wishes, feelings and rights.
In a mature, respectful relationship neither party will force their views on the other, or expect their partner to share theirs. They will each respect the other as an individual so their coming together will be from desire and respect, not from need and expectation.
How does this look? For a start, you listen to the other with an open heart. You don’t leap in with defensiveness or accusations. You don’t respond until you are sure they’ve been heard, and you take time, whether it’s a moment or hours, to consider what they’ve said, from your heart, and then respond with love and respect.
You will also be completely honest with your partner. You won’t make assumptions, expect them to mind-read or withhold expressing yourself for fear of their reaction or fear that they won’t like what you say. You will have the personal confidence, and the respect of your partner, to trust that the two of you have the ability to deal with anything that comes up.
A client recently told me that after she opened up and told her husband exactly what she felt about their relationship she felt closer to him than she had in a very long time. As her husband replied when she shared this in session: “yes, and you naturally held your hand out to me afterwards and it was lovely.” She was taken aback that such honesty had been received so well and that it had created a better relationship. It was only because she respected her husband enough to be able to share, and he was strong enough to hear.
It does take work to get to this level of relating. That’s what relationships ideally are for: they hone your skills at being independent while together, being confident and respectful.
If you use your relationship to help you mature in this way, you will leave the playground shenanigans far behind in childhood, where they belong, and enter into a far deeper, more meaningful and genuinely sexier relationship.