Category Archives: Dating

…flirting…

I started doing a few of these for TikTok. And I was extremely surprised by how many people watched a couple of them. Everyone of course has a deep interest in having a deep and loving relationship with their partner. It’s not hard to see that most of us have difficulty. I’m no different. I know damn well most of the time the kind of behavior I crave from my partner. The Golden Rule covers just about every aspect of behavior in a relationship. Behave and be the person that you want.

I was reluctant to write about flirting because it’s almost undefinable. So much of the interpretation depends on the person doing it. But observers can’t read motivation or intentions.

One of the commenters on TikTok wanted me to give it a shot.

Flirting is truly harmless in most contexts.

It boils down to the context and the people involved. I found that many people in relationships are uncomfortable with the way their partners interact. It’s easy to gaslight yourself when you have an uncomfortable reaction. That’s normal. This sort of thing relies so much on instinct, experience, and knowing your partner.

Love, X

The Vacuum Salesperson Admonition

No one can be with your partner unless they express interest. Your partner shared their number, their social media, or their presence. They agreed to it and then willingly followed the path. It might be a mistake – but it is not an accident.

It’s easy and common for the offended partner to lash out at the third person involved. The bitter truth is that the problem lies in the partner, not the third person. They created a triangle out of two connected dots in a relationship. The third person chooses to inappropriately communicate or be with your partner for their own reasons: loneliness, sexuality, and sometimes, just because they want to and can. The world is full of third people who want to interfere in your relationship.

Infidelity and adultery is a huge problem, one of most people’s biggest fears.

We fear it for complicated reasons.

We’ve all experienced the thrill of sexual fire, chemistry, or attraction.

It’s like heroin. Our bodies are maniacally designed to make us feel it. That’s hard to argue with!

You can look at all the major studies of sexuality and relationship dynamics. It won’t help your fears.

Remember, people are unfaithful for all sorts of reasons, some of which have nothing to do with their partners. It’s likely that the other partner feels love and loyalty. They don’t see it coming because there is a lack of honest communication in the relationship. Or, if there is, familiarity, apathy, or routine lessens its ability to get through to the partner who is unhappy. Sometimes, it’s because someone has put up a wall of defense and deaf ears; they know there’s a problem but can’t see a way to get past it.

But, the commonality is poor judgment.

It’s not an accident. It’s a decision, one which can be sidestepped at any moment.

It almost always starts small.

Afterward, it results from a series of poor decisions and escalating behavior. The person engaging in it can easily listen to the stirrings as they blossom. If they can. Or want to.

Rarely does infidelity or adultery just happen in the moment. There are exceptions! But even those exceptions usually involve a partner putting themselves into an inappropriate situation, intimately communicating with someone who catches their eye (or is desired by the other person), being under the influence, being around people without their partner nearby, etc.

Those are poor decisions, too, rather than accidents.

Be on the watch for third people, both from your own point of view and your partner.

The truth is that it’s easier to notice than we’d like to admit. We want to love and respect our partners. Even so, we know that somewhere out there, there is someone looking at them or us with hungry eyes.

Don’t let a triangle begin to form. Rupture its lines before they become solid.

People tend to be attracted to what interests them. The people they are around, the people they see. Including online. 90% of all affairs are between coworkers or people they interact with on social media. Physical presence is not a requirement for the spark to turn to fire. The internet has escalated the exposure.

Stop blaming the third person. A house filled with love doesn’t welcome intruders inside. Someone must get up and open the door for it to happen. Whoever opens the door is the one responsible, not the person knocking. They are trying to sell vacuum cleaners, so to speak. Everyone inside knows that’s what they are up to. If you already have a vacuum cleaner that works and makes you satisfied, why in the world would you want to invite someone inside with those intentions? Vacuum salespeople, like people who want what you have, know that getting the door to open is going to be successful most of the time. It’s pure psychology. If you are not interested in buying, why would you open the door to them?

Keep it simple.

Keep it honest.

Be the loving partner that YOU want in your life in every aspect that you can manage. That alone will set the foundation for a life of intimacy, all you’d probably ever want or need.

Love, X
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TikTok University

I love that TikTok is a mix of ridiculous, perverse, and legitimate entertainment and information.

People are surprised that I’m a fan. TikTok is the wild west of the internet. You have to take the time to find the things you like and curate what fills your eyes and ears.

As with so many other things, it can be a timesuck, too. Find the comedy, music, and genres you enjoy and focus on them. TikTok is like 100,000 channels of content in short increments. If a 55-year-old man like me can find value in it, anyone can.

One of the surprising finds on TikTok: the counselors who have decades of experience working with couples and individuals. If you listen carefully to those who share their insights, you can open up a world of understanding in your heart and head. All of us want to be happy and satisfied. Sometimes we need to hear it from an external source to validate it. Sometimes we need to be challenged to at least consider that we could be doing things wrong.

One of them is Dave Worthen. He’s not a typical TikToker; he’s older and uses simple language to communicate his messages. He’s been seeing people for over four decades. He’s seen and heard it all.

While I don’t agree with some of Dave’s content, I had to concede that I lack his education and training, much less decades of working with couples about these issues. His expertise gives me pause to wonder what I might not like about some of his content.

Discomfort usually signals cognitive dissonance.

Knowledge is never a mistake. Nor is self-reflection and considering that we all share so much in common.

If you’re interested, search for @daveworthen.

You can find him on YouTube, Instagram, and other places.

Love, X
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Be Yourself & Surrender

After seeing how many people read my posts about relationships, it confirms that everyone is interested in having a full life that includes a relationship.

People are uncomfortable. Most of us want to be happy and to be loved in a way that we minimize to other people. We want to feel normal, whatever that is. We want to let our guard down, forget our history, and forgive ourselves for the misfirings of our previous attempts at being lovable and loved.

The basic premise of the things I write is that you have to drop your guard and be the person you want to be your partner. Whatever behavior, words, and attention you seek, you must telegraph that in everything you do. If you don’t, it’s not reasonable to expect your potential partner to live up to that standard. Most of us don’t take the time to honestly just DECIDE what it is that will light us up and make us happy.

The dissonance of not allowing yourself to feel and hope with abandon based on the past is a struggle for everyone. What if I get hurt? What if I hurt someone, and that someone could have been my ideal partner?

It works in reverse! You must be that person first, the one with an open heart and a loving soul. Yes, you could get your heart shattered. Of course, that is a possibility.

The alternative is to keep being guarded, distrustful, or fearful.

If you do, which might be understandable, the outcome will be a lonelier and less fulfilling love life.

If you surrender to the possibility of hurt, you at least open yourself up to the chance of being loved the way you’d like. If you don’t, you greatly reduce your odds of getting there.

You can’t control the world, much less other people.

But you can BE the image of lovingkindness to your partner.

Anyone who doesn’t appreciate that openness and effort is foolish. They will look back one day and know they missed their chance. Probably while they were chasing an imaginary and unattainable relationship without changing themselves.

There is hope for you, if you’re not living a life with someone who lights you up. If there weren’t, what would be the point?

Surrender a bit of yourself and open up to the chance, the hurt, and also the love.

It’s the only way.

X

Sexual Fantasy Lives & Lies

This post is WAY outside my comfort zone.

Please stop reading if you’re uncomfortable with sexuality.

I didn’t polish this post. It’s not perfectly well-expressed. That’s okay because I’m not sure my subconscious allows me to process and share exactly what I want or need to.

Most people can’t rationally and calmly think about their partner’s fantasy life, which runs congruently in their heads, whether they are physically with a partner or alone. This is true even though they undoubtedly experience their own. Imagining them getting pleasure by thinking about being with another partner naturally stirs up ancient reactions in our lizard brains. As a result, a lot of couples never openly talk about what goes on in their heads.

Sometimes, they don’t even dare to discuss what gives them pleasure.

Studies regarding fantasy life yield some conclusions that cause discomfort. Some of the most common female fantasies are sex with strangers, sex with a specific celebrity, sex with multiple people, being dominated, sex in unusual places, oral sex (giving and receiving), exhibitionism, forced/reluctant sex, rough sex, same-sex encounters, sex with previous partners, watching others have sex, age discrepancy sex, and even romantic/passionate sex. Men share a great deal of the same fantasies. A common denominator in them is novelty, taboo, or things they’d most likely not participate in.

It’s hard for many people to distinguish between fantasy and life. It triggers an avoidance reaction. That’s because our brain renders real what we imagine. We feel the excitement but also the stress, jealousy, or other unintended issues about ourselves.

The truth is that you can’t really know what is going on in your partner’s head most of the time. But if you’re participating physically, you should focus on your partner’s pleasure. If they aren’t comfortable talking about their fantasy life, there’s a reason. It’s usually complicated, partly because we are still programmed to avoid discussing it. Yes, even when we are in a committed relationship or marriage.

Our largest sexual organ is our brain.

It’s a rare couple who can freely share fantasies without animosity, jealousy, or other emotions. Brain studies reflect this.

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” dominates many people’s lives.

It doesn’t help men to know that women are far superior biologically to them concerning sexual activity and pleasure.

Because our brains are adept at creating thoughts (or dreams) that our body reacts to physically, it is no wonder that fantasy life is so crucial for sexual fulfillment for so many people.

They just don’t talk about it. Not really. The outliers do, that’s true.

I think anyone reading this should read all the major sex studies about sexual pleasure. At least those who are interested in their sexuality. You can Google it by searching for “Most common female sexual fantasies” (or male) and then focus on the percentages of frequency for all types. It might surprise you. At a minimum, you won’t feel so freakish, of that, I’m sure. If you’ve not considered it in depth, though, it might bring discomfort. It might also bring revelation to both you and your partner.

One of the best examples is cuckolding, wherein a man shares his female partner with another man. Over half of men in almost all studies report using it as a fantasy. The mechanisms to explain this can be complex or simple, both from an evolutionary/biological and social viewpoint. It goes against our basic tendency toward jealousy or territoriality. It’s not rational. And that’s the point.

One of the most common fantasies is a threesome. The odd thing for me? That doesn’t arouse me at all to imagine being with two women. I know that sounds like I might be lying. I am not interested in touching two women simultaneously. Both of us pleasuring my partner, though, that is arousing.

Imagining my partner in a threesome, however, is arousing, no matter the combination of sexes. It’s not something I could deal with in real life, though. In a fantasy framework, it’s arousing.

If I transpose that same scenario and try to imagine her having done it in real life, it acquires a negative cloud immersed in retroactive jealousy. It is very hard for me to process rationally.

The same is true for fantasies involving virginity.

Like most men, milf eroticism is arousing, as is the idea of my partner giving someone their first experience. For reasons that fascinate me, it turns me on. Hearing about such real-life encounters in that capacity is another thing entirely. Personally, though, I do not enjoy fantasies of being someone’s first sexual partner. I know that seems contradictory, but it’s entirely normal – not that “normal” is really normal, anyway. I suppose it is to be expected that for me, being taken by someone for the first time is arousing, as is the idea of my partner doing so. But I admit I tread carefully about imagining it in real life, as those thoughts bring unwanted consequences. I’m hard-wired toward monogamy. The commonality of both scenarios is the excitement of finding one’s sexuality or the gift of such an offering.

I realize that I seem to have contradicted myself. Cuckolding fantasies don’t interest me per se. Yet ones where my partner gives someone the gift of their first sexual experience do. I’m guessing it doesn’t trigger the same emotional and visceral jealousy response.

As for my retroactive jealousy, like most people, I have to be able to be sexual with my partner while being aware that some of these fantasies are playing in her head or what gives her literal physical pleasure.

I recently heard someone say, “Don’t be afraid of her toys. They are teammates, not competitors.”

I have to appreciate fantasy life in the same way.

Whether people talk about it or not, it is a huge part of their sexuality.

I was sexually active during my previous adult life, of course. I underwent a transformation when I realized that there were things I liked that surprised me. Being with someone who you trust helps. Knowing they find pleasure in it is what makes it sublime.

When they do share, it’s important that you protect their secret fantasy life. It’s secret for a reason.

Everyone should explore as much of the playground as they can. For love, for intimacy, for each other. Where there is trust, it is immeasurably easier.

Trust yourself and trust your partner.

I trust mine. I’d be in a world of hurt if I didn’t.

And remember, fantasy is not reality. Don’t judge. Or try. That’s hard enough for most of us. We are harshest to ourselves.

X

The Essential Extra

If you’re an adult, you should not be worried about responding quickly, double-replying, or being enthusiastic with your communications. Anyone worth your time will appreciate the energy and contact. If you feel that you’re reaching out too much, be aware that someone who dissuades you from doing it isn’t your ideal partner. Move on. The initial stages of chemistry or interest always start with enthusiasm and interaction. Always. If you’re being told it’s too much, move on. I’m being totally serious. People love knowing that what they say is interesting. When they hear it from someone they are wild about, they will encourage that behavior, not minimize it.

People seek out interaction of all kinds when it’s from someone who lights them up.

Without getting sidetracked by all of it, the dynamic of anxious versus avoidant personalities inevitably gets tangled up in this issue. Some people begin to question themselves or get the idea that they are extra. But maybe extra is what the other person really needs. Maybe they’ve never had it before. Or, more likely, they are not far enough down the timeline yet to appreciate the fact that attention and affection are one of the rarest commodities and should be cherished.

As always, put yourself into the shoes of both sides of the argument.

It feels true because you know it is.

When you’re head over heels or enthusiastic, you crave the other person’s interactions.

Please don’t lessen yourself or back away from being extra.

Someone will appreciate it and tell you constantly.

Generally speaking, someone who thinks you are the cat’s meow will do nothing except encourage your interactions. And reciprocate by doing the same for you. Even if they are busy, tired, or distracted by the million distractions that come at us in this modern world.

X