When you first start dating, everyone is on their best behavior. He opens doors for you, you shave your legs (on a semi regular basis at least.) Then by the time you hit the one year mark, he’s sitting on the sofa in his underwear and you’ve let your mustache grow in completely. These are the joys of intimacy. However, it seems men are looking for more out of their relationships with women than simply the convenience of letting it all hang out. Based on some stories and some studies it seems that men are really in it for the natural caring instincts of a woman.
The Difference Little Gestures Make
When I first moved in with my boyfriend I began to notice things about him that I couldn’t glean just from our dates. When he got home his shoulders shifted forward, his legs would bow and he began to grind his teeth at night. One night when he got home from work, I told him to come sit in front of me. He did and I began to rub his shoulders until all the muscles relaxed. Then he moved up to the sofa where he draped his legs across my lap. I rubbed his feet, then his ankles, then his calves.
Then I drew a bath for him with epsom salts and lavender. Once he was thoroughly soaked he was a new person! He was cheerful and ready to hit the town. Now we go through this routine at least once a week. At first my feminist in me rose up against my actions. I pay my own bills, I vote, I should not be rubbing a man’s feet! Yet everything else inside of me saw someone I loved who needed help and this simple gesture made all the difference. Before we knew it, he was having a lot less headaches and experiencing less day to day stress just because I took the time to give him a decent back rub.
What Intimacy Looks Like
There is this unflattering assumption that the man takes care of the woman. As most successful couples will admit, however, the goal is to take care of eachother. This translates in plenty of ways. The same satisfaction you partner might get from helping you change a tire, you might find picking out his tie for the big meeting. Now you both got something you might not of otherwise accomplished by yourself. Perhaps you could have managed it but isn’t it comforting to know you have someone you can rely on to do it right? This comfort translate into feeling cared for and men need it just as much as women do, even if their are socially forbidden from admitting it.
Perhaps your relationship hasn’t reached this level of caring yet and that’s okay. It will develop overtime. However, if you would like to establish this environment of caring early on, simply listen, try to do something nice every day and think about his needs. If he’s a keeper, he’ll reciprocate and he’ll notice feeling comforted, even if he doesn’t mention it.
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