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RELATIONSHIPS
 

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Flirting: It's Place in a Marriage
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Love
Intimate Connections
By Debora Myers
How are we to keep the fire alive in our relationship with our life partner?
 
As life bombards us with problems we must maintain our connections with our mates so that we can reach the deeper levels of intimacy and understanding that many of us hunger for.
 
First we must look within and monitor how we feel about ourselves to understand how we react to our mates, especially when the initial passion and urgency has seemingly lessened, we must nurture our feelings to evolve into a deeper, stronger and more intimate connection. During the first few months of a love relationship the rush of euphoric feelings initiated by what we call romantic love is caused by endorphins produced in the brain. These endorphins heighten one's sense of security and comfort. How do we make it last? Well it probably won't last; it must expand into a deeper more meaningful love that we call "True Love." We may be afraid to get too close to our mate if we were hurt or allowed someone to take advantage of us in a previous relationship. We often suffer through conflicts of being independent and self-sufficient while at the same time wanting a stable anchor at home to help us in feeling secure and "taken care of."
 
In most societies of this world men are encouraged to be dominant and women are expected to be passive or subordinate. These roles that we follow can lead to a fear of becoming vulnerable and therefore deeper connections are never made. Many people turn to another love interest, attracted by the flood of endorphins that accompanies a new love, but which fades with time, sending him/her searching for yet a new "conquest." This pattern may be repeated again and again with unfulfilling results.
 
There are probably a million books written on the subject as well as therapists that specialize in this area. So before you divorce your loved one or submit to a life devoid of passion, look deeply into yourself and take advantage of all the help that is available to you. Many of us cannot afford a professional therapist to address our individual problems. This means that one must really take some time to look inside and decipher what is happening to be able to concentrate our efforts on where we need to grow. Take advantage of the written help available now. Be honest with yourself as you look within. Remember that getting the love and deeper connections you want from your mate begins with your relationship with yourself. You must have an intimate relationship with yourself before you can become intimate with others. Only you can give yourself inner acceptance.
 
Here are some tools or techniques used to help you better understand yourself so that you can truly decipher what it is you want out of a relationship, what your willing to accept and what you can change about yourself. We have no right to try and change someone else. Trying to change someone else from the outside will not work if that person is not willing to do his or her own inner work. We can make suggestions. We can let the other person know what it is that we find lacking. but we cannot change them. They must be willing to do the work themselves, if they themselves believe that there is some validity to our requests. The first thing that we can do to facilitate change in our life is to simply work on ourselves.
 
Allow yourself to have some quiet time everyday for inner reflection. It is helpful to do this at a set time everyday. Early morning works best for me. Or late after everyone has gone to bed may be better for you. Many people go for a walk to escape the chatter and distractions of their household. Make this a priority in your life. Learn to listen to your mind.
 
The next step after you have established a quiet connection with yourself is to reprogram negative thought patterns with positive ones. When you start to recognize a negative thought, for example, "He never considers my needs. he is so self absorbed." replace this with "I will make more time to take care of my needs," or "I will make it a point to gently let him know how I am feeling." This is especially helpful when working on raising your self- esteem. If you feel good about yourself and are using a positive approach when making an appeal to your mate you have won half the battle. The battle is not with your mate but with how you handle the situation and feelings that accompany your growing process.
 
Choose the right time to let him/her know what it is that's bothering you. Make sure your lover is in a good state of mind when you are disclosing your innermost feelings, etc. It is wise to have a daily or weekly date to clear the air and communicate your feelings with your loved one. Also be open to giving your mate and yourself the space needed when he or she needs to pull away to further sort out their inner processes before bringing them to the surface.
 
If your mate is especially hard to reach, closed off and disconnected try the gentle repetitive approach. Keep on keeping on with what it is your trying to get across. Approach him from different directions, sometimes you can get through to him/her from a different angle or perspective. Most of all whether you're using a gentle or more direct approach always do it with love in your heart. Remember true love is the goal. You must come from love to get the love you want.
 
This article is written by Debora Myers, Editor-In-Chief ofLadyfire, the award-winning community for modern women. Featuring: Literature, romance and love stories, articles of empowerment, inspiration, women's issues, health, self-esteem, advice, horoscopes, chat and stellar recipes.
 
Copyright 2000 Debora Myers Ladyfire.com

 
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