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Intimacy

  • One of the biggest problems for men in relationships is a fear of intimacy: opening up and appearing vulnerable. It implies a lack of trust–regardless of whether the man feels that way or not–and can lead to discord and dysfunction in the relationship. The key to overcoming those fears is communication. Get into the habit of talking with your partner about your fears and concerns. Let her know that you need her to be responsive when you talk about those things, and not harp on you or accuse you of being weak. If you can speak to her openly and honestly, and trust her to respond in a loving and supportive manner, you’ll become more comfortable with notions of intimacy and be more willing to talk to your partner about important things.

Reciprocity

  • Men are sometimes accused of being insensitive jerks, which often translates into taking the woman for granted. Just as you expect her to be there for you, so too do you need to be there for her. Ask her if she wants to talk about her day and be prepared to listen when she does. Support her endeavors, and make time for them in your own schedule if necessary. Do little things for her that make her feel special–flowers or dinner even when there’s no anniversary, for instance–and take steps to address her wants and needs. That doesn’t mean giving up your own, only finding a balance that make her feel as supported as she makes you feel.

Confidence

  • The need to be intimate and vulnerable doesn’t preclude the need to embody traditional masculine qualities. The two can and often do coexist. The most telling of those qualities is confidence: not arrogance or conceitedness, but the simple belief that you can successfully address any issue that comes along. That means loving yourself and having faith in yourself. If you do, you’ll project it outward and she will pick up on it in kind. That makes her more willing to trust you and more readily able to discuss significant problems as they arise. That doesn’t mean having the answer for everything or being able to make difficulties disappear with the wave of your hand. But with confidence and belief in yourself, you can work toward resolving them much more readily.

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