In the movies and on TV, relationships happen very easily and quickly. Tension builds as the program progresses. Characters show obvious signs of liking each other. Usually, the tensions build to such an extreme that in one dramatic moment (usually when the couple is segregated from the rest of the group by a dramatic plot device) they can’t take it anymore, stare into each other’s eyes and kiss passionately. They don’t talk, they don’t even discuss whether or not they like each other. They are inexplicably drawn together by the desire to kiss (and possibly participate in other intimate activities) all within the short span of about 15 seconds.
Just like real life, right? Ugh, No.
In TV, this is the “perfect” relationship. One where two people like each other so much that they just get together and live happily ever after. They look beautiful, sound beautiful and everything is perfect every time. What percentage of people have relationships start like this and live forever together without ever dealing with misunderstandings, assumptions, and annoyances?
When you look at deeply at any relationships, you recognize there is no such thing as a perfect relationship. We are humans; we can be awkward and confusing at times. Real, mutually amazing relationships are built off of open and respectful communication, including occasional awkwardness.
Consider a first kiss. How many people have gone in for a kiss, and experienced the awkward moment of “wait, I’m tilting to the left and their tilting the opposite way”? Your dream picture of what this sexy kiss was going to look like is not matching up with the reality.
The healthiest relationships rely on respectful, oral communication, which can also be the key to mutually amazing relationships. Effective communication with your partner means letting go of your ego. Our ego tells us that we know EXACTLY what our partner wants so we don’t have to ask. Our ego tells us we are so smooth and we can just put on the moves and our partner will love it.
Our ego can shield us from the fact that while we assume we are being suave and sexy, we are actually making our partner uncomfortable. We are not taking their needs, comfort zone, boundaries, and considerations into account.
Think of the stereotypical scene of two people watching a movie together where one partner is interested in the other and puts their arm around that person. Almost always in a movie, both people cherish this moment. In real life, a partner could be very uncomfortable that you think an attraction is occurring that is not actually mutual. How about the person who goes in for a kiss and has a partner turn away to avoid the kiss? In both cases, one person’s ego lead them to assuming what the other person wanted without actually giving the person a choice first.
So, what was happening in that first kiss moment when we went in for the kiss? Our ego was telling us to assume what our partner wanted. Our ego was saying, “they want a kiss and so let’s give it to them.” In reality, only one person definitely wanting the kiss and then that person assumed what the other person wanted. We didn’t their wants into consideration and actually give them a choice first.
We fooled ourselves into thinking that the TV scene is real; that our partner always wants us exactly like the couples on TV want each other. The reality is we end up taking our partner’s boundaries and wishes for granted. We fail to give them a choice before we make a sexual advance.
Then, how do we make our relationships mutually amazing? Simple; we ask. Asking takes into account our partner’s feelings, wants, desires, and respect of their boundaries. Asking puts our own egos in check and makes us consider the other person and their wants and desires.
While people will often mistakenly assume asking ruins the moment, what people share with me around the world is how much being asked for a kiss by a partner MADE THE MOMENT even more special and memorable. You were given respect instead of a partner arrogantly assuming what you wanted.
How do you ask first? Look your partner in the eye and be honest. Say and ask, “You look fantastic. . . . Can I kiss you?” A lot of people love that exact moment. Audiences tell me how passionate, sexy, and special asking first has been for them. Is that example of asking not the exact way you would ask for a kiss? Then word it however would be true to you and at the same time will respect your partner.
If your partner says yes, imagine how wonderful that moment is going to feel! If your partner says no, then you have avoided creating making any moves your partner did not want to experience with you. You’ve made the entire situation better for both of you. Plus, you have taken the time to show your partner that they matter.
TV is entertainment. The way frantic hook-ups happen in TV are not a healthy or positive examples of what happens in real life. Wonderful relationships are built on respecting your partner and mutually exploring what each party in the relationship wants. This isn’t something that can happen after a few minutes of sexual tension where no one is talking; this is something that happens after making the effort to openly communicate with each other and find out what each other wants in any given moment.
The next time you are with your partner, don’t guess what they want. Ask. Help make your relationship mutually amazing.