Being in a romantic relationship has many advantages. This bond offers security and a sense of belonging. Furthermore, in a partner, we find love, understanding, support, and the excitement of building a project together. However, such a commitment also entails a responsibility to the other. Therefore, we want to tell you what you can do to be a better lover.
These tips are useful whether you’re starting a relationship or if you’ve been together for years. Remember that people change and evolve, which distances couples if the means are not put in place to keep that from happening. What do you need to do to get started today? Keep reading to find out.
What does it mean to be a better lover?
Becoming a better lover is easier if we understand what it actually entails. The main thing is to satisfy the affective and bonding needs of the other person; at the same time, of course, your partner needs to do the same with yours. This includes showing interest and support, cultivating intimacy, and knowing how to communicate, among other aspects.
According to important research conducted by The Open University, what people value most in their relationship is laughing together, being the best of friends, feeling safe and supported, and having good mutual trust. This is shown by findings published in the book The Secrets of Enduring Love: How to Make Relationships Last.
But as putting these concepts into practice isn’t always as simple as it sounds, we want to provide you with information that will help you achieve it.
How to be a better lover?
Being a better lover isn’t an individual matter related only to who we are; we must take into account the person with whom we bond. Each human being has different values and needs; what’s perfect for one can become empty or lacking in the other. Therefore, the key is to know your partner well and influence the following points.
1. Identify your attachment styles
The attachment style of a person is the way they bond and derives, fundamentally, from the relationship with their parents or caregivers in childhood. Those who have a secure attachment know how to be interdependent without fear of being vulnerable but are sure of themselves and their worth. In contrast, people with an anxious or avoidant attachment have specific difficulties in this regard.
In the first case, perhaps the person feels a strong need for their partner to reassure their love and requires constant displays of affection and commitment. In the second, emotional intimacy is frightening and the person may demand space to be alone and the careful handling of conversations that involve feelings (Shaver & Mikulincer, 2009).
Therefore, knowing your attachment style and that of your partner contributes to understanding what each one needs at all times and how to blend both approaches so that no one feels invaded or damaged.
2. Discover and practice the languages of love
We all know that a romantic relationship involves expressing love, but not every form is valid. Again, each person prefers and needs to be loved in a certain way; if your partner doesn’t understand you, you can go out of your way for them without it making your way into their heart.
The five love languages described by Gary Chapman (2005) are an excellent way to understand the different means of expressing affection and which ones are preferred by your partner. By “speaking” to your partner in their love language, you’ll make sure that they feel as loved as they want–and vice versa.
Now, don’t forget that these aren’t exclusive and that you can practice all of them. Saying “I love you” isn’t limited to buying a bouquet of flowers unexpectedly or helping your partner with a work project that they’re having a hard time with.
3. Establish positive interactions
Many couples see how their relationship suffers because of the constant reproaches, complaints, and arguments that take place on a daily basis. Maintaining positive interactions is one of the main elements to having a satisfactory and lasting relationship (Hurtarte & Díaz-Loving, 2008).
Therefore, it’s key to avoid hurtful words, avoidance behaviors, impulsiveness, and an irritable tone. On the contrary, enhance empathy and sympathy, expressiveness, and an open and positive attitude toward your partner.
4. Learn to communicate
Discrepancies, conflicts, and misunderstandings are present in all relationships, as they’re part of our nature. But if you want to be a better lover, you can try to reduce these events by learning to communicate assertively. This means being clear and firm in expressing your opinions, needs, and desires while always respecting the needs and emotions of your partner.
5. Cultivate emotional intimacy
Intimacy is one of the key ingredients of couples and is defined by Sternberg (1986) in his triangular theory of love as emotional closeness, connection, complicity, and support. It’s what makes your partner feel safe, heard, and connected to you, making them great friends.
However, to achieve this, you need to invest time and dedication. For example, finding half an hour each day to talk, tell your partner about yourself, and listen to them. Or, planning at least one date a month in which you go out alone to do activities that you both enjoy.
6. Make your life more fun
According to a paper published in the Western Journal of Communication, a shared sense of humor is an essential ingredient in happy couples. The ability to laugh together and even laugh at each other (always with respect) increases the emotional bond and, without a doubt, will help you both to be better lovers.
7. Take care of the sexual sphere
It’s important to take care of sexuality as a couple, as it helps to increase the perceived union and satisfaction. However, it’s worth knowing that more sex doesn’t always equal more happiness. In fact, a study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science suggests that a sexual frequency greater than once a week doesn’t produce increases in the satisfaction of couples.
Being a better lover is a daily job
As you can see, there are multiple actions you can put into practice to improve the quality and satisfaction of your relationship. It’s important to remember that it’s a daily job and that the bond must be cultivated and nurtured over time. If we neglect any of the above aspects, the relationship may suffer, and routine, resentment, and unhappiness set in.
If this happens, it’s a good idea to go to couples therapy in order to identify which areas are failing and how to work on them. An outside expert opinion may be what you need if you want to become a better lover.