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Saturday, December 8, 2007

Are the Two of You Ready for Intimacy??

Reprinted from MSN’s Home Page

By

Dr. Gilda Carle, Ph.D.

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• DR. GiLDA’s GUIDES on “How to Win at Relationships” and “How to Win at Work” (http://www.drgilda.com/books.htm#guides)
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The romantic heat between you and your new love is on—and you’re in h-e-a-v-e-n! Your relationship is clearly heading toward the bedroom. But before you sway in that direction, slow down for a second. After awakening from your lust, will you ask, “What was I thinking??”

If you’re a person who isn’t comfortable with casual sex, and only wants to get naked with prospective long-term partners, here’s some advice. Prevent your heart from being trashed by thinking clearly before you do the deed. Ask yourself: Am I ready to get naked with this person? Am I sure? Consider these five reasons that reveal you’re really, truly, undoubtedly, and unequivocally ready to disrobe! If you can’t check any one of them, slow down, cool off, and decide what to do after the temperature becomes chillier.

REASON #1: You feel emotionally safe with your sweet thing.
Alice went out a few times with a guy who was bonkers over her. That in itself was an ego trip. He was brilliant and had a high-level job at a prestigious organization, which was the subject of enormously stimulating conversation. They also laughed a lot. In short, he was a pleasure to be with.

Although Alice and he were always clothed, he complimented her body often. Then he would criticize his former girlfriend, a rather famous lady, saying what an awful body she had. Alice was appalled that he would degrade someone he had once cared for. Although he was wonderful to Alice to her face, his nasty critiques of his ex were a turn-off. She stopped seeing him because she felt she would never feel safe from his denigrations should their relationship go the way his last one did.

Feeling emotionally safe is vital before getting naked. I doubt that Famous Lady would have felt safe with this guy had she known how he debased her once their coupledom was kaput. Remember my Gilda-Gram: “Feeling emotionally safe means feeling emotionally protected—which is necessary in love.”

REASON #2: You know your honey will still be your honey later, once you’re re-clothed.
In a Seinfeld episode, Elaine described how her sweetie-for-the-night ran out of her bed early in the morning. She likened guys who do this to being farmers who feel they must tend their land before sunrise. (Some women, too, exit early after a night of play!) Such a quick departure can erode even a sturdy self-image. When a night of passion is followed by what might seem like icy abandonment, the previous evening’s thrill becomes quite a let-down. No person deserves to think the passionate night before was really meaningless. So, take your time, get to know this person, and make sure your relationship has some pacing to it. You are most likely to end up with a gone-by-morning paramour if things proceeded too quickly from Date #1 to the bedroom.

REASON #3: Your sweetie really “gets” you.
Out-of-sight doesn’t necessarily have to mean out-of-mind. If you and your new love have something real, he or she will think of you even when you’re not together. During their early dating stages, Carol and Carl were window-shopping and passed a kitchen accessories shop. Carl had no interest in the shop’s contents, but Carol excitedly muttered, “Wow, I’d love to own that saucepan.” A few weeks later, Carl presented Carol with just the cookware she had admired. From that moment on, Carol knew she had found a guy who (a) was happy to listen and hear her and (b) wanted to please her with things she deemed important. She was able to move ahead with their romance, secure in the knowledge that there was real affection there, beyond the lust. As my Gilda-Gram puts it, “It’s easy to get naked with someone who cares, instead of hooking up with just anyone.” Today this couple is happily married—and Carl still listens to Carol and still tries to please her whenever he can. This is the kind of marriage that will last forever.

REASON #4: Your honey is willing to be inconvenienced to make you happy.
New daters Cathy and Mark developed a quick connection that seemed very tight. They had not yet been intimate. One day, Cathy’s car needed to be repaired. Mark was at home doing yard work when Cathy called to ask him to please drive her to the dealership. On this summer Saturday, Mark was not on any deadline, nor did he have pressing appointments to meet. But he outright said, “No.” He didn’t say, “No, I have to finish doing the lawn by 2 p.m. before my kids arrive,” or, “No, I am too tired,” or even, “No, I don’t want to drive to that part of town today.” He simply said, “No can do, sorry.” Mark did not want to inconvenience himself. Cathy began to notice other instances of his unwillingness to bend in her direction. A week later, she wisely ended the romance. Mark still can’t understand why! But this Gilda-Gram says it all: “Someone selfish in fully-clothed life will not turn into a sudden giver in bed!” Or, a more specific Gilda-Gram is, “Someone who withholds kindness also withholds love.” If you’re looking for real intimacy — sexually and emotionally — you won’t find it here.

REASON #5: The decision to be intimate is 100-percent mutual.
Paula and Charlie were platonic friends for three months, without the slightest hint of anything amorous. Then, just a few weeks ago, they casually kissed, and sparks flew. Neither could explain the change in their status, but they decided to officially re-name their get-togethers “dates.” Now the question was how to proceed. Neither of them wanted to destroy the wonderful bond they had established, yet both wanted to take the friendship to the next level. Yet, Paula was not quite ready to engage in naked romps. Charlie began to pressure her. Suddenly, the friendly comfort they shared was deteriorating.

Paula reasoned that if she abandoned her reticence, Charlie would feel happier. But she also knew that giving in to his desires was not where she wanted to be at this time. What was she to do?

They had a heart-to-heart talk. Charlie continued to push to move the affair up a notch. Paula suddenly perceived him as a self-involved baby who screamed, “I! Want! My! Sex!!” Sensing all that pressure, she ended both the friendship and the promise of more. If you’re not the kind of person who takes intimacy lightly, trying to do so for another person’s sake — “just this one time” — will undoubtedly backfire. You won’t wind up feeling closer. Instead, you will feel angry at yourself!

So, if you are interested in forging a long-term relationship and a lasting bond, consider these points before you get naked with someone new. When you treat yourself like a prize, your new love will, too!

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Relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle is the founder of www.DrGilda.com. She is Match.com’s weekly Suddenly Single advice columnist, published on MSN’s Dating & Personals page. She has a private practice, is a motivational speaker, and is associate professor of business, psychology, and communications at New York’s Mercy College. Her best-selling books include Don’t Bet on the Prince! How to Have the Man You Want by Betting On Yourself (a test question on JEOPARDY!) (https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr).
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_________________________________________________________________________________

• DR. GiLDA’s GUIDES on “How to Win at Relationships” and “How to Win at Work” (http://www.drgilda.com/books.htm#guides)
• INSTANT ADVICE —BY PHONE OR E-MAIL for SAME-DAY advice in the privacy of your home or office (http://www.drgilda.com/instant-advice.htm)
• MENTORING PACKAGES to provide ongoing life and relationship support (http://www.drgilda.com/mentoring-packages.htm)
_________________________________________________________________________________

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