Friday, May 30, 2014

THE LICENSES AND LIMITATIONS OF LOVE


HOW IMPORTANT IS COMMUNICATION IN YOUR LOVE LIFE?

Because we humans are social organisms effective communications skills are hugely important in the most intimate area of our lives, our love life.  Whether a man visualizes himself as a playboy or serious monogamous type he will find that skillful communications will always be the default for a stress free coexistence.  There are many different types of intimate relationships but they all require the same three essential communications elements to be in place; including a realistic mutual understanding of and agreement with the relationship goals and objectives, licenses and limitations and a sound framework with which to measure the integrity of the affective/emotional covenant. 



ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF COMMUNICATION

  • ·         Relationship Goals and Objectives
  • ·         Relationship Licenses and Limitations
  • ·         Affective/Emotional  Covenant Integrity




SETTING REALISTIC GOALS AND OBJECTIVES:

Every relationship must have goals and objectives even if they are only applicable for a few minutes of pleasure or social interaction.  The more evolved the relationship is the more complex its goals and objectives will be.   Generally, one can set a simple set of goals and objectives using the example below.  Because we continually change and mature the goals and objectives relevant to a relationship necessarily change.  Whether the parties in a relationship are able to successfully track the evolution of these goals and objectives will ultimately define how well they communicate.  Many people will tell you that they had excellent communication at the beginning of their association but that it gradually deteriorated.  The goals and objectives of a young relationship are not the same as an intermediate or mature one… this is just common sense.  Somebody and preferably both parties have to take the initiative to address this by scheduling regular sessions where they revisit the relationship goals and objectives and if they are creative in doing so, having dinner at home, going to a resort for the weekend, it should enable them to keep up with how their relationship changes.  Let me suggest that when goals and objectives or any critical communications is discussed that it be in the most intimate of settings away from outside interference to allow both parties to focus on each other. 


EXAMPLES OF RELATIONSHIP GOALS AND OBJECTIVES:

GOAL #1:                             TO DEVELOP A STRONG COMPANIONSHIP 
OBJECTIVE #1:                   BY SHARING A COMMON LIVING SPACE, FINANCES AND ACTIVITIES
GOAL #2:                             TO REACH ORGASM VIA INTERCOURSE
OBJECTIVE #2:                   BY UNDERSTANDING WHAT TURNS MY PARTNER ON


The goal is always generally declared using the “TO BE” form quite literally stating what you intend your goal to be, for example: to develop to establish; to explore; etc.  The objective establishes a solid and measurable strategy using the “BY DOING” form specifically outlining the strategy with which you intend to accomplish the goal, for example:  By asking what satisfies my partner most; by sharing a common dwelling; by determining if he/she is open to penetration; by sharing the utility bill; by informing my partner I prefer only to penetrate him/her without reciprocation, etc.  Establishing clearly defined goals and objectives creates a mapping system with which both partners in a relationship can navigate the difficult landscape of their relationship, track their progress and identify any missed or underdeveloped features.  Here is another good example of the “Goals and Objectives” method of communications:

“In order to improve communications with my partner regarding our sexual compatibility and understanding of one another’s desires we have decided to devote quality time relaxing together and sharing our fantasies with the intention of playing them out together”

This is the easiest method of tackling complex communications barriers.  By identifying the goal of understanding one another’s sexual likes and dislikes and mapping out ways to accomplish it by sharing fantasies and acting those out both parties are suddenly engaged in positive communications about the very thing which had become a barrier to their relationship. 



So the formula is simple, first set your goals then define how to achieve them by outlining your objectives and after experimenting by implementing the objectives you make a quality assessment to determine if you both felt you met the goal, if the objectives need to be redefined, etc., etc., etc.

GOALS → OBJECTIVES → EXPERIMENTATION/IMPLEMENTATION → ASSESSMENT 

Of course every goal and objective must be reasonable.  For example, if you discover that one partner does has a strong objection to doing something, rather than to force them into compliance which would be unreasonable, it would be more realistic and therefore reasonable to develop a strategy that did not require one partner to do whatever he objected to.   It would then be necessary to find a way to allow the other partner to enjoy whatever it is that is important to him without encroaching upon his partner who does not enjoy it.   The goals and objectives method does not assume that any problem can be solved; it is only a tool to enable communication so that the problem can be objectively identified, examined and troubleshot by both parties.



UNDERSTANDING THE LANDSCAPE OF LICENSE AND LIMITATION IN A RELATIONSHIP

All relationships require some licenses or freedoms allowing each partner to be themselves without fear of being disrespectful to the other.  You will find that partners who have superior communications in their relationship have also integrated a mutual understanding of the limitations such licenses must have.  In a monogamous relationship both partners may have freedom to hang out with their friends or family without the other partner being around giving them license to socialize with others.  This license may or may not include flirting, dating or having sexual relationships with other people while they are out.  It is important that socialization with others is encouraged and cultivated but it is even more important that guidelines are set so that both parties understand the boundaries involved.  



In an open relationship where both partners are free to explore their sexual fantasies with outside parties one might say they each have a “License” to play the field.  A license is a loophole, and exception, that permits each party to break the rules of a traditional arrangement but in fact within a well-balanced relationship where there is positive communication this license can actually function as a rule or limitation.  For example, some couples allow open pursuit of outside sexual partners but the forbid any strong emotional ties or repeat encounters with an outside party or the restrict the extramarital relationship under certain guidelines agreed upon by both primary partners.  With flirting, two partners may allow minimal looking and even comments about others but they are best prepared for anxiety when they have already discussed the limitations that such flirtations should be allowed.  Let me also note that when I say traditional relationship I do mean a traditional relationship by western standards and must make concession to nonwestern traditions that are far more ancient also far more extensive than western notions of monogamy.  Whatever the licenses and limitations are within a relationship they are of no value unless both parties agree on them and abide by them.  Here is an example of a license and it’s agreed upon limitations:


LICENSE #1:  FLIRTING (Example).  Flirting is allowed both parties because one party is especially flirtatious by nature and it would only be fair to allow him to explore his natural instincts but within certain agreed upon limitations that will not insult, hurt or disrespect his mate.
LIMITATION #1: FLIRTING (Example).  Flirting must not go beyond a casual look and a nod it may not be expressed as a verbal gesture unless it falls within certain agreed upon gentlemanly limitations.  Flirting may not include exchanging of numbers or establishing of separate relationships unless they are agreed upon by both parties.  The prescriptions permitting or denying flirting must be established through a mutual agreement and covenant between two parties through positive communication.

LICENSE #2:  SMOKING (Example).  One partner smokes a pipe and cigars and although the smell is objectionable to his partner they will allow him to smoke under specific guidelines in order that he should be able to enjoy his home.
LIMITATION #2:  SMOKING (Example).  Smoking will be permitted in one partner’s study/office only but in no other room of the house and only on the back patio.  The prescriptions permitting or denying smoking must be established through a mutual agreement and covenant between two parties through positive communication.



USING AFFECTIVE TECHNIQUES AND ESTABLISHING EMOTIONAL COVENANTS TO ESTABLISH INTEGRITY

One of the most important chapters of any psychology book is the one that introduces the “Affective Domain” and explores ways we can use our simple empathic skills to communicate verbal and nonverbal information to those who we love and come into association with.  While these skills are handy in our general day to day socialization they are critical skills we must learn how to effectively and ethically utilize in relationships.  Sometimes the way to open a difficult door in interpersonal communication simply comes down to our ability to show sincere empathy to another human being.  Observation skills consisting of listening, watching, touching and questioning, combined with critical comprehension skills to put it all together are central to the successful communication of emotion and the development of nonverbal emotional covenants.   It is these nonverbal emotional covenants that give integrity and soul to a relationship.  No matter how you put it, integrity is credibility!  Managing credibility is very simple when you take time to let your partner know you have their best interest at heart by taking them into consideration every time you make a small or large decision that you already know will ultimately affect you both.  This should be done without even thinking, in a relationship everything should be done with consideration for the other party.

Some affective techniques that can aid communications are as simple as asking, “How are you feeling” or saying, “You look/seem troubled will you talk to me about what is on your mind”?  Other means of expressing emotional concern and love are taking a person’s hand, embracing them or cuddling with them, stroking their brow or back, etc.  When communications have degraded to the point of silence sometimes a nonverbal technique such as a gesture or touching can break the ice.  Nonverbal communications are often more powerful than formal verbalized ones because they say to the other party, “Darling I care”.



When we effectively communicate with our partner in any type of relationship we establish a rapport with them and if we are sincere then we begin to establish a real covenant that gives the relationship integrity; this means we can build trust based on established credibility.  The more mature our covenant becomes the easier we can access our partner in order to establish positive communications.  A covenant is not real unless it has integrity and is based on honesty and transparency; lying to your partner or failing to accurately communicate with them only creates a flawed communication of mutual agreement and understanding.  One must ask, if they do not intend to be honest why bother to undertake any kind of mutual agreement at all?  Mature men and gentlemen are always honest even to a fault because it legitimizes them as ethically grounded people. 



Just as a relationships goals and objectives evolve over time so does the relationship’s covenant.  We have already discussed how trust and integrity tend to exponentially grow, or deteriorate the longer people stay in a relationship.  In actuality trust and integrity are never constant they vary in extent in a manner that is directly proportional to the way the parties in that relationship evolve emotionally.  Throughout the lifetime of a relationship incidents occur that build and tear down trust and integrity.  Hopefully though, sufficient trust and integrity has been established to weather the bad periods; when all of the trust and integrity has been eroded away and trenches of deficiency are being dug the relationship has deteriorated to critically dangerous levels of imminent failure.  Relationships that are not instantaneous, that are not just one time flings should strive to continually revise their covenants.  A relationships covenant may be verbal or nonverbal as long as both parties agree.  A covenant established at the outset of a relationship is most likely outdated from anywhere between 6 months to a year into the relationship and must be revisited to include critical updates.  Couples should establish regular intervals to revisit their relationship’s covenant and make revisions where they agree they are necessary.  We should not be afraid to reopen that book because happiness is defined therein.  Nobody should ever agree to any conditions of any covenant unless they truly embrace them; no covenant should be ratified simply to keep a person in your life.  The purpose of a relationships covenant is to keep both parties satisfied and not to be one sided.  Outside of regular agreed upon intervals, a covenant may be revisited in a time of crisis and both parties must concede to do so in order to keep peace between them. 



Communication is paramount to your love life, such that without it you literally could not have one at all.  The best time to establish great communications is at the outset of any relationship but it can be established at any point if both parties are willing to put in the work.  Bad communications will take away the potential for beauty in any relationship and may ultimately kill it.  Whether there is any communications problem or not it is always important to have a mutual understanding of the relationship goals and objectives because relationships do change as we change.  The freedoms and rules of any relationship must be carefully and mutually mapped out and agreed upon.  Deviation from the plan requires both parties agreement not just one.  Ultimately the licenses and limitations imposed upon any relationship must also change over time.  Finally as social organisms people who find themselves involved with one another must somehow tap into the affective domain in order to communicate on an emotional level.  As a couple grows together they will discover that they build integrity and trust as a form of verbal or nonverbal covenant between them.  This covenant too must change with those who have agreed to it reflecting how they have changed.  Change is a great and powerful element but it is inevitable in the world in which we live and therefore it must be respected and planned for.  In truth humans need relationships, we need intimacy and in order to enjoy the social dynamic that encompasses most of our daily lives we must cultivate successful communications skills.  These skills are most important the more intimate the relationship becomes.  So to answer the question, “How important is communication in your love life”, I must say that is the most important element without which no love live can ever truly exist.


FIN


WRITTEN BY BIGDADDY BLUES
ADMINISTRATOR: FOR THE BROTHAS, A VIRTUAL, INTELLECTUAL AND CULTURAL SALON
FOLLOW IT AT: WWW.FORTHEBROTHAS.BLOGSPOT.COM    



Friday, May 16, 2014

THE MATURE MALE DIALOGUE SERIES PART II:





TEN GOOD YEARS!

If you have ever had the pleasure of listening to Nancy Wilson’s stellar version of the song “10 Good Years” which she recorded in 1965 on the Capitol Records label then you know and old dog still has some time to wag his tail.  Take some time, ( if you will), to take a listen before you read this article at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk_MVrX3KDw .  Now it is typically not my custom to reference material created with a female sentimentality in mind when treating with manly issues simply because I feel that men are so very different in many respects but this particular song speaks less to the female experience and more the common human experience. 



Contemporary male culture is full of graphic reminders of the fragility and brevity of our masculine virility the most common of which are products promising to restore premature balding and erectile dysfunction.  Coupled with these cattle prods to our sacred male mojo are such popular sayings as, “You better make your fire while you still got wood” (lyrics by Nancy Wilson 1965) and “If you want to let him know there’s steak for dinner you’d better make it sizzle” (line by Wesley Snipes in To Wong Foo 1995).  These types of ticking clock warnings inundate the culture of the male species ever focused on youthfulness, driving men to prove, “They can still hunt”, (Reuben’s line in Oceans 13, 2007).  For a mature male the end of acne and growing pains opens up an entirely new set of issues centered on the inevitable prospect of growing old.  As a euphemism we tend to use the general term, “Mature” to distinguish the process through which we relinquish our youthfulness for the next stage of physical and mental development.  Technically there is no specific threshold or ceiling age to the term; it can include a 21 year old as well as a 91 year old male encompassing quite a broad, subjective range.  But it is not my intent to attempt to define the term “Mature” for anyone as I am certain they will be fully competent to complete that exercise for themselves.  The point of this article is to explore strategies for men to manage the inevitable process of aging within a culture that worships eternal youth and praises the physical success typically achieved by older men.  For example, the couture suits in Gentleman’s Quarterly are being visually marketed by young models ranging from 18 to 21 years old for a mature clientele of businessmen ranging from 35 to 60 years old.  Cultural disparity number one is that young men aged 18 through 21 are hardly in the market for a $3,000 - $5,000 suit and businessmen aged 35 – 60 can no longer pass for an 18-21 year old.  One might say it’s a setup, no matter how hard a mature man tries he is not going to age in reverse but then why should he?



Some mature men may begin to fear they are approaching the end of their marketability as viable candidates for sex, romance or the establishment of relationships.  They fear that because of their age and/or experience they will be overlooked for younger, less “experienced” candidates.  21st century popular culture certainly does lean more heavily toward the road less traveled as a desirable option for getting to know someone and deciding to stay with them.  Most mature men already know they come to the table with a houseful of offerings that are far more desirable to the bloke in his own shoes looking for financial and emotional meaningfulness and stability as well as the handsome but materially unadorned young Gavin’s pulling at his trousers.  Some of these men will invariably use their status as bait and it is generally but not absolutely true that such men are not really serious about developing anything serious; they are merely attempting to extend the wild frolics of their youth.  Whether a mature man uses his wealth, status and possessions as a lure for prospective lovers or as a standard balance for weighing compatibility a mature man typically but not always uses his status to compensate for what he feels he may have lost in masculine virility and youthfulness.  This begs the inevitable question, “How much time can I survive as a successful player in the popular field on my good looks and charm before having to rely on external assets to attract attention”?  Which begs the additional question, “How much external support do I feel I need in order to feel confident as a successful player,”?



The quantification of a man’s insecurity is at best an unmapped science.  It is sheer guesswork to attempt to postulate how much a man will generally compensate for his insecurity in any given scenario.  This man is 25% insecure due to his receding hairline and overcompensates 50% by dying his hair and investing in expensive hair replacement treatments.  That man is 50% insecure about his erectile dysfunction and overcompensates 75% by investing in male enhancement drugs and externally applied performance products designed to create and maintain an erection.  Another man is 15% insecure about his age and overcompensates 30% by investing in popular, youthful apparel, vehicles, real estate, furniture and other conspicuous retail items.  Some men fabricate elaborate virtual character profiles possessing all the irresistible attributes they feel they do not possess to gain a “Cinderella cyber-machismo” existing only when they are online.  There are some men, bountifully endowed, who overcompensate by using their penis as a sexual lure while allowing the rest of them to fall by the wayside.  These are the dysfunctional aspects of insecurity overcompensation.



On the other side of the spectrum there are those men who actually embrace their maturity including the changing of their appearance, metabolism and libido.  These men have not given up on themselves by any stretch of the imagination they have merely bought in to the natural evolution of their masculinity by developing highly creative and self-actualizing techniques to visualize “re-masculate” themselves.  I want to discuss the term I coined, “remasculate”, a term I created to describe a philosophical rite of passage whereby a man sheds the trappings of a manhood he has outgrown in order to free himself to explore a far more philosophically advanced echelon of manhood.  During a man’s lifetime he may actually undergo the process of remasculization many times over.  The process of remasculization entails more than just the transition from a baby to a boy, an adolescent, a man a, gentleman and an elder although it certainly runs parallel to this structure of social, mental and physical evolution.  Remasculization requires a man to completely revise, reinvent and remodel himself inwardly and outwardly to accommodate his physical and intellectual journey through life and the end result is a philosophical entity that is fundamentally balanced.  Because remasculinization takes into account the fundamental changes of physical and mental maturity it does not have to overcompensate for any loss in manhood because it does not see maturity as a pejorative or decomposing process.  Of course remasculinization is as I have defined it a textbook theory and to be honest it is my opinion that no man can fit the ideal, there will always be some degree of remorse and sense of loss due to the aging process and therefore nearly every man will show some degree of overcompensation. 



When a mature man looks into the mirror, or when he walks into a roomful of young virile males he certainly qualifies himself on the totem pole of manly desirability whether he gives it conscious merit or not.  At some point a man asks himself, “How long will my good looks and youthful stamina last”?  Parallel to the process if remasculinization each time a man moves upward to the next echelon of philosophically balanced manhood he certainly makes a note of where he came from and where he now is with respect to the eternal manly virtues.  That is why the philosophical dimension is so very essential for human growth.  There will come a time when a man will no longer possess any of the shining and careless attributes of his physical youth but in-between those times he will have to engineer a successful bridge equipped with strategic vantage points from which he can take a romantic look back as well as a hopeful look forward.  When our twenties are over we have 10 good years to our 40’s and after those 10 good years to our 50’s, ten good years to our 60’s, 70’s 80’s 90’ and so on until we go to our glory. There is always something great and uncharted to look forward to but until we realize this we must be confident that we have 10 or more good years of sturdy manliness to keep our confidence up.  As our concept of manhood evolves altering our goals and objectives accordingly those 10 good years will seem to come and go as quickly as we can shave an 8-hour beard.   Manhood is one of those things that get's better with age so artificially turning the clock back has a perversely disquieting effect on the gracefulness of a well-balanced aging process.  What matters in the end is the warm and hopeful comfort of knowing we do in fact have 10, 20, 30 or more good years ahead…"So Here's A Toast To Ten Or More Good Years!"  Cheers!


FIN

Written By BIGDADDY BLUES




Monday, May 12, 2014

THE MATURE MALE DIALOGUE SERIES: DECODING THE INTENT OF OTHERS




FINDING MEANING IN OTHERS AS A MATURE SINGLE MAN


Quite recently in my limited dating escapades I encountered two men who wanted to jump the broom after our first face to face encounter.  It is my practise to take it slow, get to know who I am dealing with, make an educated judgment after a series of well-planned encounters, you know, the whole mature and responsible dating thing.  



Pressed to the wall with wedding bells ringing in their ears it became clear these men were not used to anyone pushing back advising that more accountability assessed over a longer period of time than a couple of days was required in order to make such grand assumptions about compatibility.  



But their reactions were even stranger to me and I immediately realized they were responding as if they had got a rejection notification.   I got excuses like, "I am very busy" and "My life is not where I want it to be now and I have to spend my time getting it there".  “BINGO!” I had cut through the fa├žade and smokescreen to get at the real person and found it was only half-baked.  But that was not really a very fulfilling revelation; I had met a countless number of kooks, posers and players in my day so my ability to instantaneously identify them as if I were classifying insect specimens for an entomology collection did little to titillate my faith in man.  It seemed only to be a well-honed skill elucidating the self-fulfilling prophecy that meeting a suitable companion might elude my grasp altogether… I’d be a male spinster but a happy one…  



The whole scenario totally freaked me out... but I remained focused and steadfast in my conviction to take it slow demanding that substantially more time be devoted to whatever it was I thought I was developing with a beau before agreeing to any terms or posturizing as if some magical love potion had taken effect.  I was more apt to gravitate toward the instant the love potion wore off because in my opinion that is the moment of truth!  



I worried that my carefully but aptly measured and brilliantly delivered scrutiny had been mistaken for rejection but now that the deed had been done I had to take a critical look at the nature of their responses.  Both men had gone from picking out engagement rings to admitting they were far too stressed out and busy to devote any quality time to the cultivation of a mere association in less than a week and with only one face to face encounter.  While I admired their honesty I also had to admire my skill at extracting it from the dense pile of gobbledygook they had presented as themselves.  If not pressed I should not have got them to admit what neither of us knew at the time.  So the essay in critical resistance had paid off if only to prevent me having to be the responsible party to bring proper closure to a hot fling gone cold. 



I wondered what would have happened if I had gone along with the program.  But I shut that aspect of the research down permanently and mentally placed that embracing tuxedoed male wedding cake ornament into the deep freeze!  What I realized, (what I knew going into the game), was that my time was valuable too and by doing due diligence at the start I ensured that it would not be wasted or disrespected.  



Yes we all have busy schedules and everyone living in the fast paced urban context of the 21st century who is not living on a farm churning butter or herding sheep across the range can relate to that.  What is more we all have aspirations and are continually working to improve and reinvent ourselves in order to be marketable in the rapidly morphing 21st century economy.  As a working man I cannot comprehend the leisurely life of the retired class who really does have time to sip tea and focus on the little things in life all day.  I am driven and ambitious and yet I do have the ability to devote time, quality time, to the cultivation of  an association without preconceiving but in hope that it may lead to more and I am a proponent of the theory that we make take for those things we most desire and value. 



What most men fail to realize about Giovanni Giacomo Casanova who lived from 1725 to 1798 is that he was more than the chambermaids delight, he was a true gentleman.  Casanova is the archetype for what men today call a “Player” but failing to properly research the true nature of the arts of courtly love by which this gentleman most certainly lived has produced generations of over-sexed buffoons rather than a truly polished man of the world.  Now this is yet another example of how the lack of historical knowledge can result in the most absurd and unflattering permutations of human character.  So I would be remiss if I did not entreat each of you to play with care especially the more mature of you gentlemen because the fallout of a failed relationship tends to be far more stressful in an older man who is apt to put more mental and spiritual energy into a relationship than a younger one who might get by with handsomeness and eroticism with minimal cerebral investment. 



Unfortunately there are people who will pull you in to what appears to be interest in a relationship simply because they can and have nothing more important to do.  Many times these men are themselves clueless about their unfocused, random recklessness and are in dire need of critical redirection.  But in this fast paced world who has time to properly redirect them?  If I had time I should open an academy for wayward and miseducated playboys, indeed it is a thought!



The purpose of this essay is to save some of you from yourselves which means saving you from these unscrupulous males, (not technically men), who are themselves lost and uncertain about life and will if allowed lead you down the same path.  If you take anything away from this essay take this one bit of advice: “Take your time and demand that you be allowed to take your time before committing anything to anyone and if your love interest cannot accommodate you by spending quality time until you feel comfortable that something substantive has been built as a foundation for moving to the next level then push back immediately!”  


This is more for mature men than younger ones.  Mature men can sometimes feel as if they are bound to a rapidly ticking clock that will render them obsolete, lonely and undesirable when it chimes.   Nothing could be more incorrect!  A mature man is the cream of the crop, the polished and finessed centerpiece… he is the prize and he must be certain that he treats himself as such and demand that he be treated as such.  Having gone through all the trials of life with the nimbus of success shining about him why in heaven and hell would any mature man lose his confidence and conviction to demand no less than excellence at this golden phase of his earthly existence?  He is evidence of where the glint of youth will go, so youthfulness should not intimidate him as youth has not his wisdom.  Do not be afraid to carefully scrutinize any man who approaches you because if he is what he says he is no harm will be revealed.  Do not succumb to wanna-be playboys who have somehow managed to remember a couple of overused lines borrowed from a fake pimp or buffoon they admire, there is fortunately no substitute for a true gentleman skilled in the arts of courtly love.  Last of all if someone does not have time for you or you for them call it what it is but save yourself the heartache of mistaking it for love…


FIN




Written By BIGDADDY BLUES