Most experts will tell you that the secret to knowing how to have good intimacy is all about confidence. But, while confidence can be defined as the belief in one’s abilities, and while, in many areas of life, confidently believing in your abilities can truly get you far, there are many areas of life where confidence is not just about abilities — and this particular arena is one of them.
That’s because knowing having good intimacy isn’t about just one person. It’s about two people, and intimacy with one particular person is always a different experience than being with someone else.
That someone else has different desires and preferences than you do, and sometimes, even when you do want to please a woman in the bedroom, you may not be compatible. Or, you may find there is a lack of emotional connection between you.
What we know about intimacy is constantly evolving, and professionals in the field of education and therapy are always learning new things about what goes into creating an optimal love life.
When it comes down to it, being good is less about confidence in your abilities and more about these five things:
- Your capacity to tune into the other person
- Your willingness to learn and adapt
- Your willingness to teach the other person what you like
- Your comfort as a student, and not necessarily need to know all the answers
- Your willingness to try new things that you may not be very good at yet
That’s why the number one way to be more confident is practicing radical self-acceptance.
With radical self-acceptance, you don’t judge yourself based on your “performance.”
You know there is much you have to learn about being a better lover, especially with one particular person, and especially with that person over the course of a long-term relationship.
What kind of role models do men have for cultivating a long, hot marriage? Practically none!
The answer then is to be open to learning and discovering new ways of relating to your partner, both in and out of the bedroom. This means being humble, and it means being a beginner in the sense that you can always learn and shift, and you are never a finished product when it comes to being a lover.
When you shift from a performance mindset, which comes with standards of measurement and conditional self-approval, to a mindset of radical self-acceptance, you give yourself the freedom to explore and develop your sensitivity and multiple approaches.
Being okay with “eternal beginner status” allows you to leave your comfort zone, and even to be somewhat awkward at times, which in turn allows you to be a more adventurous partner.
As you stay in this mindset, you become less self-involved and less concerned about your abilities or your prowess. This gives you the freedom to focus on and stay present with your partner.
I, myself, have been in the therapy field for many years, and yet, I am still constantly learning about new developments in understanding the female body, as well as my own. I remain aware that there are people who know more about certain aspects of being intimate than I do, and I am therefore a willing student of other people’s articles, books, and videos.
I know some things, sure, and I also have a long way to go. I accept that about myself.
The most important thing is to continue practicing, experimenting, and applying what you learn in the context of your marriage or relationship.
Radical self-acceptance reinforces the openness to learning, as well as the willingness to adjust as needed and to develop an adventurous spirit. You don’t have to be a prodigy to be capable of tuning into your partner, having fun with her, and enjoying being present with her.
Follow the path of radical self-acceptance, and it will lead you to what I believe is true confidence.
Todd Creager is a marriage and intimacy therapist, author, and speaker.
This article was originally published at Todd Creager’s Website. Reprinted with permission from the author.