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The Perfect Gift for Your Lover

20 Dec Posted by in Dr. Glenda Corwin | Comments Off on The Perfect Gift for Your Lover
The Perfect Gift for Your Lover

The Perfect Holiday Present for Your Lover: Your Presence!

It’s that time of the year again.  The alleged joy of the season is often overshadowed by stressful questions, like How/When/Where can I find the Perfect Gift for my lover?  What if I think it’s perfect, and she doesn’t? What if I give her X, and she’d rather have Y?

Why is this so difficult?  Because it makes you feel vulnerable.  What if she doesn’t like what you’re offering?  Another chance to feel naked and ashamed!  And being embarrassed, or disappointed, feels so child-like.  So we focus harder and spend more money trying not to feel that way.  It may result in a fantastic gift, but with a lot of stress and little joy.

Stop a minute.  How about giving her your presence?  I mean real, authentic, in-the-moment presence, when you spend time, and focus on the person in front of you.  Try to understand what’s on her mind.  Pay attention to what’s happening between you, right here and now.  Try lingering with her, enjoying the moments of shared coffee in the morning, or talking about your day when you get home, or making love before making other plans.  These are the gifts that keep on giving both you sensations and images that warm your heart, deepen your connection, bring you joy.

Being more present also usually means having more fun. When you’re more in touch with how you feel you’re more likely to think of things that feel good, and do them.  And if you’re having a shared, pleasurable experience with your love object, so much the better!  This gift keeps giving, because you’ll get so much pleasure thinking about it again and again.

An exception to the fun aspects of presence:  showing up with your partner at certain family and/or work events.  But what a gift, to help her interact with her people in whatever way works for her!  I’m assuming you’ll get to appreciate her returning the favor when it’s your turn.

Focusing on being present in the moment will also make you aware of how well you handle receiving from someone else.  How do you feel when she gives to you, whether it’s gifts or time and attention or even sexual stimulation?   Receiving can be harder than giving, but it’s an equally important part of being present. Can you accept her undivided attention, and let her know what’s on your mind?  Can you let go of trying to meet her needs and talk about your own?  Can you be fully present when she wants to please you?

Some women have a very hard time with receiving emotional and sexual stimulation from another person.  For some this may be wrapped up in roles—femme, butch, stud– but I suspect for most it’s just an ordinary personality characteristic.  It just feels weird to be the focus of positive, prolonged attention. And let’s face it—you feel a little out of control!  This feels good, but when is it going to stop?  How long do I get to enjoy this before it’s pulled away?  It’s hard to relax into the present with a sense of impending loss.  Easier to get distracted, detach a little, take control of your feelings by becoming less present.

But as they say, “No guts, no glory.”  That’s how you miss out on some great moments.  And maybe your partner can help you more than you realize, if she’s willing to really be present for you also.

If you’ve been the one who’s doing all the receiving, please, continue to enjoy—but do check in with your partner and see if that’s still working for her.  Many women I’ve talked to started out just fine with being all “into giving,” but then they started to change after awhile.  They started wanting to receive more from their partners, and to feel used or exploited.

It’s scary, all the things you might notice if you really focus on being present with your loved one.  Basically, it could go either way.  You could realize, again, how much you love her, enjoy her company, want to please and be pleased by her.  Or, you could realize that you don’t really enjoy her company, don’t want to engage with her, don’t want give or receive more or anything.  That’s the clarity that can come when you create space by turning off the distractions and turning on your time and attention, your presence.

So remember the most important gift of all:  Yourself, your attention, your desire to be present, your willingness to linger together.  Then it’s okay if your material gifts aren’t perfect, because your presence is.


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