There’s a myth that many guys believe: that looks, status, or wealth are the keys to a lasting relationship. But this isn’t true. And if you fall for that myth, you’ll wind up in a loveless and eventually boring and sexless relationship.

While these attributes might have created that initial spark of attraction for each other, as your relationship matures, other attributes become much more important.

In fact, I call these attributes the “Four P’s.”

Besides keeping the fire alive in your long-term relationship, the “Four P’s” also create a thriving sex life that both you and your partner find deeply fulfilling.

So, what are the “Four P’s?” How do you cultivate each of the “Four P’s”? And why do many guys struggle with building the “Four P’s” in their long-term relationships?

In this episode, I reveal the answer to each of these questions, so you can build a thriving long-term relationship full of passionate sex, emotional connection, and unconditional love.

Listen now!

 Show highlights include:

  • Why it’s a myth that the key to maintaining a relationship is about keeping up your looks, status, or wealth (and the 2 keys to making a long-term relationship thrive) (1:04)
  • How “P&C” prevents your relationship from slipping into monotony, complacency, and even heartbreak (2:14)
  • The “Four P’s” secret that keeps the fire alive in your relationship and grows into a fulfilling 50+ year relationship (3:09)
  • How going through self-development for the sake of your relationship instead of yourself dooms your relationship to die prematurely (4:06)
  • The fatal mistake most guys commit after being in a relationship for about 6 months (and the “small gestures” trick to prevent this with your wife or girlfriend) (7:11)
  • The weird way embracing more feminine energy can enhance you and your partner’s sexual attraction (13:23)
  • How neediness seeps into your body language, your choice of words, and the tone of your voice, silently alarming your partner to jump ship (18:42)
  • Why your repressed sexual shame will lead to a sexless relationship (and how to create a thriving sexual life with your partner) (26:41)
  • How to reignite the sexual spark in your long-term relationship (even if you haven’t had sex in months) (30:28)

    Does your neediness, fear, or insecurity sabotage your success with women? Do you feel you may be unlovable? For more than 15 years, I’ve helped thousands of people find confidence, fulfillment, and loving relationships. And I can help you, too. I’m therapist and life coach David Tian, Ph.D. I invite you to check out my free Masterclasses on dating and relationships at now.

For more about David Tian, go here:

    Emotional Mastery is David Tian’s step-by-step system to transform, regulate, and control your emotions… so that you can master yourself, your interactions with others, and your relationships… and live a life worth living. Learn more here:


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Welcome to the Masculine Psychology Podcast, where we answer key questions in relationships, attraction, success, and fulfillment. Now, here’s your host, world-renowned therapist and life coach, David Tian.

David: Welcome to the Masculine Psychology podcast. I’m David Tian, your host. In this episode, we’re diving deep into a question that I think will resonate with many of you. A listener wrote in and asked, “How can I be more attractive to my wife or girlfriend apart from the gym and losing weight? What can I do to keep her? I obviously piqued her interest when we were dating and I want to keep this up. I don’t want to be in a sexless, boring relationship.”

This question hits at the heart of a common concern. It’s not just about how to start a relationship, but how to maintain its vibrancy and passion over time, or tackling this not only to address a specific issue, but to reshape how we view long-term relationships and what makes them thrive. [01:03.5]

First, let’s debunk a major myth, the idea that maintaining a relationship is primarily about keeping up your looks, status or wealth. Sure, these can be initial attractors, but there are shaky foundations for a lasting, fulfilling relationship. Relying on them is like building a house on sand. It’s unstable and unsustainable.

If your relationship’s vitality depends solely on your gym routine or bank balance, you’re actually not in an intimate relationship. You’re in a transaction, and transactions are inherently unstable because there’s always someone out there with a bit more to offer, the so-called bigger, better deal. You’re always vulnerable to somebody else coming along with better looks or higher status or more wealth, and it’s because so many people in the world are counting on looks, status or wealth to get a transactional relationship, without even knowing that that’s what they’re doing, that’s why so many guys are afraid of women’s hypergamy that they’ll trade up, because they’re actually not creating intimate relationships based on love. They’re in transactional pairings. [02:12.7]

So, let’s get to the core of the matter. How do you keep the passion alive? How do you ensure that your relationship doesn’t slip into monotony or complacency? First, it’s important to note that a healthy relationship has two key elements: passion, but also connection. Each of these two elements plays a unique role and they need to balance and complement each other.

The listener’s question is more about passion, but it’s important to keep in mind that passion is only half the equation of a lasting loving relationship. If you have all passion, but no connection, then you’ve just got a superficial, sexual, fling relationship, like a one-night stand. On the other hand, if you’ve got all connection, but no passion, then you’ve got a really good friendship. But the listener’s question was focusing on the missing element of passion, so we’re going to focus on that in this episode, but I just wanted to point out that connection is also really important for a lasting, loving relationship. [03:09.3]

Okay, so let’s look more deeply at passion. Passion is the fire in the relationship. It’s the element that keeps things exciting, unpredictable and deeply fulfilling on a physical and emotional level. To feel this passion, you need two things: polarity and presence. I call these the four P’s. “Passion = Polarity + Presence.” The fourth P is plus.

Let’s do a high-level overview of what we’re going to be covering in this entire episode. Polarity is about the dynamic interplay of masculine and feminine energies, regardless of gender. It’s the dance of opposites that creates the spark in a relationship, like the plus and minus for a battery. Now, this isn’t about playing a role or putting on a show. This is about authentic self-expression. [03:57.2]

Performative relationships are doomed from the start. They’re like performative self-esteem. They look good on the surface, but lack depth and authenticity. And self-improvement is fantastic, like the listener asked about hitting the gym, but self-improvement should be for you, not just like a tool to attract or retain a partner, because neediness is attraction’s kryptonite.

If you’re hitting the gym or climbing the career ladder solely to keep your partner interested in you, you’re inadvertently sending off through your body language, eye contact, vocal tonality, facial expressions, the decisions you make, your behavior, in so many ways you betray your mindset of neediness, sending a message of dependency and insecurity, and, of course, this is the opposite of being sexually attractive for a man.

If you’re worried about becoming boring, consider this: don’t need a boring life. Cultivate adventurousness in your life, spontaneity in your life, and cultivate your leadership qualities. But, remember, this isn’t about putting on a show for your partner. It’s about genuinely engaging in life in a way that fulfills you and, by extension, adds vibrancy to your relationship. [05:06.3]

Those are all examples of personal growth, and ideally, growth would be pursued for its own sake to meet your own need for growth, not in order to attract or keep your partner out of fear that she would leave you otherwise, which, of course, is fundamentally needy and would spoil and sabotage any efforts at pursuing personal growth in order to be more attractive.

Now let’s shift to the second element which is presence. Remember, “Passion = Polarity + Presence.” Again, this is just the high-level overview. I’m going to go into more detail on each of these elements later in the episode. Presence is about truly being there with your partner mentally and emotionally. It’s not just about being physically present. It’s about being fully engaged emotionally, mentally, in the moment with her. It’s about listening, understanding, and responding with empathy and authenticity. [05:58.4]

Remember, presence isn’t something to switch on just for a date night and then switch off. It’s a continuous practice of being attuned to your partner, her needs, her dreams, her fears, really caring about her and putting yourself in her shoes, seeing the world and life through her eyes, empathetically.

So, the short answer to the listener’s question is that the key to keeping your relationship alive and passionate isn’t just about maintaining your physical appearance or status. It’s about nurturing the polarity and presence that foster both passion and connection. It’s about building a relationship based on love, understanding and genuine interest in each other.

That was a general overview of the main points. Now let’s dive deeper into these points in more detail.

Okay, so zooming out again and back to the difference between passion and connection, while I’m focusing on this distinction between them, note that they also support each other. In a long-term relationship, the closer your connection, the easier it will be for her to open up, be vulnerable with you, trust you, and all of that helps when it comes to generating sexual passion. [07:09.8]

On the passion side of the equation, what happens very commonly, and this is one of the easiest things to address right away, is that when guys get into relationships, they stop trying. They stop doing the things that they were doing at the beginning of the relationship six months in, 12, 18 months in, and definitely three or more years in. They get into a sort of routine and a rut. They stopped thinking of new places to go and new adventures to experience, and new things to explore and do together.

So, it’s important that even as you go further into the relationship, you not only maintain the mystery and surprise in the relationship, but you search for new ways of enriching it, keeping the relationship dynamic and engaging. It doesn’t have to be expensive or grand romantic gestures. It can be small gestures just more frequently, sprinkled throughout the week and making this more of a habit so that it becomes just part of the way that you are, the small gestures, the spontaneous plans, cultivating more spontaneity and adventurousness in your own life in your own personality so that this sort of thing becomes natural and effortless for you. [08:17.7]

You should also grow your sense of playfulness as you mature and as the relationship matures, and this will take your relationship a long way and make it much easier for you to transition from connection to passion. If courting and wooing your partner in the early days was very difficult for you and took a lot of effort, whichever woman fell for you got sucked into a bait and switch.

If what you want is a sexy and exciting long-term relationship, you’ve got to get in the habit of being sexy and exciting, not just every once in a while or just on special occasions, because, otherwise, it’ll be a whole lot of work and you won’t be very good at it, just as if you want health and fitness for the long term for life, it has to become part of who you are. You have to embrace that as a lifestyle and as something that you enjoy, so it’s really important that you find a workout or physical activities that you enjoy, because the point is to keep doing this for life and that you’ll find intrinsic enjoyment in the physical activity, in the working out. [09:17.8]

If you’re working out so that you can stop working out at some point, once you get that six pack or look a certain way, then you should just give up now, because it’s not going to work and you’re just going to feel worse afterwards because you failed on yet another goal. What you need to do is to find a physical workout that you can see yourself enjoying for the long term.

In a dating relationship, here’s a good piece of advice, don’t do at the beginning what you’re not willing to do 10 years later, 20 years later or for life. Don’t just put on an act at the beginning and then feel surprised or gypped or cheated when the passion is no longer there and when her interest in new wanes. This was a bait and switch that you just gave her. [09:59.0]

Similarly, when you first met, if you were investing in yourself as a person, pursuing your interests, maintaining your health and nurturing your personal growth, and then you got together and thought, Okay, now I don’t need to improve myself anymore, unfortunately, it turns out you were doing it for all the wrong reasons. You were doing it to attract this woman, and now that you’ve got her, you’ve stopped doing it and you’ve got what you’ve deserved, when you pursue personal growth or self-improvement to impress someone else, rather than for its intrinsic enjoyment and value, to fulfill your own need for growth.

A relationship that’s rich in both passion and connection is like a well-tended garden. It requires ongoing care, attention and nurturing. It’s about celebrating each other’s individuality while also growing together. It’s an ongoing journey, one that can be incredibly rewarding when navigated thoughtfully and with care. So, remember that equation of the four P’s. [10:58.0]

By the way, I go into more depth on the four P’s of how “Passion = Polarity + Presence.” I go into more depth on the four P’s in my free master class on how to keep a relationship passionate, and you can find that on my website by opting in at and you’ll get access to the suite of master classes, one of which is how to make a relationship passionate, and I’ve got a few more free master classes on relationships, which will really help and will support you in growing the passion and connection in your relationship.

The first component of passion, polarity, is the concept that’s often represented by the yin/yang symbol, the interplay of masculine and feminine energies. In the context of a relationship, passion thrives when there’s a clear, dynamic and a kind of electric tension between these energies. When one partner embodies the masculine energy of assertiveness, strength and decisiveness, and the other partner embodies the feminine energy of emotion and nurturance and openness, it creates a magnetic attraction. [12:05.4]

This doesn’t mean that one person is always dominant or the other is always submissive. Instead, it’s like a dance between these energies where each person could fluidly express and respond to the other’s energy at any given time and it could change, like a continuum, more of one than the other and in each partner kind of mix of both energies, and to create that spark of attraction, there needs to be complementary energies and a balance between the masculine and feminine between the two partners.

Polarity is a big source of sexual attraction. It’s the idea that opposites attract, not just in terms of personality traits, but in the energy that they bring into the relationship. When the polarity is strong, it creates a powerful, almost electric connection between the partners. [12:49.1]

Carl Jung, one of the forefathers of psychology, Carl Jung’s perspective adds a lot of depth to this dynamic, this understanding of these concepts. He talks about the anima and the animus, the feminine and masculine aspects that are actually present within each of us. Jung believed that acknowledging and integrating these aspects leads to a more balanced and fulfilled life. In a relationship, this means recognizing and embracing these energies within ourselves and our partners, leading to a deeper understanding and a stronger bond.

How do you cultivate and maintain this polarity? It starts with self-awareness of where you fall on the masculine–feminine continuum, come to understand the energy that you naturally bring to a relationship and then be open to embracing the opposite energy. Often when we only know our side of the spectrum, as an example, a very rugged, masculine person, only understanding that stereotypical masculine ruggedness and toughness, and not understanding from the inside the opposite of that, which is actually the complementary aspect of it, which is a more open, warm, caring and vulnerable feminine energy. [14:04.2]

Often the attraction to the opposite complementary energy is there at the beginning. That is partly what accounts for that spark of attraction. But then later on in the relationship, six months in, 18 months in, as an example, the more masculine partner will try to make the feminine partner become more masculine, unknowingly, unconsciously, not even knowing that he’s doing it, not fully appreciating and understanding the value of the complementary opposite.

I have courses that go into much more depth on masculine energy and feminine energy. These are the courses Core and Rock Solid Relationships, and you can learn more about these courses at my website, and go to the top menu navigation and look for online courses and it’ll give you a list, a menu of our different courses. Look for Core and Rock Solid Relationships, and there I go into much more depth about how you can grow your masculine energy and grow your appreciation and understanding of feminine energy, and develop your own mastery of feminine energy in yourself, which is really important for connecting with feminine people in your life, whether that’s your wife, your daughter, or anyone else. It’s vital for a successful long-term relationship to encourage and appreciate the expression of the feminine or masculine energies in your partner. [15:19.8]

In the listener’s question, he mentioned some superficial qualities, like looks, and in the rest of the email, he also mentioned status and wealth. If you found your relationship on looks, status or wealth, this is an incredibly precarious footing for any relationship. Ask yourself, does she love you for who you truly are, or is her affection or love for you contingent on your external attributes that could easily fade?

Imagine a scenario where your looks fade, your wealth diminishes or your status wanes as you age. Would she still stand by you? What if you find yourself laid up in a hospital bed? Will she be there with you, holding your hand? Will she be by your side night after night? These are tough but necessary questions. They force us to confront the vulnerability and impermanence of basing a relationship on things outside of who we are. [16:13.6]

The truth is relationships built on such superficial factors are like houses built on sand. They lack the solidity and depth to withstand life’s inevitable challenges and changes. When the external allure fades, what’s left to hold the relationship together? And this brings us to the core principle of authentic healthy relationships that they must be rooted in genuine connection in unconditional love for each other’s true selves and our authentic parts, who we are at our core, not the outward, external superficiality of our looks or status or wealth. [16:52.4]

This is one of the main reasons it’s so important to decide ahead of time why you’re going into a dating relationship. Are you looking for a short-term hookup or is it more important to you to build the foundation for a long-term loving relationship? Because purely sexual relationships can absolutely be based on looks, wealth and status. I hope that’s obvious. The more that the relationship is transactional, the less secure it is in the long term.

When you build a relationship on the foundation of who you genuinely are at your core, your mind, your heart, your character, and if you know IFS therapy, your inner parts, you create something lasting. It’s a bond that goes beyond the superficial and accesses a deeper level of connection, and only this kind of healthy relationships can weather the storms of life, because it’s built not on what you do or what you have, but on who you are. [17:51.0]

The listener’s question also mentioned self-improvement and gave examples of going to the gym and getting a better body, so let’s move now to the topic of self-improvement. Self-improvement is undoubtedly beneficial, but its true value lies in the intention or motivation behind it. If your primary psychological motivation for self-improvement is to attract or keep your partner, you’re walking on a thin line. The real purpose of self-improvement should be personal growth and fulfillment, not as a tool for relationship leverage. When self-improvement becomes a strategy just to maintain a relationship, it masks an underlying core neediness.

Now, I’ve dedicated multiple episodes to exploring the question of why neediness in a man is the most unattractive trait, so I recommend that you dig through the archive to find those. I’m just going to mention here that neediness is not just unattractive. It fundamentally undermines the authenticity of your own actions. [18:49.8]

When you do things out of a need to be liked or accepted, it shows. This neediness seeps through in subtle ways, your body language, your choice of words, the tone of your voice, your facial expressions. It’s like a silent alarm that signals insecurity and dependency, and like, I can’t be trusted when times get tough, and it’s easily picked up by emotionally-mature women who have had to develop a way to quickly detect whether a man is a reliable and secure life partner or is just full of B.S., doing and saying things just to be liked.

On top of the fact that neediness just doesn’t work when it comes to attraction, living in a state of neediness is deeply uncomfortable, in fact, painful and a horrible way to go through life. It places your sense of worth and happiness in someone else’s hands. It makes your wellbeing dependent on their perceptions and actions, which is a terribly precarious place to be. When you engage in and commit to personal growth for the right reasons, you naturally become more self-confident, more self-assured, and communicating to yourself that you’re worth it for this investment. [20:00.0]

This is inherently attractive, of course, and fosters a healthier dynamic in your relationships. But it’s also about finding fulfillment in your journey of growth, independent of external validation or how others treat you. The right motivation for your own personal growth is to do it for you, not because you think it’ll make you attract and keep your girlfriend or wife. 

I’ve covered this in other episodes, but remember, the strongest relationships are those in which both partners are complete individuals in their own right, are completing themselves as separate individuals. They’re able to meet their own needs themselves, and when they come together, they complement each other and can become secondary caregivers for each other’s needs and for each other’s inner parts, but they themselves are their own primary caregivers for their own parts and needs. They are secondary support for each other, rather than depending on each other to fill their voids. [20:58.4]

No matter their physical strength, for many men, emotions are too much for them to handle. It’s why they can’t give women the deeper levels of emotional intimacy and connection that they crave. It’s why they fail to be the man that modern women desire most: a man with inner strength, a man who has mastered his emotions.

Find out how to master your emotions through David Tian’s “Emotional Mastery” program. The Emotional Mastery program is a step-by-step system that integrates the best of empirically-verified psychotherapy methods and reveals how to master your internal state and develop the inner strength that makes you naturally attractive, happy, and fulfilled.

Learn more about this transformational program by going to

That’s D-A-V-I-D-T-I-A-N-P-H-D [dot] com [slash] emotional mastery.

Okay, so at the end of the question, the listener addressed a common worry, the fear of becoming boring in relationship and the fear of having a sexless relationship. [22:03.0]

Okay, let’s first address the fear of your relationship becoming boring. The antidote to this isn’t complex. Simply put, don’t lead a boring life. Engage in activities that excite you, that challenge you, and that add variety to your life. This isn’t just about becoming adventurous or being spontaneous for the sake of your relationship, but for your own personal fulfillment and enjoyment. If your life is lacking adventure and spontaneity, that itself is bad enough. That’s the problem already before we even get to the fact that it makes you less attractive.

Now, being adventurous means different things to different people and it’s important for you to figure out what it is that you enjoy, what you consider fun or exciting or adventurous, and making sure that you’re filling your life with those types of activities already so that you’re not engaging in a bait and switch with the woman. However you want to be 10 years, 20 years into the relationship, be that way at the beginning and that will really help you select out for the best partner for you. [23:10.0]

Don’t pretend to be all into fine wines and haute cuisine on your first date when that’s all a lie and you have no intentions of deepening your knowledge or experience with wine or fine food. If video games are your passion, for example, be loud and proud with that on your first date, or at least, within the first say three hours of talking with her.

I, personally, am a huge jazz fan and anyone who I would share my life with had better be into jazz, or, at least, interested in it, and it’s not hard to put your musical tastes out there on the first date. You can even just find a place or a venue that has good jazz playing in the background, or play it in the car when you pick her up, for example.

I’ve found that most guys who struggle with women, one of the commonalities is that they don’t have much going on in their lives and they spend hours a day and sometimes entire weekends just numbing themselves out through video games that they’re not even that great at or even all that passionate about, or just endlessly watching YouTube videos or mindlessly watching Netflix series. [24:12.7]

None of these activities that they’ve been engaging in in their comfort zone, just to pass the time because they’re too tired or exhausted mentally and emotionally from their day job or just from dealing with the repression from decades of living with repression, there’s very little adventure in their lives anymore.

If that’s you, just recognize that there are very few people that would be excited to become a part of that life where all you’re doing is mindlessly numbing yourself with meaningless activities. You can actually cultivate being adventurous as a personality trait. If you’re not adventurous now, by doing adventurous things, you will develop a sense of adventurousness. It does take courage. It takes bravery. You’ve got to step outside your comfort zone. [24:56.6]

You could start off small by trying out a new sport or try traveling to an unknown destination that sort of appeals to you, or learning a new skill like music or art, or even exploring new ideas. What matters is that these activities resonate with you at some level and eventually bring you joy. They should reflect your passions and your interests, and not just be a performance to get or keep your partner interested.

Okay, and then spontaneity is another key element. Spontaneity is about being open to new experiences, being flexible, and being willing to step out of your comfort zone. Cultivating this trait of spontaneity keeps your life exciting and unpredictable, and when you’re spontaneous, you bring an energy to your relationships that’s infectious and invigorating, and an energy to your life that’s much more exciting than one without spontaneity. [25:50.4]

It’s important to reiterate that these qualities should come from a genuine place. Doing adventurous things, being spontaneous, or taking responsibility or leadership, solely to keep your partner attracted, is a form of neediness. Instead, do these things because they align with who you are and what you want from life.

When you live authentically, it naturally makes you more interesting and attractive, not just to your partner, but to everyone around you. But don’t do it for that reason. Do it for its intrinsic value, because it makes your experience of life that much better, that much more rewarding. So, take a moment now to reflect on what makes your life exciting and fulfilling, and what could make your life more exciting and fulfilling if you tried it, and commit to embracing these things wholeheartedly.

Now, the other worry that the listener mentioned was a sexless relationship. Now, there are lots of skills that you can learn and hone in to increase your ability to turn a woman on, including eye contact to sexual tonality, being good at and comfortable with dirty talk and being dominant in bed, getting good at activating a woman’s fantasies and so on. But none of those will be very effective if your sexual shame is blocking you. Your sexual shame will sabotage your attempts eventually at being sexual. [27:14.6]

Most people suffer from some level of sexual shame and most men suffer from a lot of sexual shame, and when those men who are burdened by an unseen, unconscious sexual shame, get into a relationship, eventually, sex becomes something that they set off from their actual relationship, so that in their day-to-day relationship, they just go about their daily routines, and then at some specified hour, they block off, I don’t know, half an hour or so to have sex.

Then they get really frustrated when their partner doesn’t want to engage in the act of having sex, and then the guy gets really frustrated about it because he’s powerless, and that’s because he actually doesn’t know how to turn her on and doesn’t recognize that foreplay begins when the moment you wake up that day. At a deeper level, foreplay is everything that’s happened in your relationship up to that point. [28:05.2]

Now, if this interests you, you will love the module that I’ve got in my course Rock Solid Relationships. It’s an entire four-hour module on sexual attraction and sexual arousal within a relationship, so if you want more detail on that, and then there’s an accompanying module on how to raise your sexual energy as a man, and those step-by-step detailed modules are in the course, Rock Solid Relationships.

But none of that is really implementable as long as sexual shame is blocking the effectiveness of them, so if you want to be able to control the passion in your long-term relationship, you’ve got to address your own sexual shame. Sexual shame is such a significant barrier to expressing and experiencing genuine sexual attraction and passion that nothing else can overcome it if it’s there. It’s the kryptonite of sexual passion in a relationship. [28:56.2]

Sexual shame often stems from societal messages, past experiences, personal insecurities, your upbringing, especially if it includes any kind of conservative religious dogma that can lead to feelings of guilt or inadequacy around your sexuality.

To be able to reignite the sparks of sexual attraction and passion, it’s essential to confront and work through these feelings of sexual shame. This involves a process of self-exploration and self-acceptance, recognizing that your sexuality is a natural and healthy part of who you are, of your identity. It’s about understanding your desires, your boundaries and what brings you pleasure, free from judgment or guilt.

When you start to heal from sexual shame, you open yourself up to a more authentic expression of your sexual self. This authenticity is incredibly attractive and breathes new life into your relationship. It allows you to connect with your partner on a deeper, more intimate level, bringing a renewed sense of passion and excitement. [29:57.2]

Of course, working through sexual shame is not an overnight process. It requires patience, self-compassion, and often, the support of an experienced therapist or coach, but the journey is worth it. As you become more comfortable and confident in your sexual identity, you’ll find that the sexual dimension of your relationship becomes more vibrant and fulfilling. I’ve devoted multiple episodes of this podcast to addressing sexual shame and men, so I recommend you dig into those for more detail.

Now, I realize that all of this so far might seem kind of deep and serious and heavy, so let’s explore another key ingredient to reigniting the sexual spark in a relationship and this is incorporating or reincorporating more lighthearted humor and playfulness. When you’re in damage control already troubleshooting a troubled relationship, or a sexless or boring relationship, I know it can be quite frustrating, and with that frustration, goes away the humor and playfulness. It’s important to lighten up and sprinkle that back in there because that is an essential, necessary part of a sexually passionate long-term relationship. [31:07.0]

It’s easy to get caught up in the seriousness of life, too, but bringing a sense of playfulness into your relationship can create a more relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere that’s conducive to intimacy. Humor and playfulness lighten the mood and break down barriers that remind us not to take ourselves too seriously, which is especially important in intimate relationships.

When you share a laugh or a playful moment, it builds a deeper connection and sets the stage for a more fulfilling sexual relationship. I especially recommend that you incorporate sexy compliments and playful teasing throughout the day. It’s a great way to keep the flames of desire burning, even when you’re dealing with the mundane busyness of the day to day.

It’s not just about the moments leading up to intimacy, but it’s also about creating a continuous thread of seduction and fun. These small flirtatious interactions are like kindling that keep the warmth and excitement alive, making it easier for passion to ignite when the time is right. [32:06.5]

This approach helps build anticipation and a sense of adventure in your sexual relationship. It makes both of you feel desired and attractive, and it fosters a sexually-charged environment, especially at home. Remember, sexuality in a long-term relationship thrives on a foundation of mutual attraction and connection, and the ability to enjoy each other’s company, and to keep that going in the long term, it has got to be lighthearted and playful. Otherwise, it’s just too heavy.

So, embrace humor and playfulness as vital tools in modulating the sexual tension in your relationship, and this will help keep your relationship vibrant and sexually charged, leading all the way up to the sexual act. It’s not just like, “Well, it’s Friday night, it’s time to have sex,” which is incredibly jarring, and maybe for the guy, he’s been building it up in his mind, but it hasn’t been building in her mind. [32:56.1]

It’s important to note, and I go into this in a lot more detail in my course, Rock Solid Relationships, that the brain is the biggest and most important sexual organ. In fact, with the brain itself, without even stimulating the genitals, you can think yourself into arousal, and conversely, if you’re unconscious, but someone tries to stimulate your sexual genitals, it’s just not happening.

I put all of that so far in the category of polarity. Remember, “Passion = Polarity + Presence.” Let’s look more deeply at presence here. It’s crucial to understand that presence is referring to much more than just being physically near your partner.

True presence involves being completely there with your partner, both mentally and emotionally. It’s about engaging fully in the moment with her, listening intently, understanding her perspective, responding with genuine empathy and authenticity, feeling what she’s feeling. Presence is not only a required element of passion, it’s also the foundation of deep connection, and this is one of the most important ways in which passion and connection are connected. [34:04.3]

When you’re truly present with your partner, she feels seen, heard, appreciated and understood, and this level of attentiveness and understanding is incredibly seductive and can significantly amplify the emotional and sexual chemistry in a relationship. It’s not just about hearing the words she says, but more importantly, about tuning into the emotions and intentions behind them.

Consider the concept of emotional contagion and one pathway in which it works is through the mechanism of mirror neurons. Emotional contagion requires a high degree of presence. Emotional contagion is the scientific phenomenon where we unconsciously pick up and reflect the emotions of those around us. In the context of a romantic relationship, this means that your emotional state, including your sexual arousal, can influence and be mirrored by your partner. Your presence therefore becomes a powerful tool in creating a shared emotional experience. [35:02.7]

This contagion doesn’t have to be manipulative. It’s a natural human process that occurs when two people are closely attuned to each other. When you’re present with your partner, you create a space where emotions flow freely and naturally between the two of you. This emotional exchange creates a powerful bond and increases the level of intimacy and passion in your relationship.

Moreover, presence allows you to become more attuned to your partner’s needs and desires. When you truly understand her, you can respond in ways that are deeply meaningful and satisfying for both of you, and this deeper understanding transforms the way that you interact, not just on an emotional level, but also in your physical relationship.

In practice, being present might mean putting aside distractions when you’re with your partner, actively listening to her without planning your next response, being fully aware of her body language and the nuances in her voice, and imaginatively seeing and feeling things from her perspective, from her point of view. It involves opening yourself up to truly experience each moment with her, letting go of past worries or future anxieties. [36:11.1]

Remember, presence is not a skill that you master overnight. It requires ongoing effort and mindfulness. It’s about learning to quiet your mind and focus your attention on the here and now, especially when you’re with your partner, and this might involve practicing mindfulness techniques or simply making a conscious effort to stay engaged in each interaction with her and getting more experience and practice with that.

I go into more depth and show a demonstration of presence in a relationship, especially in a challenging interaction with your partner, in my course, Rock Solid Relationships, and in my program, Emotional Mastery, presence is the first set of skills that we devote the first few months to training step by step in you so that you can become a master of presence. By cultivating presence in your relationship, you create an environment where love, passion and intimacy flourish. You build a relationship where both partners feel valued, understood, and connected on a deep level. [37:10.7]

Let’s recap what we’ve covered so far.

We started by challenging the myth that relying on external attributes, like looks, status or wealth, would be the key to a lasting relationship. We explored how true connection and passion in a relationship are built on much deeper foundations, such as polarity, presence, and, of course, overcoming your own personal insecurities.

In case it’s not clear, because I’ve given a lot of practical how-tos at various points throughout this episode, I want to reiterate them here. The number one thing you can do to get good at reigniting the spark in your relationship is to deal with your neediness head on, which has to do with your core insecurities, and the best way that I’ve found to do this is the seven-step therapeutic process that I’ve devoted other episodes to covering in more detail. [38:00.4]

If you haven’t made significant progress in addressing your core neediness, it’ll be very difficult for you to stay present in challenging circumstances with your partner. In fact, the deeper your emotional and psychological intimacy is between you, the more obvious your core insecurities will become.

In terms of the 80/20 Pareto Principle, addressing your neediness accounts for the 80–90% of whether you’re going to be able to reignite that spark in your relationship. The biggest obstacle to being fully present with your partner in challenging circumstances, like when she’s triggered or angry at you, is how far you’ve gone in addressing your own core insecurities and how good you are at meeting your own emotional needs.

Again, the seven-step therapeutic process has been the focus of a big chunk of this podcast, so please refer to some of those past episodes on the therapeutic process. As part of the therapeutic process, if you do it right, you will be addressing your sexual shame, so that will also get taken care of. That’s included in this therapeutic process for addressing your core insecurities and neediness. [39:05.8]

The other 10–20% of whether you’re attractive in a relationship, I’d put in the polarity side of the equation, though if you have any insecurities, and most guys do, about your masculinity, that will also need to be addressed in the therapeutic process. But under polarity, I’d put the more obvious things like fashion and fitness.

I hope it’s not controversial to point out that if you haven’t showered in a week and then you have boogers coming out of your nose, and you just farted and the fart still in the air, you’re not going to be your most attractive self, and in a similar way, getting your fashion makeover from a professional often can really, really help. I think for most guys, they just intuitively understand that getting into shape will help you be more attractive, too.

I also want to point out how important your lifestyle overall is, and I addressed this in the points about adventurousness and spontaneity, but you can think about it in terms of an even bigger category which is lifestyle. It’s so important that I’ve got an entire course called Lifestyle Mastery. So, how fulfilling is your lifestyle for you already? How much fun adventure and spontaneity are you already experiencing as part of your lifestyle? [40:13.2]

Then, of course, there are the attractive personality traits and I’ve devoted an entire podcast episode on what women find attractive and I’ve listed out over 20 personality traits that women find attractive in men, and the more of those you cultivate in yourself, the more attractive you’ll be. Just to rattle these off right now so you get an idea of what this list is like, the more of these that you have and the more of them that you have, the more attractive you’ll be.

It’s important to remind you that it’s most important that you actually have these as real traits and are not just pretending to have them as a kind of false self, so it’s important to engage in character development. You can actually develop and grow these personality traits in yourself. [40:57.0]

Okay, so I’m going to rattle some of these off: confident, charismatic, witty, self-controlled, funny, good with people, being indifferent to arbitrary social norms—and I would add, being able to tell the difference between arbitrary social norms and social norms that are rooted in some principles that you agree with and know why you agree with them—being healthy, being wealthy, being powerful, being intelligent, creative, ambitious, a leader, having fashion sense, being well-groomed, being perceptive, having good tonality, being dominant, and being comfortable with being dominant, being socially savvy, being strong, being emotionally steadfast, being cultured, being classy, having survival instincts, having quick reflexes, valuing yourself, being hard working. Some of these traits are more important than others, but all of them, if you have them, will increase your attractiveness to most women. [41:49.0]

Again, I’ve devoted multiple entire episodes to examining what women find attractive in men and how you can become more attractive, so of course, this also applies in a relationship. But in a relationship, it’s more important to point out, in my opinion, the sustainability, because if you’re just faking having these personality traits and you don’t really have those as part of your character and you haven’t developed them in yourself, then sooner or later, she’ll figure it out, and then you’re doomed. Those are the guys that put their best foot forward on the first few dates and then they think that they can just relax, and then they expect the sex to just come to them.

Note that part of what makes a man attractive sexually to a woman includes getting your life together, right? It includes career and whether you’ve got your money together, and so many guys grumble at the fact that women find that attractive in a man. Hopefully, you understand and, hopefully, it’s obvious that in a capitalist system, your career success and the amount of wealth that you’ve created is a reflection of certain personality traits, like intelligence, hardworking, being ambitious. Some of that is genetic and, of course, from an evolutionary standpoint, the female will be already hardwired to look for good genes to mate with, just as men are hardwired to look for women who have good genes, too, and we get turned on by women who have health markers. Hopefully, that’s not too controversial to point out. [43:09.8]

In a long term relationship, the most important thing is sustainability of all of this self-improvement, whether it’s in your career or in fitness, like the listener asked about getting in shape and going to the gym, and it seems to imply that he’s not currently going to the gym or getting into shape and he would do it just because he would get his woman hot for him. That’s part of the problem.

That speaks to the sustainability thing. It’s not coming out of your character. It’s not growth for you for your own sake, to meet your own need for growth, but instead, it’s coming from a place of neediness where you’re doing it mostly for her, and to get a response and external validation from her. Once you’re in that space of shaping who you are just to get her to like you or to keep her attention, now you’re in a really dangerous place, because it won’t work in the long term and you’ll become bitter and resentful because of how much time and effort you devoted and sunk into a losing cause. [44:05.4]

Most men don’t even know about the non-superficial qualities in maintaining a relationship. They don’t understand the importance or power of presence, for instance, or of addressing your neediness, and they mostly focus on the superficial qualities of looks, status and wealth, because that’s what gets the most attention in the early stages of the dating relationship. But optimizing for casual hookups, casual dating, short-term hookups is and should be very different from optimizing for dating with a view to a long-term relationship, and I’ve devoted many episodes to pointing out why that’s so and how to navigate that.

If your long-term relationship is anchored in these more transient aspects, like looks, status or wealth, it becomes vulnerable to the inevitable challenges and changes that life brings. As time passes, looks fade. Financial circumstances can shift. Societal status can fluctuate. You just get older, too, and basing your relationship on these factors can lead to a perpetual sense of insecurity as there will always be the danger of someone else outdoing you in these areas, the bigger better deal. [45:10.6]

This nagging feeling that actually is rooted in the core insecurities, this nagging feeling that you’re not enough just for who you are, but that you have to keep your looks going even as you get older and you have to keep making more money, and you have to keep climbing the status ladder just in order to keep the same woman, the same relationship going, this is hell. This insecurity, these core insecurities, when they’re not addressed in you, erode the very foundation of any intimate relationship and it leads to a constant fear that you might lose your partner, and it leads to an inability to actually form or attract even a genuine, deep, intimate connection.

Now, imagine a future where you’ve implemented what I’ve covered in this episode. In this future, you’ve cultivated true presence in your relationship. You’re fully engaged with your partner emotionally and mentally. You’ve built a relationship on the solid ground of mutual understanding, unconditional love and authentic connection. You’ve attracted into your life and to have selected a partner who values you for you, not for what you can do or the money that you bring, or just how you look. [46:14.8]

Your partner also feels deeply seen and understood by you, which fosters an even more profound emotional and physical intimacy. In this future, you’ve also embraced your authentic self, letting go of the neediness that arises from seeking validation through superficial achievements and also letting go of those core insecurities, almost all of which go way back to your childhood.

You pursue self-improvement for your own fulfillment, to meet your own needs for growth, not as a means to attract and keep a partner, and this self-assuredness and authenticity, make you, as a side effect, inherently more attractive and help maintain any vibrant or passionate, intimate relationship you get into. [46:55.8]

Moreover, you’ve injected lighthearted humor and playfulness into your relationship, ensuring that it remains exciting and enjoyable. You’ve addressed your personal issues, like sexual shame, allowing you to fully express and enjoy your sexuality. You’ve found the balance between connection and passion, ensuring that your relationship is neither just a comfortable friendship nor a fleeting fling.

In this future, your relationship is not only enduring, but also deeply satisfying. You and your partner share a bond that’s resilient, able to withstand the test of time and change, because it’s rooted in who you truly are. You enjoy a relationship filled with love, laughter, adventure, and passion that burns brightly.

Remember, getting to this point is a lifelong journey. It requires effort, self-reflection, and a willingness to grow. But, of course, the rewards are immeasurable and last a lifetime. You not only have a fulfilling relationship, but also more importantly, in my opinion, a profound sense of personal happiness, and fulfillment and growth. [47:55.2]

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Masculine Psychology podcast. I hope you’re able to implement some of these insights and watch as your relationship transforms into something truly extraordinary.

If you liked this episode, please hit a like on whatever platform you’re listening to this on. Give us a five-star rating. Subscribe or follow, and please give me feedback. Let me know what you thought of it. I love to get your comments and messages. Thank you so much. By the way, this episode was a response to a listener question, so please send me your messages and comments. I love to get them and they’re my fuel to keep going.

Thanks so much for listening, and if this has helped you in any way, please share it with anyone else that you think would benefit from it. I look forward to welcoming you to the next episode. Until then David Tian, signing out.

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