Feeling attractive can empower you in romantic relationships because it has a direct impact on your confidence level. And, according to relationship expert and Viviscal Spokesperson Dr. Laura Berman, confidence is the key to a successful relationship.
“If you don’t feel worthy of love or you decide your partner doesn’t really love you or your partner isn’t really attracted to you, that diffuses through to all aspects of your interactions and the same is true in reverse,” Dr. Berman tells HuffPost Canada.
In fact, a lack of self-confidence or self-esteem while in a relationship can lead to “jealousies, accusations, insecurities, miscommunications, misunderstandings, shutting down sexually [and] a tit-for-tat mentality,” she says.
So what can you do to make your partner (and yourself) feel more attractive? Here, Dr. Berman reveals six ways:
1. Show appreciation.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but the simple act of showing appreciation for your partner goes a long way in making them feel attractive. After all, everyone wants to be noticed, whether they’re in a relationship or not.
“[Start] pointing out things about your partner openly and verbally that you may notice,” Berman says. “You’re always cooking dinner, somebody else always does the dishes. Start pointing those things out and expressing appreciation, both for the things they’re doing, for the person they are and for the way they look.”
This tactic is especially important for building a woman’s confidence in a long-term relationship since, for them, feeling attractive is “less about feeling seductive and sexy — although that’s important — [and] more about feeling fascinating and delightful,” says Berman.
2. Make time for cuddles.
“Commit to 15 minutes [a day], three times a week where you’re kissing and cuddling,” Berman advises. “No technology other than music, and it cannot be a preamble to sex.”
Spending just 15 to 20 minutes of quality time with your partner each day can instantly improve your feelings of self-worth because it reconnects you with your partner, emotionally and physically.
“When you have the opportunity to kiss and cuddle and talk about things other than the logistics of your lives, you have each other’s undivided attention and can get into the sensual connection as well as the emotional connection, that really fuels worth and desire,” Berman explains.
3. Find evidence for how your partner loves you.
“If you adopt the story that your partner is selfish or doesn’t love you or doesn’t appreciate you, you are going to find evidence for that everywhere,” Berman says. “So do little games with yourself where you’re going to find evidence today for how my partner does love me, or how my partner does value me. Big and small.”
Not only will this positive thinking help build your confidence in your relationship (and your self-esteem), but if you start pointing these things out to your partner, the show of appreciation will help build theirs as well.
4. Schedule time for sex.
“It’s something people often want to resist at first because, you know, it’s supposed to happen spontaneously, but once you’re in a long-term relationship, especially if you have busy lives and/or kids, if you wait for it to happen spontaneously, you’re waiting a long time,” Dr. Berman explains.
Scheduling time for sex actually has its benefits. The anticipation alone not only makes you and your partner feel more attractive and desired, but also allows couples to be extra fun with their flirtations leading up to the scheduled day.
Additionally, scheduling sex frees up other days and can help maintain a happy balance for couples who might not be on the same page with their sex drives.
According to Berman, those with a low desire might avoid kissing and cuddling their partner for fear of leading them on or having to reject them. This can then lead to a disconnect. Thus, planning specific days for sex can really empower those with low sex drives and make them feel more confident in themselves and their relationship.
5. Exercise in the great outdoors.
“Just exercising one time can boost your body image,” Berman says, “but there are more recent studies that show that exercising outside in a beautiful setting will actually boost self-esteem.”
According to a 2010 study by University of Essex, as little as five minutes of exercise in the great outdoors can improve a person’s sense of self-worth.
“When you can experience yourself in relation to the universe and feel that connection which we often do in nature, you can’t help but feel good about yourself,” Berman explains. “When you know how tapped into that you really are and how powerful each of us really is and how connected to the Earth and the universe that we really are, when you’re in that majesty of sorts, it’s really hard to be down on yourself.”
6. Take 30 seconds a day to have a heart-to-heart hug.
“My husband and I do that every morning and I imagine sending love into his heart, back and forth. I’m imagining recommitting to him and being in choice every day to be in a relationship with him,” Berman says. “When your partner feels like you are actively choosing to be with them and you want to be with them, they feel more confident.”
While these simple methods can help make your partner feel more attractive, Dr. Berman warns that “there’s only so much we can do to build [our partner’s] confidence.” We also have a duty to ourselves to find our own “core sense of being worthy of love,” she says.
For tips on how to move towards self-acceptance, click here.