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Portrait of a romantic happy African American couple having funYou have an amazing guy in your life, so understandably, your urge may be to stay within your comfort zone and not risk doing anything that might screw things up. After all, why chance it by purposely spending time away from him or bringing up notoriously guy-chilling coupledom issues? But while it might be nerve-racking, in order to evolve and build a sturdier connection, you really have to venture out a little. “Making certain bold calls keeps your relationship moving and allows you both to reveal your true colors,” says relationship therapist Jennifer Oikle, PhD, founder of MySoulmate.com. “When you are willing to do that, you forge a stronger, tighter bond, and you keep things interesting.” Here are the five dares you need to take. They will pay off — we promise you.

1.) DO YOUR OWN THING…AND DON’T INVITE HIM: “If you’re always together, you won’t have much to talk about,” says relationship therapist Jennifer Oikle, PhD. “There is an actual psychological theory called habituation, which states that when people are together almost every day and get used to that person, their presence no longer elicits a feel-good response.” Beyond that, it’s a fact that a guy is way more attracted to a girl who has her own things going on. “When a man feels like he’s the only thing a woman has in her life, it puts a lot of pressure on him, and he may freak out and distance himself,” says psychotherapist John Amodeo, PhD.

2.) SERIOUSLY CUT BACK ON YOUR CALLS TO HIM: “Checking in frequently with your female friends brings you closer, but it can drive a guy away,” says psychotherapist Patricia Covalt, PhD. Men use the phone only when they need to get or give information. If you’re calling to start a conversation about the minutia of your life, he may jump to the conclusion that you’re being needy. It’s just a difference in nature. Try this and you’ll see how well it works: When his phone is not ringing with updates from you, it makes him wonder what you’re doing. Then, when he calls you to check in, he’s more excited and invested in the conversation, and his bond to you tightens.

love_13.) DISAGREE WITH HIS OPINIONS: Obviously, don’t tactically voice your opposition to every little statement he makes. But stating it when you don’t see eye-to-eye on something like politics or moral issues makes for a healthier relationship. You might think that not being on the same page means your union isn’t solid but the opposite is true: Not holding back on what you believe lets him know you aren’t a yes-girl, and it makes you more intriguing. “Men connect through verbal bantering and are attracted to women who challenge them,” says Oikle. “They respect a girl more if she can keep pace and get his competitive side riled up.” Just don’t make him feel stupid when you disagree (”Only an idiot would say that!”).

4.) Confront Him with Relationship Issues: The phrase We have to talk is a notorious guy-freaking catalyst. So sometimes a chick will figure it’s good relationship glue to avoid telling a dude when something he’s done has hurt or confused her. You don’t want to rock the boat when things are going well, and also, who wants to risk being branded a nag by nitpicking about couple of issues? But in contradiction, keeping quiet doesn’t work in the long run, says Covalt. Eventually, you’ll build resentment, those tiny love problems will balloon into bigger ones, and you’re liable to have a huge blowout that totally wigs him out because it will come as a surprise. The trick is to bring up issues fairly and honestly. Make it about you and how, specifically, he could really help you out by addressing the problem, says Cox. For example, if it’s bugging you that he never plans dates, sit him down and say in a calm voice, “I have been exhausted lately and could use some help planning what we’re going to do this coming weekend. Can you take over and figure it out?” “Guys need clarity, and they want to make their girlfriends happy, but they just aren’t always sure how to go about doing that,” says Amodeo. “So if you let him know exactly what he’s not doing and how he can fix it, he’s very likely to jump at the chance.”

5.) love-4Show Your Love: Contemporary love logic has it that no matter how thrilled by a guy you are, it’s better to play down your emotions and hide that buzz because if things don’t work out, you won’t feel so foolish. Some modern women have curtailed opening up as much as they normally would for fear of rejection or just looking dumb if things don’t pan out, says Covalt. But hiding that side of you can backfire, because guys, like women, actually feel pumped up when their partner fawns over them a bit. Plus, if you hide how you feel, he is going to think you’re indifferent and may look for someone who is clearly into him. How you reveal your lovestruck, mushy side is important. He’s dying to hear words that make him feel special, but go a little too far, and it’ll make him panic. One idea: When you’re out together, say “I always have so much fun with you”…but there’s no need to follow up the date with four texts that reaffirm how much you liked being with him. “Keep everything in the moment so it feels light and breezy,” says Cox. “When you’re with him and feeling something, let him know.” Your excitement for him will bolster his emotions for you, bringing your union to a higher, happier place.

Sources: Bethany Heitman of Cosmopolitan Magazine and Hello Beautiful

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