For women:

Give the following to your man. And if you’re wondering why you should trust me, please know I’m happily married, a relationship adviser, and a guy who knows how to walk the tightrope without a net between the masculine and the feminine. My wife will tell you I exude masculinity despite being outnumbered in a sea of estrogen by her, our two daughters, and a mother-in-law who lives just around the corner. What I’m trying to say is I’m the guy the moms will talk to at school when things at home get a little sticky and the guy your guy will trust and know that I have his back. No need to drag him to therapy right now to talk about things he can’t quite articulate.

The following process will meet most men’s top three requirements for considering just about anything.

  1. Time: It’s only about seven minutes.
  2. Money: The process is free!
  3. Talking: Just enough but not too much where he’s ready to check out. A heads up for you – Please know that although I am writing to him on your behalf, this process doesn’t work without your participation. You have each played a role in getting to this place where your intimacy levels are on life-support. I’m hopeful you’ll read and embrace this process as a team.

For men.

It’s me – a member of your tribe. I’m not the pound-the-chest, old-school, hard-core, me-Tarzan-you-Jane contingency. Trust me. I had my day. Did my time. Had my fun and also watched it ultimately kick me in the ass. I’m now a Relationship Adviser and part of a new wave of coupledom that I call emPOWERed COUPLE. My company coffee mug spells out my motto – I have a penis but I’m not a dick about it. I was brought in because, hey, just look around the planet at all of our relationships. A lot of times they can suck. Just ask your significant other.

Seriously, as men:

If we’re not focused on growing up, we just seem to be unconsciously blowing it up.
@MitchNewmanTRA (Click to Tweet!)

And honestly, before we can play our part and be more effective in redirecting the planet, we need a plan. One that starts in our own homes with someone that could use a little more of you from you. The person you now sleep so far apart from you’re in a different zip code.

So, here are seven killer things you can do when you both hit the sheets that just may keep you in the loving verses the lawyering up.

1. Get in bed at the same time. Yes, I know you taped Game of Thrones. And yes, there’s nothing like a good sword fight and seeing a man’s head rolling down the street like a soccer ball before you call it a night, but this is your relationship. You don’t want this to be your head! This process doesn’t work without both of you and yes I let her know that a few paragraphs ago too. Now, this may not be an every night opportunity for either one of you, but try and make it a habit of crawling in together at least two to three nights a week. It’s too easy to let the week get away from you; your points of connection are pure gold if your relationship is to move beyond simply existing.

2. Develop a serious case of resentment amnesia. It’s a well known fact that the fastest way to get over sh*t is if you never realized it happened in the first place. Yes, you both have disappointments about yourselves and each other, but there’s a lot to be said for growing the f*ck up and choosing happiness over a ridiculous need to be right. Chances are most of those disappointments are rooted deep in your childhood, passed on to you like a bad cold. So in essence, you’re now in bed not only with your partner, but most likely her mom, your mom and other family members, and that’s just way too creepy. Let your relatives and their silly stories sleep on the couch. Bottom line – get into bed ready to connect in the present moment without any past upsets joining you.

3. No electronic devices and – NO – your cell phone on vibrate doesn’t count. The only person who needs to reach you at this hour wearing your raggedy old college t-shirt is the person in bed next to you. (Exception made if you have teens out and about or if you have a baby monitor pulsing in your ear.) Your 500 plus Facebook friends, most of whom you barely know, will not find their lives vastly improved if you’re posting you just brushed your teeth and are getting ready for bed, or even worse — if you’re watching videos of cute bizarre animal relationships while yours is on the verge of being eaten by lawyers.

4. Touch each other. Spoon, fork, cuddle, high-five, well maybe not high-five, press skin on skin and resist the temptation to be sexual or think this will lead to sex. This is about connection and stimulating the body and mind in ways that don’t always include a traditional happy ending. And guys, don’t pretend you have an itch and start scratching yourself as a way to get attention. Trust me. Only you and the dog are paying attention.

5. Lock eyes. No, this is not a staring contest. Blinking is allowed. Looking away from your partner’s eyes is not. This is about the two of you finding each other and blocking out anything else besides the reasons you came together and your choice to stay together. Please don’t say a word. You may chuckle or even laugh uncontrollably for a moment, but resist the temptation to crack a joke. That’s just your ego trying to get out of the assignment. If you find yourself starting to tear up a little, don’t bullshit her that you were holding in a yawn. You’re experiencing emotion. In relationship jargon we call it vulnerability, a.k.a., intimacy! Think of it as a momentary exposure to your feminine energy without having to endure a monthly cycle. It’s good for both of you, and trust me, you just cut the odds of her throwing you under the bus to her girlfriends over a few glasses of wine by a good ninety percent.

6. Prize/acknowledge each other. Yeah. This is the talking part. I know. Hang in there. This is HUGE. This is the chance for each of you to share something nice about each other. It may be a quality you love, an experience that you share that brings you great joy. Some examples might be – The thing I most like/love about you is…, or – The thing I most like about me/us when we’re together is… Just make sure it’s your heart that’s doing the talking. From that place — anything you say will be great. And once again, you just cut the odds of her throwing you under the bus to her girlfriends over a few glasses of wine to basically zero.

7. Sleep time. Or not. It’s time for bed or perhaps something a little more. Please note that if it’s your desire is to be sexual it must be mutual and not about you trying to reassert your male dominance after a little too much of your feminine energy bubbled to the surface. When you’re finally ready for sleep or sense that she is, resist the temptation to instantly roll away. Stay physically connected just a little bit longer via toe-achilles heel lock, modified half-nelson or reach-around. From there, it’s just about finding the right moment to quietly slip away to your most prized sleep position before your body twitching and snoring kills the whole process.

Mitch Newman, M.A., is considered one of the top relationship advisers in North America by at least four people. For more than a dozen years he has advised hollywood-elite, professional athletes, high-profile executives, entrepreneurs and even a member of the royal family. His work centers on how to effectively get out of your own way to successfully participate in personal and professional relationships that last longer than the milk in your fridge. Mitch has been featured on BRAVO’s Millionaire Matchmaker, FOX News, dozens of radio shows and in major (and minor) publications. He resides in Beverly Hills, CA surrounded and outnumbered by his wife, Wendy, and their two young daughters. You can follow him on Twitter, or listen to his podcasts.

Image courtesy of George Venios.