How deeply connected are your relationships—all kinds of relationships, but especially romantic ones?

How exciting is your connection with those you are close to, particularly your romantic partner if you have one?

We think of the French as great lovers, the British as not so great. But the stereotype doesn’t mean that French couples are having the time of their life any more than people in other countries.

A new poll in France reveals that it’s nothing like as exciting in many French bedrooms as the outside world has for a long time assumed, and indeed as the French themselves have imagined. In fact, many French people are quite miserable in the bedroom.

Said this reputable poll, more than three-quarters of French couples have “bad sex lives.” The poll challenges the image of the French as great lovers.

Why are the French experiencing misery in their romantic lives just like so many others?

Simply because although there may be cultural and temperamental differences between the various peoples of the world, we’re all human beings who struggle with what it means to be ourselves in a relationship.

What makes for romance in the bedroom is ultimately little different from what it takes to relate to any human being in a meaningful way. Real passion that’s sustained over time and doesn’t wane as the years go by requires us to become individuals who are capable of connecting deeply.

To connect deeply with someone in any walk of life, especially in romantic relationships, means we have to discover ourselves as a strong person who isn’t threatened in any way by the close presence of another.

It means we can stand on our own two feet in the relationship, yet be extremely close—with no need to either attack or back away when there’s disagreement.

In other words, we are so grounded in our own center that we don’t engage in the immature behavior of either fight or flight, which are the two common human responses to any kind of conflict.

If people want to continue to relate meaningfully, they have to bring more of themselves to the relationship as the years go by.

The wonderful thing is that relationships by their very nature invite more of our essential being to step up to the plate. If we calmly do so instead of picking a fight or backing away, keeping our cool even in the face of real disagreement and continuing to reach out lovingly, we bring into play more of our true self.

There is infinite depth to each of us. But this depth of being only crosses from essence into existence when we quietly sit with the emotions that arise and make us want to either pick a fight or run.

The next time you are tempted to back away, distancing yourself emotionally, try staying put instead.

Let the emotion that wells up in you be felt fully, but don’t vent it. Don't act it out in distancing behavior and don't take it out on the other person. Just sit with what you are experiencing, breathing through it, paying attention to your breathing.

It may feel like you are going to explode. But if you stay with the emotion, neither stuffing it nor squashing it, you will integrate this emotion. The energy fueling the emotion then becomes available for feeling more deeply. That's how you deepen a friendship—and how you turn the heat up in the bedroom.

Author's Bio: 

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David Robert Ord is author of Your Forgotten Self Mirrored in Jesus the Christ and the audio book Lessons in Loving--A Journey into the Heart, both from Namaste Publishing, publishers of Eckhart Tolle and other transformational authors. He writes The Compassionate Eye daily, together with his daily author blog The Sunday Blog, at