I’ve always been fascinated with sex from a fairly early age. I basically inhaled romance novels growing up through my high school years fantasizing what it would be like to have someone who wanted me so much that they wanted to see me naked. Amazing! I pretty much knew the mechanics of it but was holding on with a tightly clenched fist to my girlish need for everything around my “first time” to be perfect. I wanted to have my first time to be with a guy I was madly in love with who would make sure everything about that time was perfect, just like in the books. I held onto this up to adulthood (18) and even slightly past. After dating for a while and not feeling the magic I thought I should feel when I KNEW this was the right time and person, I just found a guy I thought attractive and thought to be a likely candidate for enjoyment if not romance and everlasting love and slept with him. I knew the violin swelling romance wasn’t in the cards for this assignation, but damn it! Couldn’t I at least have some enjoyment?! Sadly no, I was in that ever-widening group of people whose first time they’d rather forget.
I didn’t give up sex after that to be sure; in fact, I went through a sexual discovery mission trying out various guys from different walks of life and fulfillment reasons for my purposes for almost two years until I decided to actually try a monogamous romantic relationship. The thing you never really get from romance novels is that a true relationship takes work and doesn’t just “happen”. Even “perfect” relationships require an effort from both parties and the understanding that communication is crucial to try to avoid repeat mistakes and having the same pitfalls follow the relationship. I felt fairly open sexually and even liberated with my previous experience, but I never really got real with myself about communicating my wants and needs in the bedroom. Once it wore down or I got bored, I would leave. When I was in a relationship and didn’t get what I needed to be satisfied, I got angry. Neither of these were really healthy responses. One response gave me the opportunity to “hit it and quit it” and not really have consequences for it; but the other just made sex a struggle and added problems to the relationship because I felt that if this person really cared for me, he would just KNOW what was wrong and fix it.
Sadly, real relationships aren’t like book or movie relationships. Your significant other can’t figure you out through osmosis and problems are not solved by leaving dramatically only to have you both to figure out that you’re perfect for each other without ever having to really solve whatever caused the fight and flight in the first place. I’m sorry, but relationships do get tense and hard situations and conversations will need to occur if any growth is going to happen.
Sex is a dance, it’s poetry, it’s art, it’s a gift, it’s a question, it’s an answer, it’s a connection. Sex should never be demeaning or shameful. I’m a healthy female who enjoys sex and is not afraid of it. It took quite a bit of introspection to get real about my feelings concerning sex. When I realized that sex is every bit as much about my wants and needs as it is about the guy’s, it became far more enjoyable for me to explore. Sex is an exploration, of your wants, your needs, your boundaries. Push your boundaries and have fun but be safe about it and never let someone else decide what your boundaries should be.
Now I will be the first to admit that I’ve complained of the seeming lack of “Mr. Rights” more times than I care to count. I’d come back from another failed date, another break-up, or a dating dry spell that would have a Westerns set look lush and inviting. As I’ve gotten older and moved closer to 30, I really started to hone in on my tendency towards tunnel-vision in dating. If I’m involved with someone exclusively, I am completely focused on him. I rearrange my schedule to accommodate his no matter how inconvenient it may be. In the period following my breakups, I see the destructiveness of this mind frame and even seem to learn from this in time for the next guy. I never fully realized how much I really wanted something real, healthy and nourishing romantically until after I got over my last breakup. In my first two relationships, I had next to nothing in common with my boyfriends; and in the last two, I had too much in common with my boyfriends but not enough of the positive stuff. I had finally started to realize that my caretaker/troubleshooter response to others gave me too much of a rescuer mentality rather than a romantic one. And I started asking myself: do I really want to be with someone who wants or needs a manager? My answer: No, I don’t. I would resent putting myself in that position and would resent the guy I was managing. I want a partner, someone who is my match without being the opposite sex version of myself and balances my strengths and weaknesses while challenging me to become a better version of myself while supporting me. I found that dating for the sake of not being alone lead me to make some rather questionable choices and didn’t help me to find the quality of partner material I’d like to find. I have realized even more importantly that to attract what I really want in life, I have to do some work on myself from the inside out. With that said, I’m off to do some emotional spring cleaning. From now on, I am an attractor for greatness.
Now before any of you think I’m speaking of someone in particular, I’m not. I’m speaking to every man who’s ever spoken to me and has found out that I have an active blog. One of the first things to be noticed on my blog is that it was initially for quite some time a relationship blog. While writing my blog, I’ve usually made it a point to poke fun at myself or publicly fall on my own relationship sword as a way to give some teaching moments but also to show others that the road to love is usually full of obstacles and awesomely bad dates. I never aimed to be one of those writers who basically puts my exes on blast since I would want the same courtesy. Just because we didn’t work out, it doesn’t mean there’s a blog post bull’s-eye on your back. So on behalf of more of the bloggers, relationship and otherwise out there, the people in our lives do tend to provide a point of reference of our material but sometimes it’s the situations and not the people directly involved that make the posts. Rest assured, if you upset me enough to go off on you (royal you) , I’ll do it in person and not on my blog. Ain’t nobody got time for that time bomb.
Never fake it in love or in the bedroom, one little white lie here and there to save face for your significant other will only lead to a dark future of distrust.
It’s easy after ending things with someone to play the “what if game” for a while. What if we give things a few days, weeks, months, then maybe….What if we changed THIS about how we deal? What if I changed x,y,z thing about myself? What if THEY changed? This game can literally go on into eternity. It’s one thing if both sides mutually agree to revisit the relationship and getting back together and not a one person campaign to “get the love back”. If that person made the choice to break up with you, they were fully prepared to live without you. If that relationship has any chance to get to a good place, then the breaker has to be the one to make the first effort. This effort has to prove that there is a true desire to make things work. The key in making that work is to not go back. It’s to move forward and make a new beginning, a new relationship. The relationship broke for a reason. What was being done before wasn’t working and needed to be changed either with that person or with the next. There’s usually always something that has become a destructive pattern that needs correction. This can be the type of people we choose to date and how we choose them, how we act in a relationship, how we determine the important things in the relationship and partner, what we think of ourselves while in a relationship, and how we treat ourselves and our partner while in a relationship. Once we determine that the only way to resurrect our relationship is to work to go back to “the way we were when we were happy”, that’s when we’ve doomed ourselves to turning into a pillar of salt. And when reality comes raining down on you, your hopes for that melts like the Wicked Witch of the West. And that’s not a good look for anybody. Don’t trap yourself in a broken situation. Move yourself into a place of growth and health.
So, I’m dating again. Whaaa?! I know right. I’ve taken pretty much a 2 year hiatus to get myself back together after my last relationship and have had plenty to reflect on. Do I have all the answers? Ha! I wish I could say that I did. I’d be a much richer person if that were the case. Am I better equipped mentally and emotionally for this new relationship. I feel I am. Time will tell how right I may be about that. What I do know is that I’m in a relationship that I’m actively interested in and desirous to see what the future may hold for it. And let me tell you, that’s nothing to sneeze at. Will there be a happily ever after for us together? Again, only time will tell, but I’m definitely enjoying the ride and all the things I’m learning about myself and him. I’m learning with each day that sometimes it’s more about the journey than about the destination. You’ve got to learn to appreciate the journey to reap whatever benefits might be available. It’s only the beginning but to figure out where the road might lead, you have to take that first step. Steady on.
It’s easy to imagine lust might really be affection, but can affection in a first step towards love grow out of a relationship based on sex? Do you and your partner actually communicate about anything other than about sex? Do you have anything in common to build a relationship on if sex wasn’t the main component? Would you actually be okay with being seen in public with your sexual partner or do you just see them as a guilty pleasure to be hidden away but never associated with publicly to those that are within your inner circle? Is your reasoning for not making your casual sex partner a mutually decided one of just fun and sex only, are you ashamed of association with him/her because their not your “dating type”, or are you ashamed to admit how you began your association with each other? If there is shame, there can’t be true affection. At the end of the day, the questions that need to be answered are: does this person add to my life? or does this person just scratch an itch?
It’s been a while since I’ve written a series for the blog so here goes! This is the start of my “relationship factor series”; but just as an early warning, I will over the course of the series refer to it as the “alphabet series”. Share your thoughts, share the posts, and share the love!
The “A” Factor: Affection. Affection is a huge proponent of relationships. To be in a successful relationship, you’d have to feel some affection for the one you’re with, no? But how do you show affection? Do you show your affection through words, through actions, through touch? I personally like a combination of all the above. I want to hear the words, I want to be shown affection through little and big gestures, I want to feel it in an embrace…a kiss. I think thoughts, words, actions and physical shows of one’s regard are all crucial in a healthy relationship and why shouldn’t we want to enjoy all these things in a relationship?
The silent brush-off, a occurrance while not being something that happens to EVERYONE, is at least something we’re familiar with however directly or indirectly the situation may have been, is something of a touchy issue with dating and relationships. You may find yourself in the situation of he/she is just not into you anymore and wonder: “what happened?”. The problem is, that person just may not be available to give you the answer to that question. There are some instances in which that person may have been in a situation in which they had to just cut all communication with no warning; however, the more common case is just that that person was just not man or woman enough to just tell what the situation is and walk rather than adding unnecessary questions for the sake of less drama. What is really the case is that the “duck and run” method to ending things isn’t taking away the drama; it’s just transferring the drama and giving a double burden to the one left with countless questions. So in closing, I have just this advice: if you feel the need to end a relationship with someone, just be straight with them, in person if possible, because if that person has to be brave enough to face rejection, then you should be brave enough to address things face to face and deal with the fall-out. While no one likes rejection, no one respects a coward.
Valentine’s Day…a day when the weight of most relationships is measured by getting Valentine’s Day right. Should I give flowers? Should I make dinner reservations? Should I buy some jewelry? Should I keep it simple? Should I go all out? Will I be seen as loving him or her any less if I don’t make a big deal about “the most romantic day of the year”? I’m of the opinion that a person’s love shouldn’t be measured by gifts and grand gestures. It should be about two people respecting, adoring, understanding, and cherishing each other year-round. Because in the end, don’t we all want to feel special all year-round? What we want is a true love that lasts. In the great words of Beethoven in “Letters to the Immortal Beloved” and spoken so elegantly by Mr. Big to Carrie in Sex and the City: The Movie: ‘Ever mine, ever thine, ever ours.’