One-night stands might work for you if you’re looking for a warm body to wrestle with. For one night. Or if you’re feeling lonely and figure that the best way to de-lonely yourself is with sex as bait. For one night. Or you perhaps have a need to conquer…as if sex with a stranger were some kind of victory.
All fair enough. None of this is particularly edifying, but not everything can be a work of art.
The least reason for having a one-nighter should be for the sex. We have, it seems, decided as a species that sex is one thing, that there’s good sex and bad sex, that people are either good at it or they suck. C’mon, you know what I mean. It is as if we have made the abstract (in our minds) and the reality (in our lives) of sex as homogeneous as, say milk from the supermarket. All milk is the same, the variation coming only with minor fat content differences and quantity.
Is sex between two random people the same for any two random people?
Are we all turning each other on in the same way?
Do we all feel the same way at any point during sex?
You can see where I’m driving with this. Yes, the physical acts are variations on a theme. But once you have achieved that, the real joy, pleasure, reaction and contact with the other person occurs in your mind. Therefore, for sex to have any chance of being a highlight of your life, understanding your partner’s mental and physical pathways to satisfying sex are the most important part. And that takes time. Lots of time.
Not a night.
In another circumstance where most of us know intuitively whether something is working or not…
…comes this brilliant insight from a ‘leading psychologist’ – as opposed to an also-ran psychologist:
Shopping for and erecting IKEA furniture is a “…divorce-maker.”
No, I am being too harsh. I think the conclusion is correct: that the stress of complicated co-operative domestic activities lays bare the raw differences between men and women. Pressure to succeed manifests differently in all of us, and like a split toothpaste tube, things might end up messy.
There is an upside. Well two, really. If you are in the position of shopping with a beloved at IKEA, look upon it as a way to make the relationship stronger. Swallow your base reactions, and be the better man or woman. If you come out the other side with a bookcase that doesn’t collapse, maybe your romance is stronger than average.
And if you are just dating someone, put you and them under the microscope by going to IKEA and observing. That’s it; just watch. It’s all information you can use to discern whether it’s a match.
This week Kregg and I examine the necessity for examining character. Is there such a thing as partial good character? Why does character matter? How can we discern good character from the not so good?
Check out the podcast and let us know what you think.
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By the way people confidently couple-up, you would think that we were born with an innate understanding of how we’re supposed to do this.
Young ladies and gentlemen move from a few dates to regular sex to shacking up at speeds approaching that of light. Zoooooom. They are then left bereft and wondering at what happened when a black hole sucks them up. Hey, no-one said space travel was riskless.
I too began adult life with this kind of confidence…until life smashed me in the face with the message I’d been missing all along: I wasn’t doing it well. At all.
The idea of inbuilt relationship skills falls apart under the slightest exam. (Not that we do examine it, which is my point.) Yes, the reproductive part is a functional app after puberty, but even that needs a few “Help” links. Everything else, from how to approach a person of interest to the matter of sorting the flakes from the good ones to how to share a living space requires some thought, or reading or outright instruction.
We are born with as much of an understanding of cordon bleu cookery as we are of how to find, court, meld, discover, be with and ultimately love someone. Easy it is not; straightforward it is not; simple it is not; learned it might just be.
That leaves us with the fatal question: How can I find good role models or books or any kind of resources about doing this better?
Love – or what we call ‘love’ – can turn to hatred. Not every time, but often enough that it’s a recurring relationship theme. You know the story: none of my exes talk to me, they all hate me * resigned shrug *
Baffling to me is the way in which attraction morphs so quickly into repulsion. Like magnets drifting through the universe, two people encounter each other, and find themselves attracted…to the opposite pole. In magnetism, south seeks north, and north seeks south.
All it takes for matters to deteriorate is for one or another of the magnets to rotate 180 degrees. Neither of them has changed in any way, they are still the same magnets. Merely the direction one points in relation to the other is different.
Can we apply this to relationships? Perhaps. The way I look at it is as not so much in the obvious ‘opposites attract, like repels’ way, but more in the ‘I was attracted to this about her at first, but then came to see a complete other side’ way.
In other words, the reaction is all about the observer, not the observee. It’s me, sweetheart, not you.