Under the heading of “None of us is born with any understanding of what makes good or bad relationships” comes this idea.
Of the many characteristics to look for in a potential coupling-mate, a matching energy level – quantitative and qualitative – is high on the list.
By the simple act of even looking for such a thing, we increase our chances of finding a right person.
I don’t want you to manage me, she said.
What do you mean by manage?
Well, I feel that you avoid talking about some things with me. You filter stuff.
She was right. I did manage her. Because the price to pay for conflict was too high.
I have a model of the world in my head that differs from yours. My understanding of how people should ideally interact will vary from yours as well. Differences between our viewpoints can be resolved, examined, disputed, discussed, fought over or avoided. Another, frequent choice between couples is a kind of siege, where both retreat into a heavily defended core position, only to engage when provoked.
For best results, I want to find someone with whom I can have happy détente. Every day. About anything. And go to sleep knowing them a little better.
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.
Dammit, I just can’t get motivated.
I’ve been single for…counting the years…okay, if we’re counting years I hardly need be specific. Let’s just say “a long time.” And you’d think, as I do, that I would be keen to snuggle up to a sweetie. Well, of course…and maybe not so much.
It comes down to this. Having been single for that long, finding and keeping someone special in my life will require a change of thinking and acting, a change of course. And that will require application and effort. After all, once an ocean liner is steaming in one direction, you cannot instantly send it in a new one.
The other side of that coin is applicable too. If you’re in a relationship of some length, the habits (and ruts) we all groove into are just as restrictive. If a path you’re both on is heading over a cliff, somebody has to apply the brakes and help the other one find a new roadway.
In essence: being single and changing that requires effort and attention. Being attached and maintaining that requires effort and attention. I seem to have made a case for noting that nothing wonderful happens from an attitude of benign neglect.