Love Turns to Hate

Dick and Liz

My perspicacious friend, Hotspur, recently emphasized an underground fact, namely:

The quality to which you were initially helplessly attracted to a person often becomes the primary reason that you can no longer stand them.

My question is: Is it true? Does love really turn to hate?

Instant Karma

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.

Separating Wheat from Chaff

1940s Couple Leaving Home Carrying Luggage --- Image by © H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Corbis

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?

I wonder.