This morning, I was reflecting on a past relationship.
It was a relationship that was mostly unrequited. Still, I couldn't help the feeling that we had something special.
You know the feeling, I'm sure:
Someone does nearly everything possible to show you how little you really matter to them in the grand scheme of things but you still seem to believe that there is something "special" between you;
That what you have is "meant to be" in some way;
That it's worth holding onto and working for;
That it's worth saving.
When I think back on this particular relationship, I see that I made a lot of mistakes. I don't regret them because they became lessons and helped me grow, but by looking at the mistakes I made then and what I learned from them, I can hopefully save you some unnecessary pain.
One of the most profound lessons I learned from that relationship was that mixed signals mean "not interested." That no matter how I felt about someone or how special I thought they were, if they weren't treating me the way I wanted to be treated, there was nothing meant to be between us.
Something I noticed in my reflections about this was that I thought we had something special mostly because of the sexual nature of our relationship. If not for that, I wouldn't have felt the same way.
I felt it was something special because to me it was. When I chose to go there with someone, that meant something to me. I had to recognize that it was not how it was for her.
She liked me just fine, she enjoyed our time together, and she wasn't a bad person, but there was nothing inherently "special" about what we had. That was something she was sharing with many different people.
So when I say there's nothing special about sex, I don't mean that it can't be incredibly powerful in the right situation with the right person. I'm simply saying that sex alone means nothing as the basis for a relationship.
In this post, we're going to talk about some of the biggest mistakes that are made around sex and dating and how you can avoid making them yourself so you can save yourself a lot of time and heartache.
For starters, sex does not equal intimacy.
I'm sure you've heard this idea before but still, I don't think we recognize how often we make this mistake in dating or how much of our feelings for someone early on are usually sexually driven.
When you have a strong attraction to someone, you want to be as close to them as you can and the fastest way to get close to someone is through sex.
When you sleep with someone you alter the entire nature of the relationship. No matter what you do from that point forward, you can't undo that. And that changes the way that both of you see and feel about the relationship.
In dating, sex is often used as a shortcut. If you want a relationship with someone, one of the ways you can achieve that is to have it become sexual. You create that sexual bond between you.
In truth, this is more of a detour than a shortcut because it doesn't really get you anywhere. It only seems like it does. In a very short amount of time, you have incredible feelings and desires for this person and if you're lucky, they have them for you too.
But in reality, you probably have less intimacy than you did before. Most people start to put up barriers once they sleep with someone. That's usually when the clinging starts, when jealousy arises, and when fear begins to creep into the relationship.
We're not saying that the relationship can't work out from here, only that you need to recognize that you probably don't have what you think you have. The rush of feelings that comes from an intense infatuation with someone is not the same as a bond built on trust and intimacy. There's no shortcut for that.
Sex is great, but invest in the relationship. Have sex be part of the healthy relationship you're building together rather than the foundation for it.
A sexual relationship will cloud your judgment of someone.
We always say that early on, a relationship should be about discovery. Especially in the first few weeks, you should really be trying to understand if this is a person that you even want in your life.
As we stated before, sex has a way of making you think you have more with this person than you really do and because of that, you'll be inclined to make concessions for them that you probably shouldn't be making.
If your experience is anything like ours then you've probably been wrapped up with someone sexually and when you really got honest about it, you realized that you didn't even like that person that much. Having a sexual relationship alone was the justification for continuing to try and make it work.
So many people are trying to make a relationship work because they're sleeping with someone, not because they have a solid relationship with them. If they were to be honest with themselves, they would see that aside from sex, they have nothing together.
This is the predicament you place yourself in when you get sexually involved with someone before you know them. You lose a lot of your power this way. Now you're going to want it to work out. You're going to think, "I've invested so much in this, it can't fail now."
We're not telling you to wait for marriage or anything extreme like that. We're not even saying to wait any specific amount of time--the amount of time is up to you. All we're saying is that before you take a relationship to that level, reach a level of certainty within yourself that this is someone you actually want to go there with.
Don't get yourself into a situation where you've invested way more than you wanted to with someone who didn't deserve it and you're realizing all of this way too late. That's how you set yourself up to be manipulated, waste a lot of time, and end up with regret.
Know what you're looking for ahead of time and identify those qualities in that person first. That is one simple thing you can do to save yourself a ton of time and heartache.
Never be afraid to make someone wait.
A good rule of thumb in dating is to never do anything you don't feel comfortable with. We'd venture to say that most of the bad experiences you have in dating happen because something was taking place that you weren't comfortable with, you allowed it and did your best to be cool with it, but afterward, you felt all kinds of emotions: shame, guilt, regret, resentment, and so on.
For example, we recommend meeting for coffee on a first date because by doing that you don't put yourself in a position to have to give any more than you really want to. It can be a 15-minute coffee or coffee that lasts for hours. That's up to you based on how comfortable you are with the person.
For all kinds of reasons, we allow others to push us farther than we really want to go. In the above example, maybe that person wants to take you to dinner and you go along with it because you're afraid of being rude, or of what they might think of you if you tell them you'd prefer just coffee to start.
You have to realize that anyone who can't respect your boundaries is not someone you want any kind of relationship with. That goes for everything, sex included.
The idea that telling someone to wait might lose you the potential for a relationship with them is a false idea. If that happens, there was never a real potential for a relationship to begin with, only the potential to get wrapped up in a toxic situation that would ultimately do you more harm than good.
It's important to recognize that anyone worth any amount of your time and attention will never want something from you that will hurt you or make you feel uncomfortable. A person who does is a person who's trying to use you, not love you.
Don't be afraid to have standards and boundaries that protect you. Don't be afraid to uphold them at any cost. Not doing so will always cost you more in the long run.
As we said earlier, in the right situation with the right person, sex can be something that makes you feel closer than ever, expresses your feelings for each other in a truly powerful way, and leaves you both feeling refreshed and uplifted.
But all too often it is reduced to a tool for manipulation in relationship drama. In that respect, there is nothing special about it. If you're familiar with our work then you know that we're all about creating your relationships consciously and if you want that, this is an area that can't be ignored.
We know how easy it is to just go along with it even if you don't feel ready and we know how much you might want to feel that close to someone even if you don't know them very well. We also know the pitfalls of doing so because we work with people dealing with the repercussions of it constantly.
Until you recognize the character qualities of the person you want in the person that you're dating and until you can be relatively certain that they are someone you would honestly want to be with, you don't want any reason to have unnecessary emotions or attachments to them and you don't want to give them any power over you that could later be manipulated.
Getting wrapped up in mistakes like this is what keeps you in unfulfilling toxic cycles and ultimately will prevent you from ever having an authentic relationship.
This is one of many toxic cycles that we get wrapped in while dating. We're offering a presentation to explore this further, we're looking at exactly how you get wrapped up in a cycle like this and what you have to do to prevent it from ever happening again.
I hope you'll join us for it. Register here.
Thanks for reading. Wishing you lots of Love <3
Thank you so much for enjoying our content! Our greatest joy comes from knowing that people like you are using it to transform their lives and relationships and that the world is becoming a better place because of it.
We know the feeling of being alone, of struggling through what seems like an endless series of dead-end relationships, of waiting for the phone to ring, of being rejected and let down again.
We know what it's like to go to bed alone each night wondering if that will ever change and fearing that it might not.
We know these experiences all too well and that is why we do the work we do. We want you to know that you can find Love, that just the application of these simple tools and practices can make a complete difference in every aspect of your Love life and ultimately lead you to the lifetime partnership you so deeply crave.
You're not in this alone. We're here for you <3
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