Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Good Sex does not Equal Good Love Part I


Our journeys merged.



We walked hand & hand,

holding tightly with sweaty palms,

sweaty from passion

and

pleasure.



We stopped holding on,

sort of walking together,

but not…



Our diverting eyes didn’t

meet

for moments.



When our eyes met again,

paths diverged:

vision split;

dream becomes dreams,

fractured hope;

fears shared… not;

feelings hurt;

Evolution.



Should we hold hands again?

(Poem by Dr. Nwachi Tafari)

Does one plus one equal two or one?  The lovers that we choose to love may not always be with us.   Love is not a guarantee that relationships will last.  Good sex guarantees nothing, even if the sex is the toe-curling variety of sex, even if it is an orgasmic and cum-creating sex. 

Remaining together takes reflection; a willingness to accept, to anticipate, and to adjust to transformation; and a balancing of the mind, body and spirit in order to traverse the most unexpected, stimulating, and frightening transformations in each other.  Long-term relationships in the present become rarer because most humans simply are unwilling to commit to commitment.

Reflection

Two types of reflection are important to long-term love, individual reflection and couple’s reflection.  As I have written in a prior post, my individual reflections consist of “Checking My Nouns”.  I assess the people, places, things, and ideas in my life: 

·         Are the people in my life conducive to my commitment to my lover, to my family? 

·         When things are hard in my marriage, do my friends direct me to stray from my vows, or do they direct me to communicate with my mate?

·          Do I frequent places that tempt me away from my love? 

·         Do I leave instead of listen? 

·         Do the things I now possess (and for which I strive) promote my partnership’s wellbeing?

·         What ideas do I hold in my head?  Do I secretly compare my relationship to the relationships in movies and books?

·         Do I envy others’ relationships while neglecting my own?

·         Does the idea of being in another relationship seem more pleasurable than real life?

As I ask myself these and other questions, I honestly assess if I would want me as a lover.  Not the me of the past or the me of the future, I assess myself as I am in the present.  I look for areas of improvement, areas in need of improvement, and areas of excellence.  Then I visualize the father and husband I want to be and set daily, short-term, and long-term goals to accomplish my vision.  I follow up my vision with actions, the most important part.

            On the other hand, partners must reflect together as well.  Jennifer Oikle, Ph.D., author of Staying In Love For A Lifetime: Tips On Teamwork From Your Favorite Sports Teams, states that couples should mimic successful sports teams by doing the following:

·         Name your team

·         Create a purpose

·         Have meetings

·         Share leadership

·         Practice team work

·         Find occasional coaches (I may be available.)

            As couples reflect, they must be honest.  In other words, couples must truly answer the questions do we share leadership; what is our purpose? Without true honesty these questions or other crucial questions will never be truly addressed or answered.  In addition, a shared purpose will never be created.

Do not get me wrong, life does get in the way of meeting and reflecting.  Moreover, I do not promise for a moment that such actions assure a long-term relationship, yet as humans, the actions we take today create our tomorrows.   In other words, do not try to make time for individual and couple reflections.  Make time!  Remember the wise words Yoda shared with Luke in Star Wars: “Do.  Or do not do.  There is no try.”

Adjusting to Transformation

Watching a partner transform is too amazing for simple words to describe.   Things on your partner’s body that were solidly in place are now running for the boarder.  If your long-term relationship includes children, you must know that parenthood, work, and other people and things outside of the central relationship can drain all the coolness and passion from your being.  Sex and romance can turn from being free, passionate, and frequent to being a burden and another task in your life. 

Lives evolve.  Moreover, to stay solid in a shared life, partners must adjust to transformations.   Sages, the late Nick Ashford and wife Valerie Simpson, created the perfect plan to keep a long-term relationship healthy and to adjust to change in their song Solid.  When I read the lyrics, I clearly see the steps to surviving transformation in relationships.  If you and your partner are able to follow their advice you may be able to keep your relationship together even when the two of you start growing wild gray hairs in weird places.



You didn’t turn away
When the sky went gray
Somehow we managed
We had to stick together (Ooh. Ooh. Ooh. Ooh.)

You didn’t bat an eye
When I made you cry
We knew down the line
We would make it better (Ooh. Ooh. Ooh. Ooh.)

And for love’s sake, each mistake, ah, you forgave
And soon both of us learned to trust
Not run away, it was no time to play
We build it up and build it up and build it up

Now it’s solid

            Staying Solid is respecting commitment, having vision and faith, and keeping an eye on trust.

Respecting Commitment

You didn’t turn away when the sky went gray; somehow we managed.  We had to stick together.  If you expect to be partners for a lifetime, expect gray skies.  There is no “Happily-Everly-After” fairytales.  Life is not static; hence relationships and sex are not static.  Nothing guarantees happiness: not marriage, not a job, not having children, not finding a personal God.... However, you guarantee that you are your partner will not have a happy, lasting relationship if you do not respect commitment. 

Each individual must reflect on the Deal Breakers or broken commitments that will end the relationship for him or herself and communicate these deal breakers to his or her significant other.  Keeping commitments keeps couples strong through hard times; thus we must let partners know about our deal breakers.  Be honest:

·         Cheating?

·         Addiction?

·         Extended loss of income?

·         Change in appearance?

Deal breakers are not moral or logical, yet they are personal and true to the individual.  Moreover, deal breakers, like life, are not static.  They will evolve.  Once deal breakers are out in the open, the committed do no break “deals”; in addition, the committed stay when the skies are gray.  The committed “manage to stick together.”  How do couples manage to stick together?   In her article, How to Make Love Last a Lifetime, Marye Audet reconfirms commitment as a step in staying in love through transformation: “Most people believe that love is an emotion, and that is true, but emotions are largely created by our perceptions. One of the most important keys for long term love is to choose to love your spouse even when they are not being like-able.”  She also suggests couples do the following:

·         Say "I love you." Often

·         Make your spouse a priority. The kids will move away eventually.

·         Talk about shared memories

·         Have a time for just the two of you at least once a week.

·         Say, "I am sorry"

·         Say, "I forgive you"

·         Schedule sex if need be.

·         Say something nice every day.

·         Brag about your spouse to your friends, when your spouse can hear you.

·         Play

·         Focus on the positives

·         Compliment one another

In every relationship, there comes a time when the question is asked: “Should we hold hands again?”  The answer to this question really depends on how committed you two are to staying together.



Good Sex Does Not Equal Good Love Part II will be posted Friday, September 2nd, 2011.



Nwachi (Dr. T.) Tafari

Life and Sex Coach

336.662.7777



twitter: @drtsexcoach

4 comments:

Empress said...

This post is pretty amazing. Furthermore, if everyone practiced what they preached, the world would be a pretty amazing place. Don't you think?

Dr. T. said...

Thank you for the very kind words. I agree that if folk practice what they preach, the world would be pretty amazing. In my life, I try to walk it like I talk it. I know that I fall short sometimes, but I do reflect on my behavior and make corrections when I contradict myself.

As humans, we can only do our best; however, deciding to be in a long-term relationship has to be followed by action for the relationship to really last.

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