Sometimes, I write in a journal. It is a new-age journal…on my computer…a word file. None of that pink diary with a lock and key that we grew up with. I don’t write in it very often, but I feel like I should more than I do.
One of my best friends also has a journal (sorry for the disclosure, roomie), and the other day we got some amazing laughs out of looking back on what we had written in months past. So, if for no other reason, write in a journal so you can look back and laugh at how melodramatic you were.
Another reason it is important is related to relationships. One of my most recent posts (which was written over 2 years ago…shows how often I visit my journal) was just before my big ex and I broke it off. I expressed being incredibly unhappy. I expressed that he treated me like crap. I expressed that I wanted so much more for my life than he could provide. I wrote a number of times that I felt like it needed to end. The reason this is important is because once it actually happened, I got so caught up in it that I totally forgot any of that! In the emotionally-charged breakup, I completely forgot that I wanted to break up. That there were real reasons. It actually wasn’t until just the other day, reading it, that I remembered. So, my advice to you is to write down what you’re feeling so you remember why the breakup happened in the first place. I’m glad I did.
The most recent post I had brought laughter…I had written last Valentine’s Day…how typical. The single girl writes in her journal on Valentine’s Day. It was so melodramatic, talking about how I need to enjoy friends and forget about boys…blah blah blah. But it did show me that I have a 3-year-long pattern of ordering in and eating a small pizza to myself on Valentine’s Day. Actually, sounds pretty damn delicious to me…
I’ve had many friends (and likely been there myself) where in a casual sex situation, one of the two people involved are hoping to get a little more out of it than sexual satisfaction. Most of the time, the ‘little more’ that’s desired is in the form of a romantic relationship.
I think this is dangerous territory. However, researchers have recently published a study that shows casual sex can lead to just as satisfying a relationship as those relationships that form out of more ‘innocent’ roots.
I wrote a blog on this for Kinsey Confidential that you can check out here.
I don’t know about this…I’m not sure I agree. I think that the only way this could happen is if both people happen to stay on the same page through the whole transition. To me, the chances of that happening are minuscule. Then again, I’m a realist. To all you hopeful romantics out there….one research study says you can do it!
I’m at that age where the large majority of my friends are either married, engaged to be married, or in relationships where marriage is pretty much inevitable. I know, sounds horrible…haha…but no, I love most of their partners as much as them at this point, and very few of them are the vomit-inducing type of couple that you’re (you being the single people out there) thinking of.
In fact, just tonight I had dinner with one of my girlfriends who got married within the past year. I ask how they are doing, and she responds with something along the lines of “He’s a little shitter who acts like he’s 21…” and went on to give me a little taste of what she was talking about. What I loved about every second of listening to her was that, regardless of her complaining, she was so clearly in love with him! It didn’t matter that on the surface she seemed miserable hating her husband. Deep down, I could see that she was so happy and in love.
I guess I’m really lucky to be surrounded by a lot of girlfriends with really great guys as their partners. Then again, they are in the early years, and I’m sure we will have lots of ups and downs to be there for each other through when it comes to relationships…
I have always been a skeptic of monogamy. I’m not sure why. I mean, my parents are still happily married after more than 30 years together. Both sets of grandparents also had long monogamously successful (as far as I know) relationships. I’ve had good role models when it comes to monogamy and long term relationships. I guess my 20-something self just can’t imagine being with the same person forever and ever and ever.
I was really excited to see this clip by Dan Savage discussing swinging and monogamy. Now, as much as I’m a skeptic about monogamy, I’m going to be monogamous. I know that about myself. I couldn’t be in an open relationship or swing with someone that I cared about deeply. I’m too jealous…well, maybe jealous isn’t the right word. But, I just couldn’t handle sharing (possessive maybe? haha..not that that’s much better). Regardless, any couples that I know who have navigated this well are incredibly satisfied, until they stop navigating it well. More satisfied than any monogamous couples I know, that’s for sure. It takes a lot of open communication…without that, it fails.
I agree with Dan that monogamy isn’t natural. Never has been. Lions…they aren’t monogamous. Infidelity research (I’ve done a lot of it) shows that humans aren’t very monogamous either, with around 25% of couples cheating at some point. But just because it isn’t natural doesn’t mean it isn’t attainable.
There is an awesome book, called The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities that my friend Crystal told me to read years ago and it turns out it is one of my favorites to date. It is all about navigating polyamorous relationships well. If you’re interested in this stuff, read it!
Can you have one without the other? I’m not so sure….
In the pilot episode of Sex and the City, Samantha says “I want to have sex like a man” – what she meant was, I want to have sex without emotion, without attachment, and without fuss. For some reason (a reason beyond the scope of this post), we are surrounded with messages that women are emotional and men are just not. We are also surrounded with information that supports rewards for men who sleep around but punishment for women who do the same.
I’ve had this discussion with so many friends, many of which are supporters that women and men are just wired differently. I have other friends who would dispute that argument and would instead argue that women and men are wired the same, but women have been socially constructed to get emotionally attached. I have other friends who would argue that it has nothing to do with gender.
I’ve come to the conclusion that sex and emotion can be separated. However, I think it requires deliberation. I think it can be done – with conscious effort.
Maybe its people-specific. With some people, you can draw a line….with others, you can’t. It’s rarely a perfect combination of both parties being entirely invested the same amount. That perfect balance is rare.
Maybe it has something to do with how “into” someone you are. If you don’t see long-term potential, it is likely easier to separate the two. If you see long-term potential, it makes it harder and a conscious effort has to be made to remain in check.
Regardless…it’s pretty complex.
My friends and I often express our dread of the relationships that become entirely technological. It is so easy to do these days. I mean, with text, facebook, twitter, email, and online stalking in general, it is really quite easy to begin a relationship with someone entirely based upon technological means. I refuse though. If someone can’t call me (even though, I know, that is using technology), then they aren’t really worth it.
Pick up the phone. To dial a number and use your voice. Not to text…not to email…and certainly, please, not to poke.
I blogged about this issue on Kinsey Confidential today, so you can check that out here. I think it is just really important that when it comes to forming any sort of meaningful relationship (friendship, romantic, sexual, whatever…), pick up the phone and call. A voice says a lot more than the touch of a few fingers on some keys (I’m avoiding making a number of inappropriate dirty jokes here…). Stopping.
My relationship with Valentine’s Day has been up and down over the years. At this point, I’m seriously just over it. Why do we really have to celebrate this Hallmark Holiday? I’m not sure. Which is why I’m over it. Obviously.
Anyway…I’ve blogged about it on Kinsey Confidential this week. So, you can check it out here.