The dating game has changed a lot, but then again it really hasn’t changed that much. Yes, we now have online dating and social media adding a different dimension and providing you with what seems to be a plethora of choices, but weirdly enough people still feel disconnected and long for meaningful connection with a significant person not one of many.
It’s a strange conundrum to have so much available, yet not really have access to the quality you are seeking in a significant other (SO). It begs the question of what are we doing wrong and how did we get so far off that we struggle to find a meaningful connection with another person honestly. It’s screwed up (pun fully intended), and my thought is that maybe it’s time we go back to the basics when it comes to finding love.
Yes, I’m talking about the basics of courting and really getting to know another person. You know when you took time to build a connection and relationship with another person and waited it out before you decided to engage physically with them. Yes, I get it. You have primal needs. And sex is one of those ways to get your needs met. But, think of how your primal needs have often stopped you from taking the time to get to know someone or how it may have stunted a relationship that was going in the right direction that became mired and muddied by getting physically intimate too soon.
Celibacy is not just a physical thing. It’s spiritual as well. When you aren’t having sex, you are forced to put your energy into other things such as self-development, thinking and focusing on your purpose, and finding different creative ways to engage yourself physically and mentally. And I’ll be the first to admit it; it’s not an easy thing to do at all. In fact, the first 30 days of not having sex can be daunting. But, if you can make it through, there is a strange clarity that happens that is almost jarring. You really see things clearer, and your eyes are wide open figuratively speaking when you decide to engage in getting to know someone else.
You don’t feel this pressure to put out or just have sex to have sex. It’s deeper than that. You develop patience to see the process through. You aren’t as vulnerable to falling into bed with someone. You become more discerning and have greater clarity about the other person. And there is a strange power and peace in that decision. Your emotions aren’t controlling you and your interactions with someone else. While your feelings are still present, your pragmatic mind kicks in too.
Spirituality is interesting, and when you are physically intimate with someone, it is not just a physical but also a spiritual feeling. I don’t care if you connect for 10 minutes, 1 hour, 1 night or on and off over a period of time.
Each time you give yourself physically to someone else, you give up a spiritual piece of yourself too! It’s why it can be so hard to break off a relationship with someone once you have been intimate with them. You can’t help but feel more connected when you are intimate with someone; it’s how we’re built. When you choose celibacy until you vet out your relationship, it’s like you are giving yourself some cushion or a springboard before jumping in wholeheartedly. If it doesn’t work, walking away feels so much different, and you feel freer to do so.
In coaching others in their relationships I know that celibacy isn’t the norm, it’s opposite. We are swiping so fast to the left hoping for that emotional connection through a physical connection. But, with everyone jumping in so quickly physically, we are losing the big picture. It’s causing us to forget the real value of being able to share intimacy with someone else deeply and profoundly.
Building a healthy relationship with someone takes time. A foundation has to be developed which includes mutual respect and friendship. It is the key to any relationship that has longevity. Jumping in quickly and jumping around has the opposite effect. The connections are fleeting, and each time you engage physically without a long-term plan, it leaves you in a vicious cycle of feeling lost, unfulfilled, and frustrated.
If your game plan is for the moment and that’s it, then that is your prerogative. But, it’s clear that if you are reading this article, you are craving something different. I often think the more sex you have and more people you engage with in having sex; it can have some lasting consequences that can hurt or tint your purview in your quest to find true love. Instead of finding satisfaction, you can end up feeling less content.
I’m not judging you if you have gone done that road. Everyone carries some emotional baggage and sex carries different meaning and outputs for each of us. But, if it’s not working in helping you find what you want, it’s time to change the game plan.
If you’re hesitant, take on celibacy for a period of time, try this instead. Promise yourself that you are only going to take that next step of intimacy with someone after they have put in the time getting to know and when they have proven their interest in you. One thing that will definitely happen, when you take sex off the table, is an almost automatic elimination of those who aren’t serious about having a long-term relationship. Those looking to gain will go away almost immediately. And your path will become more evident to find someone who is a better fit for you.
It’s hard, but being with someone in which you can have a long-term connection, isn’t going to be easy. A relationship of substance takes time and effort from both parties. If nothing else, freeing yourself up will give you some space and time to clear out unnecessary baggage, past toxic relationships, and clear your mind for something more positive. And this is the first step to being able to build a genuine connection with someone else.
Originally published on Thought Catalog