Yesterday, one of my best friends/roommate spent her time with a guy she had met the previous weekend at Stagecoach. It was a typical drunken meeting: spying each other across the way, one person working up the courage to say hi, and then talking, laughing, and eventually exchanging numbers.
Usually, in today’s world, that would be it. The next morning would come, and groggy and hungover, a text may or may not be sent, and the ensuing conversation would eventually peter out into the ether. End scene.
However, as luck would have it, this did not end in the typical fashion. In fact, John* turned out to be a really awesome guy. So awesome, in fact, that he seems a bit unreal when compared to the hordes of individuals we women have come to accept as ‘men’.
He treats Leah* like a princess: compliments, opening the door, paying for her, and overall being the consummate gentleman. He was able to converse with me freely, obviously feeling confident and at ease. And the biggest gold star came from the fact that he didn’t once try to sleep with her.
As one of her best friends, I am so incredibly happy and excited.
As a woman, I am so, so envious.
In my dating experience, when I have expressed that I want to wait before we sleep together, I’ve been called a “prude” or “dick-tease”. Men try to flatter me with “but I want you” or “but you’re so hot!” or guilt me with “well why did you even invite me over, then?” *angry huff*.
This has become so normal that I pretty much expect it to be a reality every single time I go on a date. And if the guy doesn’t try to immediately get in my pants, I internally believe that he doesn’t find me attractive.
Let’s just pause there for a moment. This has become so “normal” that if a guy doesn’t want to immediately screw me, he’s either a) a pussy, b) not attracted to me, or c) not really a ‘man’.
Sex has fallen victim to the instant gratification mentality. No longer is it an act to be treasured, valued, or treated with respect. In fact, it is frequently used as an icebreaker, helped along with copious amounts of alcohol.
There is nothing wrong with wanting sex. In fact, I’d say that if you’re in a relationship and a day goes by without it, that’s a sad day. Physical intimacy is an amazing way to connect with your partner while also selfishly enjoying all the personal pleasure that comes with it. And it has been argued that there is a time and place for just using sex for selfish pleasure if that’s what the other person wants as well.
However, you cannot sustain or grow emotional health on sex alone. This is akin to trying to survive on eating nothing but cookies, candy, and cake. Don’t get me wrong-dessert is awesome. One bite of a creamy custard or warm slice of pie can send you in to ecstasies. A life without dessert is a very miserable life, indeed.
And yet, imagine your body trying to survive off of a steady diet of ONLY dessert. A constant influx of sugar and simple carbs. Your taste buds may be happy, but your body receives nothing of substance. Your systems begin to function improperly. Obesity starts. Cavities form. The pervading sense of ‘ick’ becomes normal. In short, there is zero physical progress, and in fact, some pretty significant decline.
When you fill up on a good meal, dessert is something that tops it off and sends the experience over the edge. This is because it follows good, real nutrients. You are able to enjoy the indulgence because you have taken care of your basic needs first.
This truth is evident in relationships. If you are constantly grabbing just for sex, your relationships will never flourish. Your mental and emotional needs will never receive the building blocks they need from real, honest, person-to-person interaction.
In a relationship, there will be times when you have to eat the broccoli because it’s good for you, not because you want to. You will have to pay attention to how each interaction makes you feel and take the time to make sure that it is all net positive, both for you AND your partner. Just like time-consuming homemade meals are the best for the body, so too are conversations, interactions, and efforts that are given the time and energy they deserve the best for relationships.
Truth be told, you can tell a person’s maturity level by how they regard sex. Just as a child wants to live on Sour Patch Kids alone, a young-minded boy or girl simply wants all of the pleasure of a relationship without the meat. Sadly, both the child and the immature adult have not yet learned of how good you feel both physically and mentally when you feed your body and your emotions what they need to thrive.
A relationship is a privilege. It is an amazing opportunity to weave an unbreakable bond of trust, love, laughter, tears, successes, failures, communication, and most of all, respect.
Respect yourself enough to want the homemade chocolate cake, not the stale store-bought cookies fluorescent with cheap food coloring and crumbling exterior.
Respect yourself enough to wait for someone who appreciates the effort that goes into a three course meal, and who eagerly pitches in to help.
Respect yourself enough to gather the ingredients for a meal yourself, so you don’t show up empty-handed.
Most of all, respect yourself enough to know that dessert tastes sweeter after the meal. Don’t fall victim to the junk food of life; love yourself enough to know that for each shiny, tempting bag of chips, there is a less flashy, more filling pot-roast waiting on the table. And remember, if you fill up on junk food, you often lose your appetite for the good stuff.
And oh, how that good stuff is SO worth the wait.