In playing the dating game, conventional wisdom has dictated that it isn't possible for women to have sex without forming an emotional attachment to their partner -- unlike men who can do it freely, separating the act from the emotion. And generally, even for myself, I'll admit that I more or less accepted this as a reality in dating. Not to say that I assume love is the next step after intimacy. However, I'd be lying if I said that in one or two specific cases when I started actively dating, I wasn't a bit disappointed with how things turned out -- it being not much more than a good time. I was late to the lesson that sex doesn't equal relationship. But once I learned it, I kind of nailed it down into my brain never to be forgotten again.
Anyway, I bring this up because just this weekend, I spent a bit of time catching up with Laurie, a friend and old colleague of mine. I hadn't seen her in a while and she was giving me the download on the latest in her life: a guy she'd met with whom she felt there would be no promise of long-term... But with whom she'd decided to just sleep with instead. "Since I know he's not the one for me," she'd said, "I don't see why I just can't have fun with it."
Now this one made me think a bit. Truth is, that while both men and women engage in sex without running down the altar all the time, does it mean we should?
That depends. If you can be realistic about what sex is, have a clear understanding of the feelings you and other person do and don't have on each other AND not impose meanings on it other than those of the moment, then I don't see why not. That requires being in tune with your partner and the situation to avoid any possible disappointments.
But really, should we?
What I've Learned: Sex has the importance you impose upon it. So, if the feelings are real, then sex will undoubtedly be more than just a physical act. However, that said... When you're doing the dating thing, I don't think there's anything wrong with just enjoying the act itself if you have the chemistry and enjoy the other person's company.
No doubt that sex is complicated enough without all physical and emotional things that come into play. Personally, I like to take the approach of selective fun. That is, getting to know a guy a bit, consider the head space I'm in (relationship mode, fun, etc.) and act that way. I guess it gives me a chance to examine my own feelings and make every effort I can to check myself. And, it's something I work on whenever I start dating someone new.
But, either way, what matters most is weighing the pros and cons -- then, make the final call yourself.
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