If you can’t treat and trust your partner like a friend, then maybe you’re not ready to move forward in your relationship in love.
How do you treat your friends?
You are understanding and forgiving of your friends. You have a sort of unconditional love with your friends. They can do crazy things, and you can laugh with them about it. They can make huge mistakes and you can feel sorry for them because you know their intentions were good.
If you and your friend get into a heated debate, you can both walk away with your feelings hurt, then the next time you meet, you’ve put the issue behind, almost as if it didn’t happen and resume your relationship.
You can be supportive and love them no matter what they say, no matter what they do. Your friendship is pliable and never at risk of being lost. These are the conditions of your longest-lasting friendships. The kind where you can go without seeing them due to life circumstances, and no matter how long it’s been, you pick up right where you left off without missing a beat.
These are your real life BFFs.
Then there’s your relationship with your partner. How can you compare the two?
“Well,” you interject, “I’m not having sex with my friends.”
It is well known that there is a bio-chemical reaction that takes place when bodies start to intermingle and are penetrated by another, not to mention the effects of the psychological and spiritual exchange that happens when body fluids are exposed to another.
It’s the nature of human beings. It’s what keeps us separate from the other mammals on our planet. Something about how we were designed has a part of us longing to have a long-term committed, loving, supportive, and monogamous relationship.
As much as some of us try to reduce sex to just an ordinary natural act, our body chemistry and tendency to deeply attach, even if against our will, overshadows any analytical representation that there really is a difference between having sex and making love.
Yet, there is an acute distinction between the two.
“Having sex,” refers to the simple act of copulation between two consenting adults. The idea is that these two parties can engage in and enjoy the act of having sex without all the complications and attachments of having a romantic relationship.
While this is an excellent ideal, I can tell you, based on the singles and couples I’ve consulted with, nothing could be further from the truth. These stories of one-night stands or frivolous sexual encounters did not come at a price, and science backs up and predicts the price being paid, whether you admit it at the time, or ever, the fact remains, there is no such thing as casual sex.
“Making love,” on the other hand, is the romanticized version of sexual intimacy which assumes a loving, (preferably monogamous) relationship with the intention to go on in life with each other with love, compassion, understanding and integrity.
Where things go sideways, is when one partner is making love while the other partner is having sex. There’s the rub, and there is danger ahead.
If you’ve had an experience, like this, then you have probably suffered emotional trauma and it would be understandable if you suffered love’s Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which would potentially include the inability to trust another potentially intimate partner.
Consider the idea of not engaging in a sexual encounter until you’re at least relatively certain that your partner has your best interests at heart. Do not go there until you feel as though he or she can be trusted by the placing of your heart in his or her hands.
Waiting until you feel as though you could love, care, understand, and accept him or her, just as you would any other friend, may be too much to ask. And that’s okay.
But at least, do your best to look after yourself, which is solely your responsibility.
If you feel like you can engage in casual sex, then have the talk, set and accept the ground rules before going there. Then, the onus is on you to manage the repercussions on your own with integrity.
Help to mitigate the effects of having these kinds of relationships is available to you, when you are ready.
If you are going to engage in making love, then by all means, have the love talk before you go there, if love is your intention.
No amount of preparation and caution can protect your heart from experiencing pain in a love relationship, but without love and the vulnerability with accompanies it, life is less than it could be.