In the wake of her breakup, a recent client of mine began worrying that her ex was the only man who would ever accept her low sex drive. She began thinking that any guy who would share in her ambivalence, or at least not make a fuss about their rare and quiet sex life, was saintly.
What she had never considered, I realized, was the chance that the reason she had so rarely engaged in physical intimacy with her ex was because outside of the bedroom, she was never able to develop the emotional intimacy she so longed for from her partner and which was necessary for her to feel both romantically inclined and sexually aroused by whomever she was physically intimate with.
As a breakup coach, I am the recipient of such thinking quite often.
But this is incredibly limiting to the livelihood and integrity of any of our future romances.
You see, what’s so beautiful about love in the first place is that it inspires us in new ways each and every time. If it were otherwise, we would never consider love to be as magical and transformative as we do.
But the reality is our dynamic with one partner may pull on certain heartstrings that arouse in us unfamiliar tendencies toward jealousy, for example, yearning, or perhaps even anger — emotions that never once played a role in any of our past relationships. And, there’s no doubt about it, this can be unnerving.
The good news is that a new relationship also has the same chance of eliciting empowering feelings within us. Take my client, as an example. Because she felt so little passion in her last relationship, she believed she was incapable of passion altogether. This belief of hers forced her into panic mode. When she came to me, she was panicking that she would never find another man who could overlook her low sex drive. She even began regretting and resenting herself for breaking up with her ex. She also thought about going back to him.
But wait. Imagine the surprise she was in for when she found her way into a new romance that not only honored her wish to “take it slow” but also stirred up in her a very dormant and immensely satisfying drive to spend her hours kissing. Today she talks to me a lot about chemistry and passion and “not being able to keep their hands off each other.” I know, I know. I love this story, too.
My advice for her is the same advice I give myself and it’s also the advice I want to pass on to you.
Keep your perspective, polish it, and let it lead you into smarter romances.
Because here’s the thing: if we’re going to look at a new partner with the same eyes we used to build up and breakdown our last one, then it’s best to call timeout on the bedroom shenanigans and first invest in healing our own hearts. That’s really the only respectable thing to do, both for others and for ourselves.
Plus, every love has a life of its own. And if we treat it as such, there’s a greater chance the love will survive.