Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What happened to old fashion romance and passion in relationships?

I was on the phone with one of my ex's, someone that I was with for quite a while about 25 years ago.  He is  2 years younger than I am and he is now dating a 27 year old.  He was telling me that his sex life has become almost no existent, that there doesn't seem to be any passion or affection outside of the few times they have sex.  Which had gone from 3 or 4 times a weekend to now 1 or 2 times every 3 or 4 weeks.  This got me wondering what happened to old fashion romance and passion, where are the cuddling nights sitting on the couch watching a movie together and snuggling?  Have those days gone by?  Are they gone forever?  That brings me back to how can we ignite our love and make it something real and tangible for every day?

See, I am all too aware that there are some relationships that are based on mutual affection, and then there are some that are based genuinely on love, with those few that are just relationships of convenience. Where two people are sharing the same lives, but not the same dreams and goals.  It must be sad to feel like you are just roommates with an occasional benefit thrown in every once in awhile.  We have talked about relationships in the past and how some are just like business arrangements, that are beneficially mutual to both parties concerned.  But what happens when one of the party develops deeper feelings for the other that is not reciprocated?

This I think is what happens in most gay relationships, they start out good because we, and I am using the term we here because I fall into the same category and pattern here, have a tendency to start our relationships off the wrong way. We meet out in a bar, or sometimes with the advent of the internet and all the dating sites, we start off meeting the person, hanging out and before we know it we are having sex.  We continue to see that person and the sex continues.  Gay men seem to have a misconception that sex and chilling together equates a relationship.  We don't go out on traditional dates, we don't explore the other person fully we just jump into it with both feet so to speak.  Now, again I can only speak from personal experience, but I have found that the longest relationships that I have had I came at them with a different focus.  For example, yes I met Joe my ex of 12 1/2 years by answering a personal add on a computer bulletin board, this is before the internet.  We emailed and spoke to one another daily for 6 moths before we ever met.  We talked about everything and we explored each other before we ever met.  When we did meet I will admit that the first thing we did was have sex.  Then we went to dinner with my best friend and chilled out.  For the first week we were inseparable, then he had to go back to Atlanta for work, but 2 weeks later he was back in Florida at a job site at the beach, I was actually off of work at the time and was able to meet up with him and spent that week together with him also.  We talked about moving me up to Atlanta with him, and he even invited me up for a weekend to see if I liked it.  Well with me being there, his roommate came forward and told him how much he cared about him and a lot of drama ensued.  I ended up coming back to Florida and talking with the management company of the complex I was living at and found that I could transfer my lease up to Atlanta for only $50.00 which is what we decided to do.  Joe and I lived in that apartment in Atlanta for 7 months, most of which time he was never home. I moved to Atlanta and for 5 months he was on the road, and I barely ever saw him.  I had gotten a job and started working the Monday after I had moved up there so there was no lapse in pay for me.    But let me tell you something even doing it that way, getting to know someone via email and text messaging was not enough.  We didn't know each other and didn't give ourselves a chance to get to know one another. Before we knew it we were buying a house together and getting dogs, and before I blinked 5 years had gone by.  We were always arguing and fighting and with him travelling so much, there wasn't very much sex between us.  But it was okay because I went back to school got my bachelors and master's degrees and kept myself busy while he was away.

The long and the short of it is that with the technology of today, people aren't spending time together and learning about each other. They read an online profile, go out on a date and jump right into the sack with the other person.  This doesn't make for a successful relationship at all.  Eventually, there are going to be incompatibilities and things that you learn about one another that may change the dynamic of the relationship. If you really care about the person you are with you have to keep the relationship exciting and full of love and feeling. Each one of you needs to be reaffirmed that the other cares about you and feels the same way you do.  Affection goes part of the way in doing this, but there has to be verbal affirmation as well. You need to hear it as well as feel it.  You need to do simple little things that let the other know what you are feeling towards them. That them running around naked still turns you on and makes you happy.  Hide little gifts around, with notes telling them how special they are an what you think about them.  Keep in mind that for most people a compliment on the way they look and about their personality will go a long way in reassuring them that you still love and care for them.

My advice to you is that if you want to really discover and find someone that cares about you.  Take it slow, get to know them, keep the sex part out of it for as long as you can.  Learn all about them, their likes, their dislikes, their favorite things, go out and explore the world together, and do all of this before ever stepping into the bedroom.  Because honestly sex stirs up emotions and puts strings on things that maybe should be tied up.  I have met tons of people online that advertise that they are looking for casual encounters with no strings attached (NSA).  Guess what that doesn't work for me, because after being with them and having sex  with them several times, I find myself getting attached, and falling for them.  However, as I explained above, I really hadn't gotten to know anything about them, and when it finally and inevitably ends I am the one that is hurting because I connected with that person sexually, I enjoyed being with that person, yet the only thing I truly knew about the person is what they liked to do sexually.  When I tried dating some of them, it would only last a short while because outside of the bedroom we would have nothing in common, and those that I did have something with didn't understand the concept of monogamy.  So what I am trying to tell you is that you might save yourself some heartache and trouble if you take the time upfront to get to know someone really before you ever jump into bed with them.

Then there are those that you have had sexual relationships with that you feel a kind of connection with that you think you might want to explore further, but how do you go from being a Fuck Buddy to a full partner?  The answer is that it can be done but with some difficulty, and patience and a lot of hard work. Because you have to get over the preconceived notions that each of you have built over the casual encounters. You have to take the time to really get to know the person and you have to be willing to start over from scratch, like the past never happened.  You can't walk into it and hope that it will gel and work, because it doesn't happen like that. Further, you can't expect everything to fall into place immediately, both of you are going to be at different places in your lives and you are going to have to work hard to bring them together.  Because the only way that you can make that type of relationship work is if you are willing to join everything together and start over as a single unit.  You can't come at if from two different points of view and expect that your goals, expectations and living situation are just going to fall into alignment.  You have to work together, to make a new starting place, fresh, free from the past and you have to work toward building a future together. As my friend in Seattle once told me, the past is behind, keep hold of the memories, but you have to let go of those feelings and emotions and move forward.  Forward, is the only way that you can possibly be together, you have to start over in a totally new found place where both of you are on equal footing and no one has the advantage.  Get to know one another again, this time from a friend and lover standpoint and not from the sexual standpoint.  You already know what they like to do sexually, but what about the rest of their life. What do you know about that? Are you willing to join in and help them reach their personal goals?  Are you even aware of their personal goals? How do their goals line up with your own?  Then what kind of goals are you and your partner going to want to have together?

See it is very important for you you have a set of goals that provide you a map toward where you are trying to get too.  Each of you should have individual goals that will keep you both moving forward, but for a relationship to work you also have to have common relationship goals that both of you are willing to work on together.  It is extremely important for a relationship to work to have manageable and achievable goals that both of you are willing to work on together.  Plus you have to be willing to support your partners individual goals and they yours.  This will make a sound foundation for the relationship and one that is designed to grow.  If everyone could get to this point the divorce rate in our country would be on the decline instead of constantly rising each year.

So, what I would like to recommend to you at this point no matter in what type of relationship you find yourself in, if you are wanting to make it work and care about each other than you have to learn how to come together and keep it interesting, new and inviting. You are going to have to talk about your own goals and those of your partner, see where each of you can help the other to reach and achieve their goals. You also have to find goals that will keep the relationship moving forward, and growing as well, these are the common goals I was talking to you about. You have to learn how to keep the mystery and romance alive, do little things that remind each other how much you care and what you love about the other one. You also have to talk to one another, be truthful with your fear, dreams, hopes, desires and most importantly your feelings.  Communication and honesty are as important as the affection and sexual parts of the relationship.  Make time to spend with one another and make it romantic and special.  Remember that just because life hasn't presented you with the perfect opportunity, you can make one.  Keep in mind that each moment is unique and special, it is never going to be repeated in the whole of history, so take it and make it unique and special for you and the one that you love.

Surround yourself with positive energy, and friends that are supportive, cling to optimistic people, and shy away from the pessimists, they will hold you back.  Also assess your current friends and loved one, those that are taking more away from you than they are giving are holding you back and keeping you from reaching your full potential you have to cut them loose, let them go.  Remember only you have you own best interest at heart, and those that don't support you or in some way add benefit to your goals, ambitions, and desires you should let them go.  You and your partner do not need to have others hanging around bringing you down, you need people that care about you and are supportive of you both and are willing to build you up.

As always my hopes and dreams are with you,

Uncle B