How getting good at relating can impact your legacy
Updated: Mar 31, 2022
Many people - men, women, and all genders - feel chronically lonely and erotically frustrated in their partnerships.
Most of us entered into the deep end of relating with zero education beyond pop songs, romcoms, porn, fairy tales, and purity culture on how connection works over the long term.
Somehow, a complex, long-term erotic life together is supposed to ‘just work’ while navigating career, school, childcare, eldercare, financial crises, illness, emotional and mental health, and global pandemic.
For some reason, it’s okay to talk about and work together on our physical fitness, parenting, and healthy eating, but god forbid we ever talk about sex or work on cultivating our erotic life.
Notice what comes up for you when you consider taking time to study attachment theory, emotional intelligence, conscious communication, sacred sex, or your partner’s menstrual cycle?
For a lot of us, it’s shame that arises. Or a feeling of weakness.
But goodness, we sure studied hard at calculus, didn’t we?
When you stop to think about it, it makes no sense why one is acceptable and the others aren’t.
After 7 years of listening to my clients describe long-term sexless marriages, constant bickering and criticism between partners, and feeling isolated and last on your partner’s list of priorities, it’s clear that we need a sexual and relational education.
When I left academia and turned my geeky passion from science to studying self-inquiry and relationships, then my own relationships - sexual and platonic - became:
Deep and connected
Getting wise about love, pleasure, shadow, trauma, attachment, communication, emotions, & sex doesn’t mean relating will always be good and easy - just as progressing at the gym, even after you have been trained, isn’t easy.
The key reorientation here is that relationships are not going to work if we view them as a place to park ourselves and never do anything uncomfortable (can you imagine doing that at the gym?).
Real, rewarding relationships take effort, a willingness to be uncomfortable (and stopping being defensive). They are a space for humbling growth.
(And by the way, it’s this growth that can help keep sex exciting over the long-term).
Studying relating and sex gifts us with greater self-awareness.
Greater self-awareness brings:
more flexibility, which is what true freedom is built on.
compassion for ourselves and our partner, which can feel powerful (inner power rather than an external power-over).
an ability be more present - we're less caught in painful emotional dramas and stories, and can instead take care of ourselves and our partner
a quieting of the inner critic and more self-love
With freedom, power, presence and love, we can be a force for good in the world and leave a meaningful legacy.