I’ve done a lot of thinking over the last couple of days about relationships and men. I thought I only wanted a sexual relationship with no ties but I wasn’t being true to myself. I was very lucky in meeting Liam, a man that was decent, respectful and treated me very well. It could have been very different, I could have met another Gary, or worse.
Meeting Liam really confirmed to me that it’s not sex I want at all; it’s love and it’s love with a kind, caring, decent, respectful man. I want the whole thing; love, romance, marriage, forever, for the rest of our lives. But then I have to look at the other side of the coin – having sex with men that I have no feelings for at all could be liberating. I’ve always put love and sex into the same box, they go hand in hand for me and maybe it’s time I stopped thinking that way and started to separate the two. Because by believing that the two pair perfectly together has led me, too many times, to getting hurt. I have met someone, had sex with them within a few dates and quickly fooled myself into believing that it’s love. I think this is something I do as a kind of safety mechanism. I think this is to protect me from shame.
I grew up with a lot of negative messages about sex, all from my mum. Sex wasn’t something that women did for pleasure, it was something that men used women for. “Men only want women for one thing” was a message that I heard over and over again throughout my childhood, so to stop myself feeling as though the only thing I was wanted for was sex, I would convince myself that I felt love and they felt it too. Mostly I was wrong.
But I also have to face the fact that for the last few years, I haven’t loved any of the men I have slept with, not really. Not Craig, not Phil, not Theo, not Gary. I certainly felt lust with most of them but not love. I felt wanted and my ego needed that, and so maybe I am already liberated from the belief thatsex and love are one. What I have learnt is that there is no replacement for a sexual relationship with someone you love and are deeply connected with. Despite not being in love with Phil, our connection was profound which made for really intimate, amazingly connected sex and that is what I want again but not something I’m going to get if I jump into bed with someone too soon.
And so for now, I have to stop thinking that sex is enough and I have to stop even looking for a man, even though it’s what I want most in the world right now. I need to focus on loving my life as it is, improving the bits that need work and making myself fully ready for the relationship which will positively change my life forever. So maybe, having what I’ve got right now is enough? Myself, a few close friends and sharing my life and my home with my children who always show me what love really is