I read an article recently about Stephen Snyder’s work.
He is the author of Love Worth Making: How to Have Ridiculously Great Sex in a Long-Lasting Relationship.
His goal is to help couples sustain sex in marriage.
A worthy goal to be sure.
But what I kept hearing over and over?
The best way to keep things sexy is…DON’T get married.
It is a well know fact that successful long term monogamous marriage has a track record up there with the likelihood of winning the lottery.
Or getting struck by lightning.
Or whatever other impossibility you can imagine.
No wonder the marriage recovery industry is going strong!
Take something designed for a completely different purpose?
Then tack romantic love onto it.
You’ll be constantly trying to stop the Titanic from sinking.
Don’t get me wrong. I think the VISION of long term monogamous marriage is a wonderful dream. The problem is based on everything we know it is a dream and nothing more.
The number of people who pull it off?
And even they only do so after an awful lot of rocky times.
Think I’m mistaken?
Just check out what Snyder himself has to say.
Keep things sexy?
The article mostly says why you CAN’T.
Everything Snyder points to as a reason long term marriage fails shows it is not the right context at all for romantic love to flourish.
21st Century couples always find themselves in a sexual rut.
Modern life is stressful.
If you can’t detach?
Feeling sexy is dead.
Okay no problem then.
Just remove the stress from your life right?
Not looking good so far.
Because you guys are driven to be successful it is in your very nature to experience stress while doing so. When you do your natural pattern is to withdraw into yourself.
Well there’s a pattern for intimacy!
But that’s not all.
Modern day expectation get in the way too.
You girls often expect more than your husband does.
And this doesn’t sit well with you.
Your guy feels emasculated.
Because quite frankly that’s how you SEE him.
When that happens you start to loose interest too.
Then other priorities start to get in the way.
Once romantic love ceases to be the purpose you are together for sex takes on the tone of a duty with orgasm its only goal.
You start to see love making as “foreplay.”
Instead of the main course meal it is.
You both start settling for “dessert.”
Then wonder why you’re starving.
Again the culprit?
External pressures and distractions make you lose focus.
And of course once the goal becomes just “Wham, bam, thank you mam!” the next logical step is to just turn to porn. With porn you can get off in a matter of moments which is much more efficient in your busy day!
Oh but maybe some sex toys will help you out
Or some other novelty like a threesome.
But the problem with every such dopamine chasing pattern?
Its effectiveness diminishes over time.
As Snyder points out true intimacy is connection.
Which takes time and being mindful and being still.
It also takes seeing love making as a lifestyle.
Not just something you do in bed.
I don’t know about you but I’m totally exhausted just thinking about how to make a long term marriage work. There is just too much other stuff going on to give love and romance a chance.
Which is why I recommend you don’t.
Get MARRIED, that is.
Or get monogamous at all.
Trying to fit romantic love into that paradigm?
It’s a losing battle from the start.
That’s why Romantic Friendships make the most sense. They remove all the stresses, distractions and strain.
Not because those don’t still exist in your life.
But because they are no longer any part of your connection.
Your connection is something you escape to instead.
Because you don’t live with your partner day to day?
Your stresses have nothing to do with your partner.
So your connection isn’t impeded by any of that.
When you have a connection with a romantic friend you meet with them to enjoy your time together. You naturally head toward stillness and mindfulness because that is why you both are there.
You enjoy expressing affection.
Intimate conversation is at a premium
You spend time in recreational companionship.
You are ALWAYS making love.
And because you don’t live together?
You look forward to these “getaways.”
Is your partner too busy to see you right now?
You have other partners too.
Each relationship provides meaning and nourishment in your life.
They make all your troubles look so much easier day to day.
What do you think? Is the problem with making marriage work that you’re trying to make marriage work instead of just making love work instead?
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