and New Relationships
by Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
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and New Relationships
Brad was just
completing his divorce after having been married for over 25 years.
He had not dated in what seemed like forever to him, and had no
idea how to start. “How do you start a new relationship?” he asked
me in our counseling session.
“What are you
most concerned about?” I asked.
“Sex,” he answered.
sex?” I asked.
What if I can’t perform? What if I’m too nervous to perform?”
start with sex.”
In the 35 years
that I’ve been counseling, I’ve discovered that the one mistake
people make in starting a new relationship is to have sex too soon.
There are many reasons why people have sex too soon: they think
it will create deeper intimacy, they are just in it for the conquest,
they are afraid of rejection if they say no, they get physically
carried away, they like sex. Let’s take the example of Yvonne.
Yvonne is a
lovely young woman in her middle thirties who really wants to get
married and have children. She has no trouble meeting men, but the
relationships don’t last. In fact, they rarely even get started.
is that Yvonne often believes what men say to her early on in the
relationship. The last man she dated a couple of months ago, came
on really strong. He told her on the first date how wonderful she
was, how he had rarely met anyone like her. When he came on sexually,
she resisted, although she was really turned on and attracted to
him. He suavely said to her “I bet you’re worried that if we have
sex I won’t call you again.” “Right,” she said. “That’s exactly
what I’m worried about.” Well, he answered, “I’m not that kind of
man. Can’t you tell that we’re really connected to each other? I
haven’t had such a good time in years! Of course I want to see you
again!” Yvonne agreed that they were having a wonderful time. She
put aside her inner warning signals and had sex with him. Sure enough,
he never called her again.
is that, no matter how wonderful things seem on the first or second
date, this is not enough time to deeply care about someone. And
sex without deep caring might be a physically satisfying experience,
but it is flat emotionally and spiritually. It will almost always
leave both people feeling like something was missing. Without love
and caring, it is easy to move on to another person, another conquest.
It is easy to dismiss the encounter - since something was missing,
it must not have been the right person. But these two people never
gave themselves a change to see if they were right for each other.
They jumped into the most physically intimate of experiences before
there was any emotional intimacy. They tried to get the intimate
connection through sex, but great sex is an outgrowth of intimacy,
not a cause of it. Without love and caring, any problem becomes
too much to handle, any deficiency or imperfection becomes cause
to move on. Physical attraction is never enough to see people through
the inevitable conflicts that come up in primary relationships.
comes through spending time together getting to know each other.
It comes from months of laughing together, crying together, discovering
what is deeply endearing about each other. It comes from having
conflict and getting through it to understanding each other on deeper
levels. It comes when two people let each in on the soul level.
You need to love someone’s soul before you will be willing to go
through the challenges that come up in all relationships. Without
that depth of love, it is just too easy to leave.
So, what I said
to Brad was, “Take your time. Don’t jump into bed until you feel
so safe with each other that even if the first time you make love
you don’t get an erection it won’t ruin the relationship. It may
take months or longer before you feel that safe with someone.”
supposed to wait months before having sex?”
“Brad, I don’t
know how long it will take for you to feel loved and loving, safe
and deeply caring. It depends on how much time you time you spend
with each other. It depends on how honest you are with each other.
It depends on how you each deal with conflict. You will certainly
not feel safe until you have conflict and see how the two of you
handle it. What if you discover that your partner completely shuts
down or gets enraged in conflict? Will you feel safe if you are
worried about her reaction if you can’t perform? All this takes
time. What’s your rush? Is it sex you want or a relationship you
“Okay, I got
it. I want a relationship. Whew! I actually feel some relief knowing
that it’s okay to take my time!”
Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books,
including "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?" and “Healing
Your Aloneness.” She is the co-creator of the powerful Inner
Bonding healing process. Learn Inner Bonding now! Visit her web
site for a FREE Inner Bonding course: www.innerbonding.com
oremail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phone Sessions Available.
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