When you confuse sex with love

by singlemomseeking on September 30, 2008

Thank you to Heather at Desperately Seeking Sanity for inspiring me to write this post.

Yes, I know, you can never really be a virgin AGAIN.

In the past, when a good-looking man reached out and touched me, I was a goner. I’ve always loved that charge I got from sleeping with a man. I still do. But here’s the truth: I’ve slept with men in order to avoid my loneliness. Instead of holding myself, and really embracing my intense solitude, I’ve found men to hold me. I wasn’t looking for love. I was looking for an instant fix.

And after it was all said and done, I felt even lonelier.

I remember the first advice book I picked up about how to balance sex and parenting. Sex & the Single Parent: A Guide for Parents Who Find Themselves Back in the Dating Game advised:

“You can be a lover and a mother. But you can’t do it torn apart inside by guilt or uncertainty.”

So, that’s what my problem was.

“You can only date if deep inside you can trust yourself to make the right decisions most of the time,” the book went on. “The trick is going in a measured fashion.”

I didn’t know there would be any tricks involved. And I’ve never been very good at measuring.

Love has been the challenging part for me. If you’ve read my book, then you know that I’ve had sprees of booty calls with bad boys. Sure, it was fun. But at the end of the day — or night — it wasn’t healthy.

I haven’t had sex for months now. And you know what? It feels right. I’m more present with myself than ever. No, I’m not going to go out and buy myself a purity ring. But my intention is to be virtuous with myself.

For how much longer? I’m not sure. Setting up rules has never worked for me. I simply break them.

Here’s how single mom Kim spelled it out recently in her blog (thanks!):

“A good, decent, loving man will come along and when it happens I will be ready, but right now I just need to be and really immerse myself fully into being a mom and taking care of my inner spiritual self.”

For me, this isn’t about listening to God. It’s about listening to myself.

It’s about one of my favorite quotes from author Anne Lamott who wrote in Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year:

“Sometimes I’m so hungry for a partner, a lover. One thing I know for sure, though, is that when you are hungry, it is an act of wisdom each time you turn down a spoonful if you know that the food is poisoned.”

No, sex in itself is not poison. But having sex to escape my loneliness is.

If you can offer any advice about how NOT to confuse sex with love, let’s hear it.

~~~

This post is part of a roundtable series on virginity as started by Honey and Lance. Feel free to chime in yourself and leave a comment over at honeyandlance.com. For further reading, take the plunge:

Photo by Chalky Lives.

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Honey October 13, 2008 at 1:04 pm

As someone who not only knows Lance IRL, but dated him for a year, I have to point out that from his very first comment, he was suggesting that for men, interaction with women on a sexual level is THE KEY to gaining the emotional IQ to be a good long-term partner. You have to have an experience to reflect on in order to learn and grow from it, after all–you can’t really reflect effectively on experiences you haven’t had.

Lance would also NEVER be dishonest with a woman, lead her on, or try to convince her to do something she’d regret. Not only is he into reflecting on his own experiences in order to derive value from them and improve himself, he wants to always be a positive influence on the lives of the women he’s with. Just as he can only gain emotional IQ from experience, he can only help women achieve emotional IQ if he gives them experience.

I’ve known Lance a long time (eight years or more) and I can say that he’s definitely a better person now than when we dated, and that’s a direct result of all the experiences he’s had and all the reflection he’s done on those experiences. Ask him how his emotional IQ now compares to when we dated. He’ll tell you the same.

Honey’s last blog post…I PWNed this Blog, Bitchez!!

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Honey October 13, 2008 at 1:08 pm

Sorry–seem to have a bit of trouble posting. Hopefully we don’t get multiples:

As someone who not only knows Lance IRL, but dated him for a year, I have to point out that from his very first comment, he was suggesting that for men, interaction with women on a sexual level is THE KEY to gaining the emotional IQ to be a good long-term partner. You have to have an experience to reflect on in order to learn and grow from it, after all–you can’t really reflect effectively on experiences you haven’t had.

Lance would also NEVER be dishonest with a woman, lead her on, or try to convince her to do something she’d regret. Not only is he into reflecting on his own experiences in order to derive value from them and improve himself, he wants to always be a positive influence on the lives of the women he’s with. Just as he can only gain emotional IQ from experience, he can only help women achieve emotional IQ if he gives them experience.

I’ve known Lance a long time (eight years or more) and I can say that he’s definitely a better person now than when we dated, and that’s a direct result of all the experiences he’s had and all the reflection he’s done on those experiences. Ask him how his emotional IQ now compares to when we dated. He’ll tell you the same.

Honey’s last blog post…I PWNed this Blog, Bitchez!!

Reply

Frank October 25, 2008 at 4:46 pm

I just want to reassure all the women reading this that there ARE men out there who are virgins who are waiting for the right girl to come along. I have several quality friends who take the high road and respect women the way they’re intended to be. I have just as many friends who (I like to think) were influenced by myself and my group of friends who now understand the importance of sex and are now “born again virgins.”

As for me, my heart has been crushed by lies and deceit, giving me the opportunity to grow that much stronger. Life is all about how you react to obstacles in your life. Living a life like this is MUCH harder than your average person’s life. If you’re willing to wait, you will be rewarded either in this life or the after life AND IT WILL BE WORTH IT! Guaranteed.

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Michael Ejercito December 13, 2008 at 11:07 am

There is no way to be a virgin again.

Reply

Vee December 14, 2008 at 3:20 pm

I’m a virgin, but I’m at an age where when you tell people that you’re likely to get scoffed at. Especially if you say it’s by choice and you’re waiting til marriage. I know you’ve had much more experience than me (obviously, lol) but I wanted to throw in my two cents. When you go into a situation where you’re about to have sex with a glimmer of hope that this time it’ll be different, or that this is just what you need like some kind of escape, you’re doing it for a reason other than love. You’re craving the fill to a hole that sex can’t supply. Sex throws something over the hole and lets you think you’re fine until you fall back in. I think love fills it up completely. When love is involved there’s no hoping this time will be different because you’re in a constant place of contentment despite the ups and downs. There’s no wool over your eyes and no guilt afterward. This might be completely wrong, but right now it’s how I see it. If that helps at all, I’m really glad. Good luck – I’m sure it’ll turn out fine. :)

Vee´s last blog post…Extra! Virgin – Weekly Virgin News

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kymm January 14, 2009 at 5:35 am

i think people need to understand the difference between sex and love, you can have sex with multiple people and its just a fun physical thing to do, love is something different, we have been taught 1 = another but its a lie, have sex as much as possible, dont look at it like u have to marry that person, look at it like this is fun…. thats it, no more no more complex, have sex as much as possible, breed only if ur sure u want those genes to be passed on

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