Excellent read. There’s really something to intentionality when it comes to relationships…even the one with yourself.
I was married from 97–2016, and I was excited to see a “grown-up” talking about dating. And sadly, it’s not much different for guys who want more than sex. I mean, I definitely kept it casual for the first year or so after my divorce (who wouldn’t after 20+ years with the same person), but in the past few months I’ve had to create a few rules for my own sanity. And one of those is: No sex on the first date. It’s amazing to me how ready to get into it so many women are—probably due to my evangelical upbringing and living in the Bible Belt. But it’s a legitimate barrier to true intimacy. It’s as though we’re getting naked and calling it intimacy because we can see each other’s naughty bits.
And while sex is a wonderful thing, I’m over just having good sex. I’m looking for great sex at this point, and that’s the kind that comes with actually KNOWING someone. And the toughest part of that is that THAT level of relationship requires WORK. And I don’t even mean hard work, but there are no shortcuts to developing a relationship—romantic, platonic, or otherwise. And at this point, I’d be really happy with taking turns laying our heads in each other’s laps and just being close to each other while watching a movie over just banging it out. I want to create opportunities to connect, and those typically happen in the midst of the mundane. Washing dishes and talking about your day. Taking your time eating dinner somewhere quiet and sharing your life. Laying in bed and laughing together about dumb stuff.
Forgive the novel-length comment. I really appreciated your words.