Written by Craig M. Hands, Ph.D.
Sex is good, but sex with love is better. Are there personal issues in your life that prevent you from finding both in a relationship?
We all want sex and love, but many of us find ourselves in no-strings-attached relationships that are ultimately limited. At the beginning of these encounters, physical attraction masks the negatives; it is not until later that downsides appear. Often times, individuals cycle through these relationships, none more satisfying than the last. This is because, while physical interactions develop quickly, intimacy on a deep, emotional level takes time. While good sex is a fantastic emotional high, it cannot fill our need for true intimacy.
Why is it so difficult to break this cycle? Many times, there is a psychological root to this problem; those who engage in solely physical relationships tend to fear intimacy and commitment. Thankfully, this problem is not new, unique, or insolvable.
The unconscious plays more of a role than you might think. We are often unaware of the underlying thoughts and feelings that influence our behavior. The interactions and behaviors that we learned by observing our parents as role models influence our view of relationships. The unconscious, in conjunction with our early childhood experience and our environment, creates our own template of how we think relationships should be. Even so, it is common for us to confuse intimacy with sex.
If your goal is to create a strong bond with someone who makes you feel trusted, understood and accepted, then identifying and understanding these issues in a nonjudgmental environment can create positive change. It just takes one person to change life’s direction – YOU. With the right therapist who actually understands your unique situation, you can improve the quality of your relationship, better understand why you are in your current life circumstance, and learn how to create lasting benefits.