"'Sex' is as important as eating or drinking and we ought to allow the one appetite to be satisfied with as little restraint or false modesty as the other."
Have you ever tried to make love to your significant other after a stressful day? Does your day entail running after the kids, washing the dishes, cooking dinner, and the like? Ever tried to have sex after you've just had an argument with a family member? Or rushed your child to school in a hurried frenzy? Stress impacts sex. And stress is normally caused by issues with your relationships. The last thing you want to do is lay down with your special someone. You are just too stressed, tired, and overwhelmed. That was me before I did this little exercise. I simply wrote down all that was stressing me out and checked for solutions. My main stressor was that I felt incomplete within some of my relationships. This is where we get to the good part.
This article is about how I evaluated my relationships in order to determine if my relationships were healthy enough to sustain. My biggest stressor in college is time management- and how my relationships were affecting the effectiveness of how I managed my time. In order to offer myself a solution to time management, I decided to cut off those in my life who were bloodsuckers and leeches- sucking the very life out of me, in what I would like to deem a parasitic relationship. I realize that some of my relationships were also making me unhappy. I have never fully evaluated my relationships with those of whom I spent my time with. I simply spent my time with people and didn't think anything of it. However, ever since I started pondering about the stresses in my life, I thought about the reasons why my time blocks were so crowded within my planner- too many people and not enough time. I try to make everyone happy and sometimes that means that I sacrifice something. I've come to realize that those types of relationships are not healthy and are dysfunctional. I examined the infrastructure within my life and concluded that there were some people who deserved my time and there were some people that didn't.
First, I did a trial period. I spent a week hanging out with all of the people that I was involved with. I wrote down how I felt about each visit and the person in general. I evaluated my feelings and I assessed how sincere these people seemed to be. This seems similar to a science experiment and I feel that in a way it was. After a week, I reviewed my notes and came to a conclusion about each person in my life. Some people, like my mother, sister, grandmother, best friend of twelve years and my girlfriend, passed this "examination." Each time I've happened to spend time with these people, I felt as if the relationship benefited us both. This is what is called a mutualistic relationship. However, there were also some other relationships that seemed to suck the life out of me.
There are a couple of relationships that made me feel incomplete and maybe even used. These kinds of relationships are what I like to refer to as parasitic relationships. For example, I've been friends with this particular woman for the past three years. Although she is a particularly fun and enjoyable person to be around, she tends to be reliant on me to handle situations in which she can handle herself. It now seems that there is a problem with the path this particular relationship is heading to. I find myself wondering if she is really a genuine person. I've come to the conclusion that she is not. Whenever my friend needed me to come to her rescue, I was there, at her service. I was at her beck and call because I considered her my friend. But, the more I started to think, the more I realized that she was too self-involved to actually want to sustain close relationships. For instance, when we are on the phone, the conversation usually ends up with her dumping all of her problems on me, and then when I attempt to converse with her about my issues, she seems to either be standoffish or she makes up some excuse to get off the phone. It never really occurred to me before that maybe this is a one sided relationship, but the more I analyzed the situation, the more I realized that I was doing right by her, but she did not do right by me. I guess you could say that this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I ended my three-year friendship with this woman that I called my friend. Life has seemed a lot more rewarding ever since.
This article certainly relates to the six dimensions of wellness (there is an image above that explains these six dimensions). It concentrates on the emotional, intellectual, interpersonal and spiritual aspects of wellness. It pertains to the emotional aspect of wellness because now, I focus on how certain relationships makes me feel. It pertains to the intellectual aspect of wellness because I thought critically and I was also curious to evaluate what I can do to improve my relationships. The article pertains to an interpersonal aspect of wellness because I am learning how to communicate my feelings to myself and others, establish and maintain satisfying relationships, and cultivate a support system of genuine friends and family. And finally, it pertains to the spiritual aspect of wellness because I am seeking joy and fulfillment within my relationships.
This "project" lasted for two and a half weeks and it was a true self-discovery adventure. This was actually fun and enlightening. I felt that the decisions made by this experiment were in fact wise ones. There was never a dull moment. It had a positive outcome even though some people may consider a loss of friends a negative thing. This adventure leads me to realize that I am worth a lot more that I give myself credit for. I am a kind, genuine and warm person, and I deserve relationships that are beneficial. I discovered that I am capable of making wise decisions for myself. I will continue to evaluate my relationships and I will continue to put myself first, in respect of my emotional well-being. I would most certainly recommend this for others. After I relinquished my relationships with those who did not deserve my love, compassion, and loyalty, I felt as though a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I feel that my time is now being spent wisely and is spent with people that I know deserve my time.
If you feel like your time is not being spent wisely and if you feel that something is missing, you may want to try this experiment. Simply be aware of the time spent with the people in your life, evaluate those experiences, come to a conclusion, implement action, and then report on it. I have lost four “friends” from this experiment but I've gained so much time to spend with the individuals who are truly there for me as I am for them. Great sex stems from a lack of stress, worries and inhibitions. Follow these short steps and you should be on your way to a fulfilling and satisfying sex life.