Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Stop Looking For Answers

In relationships, we spend a lot of time wondering if we’re doing the right thing. Is this the one? Should I break it off with him? How can I make this better?

There are also a lot of places out there that claim to have those answers from science to Cosmopolitan magazine to strangers on the internet.

Listen to me, they say, and we’ll tell you how to be happy.

None of them will work. Magazine articles are just ink on a page. Other people’s stories are just that--other people’s stories.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with these things. I am a ravenous devourer of all things sex- and relationship-related In fact, after listening to me monologue for twenty minutes on what the way a couple holds hands says about them, one woman told me: “Why can’t you just be into World of Warcraft like a normal dork?”

Having somebody else’s answers is not helpful. I have a thousand reasons why relationships work or don’t work the way they do. I have an answer to any sex or relationship question you could ask (not to mention the answers to a few questions nobody has ever asked me, but kind of wish they would). But I’ve never helped anybody by giving them an answer. And for all my knowledge, my relationship history is as messy as anybody else’s.

Nothing--no book, no friend, no CD, no magazine article, no workshop--can give you what you‘re looking for. You have to give it to yourself.

Like it or not, you are responsible for your own romantic happiness. No one else will do it for you. No one else CAN do it for you--not a book, not a family member, not even the person you’re dating.

It’s up to you.

I’m not saying outside sources can’t help. I learned a lot from other people. Some of those things made things better for me. Some of that advice took me down some dark roads. I learned from all of it--but only when I took the time to ask my heart what was happening. And only when I listened to the answers coming back.

It’s a frightening thing, learning to trust ourselves. But there is no other way.

Which leads to the question: when we’ve made mistakes and we aren’t even sure what we want let alone the first step in how to get it, how do we learn to trust ourselves?

In some ways, that’s a more complicated question than it might first appear. And yet in other ways, it is oh so very simple.

We’ll get deeper into it in future entries. But for now, here’s something to start you practicing.


For the next week, several times throughout the day, especially during periods of uncertainty, stop and ask yourself the following question:

What do I want and what am I willing to do to get it?

Then quietly wait for an answer from inside yourself.

For now, don’t worry about the answers you get. They can be specific or vague, surprising or mundane, practical or complete flights of fantasy.

It doesn’t matter what they are.

The only thing that matters for now is that you listen.

-May All Being Be Sexy

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  1. Great post, Dan! Practice is so important, as is taking active steps to go after what you want. I look forward to future installments!

  2. Dating is a microcosm of life. If you are failing at dating, then you are failing at some other part of your life. Thanks for pointing out that I'm a failure, Dan! J/kidding. Love your writing.