Taking Time to Really Get to Know Someone Before Becoming Physically Intimate

Taking Time to Really Get to Know Someone Before Becoming Physically Intimate

The film “Cold Feet” starring Tom Waits, Sally Kirkland and Keith Carradine revolves around the scheme of two petty criminals attempting to smuggle emeralds from Mexico into the United States. At some point in the film, the character played by actress Sally Kirkland managed to catch the attention of the businessman sitting next to her on the return flight from Mexico. In the next scene, you see Sally kicking the disheveled partially dressed businessman out the door of his RV while saying, “Just remember. You pay for every piece of ass you get.”

Sadly, there is in far too many incidences a lot of truth to this statement.

Dean while still in high school was determined to marry a beautiful woman. He ended up marrying one of the most beautiful girls in the entire school. Schizophrenia runs in the girl’s family. Reba totally lost it and started having all kinds of delusional thoughts and hallucinations some time into the marriage.

Flashing forward a few decades, Dean’s oldest daughter turned out to be mentally unstable. His middle daughter has been institutionalized for most of her life. And the son who died in his teens suffered from muscular dystrophy.

Dean, like so many of us, was terribly naïve going into the relationship. But he certainly paid a extraordinary high price. He suffered the consequences of his naïveté, the choices he made and actions he took for the remainder of his life.

The vast majority of us are grossly ignorant when it comes to addictions, narcissism, sociopathy, obsessive compulsive, borderline, bipolar, schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. And yet these disorders are actually fairly prevalent. Many of us will at some point in our life either date, become physically intimate or enter a relationship with someone who meets the criteria of one or more of these disorders.

Men and women who possess narcissistic or sociopathic tendencies, often use tactics such as love bombing to pull you in. They make you feel special by showering you with affection, telling you that you’re the most beautiful man or woman they ever met, that you’re meant to be together and that no one understands them like you do.

A narcissist will have you feeling like you’ve found your soul mate, but the honeymoon will soon end. And before you know what’s going on, they’re tearing you down with attacks and criticism. They’re withdrawing emotionally, possibly after finding another person to shower their affection upon and then they abruptly discard you. 

Unless you have a strong intuitive sense of people and know the signs, you can easily find yourself blindsided by a narcissist. That’s why you need time to get a realistic sense of any person you’re opening yourself up to.

Many of us will suffer terribly as a recent result of our involvement with these individuals. We will experience the painful sense of anguish in response to the horrible suffering we endure. We may reach out to friends, read self-help books, attend support groups, seek out the intervention of a therapist or healer or do a combination of all the above.

Those of us who have grown up with parents who presented us with healthy models of attachment are less likely to become emotionally attached to such highly dysfunctional and damaged individuals. And if we’re able to recognize the ominous signs of impending danger, then we are much more likely to dodge the bullet.

If we operate from the more vulnerable end of the spectrum, we have a greater likelihood of getting involved with partners who rip open our existing emotional wounds while simultaneously creating new ones. And before we even realize what’s happening, we often find ourselves caught in a downward spiral.

Even though we may suffer the hell and heartbreak, some of us will quickly catch on, learn the valuable lessons and extricate herself from these destructive relationships. Those of us who don’t know any better will suffer for months, years or even decades as a result of our continued involvement. The extent of our entanglement with these damaged and dysfunctional partners is greatly magnified when children come into the picture.

I once felt what seemed like an intense connection with a South Indian woman I met some years ago. Eswari called me a few weeks after we first met to ask if I wanted to get together for coffee. And it became obvious that we resonated on a number of levels. We would sit for hours at a time immersed in conversation. It seemed as though there were a million things for us to talk about.

Eswari had studied to be an engineer, had done extensive work in the tech industry and was obviously quite intelligent. I liked the fact that we challenged each other intellectually. I could also see that I was stretching Eswari beyond her normal analytical mode of thought.

There was also a very intense emotional and physical chemistry between us. On some levels, Eswari was very much drawn to me. I could also sense that parts of her were threatened by me. As I got to know Eswari better, I could sense a dishonesty about her. It became obvious that she was not willing to face certain issues or even acknowledge what she was feeling. Eswari’s unwillingness to deal was a major contributing factor to her chemical dependency.

The part of me that wants to see the best in people was hopeful. I wanted to believe that Eswari was capable of more and to reach out a helping hand and say you can do better. Big mistake on my part. I cannot save or rescue anyone. If someone truly wants to heal and grow, they will be taking those steps of their own volition to make it happen.

Eswari ended up ghosting me. In hindsight, I can see that there was an obvious mismatch and I think my presence was a bit too much for her. Part of her was drawn to the light, but then she retracted into the all familiar darkness. The loss left me feeling quite devastated at the time, but I got over it fairly quickly.

The feelings and projections of romantic love can be hugely deceptive. I too have at times overlooked or discounted the red flags that I needed to be paying attention to. Women like Eswari have helped to put me in touch with the wounded parts of myself that I had yet to reconnect with.

Eswari is hugely self-absorbed and is anything but kindhearted. I didn’t feel like it at the time, but she actually did me a massive favor by disappearing from my life. Now as I look back, I’m so thankful that I never became physically intimate with her and that the relationship ended when it did. It was a very important lesson for me, and although painful at the time, it initiated a much-needed process of healing and growth that brought me to an even better place.

Being careful with the feelings of others

Another reason I’m very careful when it comes to being physically intimate with a woman is that I don’t want to do anything that would end up causing someone else a lot of unnecessary pain. In other words, I don’t want to become physically intimate a woman and have her become emotionally attached to me and then be in the position of having to let her know that I have no interest in continuing to be intimate with her.

It was all an illusion

I had the opportunity to speak to members of medical staff at the main hospital in the Kilinochchi district of northern Sri Lanka. A few months later, one of the physicians in attendance had me speak to the medical staff at the hospital that he was transferred to in the town of Dambadeniya. After a long day of classes and individual consultations, I had to find a place to stay for the night in the nearby town of Kurunegala.

I ended up staying in an apartment located on the top floor of the building that served is an urgent care clinic. There seem to be this intense chemistry with Dayani, one of the nurses working in the clinic. We started messaging back and forth, and then she asked me if I would come back down to see her in Kurunegala.

I wanted to be careful and not read into the situation and to go without expectations. My intention was to at least be open and to show up to see if there was some kind of connection. But after coming all the way back down from Kilinochchi, I could feel that the intense chemistry was no longer there.

Had I just imagined it? Or was it a passing mutual infatuation?

As I got to know Dayani, I couldn’t help but notice her confusion and the drama playing out in her own life. It turns out that she had recently become estranged from the man that she was engaged to. Maybe that estrangement had something to do with her initial response to me. I don’t know. I’m just thankful to have caught on when I did.

Many of us have had the experience of feeling all this intense chemistry with another individual and then after a few months, weeks or even a few days it all vanishes. It happens all the time.

The projections arising from our subconscious minds working in conjunction with the biochemical processes of the brain and endocrine system can create these extraordinarily powerful illusions. We can easily become so caught up in our projections that we believe we have found the love of our life.

Problems often arise when we fail to see the person that we’ve developed an attachment to for who they truly are. That’s why it’s good for us to slow down and give ourselves the opportunity to see if all those fireworks are anything more than a momentary illusion created by our brain chemistry and the projections of our subconscious.

Romantic love is an extraordinarily powerful force that can in many instances lead two individuals to develop an intense attachment for one another. We can, however, find ourselves in serious trouble when romantic love blinds us to the red flags that would warn us of impending danger. Romantic love tends to soften when there is a healthy attachment between two individuals and is replaced by a growing sense of companionate love.

I know a number of people who have met and married after connecting on Tinder or match.com. These fortunate few are the exception. The vast majority of those I have spoken with have primarily expressed their frustrations and disappointments. One of the biggest problems with attempting to connect via the digital interfaces provided by texting and online dating is that the attachments are in many instances not as deep or secure.

The rules of engagement have changed with the advent of Tinder, match.com and other dating sites. The people we meet via these digital interfaces are less likely to be accountable. They can always ditch us the moment someone else grabs their attention. Potential matches are often seen as just another commodity to be exploited and are in many instances disposed of.

There is now an expectation held by many that you will sleep with one another by the third date. You may have gone out for a drink or sat down to eat with this person, saw a film or attended an opening at one of the local galleries. Maybe you went to a concert together. But you barely know this person. And with all the noise and distractions, it is highly unlikely that you’ve ever had the opportunity to engage in any kind of truly meaningful conversation.

One of the problems with sleeping someone so quickly is that you often discover things that you don’t like about the person once you get to know them better. When you’ve only known someone for a short time, there’s so much that you don’t know about them. You don’t know if they are dishonest or if they struggle with addictions. You don’t know if they have a history of physical or sexual assault or if they have in some way abused children or animals.

You just don’t know who you are opening yourself up to. When you do find out, and you realize who you slept with, your left feeling grossed out and sickened by the whole thing.

Many people are so distracted these days. I hear a lot of guys complain about how quickly women become distracted, lose interest and in many instances ghost them. I know of a lot of guys who try to sleep with a woman as quickly as possible. They want to become physically intimate as soon as possible because they know that if a woman sleeps with them, then she is more likely to develop an emotional attachment.

Many of the women I work with and know as friends tell me about the guys they hooked up with on Tinder and other dating sites. I hear of so many instances in which they have slept with a guy and yet afterwards, the guy never bothers to respond to their text or answer their phone call. It’s sad because many end up sleeping with a lot of guys they have no real connection to. They’re allowing themselves to get fucked by guys who have no emotional investment in them …guys they will in many instances never see or hear from again.

Whenever you are being physically intimate with another human being, you are allowing yourself to be open and vulnerable. You are sharing important parts of your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual self with them. That which you are sharing needs to be valued and appreciated. It’s best not to share these parts of yourself unless you’re with someone who can truly value and appreciate you.

I cannot help but feel the pain of a lot of men and women as they open up to share what they’re going through. Having someone in our lives that we can love and be loved by is such a basic human need. But it’s not happening for so many people.

Something else to think about… There’s always the risk of contracting herpes, chlamydia or the human papilloma virus that causes genital warts. Gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia are all becoming resistant to the antibiotics that have been used for decades to treat them. The bacteria are free to keep multiplying when they are no longer killed by the drugs that used to kill them before.

Another thing to take into consideration is that you are opening yourself up to whatever emotional wounding or karma the person you’re sleeping with is carrying. You end up taking on some of their pain, sadness, depression, anxiety, anger and trauma. You absorb some of their addictions and other forms of toxicity. And when you sleep with lots of people, you end up absorbing a lot of garbage from all the people you’ve slept with. That’s why it’s important for you to be especially selective when it comes to who you allow yourself to become physically intimate with.

Do keep an open and engaging mindset because there is also a lot of good to be found in this world. Take time to explore and really get to know people and what they’re about. You’re obviously not going to resonate with everyone. Excuse yourself if the person you’re talking to is being weird, feels toxic or if you’re not finding any common ground.

There are lots of men and women out there that have a lot to offer with whom you can truly resonate. Get out there and make a concerted effort to meet people organically. Follow your passions by doing the things that you love which have meaning to you. It is so important to go out to places and events where you can meet people with whom you share common interest.

Community is also important. When you can, connect with people with whom you have friends in common, because they are far more likely to be accountable in their words and actions. 

Be open to meeting people spontaneously as you go about your day. That could be during your daily commute if you happen to rely on public transportation. You could meet someone truly amazing when you stop by the supermarket on your way home.

Be open, friendly and engage in conversation. Exchange contact information if you get a good feeling about the person. Reach out to them via text, email or a call. Respond to their efforts to reach out to you. Meet in a safe neutral environment where you have a chance to engage in conversation and actually get to know one another.

Nurture the connections that you find to be worthwhile. The best relationships are those which are based upon a foundation of friendship.

It’s not that every physical encounter needs to lead to a lasting relationship. Brief encounters can in some instances be an important part of our journey here on Earth.

Many of us will at some point in our lives find ourselves caught up in the heat of the moment. These moments of passion can in some instances develop into lasting connections. More often than not, the passion fades and we go our separate ways.

All relationships come with risks. But if someone really has the potential to love and care for you and if they are truly interested in you, they’re not going to just disappear. They will care enough to respond to your text and answer your phone call. They’re going to demonstrate consistency by actually taking the time to get to know you. And they’re going to want to see you again. So give yourself the time to really get to know this person before becoming physically intimate.

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