As it is for many survivors, romantic love is a problem for me. However, after a good deal of time being single, I’ve taken the time to let my feelings run their course, and it’s brought an important problem to my attention.
I have an issue with the ages old belief that sex and love are, or always should be, interconnected.
That belief has caused me years of frustration and misery because, while sex has been many things for me, it has not ever given me the true impression of love. Sex and love have never been fully connected in my mind, and many times because I couldn’t connect the two, I wanted to destroy the sexual urges in my life. I felt that if they couldn’t behave in the way that I idealized, I didn’t want them to exist at all.
Trying to force love and sex to combine when with a partner has caused me immeasurable stress and pain, and time after time I failed to realize that the problem was not in my inability to merge the two, but rather with my inability to let go of the idea that they must be merged.
Sex and love are disconnected for many survivors, and as long as the belief that the two need to be the same exists, it will continue to be another source of confusion and shame for those struggling to make them meet. The truth is, sex is not the be all and end all of love. It is not the ultimate in expressing your affection for another person, nor is it necessary to do so. It is perfectly fine to have romantic feelings for someone without wanting to have sex, or sexual feelings for someone without romantic connections.
I have learned that what I need in my life right now is not to try to find someone I am simultaneously sexually and romantically attracted to, because as my feelings change, one of them is pushed further into the background. Attempting to force sex into the relationship with someone I love when I don’t feel comfortable with it will be damaging to both of us. I’m not ready to connect emotions to sex, and currently, I’m happy to keep what sex is part of my life in a fictionalized realm. The feelings that I have are normal, and while they may not exist in the same way as everyone else’s, I am allowing them to exist in a healthy way by accepting them for what they are. I am happy to have romantic feelings, and I am happy to have sexual attraction, and I am happy to keep them separated for as long as I need to.
No one can dictate what feels best for you or what is right for you. Giving your feelings the chance to breathe and walking the path to understanding them is the best thing you can do for yourself.
So to myself I say, accept yourself for feeling the way you do.