Ah, amore. Valentine’s Day is coming up and love is in the air. Unfortunately, love can make you do some foolish things.
I have noticed a disturbing trend that shows society, at least in the western world, approving of sex not just before marriage, but even before dating. Have I missed some important memo? Shouldn’t love come before sex, not the other way around?
Sex is primarily for reproduction. We need it to pass on our genetic makeup for another generation. We don’t have the luxury of budding copies of ourselves like a hydra. Although, I don’t think I would like the idea of growing a whole new me off my hip. I have a hard enough time finding pants that fit as it is.
Listen, I get it. In a romantic relationship, a person usually starts physically attracted to another. It could be broad shoulders, dark brown eyes, or round derrière that first catch their attention. We all have personal preferences that guide us in choosing a companion. Just like animals, we look for characteristics that appeal to us for whatever reasons they may be. Just like animals, we go through ritual courtships. Let’s just say, for argument sake, that humans have evolved beyond our animalistic behaviors.
Now, if you are taking the reproductive aspect out of sex, then what you have left is the pleasure aspect. Courtship and intercourse cause the release of multiple chemicals in the body that makes the act more enjoyable. I am sure that other species in the animal kingdom have something similar. However, most animals don’t have time to fool around; they need to get busy making babies. Humans, on the other hand, can take more time for courtship, and it’s a good thing.
Our society depends on social bonds. You see bonding in the love of a mother to her baby, the friendship between neighbors, even the respect that develops between two co-workers (except that one that ate my sandwich in the break room fridge). We develop these bonds over time and they consist of more than one instance.
Love is a relationship between two people and it is a very special connection. The connection is not physical, academic, nor economic; it’s spiritual. Love is the feeling of wholeness when you are with someone. You feel complete. That’s why it hurts so terribly when your heart gets broken, you aren’t whole anymore.
When we look for that someone special, we need to take our time to get to know them. Every moment we spend together builds more of a bond. This could include sharing a meal, watching a movie together, or sitting quietly in the park, holding hands. Some consider courtship as a sort of interview for that perfect person, but sex shouldn’t be part of the interview process, it should be that 2-week vacation you get for working with the company for a while. It is the added bonus.
We need to stop investing so much into sex. It should never be the determining factor of any relationship, whether you have it before your first date or after the wedding. We need to start loving each other with our hearts, not our passions. I wrote about how passions are our primal impulses last week. They cloud our judgment and prevent us from seeing the truth of the moment. If you base your relationship only on sex, or the quality of sex, you are not in a mature relationship. What kind of relationship will you have when sex is no longer possible?
As a parent and a Christian, I will continue to encourage others, especially my children, to wait with sex until they are married. Not just because of pregnancy, or the numerous diseases associated with promiscuity, but because you are physically giving yourself to another, just like baring your soul. Sex is a very intimate act and it should improve the intimate bond of love that two partners already built by communication, time spent together, and shared experiences.
Love is like a fantastic novel; you don’t skip to the end and see what happens. No, you start in the first chapter, meet the protagonist, and learn new things about them. You find out how they feel. You watch them go through conflict and critical decisions. The story has a grand climax, but this is not the end. The protagonist deals with the consequences of their choice and finally, you come to the end where the main character is transformed by their decision.
The story is a journey with the protagonist. There is tension, romance, humor, and even heartbreak. Love should be a journey as well. So don’t just skip to a part in romance because it’s good. Live through the whole experience because you want it to be great.