Men don’t learn to talk about love, we learn to talk about sex. How big is your penis, have you used it? Have you “come” yet? This is one of the first conversations I remember having as a 12-year-old boy about sexuality. Damn….I did not know “how big my penis was” and I definitely had no idea of what it meant to “use it”? “Yes, I am peeing alright, thank you?”
Now I am 53, and I am pretty sure it works. Most of the time, and at least on two occasions, as evidenced by two children. And I lust, I have desires. Temptation is everywhere. On Instagram, on Netflix, on many free porn sites. They are right there, and you can access it so easily and move on so quickly. You can feed your sexual drive at any time of the day, feed your lust and “more is better”.
You can date online with multiple women, and they will not know that you are talking to multiple women at the same time. If one woman is “complicated” you can close the contact easily and move on, keep looking. Faster and more efficient than in “real life”, no feelings, few emotions, no love. For men, this is “perfect,” is it not?
Dating apps make it possible to be with a girl on Tuesday, another one on Thursday and maybe more than 2 on the weekend. Again, no one needs to really know. I am not judging. I am also online dating, and I am indeed having multiple conversations with a few persons. I am speaking to 3 to 4 women online. It is the time we live in now and there is absolutely nothing we can do to changing that. But we can talk about it and be honest about it. So, let’s talk about it, we have some time now.
Lust and love are not the same thing. Can we just start there?
Can we acknowledge that love is different than sex? Women, let me share something with you right away: men are tempted by other women every day. If they are not telling you so, it is because you are not having that conversation, or it is because your man is not honest with you. There is no way your man is not tempted by other women, but that does not mean he cheats on you or is not honest with you. It just means that temptation is there all the time, everywhere.
Social media, entertainment, so many things in society is constructed around “temptation”. How and why shall we pretend that the social construct is not influencing us? At least I know that I am tempted every day. No man does not desire other women. It is all about managing that desire. The battle between love and lust.
So, what do we do then? We start by talking about the difference between love and lust. We need to tell our boys and men that love is not lust, but that both are “ok”. It is ok to feel lust, but you need discipline to manage it. You can feel attraction to another woman, but you can control it. Lust can make you feel alive, happy and good. All without taking any action whatsoever.
While you need to “manage” lust, you must cultivate love.
You must invest in love. Love needs effort to grow. Anyone can get anyone to bed, quite frankly it is not a challenge. If you wanted to get “laid” right now, I am pretty sure you can do it quite quickly, and I am sure it could be “good,” but it is not going to make you happy?! Love can bring you happiness and peace, lust cannot.
If you are a father with children, you will probably spend a lot of time thinking on how to pass on something to your children: money, property, paintings, cars, financial safety. But we never talk about how to pass on love – teaching our kids to love. Properly. It is bizarre.
So how do you gain love, or keep love, depending on where you are at right now? To be successful at love we need to start by telling the truth. In both of my two previous relationships, I did not always tell the truth. I was hiding things, because I was thought by my parents and teachers to hide things. If you have a little boy in your family or a partner, ask yourself if there is anything that you or they are hiding? I am sure they are. In fact I guarantee it.
Hiding things is not only hiding “bad things you have done”, not at all. I was hiding things from the people I love the most, because I don’t want to “burden” them. I don’t want to hurt them. Sometimes we hide the most from the people we love the most. I was also hiding dreams, ambitions, small things, big things. Don’t hide, it is the beginning of the end. Speak the truth, not ruthlessly, but with kindness and out of compassion.
Too often fear prevent us from talking truth. We are afraid that the person we like will discover who we really are. We are afraid they wont like us anymore. Sometimes it can feel easier to be more honest with someone outside the relationship than in the relationship. That is also so bizarre to me…. what a paradox it is that we sometimes are the least honest with ourselves and our loved ones, and this is exactly what we need to get a handle of?
So back to online dating, what to do? Women, you need to spend the time to get to know this guy. Is he worthy of your time, or is he just after your body? Ok, you are two consenting adults, if you want to have some fun, have at it. I am all for that. But woman, you need to hold on to your sexual power and observe this man that you are talking to, what does he really want?
Men, you need to start to (online) date thinking beyond sex. You need to forget that instant gratification of lust. You need to start taking a real look at this woman online or next to you, in what can you offer her and how she can improve your life? Start by looking at yourself in the mirror. Then try to figure out whose sister, friend or daughter is she – this woman you are talking to?
Little and big boys are still in 2020 being told that “love makes you soft” – love makes you weak: “Stop crying, hold it in, push your feelings away”. Men are on a daily basis supressing emotions and still men also have extreme heartbreaks, losses and traumas. Men too loose a father, a mother or friends, we are beaten up at school or let go at work. Men don’t know properly to talk about those feelings; we supress them and then we don’t have the tools to love. We need learn to talk about love, dreams, desires and, yes lust, without judgement.
I can remember telling my own son to “suck it up, get back out there, don’t be a little girl!” – it needs to stop. In fact, it is stopping right here (as he is probably reading this). If you want to eat healthy, you put healthy stuff in your fridge, don’t you? You don’t not processed, sugary food around you if you want “abs”? So, let’s put healthy emotions and non-judgemental language in our “mental fridge”. Let have honest conversations about how men and women are different, how love and lust is not the same. In the process, I am sure we can both understand each other better, keep lusting, and through love even find happiness.
Would not that be great?