Don’t worry, the picture is just for clicks– The plan in my article is a tad different.
I have a glaring issue with relationships that I just can’t get past: Nobody plans for them! We plan meticulously for our careers, hobbies, playtime, baby showers, manicures for our dogs, and anything else that we want to succeed in. But, strangely, there is a cultural fog that obscures the importance of planning for relationships; the gateways to new life. We’ve been conditioned to hope to fall ass backwards into meaning and significance, but that hasn’t worked out. Sex is the thing that brings new life into the world. New life is important, because without it, our species would die. So let’s reexamine sex and our relationships. Follow me for an article and I’ll help you plan for the relationships you desire and deserve.
Sex is one small but important chunk of the love pie. Everyone is interested in it, of course, because the survival of our species depends on it. In case you didn’t know…Sex is a good thing!! But, like all other good things, the goodness depends on your plan for using it. Kinda like any other tool. If you are itching to get sexy before you really know of a person’s commitment, character and quality, chances are there are many more creative ways for you to get to know a person and for them to get to know you. These creative ways also become the foundation for lasting relationships.
From my experience and observations, sex before marriage is harmful because it distracts couples from the qualities that lead to lifelong commitment, like trust, respect, morals, beliefs, mutual goals and needs. As a wise man once said, “If sex led to fulfilled marriages, everybody would still be married!”
So, I say yes to friendship, yes to respect, yes to marriage, yes to setting appropriate boundaries, and yes to human connection. Mostly I say yes to a plan for your successful relationships. When respect is part of your plan, you can feel good about saying no to everything else and sleep like a baby. Friendship is respectful always, and the highest evolution of friendship between a man and woman is marriage. Respect is maintained throughout, but the context changes as your appreciation, admiration, devotion and commitment to each other increases. What would be respectful for a couple after 2 years of committing to each other will not be respectful for a couple of 2 months.
As far as I’ve learned, you must have a substantial amount of demonstrable commitment accrued in a relationship before you can get physical if you want to keep respect and admiration at the forefront. Premature physical engagement (PPE- yeah, I spent a year in the army so I get to use cheesy acronyms.)
PPE leads to distraction from the spiritual, mental and emotional connection that is the foundation for lasting love. It effectively blinds you from the qualities of a person that you really need to become familiar with if you expect to last a lifetime together. If you don’t care about those qualities, please stop reading: you’ll be wasting your time.
Education: The Antidote
Through all of my education, I never learned a spec about real relationships. So, I had to educate myself deliberately and intensively. I refused to take part in the paradigm that offered brokenness and temporary pleasure as the best it gets, because I had observed others do better. I had an inchoate sense that what we call normal wasn’t the best I could achieve. I had seen and experienced too much misery and heartache that came through blindly accepting what we’ve been taught, so I committed to a different way.
After I rehabbed myself and paved the way for a brighter future, I had too many people telling me that I had to share this, so, I couldn’t keep it to myself. I decided to bring about an education medium that relied heavily on observation, logic and questions in order to work with our sexual desire.
My relationship education is focused on intelligently and constructively channeling sexual desire. Our sexual desire is brilliant and powerful. Through it, we can achieve many great accomplishments, but none greater than new human life. That life is the culmination of our creative capacity, which means that the act of sex is the culmination of our sexual desire. The word “culmination” has implications of a road to the top. The path to that peak is the path of edification, adventure, respect, creativity, and admiration. In a good relationships, that road never ends. Death is just another part of the adventure of life.
Until we have revealed the depth of our character, commitment and creativity, sexual desire is more appropriately funneled into less extraordinary pursuits than sex. Whether that be a writing a song, crafting a painting, plumbing toilets, or whatever it is you are passionate about. There is no limit for what we can do with our sexual energy. But, it is entirely up to us to harness that energy in ways that build up our relationships.
If we choose not to educate ourselves and plan for a better application of desire, we have nobody but ourselves to blame for the train wrecks and disasters that we are so accustomed to. Not biology, not society, not “human nature”, not our genetics, and not anything but ourselves. We really have to practice , otherwise we won’t show up to the big game when it comes. When I say big game, I really mean new life.
Until you’ve discovered the depths of a partner’s commitment, character and creativity, you cannot trust that they will be able to lovingly raise the children that come through physical love. If you are prematurely physical and the big game comes, you won’t be prepared. When you aren’t prepared, new life does not get what it needs and what should be a miracle and a blessing is perceived as an inconvenience. Pretty messed up?
Imagine being a newborn and knowing that your parents neither wanted you nor had the capability of caring properly for you. Newborn babies can’t say, “WTF Mom and Dad?! You should have prepared for me!! I don’t deserve this shit!” But I can. WTF?!!!?!???!!!
Also, when you haven’t built faith in your partner’s commitment, you open yourself up to separation and divorce (contrary to popular belief, it is a choice). Divorce isn’t luck of the draw. It comes when couples lose their commitment to each other, and commitment wanes when intimacy is damaged. (for tips on building intimacy, click here) When divorce happens, children lose their faith in love and rebel against it. In that case, a physical display of affection would not have been making love, but making war.
The antidote to all of this is relationship education. Relationship education is the systematic approach for determining what actions and beliefs a person needs to adopt to successfully relate with another person. Generally, this is about what you do, not what you don’t do. Do make meaningful connections with another person that reveals your character and content. Do concern yourself with your partner’s morals, character, habits, beliefs, and goals. Do create connection through acts of kindness and selflessness. Do plan for habits that build character and intimacy in relationships.
But, the don’ts are extremely important too. Do not allow any interaction that would degrade your human connection. For women, this is important stuff, because men who engage in pornographic viewing will weaken human connection. This is because they have trained themselves to make transient connections with pixels on a screen, which are distinct from real women. Real women have real needs and complex emotions that pixels don’t.
So, as a man: How are you going to prepare for a real woman? And as a woman: How do you want a man to prepare for the real you?
Questions for your potential mates
After having been pornographically trained, men become unable to attend to the depth and emotional nuances of a real woman. Their commitments are not to the relationship and meaningful connection with her, but to the pleasure that they have learned to associate with her form. The difference is internal vs. external.
For this reason, the first question you should ask any potential dating candidate is: Do you watch porn?
If he or she answers yes, then tell them exactly why you cannot relate with him. Educate them, and let them know about the real connection that all humans need, and how to practice that. If you suspect that they are lying, run quickly. * I realize that mostly men watch porn, but 1/3 of porn consumers are women. That is a substantial number.
A second question should be: Do you believe in lifelong and committed love?
This is an important one to ask long before physical affection, because a man who is high on your love drug might fool himself into believing that he wants lifelong commitment with you, when he really only cares for the pleasure. That would be a man who threatens your ability to meaningfully connect, which is a disaster in the making- run quickly from those types. If your lover doesn’t believe in lifelong and committed love, then your capability of growing in love and intimacy is automatically restricted. If your partner doesn’t believe in it, then he or she also doesn’t believe that children have fundamental rights to secure and loving parents.
Another question could be: “Why, precisely, do you want to relate with me as a woman (or man)?” Or, less robotically, “What do you want with me? Where do I fit in your plans?”
This will be disarming to a man, because he will have never heard it before. Many people do not have plans for relationships other than to satisfy a temporary desire to feel good. It’s an honest question though- “What do you want from me? What do you hope to achieve through relating with me?”
Tell him you’ll see him again if he can come up with a decent answer. Let your potential partners fully understand your plan for relationships so that they might come up with their own. Don’t have one? Make one. What are you waiting for?
In this human experience, our success is contingent upon planning. Need an example? We have turned our world into a giant dumpster that seeps toxic sludge out of every orifice. Mass wildlife die offs. Oil spills. Floating islands of garbage the size of Texas…Do you think we planned this? Heck no, we just got greedy and refused to plan better. Because we didn’t plan more holistically, and because of a focus on instant gratification, our success is gravely threatened.
This same myopia has infiltrated our relationships. Need an example? 60% divorce rate. Oodles of unwanted children. We’ve adopted the insane idea that harmful behaviors in relationships are “normal”, and so we a thrusting headlong off a cliff! (End rant).
The only thing that can reverse this pattern of short-term gratification and long term devastation is: A plan. It’s like my wise older brother told a struggling sister- “You don’t need a man, you need a plan.” The more specific your statement of purpose is, the greater your chances of success in achieving it. The more detailed your steps and resources are for attaining the goals in your purpose, the more desirable your outcome will be. You can’t plan everything because life is uncertain, but you can plan and practice your response to the unknown.
Get a Plan
If you need help, here is a dreadfully simple rubric:
My purpose in relationships is to grow in intimacy and love with my partner till our dying days.
(As I said, dreadfully simple. But, the simpler the better. It has to be meaningful for you, and it has to be something that you can commit to day in and day out.)
To achieve lifelong regenerative love and intimacy, I need:
1- Fulfillment in self before relationship with spouse. (The resources I need to achieve this are: Satisfaction in my life’s work. Purpose and reason for being that is part of something greater than myself. Intimate connection with my community. Etc. Etc.
2- A foundation of commitment, vulnerability, trust, honesty, admiration and respect with my partner that I will never compromise. (The resources that I need to achieve this are: Profound knowledge of my spouse gained through substantial quality time. An objective perspective on my partner’s actions, behaviors and beliefs. A non-physical based courtship or dating that is not dependent on chemical highs. A deep interest in my partner’s thoughts and goals. Special time 3 days a week to vent unexpressed feelings and to reconnect intimately. Shared interests and goals with my partner that we can work towards each day of our lives. Shared passions and hobbies. Shared milestones. Etc. Etc.
3- An attitude of edification. (The resources I need to achieve this are: Humility. A burning desire to learn and grow. A willingness to see my spouse as a mirror to my internal world. Etc. Etc.
The statement of purpose will be simple, but the resources and strategies required to meet that purpose will be more complex and involved, and they will shift as time goes by. The beauty in this is that you are actively in charge of your outcome. With a holistic plan, your relationships will be part of the life you plan for. With a plan, you don’t have to settle for the excuses of human nature and genetics; you can actually live the life you want.
When you set out to make your plan, you’ll want to include all of the wonderful things that are important to you and your future family. For me that includes: children, financial security, plenty of leisure and play time, a fit and active lifestyle, a farm that our children can grow up learning about nature, animals, and life and death on, a positive impact on the earth and a regeneration of her resources (farm is included in this), and much more than this article can fill.
Bottom line: Your most fundamental needs and desires will not be met unless you plan specifically for them and are 100% transparent about them with your potential spouses. If you haven’t established your fundamental needs and desires, and if you haven’t set up a plan to ensure them, you will settle for instant gratification and a life of heartache and brokenness. Some call that human nature. I call it a choice.
A note from the author:
Most relationship experts would have you accept their words as doctrine, but I don’t want to be your voice. I want to help you find your voice so that you don’t have to listen to anyone else who could lead you off the cliff. I want you to live a life of beautiful simplicity. I want you to be able to shed the confusion and complexity that we have come to associate with modern romance. So, I ask you the questions that only you can answer to transform your life.
Have any questions for me? Please get in touch! Angry, outraged, pleased, curious, inspired, or moved by this article? Please add to the discussion with your valuable comments below. Thanks for sharing!
Upstream Solutions to Abortion
Secular pro-life arguments are only effective when logic is employed. For those who have been conditioned to accept killing the innocent as normal, emotional appeals simply will not work. In this paper, I will address education-based solutions to the problem of abortion.
To begin, killing does not solve the real problem of abortion. If the problem isn’t the baby, then it has to be something we can resolve before a baby is conceived. Engaging in prematurely physical relationships is the issue, and that is something we can solve without violence. Self respect, respect for women, respect for life and respect for relationships are the upstream solutions to the problem of abortion. Nothing bad ever happened by respecting a thing too much.
The counter for this argument would be, “But making sure that a baby doesn’t have to experience a bad life is the respectful thing to do.” If that rhetoric were logical, then literally every single person should be aborted. Bad things happen regardless of what social strata you occupy, and regardless of your preparedness of a child. Our response to these problems is what makes or breaks our lives and communities. Killing out of fear, as history has proven, is not an effective solution for anything. Killing only begets more killing.
Quite plainly, abortion is unintelligent. Abortion relies on force to patch a problem rather than education. It reduces a person to something less, something without the capacity to make intelligent decisions. I’m not talking about the baby, I’m talking about the parents. Choosing abortion is stating that you cannot control your desires and you will not be held responsible for your actions. Can there ever be an escape to consequences of any kind? The post abortive mothers I’ve spoken with are still crying, 2 + decades after the fact. It is not fair for a mother to put that weight on her shoulders. It isn’t acceptable for a man to be complicit with that pain and sadness. Abortion is a down stream approach to an upstream problem. So, how can we curtail the flow?
Education is the answer. Supporting abortion, as a culture, is conceding that we do not have faith in our capacity to educate, which is like a dolphin not having faith in swimming. There is a way to prevent unwanted pregnancies while enhancing the quality of life for all, and that is relationship education. I’m not talking about the trite spiel we get about condoms and birth control…That hasn’t worked. It won’t work, because life always finds a way; life is good at that. Besides, those methods of birth control do nothing to strengthen the bonds of human connection.
I’m talking about the type of education that instills respect for the opposite sex and respect for the ability to create life. I’m talking about education that prepares young people for to intelligently plan for and embrace the life that can come through their relationships. This is relationship education. I’m talking about educating young minds so that they will have the confidence in themselves and their spouses to embrace life when it does come along, rendering abortion obsolete. Relationship education is the best means of preventing unwanted births.
This world will know peace when all children are wanted, and that can only happen when men and women are educated about their sexual desires. Poor education leads to ignorance and ignorance leads to fear. Fear, as far as history has shown, is the number one cause of murder and death. We can end this cycle with relationship education.
People often think that sadness, heartache and brokenness is what we are made for. I can demonstrate that is patently false by making a simple appeal to our bodies. If we weren’t made to live in security, comfort, peace, and happiness, then our bodies would reflect that. By that, I mean our bodies would be optimized to function best in states of negative emotion, like fear, insecurity, hate, and more. But that isn’t the case. Our bodies shut down when we are in consistent negative emotional states, because that isn’t our nature. We are meant to be free, to be curious, accepted, grateful, appreciated, respected, fulfilled, and satisfied with life. In those states, our immune systems are at peak performance, our hormone levels are optimized, our brain chemistry is balanced, and our quality of life is marvelous.
Lets work with our bodies by supplying them the emotions they need for us to be whole and healthy. Let’s determine the actions that we need to take and the beliefs that we need to adopt to fuel our positive emotions, and to engender lasting success in relationships. Success is living life without regrets, and we cannot achieve that unless we plan for it.
All of the other animals do not have to plan intensively to achieve success because they lack the brain capacity. So, the other animals live simply and naturally. We on the other hand, have enormous thinking capacity. This capacity is not a luxury, but is an absolute requirement for us to live naturally and successfully like the other animals. Because of our refusal to plan for success in relationships, we have widely adopted the perspective that humans are damned, and separate from nature. We have chosen to abandon our thinking capacity in relationships to accept the love drug that we think our partners supply us. Because of this, mankind has suffered immensely. We can add to the suffering by choosing to live in fear, or we can summon our natural thinking capacity to plan for the relationships that create peace.
In abortion, it isn’t just the new life that suffers, and it isn’t just the woman or man that suffers. It is the relationship between all that degrades. As the most social creatures, our relationships are more valuable than anything else. For the problem of abortion, individualized approaches haven’t done much to combat it. We can talk about women’s rights all day, or the right of the child, and rarely the right of the father, but this insular approach hasn’t proven effective. It is our relationships that need to be healed. When we cannot relate with someone, our relationships crumble. This might seem elementary, but millions of people miss this every day and suffer for it. A common wedge that keeps people from relating with others is a programmed desire to relate to pleasure.
Pornography, Relating and Connection
It has been estimated that over 500,000 divorces a year are attributed to an addiction to pornography. I believe that figure is conservative. In this culture, males have been conditioned to view women as pleasure plug-ins from day one. You plug into a woman, you get pleasure. End of story. That is what pornography teaches us, and it reduces the bearers of life that women are to an empty outlet. When men practice relating to an inanimate object while associating sex and pleasure with pixels, their relationships with people suffer.
Pornography is the number one threat to relationships, and it isn’t just the fault of men. Women who accept that degrading and damaging behavior as normal have set the bar for their treatment, and have invited death to their relationships. I know of a woman who bemoans her marriage every day because of how pornography has affected the relationship. She desires to be cherished, to be connected, to be desirable and to be loved. Had she been educated on the mechanics of relationships, she would have realized that porn viewing is unacceptable for it foments negative emotions and prevents meaningful connection.
Relationships are meaningful connections, and though we cannot see the fibers that make them up, we can plainly see what strengthens them and what weakens them. If we want to strengthen a relationship, we have to relate more. Getting out with friends, volunteering our time and talent to admirable community projects, and growing with our community is where we strengthen our ability to relate. When specifically desiring to relate to pleasure rather than people, the bonds of connectivity weaken. They shrivel, and they lose their effectiveness. This vitiated state of relational bonds accurately describes 2/3rds of the population or more, judging by our current divorce rate. You cannot stay with a person who you are not connected to, so most people are doomed before they even start. The culprit? A total lack of relationship education.
Even injecting one simple bit of education into the masses would make a substantial increase in our ability to connect. For instance, if women were educated about the effects of pornography on relationships, they would no longer accept the company of harmful and degrading men. This would ripple into male culture, eventually sending wave about what is and is not kosher. The idea of human connection is as strong as ever, so men naturally want to relate to women. The application of human connection, however, is pitifully corrupted. Thus, women can have a profound impact on macro level relationships just by saying one word: No. A no to pornography is a yes to connection and a yes to life. When we make meaningful human connections, we make lasting and respectful relationships that are strong; strong as the practices that go into them.
A second bit of education: Save sex for commitment. No matter how hard we try to prevent it, sex brings new life into the world. Uncoupling the idea of new life from sex has led to uncommitted partners and unappreciated life. A new child is a profound commitment, so, any action that could create one must be undertaken with commitment and respect. This isn’t actually withholding anything, because when a man and woman channel their energy into increasing their respect and admiration for one another in friendly ways, nobody loses. Incidentally, friendship is the greatest indication of marriage success. If sex were, then everybody who bumped uglies would be satisfied and content in their marriage!
As a general guideline, relationships should be milieus for inspiration and creativity. Making new life is the height of our creative capacity, and it really is a huge responsibility and privilege. Think about Einstein, Martin Luther King, Maya Angelou, Gandhi, Steve Jobs- those are powerful, powerful people, and they were all created through sex. To attain that privilege with a respect for life, a person must express their creativity in ways that reveal more of their selves to create a friendship that could last for life.
If you don’t know enough about a person’s character to consider being friends for life with them, then save sex until a time where you can see that. The activities you pursue in the mean time will end up being more fulfilling, engaging and inspiring than any amount of meaningless sex. If you don’t know enough about yourself to foresee that kind of committed friendship, then learn more about yourself through connecting respectfully, responsibly, intelligently and creatively with others.
None of this is to say that the onus of change falls solely on women, but historically, who are the initiators of intimacy in relationships? That role has been taken by men, and it continues to this day despite the so-called “sexual liberation” of women (which has really only enslaved women to pleasure as much as men). Even if only 60% of men initiated intimacy, a simple “no” from women would be an emphatic yes to real connection. Men would be perplexed at first, demanding an explanation. If a woman were educated properly to explain how her no is actually a yes to real connection, the man would be educated and incentivized to make positive changes that strengthen his future relationships. The more committed we are to relationships, the more committed to new life we will be.
In order to connect with women, men have to practice deep and meaningful connection without exception. Porn reroutes a man’s desire for intimacy and couples it with a lifeless screen. Women are not lifeless screens. They need a man who can pay attention to her nuances and subtleties, and a man who can tend to her feelings, needs and desires. Practicing pornography is a one-way inversion of intimacy that disconnects a man from real-world relationships. Pornography trains a man to place pleasure before relationships, so, men who engage in pornographic viewing will not be committed to the relationship, but to the pleasure within. As soon as pleasure wanes even a bit, that poorly trained man will look outside of the relationship.
*I speak from the man’s perspective because 2/3 of users are men. That said, the same concepts apply to women and pornography
Connection and relationships are the theme of this message, so I’d like to address women’s rights. There can be no subjugation of a woman that does not commensurately affect a man. There is no degradation of a man that does not then negatively impact a woman. Whether we like to believe it or not, we are all connected. For a woman to feel equally free to trash meaningful connection, men should be just as concerned. We cannot survive without each other. As men go, so do women. As women go, so do men. We must have relationships with each other, otherwise our species would not propagate, and there would be no chance to experience this beautiful life.
So, I implore you to think less of women’s rights and more of relationship rights. If you step off of an 80 foot balcony, as a general rule, you will succumb to gravity. If you weaken the bonds of connection through pleasure fixation, your relationships will fall apart. Outside of relationships, we have no value. Outside of rich relationships, our bodies deteriorate and our minds falter. Outside of relationships built on meaningful connection, insecurity develops; jealousy develops; fear develops. Outside of meaningful relationships, we fall victim to fear, and fear leads to violence. So, it is a fundamental right and privilege to plan our relationships, and to experience life richly by strengthening their connections.
It is a responsibility to educate ourselves and our communities on relationships. When we strengthen our relationships, we make room for new life. Let’s value our ability to create. Let’s value our ability to cultivate the kind of relationships that speak of life. Let’s create upstream solutions to abortion together by committing to relationship education.
7.2 billion and counting…
Have you ever thought that there are just too many of us on this planet? Like we are the bane of good things and life itself? It’s something we’ve been programmed to think through propaganda attacks. Think of buzzwords like- Veganism- Global Warming (cow farts)- Food Crises- Overpopulation, Individual Carbon Footprint and all the rest that makes us feel bad for being alive.
All of these words prey upon human emotion to elicit reactive action into contrived outlets: Get a prius, no grass on lawns, move to the city, stop eating meat, etc. Are the popular options for our current crises really for our benefit? Our emotions are important, but when we rely solely on them, logic tends to escape us and so does our freedom. So, let’s dive a little deeper into population overload, climate change, sustainability, and our part to play in it all
Urbanization and industrialization have been the blights of our world, not humans themselves. Capitalism and reckless profit have forsaken us, but those are ideas and not humans themselves. You can solve the human dilemma through mass extinction, but that wouldn’t be nearly as fun or rewarding as the educational adventure that I have in mind.
The massive accumulations of food and wealth that have allowed for such an inflated population have been withdrawn from our soil without repayment. This has nothing to do with human reproduction, but thought reproduction. We didn’t achieve “new and improved” farming techniques to support a growing population; we grew an unsustainable population out of an unsustainable food glut that resulted from unsustainable and harmful farming techniques that lead to massive physical assets. Whew. Now, is there a way to resolve this situation without further damage to soil and extreme population reduction?
I think there is, and it’s called regenerative agriculture. It doesn’t involve tilling, it doesn’t involve massive government subsidies, it doesn’t use harmful chemicals that destroy soil biodiversity, you don’t have to buy fictitious carbon credits, and it is something you have power over.
It is something that sequesters carbon from the atmosphere and into the land. It is something that brings water back to the land and aquifers. It is something that brings nutrition back into our food. It is something that solves global warming, and all you have to do is learn about it. Once you learn about regenerative agriculture and holistic management, you’re hooked on life for life. Our life begins and ends in the soil, so, what is keeping you from diving in?
Regenerative agriculture has been proven to grow topsoil anywhere from a 1/2 inch to over an inch a year. Without human intervention, this process would take thousands of years. RA is an antidote to the hysteria from reports like- “Only 20 years of topsoil remaining; Kill your babies!”.
Everything you hear on the news is to make you feel guilty for existing and for not driving a Prius (but they’re so lame!) We are humans and we deserve to live abundantly like the other animals. If we get smart about the soil, we can reclaim our dignity and value as “Human Beings- Stewards of the Earth.” Yep, I just gave each and everyone of you a superhero title. Pick up your cape (and overalls) and run with it.
We have siphoned the wealth from the soil, and here it sits atop the earth, unprotected from the sun and scavengers, while the soil dies. Is human reproduction to blame for this, or, is it a lack of education?
Our massive population is not a sign that we need to stop reproducing. Rather it signals us to live with the land and not against it. We cannot do that unless we know her intimately through experiential education. Dig in the soil! Become familiar with terms like “glomalin”, “pore space” “water cycle”, “mycorrhizal fungi” and “mineral cycle.” Realize that the soil is living, that our life depends on it, and with everything we do, we are either killing it or growing it.
Visit a cover cropping farm that supports soil formation and water retention. Check out a ranch that practices holistic management. See how cows help water and seeds to make it in the soil for plants to grow. Plants inhale carbon for breakfast and then gift it back to our soil where it belongs– ruminant animals are crucial to this process. Learn about what it is that you have to do as a person to live with the natural cycles of the earth. Then, share that knowledge with your children. Enrich your soil and enrich your life.
Before you blame human reproduction for this mess we’re in, look at the fastest means of reproduction known to man: Thoughts. Before you blame our nature for the plight we share, search the thoughts in your mind that build our world. Think about what we need to live a life of abundance– we need healthy soil, food, shelter, water, and relationships. That’s about it.
It starts with the soil. Until we change our individual impact on soil ecology, we are just as complicit in global warming, food shortages, drought, and war as any corporation or government. Until we support the soil with our thoughts and actions, we are up shit creek without a popsicle stick.
Get educated on how you can play your part in a healthy and thriving ecosystem today. No government can or will force us to live peacefully with the earth. So, it is up to us to apprise ourselves of what we need to do, and then act.
Find out what you can do today by reading Kristen Ohlsen’s book, ‘The Soil Will Save Us.’ Check out Judy Schwartz’s book, ‘Cows Save The Planet’. Learn more about the importance of cows in our ecosystem and food supply by reading Nicolette Hahn Niman’s (former vegetarian environmental lawyer), ‘Defending Beef’. Visit the Savory Institute on the web, or discover Holistic Management International. Whatever it is you have to do to become educated in our survival…do it! It’s fun, trust me.
I regard intimacy as the closeness that keeps relationships together. Because of how highly social we are, we need a substantial amount of intimacy to keep our relationships together. The deeper our bonds of intimacy are, the more we are connected to our families and communities. When bonds of intimacy weaken, our families and communities fly apart.
Now, for such an important thing as intimacy, we’ve been taught surprisingly little about how it works and what goes to make it. So, I’ve come up with some questions that will help you to determine the best ways to increase intimacy in your relationships.
1– Is this in my best interest? Is this in the best interest of my family and children? Is this in the best interest of my future?
2– Am I doing the best that I can do in this moment and in this relationship? Am I learning more about what I have to offer through this relationship? Am I freer to give of myself through this relationship?
3– Am I committing more to the person I’m with or the feeling I get through that person? If I couldn’t feel anything from this person, would their actions alone be worth sticking around for?
Intimacy is less of a feeling and more of an action. The amazing feelings accompanied with intimacy are driven by the actions of a person. So, if the necessary intimate actions aren’t abundant in your relationship, the feelings will fade. (The actions of intimacy are detailed later- read on!)
4– Is the way I’m relating to my partner helping to strengthen my human connection? Do I sacrifice connection with my family, friends or my community to maintain relations with my partner?
The only thing we’re asked to sacrifice in relationships is fleeting pleasures, and that is only so we can build lasting happiness. If your relationships are reducing your connection with family, friends and community, please reconsider your goals within them.
5– Am I living in transcendent happiness or conditional pleasure? Am I dependent 0n my partner for happiness? Do I find myself wishing my partner would change to accommodate my desires?
If you become dependent on others for your happiness, they will let you down and you will blame them; This has a negative impact on intimacy. If you are dependent on yourself for happiness, you can appreciate the treasures that others bring into your life while always having control of your outcome.
6– Am I freer to love and thrive through my sexuality? Have I gone against my own intuition to achieve sexual gratification? Do I battle uncertainty and unease when it comes to my sexual relationships?
Sexual relationships aren’t the place for uncertainty and insecurity, for sure. Sexual relationships lead to the creation of new life, which has profound need for certainty and security. Sexual relationships are highly bonding, so it is unwise to bond with insecurity and uncertainty.
I know, this has not-so-subtle undertones of responsibility and obligation (gasp). We have been taught to run from sexual responsibility so that we can invest heavily in the passing pleasure that ultimately destroys our happiness. To me, that idea is passé. It doesn’t serve us, so I choose to move on and embrace the freedom of responsibility.
7– Are my relationships strengthening my community or are they weakening it? Am I brought closer to my community and the ones I love through my romantic relationships?
8– Do I believe that humans have a right to lasting happiness and fulfillment in relationships? If so, do I feel like I’m capable? If I don’t feel capable, what things could I do to change that? If I don’t believe in such a right, how might my family history have shaped that belief? How might my culture have shaped that belief?
9– How can I plan to maximize my success in relationships? What beliefs and practices must I engage in to provide my best self to the relationships I desire? What important areas have I overlooked when it comes to my success in relationships?
Just like anything else as a human being, relationship success requires planning. If you aren’t actively setting and achieving goals with your partner, you are passively awaiting the dissolution of that relationship.
Some common areas that people overlook when entering and engaging in relationships are many of these questions that you’ve reviewed. Another important area is family history: What is their family like? How do they get along? More importantly, what is your family like? What embedded patterns might you have to overcome to achieve freedom and success in your relationships?
10– Am I free to sustain a committed and happy relationship, or, am I bound to conditional pleasure? If I am bound to conditional pleasure, how can I free myself? What are some indicators of freedom and happiness in relationships?
One important indicator is Sexual Freedom. People who are free sexually are people who don’t have to worry about any part of their sexuality. People who are free sexually are clear of any worries of STDs. They have no concept of ‘Pregnancy Scare’, because they embrace and respect their procreative capacity. They are free to love fearlessly and courageously with their bodies, and that doesn’t happen by accident.
*Important to note is that freedom as a human is brought about by planning. If you don’t plan extensively and effectively for your relationships you will be bound to unintended consequences like : unplanned children, STDs, diminishing intimacy, guilt at wishing your partner would change, waning commitment, etc.
Intimacy is the most important part of freedom in relationships, so, let’s take a closer look at it.
For a working definition, intimacy is the closeness that keeps relationships, families and communities together. Incredibly, real intimacy is something that you plan for and it can permeate every aspect of our lives, not just our sexuality. There are certain factors that you have to build and maintain to achieve intimacy, especially in sexual relationships. If you neglect those areas, you will falter and search for intimacy’s counterfeit in the arms of people you do not know.
Intimacy requires trust, respect, admiration, edification, humility and growth. In order to be intimate with someone, you have to be comfortable. But, just because you are comfortable with someone doesn’t mean you are intimate.
People lose intimacy in their relationships when they become frustrated and agitated at all of the ways the feel toward their partner. It is impossible to feel comfortable around someone whom you are routinely angry at, bored with, frustrated at, disappointed by, etc. And, if you aren’t comfortable, you cannot be intimate.
What is not widely known or acknowledged is our capability in choosing and transforming those emotions which determine our status of comfort and intimacy.
Two Options, One Solution
There are two options at the point of decreased intimacy, but only one real solution. One option is to dismiss the importance of the relationship and seek out comfort in someone you know nothing about. This is labeled as an option because it is not the solution. Choosing this option will perpetuate the cycle, leading to more loss of intimacy and more broken relationships. It is destructive to relationships, which is destructive to families and the community. You can change your definition of brokenness or failure, which most people are wont to do. Or, you can choose a solution.
The other option is also the solution. The solution is to regard your spouse as the mirror to your deepest inner world. When you do this, you realize that it is not them you are angry with or disappointed by, but only yourself. When you do this, you feel no guilt at wishing the other person to change, but only empowerment to change the situation yourself. The thoughts go from, “What can they do?” to “What can I do?” With the first thought, you are helpless and hopeless. With the second, you are in control and in charge of your feelings and destiny.
Angry? Annoyed? Disappointed? Bored? Frustrated? Infuriated? How much better is it to be in charge of changing those emotions, rather than waiting for someone to change to accommodate you? How much more intimate can you be with someone who you regard as the key to your growth? How much more imitate can you be with someone who helps you become the man or woman you are capable of being? How much greater can intimacy be when both partners are able to express their emotions freely without fear of rejection or attack?
This is why humility, trust, respect, admiration and growth are so critical to intimacy. Without them, there is no freedom or comfort to express your deepest self. After all, the word intimacy comes from the Latin word intimus, which means: inmost, innermost. Now it is easy to see what intimacy’s counterfeit is. If it isn’t the inmost or innermost, it is not intimacy.
The key difference maker is your perception. It is your choice to perceive a situation as a gateway to personal growth, or as just another excuse to feel a certain way towards someone. Either way, you will get what you are looking for.
My simplest advice for increasing intimacy: Question your emotions. Rather than blindly accepting the fact that someone else is making you feel a certain way, ask, “Is this feeling a reflection of something inside of me?” If that feeling does stem from your inner world, you would never know if you didn’t ask the question first. If you do ask the question, you are the one who has the power to answer it and change it.
Intimacy is important. The more social the animal becomes, the more it relies on intimacy to maintain relationships and social structure. When we look at other creatures, we feel lucky at the deep and rich connection that we get to experience sexually and otherwise, but this capacity for intimacy is a privilege.
When we regard intimacy is just another drug that we can get high off of, everyone loses; the community loses. When we take responsibility for the privilege of creating intimacy and sharing it with our families, everyone wins; the community wins. If you ask these questions for yourself and your relationships, you will be taking direct responsibility for the intimacy in your life. When you ask these questions, you, your relationships, your family and your community will all come out with a big win.
A note from the author:
Most relationship experts would have you accept their words as doctrine, but I don’t want to be your voice. I want to help you find your voice so that you don’t have to listen to anyone else who could lead you off the cliff. I want you to live a life of beautiful simplicity. I want you to be able to shed the confusion and complexity that we have come to associate with modern romance. So, I ask you the questions that only you can answer to transform your life.
Have any questions for me? Please get in touch!
Promoting my latest free book giveaway to help heal our relationships and create world peace! Please share with your friends and family who could benefit from it.
My newest book is now available for PDF download for FREE!!! This is for a limited time, so grab your copy and heal your relationships on the cheap…If you’re into that sort of thing.
This book originally started as a conversation with my best friend during a relationship crisis. After half a year of building on the original conversation, I’m happy to share the finished product with you today. In this book you will find wisdom, inspiration, humor and action steps to help you take charge of your relationship destiny. It is my gift to you, and my effort to help create the peaceful and secure families and communities that we need now.
Also, this free book launch is an effort to raise funds for a printed publishing of ‘Freeing Your Other Half’. I intend on doing a book tour at schools and colleges throughout the southwest to spread the message of “relationship education”, as I like to call it. If you found it useful for your own relationships, please donate any amount you’d like to my indiegogo campaign.
Thanks, and be well! Daniel
New post for the Good Men Project!
When it comes to ideas for self-improvement, modern man Daniel Dowling turns to the tried and true. And so can you.
We’ve all heard ‘em before. They’re old as sin and common as hydrogen, but they’re all true. We’ve heard these old sayings so many times that we repel them, like water from a duck’s back. But, if we take another look with a curious attitude, they can do a lot for us. Let’s revisit some of these old-but-good-’uns and allow them to inspire our lives.
1. Do one good deed a day
This one isn’t just for Boy Scouts; it’s for man scouts too. Following this simple guideline will keep you attentive to others’ needs and connected to your community. Doing good things for other people is what good men do best. So, set a daily alert: One thing to do for another that isn’t attached to your interests. In this one deed you will find persistence, integrity, selflessness, thoughtfulness, kindness, creativity, and dare I say, sheer manliness. This one thing will keep you occupied and useful to others for the rest of your life, which is every man’s dream.
2. Practice like you preach
Don’t advise others to do a thing until you’ve integrated it into your identity.
I’m guilty of disobeying this one occasionally. But, the feelings of guilt are always a reminder to get back to congruity. We are strong, virtuous, loyal and influential men of integrity. Many people look up to us for inspiration and direction in their lives. We have a responsibility to guide these young men and women to meaning and significance, but it’s also a privilege. There is nothing that I value more than being a role model and difference maker in the lives of others, but it comes at the cost of eternal vigilance. Don’t advise others to do a thing until you’ve integrated it into your identity.
3. Patience is a virtue
This one often conjures up a 90-year-old butterscotch candy-chewing man with a cane, waiting in line at the bank, but patience is more profound than that. Patience is an extraordinary combination of gentleness, firmness, hope, loyalty, resilience and strength wrapped up in one common word.
Patience is helping your four-year-old spell out the word ste-go-saur-us a hundred times before he gets it right, and loving every minute of it.
Patience is weathering an emotional flurry from the woman you love most while showing her just how much she can depend on you. Patience is helping your four-year-old spell out the word ste-go-saur-us a hundred times before he gets it right, and loving every minute of it. Patience is seeing your dreams through to reality while tending to your family and work. Patience is what every good woman looks for in a lasting relationship with a man. I think boring ole’ patience just got a lot sexier.
4. Love is more than a feeling
If the band ‘Boston’ didn’t ruin this one for you, maybe your mom did when you were dating in high school. But, it’s true; love is a state of being and an action. A feeling is not always a state of being. For example, I can feel good all day but not actually be good. I can also feel lowly and unappreciated when I’m actually respected and valued in my community.
If you’re worried about not feeling enough love for somebody, then shift your focus to being love to that person.
Feelings come and go, but reality is consistent and built from your actions. If you’re worried about not feeling enough love for somebody, then shift your focus to being love to that person. It’s amazing how changing your actions can also change your feelings. Feeling hopeless? Give hope to someone else. Feeling useless? Get up and be useful in the unique ways that makes you you. Be a man. Be love.
5. Try, try again
This one might as well be called, “Trite and trite again.” But really, isn’t triteness up to our perception? No matter how many times it is said, never giving up will always lead to your greatest success. That is, unless you are attempting a toxic relationship for the fifth time …. Might want to call that one quits! (I should know…)
Have you heard about the gold miner who stopped three feet short of a multimillion dollar payload? Don’t let that guy be you. If you are fully passionate about a thing, if you’ve decided that this will be your mark on the world, and if you’ve given it all you’ve got … keep going. The greatest success always comes a step or two after your biggest defeat. Try, try again.
Beauty and truth are more common than we think, but the willingness to seem them is rare indeed. I hope this article has inspired you to take more gems like the ones here and make them your own.
– See more at: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/5-old-style-ways-to-be-a-better-modern-man-fiff/#sthash.Inh0CkkW.dpuf