The difference between love and sex

Joey Garcia

I dated a man for months before he admitted he is married. I’m gay and want a committed relationship, so I broke it off. Recently, he asked to be friends. We hung out and it was nice. My father became ill and I had to fly home. My friend offered me a ride to the airport. As I thanked him, he leaned over and gave me a long, deep kiss. I froze and walked away. He texted that he wants us to be together. I asked if he was leaving his wife. He said he is all she has, and they don’t have sex. She has no idea he’s gay, by the way. He can’t offer what I want, but I think about him all the time. How do I get him out of my system?

Detox from the stories you tell yourself about love. Much of what we learn and accept as fact, isn’t true. An intense and delicious sexual connection doesn’t indicate we’ve found real love or a soul mate. We’re just having awesome sex. Longing isn’t romantic, but songs about longing try to convince us otherwise. And a man who stashes you isn’t torn between two lovers. He’s commitment phobic. You deserve better.

When your mind distracts you with memories of your cheating ex-boyfriend, redirect your thoughts back to the present. When your body thrums with memories of fabulous sex, intervene. Clap your hands or say “No!” out loud. Do something physical to interrupt the flow of feelings. Remind yourself that he refused to offer you everything you love in a relationship: commitment, compassion, honesty, boundaries and trust. Shout, “Thank you, next!” if it helps. Remind yourself that he violated the agreed boundary of friendship by kissing you at a time you were particularly vulnerable. He wasn’t thinking of you when he stuck his tongue down your throat. He was thinking of himself, of what he desires, of what was best for him. It’s exactly how he behaves in his marriage. So get him out of your system by making your goal of a committed relationship a priority. When you do, letting go and moving on will be a breeze.

I’ve always had jobs, friends, opportunities and women drop into my lap. I’ve never actually thought about what I wanted, never proactively made anything happen. I want to do that now but feel overwhelmed by fear of rejection or failing hard, and never recovering. Advice?

Telling yourself that everything happens to you means you’re a victim. Be honest: Have you really been passive? Or do you protect yourself from admitting to power? Each one of your accomplishments prepared you to accept who and what came next. For every job or relationship you stepped into, there were others you refused. Those refusals may have been indirect, but they were refusals nonetheless. We all curate our lives when we say yes or no or maybe. When you accept this, you’ll also discover ways that you have already pushed through rejection or failure. At that point, falling down six times but rising up seven will become the natural rhythm of your life.

Meditation of the week
“Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within,” wrote James Baldwin. When do you show the face you had before you were born?

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