I yesterday wrote about expectations and disappointments. An area of life in which there are always problems with expectations is, how could it be else, the intimate relation of one human being and another. Sex in its various stages, with all the steps that lead to it and everything that surrounds it, is somehow a magnet for problems with expectations and disappointments. I would like to write about a particular expectation today: the expectation of singles to have a relationship with everyone with whom they had sex. I have heard of this problem in various forms so many times that I believe it is something that a lot of people can relate to.
The situation is the following: Two singles meet at some stage in life. They both are actually looking for their match, their soul mate, the love of their lives, the one with whom they want to spend the rest of time until they won’t be anymore. Everybody wants that, it is just natural. These two singles like each other but they also know that this doesn’t seem to be the one they were waiting for. It didn’t fully click. No, it just didn’t happen, they did not feel that special connection! There is some physical attraction though. This in itself is also no surprise – sex is after all just a natural urge.
So they both agree that they can have a physical relation but they also agree that they will not be a couple, that they have no commitment and that there are ‘no strings attached’. They have their fun together, they kiss, they have a foreplay, they have sex and thus get physically as close as you can be to anybody. They repeat this, because they both enjoyed. Whenever there is the possibility and the need, from any of the both sides, they get together only for this purpose.
Until that point, everything is well. The problems start later – mostly when a third person enters the scene! One of the two has this kind of relation not exclusively with one but with several persons. Or one of the two believes to have found his or her true partner, the one and only. This is the time when the other one suddenly feels there could have been something more than they had! There is a feeling of jealousy, of anger, of disappointment.
If this person is now really honest with his feelings, he will realize that he had – even if unconsciously – developed an unjustified expectation, a hope that there could be more. Now that it is clear that the other one did not feel this way, he feels disappointed. I would say that the person was in most cases not even aware himself of the development of his own feelings and expectations. He or she did not know that he started growing this little feeling that is the hope of having found the one he was looking for.
Unfortunately a lot of friendships end at this point because the one who feels disappointed cannot handle this feeling together with the friendship. The truth is that this feeling should never have existed and if he voices this, the other one will reply exactly this: ‘We agreed that we were not in a relationship! We said we could have fun with others, too, and would both keep on searching for a partner!’ It is understandable though that for a person who has already developed such an expectation, an attachment, this realization hurts. It hurts, it disappoints and unfortunately it often breaks the friendship.
So if you are ever in this situation, if you had a sexual relation with someone and you have created an expectation, please realize that you were both on the same terms in the beginning and just because your feelings have changed, the other one’s haven’t necessarily, too. Try not to create trouble for yourself and the other one but instead do effort to keep your friendship. You may find someone else for another casual sexual relation – but a friend of long time is hard to find!