HOW TO LIVE YOUR SEX AND LOVE VALUES ON A DAILY BASIS
DISTINGUISHING GOALS FROM VALUES:
When discussing Love and Sex, it’s important in life to distinguish GOALS from VALUES.
You might have a VALUE to ‘protect the family.’ One way to achieve that VALUE might be the GOAL of owning a home. If you own a home but you are away from your family and careless of their whereabouts does home ownership achieve the VALUE of ‘protecting the family?’ Similarly, you may have a GOAL of getting married but find that your deeper VALUE ‘loving/connecting’ is not achieved in your marriage.
Often, therefore, achieving GOALS isn’t always fulfilling.The GOAL isn’t the VALUE. The GOAL is an event or an ‘end state’ that can be checked off on a TO DO list.
The VALUE is the QUALITY of behavior and interactions you want to experience, in yourself and in others.
Goals are specific, Values are generalizable. A goal can only be one thing. A Value can be expressed in multiple ways.
STILL CRAZY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS:
I recently had a client (name changed here to protect their identity) who was dealing with the frustrations of being newly single in his 50’s. Let’s call him Bob. Bob is a relative success in many areas of his life but after a late in life divorce, found himself back on the dating scene. Bob and I have been working together to help him remain pro-active and optimistic in the face of an admittedly challenging situation. He still has a healthy sexual desire and yet because he is now mature and looking forward to potentially another 30 years of active living, wants to be careful not to make mistakes in his love life.
Of course, we’ve worked on multiple areas including: Noticing negative thoughts, increased self-acceptance, and compassion toward self, staying mindful of the present moment and savoring the positive elements in his daily life.
In addition, however, Bob had a healthy dose of “I’m single, ready to mingle–let’s get it on!’ post-1960’s free love attitude. Well, not everyone shares that free-wheeling, anything goes, get-down-tonight, boogie down thought process. Bob and I had to work together to both pursue his love and sex goals while acknowledging both that he might encounter real-life frustrations to those goals and that he might additionally be seeking something a bit deeper than ‘get down tonight.’
Bob did acknowledge his wish for something meaningful but still insisted that he could not be truly happy until he fulfilled his “perfectly natural desire for sex.”Naturally, this led Bob to feel quite unhappy in the present moment. He had difficulty seeing the value of his present life without achieving his love and sex goals. Bob believed that ONLY when he was able to have sexual intimacy with a desired partner would he be able to experience true happiness.
While acknowledging that Bob might be happier when he found a desirable sexual partner that it would bring him pleasure, I worked with him to deal with the frustration of not achieving sexual goals and while emphasizing actively WORKING TOWARDS those goals. I helped Bob to recognize that he could also LIVE the VALUES (the behaviors that Bob valued in Sex experiences) on an ongoing basis, even without a current love or sex partner.
HOW TO ACHIEVE THE VALUES OF SEX AND LOVE IN YOUR DAILY LIFE:
Bob and I worked together to identify what he stood for in SEX and LOVE. We identified the elements that defined what VALUES he was living when he was a lover or partner. We came up with a list of VALUES that, once identified, allowed Bob to feel enriched and fulfilled daily. Certainly, we continued to pursue the actual GOAL of Sex/Love but also found ways for Bob to fulfill those deeper VALUES on the way to the GOAL.
WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOUR SEX/LOVE VALUES ARE?
One way to do this is to ask, ‘if your lover(s) were to talk about you as a lover, what would be the qualities you would want them to say you had?’ There’s no defined limit on the qualities that YOU may wish to have in your behavior but let’s look at a few that MIGHT come up:
VALUED ways of behaving:
anticipation of needs
Gentle but firm
WAYS TO LIVE VALUES ON A DAILY BASIS
a. really listening to someone’s emotions and needs. (not multi-tasking)
b. giving a phone call to people to say thinking of them
c. Teasing, making people laugh
d. Promoting and uplifting people, believing in their best
e. Helping others in need.
f. offering others physical comfort, soothing
g. asking people what I can do for them.
h. staying aware of my own emotions and sensations (i.e. sober)
Anticipation of needs
a. Asking others what they are seeking.
b. Noticing when someone needs something that they don’t have
c. Asking if I can help
a. Playful attitude
b. Humorously challenging people’s perceived limitations.
c. Not giving people what they want immediately, teasing.
d. role playing
f. finding humor in others (in a non-demeaning manner)
Gentle but firm
a. showing commitment despite frustration or irritation.
b. showing love to friends and relations (while setting behavioral limits)
a. When alone, sensually stimulating self
b. Jumping into role playing/improvising with full commitment to character
c. Passionately cleaning my home while playing intense music
d. Dancing, alone or with others
f. writing a story about something you feel strongly about.
g. Spontaneously telling people when you find them beautiful, attractive, intelligent, etc.
h. Diplomatically telling people what you want from them.
a. Telling people how I feel (not everyone or everywhere)
b. Letting others know how they affect me. (positive and negative)
c. Letting others know my positive feelings for them
d. Admitting my emotions to myself and allowing them to exist (not running, avoiding, squashing)
a. Calling others on the phone. (Family, Friends)
b. inviting others out to coffee, dinner, movies, comedy, bowling, etc.
c. Going to a meetup
d. Dancing with someone
e. Telling others how I see them, what they mean to me.
a. Letting others know how special they are, how much I believe in them, how much they mean to me.
b. Taking the time to listen to others concerns and see things from their perspective.
c. Caressing, massaging myself in a way that shows care, concern, appreciation
d. petting an animal
e. hugging and kissing those that I love and are close to me.
f. Giving myself a warm bath, a cup of tea, clean clothes, etc.
a. noticing how I move through the world and interact with it.
d. Engaging in the five senses: noticing 3 things I see, hear, taste, touch, smell
e. Savoring living like savoring a fine wine. Enjoying the sensations.
a. wear clothes that feel sexy to me
b. Take diligent care of hygiene
c. sleep enough
d. touch self with sensual touch
e. take myself out to a nice dinner
f. Light a candle
g. play sensual music
h. dancing alone or with others
i. allow myself to feel sexually towards others in front of me, smiling, glancing, etc.
Recognizing deeper VALUES beneath your GOALS allows you to find multiple ways to achieve those values daily, while still pursuing your GOALS. Thus, happiness is not exclusively tied to GOALS. Happiness comes from fulfilling VALUES, even in small ways daily.
Hope this helps you!
© 2018 Ross Grossman, MA, LMFT
Categories: psychology, Self Help
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