Some painful stuff went down between you and someone who once held great meaning in your life. It reached a point where the only option left was to sever the connection. But as time has passed, you’ve become increasingly aware that the amazing moments you shared with this person are part of who you are, part of your identity, forever in your heart.
As painful as it is—and as backward as it seems—there is a common experience in which a woman sleeps with a man in the hopes that sex will encourage a more consistent relationship, and then is disappointed when it doesn’t work. Maybe it’s a pattern that started in college or even high school: A girl who feels interest from a guy sleeps with him because she feels like it’s just the beginning. She remembers what he said before sex—that he was into her, found her attractive, liked her—so she is hopeful that a relationship will grow out of a night of sex.
Of course, there are men who have sex quickly and still work toward cultivating a meaningful, intimate relationship afterward. But in my practice I have seen and heard both sides—the woman’s disappointment when no relationship materializes, and the man’s waning interest when sex occurs quickly in the dating process—and vice versa, of course.
When you reflect on your history and how it has impacted you, you may appreciate the building blocks that contribute to your resilience. You may see the opportunities to engage in the fortunate and challenging experiences that helped to shape you in a way that helps you to feel solid in who you are, now. Then again, you may look back with such dismay and despair that your past feels like a boulder you’re forced to drag up a never-ending hill. You long to free yourself from your past because it doesn’t represent who you are now or who you want to be in the future.
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