Is that normal?
When Genevieve, a Rapunzel, was younger, she had a long string of intimate relationships. She didn't see it as love sabotage. Sex was a natural part of her dating life. It started when she was 15. Sex became no big deal. Now at 43 and struggling to define love differently, she isn’t sure what is normal.
"I think I am really in love. He makes me feel amazing. Every time we are together, I want to be with him more and more. We laugh and laugh together. We sleep in the same bed with our clothes on. But I don’t WANT to have sex with him. Isn’t that weird????"
She was talking really fast and I could feel her excitement. "Last night we had a long talk about sex, about what we like and don't like, fantasies and stuff like that. Then he asked me if I wanted to have sex."
"I burst out laughing and said no, I'm not ready and I wasn't afraid to tell him."
Then she collapsed in a fit of giggling. “ME!!” She howled, “Me turning down sex!!”
“Are you attracted to him?” I asked.
“That’s the crazy thing,” she said, “He is so handsome! I can’t stop thinking about him and I want to be with him all the time.”
Genevieve’s delight is so tangible, I replay her story over and over in my mind. In a way, when you befriend your saboteur, it is as if your sweet fourteen year old self, the one that was so terribly hurt and disappointed in love all those years ago, is being given a second chance.
I remember Ruby, a Chinese Rapunzel with limited English skills. Coaching her was a challenge as I broke down the steps of breakup recovery into words she could understand. Ruby had met a man on Match.com and after 4 months of happiness, found out he was married.
She knew he lived in a different state. She accepted that he was only in her town for business every couple of weeks. She also was completely blindsided when she found out he was married. As she told me her story, here is a key point:
“In my country, you fall in love first and then you have sex. In your country, you have sex first and then fall in love. I don’t understand.”
No, I said to Ruby, you have it right! You SHOULD be in love before you have sex. Your people have it right. Not because it is morally right or wrong, that is not what this is about. The reason to love first is about hearing from your inner senses, feeling your way along so you know exactly who to sleep with when you do.
Genevieve had slept with so many men, her inner guidance was disconnected. In true Rapunzel fashion, she careened from relationship to relationship having great sex but never connecting with the men in a meaningful way.
Now, with this new man, everything is different. He thrills her. She loves him and she is in no hurry to have sex. Is it normal? Yep, it is for Genevieve. As I ask her every time we speak, how does this feel to you? On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you when you are with him? How happy are you just thinking about him?