You Will Likely Become What You Prioritize
I’m not sure why I sometimes read The Huffington Post articles in their “Divorce” section. It’s kind of like reading articles written by people who have been in car wrecks, where they are giving advice on how to avoid car wrecks, or how to recover from car wrecks. Maybe it’s human nature to want to look at car wrecks.
There probably are divorcés that have great relationship advice, just like there probably are obese doctors who have great health advice, but I tend to be more suspiscious of both.
Recently, HuffPost had this Divorce Post:
After clicking the link, the post’s actual title is “You Still Get to Have Sex After Your Divorce.” Here is the first paragraph written by the divorcé:
I broke down in tears within two weeks of my split, but not because I was getting divorced. No, it was sex, or more specifically, the prospect of having sex with a new person (people!) that send me over the edge. I was having drinks with two friends, both of whom had been divorced for several years, and we stumbled upon the subject of dating. I remember my friend saying, “Don’t worry, you’ll even start having sex again before you know it.”
~ end of excerpt ~
Really? As a healthy middle-aged female, one of your biggest post-divorce worries was: Will I have sex again soon?
I once dated a woman who remarked, “I once went skinny dipping with 40 other people.” I thought: Is she saying this as a point of boasting or pride? Does she think I would be impressed by her participation with 40 other people getting naked together while swimming in water? I don’t know what she was thinking. I don’t know the point she was trying to make.
Is it more impressive to be able to have sex soon after you want it? To be able to have sexual exchanges with many people? To have sex with greater frequency?
I admire people who can keep relationships going. For example, while I enjoy following many photographers on Flickr who take pictures of many different models, I’m more fascinated with photographers who take pictures with the same models over long periods of time. I admire people who have the social skills to maintain rapport with other people over long periods of time. In these cases, the models enjoy the photographers’ companionship enough to remain in a long term creative process with them.
If someone said to me, “I’ve slept with 50 women,” I might raise an eyebrow and find that curious. But if someone said to me, “I’ve maintained one or more different significant other relationships simultaneously, with each of them knowing (or being involved with) the other,” then I’d find that more intriguing because I perceive maintaining just one relationship for a long time to be more difficult than having sex with many peopl (people who often come into your life and then exit shortly thereafter).
I think it was the famous comedian Elayne Boosler who once joked: ”I laugh when I see Cosmopolitan articles that say ‘10 Steps To Luring Him Into Your Bed.’ Ladies, it’s not that hard. Do you want to know how to get a guy to drop his pants? Ask him.“
Or as Harry and Sally famously conversed:
Harry: Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.
Sally: So, you’re saying that a man can be friends with a woman he finds unattractive?
Harry: No. You pretty much want to nail them too.
While those are jokes, as often is the case with humor, they’re overstatements. They’re funny because they are partially true, or true on some levels.
The following concept may sound simple, but it may not be understood by many people: If you want to be great at relating to others, then you probably have to want to be good at relating to others. You’ll probably have to prioritize that pursuit, giving it sufficient time and consideration most days.
Conversely, if you want to have sexual contact with many people, then you’ll probably need to prioritize that pursuit and spend time pursuing it. But unlike maintaining relationships, pursuing many sexual contacts doesn’t require consistent care and attention. If you want to experience many and diverse sexual partners, that can be achieved on a part time basis, doing it whenever you feel like it. In contrast, maintaining close relationships over a long time tends to require more frequent, even daily care and time. That’s part of the reason why it’s often difficult to maintain even one long term significant other.
If you prioritize the pursuit of having many sex encounters, that won’t be difficult to achieve. If you prioritize the pursuit of maintaining long term relationships, then no matter how educated, beautiful, or talented you are, it will likely be a very difficult pursuit. I’m not here to suggest people should prefer more difficult tasks over easier ones. I’m not here to say one pursuit is better than the other. But it is likely you will become what you prioritize pursuing.
For regular readers and writers: Live your life as if the whole world was watching. Don’t spend any significant part of your days, your life, or your career doing things you think are of little worth or meaning to the world or to an average person. Busy yourself with the things you think are most important. If you’d be embarrassed if everyone knew how you spend much of your time, then redirect your short time on this Earth. If you don’t change your priorities, you probably won’t change. And you are more likely to become what you prioritize.