We write, read, and think so much about our love lives and sex, but what happens when we don’t have a loving partner with whom we can be sexually intimate?
(Photo by Zane Lee on Unsplash)
By Dr T J Jordan
Even prior to the pandemic, loneliness was considered an epidemic in the United States. Loneliness is not simply a psychological problem. It is a serious health hazard that is supported by our social constructions of reality.
The majority of Americans (two-thirds) report that their social relationships are not meaningful. Worldwide, an average of 33 percent of people are lonely, with reports as high as 50 percent in some countries.
Some people report feeling absolutely isolated. Poor social relationships correlate with 28–33 percent higher risk of both coronary artery disease and stroke.
We seem to be drawn to the promise of loving intimacy, but sometimes we can’t seem to get there. Reading about how to love more fully and how to make love with greater emotional intimacy can simply add to our loneliness.
How painful it can be to keep preparing ourselves so well for a cherished life opportunity that we can’t seem to reach!
The Need versus the Opportunity for Love
We behave as though everyone has the same opportunity for love and intimate sexuality, but the truth is that we don’t. Increasingly we realize how much appearance and quick impressions impact our opinions and options.
We adhere to socially promoted ideas about what makes a potential partner attractive. We permit ourselves to be blind to a broad range of personal attributes that run counter to socially promoted aesthetic ideals. For example, what makes us believe that older partners must be less attractive than younger ones?
If we were satisfied with a series of one-nighters, with casual or commercial sex, we would have an easier time meeting our needs. But we all seem to need the intimacy that relieves loneliness. Sex without love isn’t doing…