Whether we’d like to admit it or not, we all have skeletons. We all carry around bags or uncertainly, desire, even shame. So what happens when these deepest unmet desires are continually dismissed? What steps can we take to better ourselves—and subsequently, our relationships?
The other day I watched the movie Don Jon, where Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays an extremely attractive man who happens to have a porn addiction. Don Jon can pick up any woman he wants and he regularly does. He brings them home and has missionary-position sex with them; but still—even though they are incredibly attractive—he can’t seem to find any connection. He can’t seem to genuinely enjoy the missionary sex.
He relates more to the women on screen then he does to the women in his bed. He has deep-seated desires that he fails to communicate with others and thus leads an unfulfilling life, romantically and otherwise.
His unmet desires created an unhealthy habit of one-night stands followed by masturbating to porn all day. Now, one-night stands and watching porn is not inherently unhealthy, what is unhealthy is behaving in such a way as to distract one’s self from one’s true desires.
What he wanted was emotional closeness, he wanted someone to explore both the physical and spiritual sides of sexuality, but he didn’t know how to communicate that and so instead he went after the opposite.
The opposite is easy.
Don Jon is not alone.
There are plenty of people on the planet who go toward seeking the opposite of desire where romantic relationships are concerned. This could be because of shame associated with religion and family or fear that their desires are not capable of being fulfilled. Or even worse, they think they shouldn’t be able to have everything they want because they—for some reason—don’t deserve it.
This issue of unmet desires can impact how we date, the habits we falls into, and can create an inability to truly be a blissful person.
Here Are Three Steps to Utilizing Desire to Create Better Relationships
Step 1: Recognize Desires
Write down everything you want in regards to your future love life—the sexual, social, emotional and spiritual. This may be the greatest task of all because there’s a chance some desires are so deeply buried it may take time to understand all of them and bring them to the surface.
The sexual includes not only who you’re attracted to, but why; as well as any particular positions, kinks and fetishes that turns you on.
In regards to the social, ask big questions about the future: marriage, or perhaps a partner to travel the world with? Are a big network of friends desired or a just a select few? Would going to the club every night be better than Netflix and wine nights?
How do you want to emotionally connect? Through being with another who brings out the best? Someone who truly lets you be who you are and who you want to be? Or are surface relationships that work by moving up your social standing or business purposes more suitable?
People often overlook the spiritual aspects of desire, but this is an important aspect to dive into. Is there past shame associated with a religious upbringing that perhaps needs to be worked through? Is there an innate want for the mating of souls?
Take some time with each one and dive in.
Step 2: Recognize Patterns that Are Preventing Fulfillment
Now that the desires have been brought to the surface, reflect back on past relationships and examine whether those relationships were preventing the desires or helping to reach them.
Don Jon kept having one-night stands even though what he wanted was to be with someone who made him a better person. He, like most people, wanted to be wanted but instead developed an addiction that limited his ability to see himself fully. It wasn’t until he met someone who was able to call him out on it that he was able to get over his addiction and better connect.
Step 3: Accept the Desires
Maybe you say you never want to marry; so you keep dating people on a façade-type level, even though deep down you still want commitment. Or maybe the dream is of becoming a dominatrix, yet you keep going out with vanilla individuals.
It’s time to accept those inner desires that you know to be true. There is nothing wrong with any desire as long as it respects other people’s boundaries, is consensual, and helps one grow as an individual. Only when we accept ourselves and what we truly want will we be able to find people who can help us on our journey to reaching our true and full potential.
And isn’t that what this beautiful life is all about anyway? Being our truest, fullest self?
[image: via Facebook/DonJonMovie]