The Couple's Quest

The quality of our life has but one measure: the quality of our relationships.

Once there was a man who enjoyed sex. Actually, that is an understatement. He yearned for the sense of admiration a man feels from a woman who obviously likes him and who joyfully anticipates bringing his body inside her own. Since the English language so broadly employs the word love, one could say this man loved making love.

The man's name was Matt, and Matt loved sex so much that he would do nearly anything to experience it— climb the highest hills, swim the deepest seas. No obstacle could keep him from finding a woman interested in him. So he set out on his quest to follow such passion.Man loving woman

Likewise, there once was a woman who thrived on relationships. She yearned for a special connection with a man full of understanding and affection. Someone who felt affirmed by her nurturing spirit and could, in turn, nurture her as well. She loved being cherished. The woman's name was Sarah, and Sarah loved being cherished so much, she would do nearly anything to experience it—gladly baring body and soul. For Sarah, just as for Matt, no difficulty could stand in the way.

So she set out on her quest to attain such intimacy. Incidentally, Sarah liked making love and Matt liked his relationships. As we know, however, a difference exists between liking something and loving something. The man was as clear about his priority as the woman was about hers: He loved sex. She loved being cherished. They both sensed, however, there was more to it all.

While on their quest, Matt and Sarah crossed paths and found themselves drawn to each other. Thinking they had discovered kindred spirits, the couple eventually made a vow to look after one another, come good times or bad. The first years went by quickly—like something out of a favorite fairy tale, but it wasn't long before Matt and Sarah's relationship grew more complicated. The fairy tale turned unsettling now and then as they experienced hazardous twists and turns in the road.

They saw their friends struggle too Some had even called it quits. Maybe, the couple reasoned, very few fully comprehended how challenging their “for better or worse” pledge could become. They weren't naive. The infatuation subsided early on. They were prepared for that, but they wondered about the passion? Did it have to be a casualty in their relationship as well? How can a person who loves making love and a person who loves feeling loved both have their desires fulfilled—of being loved?

It was a question that hung over their life together like a cloud. The passing years did nothing to eliminate the difference in orientation. Quite the contrary. Between them persisted loyalty and affection, but also plenty of tension and disappointment. Differences can either give a complementary edge to a relationship or a contentious one. At the moment, the latter was winning out.

Sarah suggested they try something unusual to get back on track: a “conversation weekend” at a cabin they had occasionally vacationed in as a family. Such a peaceful setting might provide just the place to get down to the real issues and reaffirm their commitment to each other. Matt's enthusiastic response encouraged her.

Of course, given their differing orientations, he'd likely want to talk about issues related to physical intimacy. She, on the other hand, would seek to focus on matters of the heart—emotional intimacy. No matter. Whatever the topics of conversation, they looked forward to spending time with each other. So they rented the cabin, asked his folks to watch the kids, packed up, and took off.

We all know the destination—love. But on the way there, sex makes the trip thoroughly entertaining!


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