Before Sex, After Sex

On the surface, it looks like sex ruins things—the dynamic changes, the energy dissipates, and the tension disappears. Sometimes the relationship lasts, but most of the time, it doesn’t.

Before sex, it’s all about showing up on time and smelling nice. The sexual tension does the rest. It helps you idealize your partner to keep you motivated and on task. I can’t be the only guy to think I’m falling in love with a girl only to lose all interest after I catch my breath. While this tension will never be as high as the moment before that first penetration, it can be maintained at a healthy level with spontaneity, unpredictability, and creativity—qualities that only come as a result of effort.

Effort. I think this culture used to be about putting in effort and hard-work back when our parents were coming up, but it’s been replaced with expectation. All of us are trained to expect things. We expect to afford a nice car and house for going to college. We expect to be entertained every day . We expect the dead person to be scraped off the road in a timely manner so that we can make yoga class. The problem with expectation is that it leads to entitlement, and entitlement leads to a lack of effort. If both of you are not putting in more effort after sex, things will fade out.

The big issue with out generation is not with getting laid (we’re in a golden era for that), but with what we believe a relationship should be. He believes beauty queens should fall from the sky if he is earning six figures and she believes Prince Charming and Funny and Ambitious should sweep her into a McMansion because she is well-read and has pretty nails. “I put in this work to get where I am, so I am entitled to an amazing partner for life. I shouldn’t have to do more.” It doesn’t work like that. Guys: you are going to have to bring more to the table than flashing your extra glossy business card and offering to take girls to expensive dinners. Girls: it’s going to take more than just looking pretty and sending text messages.

People want the best without putting in work, without sacrificing, without caring. We expect to get more than we are putting in, but ask anyone in a happy marriage how it’s really done and they will tell you it’s all about the effort. You have to care and you have to try, every single day. Good luck finding someone here under the age of 30 who understands that concept. Instead of working towards real change to increase their value, most twenty-somethings instead whine about how life isn’t fair and how bad their luck is, as if there is a concerted effort by the overlords of our universe to keep them single and unhappy. You are responsible for your romantic happiness, and no one else. If there is a problem then get off your ass and do something about it, no matter how many years it takes to solve.

But even if you are willing to put in that effort, there is no guarantee you will get back it in return. The expectation mindset is so perverse and widespread in this country that you will quickly get frustrated at the inability of your romantic interests to put in an amount of work you think is necessary for something to last. It looks like we’ve gotten to the point where modern dating is about experiencing a lot of disappointment until you finally run into someone who gives a damn and shows it.

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