Buying into media portrayals of sex, love and romance will not get you far in romantic relationships. The media portrays relationships as being totally driven by emotion, as if everything you need in order to navigate a relationship is intuitive, and nothing requires work or logic. The reality of relationships is that they are an area of life that needs to be managed intelligently, just like everything else. They are not a mass of effortless feelings like the media would have us believe. They are messy and confusing and disjointed, all the way from the dating to the sex to the conflicts to the resolutions.
In real life, dating is hardly all adorable moments and romantic build up. In fact, it is something that requires a great deal of bravery and strength. Rejection is unavoidable in the dating world. Sometimes it is a result of not having chemistry and sometimes it is a result of discovering a major difference between two people. Sometimes rejection comes early on and sometimes later in the dating game, but anyone dating should never forget that it is the other person’s prerogative to walk away if they want, and that they are expected to handle it gracefully. When two people are fortunate enough to make it to the next stage of a relationship, the navigation does not end there.
Sex is portrayed in the media as urgent to have and effortlessly fantastic. In real life, sex needs to be approached with respect and caution, as it is the most intimate physical act that two people can engage in. It is normally not perfect, but requires communication and adjustments in thinking in order to do well. The deeper into the relationship that two people go, the more differences they will encounter. Good decision making, compromise, conflict resolution and intelligence are required to be successful in relationships. It requires good critical thinking to know when to walk away from a relationship, and even healthy relationships require a great deal of work.