By Sophia Godkin PhD
When I think about what makes life worth living, I often think about the moments I share with other people. Whether a smile from a stranger, a nod of acknowledgment from a colleague, a silent moment of understanding shared with a friend, a big hug received from a relative, or a sweeping moment of passion shared with a partner, these moments make up the very reason we are all here– to co-exist in harmony, in unison, in understanding and to help each other grow, live with meaning, and/or to accomplish what we set out to do in this life.
And there is no connection more powerful in our lives than that which takes place in the context of relationship – the state of being connected emotionally, intellectually, romantically, physically, spiritually, and otherwise.
So, in coming weeks and months, I will be sharing with you a glimpse into the relational worlds of dating, of sex, and of love, as experienced from the unique perspective of each biotype.
Why this series?
Whether we realize it or not, relationships matter in a big way to the unfolding of our lives. In fact, you can be eating all the right foods and getting all the right kinds of exercise but if your relationships are not fulfilling and/or are ridden with conflict and dissatisfaction, then being truly healthy and happy are a far off pursuit. Now of course the degree to which this influences your capacity to be truly healthy and happy will depend on the unique person you are (and this is something we’ll get into the series!) but overall, science shows us time and time again that unhealthy relationships contribute to, while healthy relationships protect us from, stress and illness. And according to a 75-year-long study conducted at Harvard University, it’s close relationships that determine how long and happy our lives are, well beyond our IQ, our social class, or even our genes. We’ve got it all wrong. Money doesn’t make people happy. People make people happy. Genes don’t make people healthy. People make people healthy.
If you want to live and you want to live well, you’ve got to create positive relationships in your life. And to create positive relationships, you’ve got to understand who you are. And beyond that, you’ve got to learn to understand who others are.
We are living in a critical time where the consciousness of our planet is shifting rather quickly. We’ve witnessed some of the most devastating and confusing social events (the latest presidential election, too many school shootings to count) and also some of the most beautiful (people waking up to the truth of who they are, beginning to live life on their own, rather than society’s terms, people living increasingly more from a place of love than fear).
And all of the above circumstances, whether quote-unquote “positive” or “negative”, begin with our relationships. Just look at what happens to a child who feels understood throughout their childhood and adolescence and compare them to a child who was mistreated, misunderstood, and isolated. We are each those children. We’ve all been misunderstood in one way or another. We’ve all misunderstood someone else. We’ve all experienced unnecessary conflict. And we’ve certainly all experienced heartbreak.
My goal in writing this series is not to dissolve all the misunderstanding, conflict, and heartbreak in the world. Some of our greatest growth comes from those moments when we are misunderstood (and thus learn to better understand ourselves), misunderstand others (and hence develop humility in recognizing that people are so different from one another), and experience heartbreak (and learn that our heart doesn’t in actuality break; it bruises, it stretches, and it always heals).
My goal is simply and powerfully to invite you to be curious. First and foremost about yourself. And also about the people with whom you share this life. To recognize that people are different from one another. To appreciate that people are different from one another. And to know that with this curiosity, recognition, and appreciation, you can and certainly will create a life of true happiness.
Creating a life of true happiness rests on our ability to create relationships that satisfy, stimulate, and awaken. And if we are to create relationships that satisfy, stimulate, and awaken, we’ve got to learn to understand one another.
Hi! I’m Sophia, and I’ll be guiding you through this series – a reflection of the HealthTypes in dating, in sex, and in love as understood through my eyes, my mind, my heart, my soul, and put forth by many years of reflection, observation, and intuition. My eyes, mind, heart, and soul are those of a Psychologist and Psycho-spiritual Coach. I’ve taught The Science of Happiness in universities nationwide and coached many a person to find their true inner happiness through emotional, relational, and spiritual means.
Importantly, I am a Connector HealthType (one who rests toward the Activator end of the spectrum, to be specific) which means I absolutely love love and I absolutely love relating to and understanding what drives people to be who they are (you’ll learn more about this as we go through the series!) so it’s no wonder I find myself here, eager to share with you one of my biggest passions of conscious love and sexuality.
Now that you know why this series has emerged, and what inspires my passion for it, let’s get into what we’ll be talking about, shall we?
What is Dating? What is Sex? What is Love?
In introducing the upcoming series “The HealthTypes in Dating, in Sex and in Love”, I thought it noteworthy to introduce the concepts of “dating”, “sex” and “love” themselves. As with many words in the English language that we use freely and frequently, each of these words carries a lot of meaning, and this meaning takes on one of an infinite number of possibilities depending on the person who speaks it or hears it. Let me share with you the lay definitions that we’ll use to guide our exploration of consciousness through dating, through sex, and through love throughout this series.
Dating is the experience of getting to know another person. When we refer to “dating” throughout the series, we will be referring to the experience of meeting, of going on dates, and to any and all experiences that may precede a relationship. We will focus on the perspectives and relative importance of the dating experience, what it consists or doesn’t consist of, and what qualities and experiences may catapult or prevent dating from turning into relationship.
Sex is the physical union of two (or more) people. “Sex”, as used in this series, will refer to the physical act of intercourse and will encompass attitudes and perceptions of it, what leads up to and arises from it, and how closely or distantly related it is to the experience of love itself.
Where appropriate, non-sexual forms of physical touch will be explored as well to paint a more complete picture of our physical inclinations and our sexuality, that is, how we experience and express ourselves sexually.
Love contains the attitudes, actions, and experiences of the heart. As will become clear as the series unfolds, love is many things to many people. In this series, “love”, used in its most general sense, will refer to the experience of being in relationship with another person, whether monogamously or non-monogamously. In describing “love”, we will address the preferences, desires, and needs that characterize a relationship. We will also note those qualities that render a relationship satisfying and fulfilling and how the notion of love tends to be expressed naturally.
The worlds of dating, sex, and love are ripe and ready for us to explore them. Be sure, as we get started on this series, that you know your HealthType and the HealthType of the people closest to you in your life. And remember, there’s only one rule: Be curious, open to learning something new, and you might just improve how you relate to your partner, and inspire them to better understand and relate to you.
Have any burning questions or comments? Let us know in the comments section below!