Passionate Love: Secret #4
- Neil Clark Warren, Ph.D. for the eHarmony Research Library
- 2002 10 Oct
Secret Number Four: Avoid Your Weakness
The fourth secret that I want to suggest to you is that you stay totally away from that point in the chain where sexual involvement becomes almost totally impossible to resist.
Now you and I know pretty much what that is for ourselves. Think about it. What is your experience in this area? Maybe you simply can’t kiss someone without just kind of, in our vernacular, going crazy. You begin to do things with your hands and your body that you don’t really want to do. Maybe you’re going to have to back away from kissing. Others may have a different point along the chain, but whatever yours is, you must stay totally away from that point.
I often get the comment, "Dr. Warren, that requires so much discipline on our part. Are you trying to take the fun out of romance?"
No, I don’t want to take all the fun out of romance. But we have a situation where, of all the marriages that take place in the United States this year, 66% are going to end in separation or divorce. I’m suggesting to you that one of the primary reasons is that people are not using all their objective powers.
During the sexual revolution in America that has taken place for the last twenty-five or thirty years, there has been much violation of any limits in this whole sexual arena. I’m suggesting you back away from that so that you don’t lose your objectivity.
More than that, once you do get married, you’re going to have to have a lot of discipline in the management of all this passion because most of us experience passion looming up at a time when it’s inappropriate for us to have passion. You’ve got to be able to manage your passion in the sexual area if you are going to be a husband or a wife who keeps your vows, and certainly if you’re going to be a potential marriage partner with whom someone else can feel safe and secure in that you hold to your boundaries.
I know what it is to want to get immediate satisfaction for every drive that you have inside your body. The same thing is true of anger that is true of sex. When you feel angry with someone, it’s hard to bite your tongue. It’s hard to just walk away. It’s hard not to say what you want to say; you want to just put them down and make them feel as bad as they’ve made you feel. But what you know is that this may be a relationship that you’re going to want to maintain for a long time. What you know is that you’re better off counting to ten. What you know is that if you can keep from saying something that you will regret later, you will be extremely happy that you had that kind of discipline.
The same is true here. If you are going with someone that you’re so turned on to that you can hardly see straight, if you can take a long-term perspective and say, "But I want my relationship with this person to be great for a long time," then it will be easier, I think, for you to develop a disciplined approach to the management of all that passion.
The most effective way to manage that passion is to know your weakness and avoid it. We all know where our point of no return lies, and ignoring that internal line creates an opportunity for feelings of guilt and regret.