Time for New Year’s resolutions! About sex and relationships! Several Jewish Bostonians share their reflections below. What values, beliefs, hopes and dreams are guiding you into the New Year? Add yours in the comments section.
“I hope to actively engage all new people I meet in a meaningful discussion about how to be supportive allies to transgender people.”
“I’m going to date a person who actually likes me instead of someone who is just going along with my liking them and hasn’t decided whether or not I’m worth their time. Why would I bother with someone who doesn’t even like me?”
“I’m thinking about how to negotiate differences in sexual desires between partners who live together. Specifically, say one partner is a sex-once-a-week person. The other partner would prefer to be intimate daily. How do other couples navigate that tension? Is there a particularly Jewish perspective on the issue? I look forward to addressing these questions more meaningfully in my relationship this coming year.”
“I want to try to be a better listener and understand my partner’s point of view without injecting my own feelings or opinions.”
“Dear hypersexual queer culture: It’s time for me to move on. Don’t worry; I’m still queer enough for you. Hanging out with me won’t make you any less radical or cool, I promise. I’ve just kinda been there and done that, and it gets old after a while. So now I’m dating like a grownup. You know, where you go on actual dates? And maybe like…not sleep with everybody? I might even give monogamy another chance. Hey, where are you going with my queer card?! Give that back!”
“I want to not be afraid to ask for what I want from a partner so that I can be happy and fulfilled.”
“Ever since I was a little girl, everyone has told me how nice I am. In fact, according to all of them—family, friends, ex-boyfriends and lovers—I am too nice. Maybe they are right. Most of my relationships up until recently were with men who manipulated me, controlled me, used me, took advantage of me and sexually and emotionally abused me. As I have gotten older, I am proud to say I have chosen better types of men. In fact, I have gotten so much better that I have moved from sociopaths and jerks to emotionally unavailable nice guys. Through these experiences with newfound men, I have also discovered a new refrain: ‘Lauren, you are such a nice person and you’re awesome. I really care about you. But I am just not ready for a relationship.’
“At this point, I should just skip the dating part and get this statement over with. But I decided as we move into 2014 and I begin my ascent toward 30 that I will have a different byline: ‘Why is it weird to be too nice? Why can’t it be weird to be mean?’ Why is it such a negative and why do people abuse how nice I really am? Is it because no other people in this world have ever had kindness shown to them? Is the world that dark? Or is it because we are just so used to dating and befriending awful human beings? I have decided that for the first time in my life, I am going to cherish how nice I am. Overall, I think I need to choose better men to date and sleep with. However, I think it is time for me to realize that being nice is not a negative. Screw all those guys who took it for granted—they have their own demons to face. From now on, when someone makes a statement about what I do for others, I’ll ask them, ‘Why is it weird to be too nice? Maybe you should try it for a change.’”
Thank you to everyone who shared a New Year’s resolution with me! Please check in throughout the year to debrief on how it’s going for you. Good luck and best wishes to all for a happy, healthy, sexually fulfilling and emotionally connected 2014.