Rules of Affection: Part One

I don’t wanna give you the wrong impression
I need love and affection
And I hope I’m not sounding too desperate
I need love and affection
Love, love, love, love and affection
Love, love, L-O-V-E-E-E and affection

I would say that overall, I’m a naturally affectionate individual. This wasn’t always the case, coming from a traditional Nigerian family. Hugging and whatnot was not really the norm. But as I’ve gotten older, I have been able to articulate my feelings and become more comfortable expressing the need for affection.

I starting thinking about how important affection is within a relationship, but also, how important it is when embarking on a new relationship. There are questions that need to be asked when starting something new, and things one needs to consider in terms of making sure that you’re individual needs are met. Like for me, I like hugs. I like my hair being played with (as long as your hands are clean because otherwise, ew.) I like holding hands but not all the time. Like we can let go to swipe our metrocards at the turnstile, this isn’t Titanic. I also don’t need you to call me everyday and talk forever. I spend my workday talking, a lot. So sometimes, a little 5-10 minute check in will suffice. I certainly don’t need to see you everyday because we’re grown. We’re not in college, where our dorm rooms are in the same building and we have time to snuggle in our twin beds in between classes. I don’t know about ya’ll, but I don’t just go to work and go home. I have Bible study, I have the blog, I’m a gym enthusiast, and a lover of trash television. Sometimes I need my alone time after a hectic day. Besides, I need a chance to miss you. But like I said, this is my particular preference.

I think that when you first start a relationship, it’s so new, and exciting, all you want to do is spend every waking moment with that person. Talking for hours every night, rearranging your schedule so you can see each other as often as possible, and of course, once you become intimate, that may be something that happens a lot, or at least on your mind a lot. But the thing is, we have to think about sustainability. You want it to last right? You want to still want this person six months from now, six years from now, maybe forever. In my opinion, there has to be a balance.

I’ve seen affection go a lot of different ways. There are the relationships that involve a constant emphasis on sex. Now don’t get me wrong, sex is good, being intimate is healthy. But it should not be everything. You have to be able to stimulate each other outside of the bedroom, because ultimately, that is what is going to keep you both interested in the long run.

At the same time, no sex is no good either. Unless you both agreed to not have sex, this could potentially be a problem in the long run. I knew a couple that had been dating for a year and some change. The first six months it was a whole lot of sex. Sounds great, sounds like both parties were satisfied right? Until a year and a half later, she decides that she doesn’t want to have sex anymore because she wants to wait until she gets married. Whoa, hol’up, hol’ ma phone! You’re a couple. That means that the concept of intimacy should be a discussion that you both have. It affects you both, and is unfair to both, especially since you have been intimate consistently for quite some time. Now, I’m not going to say that this has caused either of them to cheat…I just know that sometimes the eye starts to wander, when that person is not being satisfied at home. If you get me.

As far as new relationships, don’t be all up under each other 24/8. Leave something to the imagination. Nothing is more romantic and exciting than the progression of things. The first kiss. The first time he or she sleeps over. The first time you’re intimate. The first time you introduce them to your homies. Slow down, and savor it. You never know how long it will last, could be forever or only a short time. But either way, you gotta enjoy it.

I’ll say one last thing. Be open about what you actually want and need. If you need to spoon after sex, let that be known. If you like your belly rubbed after large meals, shout it from the rooftops! If this person can’t satisfy your needs now, they’ll never satisfy your needs in a relationship.

That’s all I got folks. Be well.


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