Don’t we know it?
What you loved when you were 18 might be totally different than what gets you going at 30 and may be completely different than what turns you on at 45. Different life experience make us appreciate new things, new images may become imbedded in our brains, we may become more experimental or more conservative. That’s life.
But what we don’t always take into account is how the physical changes in our body may also change as we age. I just saw one of our long-time patients here yesterday. She’s a wonderful woman who came to us about 4 years ago, distraught. She was depressed, her relationship was on the rocks and her sex life non-existent. Over the course of six-to-eight months, we worked with her, carefully addressed the obstacles in her sex life, and her life gradually turned around. No longer depressed, with a renewed satisfying sex life, her relationship was back on track and she was one happy woman. She stayed on the same regimen for about 4 years and things were fine.
Yesterday she came for one of her twice-a-year follow up visits. Things weren’t so great. She is going through menopause and it’s hitting her pretty hard. She’s having a harder time reaching orgasm. Her desire seems to be sliding a bit. I was so happy she was here; before things got really bad we could intervene. Together we worked out a new plan and over the course of the next few months we’ll keep working with her until things feel right again.
The take home message is this: in order for us to address our needs as we change, first, we need to acknowledge and accept that we change. Our bodies, our minds, our relationships: nothing is static. In fact, change is what keeps things spiced up, interesting, moving forward. We wouldn’t really want them to remain static, would we?
But sometimes we have a hard time internalizing the fact that what works for us right now won’t work for us forever. And it’s hard for us to identify the times we need to take stock and re-assess what we’re doing and what might work better. The important message is this: Keep an eye on your needs. If they’re not being met, perhaps there are changes in your mind or body or lifestyle that have also altered what makes you happy, sexy, satisfied. The more we accept this our dynamic lives, the faster we can find healthy, productive solutions to the challenges we face.
Embrace change. It may even be fun.