The Mindset That Leads To A Happier Sex Life
Love is a tricky concept. And we all have different ideas of what true love is.
For some, it’s that chance encounter where eyes become locked in an intense, connected gaze. But for others, love is something that grows over time.
But how does your idea of love carry over into the bedroom?
Does intense, passionate love mean that the two of you were always meant to be together? Or can passion fade over time? Do problems in the bedroom, mean there are problems in the relationship?
Psychology says that there are two different mindsets couples can bring to the bedroom. One of them can spell disaster, while the other can spell bliss.
Beliefs About Sex Matter
Recent findings from a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology looked at the beliefs of over 1,900 participants. These were people from both heterosexual and same-sex relationships.
Every relationship goes through a honeymoon phase. The researchers say the same is true when it comes to sexual satisfaction. This phase of the relationship lasts for about two to three years and both people maintain a high level of sexual satisfaction.
But after the honeymoon phase the relationship can hit a plateau. And when it plateaus, it shifts to a cycle with a natural ebb and flow. Ups and downs.
At this point, two different mindsets, and expectations that spring from those beliefs, can influence the couple’s sex life. It also has important consequences that affect our levels of sexual and relationship well-being.
So what are the two different mindsets?
The first mindset is where a person believes that to have a happy sex life in a long term relationships takes work and effort. It’s normal to have issues and it’s important to work on them.
The second mindset is based on more of a storybook type of relationship. Where two people were destined to be together. A great sex life and passion between two people should come naturally. If you’re truly soul-mates and belong together, the passion will be there.
So let’s see what happens when you hit that point in your relationship where the honeymoon phase is over. With the second mindset, some issues could arise. Jessica Maxwell, who was involved with the study, explains:
People who believe in sexual destiny are using their sex life as a barometer for how well their relationship is doing, and they believe problems in the bedroom equal problems in the relationship as a whole.
However, if you believe that all couples eventually will encounter issues, you’ll see the situation with a different perspective. Jessica continues:
Whereas people who believe in sexual growth not only believe they can work on their sexual problems, but they are not letting it affect their relationship satisfaction.
So what would be Jessica’s takeaway from the research?:
We know that disagreements in the sexual domain are somewhat inevitable over time.
Your sex life is like a garden, and it needs to be watered and nurtured to maintain it.
The Hollywood Effect
It’s pretty safe to say the TV and Hollywood movies perpetuate the soul-mate and relationship destiny type of belief. It can give people an unrealistic view of what happens in normal relationships.
You may think women may be the ones to hold the storybook/destiny type of idea. A lot of movies, entertainment, and romance novels are geared towards females. But the research showed that women were more likely than men to believe that good sex in a relationship takes work.
The study seems to be heavily influenced by Carol Dweck’s research on growth and fixed mindsets. Dweck highlights similar topics about how relationships can suffer or benefit from holding different beliefs in her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
But it’s important to note that people have varying degrees of each view. It’s never just one mindset or the other. And while having more of the “sexual-growth” mindset can help with problems in the bedroom, it can’t fix overly substantial problems.
However, the research is a wonderful reminder:
The most important things in life are the things you have to work for. And that includes relationships.