I had an “ah-ha” moment today when I connected an e-mail I answered last night and a study I read about a few months ago.
- The e-mail asked if there was really any harm in “looking” at other women.
- The study said when we have too many choices we tend to take longer to make a choice, and feel less satisfied with our choice.
If I had grown up a few hundred years ago, I would most likely have lived on a farm or in a small town. I would have attended classes in a one-room schoolhouse. When my thoughts turned to marriage, I would have had one to two dozen young women from whom to choose.
However, I live now. I grew up in a big town, and had a graduating high school class of over 800. I had literally thousands of young ladies from whom to choose. Is this increased choice of women part of why we marry so much later today? Do we spend far longer choosing? More importantly, do we feel less sure when we do choose? Are we less satisfied with our choice in the long run?
The same things play into our sexuality. Rather than having seen one naked woman, most of us have seen hundreds… or thousands. We have not had sex with that many women, but thanks to porn many of us have seen large numbers of women having (or faking having) sex. Surely, this leads to us wondering if we chose right and to dissatisfaction with our sex life. Clearly, looking at porn reduces satisfaction with your wife and with the sex you share with her. Seems like a bad plan to me!
I long ago set down all other choices. I will not second guess myself, or wonder what it would be like with someone else. My heart, my mind, and my sex organs belong to my wife alone. All my eggs are in her basket, and I focus my love and energy on her. I am what Barry Schwartz (author of The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less) calls a “Satisficer” – one who accepts their choice and is thus happier.
Join me; accept your choice, your bride, as well done. Stop looking at and comparing your bride with others. You will feel better about your marriage, and you may well enjoy sex more.
[This post originally appeared March 26th, 2009]