We have a powerful need and desire for coupling that drives us into and out of relationships. The desire for partnership is pervasive and universal, reaching back to the origin of our species, spanning almost every culture and civilization.
85% of us marry at least once. In a recent survey, 94% of young adults stated that finding a “soul mate” was one of their highest goals. The vast majority of us want partnership and are driven into and out of relationships seeking- what? Love? Happiness? Security? Healing? All of the above?
Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs might give us a clue to what we want in relationships. Once our physical needs are met (food, shelter, sex) we pursue our higher order needs, such as emotional needs for love and pleasure, and our spiritual needs such as meaning and purpose. As a society we have secured our physical needs, and are evolving to prioritize our emotional and spiritual needs.
In spite of the high failure rate of marriage and the availability of other options, why are we still driven to pair up in monogamous, committed relationships?
There are many benefits to a committed relationship beyond survival of the species:
- Regular, Safe, Good Sex: Committed, monogamous partners have more, and better sex than singles and non-committed partners.
- Companionship: We are social beings and are comforted by closeness. Married people are healthier, happier, and live longer than singles.
- Intimacy: Emotional closeness, love, trust, mutual support, builds and improves over time in a committed relationship, and is much more difficult to achieve in quality and quantity outside of a committed relationship.
- Family: Both children and adults thrive in an environment of stable, long-term, multi-generational relationships.
- Economics: Committed couples are financially more successful than singles and non-committed partners.
- Community: Extended family, neighbors, churches, and other forms of networks of supportive relationships thrive on the stability of committed relationships.
- Mental/Emotional/Physical Health: Married adults live longer and have fewer mental/emotional problems.
2015 Relationship Coaching Institute, LLC, , adapted with permission.
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About Dr. Martha Tara Lee
Surrounded by friends who were sexually inhibited and struck by dire lack of positive conversations around sex and sexuality in Singapore, Dr. Martha Tara Lee decided to take it upon herself to right this societal injustice in 2007. She set out to make a positive difference in embarking on her doctorate in human sexuality, then launching Eros Coaching in 2009. Today, she remains dedicated to working with individuals and couples who wish to lead self-actualised and pleasure-filled lives.
She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy, and is currently pursuing her fourth degree – a Masters in Counselling. In practice for more than seven years, she is the only certified sexuality educator by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore.
Often cited in the local media, Dr. Lee is the appointed sex expert for Men’s Health Singapore, and Men’s Health Malaysia. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She is the host of weekly radio show Eros Evolution on the OMTimes Radio Network. She has published two books: Love, Sex and Everything In-Between, and Orgasmic Yoga.
Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.