By Sophia Godkin PhD
Dating, sex, and relationships are fundamental experiences in our journey of life, yet we often navigate them with little, if any, self-exploration and self-awareness. Self-exploration and self-awareness allow you to understand yourself– your values, desires, strengths, beliefs, motivations, and limitations– and this self-understanding in turn is the foundation of building a life that you love.
When you understand yourself better, you’re less likely to repeat the same mistakes over and over again and to see life as difficult or burdensome. You’re also more likely to understand others better and to create mutually rewarding relationships with the people whom you love.
Welcome to ‘The Guardian: In Dating, In Sex, and In Love’, where we ask the question “How does this cherished mind-body type think, act, feel, and function in the experiences of dating, sex, and love?”
Are you interested in seeing what your HealthType reveals about you as a partner, friend, and lover but don’t yet know your type? Click here to find out in just 3 minutes and open up to a whole new world of conscious connection, conversation, and commitment.
People easily love being around you.
Some of your greatest qualities, dear Guardian, are that you are naturally warm, caring, and nurturing. You’re especially genuine and approachable and you have a contagious love and joviality about you. It’s no wonder that people just love being around you. You are incredibly engaging to talk with, you’re the perfect person to share a good laugh with, and your sympathetic and helpful attitude naturally draws people to your side.
All of these qualities make you an easy choice for a date. As the date of a Guardian, you can bank on good conversation, good company, and a great time. So just enjoy yourself and be relieved in knowing that you don’t have to worry about how to strike up a conversation or let it flow –your date will gladly take care of it!
Flings are not your thing.
In the back of your mind is always your overarching goal of marriage and family, so flings just are not your thing. A fling or one-night stand usually doesn’t require a genuine connection, but you do. And though flings are casual, there is nothing casual about you. You don’t want a stranger to stay a stranger. You want a stranger to become an acquaintance, a friend, and maybe even more.
Dating is something you do before you get married, not something you do in and of itself. You want someone who will be around for a while, not just a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks. A date who becomes a steady boyfriend or girlfriend who becomes a husband or wife– that’s what you’re going for.
Which brings us to the next point…
You’re looking for someone who is loyal and stable.
One of the reasons that you’re a relationship kind of guy or gal is that you desire the security that only a standard long-term relationship can bring you. You’re looking for someone who exhibits a sense of stability and groundedness, with whom you have shared values, and who delivers the trust you yearn for. You appreciate those who, like you, have traditional values and standards of honesty and integrity. Life is full of surprises but you much prefer that it weren’t. You like knowing what to expect from your partner and if you see that you can count on them and that they truly care, they are a shoo-in into your life!
When it comes to planning a date, you enjoy the same qualities that you do in the overarching relationship. “What do you want to do tomorrow?” “Oh, let’s just play it by ear!” is not a conversation that you’re likely to thrive in and enjoy. You enjoy consistency, prefer stability, live for predictability, and absolutely love to see that others are committed to their plans. It’s unlikely that you will do well with a “play it by ear” sort of date.
If you’re going on a date with a Guardian, play it by plans instead of by ear. Set a schedule and be on time. Consider meeting up for an easy hike, visiting a garden, or going to a quiet restaurant– somewhere you can sit, talk, and really get to know each other. You’ll learn a lot about your Guardian date. After all, they are pretty forthcoming with personal information and have no trouble opening up. You won’t need to pry, but you may be inclined to share. They’ll appreciate the experience that much more if they learn a thing or two about you too!
Your top goal is to ensure that your partner is happy.
To care for, nurture, and satisfy someone whom you care deeply about is what brings you joy. Your main goal in a relationship, then, is to ensure that your partner is happy, and you take this goal very seriously and very personally. If your partner is in a persistently negative mood, you may in fact take it to mean that you are failing in your role as a partner (your goal, after all, is to ensure their happiness).
As a Guardian, be mindful that although it is a noble goal that meets your very intrinsic need of being needed, prioritizing your partner’s happiness above all else can very easily and likely lead you to forget about your own. Self-care (of your emotional, mental, social, physical, spiritual and other needs) is immensely important for your health and well-being and the more you tend to yourself, the more you can tend to the ones you love. Be mindful to not lose sight of your own needs and overshadow your own feelings. It may take some time to adjust, but see if you can start, little by little, to become aware of your own needs, to share your needs with your partner, and to release the “If I don’t do it, then who will?” mentality. Your partner won’t see you as any less dependable if you tend to yourself too.
As the partner of a Guardian, you know that you can always count on your Guardian’s tireless dependability. Be cognizant though to not take advantage of their nurturing, caregiver-like nature. Encourage them to take time for themselves, to fulfill their own personal desires, and to not sacrifice their own needs in the name of taking care of yours or those of the family. They have such a warm, happy persona that oftentimes any discontent they may be feeling goes unnoticed. And if their needs are consistently unmet and their growing discontent continuously left unacknowledged, they may very well emerge 20 years later with a plentitude of bitterness and resentment, realizing that they have put everyone else’s happiness before their own.
You’re traditional and devoted.
You’re very traditional in your views of what love should look like. A committed long-term relationship, a satisfactory home life, and children meet a majority of your life goals. When dating turns to marriage, you breathe a sigh of relief because you now have the predictability and certainty that make life enjoyable.
You like the structure, rules, and guidelines of a traditional life and at any given moment, you are ready to roll up your sleeves and labor with your partner to create a family and home life that is equal parts comfortable and equal parts secure. You subscribe to the traditional rules of life and believe in cooperating with them at all costs, so it often helps to partner up with someone who values or at least doesn’t ignore or rebel against societal (which also tend to be your personal) guidelines for living.
You are devoted not only to rules that are cooperative and routines that work (happily doing the same thing in the same way repeatedly without getting bored as a Connector or Activator might), but also to your partner in and of himself or herself. You are incredibly loyal and always, without question, stand by your partner in difficult times. You might offer them advice (often in the form of an adage, truism, or time honored saying) if they express a desire for some aspect of their life to improve, but you also more or less accept them as they are. You know they’ve got flaws and it doesn’t matter to you. They are an imperfect person but they are your imperfect person.
If they weren’t already, once you are in a committed relationship or marriage, your partner quickly becomes your priority, your best friend, your home base. The commitment you share with your partner satisfies and fulfills all of your deepest core desires. Being unfaithful and seeking attention outside of your committed relationship is just not something you’ll ever be caught doing.
You might, however, be caught resisting changes that undoubtedly arise within your relationship and home life. You love time honored practices and time tested ways of doing things, and change can be unsettling. You don’t need new adventures to take, feets to accomplish, or variety to spice things up. Taking care of your children (if you are a parent), caring for your partner, preparing meals, and keeping a clean, organized home are reason enough for living.
You truly want the best for your partner and for your family, and this undeniable faith and devotion can at times manifest as both a nurturing attitude and a critical one. Seeing that your partner is safe and protected and that they know the quote-unquote “right” thing to do (according to your learned and tightly held rules) is a way that you show you care. This nurturance can become parent-like at times so be mindful, as a Guardian, to keep a light awareness of how you care. As the partner of a Guardian, be aware that when they try to get you to “shape up” and think and act responsibly, it is merely a reflection of the love, care, and appreciation that they have for tradition, and for you.
It’s more than just about the two of you.
When you make a commitment to be together, it’s more than just about the two of you. It’s about your community, your friends, your families. It’s about creating a future and honoring the past, paying homage to the family history that unfolded before you.
It’s no wonder then that your relationship thrives when it’s full of social connections and engagements. Many phone calls given and received, many dinners scheduled, and many family and neighborhood celebrations attended. And the more you do together, the more mutual friends you develop, which gives you even more to talk and care about, drawing you and your partner even closer together, not to mention also fulfilling your light-hearted fascination with gossip and the desire to know what’s going on with family, friends, and the neighborhood at all times.
Your love of tradition also extends into your social life. You love to gather with people and re-experience the good old days, and may even do so in the same location on the same day of the week each time. You will love to have a partner who is supportive of your desire to keep in touch with friends and extended family and to nurture new connections that you might make around town, someone who will join you for some, if not all, of these social engagements, and stand by you as you get dressed up, feel good about yourself, and rendezvous with the warm-hearted people you know.
Outside of the occasional birthday party, wedding, or reunion, having close friends and relatives over for a holiday feast might be one of your favorite things to do. To you, connection is love. Gathering is love. Food shared with others is certainly love. And you wouldn’t want to spend your time in any other way.
When it’s not centered on uniting with friends and extended family, your free time might mean rest and relaxation but more often than not it entails tidying up the house, shopping for groceries, and other such domestic activities. Your home, after all, is your center of stability and the foundation of your love, so nourish it as you do all the people in your life, and let it nourish you back.
You adore physical touch.
Touch, in all its forms, appeals to you, especially in the comforting, all-encompassing ways others often take for granted. Holding your partner or being held with unconditional appreciation and nurturance can rouse within you a sense of connection and belonging, and a hug, when given and received with full presence and abundant in gratitude, can fuel your physical and emotional body like nothing else can. It doesn’t need to penetrate or intensely stimulate to be enjoyable; it simply needs to represent warmth and care. You want to be comforted emotionally and physically, and touch allows that to happen.
Along with the many actions you often take to make their life easier, touch is another prominent way that you show your partner your love. Asked how she tends to show someone that she loves and cares for them, “physical affection” emerged at the top of Lois L.’s (a female Guardian) list, followed closely by “investing a lot of time and energy into them.” When her partner shows physical affection and devotes a lot of time to connecting with and nurturing her is when Patricia Y., a fellow female Guardian, says she knows her husband loves and cares for her. “I am sensitive to touch and the sense of comfort, intimacy, and support from physical touch makes me feel safe and loved and supported,” she says.
For you, sex is a mode of reproduction rather than recreation. Whereas an Activator or Connector tend to experience sex as mutually pleasing, you gravitate to experiencing it as an act of service or a duty to perform for someone else, for which in turn you experience social, domestic, and/or financial stability. In this sense, you are quite traditional, but don’t let that fool you – it doesn’t mean that sex with you is boring by any means.
While you love sex to have a regularity about it and to happen at a predetermined time and place, this doesn’t imply it is devoid of the passion and sensuality that rank high as other types’ sexual must-haves.
You’re giving and enthusiastic, and sex with you is affectionate, warm, and abundant in love. It’s a chance to get close, a chance to show love, and a chance to please, and that can take many forms depending on what you, and especially what your partner, shows interest in.
It’s all about them.
The aim of ‘the game’ for you is to please your partner. You want to make sure that your partner is happy so you are naturally invested in making sure that they are enjoying themselves the whole time, often placing your partner’s comfort and fullness above your own pleasure. If it makes your partner happy, you’re in (although you won’t necessarily be the one to initiate most of the time). You’re a generous lover and quite eager to please as long as your partner’s desires don’t stray too far from your more traditional sexual mores.
The HealthType classifications can be a wonderful way to understand yourself and the people in your life better as you navigate the terrain of friendship, dating, romantic relationship, love, and sex.
As you use these classifications to understand yourself and the people with whom you share this life better, remember that each type represents a tendency, not an absolute. And while there are six HealthTypes, there is only one of you. No one person is the same as another, and no one relationship is the same as another. Who you are as a friend, dating, relationship, or sexual partner is a function of your HealthType, and also your culture, conditioning, environment, past experiences, your current state of mind, and your current state of heart.
Want to know more about creating fulfillment in dating, in sex, and in love based on your HealthType? Want to suggest a blog or workshop topic? Leave us a comment below!