leep with someone because you want to, not because they said the equivalent of'open sesame' by saying "Let's do something tomorrow" or alluding to the possibility of another date or future plans because that's like going, "OH.... so we're going on a fourth date / they mentioned the future! Ching ching! It's safe to drop my pants now."

Recently I had a few lengthy conversations with a close friend about the guy she’d been on three dates with, where my bottom line message was to not sleep with him until she was ready and knew him a bit better. It was clear that she was very hopeful about him but she’s been burned before by the whole moving too fast sexually and much as she loves sex, she also recognised that due to her love of it, it can cloud her judgment or leave her feeling quite vulnerable if things don’t work out and she happens to really like the person.

She felt that that they had a lot in common but it also became clear from her description of the dates that sex had already cropped up a few times in conversation. He’d made it clear that he was eager to sleep with her. My spidey senses went up, not because he fancies her or was horny but more because he was clearly persisting with that line of conversation and at the same time I knew that she was flattered but it was all getting a bit cat and mouse plus self-doubt was creeping in.

It’s that second-guessing your reasoning due to feeling ‘bad’ that someone is horny and you’re not doing something about it. It’s that fear of playing it wrong and ‘scaring’ them off. I thought this type of thing would stop once you got into your twenties but I hear from people who are in their fifties and sixties who are worried about coming across as ‘frigid’ and losing out on dates due to not putting out.

Oh poor him with a hard-on that he doesn’t know what to do with, I thought. He’s horny not ill! Couldn’t he delay gratification for a bit longer and enjoy the anticipation?

I did my best to caution my friend without bursting her bubble. I told her about the numerous tales I’ve heard and what to look out for. Guess what happened next?

Resolute in her decision not to have sex, they went on another date and because they were having such a good time and he said that they should do something the following day, she changed her mind. Hell.To.The.NO! As she was getting ready to leave the next morning, she asked what time and where he was thinking of meeting and she was met with a blank face. He didn’t even remember suggesting it and made no steps to go ahead with the plans anyway. She was understandably furious.

Every day, people share similar stories with me that are basically tales of making an exception to their general rule of behaviour and values because someone said or did something that sparked a sense of potential and hope. They change who they are based on associations they make about certain hooks and then feel burned by deviating from who they are because the assumptions they made didn’t hold up.

Why change your mind about being you and doing things that chime with your values just because you were given flowers, attention, asked on another date, or because they’re good looking, popular or were saying things that sounded like you had a lot in common with one another?

That immediately screams that you’ll forget your own needs, expectations and wishes to chase potential and to do what you think will appease the other party. But what happened to being you?

There’s nothing wrong with my friend sleeping with this guy if it’s, 1) what she wanted to do and, 2) what she was doing in line with her values. She did want to sleep with him and she owns that but she is regretting that she did it on the basis that she did.

Sleep with someone because you want to, not because they said the equivalent of ‘open sesame’ by saying “Let’s do something tomorrow” or alluding to the possibility of another date or future plans because that’s like going, “OH…. so we’re going on a fourth date / they mentioned the future! Ching ching! It’s safe to drop my pants now.” Realistically “I’d love to! What shall we do?” would have been more than sufficient…

It’s understandable to be bit (or a lot) hurt in this situation and to also feel angry or even foolish, but situations like this are a valuable lesson on doing the right thing by you and not changing your mind on a whim of chasing potential. When you start making exceptions, you forget the very reasons why you made the decision and how it tallies with your needs, expectations and wishes. My friend is at a point where she’d like to get into a serious relationship, so hand burned, lesson learned.

It’s easy to give you a hard time when this happens but while of course it’s frustrating when your hopes and expectations aren’t met, what you can be sure of is that situations like this flush out who someone really is and also give you a gentle or even firm boot in the bum to quit people pleasing. Ultimately, she hasn’t missed out on the riding off into the sunset fantasy but she is going to ‘miss out’ on a fling that’s not going anywhere.

Your thoughts?

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