Picture this (adopts Sophia from Golden Girls voice): You’re attracted to someone. You think they’re funny, clever, witty, and that they embody all of the physical qualities that you like. You appear to share common interests and possess a similar outlook. After a date or few, you sleep together and feel as if there’s an amazing connection. A pattern emerges. After the initial burst of calls/texts/emails and off-the-chains sex, you’re in not-knowing-where-you-stand territory. But you’re still sleeping together.

One night, lying there in the afterglow of another good session, you tentatively ask what the score is. Or, you mention a forthcoming event that you’d like them to come to with you. You want to progress things, and there’s a niggling concern that they’re using you for sex, although you really don’t want to see it this way. Every time these thoughts creep in, you remind yourself of when you were laughing a few weeks ago. You remember the stuff they talked about doing with you (but have made no moves to), or when they said that they really enjoy your company. You reason that it’s pretty obvious that you’re crazy about them, so surely they’re not stringing you along?

You’re in the Justifying Zone, that slippery slope many people go to where they look for reasons to justify their initial emotional and sexual investment instead of saying “I’m out.” Turns out, you can have sex with someone and it not mean that you’re destined to be together forever and ever.

After posing the question, the atmosphere changes. They pull themselves onto their side and look at you. “I’m having a really good time you know, but let’s not ruin things. Let’s just go with the flow.” You suddenly feel exposed and vulnerable. “What do you mean?”, you ask hesitantly. “Well… I just don’t want you to get all serious on me because, to be honest, I’m not really looking for a relationship right now… Is that OK?”

Um, well, no, it’s not OK! But what the hell are you supposed to say when you’re lying there naked in a room that reeks of sex?

As I type these words, more than a few people out there are having sex with someone who they have more than a casual interest in. Unfortunately, that same person isn’t interested in them and/or a relationship.

In an ideal world, you’d like to think that shagging each other and even buffering it with hanging out, dinners, and some contact, would be an automatic precursor to a relationship. But, it’s not.

If someone is having sex with you and they’re not interested, or they don’t want to have a relationship, it’s because in their mind it’s a casual relationship. They may overvalue what they bring to the table, assuming that because they’re having a good time, that you’re grateful they’re breaking you off a piece.

It’s actually pretty ridiculous that someone who, for instance, has the cheek to tell you that they’re not interested, still wants to exchange bodily fluids. That they’d expect you to engage in all sorts of sexual acts. Why don’t they skip on down the road to someone else and leave you to put your time, energy and, um, bodily fluids elsewhere?

Unfortunately, there are more than a few people out there who like the idea of sleeping with someone who seems crazy about them and believes that the relationship is going somewhere. It’s an effed-up power trip. It also allows them to be uninhibited and let their real sexual self hang out because they don’t care. They feel as if they have no responsibilities and you’re just this sexual plaything. Yep, pretty damn degrading.

Not wanting a relationship but still sleeping with you while doing dating actions, messes with your head.

It looks like a relationship and in your mind, feels like a relationship, but it has the hallmarks, not the landmarks of a relationship (commitment, progression, balance, intimacy, and consistency, plus shared values, love, care, trust, and respect). It’s casual.

While some are upfront, others don’t say anything until they really have to. This is typically around the time when you want things to progress or are looking for clarification. They might kid themselves, insisting that they initially genuinely wanted a relationship, but at some point, they changed their mind. And didn’t give you a heads-up…. This removed the opportunity for you to decide what you do or don’t want to participate in. It’s also a case of, why endanger the good time…and why create conflict. So they say nothing.

People who claim to have “changed their mind” but said nothing, weren’t genuinely in the market for something more.

On the flip side, so many people hear “I don’t want a relationship”, “I’m unavailable” or “I’m not interested/a jackass”. And they ignore it. Why? Because they focus on the action. They think, “Well we’re having sex, they still text me, and we have so much fun together, so obviously they do want a relationship.” No, they don’t. Actions and words must match. No match, no relationship.

So many people ask, “Why are they still having sex with me then?”

“Having” implies that you have nothing to do with it. Like you’re helpless to a shag machine and that you don’t have any say in what does and doesn’t happen. It’s as if you don’t need to read any hints because nudity’s involved.

You should be asking “Why are we still sleeping together if they have shown or communicated their disinterest? Why am I still there if they’ve shown or communicated that they don’t want the relationship that I’ve said I want?

Answer this question and you can start stripping the illusions out of this involvement. You can take action that gives you back your power.

Some people will chance their arm. If they can get what they want, they’ll take it. It’s not cute, it’s not cool, and it’s actually disrespectful. This is why you shouldn’t use sexual involvement as a barometer for the relationship you want. Def-in-ite-ly not for what you perceive someone’s feelings to be! It also doesn’t matter if you want more. If they don’t and you continue to sleep with them, they assume you are on their terms.

Not only are sexual organs poor judges of character, but sex should never be used as a basis for working out what the hell is going on in your relationship.

If you’re defaulting to sex, it’s because the relationship is lacking on other fronts.

It’s very difficult to gauge someone’s true character and intent immediately. Time and experience demonstrate this. Avoid ‘negotiating’ with sex. Some folk that would sell their mama for sex! At the very least, they’d sell you a big dream and a fake persona to get you into bed.

If you’re someone that values sexual interactions and struggles with the discovery phase and sleeping together, slow down. Don’t have sex until you can manage the two. But on discovering that someone’s interest isn’t mutual and that they don’t want the relationship you want, pull your pants up. It’s time to flush them out of your life. Persisting will leave you feeling devalued. Don’t let your ego or libido blind you to what you need to do. You’ll thank yourself later.

Your thoughts?

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