Name: Maargen | | Location: New York , NY |Question: I met a guy about 6 weeks ago who I really like. We’ve had 4 dates so far, despite the fact that he’s made 5 business trips to the West coast during this time. Considering the weekends that he’s had with his teenaged kids (he’s divorced) and the time spent traveling, it seems he’s made an effort to try to see me as often as he reasonably can. We always have a great time: great conversations and blistering chemistry. There are calls, texts, emails from him every few days or so.
We got tickets to see a play this upcoming Sunday. It’s a matine (2pm) and in the email where I accepted his invitation I said how cool it would be to wake up together in the city (he lives in NJ) and walk across town to a matinee then a have a great dinner. I also added “not a suggestion…just dreaming out loud”. I did this because although our time together always includes heavy petting and kissing, our emails and texts are always platonically friendly and I felt like adding a bit of romance to one for a change, in a fit of Spring fever. He had already invited me to go on one of his trips with him but I declined, and he had also invited me to spend the night at his place, which I also declined. My image of waking up together was maybe to let him know that I was thinking along those lines for the future, if not now. I admit that I didn’t really give it much thought before sending it.
He didn’t respond to the email (which I didn’t expect him to do, since there was no question in it) but in a phone call a few days later he says, in passing, how much he’s looking forward to Saturday and Sunday together. I was confused since we didn’t have plans for Saturday, so he brought up my email, which surprised me since I forgot about it as soon as I hit ‘send’. I remember stuttering something about how I did write that it wasn’t a suggestion, but he said that it sounded like such a good idea. Since I really, really hate discussing anything serious over the phone so early on I let the matter drop. Now as the time is approaching he mentions again how much he’s looking forward to our weekend together. He mentioned going out in Manhattan Saturday night, both of us going back to his place in NJ, making brunch together Sunday morning then driving back to the city for the play.
Moxie, the problem is that I don’t feel connected enough to him to sleep with him (and spending the night with a guy who lives 30 minutes away and not sleeping with him seems a bit silly to me). Yes, I am turned on by him physically, but at this point if I never heard from him again I would just think of “that cool sexy guy what’s-his-name…too bad nothing came of it”. I really enjoy sex with a guy I care for, but don’t really care to have sex with a guy I barely know. I’m seeing other guys (not having sex with them either) and as far as I know he’s seeing other women and if he’s not it’s because his schedule’s been too busy. At this point I don’t really care if he’s seeing other women: we’re still getting to know each other. Six weeks would ordinarily be long enough, I suppose, if he hadn’t been travelling, and if our phone calls had been more than brief chats to check in and exchange pleasantries.
How do I tell him that I’m not ready to sleep with him? I’m perfectly fine with the way thing are going, and don’t want to imply otherwise. I’m afraid any explanation will send the wrong signal: I’m not putting him off because I don’t want him or like him. I’m just not ready for sex with him. I don’t want to tell him this in an email or over the phone. I can’t wait to see him (it will have been three weeks since our last date) but is it fair to meet him on Saturday and then tell him that we can go out that day and again the next day, but we’re not having sex? Should I call him beforehand and tell him, or cancel our plans for Saturday? (I cancelled one date on him already because of illness). I really dread inserting a note of confusion into something that’s going so well so far. No need to tell me all of this was my fault for bringing up the romantic scenario in the first place…I’ve already given myself enough lashes for that one! How should I handle this without changing the fun vibe between us? |Age: 40
I’m not sure you can put this particular genie back in the bottle, I’m afraid. This guy is going to feel like he’s being used and manipulated. Which I know was not your intention (at least not consciously). But intention and perception are two different things, and we have no control over perception.
Six weeks would ordinarily be long enough, I suppose, if he hadn’t been travelling, and if our phone calls had been more than brief chats to check in and exchange pleasantries.
Okay. Which is it. You start off by saying he’s made a great deal of effort and seem impressed by that. But here you seem to be downplaying the effort and time you’ve spent getting to know him.
Yes, I am turned on by him physically, but at this point if I never heard from him again I would just think of “that cool sexy guy what’s-his-name…too bad nothing came of it”.
I’m going to call a steaming pile of bullshit here. If you were as detached as you implied, you wouldn’t be trying to be romantic with him. You just wouldn’t. You said it yourself in the opening of your letter. You really like him. Again, you’re contradicting yourself. I don’t think this is a matter of you not knowing if you like this man. I think you’re afraid you’re going to have sex with him and he’s going to disappear. You know what? He might. He might never call you again. He could be dating Lord knows how many other women and spending alternate weekends with them. This is fear at work. But fear of what?
I understand the need to be comfortable with a man in order to have sex with them. But more often than not, this is a bullshit excuse women use when what they’re really wanting is proof the guy isn’t going to leave them. Well, you’re never going to get that. A man or woman can make all kinds of promises and still leave.Let me explain something to you…regardless of whether you have sex with him, if he’s going to bail, he’s going to bail. The sex isn’t going to be a factor.
Well, other than not having it. That will be a factor. Especially now since you put it on the table. I know you didn’t mean to but I think most people – male or female – would interpret “I want to wake up with you” as “I want to have sex with you.”
I really enjoy sex with a guy I care for, but don’t really care to have sex with a guy I barely know.
But…the chemistry is “blistering.” How do you build such intense chemistry with a man you’re so lukewarm about and barely know? Once more, you’re contradicting yourself. You go from saying that the chemistry is blistering to saying that the phone conversations you have are merely an exchange of “pleasantries.”
I’m not putting him off because I don’t want him or like him. I’m just not ready for sex with him.
Well, I guess the first thing you need to do is figure out why, exactly, you’re not ready for sex with him. You’ll spend two days with him. You’ll sleep over. You’ll engage in heavy petting. So what’s the block? Because I don’t buy for a minute it’s that you aren’t sure how you feel about this man. You’ve pretty much sabotaged yourself here. You realize that, right? Between canceling a date and now this? I’m going to throw this out there….do you think you canceled one of the dates to see if he would follow up and reschedule with you? You know..a test of his interest? I’m just asking you to consider this possibility.
The problem with tests is that more often than not they don’t work. Well, they do, but not in the way you think. Now, should things not work out, you will have a specific incident to refer to to explain why this guy never calls again. At least this way you’ll know instead of wondering what you did wrong or what happened. Now you have some control in the dissolution of this relationship. Which is better than torturing yourself, right?
You messed up here. You know it. The question is why. Sure, this guy might be understanding and get past this. Which would probably “prove” to you how invested he is. I think that’s what you’re looking for, whether you know it or not.You’re looking for proof. And this very well might be a test. Or you’re not really interested in having a relationship at all. We said in yesterday’s post that there are a slew of men who date who know, either consciously or unconsciously, that they don’t really want a relationship. There’s a growing number of women who are doing the exact same thing.
The only way to save this situation is to be totally honest with him. Talk to him about it. Explain what you’re feeling. That is the only way to save this. But you’re going to have to willing to be honest with yourself first. Do you really want to try and salvage this? Because if you don’t, then stop wasting this man’s time. This letter was a series of excuses and contradictions.