Question: I’ve been on 7 dates with a man I really like. It’s getting to the point that sex may be the next step, but I don’t want to sleep with him if he is sleeping with anyone else. How do I go about bringing that up? Especially since we are not exclusive
Here’s the thing. You could ask him and he could tell you he’s not sleeping with anyone else, but you have no proof that he’s telling the truth. None. If he wants to get laid, or if he really likes you, he’s probably going to lie if he’s smart. You know as well as I do that if he admits that he is sleeping with other people, you’re going to be pissed or hurt and it will lead to an argument. No matter how dead inside someone may be, no matter how much they say they wouldn’t care, they’d care. It’s a normal and natural and reaction to be bothered by such an admission. That’s why there is absolutely no point in asking him if he has other sexual partners. If you’re concerned about STDs, then ask for testing history, not sexual history, and use condoms. Again, you are not guaranteed you won’t contract an STI or STD. These people are not swearing under oath to tell the truth. There are no repercussions beyond the inevitable break-up that might occur. There’s no jail time, no financial liens, no nothing. To many people, breaking up isn’t the end of the world so they just shrug and say, “What the hell?” and go with it. That’s why all the drama that develops when these questions are asked are for naught. All you will be given is a bunch of words and a promise.
What you’re trying to do is discern if this guy is dating other people and if he’s serious about you. You want to know where you stand with him. Again, totally fair question and you have a right to know if you need that information to proceed. That’s why the question should be about the direction of the relationship and not if he’s doing it with anybody else. Because, this just in, he could be doing it with someone else even when he’s committed to you. Again, you have no guarantees that he’s going to be faithful or that the relationship will last.
The reason I am driving that point home is that, in order to take things to another level, you sometimes have to take a leap of faith and trust that no matter how it all shakes out, you’ll be okay. I’ll answer the question for you: is he sleeping with someone else? Probably. 7 dates and no sex? Yeah, there’s a really good chance he’s getting it somewhere else. That doesn’t mean he won’t cut that off if that’s what it’s going to take to keep you. He might. But the only way you’ll know is if you ask him the question you should be asking.
Don’t use sex as the excuse to bring this up, as you’ll be perceived as using sex to get a guy to commit. No man in his thirties or older wants to deal with that. It’s an immature way to approach commitment. Also, nobody with a decent amount of options is committing without taking things for a sexual test drive. Sex is important, as is sexual compatibility. That’s not a shallow need. You’re attempting to use the promise of sex as a way to back into a bigger, more important, conversation. See, if you approach it that way you can say that you’re asking for sexual health reasons or use some other excuse for the conversation in order to avoid asking the tough question of where things are going.
If you want him to commit to you, you need to ask for commitment. You might get it, you might not. That’s the way the cookie crumbles. But at least, either way, you’ll know.