It’s Okay To Be Hurt If He Blows You off After Sex

Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): Fallinaafwb
Comment: Dear Moxie,

I really like your blog and always find useful insights from you and the commentators here. I joined a cycling group a couple months ago and participated in their training program (ride on every Saturday). A couple rides later, a guy started to approach me. He’s a doctor in his early 40’s, originally from the Caribbean but has lived here for almost 20 years. He would always ride behind me, sit next to me during lunch break, ride home together with me, help me fix my bike etc. During the week he would invite me to ride in the park together and have dinner afterwards. This went on for 3 to 4 weeks. He seemed to be interested in everything about me: education (I have a MBA from a top business school), profession (a nice job that entails international travels), experience (have lived in 3 countries and traveled to ~20 countries, multilingual), hobbies (biking, hiking and other outdoor activities), and I guess the look (I am Asian, petite, and considered very attractive by many people). The day after the second-to-last ride he asked me out for dinner (he couldn’t make the last ride since he was going to Vegas for a seminar). We went back to his place after the dinner.  It was a Sunday. He didn’t contact me the next day. Then on Tuesday he texted me saying he had a great time that night and he wanted to give me the dentist info (I asked him before whether he knew any good dentists). I asked him whether he would like to get together before he left. He said he couldn’t but would like to after he came back. So I said no problem and wished him a nice trip. He flew out the next day and came back on that Sunday. I thought he would contact me later but he didn’t. I didn’t contact him either because I believe if a guy is thinking about you or wants to see you, he will let you know. Also he mentioned that his ex-girlfriend was very needy (she’s 13 years younger) and always wanted him to text or call her. A few days later I couldn’t help myself and texted him. He replied right away. I then asked him whether he would like to ride together on the weekend. He said yes maybe on Sunday. I also told him that I would be going with two team members on a cycling trip organized by the group. I said he’s more than welcome to join us. He asked how long the ride was. Anyway, after this text conversation, I’ve never heard from him again. I think by now it’s clear he’s not interested anymore. I broke up with my boyfriend of two years last December. After five months I thought I am ready to date again. This is like a blow to my face. It’s especially frustrating that a guy disappeared after he slept with you. I know I should let it go. I plan not to go to any future rides that he signs up for. But next month there will be a party to celebrate our completion of the program. I know both of us won’t miss it but it might be embarrassing. I am wondering what has happened and what I should do.
Age: 38
City: Boston
State: MA


First things first. You have nothing to be embarrassed about. You didn’t do anything wrong. You have no idea why he didn’t follow up. Don’t start connecting dots that don’t exist.

To me, it sounds like this guy did get scared off a bit, but it’s important to realize that regardless of how you played this, he was probably still going to fade. Just because he got spooked doesn’t mean you actually did something to spook him. He’s bringing his own stuff to the dynamic, and you can’t possible be expected to know exactly what’s going on in his head.

He knew he’d probably have to see you again. That’s why I don’t think this was a calculated plot to pump and dump you. I think he’s skittish, and any sudden move was going to freak him out.

You go to the party. You do not stay home because you don’t want to run in to this guy. Never let someone that inconsequential determine your decisions and actions. He probably won’t even go because he knows he blew you off after sex. If he does, and if you cross paths, you say hello and engage in polite chit chat. Then you excuse yourself to go to the bar or the ladies room or to make a call. And scene. Done. You don’t try and talk to him about it at the party. You act as if you’re over it. Eventually your head will catch up and you will be. If he tries to sweet talk you or hook up with him, go with your gut. You want to get laid? Go for it. Just see him clearly and understand that this guy probably will never deliver what it is you want him to deliver.  You can still date someone casually even if they aren’t The One. There’s no rule against that.

You probably wouldn’t feel so uncomfortable if you hadn’t slept with him. The solution to this is to either not sleep with a new guy this soon or to stop attaching any importance to the sex that occurs this early in a relationship. As I’ve said before, the only thing most men expect after sex is more sex. They don’t attach emotions or feelings to it. But many guys are concerned that the woman they slept with will become attached. That’s what leads many of them to freak out. They assume that, because sex occurred, that text she sends or invitation she extends comes from a place of trying to lock the guy down. That’s about them.

There’s no point in trying to alter your behavior. People are going to react the way they react, and no matter what you do or don’t do, you’re not going to be able to change that.  The only thing you can control is how you proceed after sex and what you expect once you’ve slept with someone. Try to stay objective and not make assumptions. It’s just sex. Sex doesn’t have to mean something until you want it to.

Let me be clear about one point. No matter how detached you become about sex, it still stings when someone shows a lot of attention, then sleeps with you, then doesn’t show much attention. I’m not sure that ever goes away. You can choose to agonize over it or you can just shrug your shoulders, learn something, and then say, “Okay. Next!” And then you just go find someone else armed with the lesson you took from the previous experience. Trying to figure out if you were duped or tricked is pointless. That doesn’t do anybody any good. It’s wasted energy.

I’m not quite sure how most men handle situations like this – and they do happen. Does it bother them? Do they just shrug it off? I don’t know. I don’t want to encourage the idea that women should have sex like men because there is no such thing. Men just have sex. A lot of women like to say they think “like a guy” when it comes to sex but that’s because they like to believe that they are the rare unicorn with a vagina who doesn’t get all fucked up over sex. They think it makes them better, and it doesn’t. They are not beating the system because there’s nothing to beat.

It doesn’t make you weak or sad because you do get bothered by being blown off after sex. That hurts. Feel the way you want to feel, just don’t feel that way for too long or beat yourself up. That’s the turn many of us take that screws us up most. You didn’t do anything wrong, nor did you come off “easy.” You went with your feelings, just like the other person did. So if you did something wrong, so did they. Nobody comes out of it looking better than the other just because one person wanted to get together again and the other didn’t.  Stop seeing it as a win/lose scenario and choose to see it as either a lose/lose or a win/win.






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73 Responses to “It’s Okay To Be Hurt If He Blows You off After Sex”

  1. LostSailor Says:

    Moxie is spot on, Fallinaa. There is no reason you shouldn’t continue with your riding group, it’s your group, too, after all. Expect to see the Doctor there and prepare yourself for it. You shouldn’t let anxiety over seeing him stop you from living your life.

    Who knows why he’s fading. Maybe he’s busy. Maybe he got spooked that things were turning too serious too quickly. Maybe he didn’t like the sex. There is no way of knowing just on the basis of your letter. But you have to decided what it is you want out of this, and be clear about your boundaries. Once you’ve done that, you kind of have the upper hand when and if you see him again.

    I’ve had a couple of women bail after sex. They’ve given the excuse that “things are moving too fast, I can’t do this.” Maybe that’s true. Maybe they just didn’t like the sex, though they seem to have enjoyed themselves. I don’t take it personally. I’ve learned not to try to second guess why people fade. I’ll try to look at what happened as objectively as I can to see if I screwed up somewhere. If I can change behavior, I will, but most of the time, they’ve just faded. Such is dating life.

    But Fallinaa, don’t let this experience run your life…

    • Howard Says:

      Oh stop it, this we don’t know why he is fading bit. Let me tell you something now about the way people work. When they think that another person is amazing, they find ways and create ways of making things happen soon again, and another time again.

      If he thought the sex was hot, he would be trying to sleep with her again as soon as he can. You are right about her continuing forward with her riding group. Just ignore him, mostly, ‘hi, how are you”, and that’s all. Two can play at that game.

      • Lisa Says:

        Agreed. It could probably be anything (but most likely he never inteded it to go anywhere). Either way, if he wanted the OP, he would not be blowing her off. And he is blowing her off. Trying to figure out the details and soften it and reframe it, etc., is a pointless waste of time. He’s done. Move on.

        Not meant in a cruel way, just mirroring the the cut & dried sentiment the guy is conveying by his actions.

      • LostSailor Says:

        Oh stop it, this we don’t know why he is fading bit.

        Sorry, Howard. I completely forgot about you’re supernatural mind-reading abilities. Will you share the winning Powerball numbers?

        Let me tell you something now about the way people work.

        Please, Swami, I await enlightenment.

        When they think that another person is amazing, they find ways and create ways of making things happen

        Well, not quite enlightenment. There isn’t just a binary setting of “Amazing” and “Meh.” I agree that when someone thinks their partner is “amazing” they’ll make every effort to keep things going. But there is an entire continuum between “amazing” and “meh.” And “amazing is the exception rather than the rule. And while it’s probably healthier to just lump all those in-between reasons as “(s)he’s just not that into you,” can, indeed, be myriad and varied, and not usually malicious.

        I guess I’ll just have to look elsewhere for Guru-level enlightenment…

        • Howard Says:

          No one needs to be a mind reader to know people pursue the things they really like, very hard. When people show ambivalence in pursuing a thing, it means they are ambivalent about that thing.

          If fact it is much more mind reading to interpret ambivalence on someone’s part as possibly something else but ambivalence.

  2. owen Says:

    Didn’t anyone else find the 12 year younger ex girlfriend who constantly messages suspicious?

    She’s no ex.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      I don’t know about the “she’s no ex-” part (ha ha, and I’m always the one accused of overreacting on that one). It is possible, but even if it’s not the case, it does seem significant that he mentioned the ex- and her supposedly annoying behavior to the OP.

    • Nicole Says:

      I figured he probably mentioned the needy ex to send a message – I don’t like needy so don’t be like my ex. Which is a huge red flag, or would be to me, anyway.

      Or he might just have been showing off. I’m so awesome, my hot young ex is still hung up on me. I actually met a few guys who talked about their exes stalking them or not being over them, and it always seemed like they were trying to tell me they were super desirable and in demand. (For guys who do this… It doesn’t work.)

      • C Says:

        Discussing the ex on a first date is a red flag to me. Discussing the “oh so annoying ex” is a much bigger red flag. It screams either “not over it” or “not ready for something new” as does coming on as hot and heavy as he did. Constantly stalking you on bike rides is really a bit much.

        Sorry but something just doesnt sound right with this dude.

        LW – One more bit of advise…you listed both his and your professional and personal accomplishments. Dont get hung up on credentials, accolades and attributes. Its a quick and easy way to:
        a) blind yourself to who the man actually is (i.e. his character), and
        b) feel like his rejection is a value judgement about you.

  3. Yvonne Says:

    I always say that wanting a long-term relationship doesn’t “make” you needy and can’t cause a break-up. It’s NOT wanting an long-term relationship that causes short ones.

    I also suspect that the ex-girlfriend might not really be an ex. I don’t think a truly interested and available man brings up his ex with a new woman like that. It’s a red flag, and a subtle way to let you know that he isn’t really available.

    I also would not bring anything up with the man if you see him. No explanation of his behavior is rude. I would not be rude in return, but I would be cool and keep the interaction brief – I mean 30-60 seconds brief.

  4. Lisa Says:

    Some men are still looking to add notches to their belts…and move on. It seems very high school but there it is. He wanted to get you in bed and wasn’t looking for anything more. You gotta put on your grown woman panties and deal w/ it.

  5. yb Says:

    He mentioned the younger gf being needy to keep the OP in check.
    In my opinion, this guy prob has a roster of women that he casually sleeps with. I wouldn’t be surprised if he tries to keep you in that roster. He made his intention clear, sex no strings.

    BTW, what is there to be “Scared off” about???? He is a successful, active man in his 40’s. This guy isn’t scared of anything. He knows what he wants and what he doesn’t.

    • xyzed Says:

      Unfortunately for Fallinaa, this was a casual hookup for the “Dr”. He is the veteran and she is the rookie in this dating game. I am sure, for him, this has happened more than you think.
      One must lick their wounds and move forward when life throws you an unexpected curve ball.

    • C Says:

      I was curious about that too. What was there to be spooked by?

  6. ATWYSingle Says:

    Statements like, “He was just trying to get you into bed and wasn’t looking for anything more” or, “He was just looking for a notch on his bely” should be patently ignored. They say more about the people (usually women) saying it that the guy they’re talking about. Assessments like that of scenarios like this are broad generalizations and oversimplifications. Ignore, ignore, ignore.

    • CoolDude Says:

      Honestly I think the article should be titled “It’s Okay To Be Hurt if SOMEONE Blows You Off After Sex”. Both men/women do this.

    • Lisa Says:

      What difference does the exact reason make? Has he told you what it is? Do you think he will tell the OP? OK, so why split hairs? He doesn’t want to be bothered, for whatever reason. It’s a crappy thing to do but it is what it is. He’s scared? He’s skittish? He’s spooked? Why go there and try to dress it up to seem more intriguing than it is, so the OP clings to false hope? How does the OP listening to your rationalization make the situation any better than her listening to mine?

      I think you’re just trying to be contrary again…………

  7. Nicole Says:

    I loved your response to this, Moxie. When I first started dating again, I so desperately wanted to be one of those cool girls who took it all in stride and didn’t attach any expectations to sex. To have sex like a man, or at least like the stereotype of how men have sex. I tried it with one of the first guys I met and… Felt like crap. It just isn’t me. I still kinda wish I could be Samantha Jones, but I’m not, and I enjoyed dating much more after I realized that. I basically decided that if I wasn’t seeing long term potential with a man after a few dates, I’d call it quits before it got to the have-sex-or-seem-like-I’m-stringing-him-along point.

    To the OP, yes, it’s totally ok to be hurt about being blown off, whether or not you had sex. Frankly if you spent that much time getting to know this guy and then felt nothing when he faded, that would be a bad sign! Being jaded and cynical isn’t a good thing.

    • Michelle Says:

      Feel free to disagree, but i’ve come to believe that having sex like a man means to have sex with people you don’t even like just for the sake of the experience and pleasure. Women generally don’t do this. When women choose a sex partner, I believe that even if it’s a one night stand and we really are just looking for sex in that moment, we’ve still chosen that person based on a wider set of likability/compatibility criteria than simply being fuckable, which is why there’s more feeling of hope after sex and a bigger feeling of loss when it doesn’t move forward. I don’t think women fully understand just how little a man has to find a woman compatible or likable to have sex with her.

      • Greg Figueroa Says:

        How much compatibility are you verifying for a one night stand?

        • Michelle Says:

          One night stands usually happen after some degree of sustained conversation. No matter how superficial the talk, there are key things you can gauge about a person’s identity throughout. So when I say compatibility, I’m talking about that entry level of things you find compatible about the ostensible identity of the person you’re about to sleep with.
          Men don’t seem to filter for those compatibilities when hooking up, which is why I think a man is more open to the idea of sleeping with a woman from a wildly different background than a woman is.

        • C Says:

          I think Michele has a point. Even in the case of a hookup, I believe most women will generally go after some sort of an emotional connection rather than a strictly physical one. This is why hookups are more likely to become emotionally messy for a woman then a man.

  8. Michelle Says:

    Would it really be so shameful if she saw him at that party, started a friendly conversation, and eventually tells him that she was disappointed in not hearing from him again because she liked him? If she didn’t do this as a way to try to corner him into making another date, but as a way to practice true vulnerability and to let him to know that his disappearing without explanation was something that had a consequence he should be aware of. I understand the value of letting it go and moving on when someone fades on you after sex, but on the other hand, why should grown men be protected from the minor discomfort of having to face a woman they did this to and acknowledge her feelings? Doing so reinforces the idea of people being disposable (because once you’re done with them there’s no clean up necessary on your part, they just disappear right into the trash can ) and absolves these men from the maturity and sense of fairness it takes to firmly tell a woman who repeatedly reaches out to them that there won’t be another date. In the past, for men I didn’t want to continue dating, but who didn’t go away after my initial dodging, I stopped letting them make a fool out of themselves by not taking my hints, and explained to them in a diplomatic but firm way that I didn’t want to go forward. I understand the cowardice that keeps most people from operating this way, but you can save a person needless confusion and hurt when you give it to them straight.

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      Shameful? No. Inappropriate and awkward? Yes. Not the time or the place. By speaking to him at the party she looks worse than if she simply called or emailed him to say it.

      why should grown men be protected from the minor discomfort of having to face a woman they did this to and acknowledge her feelings?

      It’s not his fault that she’s hurt. It doesn’t sound like he promised her anything. She’s an adult, she made the decision to sleep with him without any promise of anything more. Thems the breaks. That’s how the cookie crumbles. Where you go, there you are.

      We don’t confront people because we think it’s super important that they know they hurt us. We confront them to make them feel bad.

      In the past, for men I didn’t want to continue dating, but who didn’t go away after my initial dodging, I stopped letting them make a fool out of themselves by not taking my hints, and explained to them in a diplomatic but firm way that I didn’t want to go forward

      Okay, so you did the duck and dodge, too. Good for you that after multiple attempts of hoping they’d get the hint and they didn’t you said something. But if you really were such an advocate of truth telling, you would have done it right away. You didn’t. Not sure why you’re patting yourself on the back for eventually being honest.

      • Michelle Says:

        Yes I initially did the duck and dodge because I’m a product of this culture and the collective influence of people like you who endorse this particular type of unkindness; however, the thought that I might be making those guys feel the way I tend to when a person I like does this to me struck me with a little empathy and I chose to be a better person. So yes, I feel good about it because I chose to give something I didn’t have to and that 99% of people haven’t given to me. Back to the OP. If she was hurt after him doing the kind thing by telling her he didn’t want to go forward, then no, it’s not his fault; however, what he did with his routine engagement and pursuit, was set her up with a perfectly reasonable expectation that things carry on as routine, and then disappeared with out tying the loose end. So it is his fault if she’s disappointed. This isn’t to say that he owes her anything or that he’s not allowed to lose interest, but she has equal right to the vulnerability it takes to let someone know that you had hoped to hear from them again and felt bad when you didn’t. I don’t buy this infantilising idea that people shouldnt have to feel awkward or bad when they let someone down. How else will they learn to act with more conscience the next time?

        • ATWYSingle Says:

          The only way people change, especially older people, is if something happens to them that has a profound effect on them. Something about them has to be fundamentally changed for them to alter their behavior or, as you claim, go against social conditioning. Some woman approaching him at a bar to tell him how hurt she was that he faded on her is not that change. Approaching him publicly immediately invalidates her message because she’s being socially inappropriate. He’s going to write her off as crazy.

          The harsh reality is that nobody gives a shit about somebody else’s pain or anger until it compromises their comfort and security. The guy knows he never promised her anything. Ergo, he doesn’t feel bad. Nothing she says will change that.

          I don’t know about you, but I don’t hand out my vulnerability randomly. So, no, I don’t see the benefit of telling him how disappointed he was when he already demonstrated that he didn’t reaally care how she felt.

          • Michelle Says:

            That’s fair, and you’re right about men’s nature in that way, but when done non aggressively, I’ve gotten mostly positive, kind responses from men when I don’t bottle up my hurt and speak about it to them maturely without accusing. I’m sure you’ve heard of this dating coach – Rori Raye. People have mixed feelings about her , but I’ve embraced her idea that vulnerability is part of what makes a woman lovable, even when it’s scary and uncomfortable.

            • ATWYSingle Says:

              I’ve gotten mostly positive, kind responses from men when I don’t bottle up my hurt

              Well, what do you think they’re going to do, tell you to piss off? Of course they’re going to be kind and polite. That doesn’t mean they care or even mean it, which is why saying something is pointless. It might give you some satisfaction to know that you “expressed your vulnerability” but to the guy it’s just a case of a woman with The Feels. It’s unlikely that it changes them in any way. That’s also not an example of a woman “being vulnerable.” It’s an example of a woman using guilt as a means to get something.

              I’ve never heard of that dating coach, but it doesn’t surprise me to hear that a dating coach is running around telling women to do insane things under the guise of “being vulnerable.” More wheel spinning. Awesome.

              • Michelle Says:

                It doesn’t matter if they don’t care, it’s worth it to be heard and to reject the low self esteem that tells you your feeligs dont matter so shut up about them. Thats a toxic thing to teach women. Being vulnerable about my hurt with men I’m involved with has gotten more than just hollow, meaningless apologies, but valuable change in how I’m treated, which is why it’s viable to let men in on your feelings the right way, note I said the RIGHT way. This isn’t limited to telling someone when you’re hurt, but also telling them when they do things that make you feel good, articulating just how it makes you happy and why they’re great for it, as opposed to assuming its understood, that’s the other end of the vulnerability spectrum.

                • Michelle Says:

                  The goal of being open when you’re disappointed isn’t about getting anything from a man, it’s about self validating your worth by speaking from your heart whether he cares or not. To me that’s what a high value woman does because she feels worthy of being heard, no matter what the outcome.

                  • DrivingMeNutes Says:

                    Do you even go here?

                    Presumably, a person who values themselves values their time and wouldn’t want to waste it doing pointless self validation exercises.

                  • mindstar Says:

                    Well Michelle if indeed “the goal of being open when you’re disappointed isn’t about getting anything from a man” then why is it necessary for you to tell him anything?

                    All your trying to do is dress up a passive-aggressive way of guilting a man into feeling bad because your feelings were upset.

                    It may be more “evolved” than throwing a drink in his face and having a tantrum in public but the end goal is the same

                    • Lisa Says:

                      Sometimes it feels good to say what’s on y our mind. Also you never know when something you say might strike a chord w/ someone. Not likely but you never know.

                      I am not saying the OP should confront him or not bc I am not clear as to whether they hung out multiple times over the course of a month or if the guy was just pursuing her during the month but she never actually hung out w/ him alone except for the one time they had sex. If it was just a one night stand, probably better to forget it. But if they had been hanging out for a month, then maybe.

                      She said she is done w/ this guy so I am assuming she is not trying to “guilt” him into anything like hanging out again.

                      It doesn’t seem as tho she wants pity. It seems like she is unsure how to get thru an awkward meeting.

            • D. Says:

              1. It’s not in “men’s nature” to be callous about the notion that they never promised you anything in dating. Both men and women do this. People fade, people change their minds, people lose interest. This guy didn’t do anything particularly uncommon or particularly rude. The fact that someone pays attention to someone else, including sex, doesn’t create some binding contract whereby you’re not allowed to lose interest, and while it’s the polite thing to do, no, you aren’t entitled to a phone call or text to explain why they’re never going to talk to you again after they’ve lost interest.

              2. I support the notion of embracing your vulnerability and acting in spite of it. But why would you waste your time and energy telling someone how they maligned you? The only reason I could see to do this would be if you’re going to be forced to be around them in the future and can’t avoid it. But if you aren’t ever gonna see them again…why bother? They won’t be swayed, and if you don’t care how the respond, what’s the point in the exercise? You can just as easily say what you have to say to your dog or whatever, for all the good it’ll do you.

              3. It’s really, really tempting to make someone else the bad guy when you wind up disappointed. And many times, they’ve behaved badly. But doing that, particularly when you do so without acknowledging your own role in the interaction, is just going to leave you feeling like a powerless victim, and you just…aren’t.

              Yes, it feels shitty when someone loses interest or you finally realize it was never really there. Yes, often times people prefer to look out for themselves rather than be selfless and kind towards others. But in the end, however shitty this person may be….you still picked ‘em. If you can accept your own choices and take on the responsibility for those choices, then you can start making different, better choices. But if all you ever see yourself as is a victim of circumstance, then you’ll continue to be helpless and likely will continue to grasp the shit end of the stick.

            • Eliza Says:

              Michelle…I can fully comprehend your underlying concept…but men who are not “vested emotionally” – will not care if all they were being was vague in what they were after. He didn’t do it to be malicious…he is simply not vested, nor did he have any intention of getting serious apparently. Did he come across otherwise? Perhaps…which is why the OP was surprised by his disappearing act. But by her approaching him – even in an appropriate setting, it’s not going to be life-altering for him to the point where he is going to change his ways. Sometimes the best course of action is “indifference”…and her just not feeding this man’s ego. She will be fine…and move onto greener pastures. Lesson learned. He is not a child, I am sure he knows that his Houdini act made some impact.

    • Greg Figueroa Says:

      I love hints. The guy gave the OP a hint by not engaging her in texts and calls.

    • BostonRobin Says:

      I am pretty sure this guy is not a viable candidate for a relationship with this woman, so why go to all the trouble of appearing “vulnerable” and “feminine?” That’s for the guy you WANT.

      This guy? Practice your polite yet icy demeanor. Find some movie with a bunch of Southern Belles in it. They have this down, the irreproachably polite yet clear putdown. If he even shows up, which he won’t, so don’t even think about it!

    • Lisa Says:

      I did that once. I had been dating a military guy for about 6 weeks and he suddenly went MIA (in the dating sense, not the war sense). Unbeknownst to me, he had received orders to move to another city. I’d always known that was a remote possibility, but I wasn’t expecting it to happen so soon. But rather than tell me, he just completely cut off all contact w/ me and wouldn’t respond to my messages (two or three). I didn’t know what happened bc we’d been having a lot of fun together; he’d said that himself numerous times. I was actually scared he had gotten hurt or killed bc when I was much younger my bf was killed in an accident and my mind always goes there.

      So I took a minute to lick my wounds and when i was over it, I searched his username on the dating site where we had met…and I found him in a new city. And I just told him exactly what you said, that the way he had chosen to handle the situation was very disappointing and he had no idea how much he had scared and hurt me…that I would likely have a hard time letting my guard down with anyone for a while.

      He answered the next day but really tried to minimize what he had done and told me he would actually be back in my city the following month for a training and asked if he could take me out to dinner…and that his city was only about 6 hours away blahblah. No, thanks! He continued to contact me, sporadically for a couple of years (without any acknowledgment from me whatsoever). But never once did he say, “I’m sorry.”

      So yes, getting that off my chest was very cathartic. But his lack of empathy or contrition was off putting. I doubt I was the first woman to have “been vulnerable” in that situation and I doubt I was the last.

      I think confronting the guy will have an impact but probably won’t be enough to change his behavior in the future, as that kind of callousness runs too deeply.

    • C Says:

      I’m with Moxie on this one. This wasnt a 6 month relationship. It was some flirting and one date. The only thing she is hurt about is her own unmet expectations. That has very little if anything to do with this man.

      He communicated his lack of interest and she heard the message loud and clear. Hunting this guy down at a party and unloading her hurt and vulnerability on him makes as little sense as me hunting down an employer who interviewed me, got my hopes up, then never offered me the job. Sometimes not getting a job hurts like hell, but I cant blame other people for my own imagination.

      • Michelle Says:

        They had sex, it was more than flirting and a date.

        • C Says:

          It was sex on a first date. What message should be communicated to the man? That he should never have sex with a woman until he is 100% certain that he wants a long term relationship with her? What if he didnt realize he wasnt all that into her until after the date?

          I think under the circumstances it was up to the LW to protect her own feelings.

  9. Stephen Says:

    I have to concur with LostSailor: There are 11,347 (just a guess) reasons why he may have faded (note – his fading is your perception of the situation, his perception may be entirely different). The only person that would know that answer to why he faded would be the good Doctor himself. If it’s important to you, ask him in a straightforward fashion what his intentions are. Skip the innuendo, just ask. When he responds, don’t reinterpret, don’t judge, don’t second guess, take him at his word.

    I recently had a very similar scenario happen to me, where I met someone with whom I really clicked and pretty quickly we ended up in bed. After sex, her whole attitude changed and she began questioning herself and our entire relationship. It was soon over. It’s how it goes sometimes.

    If it’s that important to you, then ask him. If not, then move on. Overanalyzing the last situation just keeps you from being available to the next potential suitor.

  10. D. Says:

    Re: men feeling bummed when things fizzle after sex.

    This didn’t happen to me all that often, but when it did, yeah, it was disappointing. Not, however, because we’d had sex, but rather because I’d usually have figured that the woman was into me (and sex was simply an indicator of that), and I didn’t get why she was pulling what seemed like a 180 when things ended abruptly thereafter. But that was also the case when it seemed like things were going well, and they ended even without the sex, if I was into her.

    The abrupt fizzle is always confusing and disappointing, but it’s a fact of life in dating. You can’t take it as a referendum on your worth as a human being, though. You and this other person, for whatever reason, just weren’t a long-term match. My guess is the OP isn’t all that experienced with dating or is a bit rusty with it, and hasn’t had a recent experience of losing interest in someone who’s perfectly decent, but just not for her.

    Re: “He just wanted sex.”

    It is long past time that this myth be put six feet under. We can bury “she was using me for free meals” alongside it. Yes, this can happen, but it’s less often the case than people make it out to be. Most of the time, people aren’t consciously “using you” for this or that, though it’s certainly tempting to demonize them as if they were.

    In my experience, people fading abruptly isn’t because of some nefarious scheme to get in your pants/wallet. It’s usually because they’ve simply lost interest, or their interest never grew beyond a certain point although they gave it a chance. Sometimes that includes multiple dates. Sometimes it includes sex. And sometimes after both, people’s interests fade.

    When that happens, many, many people simply won’t call you up to offer you a grand explanation of why their interest faded. They just…won’t call you at all. That’s just dating, especially early on. It’s not necessarily the most polite approach, but it’s the one that most people seem to take.

    Re: what happened here

    I pretty much agree with Moxie’s assessment. The guy lost interest, his interest didn’t grow, or it was never really there to begin with. Simple as that. When he said he’d like to get together after the trip, I expect he meant it, but more along the lines of “Sure, I’d be happy to” rather than “Yeah! Can’t wait!” It’s not a lie, it’s not disingenuous, but it’s the kind of “yes” that can very easily turn into an “on second thought…” and very often does in dating.

    For what it’s worth, this isn’t limited to men, either. Women do the same thing. I guarantee that every woman who posts to this blog has had the experience of a guy asking her out (e.g., at the end of a date), and then simply not following up on it when she thought about it a bit more and decided “on second thought, no thanks.” It’s just part of dating. You’re into things in the moment…and the moment passes. I suspect that’s what happened here.

    One other thing. The OP mentioned that “I didn’t contact him either because I believe if a guy is thinking about you or wants to see you, he will let you know.” This is both true and not true. People who are interested will make an effort to get in touch. People who aren’t interested won’t. But bear in mind that this goes in both directions. You may assume “if a guy’s interested, he’ll get in touch.” But he may be thinking the same thing. And any guy who’s interested will welcome the attention.

    The trick is in knowing which is the case, and taking the hint once you’ve gotten it. But just as a woman may think “He hasn’t gotten in touch. He must not be interested,” a guy can think the same thing. The way I see it, if you’re interested, don’t be afraid to reach out to the other person. Just be able to recognize when your attention is unwanted, and know when to walk away if someone seems to only be into you for the attention you give them.

    • C Says:

      Its so true. I feel terrible about it but I cant tell you how many times I’ve unintentionally strung guys along. We would have a lukewarm date and I would think “maybe he will grow on me” and agree to future dates. Then I’d leave town, continue communicating with them if they pinged me but then wouldnt follow up with them when I would come back to town.

      It would have been simple if it were a clear cut complete lack of interest. However, it wasnt. It was marginal interest and I think thats what drives the fade.

  11. Howard Says:

    Here we go again with the imagined “pump and dump” Let’s start off this way. Most people on this planet have good intentions. People are not looking to waste their time. People don’t have enough time to sit there and plot how to f$#^& you over. However the path to hell is paved with many good intentions. And that is precisely what happens with these things.

    Sex is really important, especially in this over-sexed modern culture we have come to accept and expect. I don’t know what the next guy or next girl is exactly looking for. Sometimes it’s ok, but sometimes it’s way beyond the norm of typical expectations. As of late, people, especially guys, seem to want their socks blown off. The screwed up thing, is the refusal to accommodate the idea that first times can be nerve-wracking, and not necessarily the best indication of the way things can unfold in the future.

    And let me be honest here, I hate first-times. They are nerve-wracking to me. They are often not my best performance. I have been asked more than once “what is going on?” I have been told “wow i was not expecting that” on many second occasions. I certainly have to thank a few women for giving me that second shot. Unfortunately many guys don’t return that type of favor. I hate to generalize, but as of late, we men are not very good in this department. I think it’s a modern thing with men getting way too many opportunities. Some guys are quite the pros at it. Unfortunately, these are precisely the guys women find so hot and/or in-demand.

    My only advice to women, when they deal with a hot or in-demand guy, is this:

    Imagine a disclaimer sign around his neck that says, “There is a great chance that the next woman will not measure up to the inflated scale that I have, especially when it comes to sex, because I have had more than my fair share”

  12. bbdawg Says:

    One thing though, I wonder if the OP has had any conversation with the doctor prior to sleeping with him re: what he is “looking for” – not with her, but in general. This helps assess whether the man in question is actively looking for a relationship or if he just wants to fuck around. I usually try to ask that question in oblique ways and it always points to a general direction. “I just ended a LTR…not looking for anything serious right now” or “I don’t like it when couples become dependent on one another…” “I like meeting people and seeing how it goes…”.

    I find that there are some older men who are committed to being bachelors and “dating casually” – good for them – and they will not change so this helps to not invest emotionally or time-wise in people who aren’t in a position to reciprocate. People like that are very skilled in creating lateral connections that appear relationship-like when in fact they aren’t really interested in anything long-term. It’s best to be clear from the beginning, even if that will make you less popular in the end.

  13. AnnieNonymous Says:

    I think there’s a possibility that this guy might still get in touch. It’s not like they had a one night stand. They dated consistently for a whole month before sleeping together; that’s about twice as long as most of the guys here would date a girl who hadn’t slept with them yet. He answered her texts and isn’t fully blowing her off. I’m not saying to be delusionally hopeful, just that this guy isn’t actually acting like a typical jerk who was always out for a one-nighter. It’s up to the OP to decide how she feels about this dude, since a guy this finnicky is likely to come back to her instead of pursuing someone new.

    • bbdawg Says:

      He’s faded on her after they’ve slept together…that’s as clear as it gets…he’s not into her… I got the impression they were NOT dating, he was flirting with her as she happened to be in his cycling group. That wasn’t “dating”, meaning he wasn’t going out of his way to pursue her…that is what I got from the letter

      • Selena Says:

        “During the week he would invite me to ride in the park together and have dinner afterwards. This went on for 3 to 4 weeks.”

        Sounds like dating/pursuing her to me.

        • bbdawg Says:

          you’re right, Selena. There is something a bit off about it though.

          • AnnieNonymous Says:

            I just think he invested a lot more than a guy typically would if he only wanted to have sex one time. I agree that the timing is weird. At the very least he’s a minor idiot for flaking out on someone who’s a part of his cycling group. Unless he plans to quit the group, they’re bound to see each other. I’d wait and see if he talks to her at the upcoming party. That’s an easy internal deadline to set.

            • Selena Says:

              Agree Annie. To blow off someone you’ve been dating regularly for a month without any explanation is bad form. But to do it to someone you know you will be seeing every weekend? Super awkward.

              • AnnieNonymous Says:

                Exactly. The guy did some legitimately weird and confusing stuff. He didn’t pick her up in a bar on the Jersey Shore. He went through the motions of working toward a real relationship and blew a month’s worth of groundwork by being a flaky. Maybe he’s busy at work after the business trip. Maybe his ex is suddenly back in the picture. The OP shouldn’t avoid the party or the cycling group because the guy’s the one who screwed this up.

                • D. Says:

                  There’s nothing “weird” about the guy’s behavior. He lost interest right around the same time that he had a business trip and communication basically died out. That’s not weird. That’s just losing interest.

                  For 3-4 weeks, they had…ambiguous interactions. Maybe they were dates, but they may have just been two people getting to know each other in a casual sense. We don’t know enough to really say one way or the other. We also have no idea how often they communicated outside of their interactions in the cycling club, so we don’t know if the dropoff in communication around the time of the trip was really even that much of a dropoff.

                  I think it’s easy to read this story as the guy basically abruptly fading after relentlessly pursuing her…but it’s also just as easy to read it as two people who enjoyed each other’s company, hung out some, slept together one night, and then the guy figured “Hrm. Maybe better to just keep this as friends.”

                  It sound like his interest may have been waning shortly after the sex (maybe even before), then along came the trip, and he basically just stopped reaching out to her. That’s a little rude, I suppose, but it’s neither abrupt nor weird. This sort of thing happens all the time.

                  • AnnieNonymous Says:

                    It doesn’t usually happen when you’re a part of the same social circle and you have to see each other at least once a week (at least during a particular season – sounds like this group does their cycling in the spring). The situation you laid out only works if they weren’t already friends. They presumably got to know each other platonically for months before going to dinner; the dinners were dates. No one’s trying to logic out a reason for why this guy secretly still likes her. We’re saying that either he does and he’s just busy with other shit right now, or he’s a grade-A moron for pulling the fade on someone he hangs out with on a regular basis. Most semi-intelligent people don’t sleep with people in their friend group if they think there’s a chance they’ll want to avoid them later.

  14. FallinAA Says:

    Moxie and all, thanks a lot for the thoughts and advice. I feel much better now. Like AnnieNonymous pointed out, he didn’t come off as just wanting to have sex. He could have gotten me in bed much earlier but instead he spent some time trying to get to know me (at least that’s what it seemed). We talked about many things (he was married and divorced when he was young, we both wanted to go to Greece and Turkey for vacation this summer, how we ended up where we are today, where we want to live in the future etc.). He did seem to enjoy the sex. And he did send me a text after we slept with each other. That’s why I was so confused and upset. But that doesn’t matter now. I know exactly what I want (to find the right person and start a family) and I won’t settle for less. Someone as flaky as him obviously is not the one. Therefore, I will not interact with him in any way other than saying hi if I bump into him in the future. The good news is I am moving to a faster group so the chance of crossing path is pretty small (except for the party next month).

    • Lisa Says:

      Some men are players. They do this all the time. They are good at what they do and they will have you fooled if you aren’t familiar w/ their games.


    • AnnieNonymous Says:

      I’m happy for you! I’m glad you’re keeping up the cycling on your own terms and making a decision about what you truly want.

      • FallinAA Says:

        Thanks! I love cycling and won’t stop doing it unless there is a legitimate reason. As to how the cycling group works, every spring a 9 to 12-week training is offered to the members. We are divided into different teams based on the speed (A, B or C). The doctor and I participated in the C training (slowest). After the training ends, there will be organized rides every day/weekend. We can sign up for any of them and see who else will join the ride. I am now mostly doing the B-rides and hoping to get into the A training next year, while I know he wanted to stay with C, have fun and keep fit. Although we have some mutual friends within the C team so we probably will run into each other again.

  15. Danien Says:

    I don’t mean to sound flippant, but what’s the big deal? Two people meet, have good conversation, date, have a good time, and it leads to sex. That sounds pretty standard. If anything, the OP should be doing more of these.

    The OP says she’s accomplished and worldly, yet also comes across as inexperienced in dating. It seems to me that her reaction is based on old school expectations (i.e fairy tale like endings), and when that didn’t happen, she was upset at the outcome.

    • Tinker Says:

      I don’t know that she wanted a fairytale ending as much as she wanted a call/text returned…

    • AnnieNonymous Says:

      Then let’s flip it around a little bit. What if every girl you met said, “What’s the big deal? It’s just sex. If it’s ‘just sex,’ then it shouldn’t matter if we don’t do it.” Wouldn’t you be a little annoyed. Men lay the guilt trip on women by acting like they (the women) shouldn’t take sex so seriously, even though the men still really want to have it. If you genuinely don’t think sex is a big deal, don’t tell the OP to have more casual sex without having her emotional needs met.

  16. TinyGirl Says:

    Moxie, you ever think about having a baby or marriage?

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      Kids, no. That’s never been my thing and I knew when I was pretty young that I didn’t want them. Marriage I’m not sure about either. I’d prefer to wait until I had other goals accomplished.

  17. TinyGirl Says:

    Can you share? What goals? So marriage is not a priority at this moment….what are the items on the list that you want to achieve first?

  18. TinyGirl Says:

    So open about other topics that most wouldnt share and this question elicits a gif?

  19. Sunnysea Says:

    I feel for you Fallinaa and think Moxie has some great advice. I wonder, however, what advice Moxie has for men whom you are upfront with telling them what sex means to you from the beginning and what your intentions are in looking for a real life partner. When you first start dating and you are open with a man who has been pursing you consistently and he decides to move forward with you anyway, it’s hard to understand why the man would suddenly begin to distance himself and fade away after sex. It seems too cruel to be done intentionally, and he’s overall a good man… so what is a girl to do? How can a girl like me prevent this situation even if I gave him weeks of space and continued to live my life to the fullest (visiting friends, family, working, doing my hobbies)? How can a girl get better at selecting a man who really does know what he wants and won’t just disappear soon after sex without giving a relationship a rel try? Thank you.

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