One Reason Not To Make Guys Wait For Sex

Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): Unsurewomen-upset-after-sex

Comment: Hi,

I’m a 35 year-old woman dating a 38 year-old man.

Over the years, to screen for men who are more serious, I have implemented a “make ‘em wait” policy.

On my second date with my current boyfriend, I told him I don’t have sex with any man for six weeks. He seemed to accept that quite easily.

After about a month, he started sleeping over at my house, but there was only minimal touching.

Once we reached the six week mark, I told him I was ready to go. I even told him he didn’t need a condom, as I’m on the pill and we’re exclusive, but he didn’t think that was a good idea.

On our first try he “came” before penetration, and then didn’t try again for another couple of weeks. We’ve now been dating for over four months, and have had no success at sex.

I’m now doubting if his waiting for me was actually a sign of commitment, or maybe he was trying to cover something else?

He never brings up the future himself, but he does seem to go along whenever I suggest things. Like he doesn’t want to move in to my apartment just yet, but he did agree to bring some things over. He also said he’d in theory be willing to move to the big city, as that’s what I’d like to do long-term.

Should I be re-evaluating this relationship, and even his original commitment to me?
Age: 35
City: Hoboken
State: New Jersey

I’m now doubting if his waiting for me was actually a sign of commitment, or maybe he was trying to cover something else?

As I’ve said time and again,  most guys who agree to ridiculous terms like the one you have usually do so for a reason, and it’s not a good one.

He likely stuck around and waited this out because he knew he had performance issues. The fact that he agreed to be exclusive before you had sex wasn’t the great sign you thought it was. Like you, he took advantage of the situation and locked you in before you learned of his lackluster sexual performance.

It’s not surprising to hear that he goes along with your future plans. He’s been passive throughout this relationship, allowing you to call the shots. The both of you just seem to want a relationship. You don’t seem to care that there are glaring incompatibility issues and that this relationship only happened because you forced each other’s hand.

Most 38 year old men with moderate options wouldn’t have stuck around after you told them you make men wait six weeks before you have sex. Not only do they know that you picked an arbitrary amount of time that has no real meaning or purpose, but they can tell that you’re testing them. Guys with options, especially men in their late thirties or older, wouldn’t tolerate that. So, the fact that he easily accepted your terms should have been a warning sign.

You’re pushing this relationship forward at light speed with very little concern over the obvious lack of compatibility. He’s refuses to bite the bullet and make this official by moving in. That’s probably because, like you, he knows deep down that this relationship is unsatisfying. This is what happens to people who prioritize having any old relationship and who rush to commit.

This is a perfect example of how promising commitment under these circumstances means little to nothing. These two basically pledged to be exclusive and committed, and yet here we are 3 months later and she’s thinking about leaving him. It’s not a year later. It’s 3 months later. But because she/he wanted that relationship, they agreed to something that neither of them were truly prepared to follow through on. True commitment involves sacrifice and effort. Where’s the effort here? Once things became unpleasant, she began debating whether or not to leave him.

How is that commitment?



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25 Responses to “One Reason Not To Make Guys Wait For Sex”

  1. Sherry Says:

    Moxie has previously mentioned this wise chestnut: “The types of men who would commit before having sex are the ones most women would reject.”

    Based on his passivity, inability to sexually perform, and over-eagerness to jump through outrageous hoops for a woman he barely knows, this is a guy with no options who would be rejected by the vast majority of women.

    By the way, the six-week “make ‘em wait” rule generally does not work for women in their mid-30s and older. Most normal men would bail after hearing that arbitrary demand.

    • HammersAndNails Says:

      Surprise surprise… Another person who is OK with not having sex that turns out to not be worth the wait, and yet all of you special snow flakes just can’t help yourselves from down voting absolutely anything any evidence that supports the obvious truth that more often then not, waiting for sex is for chumps and prudes

      • Kyra Says:

        So if someone isn’t ready for sex (not including people who use waiting as a test) they’re automatically a prude in your view?

        • HammersAndNails Says:

          Every generalization has exceptions but more often than not….

          Look at this story. Even after they started having seed they went weeks without without either if them initiating it again. If that’s what you want from a relationship, this is how you get it.

      • Selena Says:

        Nah. It’s dudes who insist they have sex by the third date, or else they’re gone! come off like chumps and special snowflakes. :)

        • bbdawg Says:

          I don’t understand this, though…the longest uninterrupted period I have been doing online dating for is 4 months…in my whole life before that there were only two options: 1. you aren’t interested in someone or vice-versa and 2. you’re attracted/interested the other person is too and you wanna fuck them asap.

          I have never been able to wait more than a third date…because when you are interested in and attracted to someone…you KNOW it. All this stretching out won’t change a thing.

          I completely understand the pain of abandonment and the emptiness if someone leaves after sex but to me waiting that long is like you’re not interested in someone. You’ve completely de-sexualized the man. That’s BAD.

          • Selena Says:


            If you think about it, by the 3rd date people have typically only spent a few hours together. That may be enough for you to decide you are attracted and want to do the guy ASAP – another woman may need more time to feel the desire and feel comfortable acting on it.

            Waiting beyond date 3 doesn’t necessarily indicate hoops, tests, and fear of abandonment. Some people just want to know the person better before they have sex. And possibly to avoid making a mistake.

            There are men I slept with when I felt the urge that I realized not long after I WASN’T interested in. That I didn’t like them all that much. If I’d waited a bit longer, got to them a bit better…I wouldn’t have bothered. And I would have spared myself some embarrassing memories: “Oh ick! Why did I do that with HIM?!!”

            As far as the LW goes, I don’t think it has much to do with waiting. She could have slept with him during week one with the same result. Her dilemma seems to be a willingness to trade an unsatisfying sex life in order to have a relationship. She could have bailed any time in the last 3 mos, but hasn’t.

            • Nicole Says:

              “There are men I slept with when I felt the urge that I realized not long after I WASN’T interested in. That I didn’t like them all that much. If I’d waited a bit longer, got to them a bit better…I wouldn’t have bothered. And I would have spared myself some embarrassing memories: “Oh ick! Why did I do that with HIM?!!” ”

              This is exactly how I feel about it. It’s not a question of being physically attracted or not – that’s something I know right away. It’s trying to avoid the physical chemistry blinding me to all the reasons this dude is wrong for me.

              And it’s why I hate the 3 date rule. Sometimes you click with someone and you want to sleep with them right away. Sometimes, like Selena said, 3 dates is a few hours in noisy bars and you don’t know much at all about the person. I’ve slept with guys on the second date and I’ve waited 6 dates. (And ironically, the one guy I actually slept with on the 3rd date is the memory that makes me cringe.)

              I think the OP’s 6 week rule is ridiculous. Not because I can’t imagine a situation where I’d wait that long, but because she’s assuming every guy and every relationship follow the same timeline. A rule that says you should always have sex at the 6 week mark is just as dumb as a rule that you should always have sex on the 3rd date.

              • Selena Says:

                A friend and I once had a conversation where we talked about guys we had slept with and later wondered “What was I thinking!!!” And cringed at the memory. Forever after we used the descriptor ‘Cringers’ when refering to men we wished we hadn’t slept with.

                I was blissfully unaware of the ‘3rd date rule’ until I started reading dating/relationship blogs. For years I thought it was some made-up internet thing, mostly to do with online dating. I’ve never thought about having sex in terms of weeks, or number of dates. I’ve always had sex when I felt comfortable doing it. I thought everyone did. It still surprises me when I read about people who have arbitrary timelines – whatever they are. Seems unnatural in some way.

                • D. Says:

                  To be fair, there are arbitrary timelines for relationship road markers, too. Like, “Well, if you’re not exclusive by two months in, you’re not gonna be.” Or “If you aren’t engaged within XYZ timeframe, you won’t be.” There’s people who NEVER kiss on a first date because…oh, hell, I have no idea why people make that decision.

                  Put simply, people frequently operate with these timelines in mind. I think the timelines exist because, generally speaking, it’s assumed that they mirror what’s common. With respect to sex, in my experience it rarely happened on the third date. It was usually before that (first or second), after that (fourth or fifth), or not at all.

                  • fuzzilla Says:

                    Yeah, the three date rule makes sense to me as a loose framework, kind of a touchstone of what most people think is normal and reasonable. It doesn’t make sense to me as a rigid, black and white rule, a la, “At least a beej by date 3 or yr outta here” or “I make ‘em wait exactly six weeks, always, every time.”

                    I do kind of assume that people who have really long waiting periods don’t like sex that much (I mean, don’t they want to know if the person’s any good at sex before proceeding too far?). From what I gather, the OP has had this rule for years and it only just now bit her in the ass. Is it because she’s older and the herd of pickin’s has thinned? She chose well all those other times and poorly this time? If sex is important to you, you need to make it a higher priority.

                    • fuzzilla Says:

                      If your rules are too rigid, there’s no room for compromise. You don’t want to bend so far for another person that your own needs aren’t getting met, but a “my way or the highway” attitude means you’re only thinking about yourself and likely rejecting good people just because there was no beej on date 3 or whatever.

                    • Jenny Says:

                      Or maybe he’s the only one who agreed to her rule, ie the first time it’s “worked”

          • HammersAndNails Says:

            Thats called a healthy sex drive combined with a healthy balanced viewpoint of sex and the possible risk vs rewards. These people either don’t like sex that much as those of us who have sex, or are reasonably or unreasonably fearful of the risks/costs of having sex.

            If you are just going to be absolutely shattered if you have sex with someone and it doesn’t lead to a fairy tale ending, sure, maybe you should be very very careful about who you have sex with and when, but it’s still a giant red flag to the more emotionally stable and robust out there. And the STD thing is the biggest cop out of all time. You could get food poisoning from eating, you could get in a car crash from driving. If you are hungry enough you eat. If you want to get some place bad enough, you drive.

  2. Kyra Says:

    This sounds like such an unfulfilling relationship!

    It sounds like she doesn’t even like the guy that much, so why ask him to move in? Especially so soon; do you really want to live with someone you’ve only known a few months?

  3. Selena Says:

    From the letter: “We’ve now been dating for over four months, and have had no success at sex.”

    So why do you want to keep this relationship going? If the sex hasn’t gotten any better after 3 months of patience and practice what makes you think it ever will?

    Better to end it now for both your sakes, rather than later when it might be more difficult, more painful, especially if you manage to have children.

  4. D. Says:

    Gotta agree with everyone who says that this sounds like a relationship that exists because the parties want a relationship, rather than specifically wanting each other. Nothing in the OP’s letter suggests any kind of internal conflict about how much she really likes the guy, wants to make this work, is looking for advice about how to handle his issue, etc. Instead, it comes across more like “Oh. I thought I was special, but I guess I’m not, so…never mind.” So it sounds like she’s not really into the guy as much as she’s into the relationship for the sake of being in a relationship.

    Her focus is all on what this guy’s behavior said (and now, apparently, doesn’t say) about her, rather than “What can we do to make this work?” To the extent her focus is on him at all, it’s more about analyzing what his behavior means for her rather than asking “How can we solve this problem, so that we can stay together?”

    So, if the instinct is “Maybe we should just break up” and the focus is all on how the guy’s behavior suggests maybe he’s not as into her as he seemed, then yeah, I think it’s time to call it off. It doesn’t sound like she really wants to be with him in the first place, as much as she wants to be with someone.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      Agreed. It sounds like a case where one person in a relationship (maybe both, for all we know) feels like it’s not right to break up without some clear-cut case of the partner being a bum who cheated, or racked up your credit card debt, or hit you, or – basically, some unambiguously awful reason that no one would question. As opposed to being okay with saying, “Yeah, this isn’t working for me, and I don’t care enough to want to fix it” – when that’s actually the kindest, sanest thing to do.

  5. BostonRobin Says:

    Well now you’re stuck. You have the relationship you said you wanted back when you made it clear that sex would have to wait. Sadly, the sex turned out to be a bit of a disappointment, but how can you use that as an excuse to end things? Won’t that look hypocritical? Sort of the flipside of the pump-n-dump: the “make ‘em wait and dump.”

    Situations like this created the “three date” sort of rule. Moxie is always saying that people who like sex have sex. It’s just another way to determine compatibility. Maybe he has a physical issue, or maybe you’re just not sexually compatible. You could have figured this out weeks earlier though, and maybe met a better match afterwards!

  6. Ben Iyyar Says:

    ATWYS writes, “Most 38 year old men with moderate options wouldn’t have stuck around” and I would paraphrase that “most men over the age of eighteen wouldn’t have stuck around!” I have to wonder how much experience “Unsure” has had dating because if she expects her partner to wait six weeks I think she is very unrealistic, and any man who would agree to such a condition, is as ATWYS writes, “he easily accepted your terms should have been a warning sign.”
    Let me tell you about an experience I had that was somewhat similar. I had a friend who was living with woman who was almost entirely incompatible with him. They argued almost incessantly, she constantly and bitterly criticized him in front of others, and once she publicly stated in my presence that she did not approve of his wasting his time with his loser friends, myself included. Indeed, they were not even married, and she was demanding that they go for couples counseling. And my friend was so passive, that he was even considering counseling! I asked him what kind of relationship did he even have, if things were so bad between them that they had to go to counseling before they even married! But I believe that now understand him, and her, far better. They were both were divorced and unhappy. They were lonely people, late thirties, who were losing hope in their future, and had started to feel unattractive, unappealing, and had begun to believe that they were entirely forgettable. Thus it seems to me that they were willing to put up with almost anything their plainly toxic relationship, just to have the validation of their personal value, that someone, anyone, wanted to be with them. I know, as does ATWYS, that loneliness and hopelessness are what devastates single people, and can lead them to make unwise choices.

    • sj Says:

      Excellent post. The insight into the hidden desperation and insecurity that is oh so close in us all is spot on.

      And in the end isn’t the greatest fear of all of us that we will make no mark, no difference whatsoever, leave no legacy and truly be “forgettable” and ultimately forgotten?

  7. JayD Says:

    OP – You reap what you sow.

  8. LostSailor Says:

    I’m now doubting if his waiting for me was actually a sign of commitment

    Hahaha. Whew. That’s a good one. No, it’s not a sign of commitment to wait six weeks for sex. Moxie covered that. But what is more disturbing is that the OP still thinks that it was such a sign even though after 4 months they’ve still not “successfully” had sex. And they’re actually talking about moving in together?

    These two people are damaged. And they’re so desperate for a “relationship,” any “relationship” that they’ll accept this pale shadow of one and delude themselves as necessary in the process.

    Now, before people get their panties in a twist, I’m sure it’s possible for a lasting relationship where the sex is poor or nonexistent. But it’s damn well not likely long-term.

    The guy clearly has performance issues. What is unclear are the OP’s need in the sex department. She sort of seems okay with the lack of sex and is only starting to question things after months of no sex. If sex is unimportant to her, then perhaps give it a go (though it will probably still end in tears). But my spidey-sense says this isn’t so, that sex would be an issue down the line. But it’s also unclear whether her feelings for this guy are strong enough to try to overcome these issues. This is what I doubt. OP makes no mention of liking this guy enough to try to help him work through his performance problems; indeed, there’s no mention that she’s even tried to broach the subject at all.

    Given that, this “relationship” is doomed to fail because there seems to be no real relationship here at all. I’d suggest moving on and stop playing games with sex; making ‘em wait means nothing…

  9. Tinker Says:

    I don’t understand the concept of 1. ‘making’ a guy wait and 2. telling him exactly how long that wait will be. What does that prove? That he can pretend not to sleep with anyone else and keep up whatever facade you want him to for 6 weeks- um, yay? What do you win when a man does that? Truly OP, you need to rethink this losing strategy. You are adult enough to not need to hide behind arbitrary timelines so you don’t feel like a slut.

    As far as your current boyfriend- just break up already and put both of you out of your misery.

  10. Jenny Says:

    Well at least he wasn’t dumb enough to fall for the “you don’t need to wear a condom” line. Um, lady, what book have you been reading with all these tactics?And why would you be willing to risk pregnancy with a man you weren’t ready to have sex with about a minute before? You mean to say any man who waits six weeks to have sex with you meets your one and only criteria for a baby daddy/life partner?

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