Is She Afraid She Came Off Too “Slutty?”

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

I’ve been on two dates with an absolutely wonderful woman. We have great chemistry and a lot of fun together. And there’s definitely a strong physical attraction. We flirt a lot and there’s plenty of touching and kissing. She even kissed me first on our first date instead of waiting for me. She also asked me out on a second date before I could ask her and at the end of our second date, she suggested that she come over to my place. Needless to say, I think she likes me. Whether it was to have sex or just hang out, I don’t know. I dropped her off at her place so she could check on her dog, after which she was going to drive over to my place. But after about 15 minutes, she texted me to say she was tired and that we’d have to plan for another day. Fair enough. A few days later, I invited her over to my place for dinner, not with the expectation that it would lead to sex, but just to treat her to a nice meal. Something different than just going out to a restaurant again. She gladly
accepted and even canceled an appointment so she could be free. She seemed to be looking forward to it, asking me what wine to bring and the day before, she started sending me sexy pictures of herself, maybe to build up excitement for the next day. But a few hours before she was set to come over for dinner, she texted to say she was sick and needed to reschedule. That was fine. I just wanted her to get better.

But I’m starting to wonder if maybe she’s scared to meet because it could lead to sex, not that it was guaranteed to happen even if she did come over. The reason I wonder if she’s scared is because she thinks she’s overweight. I personally think she looks fantastic and I’ve told her that several times. But she’s mentioned on more than one occasion how she’s trying to lose weight. She’ll talk about how often she goes to the gym, as if she wants me to know that how she looks now is just temporary. She also commented on how fit I look, though I think I could stand to lose a few pounds, and I’m wondering if I’m unintentionally making her more self-conscious about her weight. The pics she sent me were all shot from the chest up. Maybe she thought seeing the rest of her would turn me off. As of this writing, she says she feels better, we chatted for a bit, but she hasn’t mentioned rescheduling our date and I’ve been careful not to pressure her.

My question is this. Do you think it’s possible that she’s self-conscious about her weight and is canceling on me at the last minute because she thinks it could lead to sex and she’s afraid to let me see her naked? If that’s the case, I certainly don’t want to pressure her. We can have dinner, but it doesn’t have to lead to sex. Or do you think I’m reading too much into this? If it is about her weight, how should I handle it? I want her to feel comfortable with me and know that I don’t have a problem with her appearance. If she never lost a pound, I would be just fine with that because I think she looks incredible already. Outside of waiting, I’m not sure what else to do. And in case it matters, we’re both in our early 40s.
Age: 40
City: Chicago
State: IL


I think it could be both concerns you expressed. It’s very likely that she feels insecure about her body as well as fears that you’re just after sex.

I think the only thing you can do is mention to her that she went from acting very interested in getting together again to cancelling twice and that you’re wondering if something was said or done to make her uncomfortable. The only way to know what is going on with her is to ask her directly.

What most likely happened is that she worried that she put the sex vibe out there by inviting herself over to your place. When you suggested that she come to your apartment for the third date, she might have feared that she sent a certain message by being so overt and would be expected to follow through. Which, if we’re going to be honest, would be a natural expectation on your part.

Women are taught to use their wiles and their bodies to get male attention. The problem is that we can’t control the attention we get in any way. Nor do we have any say in the impressions of us men form. There’s also no way to  completely filter out the people who would sleep with us and then dump us. Then there are the guys who secretly fear where using the same lines we used on them on every guy we meet on OKCupid. So we either have to shut off that channel completely or develop such a thick skin that we run the risk of being perceived as impenetrable. Finding that happy medium where you still stay open and vulnerable yet maintain a level of detachment isn’t easy. All in all, being a sexually confident woman is fraught with emotional landmines.


There are many women who can have sex and not fear the consequences, but there are also many who can’t. Given what you’ve said about this woman and her concerns with her body, it’s not rare for an insecure woman to use sex to be seen as more attractive. As most often happens in those situations, the sex is used to keep or get a man’s interest. Then, what inevitably happens is that the women feel guilty for acting in a way they fear made them look desperate. They start fretting that the sex is all the guy wants. I’m speaking from experience here. I’ve done this, especially when I was heavier and insecure about my body. I’m a big advocate of using sex as a lure, and I always follow through should the guy take the bait, unless I see some red flags. But there was a time when I would get so in my head about all of it that I’d implode. Now my feeling is that if a guy does slip past my radar and does end up blowing me off afterwards, that’s a poor reflection of his character and not mine. It still stings and I still cry and get hurt, but far less so than if I didn’t have an unshakeable sense of who I was. That’s a must for situations like this.

She’s not ready to have sex with you. Maybe it’s because she’s not interested in you or maybe because she’s got some reservations about having sex so quickly. The only way you’re going to know which it is by asking her what caused the 180  degree change in her behavior. That’s a totally fair question for you to ask. Maybe you’ll get the truth, maybe you won’t. But at least you will have tried and can walk away knowing you didn’t just stand there and do nothing.



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34 Responses to “Is She Afraid She Came Off Too “Slutty?””

  1. Kyra Says:

    Since she doesn’t seem to be comfortable with going to your place, you could always suggest going out again. Maybe not dinner again this time (since you mentioned not going to a restaurant) maybe a museum or art gallery or some other nice activity.

    That may help her to feel comfortable and let her get to know you better – which could possibly be another thing she’s concerned about.

    But Moxie gave really good advice here, so I wish you the best of luck. :)

  2. JayD Says:

    She kissed the OP first on the first date. She suggested that she would come over to his place for the second date. She started to send him sexy pictures of herself. And then she is afraid she came off as too “slutty”? Orly

    Maybe she simply is pulling the “hot and cold” cock tease drama?

    • mindstar Says:

      I tend to agree. The OP has told her he finds her fantastic looking so she’s knows her weight is not an isue with him.

      She invites herself to his place after their second date then backs out.

      She sends sexy pics before their third date and backs out again.

      Minds games simple mind games

      • Joey Giraud Says:

        “The OP has told her he finds her fantastic looking so she’s knows her weight is not an issue with him.”

        So “she knows?” Just because he said that doesn’t mean she believes him. Rightly so. Men lie about that kind of stuff all the time. I know I have.

        It’s not that hard to understand; she’s backing out because she has conflicted feelings.

      • Eliza Says:

        ok–then just move on. Whoever said dating – is NOT a game – to some degree, hasn’t been in the dating world recently. Filled with so-called “land mines”! Don’t bother to waste your time questioning questionable behavior. Next. A flake is a flake. Move on, don’t even waste time on a blog wondering WHY?
        Date two, and all this drama? geez.

    • BostonRobin Says:

      I don’t understand why this is such a “hot debate.” This woman is being a flake! Drop her. In my experience, hot/cold means COLD. Mixed signals means NO. Maybe you’re the first guy who took her out for a second date in a long time and now she’s getting all full of herself, ready to explore her “options” now.

      Isn’t that what we keep hearing about online dating, how it creates the illusion of options when there are none?

      OP, you’re the one with options, because if you can find something good in this silly woman, you can find something really great in someone who deserves you!

      • JayD Says:

        This woman is a flake. One has to wonder why the OP would tolerate such behavior if he truly has options.

        OP said she seemed conscious of her weight because she only sent him sexy pictures from the chest up. Huh? He already saw her in person, didn’t he? What a great cover up that would be. And she might think he was too fit for her is just some woo woo babble in the OP’s own mind to fit his narrative.

        This woman is insufferable. The OP is wearing the “nice guy” on his sleeve. He wants to bang her and he is not the one with options.

  3. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    I don’t understand why, after TWO dates, he needs an answer to this vexing problem. (I keep re-reading to make sure I’m not hallucinating) I wouldn’t raise the issue – especially if you think it’s about her weight. As I mentioned in a comment on another post, that’s a minefield from which no man traverses unscathed.

    Just let it go. Ask her on another date, to a restaurant again, if you’re so concerned about her insecurities. And, get a hold of yourself: Two dates.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      **I wouldn’t raise the issue – especially if you think it’s about her weight. As I mentioned in a comment on another post, that’s a minefield from which no man traverses unscathed.**

      Yeah, in general, whatever the issue, don’t bother trying to guess people’s intentions. You’ll just make yourself nuts for no reason, and if you guess wrong (such as bringing up a sensitive issue like weight) you’re likely to just create extra problems.

      Just observe people’s behaviors and ask them how they feel/what’s going on with them, as Moxie said.

    • Joey Giraud Says:

      “that’s a minefield from which no man traverses unscathed.”

      Which is why we lie.

  4. RC Says:

    oh maybe she just got her period. Wait 5 days :D

  5. Yvonne Says:

    Although she has flaked out on you twice, I would give her the benefit of the doubt, knowing that it could be a potential red flag. My next move would be to ask her out for an activity of some sort: if you hit it off so well, you must have some interests in common. A movie, play, museum, whatever, but something where you can spend time together without sex being at the forefront. If she hesitates or bails again, you’d know something was wrong, and you can choose to confront her, or let it go.

    • AAORK Says:

      Yvonne, borrowing from your comment .. even realizing that “it could be a potential red flag”, I’m confident that if the genders were switched in the OP’s scenario, almost none of the women here would agree with (or even write) the statement “he has flaked out on you twice, I would give him the benefit of the doubt”. Just sounds disingenuous and gender-biased on its face.

      • Yvonne Says:

        You’re a bit late to the party, aren’t you? Apparently you have not read ChicagoGuy’s follow-up post. I wrote what I did because I felt there may have been extenuating circumstances in this situation. Turns out I was correct.

  6. D. Says:

    Two things stand out about this woman’s behavior that would make me just decide “Screw it” and move on.

    1. She sends seriously mixed signals. She invites herself over to your place, has you drop her home to check the dogs, then gets home and says “Nah, I’m staying in.” Ok… She chit-chats with you and talks up the next date, then cancels at the last minute because she’s sick. Maybe she is, maybe she isn’t, but you took it as mixed signals rather than “She’s clearly still interested and just sick.” My guess: she didn’t make it clear that she still wanted to see you. She just said “I’m really sorry, but I’m sick. I have to cancel.” Rather than “I have to cancel, but maybe we can do Wednesday, or my Saturday is wide open.”

    2. She seems flaky/inconsiderate. The last-minute nature of her cancellations strikes me as not considering how that might impact you at all. Like, it never occurs to her that maybe you’d want to do something else with your night than sit around, maybe you’d want to set up plans with someone else, and now you can’t because it’s only a few hours before you’re supposed to meet. I mean, ok, maybe she suddenly felt awful shortly before and couldn’t have let you know earlier. But if she was feeling crappy around, say, mid-day, offering you the chance to reschedule or wait and hope she feels better or something. But just flaking out and saying “Sorry, can’t make it” at, say, 5pm when you’re supposed to meet at 7? That just tells me she didn’t think beyond herself.

    Admittedly, #2 is something that really annoys me, so other people may not be as concerned about it or may just say “Whatever. People are self-centered and you can’t expect more of them.” But it’s still something I try to avoid where possible. Given that you’re only 2 dates in, unless she’s super amazing and/or your options are limited for whatever reason…I’d move on. You’re already seeing a pattern of behavior here, rather than isolated incidents. Pay attention to it and decide accordingly.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      Yeah, flakiness and mixed messages are good reasons to just give up, or at least severely lower your expectations (of that particular person).

      “I’m pretty sure she has weight issues” might be the male version of, “No, see, he’s just really shy. I know he’s interested.” In other words, guessing at the person’s intentions and crafting some kind of comforting narrative out of it instead of just going by behaviors.

      • D. Says:

        Exactly. If you’re spending a ton of time analyzing the person’s behavior for clues as to whether they’re interested….they probably aren’t interested or at least aren’t interested enough for what you want.

    • J Says:

      It’s possible she has a mood disorder. Sometimes I will cancel plans I was previously excited because on the day of, I just couldn’t muster up the energy to get off the couch. When other people are involved in those plans I usually qualify it as being “sick” because in a way, it is an illness. Not saying it isn’t super frustrating from this guys standpoint, if it is the case. I’m just offering an opposing viewpoint to the “mind games” theory. I don’t know any women who actually cancel dates on guys we like just to see how he will react.

  7. jane Says:

    What I got from her behavior is likely someone who is comfortable ACTING sexy, but is probably very insecure about the follow through when the act has to stop. To me it doesn’t sound like she’s afraid of being seen as slutty, but moreso afraid of not being able live up to the impressions she gives off. Call it a tease if you must, though I think its done less intentionally than what a tease does. It might be connected to her weight, or just a general lack of sexual confidence. She’s attracted to you, she probably wants to be physical with you…but just lacks the confidence to continue the flirting and seduction once everything becomes real and vulnerable, and she probably fears being disappointing – both to you, and herself, so she is buying herself time. Time to psych herself up, time to hope she’ll feel more comfortable with you etc.

  8. Eliza Says:

    You are damn if you do–and damned if you don’t. You can’t win. A woman is expected to be “vulnerable” to some degree–otherwise–she is viewed as “cold” and not feminine enough–however, if she exudes TOO much emotion…watch out–she is frail and supposedly a walking time bomb. If you tease, you annoy–if you don’t tease–they wonder if you are interested “enough”. It’s exhausting walking such a tight rope–its no wonder women end up giving up, it’s a stupid game to play. Second guessing your every move. Just be yourself–some will, some won’t – so what. Next.

  9. AC Says:

    I only have one question for the OP:

    What do YOU want?

    Both sides make valid points. Also realize none of us know you or this woman.

    If you really want to see her again. Ask her out. Realize that she may flake again. Is that something you’re prepared to deal with?

    If she’s someone you’re “meh” about and are just hoping to get laid (there’s nothing wrong with that btw), I would bail because if she flakes again you’ll feel foolish for making the attempt.

    Again, how much do YOU like her?

  10. bbdawg Says:

    OP call her up, offer alternatives for a date and ask her what you are asking on the letter, reassure her. It’s possible that she got scared, that the chemistry you guys had was really good and now she is afraid to mess it up with the whole “if-we-have-sex-too soon-he’ll-leave” spiel.

    I don’t think this woman is “playing games”, it sounds like she really likes you and that she may have been burned with the past with her impulsive attitude so now she’s trying to act a little different maybe?

    Call her up, ask her out and be direct with your questions. The worst thing that can happen is that you will find out that she is not interested. I think she IS interested…but she’s afraid to mess it up and lose it before it all starts. good luck!

  11. LostSailor Says:

    No, she’s not afraid she’s coming off too “slutty.”

    This seems to me a classic pull-push game, a variation of The Rules style of dating. Comes on sexy, but pulls back at the very last minute. Keep him on the hook, but don’t give up the goods. Is it possible that her excuses were real? Maybe, but it’s a bad bet.

    ChicagoGuy is rationalizing like crazy about her supposed discomfort over weight. Don’t try to parse her head, that pass leads to madness. Her actions are what matter. Since he seems into her and seems to want to try to make things work out, I’d suggest waiting a bit more, suggest dates not at home and see what she does. If she continues to push the promise of sex but flake at the last moment, then move on.

    You’re both in your 40s. Time to stop the game-playing or tolerating the game-playing…

  12. ChicagoGuy Says:

    As the original author, allow me to thank Moxie for answering my letter and respond to some of the comments here. I did indeed ask this woman to reschedule our date, which she was more than happy to do. We met, had a great time, went out a fourth time, and are planning a fifth date. Needless to say, I’m happy with how things are going. If she was insecure about her weight, she either got over it or it was never an issue to begin with. And while I was right in sensing her reluctance to have sex, I was wrong as to the reason. She isn’t a flake and she wasn’t playing mind games. She has an illness, one that she’s being treated for. It isn’t contagious, but it is one that would scare off most people. Definitely not first date conversation, but something she felt ought to be disclosed before having sex with someone. That’s why she kept canceling on me. She was afraid to have that conversation fearing that I would reject her.

    • bbdawg Says:

      Good luck ChicagoGuy, it seems like you did have a great connection with this lady, I hope everything works out:)

    • Mark Says:

      Glad to hear that the confusion seems to have cleared up.

      BTW, it’s also refreshing to hear that both of you seem grounded and approached things in an adult manner. All too often it’s easy to jump to an erroneous conclusion based on scant info. Luckily, it seems that both of you were able to communicate and work things out at the early stage of the game and hope you both are on the same page.

      Best of luck and hope things work out.

  13. AC Says:

    “All too often it’s easy to jump to an erroneous conclusion based on scant info.”

    Glad to hear everything worked out as well. Sometimes the advice on these blogs causes as many problems as they create. Look at the comments:

    Almost every assumed that this woman was either not into you, some sort of drama queen, or playing games. Including myself, we were all- WRONG WRONG and WRONG.

    Just goes to show that more often than not, no one knows anything except the persons involved.

  14. Webb Says:

    Or maybe she had a herpes flare up.

  15. Marnie Says:

    Moxie’s response to this is absolutely spot on. I am this girl. Not (this exact girl) but I went on a date with a guy and we had amazing chemistry and he was younger and gorgeous, and sexy and so fit it was ridiculous. And he was into me. We had sex on that first date and it was pretty good but I was just insecure about my body. I am not obese but I could stand to lose 10-15 lbs. and I hold it all in my stomach from having kids so I look ok clothed but naked is hard for me to deal with, especially with someone younger who likely doesn’t see unfit post-baby body very much. ANYWAY, I never thought I would hear from him again.. that he was just enjoying the moment. But I did and I continue to hear from him… and even though he clearly is attracted to me, I am still insecure.. which has kept me away. He catches me at a moment when I am feeling ok and confident, I agree to see him then the day comes and I totally panic and I cancel. I have done this twice. I feel awful about it but I just can’t do it. Obviously it is something I have to work on for myself but this does happen.

    Let me also state it stems from a very specific time when this same scenario happened (third date sex though, not first) but with a man who was basically perfection in his physique and intelligence level, and after we had sex he told me he could not continue with seeing me because he was not physically attracted to me. And whatever.. it is what it is but it basically scarred me.

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