Is She Just a Pound Town Pit Stop On His Way To Girlfriendville?


Name: Nicole
Age: 32
State: Vu
Question: Dear Moxie — I have a question about online dating and exclusivity that’s sort of tangentially related to your most recent piece on whether or not first-date sex is always the kiss of death. My specific question may be a topic you’ve covered in a previous blog, but I can’t find anything similar in the archives so I thought I would ask it again.

I’ve been on OKC in my area for a little more than 2 months. I’ve gone on a fair number of dates (I think I’ve met 12-13 people in that time), but I’ve only felt strongly about 2 (in one case, I was into the guy but it wasn’t reciprocal, and in the other case the guy is not only geographically undesirable but geographically impossible. He lives in CA and I live in VA).

Anyway, I finally found someone that I like, and we’ve been out on 4 dates in the span of 8 days. The dates have gotten progressively better/more comfortable and yes – things have gotten physical. Everything in this guy’s profile — and everything that he’s said while we’ve been out — indicate that he’s looking for a girlfriend, and not just looking to screw around. (And yes, I know that he could still be full of sh** about this, but the sense I’m getting is that he wants a girlfriend.)

So here’s the deal: I know that this is OKC, and that with this site (and with any other online dating site) you have to assume that the person you’re seeing is seeing multiple other people at once. I’m positive in this case that this guy is (or at least should/could be) seeing other people; he’s 33 and extremely attractive and educated and successful (He’s an OKC unicorn, really). I can’t fault him for this and I know it’s way to early to ask for (or even discuss) seeing each other exclusively.

That said, I don’t want to be the girl he is f***ing while he looks for a “real” girlfriend, if that makes any sense. In other words, I am happy (OK, not *happy,* but at peace with) being one of multiple people he’s seeing before deciding on which one to consider his “girlfriend.” But, because I slept with him relatively soon (on date 3), I’m concerned that he’s not considering me “girlfriend material” and that I’m just in his “rotation” for possible sex when he’s bored or otherwise available.

Is there any way to delicately broach this in conversation (ie, ask him if he sees any LTR potential with us or not) or do I just let it go and ride it out until he either a) dumps me, or b) we end up dating exclusively? Like I said, I know I have to accept he’s going to be seeing other people, especially since we’ve known each other a week. But if he doesn’t consider us to have any LTR potential, I’d rather cut my losses now and take myself out of the running before I become too emotionally attached.

Thoughts? Are there signs I should look for that will tell me that I’m just someone to sleep with and not a potential GF? Or can I come out and ask?

You’ve only had 4 dates.  I think you’re going to have to suck it up for awhile. If things are moving as quickly as you say, then it sounds like he’ll tell you if he wants to be serious or exclusive. A number of successive dates doesn’t always mean that you and the guy are on the same page. Take this scenario for example:

I had about 5 dates with a guy. About 2 a week. I liked him, I enjoyed him, I was attracted to him, the sex was good. But I wasn’t feeling that “thing” we all like to feel for people we’re dating. Not yet, at least.  But I liked him enough to just keep my mouth shut and go along until things either progressed or  came to their natural conclusion. One night, while texting, he invited me over to watch a particular TV show that I like. I was exhausted. I turned him down. Two nights later I get a call and he wants to talk about where we were headed. He said that he was looking for something mid to long term and he didn’t feel that’s where we were headed. I said okay. Just..okay. He then went on to say that we had plans the next night and wondered if I still wanted to go out or did I feel it was a waste of time. I said I thought it was a waste of time. Just that. “I think that would be a waste of time.” He then went on to tell me how much he’s enjoyed being with me and getting to know me. I told him I appreciated that. Then we hung up. The next day I realized that he was feeling me out to see how I felt. I knew when I turned down his offer to go over to his place to watch TV, I was probably sending a certain message. I wasn’t ready to shut the door just yet. I just needed time to figure things out. Since I wasn’t in a rush I figured I had time.

You said it yourself: you’ve met the OKCupid Unicorn. Instead of trouble shooting this after 4 dates, why not just enjoy it? At any given time, you might be the girl that a guy is “just sleeping with” as he continues his search for Ms. Right. There’s no escaping that. Even if you ask him where you stand, he could still tell you what you want to hear only to dump you a couple weeks or months later. It’s just too soon for both of you to tell where things are headed. Bring it up now, and you’ll possibly do damage to what you’ve established. Let go of this need to “know.” Stop fearing that you might get dumped or that you’re just a step along his journey to twu wuv. That’s dating. It won’t kill you. The more you do it, the more you build up a tolerance.

Men and women can go along to get along for a very long time. There’s no way to know for sure what they’re thinking. Even asking them doesn’t guarantee that how they say they feel in that moment will be how they feel in 2 months. There is no way to make these things fool-proof. If he does move on, it doesn’t mean you were a speed bump. He could have been giving you a trial run. It didn’t work. He took a pass.

If you insist upon saying something, and I highly advise that you don’t, then you just need to be honest. Just ask him if he’s dating anyone else. Then you’ll have your answer.

Personally, I find 4 dates in 8 days to be a bit excessive. That in and of itself is a red flag. It makes me wonder if he was just getting as many dates in as possible in order to get the sex. Most people who have jobs and lives don’t have this kind of availability, especially the ones online who are attractive and all around super duper. Those people have options. Therefore, my gut says you’ve got this guy during a dry spell. That would explain his over zealous approach. Even when a man really, really likes a woman, he’s not usually this available. So, yeah, something about this guy seems way too perfect. And we all know what that means.



Sometimes the love of your life is the love of your life. (R)


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17 Responses to “Is She Just a Pound Town Pit Stop On His Way To Girlfriendville?”

  1. fuzzilla Says:

    **do I just let it go and ride it out until he either a) dumps me, or b) we end up dating exclusively?**

    I vote for c) take yourself out of the “unknown zone” and date other people yourself ’til you have good reason to focus on one person.

    Moxie’s right that a week is way (way) too soon to bring up a “defining the relationship” talk. I mean, really, he’s more a concept (OKC Unicorn) than a person to you at this point. Although with four dates in eight days, I can see why the OP is like, “OK, WTF’s going on?”

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 1

    • KK Says:

      I was thinking something similar. Why is she giving this guy so much power? She has known him for a bit over a week. I highly doubt she is so into him now that she can’t date other guys. She might meet someone who is unambiguously into her.

      Also, I do not think that the LW sleeping with this guy on date 3 would determine whether she is girlfriend material or not. First, because if two people have a connection, it is there, and it is there whether you have sex on the first date or the 10th. Second, IF a guy is judging you for having sex too soon, then he is a hypocrite because, hello, he had sex too. Why on earth isn’t the LW thinking to herself that maybe this guy had sex with HER too soon, and so maybe HE isn’t bf material?

      Anyway. It’s been a week. Date other guys.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

      • Lisa Says:

        YES YES YES. My thoughts exactly!

        She is coming from a place of such powerlessness and inadequacy! Why?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  2. BostonRobin Says:

    Eventually I learned to stop wondering if the other person wanted to be exclusive and focused on whether I even wanted that.

    LW, how can you know you want to lock this guy down so soon? Especially if you think he’s dating around that much? Just keep spending time with him so you can figure out whether he’s good enough for you. You need at least a month, preferably two, and that’s with spending a lot of time together and talking daily when you don’t see each other.

    Everyone has a different dating style. I prefer one at a time, because whenever I have multi-dated it got too overwhelming. But, I pay attention and prepare to abandon ship if it doesn’t look like we’re on the same page.

    This guy of yours, you describe him in very shallow terms. He sounds great on paper. You seem to believe you are girlfriend material, but are you sure he’s boyfriend material? Step up and act the part and see if he can keep up.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 0

  3. chillybeans Says:

    LW, how does he treat you? That seems to be missing from your account of your relationship so far. Yes, he’s good looking and a unicorn etc, it seems that is your focus instead of if you two are good for each other.
    Moxie is right, it’s much too early to see if this has long term potential. Time will tell, but in the meantime, stop pining for what may or may not happen. The advice to date others is excellent, expand your focus instead of obsessing on this one unicorn. If you really can’t wait, and it’s hurting you, then maybe you should cut your losses now. I say enjoy it and other dates too!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  4. Nicole Says:

    Why should she continue to sleep with him when he’s also sleeping with other women? She can get STDs. You can get HPV even if you use a condom and then it’s up to God really if your body’s immune system is able to get rid of the virus. If I was her, I’d stop sleeping with him until he was exclusively dating me. No need to put your body in danger just to have a man in your life.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 14

    • fuzzilla Says:

      She actually doesn’t have any proof he is dating other people (although she’s wise to assume so ’til they explicitly agree to be exclusive).

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

    • KK Says:

      Use condoms until he is exclusively dating her? No. Because he could have something, as could she, and they could pass it back and forth between each other. No. Exclusivity then testing then no condoms.

      Also, HPV is not the only STI that gets passed on with condoms. For one thing, condoms are only 99% effective at preventing pregnancy and HIV if they are used as directed, and most of us don’t do that. Second of all, gonorrhea and syphylis absolutely transmit even with use of a condom and so does herpes. (Chlamydia pretty much transmits through intercourse, so condoms are good for that.)

      You just gotta figure out what risk you’re willing to take.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

      • Missy Says:

        Yes if you’re talking about taking the step of not using condoms, then agreeing to exclusivity, then getting tested, makes sense before going bare.

        Still won’t protect against HPV though, as men font get tested for that. And it can spread even with condoms. And even if you test positive for it after years of testing negative, you still won’t know whether you acquired it recently or whether it had been lurking in your system for years.

        There’s only so much you can do. The OP didn’t write in asking for advice on safe sex.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

    • Missy Says:

      This doesn’t actually seem relevant to this conversation. The only way to guarantee you won’t get an STD is to not have sexy times at all. True, having fewer partners cuts down the opportunity to get something, as does choosing partners who also have had few partners. And, of course, always practicing safe sex. Granted.
      But waiting to have sex with him later bc he *might* be having sex with other people now doesn’t really offer any protection. That’s just silly.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  5. mxf Says:

    I’m not sure if him appearing to look for a girlfriend has anything to do with him being in touch with other women online. I mean, even if the answer is yes, he’s looking for a committed relationship, you still have to get to know each other before you determine if you’re a good match.

    Maybe don’t focus so much on the passive role of being “chosen” by this golden guy. What are you looking for in a partner? Does he possess and demonstrate those qualities? If yes, then good. Give it a few more weeks to see if that remains a constant, then tell him you think he’s great and that you’re going to stop seeing other people to see where things go with him. If he’s really relationship material for you, then he should be honest in return with his thoughts. If he’s evasive or you still can’t get a “read” on him, well, then he’s not really good boyfriend material anymore.

    It’s very tough at the beginning, I know, when you are excited about someone. Good luck!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  6. BTownGirl Says:

    Excellent advice here and I’ll add that there’s no reason why you can’t keep your options open too, even though you’re really into this guy. I’m not saying date other people just to do it or *GROANS LOUDLY* there’s advice out there saying that this helps you lock a manz down right quick *TAKES SWIG OF GIN DIRECTLY OUT OF BOTTLE*, but because I’m sure you have just as much to offer as this guy does and he’s not the only dude on earth that you can be into. Enjoy it, don’t get to thinking that he’s The Last Attractive Man On Earth and have some fun!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  7. Missy Says:

    I wonder if this guy really is such a unicorn. It’s easy to feel that way when you have such an intense connection at the beginning, but from my experience–and what other commenters are saying– the initial rush and intensity is actually pretty common from guys who are dating online and who have “avoidant” attachment styles. That may not be the case with this guy, but the intensity of the first week is definitely a potentially serious red flag. To me, sex on the third date doesn’t sound “relatively soon” … But having that third date less than a week after meeting is a bit off. Factor in how you’re feeling about it (which is actually the most important thing, as others are saying) and that’s another red flag. I discovered that my own confusion and anxiety in early stages was usually a pretty reliable guide to how likely a guy was to fade. Sure, sometimes I do just need to chill out, hang in there, and see what unfolds. But generally if I find myself getting worked up over this kind of thing, it’s because my intuition already knows what’s happening.

    And if that is what happens, and he fades or changes or picks someone else, it is NOT bc you had sex with him “early” or whatever. If you need to wait to have sex so you don’t get attached too soon, that’s good to know about yourself. It still won’t protect you from all guys who are going to disappear right after sex, and you might get attached in other ways while you’re waiting. That’s why you need to focus on what you want and what’s working for you… And what isn’t… And not so much about what he wants. It’s great when we find a person whose wants align with ours. But no amount of worrying, wondering, or waiting can create that match if it isn’t there.

    So, while I do agree that it’s not really a good idea to “have the talk” with him to find out what he wants, it might be worth it for you to figure out what you want and communicate that. Like, wow it’s been so fun getting to know you but I am realizing I need to slow things down a little bit. His reaction to that will tell you lots … Not about whether you’re offering what he wants but whether he is offering what you want.

    If it feels good to sit back and wait, I say enjoy it. If not, do what you need to do for you.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  8. Jake Says:

    To the OP and others like her, slow down. Sit back and see how it unfolds. Plus, you must assume that anyone who is online dating is dating other people. That’s the catch. Plus, you shouldn’t be developing feelings at this juncture. You need to figure a way to be detached. If you can’t or won’t, then you should exit or stop dating until you can.

    In response to Moxie’s flavor of the month, this dude should have just waited to see if Moxie contacted him after she declined his request to come over. The whole bringing it up and asking Moxie if he is wasting his time was an unecessary conversation. Also, it reeked of impatience. If a woman declines my invitation, I don’t ask again or initiate a “where are we going” conversation. If she never contacts me again, so sad too bad.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  9. alan Says:

    yes. most likey Nicole you are a pound town pit stop on his way to girlfriendville (that might just be with you).

    i’m more interested in Moxie’s story because I think I’ve “spent more time with her than you” metaphorically of course.

    I’m not sure I understand why the story is relevant here because your advice is basically to suck it up for awhile. Here I see you pulling the trigger to end something sort of “out of the blue” that wasn’t obviously bad for absolutely no reason that I read in the few sentences other than not feeling some sort of a “thing” whatever that is.

    Turning down his offer to watch tv didn’t have to be any message other than “i’m exhausted tonight let’s do it some other night see you soon.” OK that is sabotage one if it happened in a way that didn’t communicate that a raincheck of some sort was in the offering. I get that two days later you figured that that was exactly what your hidden intent was. But not in the moment because you also say you weren’t ready to shut the door.

    But you were ready to shut the door two days later when he brought up that he felt you were sending him a message. You wanted more time more optionality to determine how you felt. I get that. So why engage in sabotage two by taking his bait and saying going out again would be a waste of time. You didn’t have to end it there and then and you could have extended what you had with finness so that you could preserve your optionality without falsely encourging him. So now it’s obvious that in the moment you actively wanted to end things.

    But WHY? You liked him, enjoyed him, were attracted to him and the sex was good. Why couldn’t you suck it up for another 2-4 dates to see if that “thing” happened?

    Sometime ago I posted something on your site saying I was going to check on something with an old girlfriend of mine from before my marriage (which is ended) and whom I dated in the late 80’s and didn’t really have in my life for the last 25 years. The post was probably from some middle aged cinderella wanting it all. Anyway back to my friend. She never found anyone with any permanence during all those years. She is really very attractive particularly for late 50’s (maybe a little older) and incredibly fit. Takes great care of herself (and probably is very high maintenance in general.) UES decent job has some coin saved. NO RED FLAGS. We don’t interact much during the year but I always get together with her during the holidays maybe for the last 7 or so years (i sometimes bring my significant other who now lives with me so there is no confusion not that I think there would be.) She dates on-line–gets some attention. we got together a few weeks ago. She is again unattached but had a few dating stories in which I found out she still has height requirements (she is 5’2″–can’t she leave the six footers for the 5’9″ single ladies?), age restrictions (she is being setup with someone 10 years older than her and didn’t seem happy about it) and undeniably is still attracted to charming “bad boys”. When I asked her about how important “kindness” and “overall generosity” her response was they “go without saying” but she told me about three dating stories about 2015 and the adjectives or similar ones never came up one.

    When I see someone over the age of 40-50 who superficially shouldn’t have a problem meeting someone and having a decent relationship I know it’s not an issue of “distribution of available counterparties in a given and expandable geographic neighborhood”.

    Anyway maybe you didn’t tell us the whole story cus I can’t figure this out.

    If you want to make a new post out of this like you did last time feel free. just send out an email to your list so I can look. some of your readers don’t look for your blog unless they know you have posted recently.

    best regards have a great superbowl sunday and subsequently v-day if you celebrate. (I do not bah humbug it’s a made up holiday.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  10. Steve Says:

    I actually found Moxie’s personal experience more interesting here. We all get insecure at times and nobody wants to feel like they are being settled on until the next best thing comes along. Hence, we’re inclined to check the ‘pulse’ of a budding relationship to make sure we’re on the same page.

    If the interest isn’t mutual, will it ever be later? Why stick around? I’m 47. I’ve dated around a lot. A mutual connection is hard to find. Our time left is precious. I wouldn’t want to stick around with someone if I felt the pressure to improve their interest in me.

    Yet, I’ve been on the other side of the coin too. Sitting there on the couch watching TV with someone and realizing, after a month or so, that this person is not the one. It’s a shallow feeling and I don’t like it.

    I call it the Settle zone. How long do you settle? I don’t think anyone is doing someone a favor by settling on them.

    I think this is perhaps a worse scenario then getting rejected immediately. Because, you are invested, but not as much as the other person, or vice versa.

    You both know intuitively that the connection is not going to get better. In fact, it will get worse when one person pushes for pulse checks out of insecurity.

    Anyway, that’s my rant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    • fuzzilla Says:

      **Yet, I’ve been on the other side of the coin too. Sitting there on the couch watching TV with someone and realizing, after a month or so, that this person is not the one. It’s a shallow feeling and I don’t like it.**

      Yeah, relationships like that are kinda like a table you got at a resale shop and you feel good that you got a deal and you’re a savvy shopper. But if you actually set a book or a coffee cup on it – ask it to actually function as a table – it collapses.

      I don’t think feeling “meh” about someone means you’re shallow, unless you have intimacy issues and find reasons to bail on anyone and everyone.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

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