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Fool me twice, shame on me.
November 19, 2012 6:26 PM   Subscribe

I know I deserve better in my relationships with men. I know that I am worth so much more than what I get. How do I start to stop letting myself make stupid choices?

I feel really vulnerable writing this question, but I haven't gotten much helpful feedback on it in conversations with my therapist so I'm hoping Metafilter wisdom will help.

In the past few years I've been dating here and there, having overcome serious depression to try to get on with this whole having a life thing. Last summer, this happened. I was hurt by what I felt was that guy's manipulation and purposeful evasiveness to keep me on the hook for sex, and it took some months of work to overcome the fact that I let someone treat me that way. Back then, it was a little more of a self-esteem issue than it is now I think.

Now I'm in a situation that has an unfortunately familiar feel. New Guy and I actually went on a date -- he brought me a small gift, bought me dinner, held all the doors for me, kissed me goodnight. In the two weeks we talked before we were able to meet, he asked me tons of questions about myself and said more than once that he hoped we would work as well in real life because he really wanted to date a "smart, funny, attractive girl like [me]." I have never been romanced and admittedly got pretty caught up in how good it felt.

We've made arrangements for our second date set to happen this Wednesday. Except, it's not going to be a "date" so much as it is going to be watching a movie at my house. There has been about a two week period between this date and the last one (he lives an hour away), and in that time I have noticed a palpable, consistent drop-off in his communication level. It was bound to happen sometime, but not after a good first date I wouldn't think. He doesn't ask to talk on the phone anymore. He doesn't ask me any questions about myself that don't relate indirectly to the kissing/cuddling/sexing we're probably going to have on Wednesday, and sometimes light conversation like "How's work?," for which he rarely asks followups when I give him my answer. We do still text every day and he still always says good morning, so I know he's thinking about me on some level. But where conversation used to be free-flowing on his end I now have to work to keep it going.

I don't feel good in my gut about this. I told him, twice even, that I do NOT want a casual sex or booty call relationship ever again, because I couldn't stand being kept at arm's length and constantly toyed with. He said he understood why I felt that way. I have also told him that I hate when men blow hot and cold instead of telling me that they've lost interest. The problem is, even though I know having him over on Wednesday has probably a 90% chance of yielding a result I specifically do not want, I...can't bring myself to cancel it like I know I should. I don't know why I'm holding out so much for that 10% longshot chance.

I know I am a worthy person. I know I'm intelligent, funny, and that if I manage to find a good person, I will be an open and loving partner to them. So it's not thinking I don't deserve a good partner, or even poor core self-esteem, that keeps leading me down this path I don't think.

I crave intimacy. I really like sex. And even though I think manipulating someone for your own needs is fucking horrific behavior, it is so necessary to me to believe that other people have good intentions and aren't straight out trampling on someone else's feelings for their own pleasure that I can be naive. I really, really do not want to lose my ability to let someone in. Those are my major blinders, and big reasons why I think I am still in the frame of mind of letting myself take a probably stupid risk on New Guy.

So, knowing my blinders and that my self-esteem is headed in the right direction, what are some mental hacks I can start using to stop myself from making these poor decisions? How can I train the hopeful, intimacy craving part of me into realizing that insanity really is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? Even just suggestions to help me get through (or around) Wednesday would be helpful, and tough love is very welcome. Thank you.
posted by houndsoflove to Human Relations (31 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
What if you took date #2 somewhere outside the house? The "movie on my couch" thing is an age-old code for sex, so if you want to see if he's in it for something more you could shift the venue. His enthusiasm or lack thereof might give you a better indication of his motives.
posted by Pomo at 6:31 PM on November 19, 2012 [12 favorites]


If your best friend came to you and told you about a guy she was dating, and she was trying to decide whether to keep going, and she told you:
He doesn't ask to talk on the phone anymore. He doesn't ask me any questions about myself that don't relate indirectly to the kissing/cuddling/sexing we're probably going to have on Wednesday, and sometimes light conversation like "How's work?," for which he rarely asks followups when I give him my answer. We do still text every day and he still always says good morning, so I know he's thinking about me on some level. But where conversation used to be free-flowing on his end I now have to work to keep it going.
What would you say? What would you advise her to do?

You seem to know what the right thing to do is: CANCEL THE DATE... and yet, and yet... there's that small part of your brain that's hoping that maybe things will go back to like they were.

You've said you don't want a casual relationship, but this seems to be headed that way, you can feel it in your gut.

Ask yourself, why don't I believe my gut? Am I trying to fool myself into thinking that a hookup on Wednesday will fill my need for what I really want, beyond just some hot sex?

If you really can't bring yourself to cancel it, call him up and tell him that you'd rather get out and see Skyfall or (movie/activity of choice here.).

His... oh... preview. Yeah, what Pomo said.
posted by canine epigram at 6:34 PM on November 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


You laid on the baggage too heavy, too soon and you're putting way, way too much pressure on this guy to be the redeeming force in your life when it comes to romantic relationships. That's not fair to him and it's not fair to you either. He honestly may feel like you're just waiting for an opportunity to say, "Aha! I knew you could never meet any of my expectations. I knew it" and he's sad and waiting for the axe to fall.

You're sabotaging yourself here, and as someone who's been there, you gotta get yourself some therapy to deal with the stuff you've got weighing you down because you can't use this guy to cancel out the bad feelings you've been carting around for so long. I don't think this is him wanting a casual relationship. I think this is you laying it on thick and that's setting you back.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 6:37 PM on November 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


Having date #2 at set at your house to and also saying specifically that you're not up for booty calls is sending out some really mixed messages. I would agree with changing the venue regardless of how awkward it feels or whatever -- a genuinely good guy will understand and an asshole will filter himself out -- and, generally, don't bring dudes home unless you're, well, bringing them home. Don't risk your sanity on a 10% chance of something happening because you're guaranteed to be disappointed (or worse) nine times out of ten. That is a shitty thing to do to yourself.
posted by griphus at 6:44 PM on November 19, 2012 [16 favorites]


There has been about a two week period between this date and the last one (he lives an hour away), and in that time I have noticed a palpable, consistent drop-off in his communication level. It was bound to happen sometime, but not after a good first date I wouldn't think.

Honestly, this seems pretty normal. You've met in person once; you don't know what else or what other stresses are going on in his life. He could be preoccupied because it's part of a manipulative plan or he might just fail at conversational banter over the phone. Maybe he's worried that he came on too strongly, or maybe he has lost interest, or maybe it was part of a plan to get sex on date two. But we, the internet, can't tell you that. Do you see losing the burgeoning relationship after Date Two as a stupid risk, regardless of the reason why? Losing interest after Date Two is not a crime. If you do, maybe that fear bundled into all these other fears is what you should really be working through-- not this one date with this one guy.

I would also agree that a more neutral ground might help. And if you're still into the couch idea, maybe go through the boundaries you want to set beforehand in your head; work out some options for how you want this to go and how you might want the evening to end. But at the end of it, it's a second date in a middling-distance relationship. So far, from your post, it seems like he's operating in pretty good faith. I'd say give it a chance, but remember to respect your own boundaries (and go for it on more neutral territory than your house, maybe.) Have fun, and best of luck.
posted by jetlagaddict at 6:44 PM on November 19, 2012


Oh, and, uh, specifically the problem with mixed messages is that there is a point at which a dude will just throw up his hands and say "I have absolutely no desire to deal with mixed messages" and you'll miss out on a good dude. When I was dating I put up with none of that and it served me quite well. Be clear, be direct, and don't do things you don't want to do under the guise of wanting to do them.
posted by griphus at 6:47 PM on November 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I used to make a huge deal out of male behavior in the early phases of relationships -- Why didn't he call me? Does he like me? -- and then I realized that it has NOTHING TO DO WITH ME and that I should not pay them any more attention than anyone else I had just met.

Focusing on him is not going to get you: a Nobel Prize, a Pulitzer, a billion dollars, a beautiful painting in a gallery, a marathon winning time... or anything else useful to you or someone else.

So... focus on things that will help you in your life. That's the trick I use to get out of this mindset. It's not about him and how great he is and whether or not he likes you. It's about the Nobel Prize.
posted by 3491again at 6:56 PM on November 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


unless you're willing to kiss/cuddle/whatever your boundary is on this second date, don't do it.

just because you have sex with a guy doesn't mean you're entitled to his attention. he didn't sign a contract with his dick, in the same way that him paying attention to you doesn't entitle him to sex. don't think about it like if he gives you enough date tokens you'll reward him with sex.

just do what you like, and if you don't like it later, stop. don't try to extract what you want from people. if they're not giving you what you want then just move on.
posted by cupcake1337 at 6:58 PM on November 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Just because he is at the moment preoccupied with talking about kissing/cuddling/banging or whatever, does not necessarily mean that he has intentions of doing those things and then leaving you high and dry.

This is coming from a lady who has dated a few guys who did just that. I know how shitty shit shit it is when that happens. I've also dated other (good!) guys who behaved the same way at first - because they were enamored with me and were excited to be around me. Sometimes you have to have faith, and weather through the first few dates to be able to get a fair sense of what the other person plans on doing with the mutual interest going on.

In other words...people are weird in the beginning of relationships, and unless there are major red flags being thrown around, I think it's worth following through for a bit if you like him and he likes you. That doesn't mean you need to sleep with him from the getgo, though. If you want to, it's totally fine - but prepare yourself for the fact that things may not pan out. If you really enjoy sex and intimacy, you can chalk it up to getting some and moving on to bigger and better things.

If you don't feel ready yet, change up the plans to not be at your place. You don't need to make a big deal about it though - just say you'd rather get out of the house and have dinner instead of staying in. The date doesn't need to be about sex, or the lack thereof.

It's very easy to say, but hard to actually put into practice: guard your feelings at the beginning of things. That doesn't mean you need to stop sharing things about yourself or projecting "i dig you" vibes, but just realize that if this guy turns out to be a dick, there will be plenty of others out there who will think you are an awesome person, and attractive to boot. He is not the be-all, end-all, and you WILL get along with others. You are worth it to get to know, and boo on him if he doesn't want to try.

I don't think that talking about expectations (not wanting to be used as a fuck buddy, hoping for something more long term) is taboo, especially if you met in the realm of online dating (which it sounds like you maybe did). He is going out on dates with you and expressing interest; it is totally fair and not scary for you to clearly say what you want out of things. Should it be something that is constantly brought up? No, of course not, but neither is it something you should be scared to say.
posted by Gonestarfishing at 7:43 PM on November 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


When you start a relationship, you are vulnerable. This is normal. It takes a little while of spending time with someone to determine whether you really fit together. The key is, if after a while you realize you are not happy, you have to have the guts to leave the relationship.
posted by fullerenedream at 9:02 PM on November 19, 2012


Nthing the idea of taking the date out of your house. Tell him you would prefer to (go to the zoo, go bowling) - something in public and if possible during daylight. Come up with a specific suggestion. If he asks why, you don't have to re-explain your history. You can say you've given it some thought and this is what works better for you, and that you want to take things slow. If he tries to argue with you or guilt you, then you can cancel the date and delete his number. But hopefully he'll respect where you're coming from and will show you that he cares about your comfort.

It's NOT the end of the world if things go too far. I think there are some key things that are really hard to do when you are lonely and anxious about relationships, including knowing and sticking to your requirements and boundaries, and asking for what you want without apologies. Think about how you would like things to unfold and ask for things that will put you on that path, and observe his responses and whether they make you more or less comfortable.

And if things do go too far and it doesn't work out, it doesn't necessarily mean he is a manipulative asshole. He probably has no more idea than you do how this will work out. Believing he's either a great guy OR a total ass who plans to use and dump you leaves out a lot of gray area in the middle.
posted by bunderful at 9:09 PM on November 19, 2012


Echoing what canine epigram said. I would cancel the date.

I have noticed a palpable, consistent drop-off in his communication level....He doesn't ask to talk on the phone anymore. He doesn't ask me any questions about myself that don't relate indirectly to the kissing/cuddling/sexing ... he rarely asks followups when I give him my answer...But where conversation used to be free-flowing on his end I now have to work to keep it going.

All of this could be explained by being preoccupied/nervous, but it's adding up to a lot of things.

I told him, twice even, that I do NOT want a casual sex or booty call relationship ever again, because I couldn't stand being kept at arm's length and constantly toyed with. He said he understood why I felt that way. I have also told him that I hate when men blow hot and cold instead of telling me that they've lost interest. The problem is, even though I know having him over on Wednesday has probably a 90% chance of yielding a result I specifically do not want, I...can't bring myself to cancel it like I know I should. I don't know why I'm holding out so much for that 10% longshot chance.

All of the above is stuff you said to him, essentially it is meaningless if your actions do not follow what you said. If you don't like it when people are hot/cold, don't put up with his being hot/cold now.

it is so necessary to me to believe that other people have good intentions and aren't straight out trampling on someone else's feelings for their own pleasure that I can be naive. I really, really do not want to lose my ability to let someone in.

I really do not understand this way of thinking at all. Everyone is different, I'm not saying it's wrong, but why is necessary to believe other people have good intentions to have the ability to let someone in? Honestly, not only is it very naive but also very dangerous. The reality is many people do not have good intentions at all. Even if people are not dangerous or even if they good intentions, that does not mean you have to let them in!!

I don't feel good in my gut about this.

This is all you need to know! There are so many people out there, why are you pursuing it if it doesn't seem right?!

I know I am a worthy person. I know I'm intelligent, funny, and that if I manage to find a good person, I will be an open and loving partner to them.

Yes, you are worthy of a wonderful and fulfilling relationship. BUT Just because you find a 'good person' doesn't mean you should be an partner to them! There are lots of good people who will not be a good fit in a partner.
posted by seesom at 9:19 PM on November 19, 2012


Does your gut feel bad about him, or about having him to your place? If the former, cancel. If the second, move the date.
posted by bunderful at 9:29 PM on November 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


A girl who has to say twice that she doesn't want a casual sex or booty call relationship has major issues. Sorry. I think you need to work out what's going on with you and not put so much pressure and overthinking into a person you met once.

The entire way you talk about "letting someone in" when it's date 2 is just... yeah. You need to backstep and work through your unresolved past. Because it's majorly fucking you up.

Step 1 is to stop overanalyzing everything. You can't expect relationship level intimacy after 1 date. That seems to be what you're expecting by your upset over his not texting you/calling you/asking all sorts of questions.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 11:37 PM on November 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


For instance, I had a cool date tonight. It went really well. I told her via text I'd like a second date when she gets back from a week at home. That's about all I'm going to communicate with her outside the odd text until she comes back and we hang out.

It's not that I'm uninterested. I'm very interested! I'm just not going to put so much pressure on a thing that has no real basis in reality yet.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 11:39 PM on November 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


I haven't been on the dating market for quite a long time, but I approached dating the same way I approach a lot of other things, like job hunting or apartment seeking. I wouldn't take a job without knowing details about the job, and I wouldn't move into an apartment without getting a clear look at it first. And it's very helpful to know what you want, and what you're looking for, and what people can reasonably ask of you. This is going to be pretty idiosyncratic, and, in a lot of ways, finding a partner is about finding people who line up with our idiosyncrasies. And they are worth revisiting, because sometimes you find yourself making a big fuss about something that's not a big deal at all, and so some people aren't getting a fair chance, and sometimes you're not making a big enough fuss about something important, and so you're find you're letting things slide that you oughtn't.

I typically didn't even get romantically involved with somebody unless I had already gotten to know them socially pretty well, having been burned a few times by leaping into long-term relationships with people I barely knew. But I know that a lot of people don't work like this, and so I recommend treating dating like a multi-part job interview. And sex can be part of that interview, but make it clear that you're not yet committing to anything long term, to avoid confused expectations.

You should be pretty clear on what you want in a relationship, what you need, what you can live without, and what's a dealbreaker. And nobody can answer these questions but you. But build a little wiggle room into the process -- this fellow's second date with you isn't a proper date? He may still be auditioning you, seeing what context he feels most comfortable with you. And seeing how you are in different contexts, because people behave differently in different contexts. But if this behavior is off-putting to you, you need to answer for yourself whether this is within your comfort range or not. If not, well, that's why we create a dealbreaker category.

If it's not a dealbreaker, continue to audition him. See how well he lines up with what you want. See how much give there is in terms of him respecting your wishes, and see how much give you can afford in respecting his. If it turns out your not a great match, move on -- while you're dating a bad match, a better match is probably out there. You don't cast a play by auditioning one actor and then saying, well, I'd better make this work. You audition enough that you can find the best match between what you want to see on stage and what people can provide you. You are the star of your own romantic drama. He's auditioning to costar. Audition him as much as makes you feel like you know if he'll be good for the role, and then make your decision.

If it helps any, this approach worked for me. I have been in a relationship for 11 years now, and it's been a really good one. I didn't meet her until I was 32, and we hung out for a long time before we got into a relationship. There was a lot of auditioning before I found a good match.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:07 AM on November 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just want to be clear and say that while I admit that I do have a chip on my shoulder about my past, I only told him I don't want a casual sex relationship because he asked "what are you looking for?" and later, "what turns you off from a guy?" He told me some of his baggage as well. The reason I am concerned about his behavior with not texting as much/asking so many questions is that it's a complete 180 from how it was before. I wouldn't expect relationship like commitment after one date -- not at all -- but it seemed inconsistent for him personally, is all.
posted by houndsoflove at 3:18 AM on November 20, 2012


And yeah, sexual compatibility is certainly part of the dating auditions. I get that and am comfortable with the risk of realizing we aren't into each other after sleeping together. I just am concerned about doing it in good faith, that the other person didn't manipulate me to get me in bed with them. My attraction to this one feels pretty easy/natural but I am a little worried about the shift in his behavior before what is probably the sex date (not unwanted). Turning it into an issue related to my baggage might, in retrospect, be a little intense.
posted by houndsoflove at 3:52 AM on November 20, 2012


You don't know him personally yet. But it feels wrong to you, so you should cancel. Every time I've had that "something's wrong" feeling, something's been wrong. Sure, it's possible that he's not calling or texting because now that he's met you in person, you're a real person and he is more comfortable allowing this to progress like a normal dating relationship -- which does not include constant communication until you've been dating for a while (especially since you don't know each other yet and could run out of things to talk about). But your gut is telling you that's not the case, and I think you should trust it, especially since it sounds like in general you have a great need to learn to trust your gut and say no when it does.

The other thing is, girls who wind up telling guys they're interested in (multiple times, at that) that they don't want to be a booty call or have casual sex often wind up... being a booty call or having casual sex. This is especially true when you invite the guy over to cuddle on your couch in lieu of a proper second date. Here's why: it's a big old red flag that you're not entirely well adjusted and don't know what you want, and it's bigtime mixed messages. The better way to respond to "what are you looking for" or "what are you into" is something positive, like "a meaningful relationship" or "romance." Framing it negatively sends off the impression that you've been burned on this issue and all the messages stated above that you don't want to send.

Frankly, he went overboard before and during your first date, as well, and that is a red flag about him. You'd never met and he bought you a gift, held doors for you, and incessantly complimented you. Not good. And this is long distance. Also not good. Does this mean he's a player? No, but I think it makes it more likely. If not, I think it means he has his own baggage which makes him not ready to be a great relationship partner right now.
posted by J. Wilson at 4:03 AM on November 20, 2012 [7 favorites]


One of the most important tools for happiness I have discovered is the ability to trick myself into doing what I want. For example: I want to reduce my sugar intake, so I don't buy cookies at the store, thinking I can moderate my intake. I can't moderate my intake when they are there, but I can if they aren't.

In your case, you don't want to have sex during this date, so you shouldn't set yourself up to have to moderate yourself in the moment when you know that's something you struggle with.

This is hard stuff! We have this idea that we are each one person who should be able to behave consistently, but that's not so. Cut yourself some slack and make accommodations for the fact that you are a different person who makes different decisions in various circumstances. Then set yourself up, as much as possible, to behave/engage the way you want to by designing situations that support your desired outcome. The problem isn't you: you're human.
posted by rosa at 5:33 AM on November 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I know having him over on Wednesday has probably a 90% chance of yielding a result I specifically do not want, I...can't bring myself to cancel it like I know I should.

Go to therapy. I don't know what we could tell you to suddenly give yourself a backbone (said in the nicest way possible.) You need to be able to trust your gut- and follow through with what it's saying, even if it makes you feel very anxious to change plans with a dude.

Women are socialized to not rock the boat when it comes to men. We don't like to say no. We want to give the benefit of the doubt to an extreme extent. This can put women with this trait at a much higher risk for a lot of unpleasant things. Strangers don't deserve the benefit of the doubt. Having him over makes you feel ishy- DON'T HAVE HIM OVER. You having trouble doing what you know is good for you is screwy and you should see a therapist to help that part of you.

Another thing i would want to make sure you keep in mind- men who go for the sort of thing you described in your other post- there are a ton of them, and they look for women like you. They know that if they shower someone with a ton of very shallow attention (flirty, empty compliments, little real conversation outside of something sexy) keep the floodgates open- they won't have to DIRECTLY tell her anything and they will get to sleep with her. They rely on how many women have a hard time saying no, and have a hard time trusting their gut.

Now the nice thing is that these dudes have a very very short attention span. You know you are having a hard time telling when a person is genuinely into you and when they are looking for a hookup= if they are generally into you, they will make time to see you, and they will keep seeing you even after a few weeks without getting laid. Telling someone that you'd like to take it slow before things get too physical is not a line. This is exactly why people take things slow. It helps you find out what is there between you and him other than him wanting to see your boobs.

Argh. please go to therapy. and you might want to consider not dating at all until you get a better handle on self-preservation. Not being able to cancel something that is giving you the heebeegeebees makes me concerned for your safety in general.
posted by Blisterlips at 6:03 AM on November 20, 2012 [6 favorites]


You do not know this man. You have nowhere near enough information to say either way.

Change the date location and stop overanalyzing every communication. When you find yourself going into that level of detail say to yourself "I'm over analyzing" and go back to what you are doing. Repeat 100x
posted by Ironmouth at 8:19 AM on November 20, 2012


Based on my many dating experiences, I'd say this guy is not interested in what you are interested in. Unfortunately it's very common for guys to either be cowardly and/or to want to keep their options open, and instead of telling a woman that they don't want to see her anymore, or that they don't want anything serious, they will string them along. I am 99% sure that's what's happening here.

This isn't under your control, for the most part. You cannot make this person like you as much as you want him to, and you can't fix this by suggesting that the second date occur somewhere other than your house. This guy just isn't that into you. The only thing you can do about it is cut him loose.

As for the people who say it's normal for the guy to be losing interest already, WOW. Talk about low expectations. This is the stage where you should both be really into getting to know each other. You should be fascinating to each other. A significant drop-off in communication without a specific stated reason ("work is crazy, but I can't wait until X day when work will slow down and I can see you again") is bad news.

I really, really do not want to lose my ability to let someone in.

To borrow from the title of a vampire movie: Let the *right* one in. The more wrong ones you let in, the more battered your heart becomes. Protect it, go slowly, and determine whether the person you are dating is *worthy* of being let in.
posted by parrot_person at 9:18 AM on November 20, 2012


It sounds like you've got your stuff all screwed up:

1. Relax, he calls when he calls, he texts when he texts. You can't determine interest by frequency in these actions. People get bored and text a lot, people get busy and don't. You're putting too much importance on this.

2. You are forcing intimacy. Don't rush into sex, not even if you're super horny. You feel used when you have sex with guys early on because you're not mentally ready for it. Sex is rarely no-strings, FWB or any of that nonsense. For a lot of people, there needs to be some emotion behind it. Don't kid yourself. If you don't want a FWB relationship (and you so DON'T) then stop settling.

3. You're so hungry for an intimate relationship that you're disregarding all prudence and signs. He's not manipulating you, you're allowing him to test out the waters sexually way too early. Don't have sex before you can say that you're into each other and like each other. Of course you feel used, you're having sex thinking that you're going to be dating this guy long term. It's your SECOND DATE! You don't know anything about anything with people until you've known them for months.

4. Distance is the excuse for infrequency. Date people who are close enough to you to make meeting up to spend time together easy. When someone is traveling an hour, or from another area, there's a false sense of urgency to speed things up. Also, you believe that the time you spend texting, talking on the phone or IMing somehow translates to time spent together. IT DOES NOT!

We all like sex, but as adults we realize that sex is special, and we share it for special people. Not everyone gets to see us naked. And no one gets to see us naked after just 5 hours in each other's company.

So cancel your date, or change it up. Agree to meet him in a local place for cheap dinner and drinks. See if you can engage him in conversation.

You may have just exhausted your conversation, that's why his calls aren't interesting anymore. One more date should determine it for you. If you're bored, or feel that he's distant, then you can shake hands and walk away.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:38 AM on November 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


A friend of mine - a womanizing jerk, by the way - says that every time a girl says emphatically that she will not sleep with him right away, she sleeps with him on the first or second date. Stating your boundaries but then doing something that invites violations of your boundaries is like throwing up a big red "I am not well-adjusted when it comes to dating and/or sex." And that is catnip to the wrong guys.

If I invite a guy over to watch a movie, I'm planning on getting laid.

We all like sex, but as adults we realize that sex is special, and we share it for special people. Not everyone gets to see us naked. And no one gets to see us naked after just 5 hours in each other's company.

Eh, that's a little prescriptive. You may feel that way. The OP feels like she should feel that way, or feels that way, but is confused . . . But no slut-shaming please.

Go out for dinner. Go get ice cream. Don't sit on your couch and cuddle with someone when you have a hard time maintaining boundaries.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 10:04 AM on November 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


It seems like you're making a lot of judgments about a guy you've only dated once. Just sayin'.
posted by Doohickie at 10:26 AM on November 20, 2012


It also seems like you're really judging yourself harshly for your low self-esteem. Just sayin'. Therapy helped me with both that and making assumptions about other people (pro or con) without a lot of basis. You know you deserve to get your relationship needs met. Talk to a professional about how to do that in a healthy and happy way.
posted by ldthomps at 12:30 PM on November 20, 2012


Just an update: I cancelled today and told him why. Initially he was pretty upset because of the mixed signals, but we are going to reschedule and he is making a concerted effort to talk about other stuff now. Thank you all for the reality check, in many ways. I will continue to explore this in therapy.
posted by houndsoflove at 3:13 PM on November 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Good on you! I would say, and others may disagree, that the specifics of his reaction to that is a really, really good window to his character.
posted by griphus at 3:16 PM on November 20, 2012


Update part two, evidence for the TRUST YOUR GUT crowd, J. Wilson's red flags, and anyone reading this with a similar situation: He came over this weekend, we ended up having sex, annnd he told me he's seeing someone else too and he's decided to have a relationship with her instead. I don't even know if that's a true story or if he had a girlfriend all along, but yep...I got played.

I'm not even all that upset about it. He didn't remember anything I told him from the first date and ended up asking me several of the same questions he asked me two weeks ago before we made it to the bedroom. The sex wasn't that great. None of this was worth the energy I had put into it. Experience is the best teacher, especially repeated experience. Lesson learned: your gut knows.
posted by houndsoflove at 3:55 AM on November 26, 2012


I think you should probably be upset about it.
posted by MangyCarface at 8:39 AM on November 26, 2012


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