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by Abigail Van Buren

Dating Experience Suffers in Sex-Obsessed Culture

DEAR ABBY: I am a 48-year-old woman, divorced for 10 years. During that time, I have been in two serious relationships. I'm no prude, but it seems like everyone I date, and who my friends and I talk to, and articles I see are all about sex, having sex, rushing to sex. It's like there's no emphasis on actually getting to know a person anymore.

I'd like to believe that sex is something people who are already emotionally intimate can share. But by the third date, sex is not only expected but considered "normal." When I say that it's too soon for me, I'm not called back for another date. If I do go forward with sex, I feel compromised and cheapened when the "relationship" ends. These men didn't take the time to actually know me.

Please understand. I'm mature enough to handle this, but I'm deterred from dating because of it. Are there any men out there who want a connection that isn't just physical? -- NOT CONNECTING IN MISSOURI

DEAR NOT CONNECTING: Yes, there are. But in our hookup culture, it may take time to find them. I agree that we live in a sex-obsessed society, as we are constantly reminded in print, television, film and online media. Many men in your age group avoid emotional intimacy because they have been divorced and don't want to quickly jump back into a committed relationship.

It's possible you might have better luck if you join activity groups in which the members have common interests besides running right off to the bedroom. You should never allow yourself to be coerced into doing anything you don't feel ready for. Unlike what some people may believe, sex does not automatically go with the dinner.

Read more in: Love & Dating | Sex