DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: I’m a geeky girl in college, a gamer, very socially active, and generally a direct person. I’ve been asked out a few times at parties and I’d like to switch things up by asking (other geeky) guys out myself, but… there’s always a but.
What’s holding me back is, well, sex. Or more like expectations about sex. The impression I’ve generally gotten is that the older my peers are, the less time they wait before having sex. I’d like to date and get to know some guys, but I’m not interested in hooking up or doing anything sexual with a relative acquaintance or someone I’m not in at least a semi-serious relationship with. The other thing is that if a woman is forward and initiates contact, the expectation seems to be that she’s experienced and well aware of how to flirt, and I don’t really have any experience with guys romantically or sexually.
So basically, how do I flirt with guys and ask them out while making it clear we’re not about to tumble into bed at the end of the first date… or the second… and so on without scaring them off? And while minimizing potential awkward and misunderstandings. I’m not looking to ~wait til marriage~ or set a strict time for when I’m down to do what, but I know I wouldn’t feel comfortable being intimate with someone I’m not already close to.
Takes Her Time
DEAR TAKES HER TIME: There’s a pretty simple answer to this, THT; you just tell ’em.
Now, it’s true that there are a lot of guys who expect some sort of accelerated time-table when it comes to sex; some will expect it as soon as humanly possible, others have their own version of the three date rule, where if the girl doesn’t put out within three dates, he moves on to the next one in line.
Thing is: this isn’t all men by any stretch of the imagination. I mean, yeah, just lots of guys out there will want sex as quickly as he can get it. After all, sex is pretty damn awesome when you do it right. But just because men are willing to bang out as soon as it’s offered doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of guys who will quite happily take the time that is required for the two of you to reach the level comfort and intimacy you feel you need before you’re ready to sleep with him.
Don’t let random bulls
t ideas about gender roles hold you back from being willing to make the first move. Just because you were willing to approach a guy doesn’t automatically mean that you’re obligated to move faster than you feel comfortable with.
Now, as for how you tell them? Well, you said it pretty well in your letter. “I’m not looking to wait til marriage or set a strict time for when I’m down to do what, but I know I wouldn’t feel comfortable being intimate with someone I’m not already close to,” is concise, to the point and sets up exactly what to expect.
When you tell them can be tricky; you don’t really want to blurt it out between the endive salad and the coq au vin, when it would be a bit of a non-sequitur but you also don’t want to wait until his pants are around his ankles and he’s giving you then “Eh? Eh?” head-gestures. I would recommend relatively soon once you’re having your first significant make-out session. Find a moment to pause — before things have progressed significantly — and let him know where you stand.
And don’t stress out about chasing guys off or standing firm. A guy who isn’t willing to accept your limits is not a guy you want to date. If knowing he’s not getting laid by the second date is going to make him look for other pastures, you really aren’t suffering any great loss. He’s just putting you one more step closer to finding a guy who is right for you.
DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: I have a question that has to do with “Friends with Benefits” relationships. An old friend and I have slipped into one of these after drunkenly hooking up one night. I have no interest in dating her at all and she says that she is ok with that, and she just wants to hook up. However I’m really nervous now because this relationship is secret and we basically have the same circle of friends. And I’ve heard from people that these types of relationships always end in disaster. While I’m enjoying the “benefits” of this relationship, is it really destined to end terribly? And when I meet a girl that I want to start a real relationship with, do you think we will be able to end it with her without hurt feelings?
Trying To Stay Casual
DEAR TRYING TO STAY CASUAL: Here’s a line I’ve borrowed from Dan Savage, TTSC: every relationship ends until one doesn’t. Friends with benefits end one of two ways: either you quit having sex, or you quit being friends. This doesn’t mean you’re doomed either way. You may decide to stop having sex because one of you has fallen for someone else, or because you decide you’re better off as friends rather than lovers. You may stop being friends because you fell in love and now you’re “officially” dating or you may drift apart naturally.
The way you keep a FWB relationship from ending badly is the same way you keep any other relationship from ending badly: open communication and honesty. Be straight forward with how you feel, be open and receptive to how she feels. Want to know how to poison a FWB relationship from the get-go? Treat it as something shameful or something that’s doomed. I can appreciate wanting to be discreet, but you need to keep in mind: this isn’t about how your friends may feel, this is about the two of you. It’s up to you two to decide what the rules are for your relationship; nobody else gets a say.
It’s impossible to say whether you would be able to end the sexual aspect of your relationship without pain or tears – there’re so many variables that you’d get better results rolling a d20 and hoping to make your Save Vs. Drama. But then again: there are no guarantees that you can end any type of relationship, sexual or platonic, without hurt feelings. All I can say is that being a stand-up, honest and compassionate guy will make things easier regardless of how it ends.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, email@example.com)