When is it time to have sex? Exactly when you feel comfortable and not a second sooner. Don’t let the fear of not getting a second date change that.
Unfortunately, the prevalence of superficial sex on television and in the movies has led people to conclude that to do it right they should have sex early in a relationship, even on the first date. This puts tremendous needless pressure on both men and women, and it feels unnatural for many people.
That’s understandable, not because superficial sex is morally wrong, but because engaging in physical intimacy when there is no emotional intimacy puts the relationship out of alignment.
As human beings we’re complex, integrated beings. Getting into a relationship with another such being makes things even more complicated. When we get out of sync with ourselves and fail to keep our emotional, physical and spiritual selves in pace with each other, it’s uncomfortable. If you ever driven a vehicle that has its wheels out of alignment, you can imagine the experience. Instinctively we know to resist putting ourselves in this position, but the pressure to advance the relationship physically can be intense.
Having sex is means making ourselves very vulnerable. When we do this with someone we’ve just met, it may be exciting, but it should also be unsettling. Consider these words from author Joan Gattuso: “…[T]he woman is the receiver, not just physiologically, but emotionally, spiritually and psychically as well. Before going to bed with a new man, consider if you want all of him, his neuroses, judgments, grievances, prejudices, likes and dislikes, ejaculated into you and into your essence.” Sadly, many men or women don’t stop to consider sex from this perspective.
Using the media as their guide, singles often are expected to engage in sex on the first or second date. When they try to buy some time, it’s not unusual for the relationship to end before it ever really began. If you’ve had this experience, you may have found yourself wondering if you’ll ever have a second (or third) date. But don’t despair; see it for what it is.
Don Miguel Ruiz’s sage observation from The Four Agreements can be a lifeline in these moments: “Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.” When you don’t get asked out again, don’t assume that the other person doesn’t think you’re worth the effort. It’s much more likely that they don’t think they would ultimately be successful pursuing you. In other words, they fear that you’ll consider them not worthy, and they’re just not up for failing.
While that may put things in perspective, it’s still doesn’t get us to progressing beyond the second date. Just how do we handle not being asked out again because we weren’t willing to have sex so early in the relationship?
Here are some approaches to consider:
- Continue to be active. Attend concerts, visit museums, get involved with your favorite charity, or join a hiking group. Doing things you enjoy will keep your spirits up and draw more and new people to you.
- Search out new singles venues. Ask your single friends for ideas, and look for ways to connect with people unlike yourself. If you’re an intellectual, seek out some artists to interact with. Love the arts? Attend a lecture at the science museum.
- Give a group you gave up on a while ago another try. People become newly single all the time. While groups tend to have some long-term regulars, most get new faces frequently.
- Don’t settle. Avoid the temptation to revisit a relationship that deep down you know is not right. You won’t recognize the love of your life if you’re focused on trying to make it work with someone who is not a good fit for you.
- Get outside your comfort zone. Try something you thought you never would, such as speed dating or Internet dating. Just don’t abandon the commitments you’ve made to yourself about the kind of dating experience you want.
- Pay attention to who you spend time with. Avoid single friends who are discouraged or have given up. Seek out your biggest fans and allow them to give you an ego boost.
- Remember that no sex is better than bad sex. Sadly, many of us have been there. When you get impatient, remind yourself of the lessons you’ve gotten from your previous missteps. The solution is not to try what you already know does not work.
- Use others’ success stories to keep hope alive. There is no limit to the number of loving relationships the universe can support or you can have in your lifetime.
Don’t keep track of how many times you don’t get asked for another date. Know that there are like-minded people out there waiting to meet you. Continue to hold onto your vision of that sweet, nurturing relationship that evolves naturally to include sex in a way that is comfortable for you and feeds your soul.
[image: via Gisela Giardino on flickr]