I’ve mentioned it before, as a singleton one of the things I miss most is regular physical intimacy. Not just the sex, but those perfect weekend mornings, when you wake up in someone’s arms without a care in the world. The security of someone’s arm around your waist. An open chest to bury your back into, and a chin that nuzzles into your neck.
When you’re drunk, it’s easy to miss that intimacy even more. Your reactions go into overdrive, and sensibility goes out the window. You want things right here, right now, regardless of the future implications. And it’s only when you wake up to the cold light of day, and realise there’s no arm around your waist, no chest offering itself for you to bury your back into, and the guy’s chin is clamped firmly on the other side of the bed, that you realise rushing into asking someone back isn’t always the best option.
I’ve always understood the one-night stand thing. You don’t have to be a genius to work out that people want what they can’t have, and giving sex on a plate to a guy the first time you meet him is unlikely to be the start of a fairytale romance. Yes, I know there are always exceptions to the rule – two of my friends married guys who started life in their world as potential one-night stands – but as the film He’s Just Not that Into You reminds us all, the safest way to play life is to expect that you’re the rule, not the exception.
The part I’ve struggled with – as evidenced by the Henley Boy scenario – is the mid-ground.
You didn’t have sex with the guy the first time you met him. But you’ve got an exciting connection, and he seems just as excited. The connection stirs up the old feelings and expectations – you want to lie in his arms forever. Yes, you want to have sex with him. But it’s more than that. So how do you turn it into a long-game?
The more dates I go on, the more guys I meet, the more I realise we’re all wired pretty similar. Most people follow similar patterns of behaviour. And unfortunately one of those patterns with guys revolves around staying the night.
Guys enjoy the chase. To some degree I think we all do, but in my experience, guys more so.
And most guys see an invitation into your bed as an invitation for sex. Come on, we’re not 14 any more.
Us girls don’t always think like that. If we see something longterm on the horizon, we want to build up to the sex. Spend sleepless nights chatting in each other’s arms. Kiss, snuggle, fondle … build up the anticipation.
And whilst yes, that anticipation builds for the guy too, in my experience, and having read hundreds of other dating blogs, if you try to build that anticipation in bed, it falls flat.
The minute you invite a guy into your bed, he thinks sex is on the cards. And if it isn’t, he’ll come away disappointed and frustrated. And sometimes that’s enough to make a guy head for the hills.
Yes, that might be a neat litmus test to select the men from the boys, but it’s not a particular nice one! Do you really want to open up your heart, and your bed, to guy after guy, only to be disappointed nine times out of ten.
I’m not saying don’t get to know someone. And I’m not saying you always have to go slow. Though I do think going slow is the way forward, if you want something to have proper prospects. Not crazy slow, we all have needs. But I would suggest not mixing signals.
Get to know each other on neutral ground. If you’re not ready to sleep with a guy, or you think it would be too soon, then don’t invite him back, and don’t go round to his place. Meet in public places. You can snuggle up on a sofa in a bar, and get to know each other in detail in public, just be disciplined about inviting him back at the end of the night, so that one thing doesn’t lead to another. Or meet during the day, and make sure you have plans afterwards which mean a day date won’t turn into a day and night date too early on.
Only think about sex when you know what his intentions with regards to relationships are (something that isn’t always that obvious, even if a guy uses online dating), and when you feel like you’ve laid enough emotional groundwork that this is going to be more than a one-night stand.
Don’t invite someone back if you have no intention of sleeping with him. And if you do, don’t be surprised when he makes a rather cold, sharp exit in the morning.
We’ve all made the mistake – made dates with guys who have to drive two hours to get to you, so you offer them your spare bed. Or carried the date on so late into the night that it only seems ‘sensible’ that he stays at yours.
Whilst you might think you’re coming across cute and considerate by offering him a place to stay, if that place to stay doesn’t involve sex, then the likelihood is he’ll misread your signals, and go away frustrated in the morning,
And whilst I appreciate how douche-baggy that sounds, I have a lot of really nice male friends, and I’ve heard most of them describe nights like that. It’s one of those scenarios women seem to see through completely different glasses to guys.
I’m not saying it’s right, or that that should be the case – because personally I’d much rather fall asleep in a guys arms a few times before I take the relationship to the next level. I just think it’s a reality of dating in 2014 – and something that we haven’t helped ourselves with, because we live in a culture of casual sex and one-night stands.
I always think forewarned is forearmed, so just be aware of it. If a guy really likes you, he’ll keep making the effort to impress you, and he won’t be put off if making it into bed together takes several dates and a few weeks. And if your personality, and the excitement of getting to know each other isn’t enough to sustain him for a few weeks, then the chances are he wasn’t in it for the longterm anyway.
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx