I’m a woman, 36, dating again two years after my divorce (ten-year marriage, one child). I’ve met some men through my work, and tried about a dozen online dates. But it always comes down to the same problem:
When do I have sex with a new man?
For years when my only partner was my husband, sex was a part of my life - sometimes passionate, sometimes routine. But I always felt trust when intimate with him.
Then, in the months before we broke up, sex was intermittent, sometimes sad, finally over.
Now, though I’m an “experienced” woman, I waiver when a man starts to make moves, between asking myself, “Why not?” to “What for?”
I have physical needs but would rather look after them myself than have bad sex with someone barely known.
I find that most men come on pretty early after meeting… some on the first date. They talk about having “a few laughs” through sex, but shouldn’t it be about wanting to be close together?
So, I’ve said “No, thanks” to sex with a few men and never heard from them again. But I’ve also said, “Not yet,” to a couple of guys I thought I might like, and also never heard from them.
Is there a “correct” time span for getting to know someone before having sex?
What matters most is your comfort/trust level with another person, with yourself, and with having sex at that moment in time.
You should feel a desire to have sex – not an obligation - and confidence in giving yourself consent, before you give it to another person.
Much depends on the man, and on the circumstances. With colleagues you’re going to see at work, be sure there’s some mutual respect before giving in to a why-not mood.
The next morning’s water-cooler encounter can feel very awkward if he played you just to see if he could.
But some dates are genuinely arousing: e.g. when there’s an evident mutual attraction.
How soon is okay? When it feels honest and safe which generally won’t happen until after at least a first date.
Meanwhile, always be prepared to be able to get home on your own, and to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy.
Note on consent: If you didn’t give it and someone persists anyway, say a firm No and leave, fast.
My mother, 66, left us 18 years ago when I was 14. She married once, had a short relationship with another man, dated a lot.
Last year she started dating a man she met at our church. Dad and my Step-Mom knew him from Church and approved.
He was very kind, considerate and attentive to my mom. He even entertained my toddler at lunch with us. Mom would say how wonderful he was.
However, he took it very slow romantically, still mourning his wife’s death the previous year.
After six months, Mom announced they were no longer “a couple," saying he was living in the past.
She’s since asked to be “friends,” but he’s declined.
Is it out of line for me to ask him to call and give her another chance?
A Loving Daughter
It’s out of line. Your mom’s an adult who’s made firm decisions before, she’d be humiliated by your gesture.
Better to show your deep caring by talking with her as a grown-up daughter and a mother yourself. Maybe you can affect her view of him, that way. Or not.
FEEDBACK Regarding the girlfriend who has panic attacks over her boyfriend having female friends (May 21):
Reader – “I was in a long-term relationship with a jealous, controlling man. Like this woman, my ex-boyfriend’s demeanour changed after he perceived that I was “flirting” with another man during a group hike (I never spoke a word to him).
“After that, I had to deal with insecurities, interrogations and suspicion for the next three years. He refused to see a counsellor because, according to him, I was the one whose actions had led to his insecurities.
“I don’t blame the boyfriend for questioning whether he can stay in the relationship. The next time she threatens suicide, he should calmly tell her he’ll need to take her to the hospital or call 911 if she refuses to go.
“I agree that continuing the relationship should be conditional on her agreeing to see a doctor, getting on meds and committing to changing her behaviour.”
Tip of the day:
When to have sex with a new man? When you’re comfortable with your decision.