A Mom’s Guide to Dating and Sex

I had lunch today with a widower friend and we were talking about relationships and the pitfall of entering into a physical relationship before really getting to know someone well. There seems to be a common experience of getting into an intimate relationship too quickly and suddenly “waking up” and realizing the person we were with wasn’t who or what we thought they were. Widows/widowers, I think are prone to jumping into deep intimacy, searching for the thing that they lost when their spouses died.
I have certainly been guilty of doing this since Arron died, the latest experience being no exception. He was likely doing it too, having just come out of a divorce.
We are all seeking a deep connection to someone, and I am learning how easily we are able to fool ourselves into thinking we have found what we are looking for.
I picked up a book at the library called “The Ten Commandments of Dating” which kinda makes me laugh, because of course, me being me, it didn’t occur to me that it was written from a Christian perspective. So, skimming over all the parts telling me that Christians should only marry Christians, I have been intrigued with two of the “commandments”: You shall “take things slow” and “Save sex for later”. Of course my mom has been telling me to not give away too much too soon for years, but she’s, well my mom! Do we ever listen to our moms?
My therapist implores me to just “be myself” and that if you play games, you will wind up in a relationship based not on something real, but on rules and games. The old “hard-to-get” adage is the game. She insists that by playing the game, you wind up in something that is inherently deceitful. Better to be who you are than to pretend to be someone you are not.
I guess there must be some sort of happy medium. Like not jumping into bed with someone on the second date for instance. OK, so is the 4th date OK? Or is it better to wait 6 months which my friend is (jokingly?) determined to do.
I guess in the end, you can only be who you are.

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  1. anniegirl1138 May 13, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    I agree with your therapist. It doesn’t do you any good in the long run to be anyone other than yourself or to hide what you are looking for in terms of a relationship.

    Funnily enough, I have always sought the kind of relationships I finally found in my first and now second husbands. They are the only relationships I have had where I hid nothing and was utterly me and wasn’t booted for the trouble. Playing games always left me disappointed and not being upfront about what I really wanted ended the same as well.

    I think we are less likely to find our place in life and someone to share it/encourage/love us fully if we treat dating as recreation or something that is not really serious at its heart. Dating for me was never a casual thing and I never did well when I tried to be casual about it. It wasn’t me, and it meant that it took me longer too in the end which now I see was really okay.

    Just be you. Just ask for what you want/need.

  2. dadshouse May 14, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    I agree it’s best to be yourself. I don’t think first date sex leads to a meaningful relationship, but I also think sex is important. I generally go by the 3rd or 4th date rule – if you’re not in bed by then and loving it, then you’re probably meant to just be friends.

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