Shortcuts: “He Dumped Me Because of My Sexual History”

It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great that being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.

I’m 24, my boyfriend is 22, and we were together for two years until he broke up with me MAINLY because he doesn’t like my past sexual history. My number of past partners can be counted on one hand, but he doesn’t like it and says he has to see the men I’ve been with. Another leading factor was that he “isn’t ready for a serious commitment.” And now we’re broken up but yet we talk everyday. All he tells me now is “it’s not ideal right now, but I don’t know what the future has in store for us.” — One-handed Number

Yeah, your boyfriend isn’t being 100% honest with you. The real truth is that he just isn’t ready for a commitment, period. The part about your sexual past isn’t a “main” reason for the breakup. Sure, maybe he didn’t love seeing guys he knows you slept with, but he’s throwing that in your face so you will feel some responsibility for a breakup he doesn’t have the balls to take 100% of the credit for. Anyway, he broke up with you. He doesn’t want to be with you. Does the reason even matter? MOA!! (And stop talking to the guy every day!).

I met my boyfriend in December 2014. On the day we were supposed to go on our first date, his brother passed on. He had to go home, which happens to be in another province. He stayed there for a month, but we stayed in touch everyday. Then, he came back in the second week of January. He never came to see me though. He keeps telling me that he has lost himself. So, I haven’t seen him, but he calls daily. I love him, but I couldn’t take it anymore and I broke up with him. He insisted that I give him time, but I just don’t understand why he didn’t make any effort to come see me and speak to me in person. — In Person Please

There are so many things wrong here, I don’t know where to start. First of all, he wasn’t your “boyfriend” if you never actually went on a first date and your interaction was limited to phone calls. You weren’t in love with him either. How you gonna love someone you don’t even know (Ryan Gosling notwithstanding)? And you don’t understand how someone who suddenly lost a brother might need a little time before feeling up for a first date? Geez, Louise. Because he’s sad as fuck and didn’t have the energy to be “on” and to be charming like one might expect a date to be. You blew it. MOA.

I met this guy a couple days ago and, although I’m usually very awkward when I hang out with someone for the first time, it was all completely natural with him, as if we had known each other for years. And, of course, we kissed and cuddled and all that jazz. We talked non-stop, but we both agreed to not become attached due to our both just getting out of crappy relationships. Just take it slow, ya know? And later that night he told me he had honestly never connected with someone like he had connected with me.

Well, we ended up having sex the next time we hung out (which was a day later). Now, I must point out that I’m a very good girl and that having sex with someone I just met is not me. I had never done anything like that before, but it felt so natural that I didn’t second-guess it. After sex we hung out and he played the guitar for me and initiated cuddling. In doing all of those things he broke our “no attachment” rule, but, when I called him out on that, he said that I was the one getting attached and he further stated, “I like you, just not romantically.” (Of course, all of this conversation happened over text a day later). Is he really not into me or is he just afraid? — Attached

What would he be afraid of? This whole “he’s just afraid” thing is something people (often very young women) tell themselves and each other to explain behavior that is otherwise actually pretty explainable. Look, he really, genuinely, had no interest in initiating any kind of relationship with you, despite playing the guitar in front of you after sex. Geez, if every guy who played the guitar for every woman he just boned wanted to have a relationship, there would be very few single 23-year-old guys left to pick from. He was just screwing around — literally and figuratively. I’m sorry you felt hurt by this incident, but the lesson here is that, when someone tells you he doesn’t want any attachment, he’s not just saying that. He really means that, if you have sex, there are no strings attached. And, no, it’s not because “he’s afraid”; it’s because he wants to go out and have NSA sex with someone else next weekend and then play a little Dave Matthews on his guitar for her just like he did for you and not have it mean anything.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.


  1. Spot on Wendy.

    I’m starting to think you may understand men after all.

    As a rule of thumb, if you really like a guy, makes us wait at least a week or two before giving up the ass. A little coy flirting is seriously a emotional turn on.

    Disclaimer. Yes I know some of you are happily married to a dude you slept with on the first date. Exception. rule. Etc.

    1. Avatar photo mrmidtwenties says:

      One: Rule of thumb is offensive, especially when you could just use “rule”
      Two: When you try to speak on behalf of men, you really should take a poll first and make sure your views do align with most men’s
      Three: If your opinion of a woman changes based on when she “gives up that ass,” you probably should get your priorities checked out.

      1. @mrmid I think you’re my DW crush. 😉

      2. Avatar photo Moneypenny says:

        Hear hear, Mr. Mid!

      3. Wow, I think I just fell for you a little.

      4. Avatar photo mrmidtwenties says:

        Thanks Ladies, commenting on anything @Thetruth says would make anyone look half decent.

    2. Howdywiley says:

      First date sex right here! Now married more then 10 years…

    3. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

      Nope, do not believe two weeks of coy flirting is the difference between getting dumped or (eventually) getting married. I think you would be surprised by how often the exception to your rule works out, actually… and how often waiting “before giving up the ass” doesn’t secure a damn thing.

      1. Avatar photo LadyinPurpleNotRed says:

        I agree…my boss’ friend is doing this to a girl…waiting it out just to have sex with her.

  2. Skyblossom says:

    “Now, I must point out that I’m a very good girl and that having sex with someone I just met is not me.”
    Now I’d like to point out that having sex does not make you good or bad. It is a thing that you can choose to do. I personally think you are ready for sex when you are ready for the consequences of sex. What I mean is you are ready for sex when you are ok with walking into a store and buying condoms, which I hope you used with the guy you knew for two days to protect yourself from STDs. You are ready for sex when you consistently use a method of birth control. If you’re on the pill it means you take it like you are supposed to without needing to double up on pills very often. You are ready for sex when you are ready to say no to things that you don’t want to do, for any reason. You are ready for sex if you say yes to sex because you want to have sex (and you’re protected from pregnancy and disease) and feel able to say no to sex when you don’t want to have it.
    The sex itself does not make you good or bad. The sex can be good or bad but it can’t make you good or bad.

    1. So you don’t think bad sex is a sin?

      1. Avatar photo mrmidtwenties says:

        Bad sex the first time isn’t a sin (really whose good their first time with someone, not me anyway) but bad sex the second time is definitely a sin.

      2. Skyblossom says:

        Bad sex is verging on sinful.
        For me, good sex involves an orgasm and bad sex is lack of orgasm. I can’t think of any reason I’d want to be all aroused and then end up left hanging. Not good at all. Really, that is sinful, a total waste of arousal.

      3. What is the feminine term for blueballs? Bonus question – can anyone tell I’m bored of work today?

      4. Avatar photo mrmidtwenties says:

        Blue Box?

      5. Bwahahaha!!

      6. Oh good god, I almost spit my water all over my keyboard. Then I’d have to explain to my boss what was so damn funny.

      7. Skyblossom says:

        I think the fact that there is no term for it shows that it wasn’t considered important for women to have an orgasm. There isn’t even a term for a woman who is left hanging.
        I also think that the ability to have orgasms through vaginal sex runs in my family. The women in my family love sex and my grandmother had 9 babies and I’m guessing that she did because she loved having sex and so she wasn’t having headaches or too tired for sex with all of those kids to take care of.

      8. Blue Bean. (I oddly looked into that a month ago. Thank you, Urban Dictionary!)

      9. absurdfiction says:

        I’ve always called it blue bean… but mr.mid’s is good too!

    2. I think I’m going to print this out to give to my daughter after she hits puberty (she’s currently 20 months old). Thanks for taking care of the sex talk for me, Skyblossom! 🙂 And seriously, I could not agree with this any harder.

    3. HollyMarie says:

      Ugh, thank you! I can’t stand when grown women say something like, I’m a “good girl” (and I usually imagine it said in some annoyingly childish voice) so I usually don’t do X, Y, or Z, especially when those things are totally normal but are things that would be considered against some antiquated “rules” for women – e.g., having sex on a first or second date. It’s such a stupid and childish thing to say about yourself, especially when you’re trying to make excuses for your behavior. How about, I’m a grown woman and while this isn’t normally something I would do, I made the choice to do it this time and then own it. But maybe that’s just too wordy 😉

  3. Wendy’s usually stellar responses have a few gaps in them this Facepalm Friday. I’m willing to forgive this time, W, but you’ve gotta tighten up your game. First, she should maintain the confidentiality of her LWs, so telling us Louise’s name was a no-no, as was spilling that her boyfriend is Ryan Gosling. Ryan has managed to keep his brother’s death a secret up to now, and you’ve gone and outed him. I didn’t even think he HAD a brother, that’s how private he is. And speaking of outing, what is Ryan Gosling up to? Because as a man, he makes me feel all “funny’ and “nervous” inside. With LW1, something is amiss because her past had been bothering her boyfriend for 2 whole years before he finally realized he couldn’t deal with it anymore. Obviously, he was a good guy who tried to forgive her, but the emotional burden eventually took its toll. Makes me wonder just how sordid her past was. If she only had a few partners, she must have done some WEIRD stuff with them. Lastly, as a guy who was once a 23 year old who played guitar for a girl he had agreed not to get too heavy with and then eventually 4 years later was trapped into marriage by, I can assure you, there is NO WAY he played Dave Matthews. That just doesn’t happen. More likely it was “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley, though in my era, it might have been “It Ain’t Me, Babe” by Dylan or “You Got Lucky” by Tom Petty.

    1. I agree with you on Dave. It makes me think of almost every guy I knew in high school, and maybe their slightly older brothers.

      1. Exactly! He’s the sort of thing your friend’s older brother would listen to, vaguely creepy and disturbing. If I was a girl and Dave Matthews looked at me, the way he does in those videos, I’d feel soiled.

      2. Avatar photo mrmidtwenties says:

        Man, I wish I could play guitar, that would have got my kill count so high in university. Alas no rhythm or beat exists in my body. Also is kill count an offensive term? Girls I know use this term, heck when the lady I’m seeing and I were discussing sexual partners of the past, she used the term kill count. If I could play guitar, I would totally be playing Luke Bryan, but I live in a very hick university town.

      3. Kill Count is an offensive term, which is why I encourage you to continue using it. Jokes are supposed to break the mold of society’s expectations and mores, and a world with too much correctness is perhaps more just, but deathly boring. Just know your audience so you are aware when you are deliberately shocking them. BTW, you don’t have to be good at guitar, you just need the right power ballad, like “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith. (Anybody here old enough to remember when Aerosmith was a real band, albeit a Zep knockoff?) Even though everyone knows the song is pure cheese, they’ll channel Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler in Armageddon, and BAM! You’re laid!

      4. See, that song makes me think of The Sweetest Thing. Anyone remember that scene? Not something I want to think of before getting down to business…

      5. Avatar photo mrmidtwenties says:

        Aerosmith was a real band? Steven Tyler could sing? You inspired me to turn on my record player while working and listen to some Zeppelin

      6. Ugh, that song! I had the worst insomnia for a time and that song would get stuck in my head. The worst!

      7. Gah! The only guy that played the guitar for me played Leonard Skynard & it definitely made me regret our hookup!! He was actually quite good, but his choice of post-coital tunes was astonishingly clueless. Also he would not let me leave until I had heard several songs in his repertoire.

      8. Avatar photo mrmidtwenties says:

        Tell me he didn’t play the song “what’s your name”

      9. Also I completely mangled that name…… awesome. Nope something about bullets & naturally “Free Bird” , it makes a great medley

      10. He wouldn’t let you leave until he finished Free Bird? Isn’t that the song with the hour long guitar solo? I’m surprised you’re not still there listening to it.

      11. Longest hour e v e r !

      12. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        If a guy busted out a guitar and sang to me after sex, I’d laugh so hard. Do girls fall for that for real?

      13. A girl who is laughing at me has shed at least one layer of inhibition. Playah!

      14. Never! Ewwww.

      15. Luke Bryan is a hottie. I wonder if ladies (who are not me) are turned on by non rock band instruments…so not guitar or drum set. I am SUPER turned on by professional piano players myself, but then again I teach music all day and am a classically trained musician… Sometimes I tell the boys that: “girls LOVE a guy who can play an instrument!” I always get a snicker or two from my 12-year-old kiddos.

    2. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

      my roommate’s boyfriend told me that my room sounded like an episode of the voice after one summer of particularly active post-loving guitar players haha it was pretty hilarious.

  4. Honestly if you met someone a couple days ago and are already writing into an advice column, it’s probably not meant to be.

  5. Avatar photo Moneypenny says:

    It pisses me off when guys care about your “number” aka how many people you’ve slept with. First, it’s nobody’s business unless I feel like telling you. Second, if he’s going to get all insecure/concerned/butt hurt about it, that’s a major red flag. All it says to me is, yeah, I’ve got a sexual history. Lots of people do. I don’t regret any of it and it just means that I now know what I like. And how is that a bad thing?

    1. I told several women (includin’ the missus) that as far as i was concerned they were virgins, because it was their first time with me, and none o’ them other boys would even count after being with me. Ah, the swagger of a young man!

  6. tangerbean says:

    lol @ Dave Matthews 🙂

    1. If, as noted above, “blue bean” is the lady equivalent of blueballs, then what the bejeezus is tangerbean?

  7. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

    LW1) Um, MOA. I get that COMPLETE AND TOTAL ASSHOLES are appealing to far too many of you, but wake the fuck up. Seriously.

    LW2) You don’t have a relationship here — but a one-sided fantasy. Surprise, surprise. Not many people feel sexy when grieving…

    LW3) Ah yes, the classic old “he must be afraid of something” mantra so many women tell themselves. NEWSFLASH! Somebody is afraid all right. But it’s NOT him. It’s YOU, LW. You are just afraid to admit that… hey, he’s just not THAT into you.

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