New readers, welcome to Dear Wendy, a relationship advice blog. Read some of the most popular Dear Wendy posts here. If you don’t find the info you need in this column, please visit the Dear Wendy archives or the forums (you can even start your own thread), do a search in the search bar, or submit a question for advice at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.
Since the morning after, he has been more distant and I feel like he is considering ghosting me. It should be said that I did not tell him before that I was a virgin (in fact I had not even told some of my closest friends). My reason for not telling him was pretty simple: I didn’t see it as a big deal and honestly I was just happy to find someone I felt safe with to get it out of the way. I do really like him and want our relationship to continue to progress. I am torn because a part of me wants to call him out for being unresponsive, but I also don’t want to come across as some crazy, clingy girl. I’m not expecting us to get married just because we slept together, I was just looking forward to a third date. Should I take his distance as a sign to move on and just never talk to him again, should I call him out for for being more distant, or should I apologize for not telling him about the v-card before our night together? — Recent Virgin
You have nothing to apologize for – certainly, not for sharing that you were a virgin when you slept with this guy — so don’t go that route. At the same time, I’m not sure the guy has done anything to warrant being “called out” either. You say he’s been “more distant” and that you “feel like” he is considering ghosting you. Not only is it totally unfair to blame someone for something you “feel like” he might be considering, after only two dates together, but also the social rules of what each of you owes each other don’t require a whole lot either. Sex can make those social rules a little murkier — and can definitely intensify feelings for some people and heighten expectations — which is why it’s wise to wait to sleep with someone until you have a verbal agreement of commitment or the idea of casual sex — and the low relationship expectations that come with it — appeals to you. I’m not sure either of these scenarios was the case for you, but that doesn’t mean you’re doomed at this point.
Here’s what you should do: Be direct in your communication with the guy. Tell him you’ve noticed that he’s been less responsive recently and you were wondering if that was a reflection of his feelings. Let him know you enjoyed your dates together and would like to spend more time with him, but if he’s not on the same page, to let you know. Keep it short and simple and don’t use any accusatory language “calling him out” or you almost certainly won’t hear back from him. And if you don’t hear back from him or if his response to you is that he’s not on the same page as you and isn’t interested in spending any more time with you, try not to take it too personally. Dating is a numbers game and sometimes it takes a while to find the right match – someone whose company you enjoy, whom you’re attracted to,and who feels the same way about you and wants the same thing you want.
It sounds like you have limited dating experience, and definitely limited sexual experience, which is totally ok, but it may mean that you need to adjust your expectations. Not every second date is going to lead to a third date, even if there’s sex involved. Not everyone is going to communicate when he or she doesn’t want a third date. It’s easier and less awkward to just not respond/ ghost/ fade out when there’s been no commitment established or communications about expectations. Now that you’ve experienced what it feels like to have sex with someone and then feel ignored afterward, be more thoughtful in the future about when and with whom you have sex and how you communicate your expectations. There’s no full-proof method of avoiding hurt feelings and rejection, but, generally, taking a little more time to get to know someone will give you a much better idea of a person’s integrity (like, is he someone who is more likely to ghost or to be honest and upfront about his feelings, even when it’s awkward?) and whether or not you’re on the same page.
I know where he lives and have done a little investigation on my own. He has a male roommate who lives with him during the week who works here in the city but goes home on the weekend. He told me this information (about having a roommate) and I was thinking it was a woman, but it’s not. He always comes to my place or we go out. I have not met his family because they are out of town. Nothing has changed in the nearly eight months we’ve been in a relationship, and now his daughter is getting married this weekend and he has not invited me to go. I know he said he wants to take it slow, but what is this? Am I spinning my wheels here? Should I give it more time? — Spinning my Wheels
Jack is lying to you. At the VERY least he’s lying to you about why he wants to “take it slow.” It’s not so he can “get to know you.” If he wanted to get to know you, he’d be more interested in spending quality time with you and increasingly sharing more of his life with you and wanting you to do the same. It’s not that he wants to “take it slow,” it’s that he wants to keep you at a distance and, whatever the reason for that is, it’s not good.
I’m curious if you ever press him to share more with you – to show you his home, to introduce you to his people, to take you to his daughter’s wedding – and what his response is if you do. I suspect you don’t press him very much and that’s why he stays with you. I suspect if you did press him more, he’d give you lots of lame excuses – like “the last girlfriend never came back” – until you either dumped him or the effort to bullshit you overshadowed whatever benefit he gets from his time with you, at which point he’d probably ghost you. Honestly, I’d move on at this point and tell him that, after eight months of exclusivity, you’d expect to be more integrated into his life — or integrated into his life at all — and that you just don’t see a future with him and are going to move on.
No one is ever under any obligation to tell anyone about her abortion – or any other part of her sexual or medical history, but when you’re with someone you love and trust and want to build a future with, sharing these kinds of experiences is a way to build further trust and provide a broader picture of your personal history. A person’s reaction to what you share can also be an important litmus test for shared values and morals and how he’ll support you in the future. If he were to make you feel ashamed, for example, and like you’re less worthy of the love and family you want, then he’s not the guy for you and better to know that now than later.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.