Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“I Was His First Sex in Six Years”

Guest columnists and contributors are generously sharing their talents and insights while I’m taking some time to care for my new baby. Today’s letter is answered by prolific DW commenter and social media consultant, Sarah Huffman.

I recently met a really great guy. We’d been hanging out a bit and we texted almost every day for about two weeks. Then we had sex. It wasn’t really planned or discussed beforehand (which I know is a really dumb idea and I’ve been kicking myself for it for a couple days), but we did spend all day that day sending incredibly sexy, explicit text messages, so it wasn’t like sex wasn’t on the table. We texted each day for the next two days, and then nothing for a couple days, save one quick response to me saying hi. I haven’t really had a relationship in a couple years, and I’m not really sure what the rules are for relationships or for sex. I don’t think he was just in it for a one time thing – from everything he’s said, he likes me and was thinking long term. He said the last time he had sex was six years ago. He also told me he’s been incredibly sick the past couple days. Am I just being naive, or am I just completely nuts? I’m really scared that I messed this one up. — FWB Or Girlfriend

Alright, first things first. Ahem. Did you enjoy the sex? Was it safe? Then stop. Kicking. Yourself. Congratulations, you had good sex! Why is it that it seems fair and rational that a guy feels like high five-ing the world (and his penis) when he gets laid, but the girl feels anxious and shameful? Why is that? Do you think HE is wondering if he gave it up too fast or didn’t plan it first? Do you think HE is thinking about how you’ll see him from now on? No! He’s thinking “Man, that was hot.” Stop putting sooo much pressure on yourself and your actions. The only two questions you should be asking yourself are: Did you protect yourself? and “Did you enjoy it? If the answer is ‘yes’ and ‘yes,’ then repeat after me, “Man, that was hot.”

I know, I know, but men think with their Lyndon Johnson way before they think about if they want a relationship with a person and it’s “the girl’s job” to hold out and if she gives it up too soon then the guy will just treat her like a FWB, blah, blah, blah. You know what? Bullsh*t. You get to pick how the relationship you want gets to go. If you want to date him but wait to get to know him more before you sleep together again or still sleep together but but have real dates too, then do just that. No more “hanging out;” plan real dates. Ask him out to a museum, to a film festival, to a Velveeta factory (I wish!), anything that feels like a legit date. Hell, make it a daytime date. If he goes, regardless of whether there is sex or not, and plans another date of the same kind, congratulations, he wants to date. If he bails on those plans and his idea of a date is “hanging outside of Walmart at 4 am,” then you know that he isn’t so much interested in dating and his whole long-term thing is just talk. But guess what? That means you get to stop dating him if that’s not what you’re interested in. You get to pick the person and the setting for your relationships. The right guy will not care if you slept with him on the first date (mine didn’t), but you have to be clear about what you want.

And do not get obsessed with his mixed messages and try to decode GuySpeak every time you get a text from him. Bitch, I’ve been there. Does “sick” mean “sick”, or does “sick” mean “I’m dodging you because you gave me your ladyflower and I’m over you”? All it does is increase your insecurities and make it even harder to distinguish what you want. Considering it’s been so long since he’s dated, he’s probably got less idea of how to proceed than you do anyway. So help him out, take his hand, and show him the direction you would like things to go. If he shrugs it off or pulls it towards the bed, remember the sexy sex fondly and MOA.

* Sarah Huffman is a social media consultant who is freelancing art and photography along the way. She lives in Hollywood with her boyfriend, David, and their two cats, Mia and Daphne. She likes spending her free time spying on the neighbors through her window and ruining her boyfriend’s Netflix recommendations by watching bad reality wedding shows and movies starring Sarah Jessica Parker.



104 comments… add one
  • Ruby November 3, 2011, 7:50 am

    This is what happens when a girl has sex with a guy ‘too soon’.
    ‘Too soon’ = before she knows how he really feels about her and where things might be going.
    The girl becomes emotionally attached and then becomes anxious about the guy’s intentions!
    B you can’t go back in time now; what’s done is done.
    I think Sarah is right. Be the one to determine how you move forward with this. It’s not just about what he wants and if he’s really ‘sick’ or not, or whether or not YOU messed this up. Maybe HE’S the one who messed things up by pulling back after you slept together.

    You get to decide who and what you want in a relationship. It’s not just about waiting for him to determine what happens next.
    Just relax, and don’t be too needy or insecure. If he really likes you as much as he said he did before you slept with him, then he will continue to pursue you.
    If he’s lost interest, save yourself the aggravation of figuring out what went wrong and MOA.

    And if what you want is a serious relationship with someone, next time you meet someone you really like, get to know them and find out how he feels about you first before jumping into bed.

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    • caitie_didn't November 3, 2011, 7:56 am

      Um, that seems a little judgemental. It’s always the girl’s responsibility, right? Girls have to be so careful what they do or guys won’t respect them anymore.


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      • SweetPea November 3, 2011, 8:58 am

        I agree that her response came off a little judgmental, but I don’t think that was her intention. I can sort of see what she may have been trying to say.

        She should have said “This is what happens when a PERSON has sex with someone too soon” because it could be either party that is left with hurt feelings if they thought the nature of the relationship was something other than it was. No, it should not be up to the woman to hold back the reins on sex until the relationship is defined… it’s just more often the case. But, I can see a scenario where a man is put in this same boat.

        Nobody can say when is “too soon” for anyone else. I myself have had sex “too soon” for me… because I was left hurt and confused when I got the cold shoulder after the fact.

        This is not to say the LW should beat herself up for doing this. I totally agree with Sarah… Was she safe? Did she have fun? If the answers to those are yes, then she just needs to move forward… whether it is with this guy or with someone else who wants what she wants.

      • Amber November 3, 2011, 12:57 pm

        Like it or not, it happens.

      • Ruby November 4, 2011, 7:05 am

        To SweetPea’s point, yes I could have said “This is what happens when a PERSON has sex too soon”. But in general, women tend to form an emotional bond with a man when having sex, more so than when men have sex. Guys seem to be able to have sex with a woman, but not necessarily feel any kind of attachment to her afterwards. Women are different.
        Some girls who have casual sex may argue this point, but I’m saying IN GENERAL, this is true.
        That’s why I think it’s important for a woman…if she really likes a guy and wants to have a serious relationship with a man…to NOT jump into bed with him too soon. Not so much that the guy won’t respect her, but just so she can keep a clear head about her feelings. If she doesn’t have sex too soon, she can see how their relationship is developing, and not get so emotional about him, and whether or not he’s going to call, or whether or not he likes her, etc…

        I’m not trying to be judgmental, I just think it’s better to have sex when you have a better idea of where you stand with the guy, and where the relationship is going, and knowing if you’re both on the same page, etc…

  • Jess November 3, 2011, 8:02 am

    Every serious boyfriend I’ve ever had we had sex in the first 3-7 days of knowing each other, and all of those relationships lasted more than a year. One of my guy friends who was a prolific one-night stand participant now has this girlfriend he’s head over heels in love with. I asked him how they met, and he told me she was a girl he took home from a club thinking she would be a one night stand, but in the morning they started talking and 8 hours later they were still talking. They are such a happy and great couple now.

    At the same time, there was this guy I was so in love with in college and we ‘dated’ for 2 months before i slept with him and it never got to the point where we called each other boyfriend/girlfriend. We just never connected on that level.

    If you and a person have chemistry and click emotionally, you will be together. It doesn’t matter how soon or how late you have sex. If it doesn’t work out, you can’t blame it on the “sleeping together too soon”- its just not every two adults are going to be a good match.

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    • rainbow November 3, 2011, 8:44 am

      THIS, exactly.

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    • _jsw_ November 3, 2011, 12:47 pm

      Perfectly said.

      It is difficult to screw up a relationship with the right person at the right time, and it is even more difficult to make a relationship work with the wrong person or the right person at the wrong time.

      If you need to ask us what he’s feeling but can’t ask him, he’s likely not the right person at the right time. As many have said here and elsewhere, when it’s right, it just “clicks”. Good relationships can become bad ones, and even the best require maintenance (I’d not call it work usually). But at the beginning, it should be smooth sailing easy-peasy. If it’s not, it almost never will become that way.

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    • Britannia November 3, 2011, 2:14 pm

      If you and a person have chemistry and click emotionally, you will be together. It doesn’t matter how soon or how late you have sex. If it doesn’t work out, you can’t blame it on the “sleeping together too soon”- its just not every two adults are going to be a good match.


      Worrying about whether or not he’s going to see you as a tramp or whatever gives him the leeway to think that. If you don’t find any reason to be shameful of what you’ve done, then he’s unlikely to either.

      Own your actions. Be a “real woman” who is proud of what she does and who she is as opposed to someone who’s doing something they believe can be considered shameful.

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  • Jess November 3, 2011, 8:10 am

    Also I wanted to say i think sarah’s advice is really good and that’s exactly what you should do.

    I don’t know what to think of the no sex for six years thing. On one hand, I would say at least you know he isn’t into casual sex and he probably will want something serious. On the other hand, depending on how old you are/circumstances six years is a really long time to go without being intimate with someone and I wonder if he has some kind of social anxiety that would make him act awkwardly when it comes to romance/intimacy.

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  • Addie Pray November 3, 2011, 8:34 am

    The sex has been done, so moving forward, Sarah’s advice is spot on. But, LW, if you’re feeling this anxious about not knowing whether he wants to date you or was just in it for the sex, then definitely the next time try not to have sex when there’s so much uncertainty about the relationship (if a commitment is what you want), just to spare you those anxious feelings. Though I agree, if he wants to date you, I don’t think your sleeping with him will change that; if it does because now he thinks less of you, well then, eh, he’s a douche, that’s my take.) But I know, easier said than done.

    Also, I want to comment on what Sarah wrote, “Why is it that it seems fair and rational that a guy feels like high five-ing the world (and his penis) when he gets laid, but the girl feels anxious and shameful?” I definitely agree it’s not fair that society thinks a woman should feel anxious and shameful, and women shouldn’t feel that way just because society has trained them to… but the bottom line is, if you actually do feel anxious and shameful, that’s ok; it means casual sex is not for you. And that’s ok.

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    • silver_dragon_girl November 3, 2011, 8:58 am

      Totally agree with your last paragraph. I’m that way…I kept trying to have casual sex, and it took me about a year to figure out that, hey, that’s not for me. By then I’d racked up quite a few regrets, unfortunately.

      So I agree with Addie Pray. Sarah’s advice is great for moving forward with this guy, LW, but if it doesn’t work out, maybe hold out a little longer next time? I know it’s tough, believe me. And I know that every situation with every guy is different, so just make sure you’re both on the same page before getting busy. 🙂

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    • ReginaRey November 3, 2011, 9:12 am

      I think this is what Ruby was trying to say above, but you said it in a way that sounded more universal and came off as non-judgmental.

      I also wish that more people would take mental inventory when it comes to sex. Sure, some people can do it and have a grand time. But for others, it only adds to the anxiety and insecurity and feelings of shame. I’m a firm believer that you shouldn’t pursue things that a detrimental to your mental health. And for some people, casual sex takes a toll on their mental health. It’s our responsibility to learn how it affects us, and then respond accordingly.

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      • Addie Pray November 3, 2011, 9:45 am

        Just read Ruby’s advice (I tend to comment before reading others’) – and I think you’re right; I think we’re saying the same thing.

      • Ruby November 4, 2011, 7:10 am

        Yes, we are! 🙂

      • ReginaRey November 3, 2011, 9:23 am

        and by “inventory when it comes to sex,” I mean “inventory when it comes to CASUAL sex.” just to clarify.

      • _jsw_ November 3, 2011, 12:56 pm

        I think the advice is just as applicable to formal sex.

      • silver_dragon_girl November 3, 2011, 1:02 pm

        Formal sex. Is that when you break out the tuxedo thong?

      • JK November 3, 2011, 1:06 pm

        Ew. Thanks for that mental image.

    • Addie Pray November 3, 2011, 12:37 pm

      LW, I just reread your letter and actually I think I have the best advice for you now: Call him (don’t text – I’m so sick of texting relationships, but that’s just me) and ask him how is feeling. Then say you want to stop by to bring him some chicken noodle soup. And then go do that, and also take him a Playboy Magazine. I think that’d be cute. (God, I would be the best girlfriend ever. It amazes me that I’m single. Sigh.) Or, fine, take him Braveheart. (Why do dudes always love that movie? Or maybe just dudes I date?)

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      • Tax Geek November 3, 2011, 1:03 pm

        Cough, cough…

      • Addie Pray November 3, 2011, 1:12 pm

        Fine, I’ll bring you… Braveheart too.

      • Tax Geek November 3, 2011, 1:15 pm

        Believe it or don’t, I’ve never seen it.

      • Britannia November 3, 2011, 2:18 pm


      • Nadine November 3, 2011, 6:46 pm

        For me, its Fight Club. I went through a phase where every guy who was trying to seduce me (that makes it sound like there was a lot but it was at least three! And my friends said they had the same experience!) made me sit down and watch Fight Club with them.
        So maybe take Fight Club? Just don’t talk about it, I guess.

      • Addie Pray November 3, 2011, 10:38 pm

        Maybe Braveheart is dating me. I was in college from ’97 to ’01, and all those dudes loved, and still love, Bravehart.

      • Nadine November 4, 2011, 7:20 am

        Maybe I should watch Braveheart, just so I can relate. I’m a few beers in, so perhaps its research time.

      • Tax Geek November 4, 2011, 8:23 am

        Field of Dreams (that’ll date me for sure). I’ve seen it probably 100 times and still need to fight back a tear toward the end.

      • Budj November 4, 2011, 11:58 am

        DUDE SO TRUE!

      • Budj November 4, 2011, 11:58 am

        Fight club is a sweet movie…one I would force a girl I was trying to date to watch? Nope.

  • SweetPea November 3, 2011, 8:45 am

    I am a big fan of this advice : ) And, please… sign me up for the Velveeta factory tour as well!

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    • Addie Pray November 3, 2011, 9:31 am

      Velveeta is genius, isn’t it? I wuv it.

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    • PFG-SCR November 3, 2011, 10:23 am

      Trust me – you don’t want to see how it’s made. I can’t say anymore without the Kraft goons will be at my door…but, trust me, you don’t.

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      • bethany November 3, 2011, 12:03 pm

        My friend’s dad worked in the Velveeta plant when he was younger- TRUST ME- you do NOT want to know what’s in it. I’ve heard the stories.

      • Sarah November 3, 2011, 12:26 pm

        I picture it just like a cheese version of Willy Wonka’s factory. That’s what it is right? RIGHT?

      • Addie Pray November 3, 2011, 12:38 pm

        All the more reason I’d love to go to the velveeta factory!

      • _jsw_ November 3, 2011, 1:00 pm

        I used to think it was a joke… until I saw the videos of them grinding up the unwanted puppies to add to the mix. There’s a reason Velveeta is an anagram of “leave vet”.

        I’ll never eat it again.

      • Addie Pray November 3, 2011, 1:05 pm


    • SweetPea November 3, 2011, 10:58 am

      I just like cheese in general. And was looking for free samples 😉

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      • katie November 3, 2011, 11:30 pm

        so why were you at a velveeta factory?


        but seriously, the stuff isn’t cheese- they cant legally call it cheese.

  • Shadowflash1522 November 3, 2011, 8:52 am

    Nicely done, Sarah!

    Just because you’ve been out of the game for “a few years” doesn’t mean the rules have changed. Furthermore, who said there were rules anyway? Sarah’s right, there are social conventions, but as many of them are bad as good. Make your own rules! Decide for yourself how sex affects your relationship(s). As long as you’re being up-front and honest with your dude about your intentions, there’s no reason to be anxious about it.

    You didn’t mess this one up — at least, not on your own. It takes two to tango. And really, if he decides later that he “just doesn’t respect you anymore” then that’s HIM choosing to be a douchenugget, not you giving him leave to be one.

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  • Kerrycontrary November 3, 2011, 8:56 am

    I agree with Sarah that there is nothing wrong with a woman having sex when she wants to and with whom she wants to. But I think the issue here is that you really want a relationship with this guy and “hanging out a few times” and “texting” does not a relationship make. While there are no rules for developing a relationship nowadays (especially when it comes to how soon couples have sex), I still believe that if a guy is interested in you he would put in some face to face time instead of texting you all the time. I find that when I sleep with someone and we are both interested in each other, we usually see each other (in person) fairly soon afterwards. As in the next day. Or at least within 5 days. I also find it strange that he hasn’t had sex in 6 years but he sexted you all day before coming over. Is he the kind of man who likes to hide behind a screen? I dunno, I may be more cynical than the other readers on this one but I don’t think you screwed it up by having sex, I think this guy just sounds kinda like a weirdo.

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  • FireStar November 3, 2011, 9:09 am

    Sarah is right – if he is interested in you, having sex early on won’t dissuade him from being with you. If all he was interested in sex then he has gotten what he wants already and the dating part won’t likely happen. There is no judgement is that either – it just means you don’t want the same things. If you are comfortable deciding the course of a relationship after you have sex then you need to change nothing about your behaviour. If, however, you want only to have sex with someone that you will have a relationship with then you need to establish the dating/relationship piece before sex. Neither of these ways is wrong or shameful it just turns on YOUR preference, what you feel comfortable with and what you ultimately want out of your encounters with men. Just like an interested man wouldn’t walk away because sex happens early, an interested man won’t leave if he has to wait for sex either.

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  • Allison November 3, 2011, 9:14 am

    If a relationship is going to work out, it’s going to work out regardless of how early you have sex. And if it’s not, it’s still not going to work out if you have sex early on. I don’t believe it changes anything. I don’t believe any of this “he won’t respect you anymore stuff.” The sort of guy who bases his respect on whether you sleep with him doesn’t respect women in general. So, again, as long as you were safe, then don’t feel bad.

    Like Sarah said, don’t sit around and try to decode his words and actions. I’d just ask him straight-out if he wants more between you guys. If you’ve already had sex together, then I don’t think you need to worry about that being too forward.

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    • 6napkinburger November 3, 2011, 11:17 am

      I’m not so sure I agree with the broad implications of your first paragraph (though indo agree how they pertain to LW.) If you think about it, many one-night stands are the result of drinking at a bar/club; thinking someone is hot, and somewhat drunkenly taking them home. In those situations, I’m not sure how unfair it is for a PErSOn to generalize: they knew me for 2 hours and fucked me; maybe they aren’t so discerning and maybe indont want to date someone like that. Combin that with the fact that they don’t usually know your last name, better yet your major, what you do for fun and your cute little quirks that everyone who find out about finds endearing, they aren’t actually rejecting you; they just aren’t interested in finding more out

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      • wendykh December 14, 2012, 8:35 pm

        This kind of logic drives me nuts tho. They judge someone for being not so “discerning”…. but don’t judge themselves for being EQUALLY not so discerning! What is that about?!

    • 6napkinburger November 3, 2011, 11:20 am

      If that is the case, then perhaps if you had met again in another setting (like a date), where they were able to find out how awesome you were, a realtionship *might* have followed.

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      • 6napkinburger November 3, 2011, 11:21 am

        But the LW didn’t “mess this up;” he did get a chance to start to know her (the texting and the date). So this doesn’t apply to her. I just think your first paragraph was a little overly broad.

  • ReginaRey November 3, 2011, 8:32 am


    I’m pretty chaste. Ok not really. But I do prefer sexy times when I’m exclusive with someone and it’s on track to a serious relationship. Emotionally, it just works better for me that way. But….six years?!? There’s no way in HELL I could do that!! Who COULD do that? I’m genuinely curious here.

    Color me judgmental, but I think it might be worth investigating the more-than-half-a-decade-long-dry-spell-thing. Was he saving himself, and then decided “what the hell!”? (Ok, so that’s not a bad reason.) Was he traumatized? (Not a dealbreaker, but could involve some other baggae). Was he in a sexless relationship? (Even MORE baggage, I’d hazard to guess). Or is he lying? (But WHY would a guy lie about that? Did he think that’s what you wanted to hear?)

    Maybe it’s just me, but I think the answer to this elephant in the room could say a lot about the kind of guy you’re dealing with. And it may help you discern, eventually, whether it’s something you want to pursue or not. Also, I just really want to know in your update. So thanks.

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    • Shadowflash1522 November 3, 2011, 8:55 am

      Well, LW herself has been out of The Game for “a few years” (apparently long enough to not know the rules anymore), so they’re probably on close to even footing. I’m assuming, of course, that she wasn’t having wild sex based on her own personal rules. So she hasn’t had sex in a few years, and he hasn’t had sex in a few years. That would make their encounter sudden, but not that mismatched.

      Don’t look at me, six years ago I wasn’t even legal…

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    • Jess November 3, 2011, 9:05 am

      Yea it seems really strange to me too- I’d really like to hear some context! He doesn’t sound socially awkward in the letter other than this little fact, but I don’t think he’d make it up either.

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    • SweetPea November 3, 2011, 9:15 am

      I think there was a reason that six years thing was the headline to this letter. It really is bizarre.

      I immediately wondered if he was lying. I have a friend who had sex with a guy who claimed to have not had sex for two years. He was in a bad, sexless marriage. But, then… a little bit later this guy changed his story. He had had sex recently… but with a man. He apparently didn’t think that counted. Which is just bizarre to me. But, maybe he was embarrassed or whatever. Maybe this guy has something like this going on. It does seem like an awfully long time…

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      • CatsMeow November 3, 2011, 10:00 am

        Yeah, sometimes people don’t “count” certain sexual encounters… but STILL.

        And I wish my mind didn’t work this way, but I can’t help but wonder if he has HIV or something… and he was celibate after his diagnosis but he slipped up and had sex with her (SHE said it was unplanned!) and now he’s “sick” and is avoiding telling her about it. Ugh, I hate my job. Everything’s an STD.

        On the other hand, I have a friend in her early 40s who has gone nearly 6 years without sex, and there’s nothing wrong with her. She’s a workaholic and hasn’t put any effort whatsoever into meeting someone. I have another guy friend who I suspect hasn’t had sex in AGES… mostly because girls just don’t like him like that.

      • Jess November 3, 2011, 11:57 am

        omg!! lol the hiv thing talk about the WORST case scenerio

      • 6napkinburger November 3, 2011, 2:10 pm

        I wonder if he “didn’t count” hookers.

    • kf November 3, 2011, 9:48 am

      Why is it any weirder or more baggage-indicating than the virgin from a few letters ago, who’s at twenty years and counting?

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      • ReginaRey November 3, 2011, 9:50 am

        Don’t remember this virgin you speak of. I think it depends on age. If he’s over 30 and hasn’t had sex in 6 years, then it just seems unlikely and hard to believe. If he’s 23, I’d be more prone to believe it.

      • Christy November 3, 2011, 9:58 am

        The 20-year-old. And I think that has less baggage because she was 20. (!) I don’t think there’s any baggage at being a virgin at 20 unless you create the baggage yourself.

        Six years is a long time. It’s mainly a big deal because it means he *was* having sex and then he was *no longer* having sex.

      • kf November 3, 2011, 10:24 am

        I dunno. Maybe he didn’t like it. Maybe he has a low libido. Maybe he just hadn’t met the right person, and prefers sexy times when he’s exclusive with someone and it’s on track to a serious relationship. Maybe he’s ugly. Who knows.

        All I know is, this thread so far seems to have two dominant themes:
        1. HOW DARE anyone judge this LW for her sexual choices!
        2. SIX YEARS? What a freaking weirdo this guy is.

      • PFG-SCR November 3, 2011, 11:11 am

        I hope your second point about his sexual choices was tongue-in-cheek after making the “how DARE anyone” [be judgmental about] “her sexual choices”.

      • RoyalEagle0408 November 4, 2011, 11:53 am

        Well, it was about the dominant themes of the thread, so I don’t think it was.

      • Britannia November 3, 2011, 2:16 pm

        Everyone’s method of seeking out/having sex is different. Maybe this man is very discriminate. Maybe he hasn’t been out looking for any fun time until now.

        I went without sex for 3 years after being sexually active for quite a while… it’s hard at first, and then you really don’t think about it much. At least that’s how it was for me.

      • Budj November 4, 2011, 11:52 am

        yep…that drought spot where you stop caring is a dangerous place though..haha.

    • PFG-SCR November 3, 2011, 10:31 am

      Maybe I’m too cynical, but something else strikes me as odd – he tells her that he is thinking “long-term” [about the two of them] after casually knowing her for two weeks?!? I know it happens, but that’s not really something that is typically shared that soon before anything serious has happened. If they had been having serious discussions that would be reason to share something like that, she wouldn’t be so unclear about what things were between them.

      So, I’m more inclined to think he was telling her what he thought she wanted to hear, and maybe he thought she’d be less intimidated having sex with him (because she hadn’t in a while) if he was in a similar situation. The fact that she actually mentions it in her letter here tells me that it was something “important” to her, or else she would have been a bit more vague, I think.

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      • 6napkinburger November 3, 2011, 11:33 am

        Except that he could have been telling her what he was looking for in general, rather than specifically. “Have you had a lot of serious relationships?” “Not for a while, but now I’m at the point in my life where I’m looking to form a solid relationship, as the foundation for a family someday” is sooo not the same thing as “I think you and I might have the foundation for a solid relationship and a family one day.”

        One is honest and mature, the other is super creepy (if basically what my exboyfriend told me and then I dated him for two years, so its not always disengenous, though I would agree it usually is.)

    • mf November 3, 2011, 11:03 am

      When my fiance and I started dating, I was the first person he slept with in six years. And trust me, he’d had plenty of opportunities to break that dry spell. He dated other women before me but wanted to wait until he fell in love. He was the first person I had ever (and have ever) slept with. I had never been in a relationship for longer than six months and I just couldn’t imagine having sex with someone I’m not serious with.

      There could be a significant reason why he hasn’t had sex for so long, and maybe that’s something the LW should ask him about (in a tactful, nonjudgmental way). But it might just be that he’s just not into casual sex.

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    • zombeyonce November 3, 2011, 11:22 am

      The six years thing does seem strange, but it’s not unheard of. I’ve got a very good friend (she’s 29) that hasn’t done the deed in at least 5 years (maybe more than 6!). She got out of a really long, really intense relationship with the guy she thought she was going to be with forever and it was really hard on her. She couldn’t bring herself to date or do anything at all with guys for a couple of years (the fact that she stayed friends with the old guy while he met and married a new girl didn’t help the on-going devastation).

      After that, she considered starting to date again, but had a job that worked her to the bone and with terrible hours (I only got to see her once every couple of months for a few hours), so another 2 years of no dating/sex passed. She finally got out of that job and moved to a new city where she didn’t know anyone and had trouble making friends (she’s socially awkward in an adorable way) and had always gotten super tongue-tied around the gents anyway. Now that she’s ready and has time to date, she is having a hard time figuring out how to hit on guys and they don’t often approach her, and she’s afraid of how they will react when they find out she’s been celibate for so long.

      I’m not saying this guy’s story isn’t a bit fishy, but there might be perfectly legit reasons (though very likely at least a little baggage) for him to not have had sex in 6 years.

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    • _jsw_ November 3, 2011, 12:55 pm

      I don’t think being sexless for six years is necessarily a bad thing. Among other things, we don’t know the ages and situations of the LW and the man in question. There are a lot of baggage-prone reasons as to why it might have been that long, and at least as many non-baggage prone, reasonable explanations.

      I think there’s often an implied perception that the people in the letters, unless explicitly stated otherwise, are attractive, fit, healthy and social mid-20’s singles with no kids, no career issues, no handicaps, etc. There are a lot of people who don’t fit into those categories, and I don’t think it’s necessarily incumbent upon the LWs to always include exact descriptions of the characteristics of themselves and those they write about.

      So… yes, it might be a sign of deeper troubles that it’s been six years for him. Or maybe…it’s just been six years, and now he’s ready for the dry spell to stop.

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      • kf November 3, 2011, 1:37 pm

        “I think there’s often an implied perception that the people in the letters, unless explicitly stated otherwise, are attractive, fit, healthy and social mid-20′s singles with no kids, no career issues, no handicaps, etc. There are a lot of people who don’t fit into those categories, and I don’t think it’s necessarily incumbent upon the LWs to always include exact descriptions of the characteristics of themselves and those they write about.”

        GREAT point.

    • SimonTheGrey November 3, 2011, 5:57 pm

      Ok, I might get jumped on for this, but here’s some overshare: my BF lived with his first girlfriend for about a year; they were both 18. They had “everything but” because she had been raped and didn’t actually want it. He had at least one or two others which he has told me never reached that point before he dated the first gal he actually slept with. He dated at least one or two after her, and again, “everything but.” Now, my guy has a bit of a white-knight complex and he likes to rescue the wounded. All of his exes except one had either been victims of some kind of sexual or physical abuse, and all of them except one were cutters at some time in their life. He and I have been together 2 years (I break the mold of all of his past relationships) and have still not had sex. So yeah, he’s gone a while since his one relationship…but he doesn’t complain, and we have plenty of stuff to do to amuse ourselves. 😀 I don’t necessarily find it suspicious if this guy is just referring to intercourse. He could still have been getting blowies or handjobs, and it not feel like “sex” to him.

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    • Budj November 4, 2011, 11:51 am

      This is kind of a judgy post – I hadn’t had sex in over 5 years until a few months ago…I prefer sex in a committed relationship….and yea it sucks…but there was no other reason for it than me not wanting to screw a girl I didn’t like enough to date. I’m not secretly gay and I’m not saving myself to restore my virginity….I am just an exception to the general consensus of men and can’t have sex without getting attached…and I can assure you my libido is very high.

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      • Budj November 4, 2011, 11:54 am

        Not to say it was a committed relationship…there was some semblance of monogamy though…complicated situation.

      • ARK November 5, 2011, 9:47 am

        Amen to Budj and the other posters above (who I bet are mainly guys) who are arguing against the “Six years? Probably a weirdo.” comments. This thread is scaring me. Not only did this poor guy not get any for 6 years, but he now has to deal with many women writing him off as a potential partner (or putting their defences up on him even more than usual.)

        It seems that a lot of women (or attractive people in general) who just have to say yes to one of their offers, have no concept of just how hard it is for a guy who is not conventionally attractive (or even downright conventionally unattractive, for instance being substantially overweight like I am) to find someone willing to sleep with him (unless he’s willing to pay for it – which as other posters have suggested – and rightly so – also means he is unsuitable for a relationship). How do you last six years without sex? It’s real easy if you don’t get any offers and get turned down when you offer. You don’t have any choice.

        The guys can’t win here, if they haven’t found a long term partner but have regular casual sex casual sex with other women, they are suspect for that, but if they haven’t they are suspect for that.

        Ahem! Anyway if it were me far from being upset at the LW for sleeping with him too early I’d be worshipping at her feet. I feel bad for her. If he’s not just temporarily occupied (such as by being ill – which seems like a darn good reason, if it’s true, so she should chill at first) it’s possible that she scared this guy off by acting weird because she was upset over letting herself sleep with him, which is understandable in our society, but still too bad, or else he’s just a jerk.

    • Elisse November 10, 2012, 8:29 pm

      I’m an almost 30 year old virgin.

      So…I could.

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  • DDL November 3, 2011, 10:04 am

    LW, there is no judgement on our part as readers to you having casual sex, or sex at the beginning of a relationship – to each their own. Some people will judge, but tell them (including the negative voice inside your head) to STFU because it’s not their place.

    And, I don’t think you messed it up. Don’t forget, it was his choice to have sex with you as well. As often as we think that guys are directed by their dicks, it’s not exactly true. If he didn’t want to sleep with you, he wouldn’t’ve. But I understand that you’re insecure because he hasn’t talked to you much for a few days and hasn’t confirmed or denied your feelings. Well, either he’s sick, or he’s mulling over the events of the past couple weeks and trying to decide if YOU are for real (as in you wanna love him long time). Why do I suggest that? Because when I first began hanging out with my boyfriend, he’d never dated or slept with anyone. So when we began texting fairly often, there would be times when he wouldn’t respond much or seem to be not interested, and I thought he wasn’t! But after discussing it with my friends, i decided to just go for it and ask him out. It took me about two weeks to convince him that I really did want to date him.

    But because you’ve slept with this man, he may be wondering if you want something more out of it, or if you’re just saying it. However, LW, you won’t know until you ask him straight up.

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  • milli November 3, 2011, 10:05 am

    @Sarah Huffman
    You’re welcome. (I am referring to the grammar suggestions)

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  • Princess Bananahammock November 3, 2011, 10:28 am

    LOL at “ladyflower”

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  • Renee November 3, 2011, 10:53 am

    What if he was really sick, you know with a nasty stomach bug?

    Nothing gives off a better impression early in the relationship then the runs…..

    Also there is a concern that you ‘messed it up’. If I wanted a relationship only to find out he didn’t, I would felt like I messed up, even if it was good and choose to be with him.

    You’ll find the answer, sooner then later.

    Either he had the runs or he just ran away.

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  • 6napkinburger November 3, 2011, 12:45 pm

    Somewhat unrelated to this LW, I slipped up two days ago and I called my Ex (It’s been 1 month and 1 weeks since he moved out and we’ve only emailed about details regarding apartment things, never talked on the phone, and never texted except for one he sent the day before what would have been our 2 year anniversary telling me “You’re still amazing”, a week ago). I was across the street from his office building (due to other legitimate reasons) and I was both scared I was going to accidentally run into him and really hoping I would. So I called so that I didn’t have to be scared and I could be in control. And because I wanted to see him. And we went to get a drink to catch up. Then two drinks. And then a really nice fancy dinner at a place I’d wanted to go to for a while that we happened to be next door to (which is next to his work). Then back at my place (our old place). Frowny face. Or happy face? I’m so confused and feel half-like I’m leading him on and half like I’m fooling myself by thinking I’m leading *him* on. And I have a bunch of parties this weekend where a bunch of people “want to introduce me” to people. Which I *was* excited about. And scared about. And now I don’t know how I feel about.

    Sigh. Help?

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    • JK November 3, 2011, 1:00 pm

      🙁 I hate those moments when something happens to change your whole outlook. I guess these slipups are to be expected.
      Try to enjoy the parties this weekend, but I wouldn´t go with the introductions in mind, just to get out and have some fun. What´s the saying? Fake it until you make it?

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    • silver_dragon_girl November 3, 2011, 1:07 pm

      Um…don’t hate me, but…knock it off.
      You want to get over this guy? You’re absolutely, 100% sure that he’s NOT the one for you? You know this logically?
      Don’t spend any more time with him.
      I know it hurts, I know it’s hard, but you can’t be friends yet if you’re still worried about anyone leading anyone on 🙁

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      • 6napkinburger November 3, 2011, 1:58 pm

        No hate. I need some tough love.

    • Sarah November 3, 2011, 1:13 pm

      You broke up for a reason. Don’t call him, don’t text him, don’t tell yourself you’re just calling him because you want to tell him you’re not going to call him. Don’t email him, don’t facebook him, don’t look for reasons to think about him or contact him. If he calls or texts you, text him back “I have to move on. Please respect that.” and leave it at that. Like JK said, fake it til you make it with those parties. Don’t get involved with other guys yet, but mingling and flirting with some will get your mind off your ex.

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      • ReginaRey November 3, 2011, 3:40 pm

        “So I called so that I didn’t have to be scared and I could be in control.” – Respectfully, I don’t buy it, 6. You didn’t call him so you could remain in control. If you wanted to remain in control, you wouldn’t have picked up your phone.

        I’m not judging you, because I’ve been where you are. But the reason you’re confused is because you haven’t had time to get over this breakup before you started communicating with him again. You still love him, so of COURSE hanging out with him is going to be confusing. You need to remember that you guys broke up for a reason. You were unsure for a long time, and THAT was a sign that it wasn’t working.

        Cut communication completely. Find a friend who you can call when you’re tempted to call or email or text your ex. Tell her to talk to you down the ledge. It helps immensely.

      • 6napkinburger November 3, 2011, 4:05 pm

        I meant that I called him so I would purposefully see him when next to his building, so it wouldn’t be accidental. So I could be in control of where and when I saw him.

        It’d be total bullshit if i was talking about being in control of my feelings or the general situation. Because I agree, if i remained “in control”, I wouldn’t have called at all.

        But at that moment, I felt like I couldn’t let the world dictate whether or not I was going to see him at that moment. I needed to be the one to choose that.

      • Sarah November 3, 2011, 4:09 pm

        I’ve done the exact same thing. Letting myself say things like “well, I called him because I wanted to respect my own feelings” or “well, he’s the one calling me and putting the moves on me, my feelings are to overpowering to control when he does that” was just me excusing behavior that was bad for me.

      • 6napkinburger November 3, 2011, 4:17 pm

        Ha, “well, I called him because I wanted to respect my own feelings” definitely was also going through my mind.

        Hi all, Delusion-ville is a very nice vacation spot. I’m sending postcards from here, so don’t forget to check the mail.

      • ReginaRey November 3, 2011, 3:41 pm

        Whoops, didn’t mean to reply to you, Sarah!

    • kf November 3, 2011, 4:40 pm

      I’m so confused and feel half-like I’m leading him on

      If it makes you feel any better, it sounds like you 100% *are* leading him on (especially if you broke up with him). So consider that feeling validated.

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    • 6napkinburger November 3, 2011, 5:10 pm

      Wow, reading this as if someone else wrote it, I totally sound like a douchebag. Wow. Good to know.

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      • bittergaymark November 3, 2011, 9:21 pm

        Why exactly did you break up again? Are you 100% sure you really want it to be over? Because you simply aren’t acting much like you do… So, pause and reflect. Then, if it’s really over. And you know it has to really be over… Call him. (Yes, call him!!) And calmly tell him you made a mistake the other night. One that WON’T happen again. Then you wish him well. And keep your distance. I mean we all know that your excuse for calling him was flimsy at best. I mean — really — what were the odds you’d just randomly run into one another even though you were near his building? You just wanted to see him. Okay, you saw him… Now figure out what it all means…

      • Nadine November 4, 2011, 7:22 am

        I dont really have anything constructive to say but all my best wishes to you, and I hope you figure this out. You seem very sensible from your comments on here, and bery thoughtful, so I have no doubt that you will.

    • moonflowers November 4, 2011, 9:09 am

      Slipups happen, that’s the nature of breakups. Don’t bash yourself too much over it, but learn from the experience and move on – ie ask your phone company to block outgoing calls to his number, reroute so that you won’t end up near his building, etc.

      A few things that might help:

      (1) For every day you don’t call, email, text, ANYTHING with him, put a smiley on your calendar. Leave unmarked the days you cave. Make sure this calendar is easy to see, especially near your phone and computer. Just seeing that unbroken train of smiles will encourage you to keep it up when you’re tempted.

      (2) Heal at your own pace. Sure, your friends are well-meaning. Some of them yell at you to “just get over it, it’s a month already.” Others try to set you up on dates. In the end, though, only you decide when you’re ready for anything. If you aren’t feeling 100% confident about going into a new relationship or even dating again, don’t! Better to take good care of yourself, regardless of others’ opinions, than to date because “you should” and potentially hurt another innocent person. A month is short compared to the time you’ve been in this relationship, and even then, some people just heal more slowly, so politely turn your friends’ offers down if you don’t feel ready to date.

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  • AKchic November 3, 2011, 2:21 pm

    I have a slightly different take on things here, but then again, coming from my personal background, I may see things in a paranoid light.

    I can remember the first time I slept with my first husband. Afterwards, he got “sick”. Pulled back a bit. It made me curious, and sympathetic to his illness (a faked winter cold). Afterwards, because I’d passed his “test”, he admitted that it had been a while since he’d been with anyone, and that he doesn’t sleep with just “anyone”, and that when he does sleep with someone, he is in a relationship because he doesn’t “sleep around”. He’s “not that kind of guy”. He “doesn’t sleep with that kind of girl”. Basically a guilt trip wrapped in an explanation. Had I been less naive, and known more about him, I would have left immediately and never looked back. But, I didn’t.
    Again, it might be my personal experiences coloring my judgement.

    LW – right now, I would enjoy the sex for what it was – good sex. Don’t worry about anything else. If this guy wants a relationship, decide on what you want when you get to that bridge. Don’t overthink things now when you don’t know if it’s even on the table.

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  • atraditionalist November 3, 2011, 3:09 pm

    I’m old fashioned so here’s my two cents: don’t sleep with men early on in the relationship-those anecdotes of it working out are exceptions to the general rule. Get to know each other better first. The reason I say this is: sex brings in a lot of feelings and complicates things early on in a relationship when you should just be getting to know each other. For women in general, sex brings emotional attachment and it is not a good idea to introduce that early on. Keep things simple and hold off on the sex with a potential long term partner for awhile

    That being said: stop texting this guy all the time. He has not replied to you-send him a get well message and leave the ball in his court-if he’s interested he’ll move forward. If he doesn’t reply you can assume he’s no longer interested

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  • Pinky November 3, 2011, 3:40 pm

    Six years. I think he’s an engineer. If he’s an engineer, he’s spinning his wheels and over-thinking this whole thing and it made him sick. That’s my take. I’m married to one.

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    • FireStar November 3, 2011, 3:58 pm

      I’m married to one too and that is not how it would play out with him. If he wants to talk to you – he calls. If he doesn’t – he won’t call. Zero over analyzing – all simple logic.

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  • theattack November 3, 2011, 5:48 pm

    I haven’t read the comments yet. But he told you he was sick a couple of days after you two had sex. He may just be upset because you haven’t done anything to help him out. Instead of worrying about your relationship with him right now, you should be offering to take him soup and maybe Season 2 of 30 Rock for him to watch on the couch. He’s not texting you because you haven’t expressed any concern for him when he’s sick. He’s the one who should be questioning your readiness for a relationship, not the other way around. Go make him some soup, ask if he needs anything from the store, and apologize for worrying about yourself instead of being there for him.

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  • LL November 3, 2011, 6:11 pm

    LW, the first time my boyfriend and I hooked up (he wasn’t my bf yet), afterwards, I didn’t hear from him for a week during which he also cancelled a date b/c he was “busy”. Finally, he texted me a week later for a date. Like you I was very upset, but I’m.from the school of thought that men will do what they want, and me talking to him or asking about his feelings will have no impact on the situation. So I went out with him again and said absolutely nothing. Turns out that he actually was very busy with work and me bringing up the situation would have been a terrible thing to do. I say…he’s a guy let him do whatever he wants. If he’s not interested after having sex with you, being proactive isn’t really going to change his mind.

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  • Grace November 4, 2011, 11:29 am

    Read this whole post a bit late but… I had an ex that was a one night stand that turned into a year + relationship. But… he told me he hadn’t had sex for about 3 years before me. Well as it turned out, he didn’t really like sex. It wasn’t just with me, it was with anyone… ultimately it broke up our relationship because it was a sexless one as well as an overall lack of physical contact like hugging and kissing. Even holding hands was an issue. So if the LW does continue with this guy she may want to keep an eye out for the situation I ran into.

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  • Guy Friday November 4, 2011, 2:49 pm

    “Why is it that it seems fair and rational that a guy feels like high five-ing the world (and his penis) when he gets laid, but the girl feels anxious and shameful? Why is that? Do you think HE is wondering if he gave it up too fast or didn’t plan it first? Do you think HE is thinking about how you’ll see him from now on? No! He’s thinking “Man, that was hot.”
    I know, I know, but men think with their Lyndon Johnson way before they think about if they want a relationship with a person and it’s “the girl’s job” to hold out and if she gives it up too soon then the guy will just treat her like a FWB, blah, blah, blah.”

    I get that the majority of posters on this site are probably female, but, I’m sorry, as a guy this was SERIOUSLY offensive to me. You reject the notion that the stereotypes about women apply, and then in the same breath pull the same tired cliches about men? My friends and I don’t high-five each other when we get laid, and while, yeah, we might brag about it to one another if we feel like we got incredibly lucky and ended up sleeping with a woman WAY out of our league, it’s not because it’s sex; it’s because we’re psyched we had a shot with her. And, yeah, when we jump into sex too soon, we definitely have the same insecurities as women do, albeit from the other side of the mirror (i.e., “Is she going to think I’m just into her for the sex? Is she going to take me seriously, or is she going to just assume I don’t want to see her with her clothes on?” etc.)

    I don’t disagree with your advice overall in this response, but your dig at guys was totally unnecessary.

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    • theattack November 4, 2011, 6:03 pm

      As a female on this site, I completely agree with you.

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  • angelique November 7, 2011, 5:32 pm

    met a man who hadn’t been in an intimate relationship for 20 years, after his girlfriend in an open relationship married another man. wanted sex pretty quickly, even as “just friends”. didn’t do it, but not without being thoughtful about why, as i knew i could become emotionally attached (had an ex myself before this relationship happened). got a ‘hard’ look by night’s end and then “i’m glad you’re my friend”. continued “just friends” but he still wanted plenty of touching as well. saw this as ‘healthy’ and not doing it as ‘conventional’. finally let him know i couldn’t do this without a committed relationship. slept together. he couldn’t perform, but didn’t let on about it til later during talking in general about things. went back and forth about “status”. heard blaming about late mother a lot; suddenly projected onto me. let him know i wouldn’t take that and was moving on. panic and tears from him. tried again, things much better after that; surprise proposal. next year, unexpected online reunion with former love interest who refused him 15 years ago. noticed infatuated behavior and mentioned it. friction from former interest; then him. tried to move on again. finally found out she already had a partner but neither of us knew about that. series of female friends who ‘didn’t need to know’ about us either. moving on again; efforts to work things out.
    bottom line: nobody’s past or present is perfect–it’s about what you want to work out and if it’s even possible in the long run.

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