Gwen had always taken pride in how she could keep her wits about her when the heat was on. Even though it was only her second date with Marcus, she felt as if her sense of romance and passion had come alive again.
Before she knew it, she’d gotten caught up in the moment, do ing what she had committed not to do. Afterward, she remembered staring at the ceiling until dawn wondering how she had gone that far, that soon.
Marcus called her following day (thankfully!). To Gwen he sounded a little, well, blasé. Immediately, Gwen started to obsess over every detail, from the tone of Marcus’ voice, to the frequency of his calls and their dates, and even his facial expressions. She couldn’t stop wondering what he really thought of her and where their relationship was going.
Barely two weeks after they’d started dating, Gwen couldn’t take the anxiety anymore. She demanded Marcus “tell me straight out if you are feeling serious about us.”
Turns out Marcus was attracted to her, but was beginning to feel that the cost of having had sex with Gwen was too high. He felt pressured by her to declare a long-term commitment—and he just wasn’t ready. It was too early in the process to be pinned down. Their budding romance died on the vine before it ever had a chance to bloom.
What Went Wrong:
Premature sex tends to bump expectations up a higher level when there’s no commitment to base them on yet. Sure, you get the physical pleasure, but there can be a tendency to exaggerate the emotional significance of the act.
It can be nearly impossible to return to the early, natural stages of building a relationship gradually after you’ve prematurely shared your body—and, at least momentarily, your heart—with him. After that, you’ll probably find that constantly probing and analyzing signs of his interest in you too is just too emotionally draining. And he’s likely to feel it’s too much work to live up to the expectations he thinks you now have.
Have your limits firmly set in your mind before he rings your doorbell for that first date. You’re less likely to get lost in the moment if you think ahead to the morning after and how you’ll feel if he gets the idea that it doesn’t take much for you to compromise your values. Do you honestly have no intention of ending up in bed with him? Then confine your date to very public places and avoid the stroking, caressing and subtle sexualized flirting that makes healthy adults want more than that.