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Sex, Lies And Expectations

I’m 42 and divorced. I met this amazing guy on Bumble. We chatted for a bit and then met up for lunch on a Monday. We had a lot in common and it was clear we were both attracted to each other. We met again for dinner on Wednesday, he picked me up from my house, we went out to dinner, and then headed to his house and spent hours chatting there too. All in all it was an amazing date, one I hadn’t had in a while. (Also need to add that we got intimate and I spent the night at his house). He dropped me home the next morning and kissed me goodbye and then sent me a text saying he wanted to see me again. Well that same evening he sends me a text and asks me how my day went and we exchanged a few messages. Then he proceeds to tell me that he is going on a date tonight and it was scheduled before he and I met and that the reason he was on Bumble was to meet people and date. I honestly have no issue with that, and appreciated his candor, but I wouldn’t continue dating someone who is dating others. It’s a personal choice and I don’t expect the other person to modify their dating strategy to adapt to mine. I just don’t have the time or energy to put into dating multiple people. So in instances like this even if I like the person, I simply peace out and move on because it’s not worth me investing time and energy into someone who is comparing me to others he is dating.

Anyone else been in this predicament? What did you do?

The question for me is what encouraged him to reveal he had a date with someone else that night. If you asked him, well, he gave you an answer. If he offered this information unprompted, he's trying to tell you something without being explicit. That being, he has no plans of committing to you just because you and he had sex.

The reality is, we are always dating someone who is dating someone else until they aren't. Of course, we only know this in the abstract. It's an assumption we don't dwell on because we have nothing tangible to confirm its reality. The difference here is you have concrete proof he's dating other people, which makes being willfully oblivious impossible.

Be honest with yourself: you are bothered by his candor. You feel it was insensitive. To some degree, it was, regardless of what prompted this revelation. That's a situation where diplomacy is far more appropriate than radical honesty. He didn't have to tell you, because you never would have known otherwise. In such a scenario, the only humane thing to do is spare someone's feelings. He chose not to do that. Instead, he placed upon you a burden so he can casually date others without feeling obligated.

He's also made it exponentially more difficult for things to move forward, because once you know, you know. There's no putting the genie back in the bottle. To those who might find themselves confronted with the question of whether they're dating other people, the best option is to say you are not, lest you risk going for multiple options to zero.

It's understandable that you don't want to be a contestant in this or any man's personal pageant, but the harsh truth is: you already are. Any time you accept a date with someone, it should be assumed you are not the only person they are dating, especially if you met them online. Even if you are the only person, you're still being sized up and down and compared to others, past and present. To them - whether it's one person or three - each one is still just an option.

Something else to consider: sex on the first date is not indicative of anything other than physical attraction. (And sometimes that's not even the case, but that's a whole other post.) It should not be assumed, because they slept with you, they're serious about you or are as smitten as you are. If you're concerned about getting more attached after sex, do right by yourself and hold off until you know where you stand with someone. It's no one's job but your own to manage your expectations.

Finally, when we get so caught up in trying to determine how the other person feels about us so early on, we miss the red flags. That's why it's better to stay somewhat detached in the beginning. Distance will help us maintain our objectivity, which in turn will aid us in being able to gauge someone's character. You don't want to get swept off your feet after one or two dates. That's how people get caught in the webs of those who are a threat to our emotional and even physical safety. Staying practical is what will spare you unnecessary heartache down the road.


1 Comment

Oct 13, 2020

Christian, such a tough issue to present and you provided wonderful advice. I would argue that replying with gentle truth is always best. If your relationship progresses to the point of exclusivity and a person opted to withhold that piece of info (by omission or commission) the withholding becomes an issue and not the other date.

Concur on staying somewhat detached (especially physically) until you are ready to be exclusive.

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