I read your article on male celibacy and it was a very good read. I’m a divorced 29 year old woman with two children. I met my ex-husband when I was 16 and we married two years later when I was 18, our marriage lasted 9 years so we were together for a total of 11 years. This is my first time being single in my adult life. However while dating in the past two years, I have met a couple of men that I was intimate with on a casual level. After dating for about a year the men started to ask me to label the situation and tell them what I want from them.
Every time a guy asks me to tell them what I want from them I get really anxious and tell them I’m not ready for a relationship – I just want to keep it casual. Many of my loved ones tell me I have low self-esteem and don’t value myself because I don’t mind the casual sex relationship with the particular guy that I may be seeing. Is there something wrong with me for living this way after such a long relationship so early on?
What do you think my sex partner’s opinion is of me since I’m not requiring a commitment from him or any dates or anything along those lines. I’m so confused about what I want and if I’m ready for a relationship again.
Your last line tells me a lot more than the previous three paragraphs.
“I’m so confused about what I want and if I’m ready for a relationship again.”
Until you figure this one out, Candace, there’s not much more that folks like me can tell you.
It’s like you’re getting in the car to go somewhere, but you don’t have an address or a GPS.
That’s fine if you really like driving, but you’re never gonna get anywhere.
Simply put: as long as you keep it casual, nobody can hurt you. And that’s just the way you like it.
It’s not my place to tell you that you have low self-esteem. If your loved ones are telling you that, you may want to consider it, but it’s not a foregone conclusion.
Some people can compartmentalize sex from a healthy place – and their promiscuity is not about low self-esteem. Others sleep around for validation and avoid intimacy, which is a bit unhealthier. If I were to tender a guess – not based on you – but, rather, based on all the women I’ve worked with, I’d tell you this:
Your past traumas (and I’m just projecting here) have caused you to try to protect yourself. So while you legitimately don’t feel attachment to these men – giving you the illusion that this is what you want – in fact, this is all a defense to prevent you from getting real and falling in love.
Simply put: as long as you keep it casual, nobody can hurt you. And that’s just the way you like it. Unfortunately, it’s not going to lead to a healthy long-term relationship (if that’s what you crave.)
If you’re an avoidant woman, the only men you’re going to get are:
a. Avoidant men who also like to keep things casual to minimize real intimacy.
b. Anxious men who are willing to put up with casual sex partners in the hopes that you one day change your mind and fall in love.
People who restrict themselves to casual sex rarely make for great life partners, as you can probably imagine.
Who will you not attract this way?
Healthy men who want both sex AND intimacy in the same partner.
Which is why I don’t remotely judge you for doing what you’re doing. But I would caution you against participating in this self-fulfilling prophecy.
Casual sex is fine, in and of itself. But people who restrict themselves to casual sex rarely make for great life partners, as you can probably imagine.
Hope I struck a nerve somewhere and that you figure out what’s right for you soon.