You Didn’t Lose The Person You Thought You Lost

You Didn't Lose The Person You Thought You Lost
You know what it’s like to get devastated when a promising new relationship doesn’t work out? Well, take heart – you didn’t actually lose ANYTHING.

In fact, you gained the freedom to find the person you ARE meant to be with.

It may not seem to be the case, but I want to point out to you that it’s a blessing when your dead-end relationship finally comes to a close…

A client of mine shared a story with me recently.

A lawyer in her mid-50s, Carol said that she’d gone out with this new guy three times.

He was older, divorced, and a real gentleman.

Unlike many men she’d met online, this man made a great effort each time.

He’d make plans in advance, email her in between dates, compliment her when he saw her, pay for everything, and talk about having a future together.

He was even a great kisser!

But one night while the new couple was fooling around on the couch, things got a little weird.

To avoid going too far, too fast, Carol (after some heavy petting), said what I told her to say when putting on the brakes:

“I also want you badly, but I only sleep with guys that I know I’m in a committed relationship with. That doesn’t mean that we can’t do a lot of other fun things together, but I don’t want the man I have sex with to be hitting on other women on tomorrow.”

The idea behind this is to let the man know that you ARE into him, but that you have just this one very reasonable boundary.

Generally, guys can understand this.

If he’s really into you, this is his chance to step up and become your boyfriend. If he’s not, this is a clear sign to get out.

Either way, it’s impossible for us to disrespect a woman who says she only has sex in a committed relationship. Even if we’re not getting our instant gratification met, it’s impossible for a man to find fault with a sexual woman who values herself.

A man’s failure to step up to the plate and act like a boyfriend is Red Flag #1 that he’s not a keeper.

Alas, Carol never heard from her guy the day after, or the day after that, or ever again. And when she started thinking, she started to get upset with me. After all, it was my advice that had killed her relationship. For all she knows, maybe if she would have slept with him, he would have asked her out again.

Uh uh. Nope. Fuhgeddaboutit.

Setting down boundaries for sex is a truth test – and this guy failed with flying colors.

I’m not suggesting that you “test” men. Not at all. But a man’s failure to step up to the plate and act like a boyfriend is Red Flag #1 that he’s not a keeper.

And this is why, despite her disappointment, Carol really shouldn’t be all that upset. Nor should you be upset if you ever set a reasonable boundary and the man walks away.

What’s a reasonable boundary?

Wanting to talk in between dates, making weekend plans in advance, committing to a relationship after three months.

If you suggest these in a reasonable way at a reasonable point in time and a guy refuses, then guess what?

When you choose to be devastated by a man who is not your boyfriendHe’s NOT the guy she thought he was. You didn’t lose your future husband. You lost the ILLUSION of your future husband. See, your future husband, when faced with the prospect of waiting for sex will do one of two things:

a) Decide that, yes, he does like you enough to be your boyfriend. He was just too afraid to push things that fast, but he’s glad you suggested it.

b) Decide that he’s not ready to commit yet, but he appreciates your respectable stance. You’ll both get semi-naked, have a little fun, and no hearts will be broken.

Your future husband does NOT:

c) Bail like a rat leaving from a sinking ship.

So if you’re worrying about why some guy disappears suddenly on you – without any reasonable explanation – the thing to know is this:

You didn’t lose your future husband.

You lost the ILLUSION of your future husband.

You’re OVERRATING that person’s character.

He is NOT a good partner for you.

Be GLAD that you learned that this person is not in it for the long haul.

Remember, despite all your bad experiences, there are good men out there – men just like you, who are wondering where to connect with you.

The only responsibility you have is to continue to make the effort to meet them.

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  1. 121

    I actually don’t think you know most men very well. A lot of the ones on here are advocating that you’re correct in making him commit. What I’m going to tell you, that I’ve seen A LOT from personal experience and friends/co workers etc is that if you say that in a heated moment, almost every guy will say “absolutely, lets be exclusive”. Then, knowing he didnt want a relationship this fast but wanting to have sex and see what happens, he’ll sleep with you and you’ll be a month or two long fling he’ll drag out until something else comes along. The only difference is that you’ve cut all your fishing lines by “committing” way too early when you could have had some fun and still kept the options open.

  2. 122

    I do truly believe that men reveal themselves after sex.  Time and time again I’ve waited months to sleep with a guy who turned into a total different person post sex.  I’ve also had more than once the guy that was clearly just into the chase and as soon as it was over he bailed.  As I’ve read many times sometimes men can be so consumed by the desire to have sex they ignore everything until they get it.  And once they do they step back and realize that it was the desire to have sex and conquer and not genuine interest in the lady driving things.  Some may not even know they are doing it.   This happens a lot to very attractive women.  Men can’t see past it.  So I can have sex with a guy once and not get attached.  If you can’t I don’t advocate my plan.  But generally I sleep with a guy within the first few weeks and see how he acts.  It’s easier to get out then then 90 days later where you wasted all that time.

  3. 123
    Kari Putnam

    I agree with you post; however, it can get crazy exhausting putting yourself out there over and over again.

    1. 123.1
      Karmic Equation

      If you learn something from each relationship, it’s never a loss. You should have grown from each experience. If you haven’t, THAT should be what makes you sad not the fact that a relationship failed,
      I really don’t understand women’s complaints about “putting herself out there” what does that mean exactly? Too much work in getting a new wardrobe? Too much work in being on her best behavior? Too much work on exuding a positive vibe? This shouldn’t considered work, but should be every woman’s default setting.

  4. 124

    To the Author,

    You shouldn’t have meddled in your friend’s situation. Ever think that there’s no harm in having fun outside a committed relationship? You’re response to your friend’s is a total red flag of an overly controlling woman. That’s most likely why he left. Also, it’s complete unfair to him to lead him on with multiple dates and then move the goal line when he got to scoring distance.

  5. 125


    I just want to say on July 1stor2nd that

    I was hurting real real bad from the sad need to end a conection (that was far more than “just” sexual, because my body-mind was responding to the whole, beautiful person that I perceived this man (described briefly above) to be). That I knew it would only get sad sad sadder the longer I waited and he would go and carry out his stated intention to explore sexual relationships with others, did not mean I am not suffering greatly from (a) the suspension/ending of our loving body-mind conection, and (b) the fact –IMO and in my experience — that this beautiful man who says he, too, loves me aparently has something so lacking or so hurting inside that he does not see the benefit to us of exclusivity while we would continue to explore the possibility of long-term comitment/ exclusivity, nor the benefit to himself of eschewing indefinite pairings with a series or multitude of romantic “partners” in favor of one pairing with one who truly cares about him.

    i say the foregoing as a preamble to thanking Eric Marc Katz for writing this column and providing this forum for a community who can help heal each other with our heartful thoughts. I was at SUCH loose emotional ends from the painful sadness I’ve been feeling since my dear Tom’s departure yesterday, and spending the day with EMK’s thoughts and with all if you, has gone far to heal my heart. Thank you, darling people, and my hope is we all can be happy soon in genuine love.

  6. 126

    Well, well.  I just went through a similar experience on a date two weekends ago.  He planned a nice date, we had a great dinner, evening of conversation, and wound up in the parking lot between our cars at a fairly early time on a Saturday.  The night was young, we agreed we didn’t want to go to a local bar, so we decided to hop in his vehicle for awhile.  Well, we made out, and things got carried away.  He asked me back to his place, and all I said was, you’re an attractive man, with a great kiss, and if a relationship together is something we both want somewhere down the road, I’m in.  That’s when I have sex with a man, and I can’t wait to see where we go.  It might have been too much, too soon (in terms of saying this to him) but I figured the scripts good after any number of dates so let ‘er rip, so to speak.  He sent me a text two days later thanking me for our awesome date, and then Friday I got the “I’m sooooo busy” text, which is likely code for ‘i won’t be calling you.’   And he hasn’t.  He disappeared.  The old me would have wondered what in the heck I did.  Maybe he didn’t like the way I chewed my food (LOL!), maybe he didn’t feel good one the date, maybe he was thinking about other women he’d met online, maybe he thought I’d be up for more.  But, the new me knows the reason just doesn’t matter.  He’s freed me up to find a man who is a good fit for me, who will call and make plans after a date, who will want to invest emotionally before having sex.  The key is figuring out if a guy wants a relationship and sex, or just wants me for sex.  I can’t think of a better tool than Evan’s suggested language to help figure that out.

  7. 127

    Hello Evan,

    You make some good points. I agree with you for the most part. I do think you should probably switch GUY to MAN as you seem to use the word WOMAN only for females but GUY mostly for MEN. That’s very lopsided and kinda sexist.

  8. 128

    Hm i feel the advice about deadend relationship,my opinion about petting before actual relationship is the perfect plan for that dead end we trying to avoid

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