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?

He’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.

    1. 122.1

      Lisa- If I was a smartass, I’d ask for your contact information.

  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

  9. 129

    Thank you for this article.   I was recently dating a guy I met online.   We had some amazing chemistry and it felt like overall a good connection.   We dated for 3 weeks and during that time, we had 2 sleepovers, some heavy petting but no sex.   Granted, he tried and we came close but I told him I wanted to wait because I wanted it to mean something.   The last night we got together, I went to his place and then we were going to go out on a date.   We made out for an hour and a half.   Chemistry was hot.   So I said, let’s get out of here and go somewhere.   We went out for a couple hours and on the way back to his place, he would grab me at each traffic light and kiss me, then he asked if I was staying over. I said I am probably going to go home.   He didn’t ask before and I didn’t pack a bag either.   So he kissed me goodnight and asked me to text him when I got home.   I felt so good when I left because I thought he really likes me and things are going in the right direction.   I didn’t hear anything from him the next day.   I knew something was up.   I texted him that night and he responded first thing the next morning.   We texted a few times that day and then I asked him if he wanted to grab dinner over the weekend.   The next day, (several hours after I sent my last text) I received a text message that said he had a great time getting to know me and I was absolutely a lot of fun. Then he said that he thought he was looking for something with someone but didn’t want to lead me on.   He said he is seeing us more as friends and we should end it now before it goes any further.   I’m glad I didn’t compromise who I was for a guy who would have dropped me like a hot potato anyway after giving him what he wanted.    I was pretty hurt as it is not easy to meet someone where the chemistry all around seems to be so spot on.   It was only 3 weeks and at the end of the day, I now see the person he really was and what his intentions really were.   

  10. 130

    I talked with a man that i met online for month before i met him. During that time, through text , email , phone conversations. He made it a point to let me know that sex was very important to him, and I agreed but included that I do not have ” casual sex” and was looking for serious relationship. For a month he said the same thing. The more we talked and shared our thoughts and desires, the more he expressed that I was the type of person he was looking for and so on…I felt the same way. When we finally met, I was very pleased. We had a great time, laughed held hands, kissed. He immediatly expressed his desire to see me again and before our date was over, made plans for the very next day. Well… our “plans” initially were to a park for the afternoon. When the next day came, I asked him what time he wanted to meet. He then suggested that i come to his house and just hangout. So I asked “inside” ? To which he replied “yes”…when i told him i would rather do something outside, he suggested that i was afraid to come to his house because it would lead to having sex. I told that was why and that i didnt want to be in a position that made either of us uncomfortable. His response was he had made it clear that sex was important to him and that we had already been talking for a month ( even though i had ony met him for the first time in person the evening before). I then explained it wasnt that i didnt find him sexually attractive or that i wouldnt have sex with him eventually, only that i wanted to wait until i felt the person i engaged with sexually shared the same feelings for me as i did them and that during our ” month” of communicating, i expressed that and he had agreed. Well…a few hours later he informed me that he was no longer seeking a serious relationship..and that my “plan” in trying to find one was old fashioned, that perhaps that is how relationships worked 20 years ago, but guys now have a different philosophy and that is because social media and dating sites etc have made it to accessible for men to find woman that will have sex. My response was well if thats the case ,why waste your time talking to me, that made my intentions clear?   Further told him that I was glad I didnt have sex with him as his statement only validated the reasons I dont entertain casual sex to begin with.

  11. 131

    I also dated a man for nearly 2 months- a date per week. The last date was amazing- all day in a park following by take away at his place. We went to his place cause was convenient. It was my first time at his place. We kissed a lot and he wanted more. I said that the rest am doing only with boyfriends. I would feel awful if we would be intimate while he is still on dating website.He said -he understand. He said he would like to be with somebody. I was like “somebody ?” than he said …”yeah, you”…I said we can continue when he will be less ambivalent…then we watched a movie and he asked if I can stay over night-just to cuddle. He said it is nice to have a “company”. I said I don’t want to be just a company. I asked if he could drop me home. He did. He didn’t arrange to see me weekend after …but I know he was busy. This weekend will be very telling. If he wont make plans- I will thank him for great time. He was barely texting between dates (from the start) so cant really tell…he usually just texted once, twice a week or to ask me out.

    I am gutted ..and like one of the readers here, I almost found myself regretting that I didn’t go all the way lol how sad is that? I feel like I scared him away by questioning his “somebody ” comment…..I think I messed up big time. I wouldn’t bring this up if we wouldn’t be in this position…..wish I never went to his place….am super gutted. I didn’t feel such a connection on every level for long time. I guess -it was just me….and my perception. If he was put off by this and all the time we spent didn’t matter to him, than I have no choice but to accept it…sad as hell

    1. 131.1

      I know you are hurting right now, but by you setting the boundaries that you did, you weeded out someone who ONLY wanted you for sex.   2 months in, and only seeing each other once a month ?   That’s not a relationship. He is “busy” the entire weekend after you didn’t have sex with him ?   Yeah right. His “somebody” comment was intentionally ambivalent, to give you a crumb of hope, and leaving him plausible deniability after he dumped you.   If you had slept with him, the most you would have gotten was 1 or 2 more sex dates at his place (if even that) and then the amazing disappearing man act.   The only men who are “scared away” by that line of questioning are men who are “scared” to reveal the truth, that they only want sex and nothing more, because they KNOW you won’t go for that.

      Now that he’s gone, there is room in your life for that man that won’t disappear, and the man who doesn’t just want “somebody” in his life but wants YOU in his life, and makes that unequivocally clear.

    2. 131.2
      Karmic Equation

      Having sex with a man because HE wants to have it is the WORST POSSIBLE reason for a woman to have sex.

      Have sex when YOU want it. And if you only want it in an exclusive relationship, that is your RIGHT.

      Sex doesn’t keep a man around for long if that is all he ever wanted from you.

      So you didn’t “scare” him away. He showed you, by his actions, that your only value to him was sex. A man who wants YOU for YOU (with sex as the BONUS, not the goal), will wait to have sex on your schedule. And if he believes you’re girlfriend material, he’s not going to be “afraid” to make you his girlfriend before you have sex.

  12. 132

    Thank you so much for your response SparklingEmerald & Karmic Equation….

    just to clarify – we were seeing each other once a week prior that evening….about 7 dates in total, mostly on Saturdays. Last weekend he didn’t ask me out for the first time. Coincidence ? Not sure.

    I am beating myself up that I scared him away by  asking  him about the “somebody” comment and “company”….he could  take it  as I am putting pressure for   relationship and why he is not sure about me. I do realise it can be too  early for him to decide if he want us to give a go…especially if he may date other great women. The data I had about him- was enough for me to give us a go…but I appreciate his time frame can be different. I didn’t expect to for him to do a slow fade ….cause even before he meet me he said he is looking for someone special….after 2nd date asked to pop in to his place for coffee (9pm) I decline the offer and he apologised stating that he is not just looking for “one thing” …so there you go -mixed signals….I wanted him too-don’t get me wrong but when I thought of the fact that he is still on dating website – I did stick to my guns ….wanted to stay for night -badly – just to cuddle too but doing things what couples do without being a couple …not for me….

    I am gutted …cause I thought he recognised my qualities ….but there was not enough interest I guess. He usually asked me for my plans on Wednesdays…we will see if he will this week. If not – I have my answers….I am tempted to write something to him but what is the almost like begging for attention……………..

  13. 133

    best, most relevant post, ever.

  14. 134

    I tried exactly what Evan said to do when my date (we had dated for a few weeks) attempted to have sex with me. I told him I only sleep with men with whom I am in an exclusive relationship and who is committed to me only. He then said, Yes, I want to be in an exclusive relationship with you and be committed to only you. He said he wanted me to be his girlfriend. So we slept together a few times. The next thing I know, he disappears. My lesson learned was that it was far too early in the “relationship” to be having sex. Also don’t believe what a guy says until you’ve known him a lot longer and he has earned more of your trust.

  15. 135

    oral sex is not intercourse?

    Who are you? Bill Clinton?

  16. 136
    Ivy Rose

    So at first when I was reading this, I was wondering why Google brought me to this page. I had searched for finding out whether or not I was actually in a relationship when I had never had sex with the person and we had only gone on one actual date. After I started reading, I wondered more why I was reading it with I’m gay. However, once I got far enough in, I realised I could easily replace the word man with woman and husband with wife, and everything would still apply. The issue that for me wasn’t that we didn’t have sex, but when you said that if they didn’t act like a boyfriend (or in my case, girlfriend) they really weren’t. So I’m going to let go and wait until I find my true wife.

  17. 137

    Eh, it wasn’t so much the guy bailing like rats on a sinking ship. It was the fact he fooled me when I was expecting to be fooled, and thought “he’s a great guy with insecurities I once had”. It felt comfortable, safe, familiar, and a place to grow from.

    If that shit bag fooled me, it kills it for finding the non-shit bags out there. How do you know an actor from a genuine soul?

    As I gain experience, so do the shit bags.

  18. 138

    Most of men (men) admitted to me that its better for a woman to wait with sex. Or try to prolong the dating without sex as long as she can so the man can actually emotionally bond to her, and she won’t feel insecure after sex.

  19. 139

    As a guy, I think your advice wasn’t so good. To ask a guy to commit before having sex is a big ask. You have to have sex before commitment, so you know what you’ll be getting into. You had her play to hard to get and she lost the guy. By the time we are in our 50’s, time get shorter and moments more precious. Why waste it by putting up unnecessary boundaries. It they’d made love, maybe they’d still be seeing each. If not, well they could say they had a good lay. Sounds like she lost a good catch thanks to your advice.

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