Dear “At a Crossroads,”
First of all, let me say that it is society that looks down on casual sex. And, although, there is a point where you do have to consider certain consequences of the STD variety, I see nothing wrong with sex of the casual nature. You are not dooming yourself. The saying “Why buy the cow, when you can get the milk for free?” is nothing but BS. OK, maybe not always, but it has never worked out that way in my experience. There is no law in the dating world that says if you wait to have sex, you will end up in a better relationship. Why should that be a determining factor? What idiot thought that up? And, why do we idiotically think this is true? I do have to say that every situation is unique and with its own set of consequences of the emotional variety. Not to mention the emotional wreckage that can come from the second party involved. Have high standards; but know that no matter how many emotional walls you build, you never know when they will get knocked down. When they do get knocked down, then that is your signal that you can get more from the relationship than casual sex.
The best advice I can give is: Never go looking for that strong connection of love. When a lion stalks a zebra, the zebra can sense that it is in danger and follows its instinct to run. It is the same with men. They can sense women on the prowl for commitment, and they tend to run from that.
The ‘waiting until marriage’ or ‘waiting until the time is just right’ ideas are also BS. In other words, the “WAITING” stuff is purely propaganda. I say, get it out of the way early. If you can’t connect in the bedroom, how can you possibly connect in the relationship as a whole? I know couples who waited to have sex and wound up divorced, in part because they were not compatible in the bedroom. Sex has been swept under the rug for so many years, and needs to be faced head on and with conviction. The guilt ridden bedroom scenario has got to go. I am not saying that everyone should grab a partner and ‘do-si-do;’ rather, feel out the situation first, know the consequences, and make sure you trust whoever you are with. Being naked in a private room with someone is just about the most vulnerable situation anyone can be in. Just, please, be safe and smart (this is the mama in me coming out).
Now, there will be a time when you will have to ask yourself THE QUESTION. You have to ask yourself (and be honest): Are you ready for the emotional stuff? ARE YOU READY? Now, I’m not a bettin’ woman, but I would put money on the fact that you will suddenly find yourself in an emotional relationship that was born as a casual relationship. That is when you have to STOP, LOOK and LISTEN (as cliché as that might sound).
STOP! Step back for a second. Assess what is going on. Find your emotional walls and discover how much they are breaking down.
LOOK. Dig really deep into yourself (not with his penis) and look at the person you have become, where you are in life at this moment, and where you may be going. Are conditions perfect, or at least close to ideal? Is it time for a bright and sunny spring, or is winter coming?
LISTEN. Above all things, listen to your instincts! You know that pull in your stomach when you know something is off? Is that little voice in the back of your head telling you to run? Don’t second guess this voice. Don’t question it if it is telling you NOT to run. Your very first instinct is the correct answer. Don’t confuse yourself. Don’t debate your emotions. GO WITH IT.
One last question you should ask yourself. Are you happy? It is the most difficult, yet simple, question you will ever ask. What does happiness in a relationship mean to you? It is different for everyone, so I refuse to generalize what this entails. The only person who can make you happy is you. Find out what is in you that will make you happy. You must have a relationship with yourself and who you are, before you can ever have a relationship with anyone else.
Then, be ready to make the first move. Most men have failed Mind Reading 101.
In the end, building the real deal will come naturally and it is not as much of a bumpy road as you may think. It’s more like a smoothly paved road with the occasional pot hole or speed bump. Your instincts will tell you when to slow down, speed up, yield, stop, or simply keep on cruising. Sit back and enjoy the ride.