Dear At A Crossroads;
Better to be at a crossroad than a dead end. That’s the good news. The bad news is that either your GPS is faulty or you’ve entered the wrong destination.
Down one of those roads is casual sex and shallow relationships. Down the other road is the potential of marriage and commitment. This is indeed your crossroads. And it sounds like you’re trying to get to Denver from Fort Collins by driving north.
You said the commitment is terrifying to you. Of course it is. Look at the average person in his or her mid 20s as you are. Attention spans maxed out at 140 characters or 20 seconds, new jobs every two years, new sex partners every two months, new iPhones every year, a constant consumption based culture driven by the fetishizing of technology. You’re looking for commitment in a culture that’s not interested in commitment.
I know people who started with random sex and moved to love. It can happen. But it’s not a matter of which comes first, it’s a matter of being receptive to commitment. And you are – as you have noticed – doing a great job of avoiding emotional intimacy.
“Does taking the easy road mean I won’t be ready for the hard road?” Yes. If you train to run 5 miles on flat land at sea level then try to run 50 miles in the mountains you’re not gonna finish.
But if you stop the casual sex right now that’s not going to help because the casual sex isn’t the problem. It’s a symptom. Thanks to a perfect storm of technology and society you have easy access to a large number of men willing to have sex with you. And why shouldn’t you take advantage? How many men contact you each day on your smart phone? Your hypergamous desires are on overdrive.
Welcome to the Candy Store.
Solution time. What can you do now to create a situation where you will not miss this “right one” when/if he comes along?
1. Do you know for sure what your standards are? Make a list of the attributes you want in a man. I know it sounds stupid and touchy-feely. (You can tell I’m real touchy-feely can’t you?) Do it anyway. Be honest about what you put on the list.
You need this list for two reasons.
First, if you are aware of what you are looking for that makes you more likely to notice it when encountered. This aspect of how our minds and perceptions work explains why you buy a new car and suddenly notice all the other cars on the road of the same make and model.
Secondly, you need to solidify your own understanding of what you are looking for so you know what you are looking for. Duh, right?
What should be on this list? For women the typical standards are: Muscles, a motorcycle, goals (the female code word for “money”) and confidence. Write those down. Don’t pretend they aren’t on your list.
Add the stuff you mentioned. Commitment, trust, honesty, “maybe babies”. Add “wants to get married” to the list.
Add the other stuff you haven’t mentioned but will think of.
Now, you want honesty right? That means you are going to be honest in return right? When he asks “How many guys have banged you before me?” you are going to tell the truth. Thus your list also includes a man who will not get hung up on your sexual past. Some men are gonna have problems with that. Some aren’t.
2. Make a list of what you are bringing to this relationship. Yea. You read that right. Most people focus on what they want from others. What do you offer in return. You wrote that you think you’re a catch. That doesn’t matter. Does this man you are looking for, this man who is going to want to marry you, this man who meets all YOUR expectations, think you’re a catch? Men have expectations too. Keep in mind that men in your age range are rapidly loosing interest in marriage. The attitude of “I am woman. He will want me.” isn’t going to save the day.
When this marriage happens will you be able to give up the casual sex? In the list of things you want I notice monogamy wasn’t there. If monogamy isn’t part of the plan add this item to your standards for a man. “Will not divorce me for having sex with other men after we are married.”
You’re gonna have to stop shopping at the Candy Store.
As each year goes by you become less physically attractive, your Sexual Marketplace Value drops and the number of quality men available to you for marriage shrinks. This is offensive because it’s true. That’s how you recognize the truth. It hurts. You want a marriage to a quality man? The time to get serious is now.
Your homework (in addition to making the lists) is to read “The End of Sex: How hookup culture is leaving a generation unhappy, sexually unfulfilled, and confused about intimacy” by Donna Freitas. If any of it resonates with you then respond accordingly.
You are at a crossroads and which road you take depends on your intended destination. A destination you are going to have to choose real soon. One path leads to the Candy Store. The other path leads to a man who meets your expectations. Put your phone away and find your true north.