Rose asked: “I really don’t know what to do, I constantly go around and around with this. I’ll start talking to a guy and we’ll go out a time or two, then I’ll just put out and he’ll leave not too long after. Now I know I shouldn’t be doing this but it seems like when I don’t the man I’m most interested will end up walking away whether I put out or not. I know most people will leave, especially in relationships but I don’t know what to do, help please!”
Liz says: Okay Rose, here’s what you’ve got to do from now on. You need to enter each new relationship understanding your worth (which is more than you think!), and ask yourself “What does this guy bring to the table?” and “Are we going to be compatible?” In other words, stop entering each meeting wondering if he’s going to like you, instead wonder to yourself “Am I going to like him?” Write down everything you want/need in a mate, including personality traits and hobbies. While no one will match your list perfectly, think about what’s most important for you two to have in common (trust, kindness, humor, etc). Do you laugh at the same things? Does he start conversations with you? Does he compliment more than your appearance (or compliment you at all)? What’s important to him in life, and does he listen to you discuss what’s important to you? These are a just few things to pay attention to.
You need to take back your power. The power you have over your own body, your emotional needs, and your sexual desires. That means knowing yourself enough to actively abstain from sex with any guy who isn’t an actual boyfriend who shows you love and affection. When you have serious feelings for a guy, make sure he’s qualified to be your man before you “put out”. That means dating a while, with intentions of getting to know him better and seeing if you two fall in love, before acting sexually. I know this sounds easier said than done when feeling overpowered by your attraction, but it’s imperative you don’t even allow yourself to be in a situation where you can easily give in to the excitement. It can be done!
The things we tell ourselves (our beliefs) can have serious effects on our behavior. You believing that “most people will leave” is not only false, but influencing you to “just put out” because you figure there’s a chance that having sex early will make him stay. The guy who falls for you will respect your need to wait, especially if you explain why it’s important, but a guy who only wanted sex will leave.
This doesn’t mean I think all casual sex is bad, by the way. Casual sex can be great for those mature enough and emotionally healthy enough to have a fling understanding that it’s only a fling. But even in those cases, it can get complicated if one starts to fall for the other but the feelings aren’t mutual. In your case Rose, what you want isn’t a simple hook-up. You want a boyfriend who appreciates you.
One last note: it also sounds like you need to go places that have quality guys! You need to be pickier about what guys you let in, but if you notice the same types always showing interest, you might need to find new places to hang out. I don’t know if you’ve tried online dating, but if you do stay away from Tinder and any site that tends to attract the guys who want hook-ups.
Kudos to you for recognizing the pattern and realizing you are ready to change it! That’s the beginning to a new life 😉