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Thread: How to tell if he is genuinely interested or is grooming me for sex?

  1. #1
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    How to tell if he is genuinely interested or is grooming me for sex?

    I [26F] have been going out with a guy [31M]. We met online before the pandemic lockdown started in my city, have chatted/talked/gone on "video dates" for about a whole month before starting to see each other and have been seeing each other for an additional month after my city relaxed its restrictions.
    I'd say we established some emotional and intellectual connection before starting to go out. I have been thinking for a while that he is genuinely interested but a few things that happened recently make me question it. I'd love to get others' opinion on this:

    Reasons why I think he is genuinely interested:
    - He initiates contact pretty much every day via texting and will chat for hours. I also initiate sometimes but he does most of the initiation
    - We talk about a lot of different topics, ranging from sharing stories on how we grew up/ our family environment etc to intellectual topics
    - He says he enjoys my company and loves spending time with me
    - He remembers the things I say and I feel like he does indeed listen
    - He has invited me to video calls with his friends to participate in some activities
    - He makes plans to see me every weekend and sometimes weekdays. However, a few times he asked me the morning of the day and not really in advance
    - Pretty sure he is not going out with anyone else right now and wanted to know if I was seeing other people. But... to be fair, I think this is mostly due to the pandemic, neither of us wants to increase our contacts much. So I don't think this means much given the conditions of the world today. It's possible he is bored and wants to entertain himself without going out with too many people.
    - Has made a comment that his attraction "is not just physical" a few weeks ago. He mentioned that our dates have been progressing slower than how he would date normally but this was mostly due to the pandemic and he actually liked it: He says normally it is more difficult to figure out if the attraction is just physical or not.

    Reasons why I think he is just grooming me for sex:
    - When we were in the chatting phase, he mentioned that he has previously slept with women he saw no potential with. I mentioned to him that if I don't see a potential future with a guy, I just cut it off, I don't sleep with them. So, based on what he said about his past, it sounds like even if he isn't genuinely interested in me, he would still be interested in sleeping with me but now he knows that I wouldn't be interested in just a hook-up. So it is possible he could be trying to seem interested to sleep with me.
    - On our 4th date, he asked if I would be interested in going over to and hang out at his house next time. At that point, I still had serious concerns about pandemic (despite lockdown lifting) and creating a chain of connections (we both have a roommate) so I mentioned this to him and said I would need to think about it. He still initiated contact that week but definitely came across less interested. Later in the week, he did still ask me out for a 5th date (in public, not to go over to his house), however. Not sure how to take this.
    - On our 5th date, we kissed in a park (he brought up cooking for me for our next date so I think he plans on inviting me over again), and he has been *a lot more* flirty. He keeps mentioning how much he enjoys kissing me, asked to see me again the very next day (I was busy, scheduled something for later in the week), so there is a marked increase in his interest for sure. While we still talk about various different things as before, relationship feels a little bit sexualized in comparison to the past now. He now compliments me on my physical features (such as beautiful face, cute smile etc) instead of personality/intellect and keeps mentioning how much he would like to kiss me again etc. I think this sharp change (combined with the first two points) is what makes me question him the most.
    - Sometimes he sees some funny video clip from a show we both like and he will send it to me to laugh. But recently a few times, these contained some quite sexualized content
    - He seems very comfortable around me. I know this isn't supposed to be a bad thing, per se, but when I want to have a serious relationship with someone and not screw things up, I tend to get a little bit nervous. That was the case with my previous boyfriend, too. He doesn't really seem nervous around me at all.

    I don't yet feel comfortable with him enough to bring up the question of what he is looking for from our dates (mostly because I don't want to accidentally slip into the topic of defining the relationship since I haven't figured out if I like him enough to want to be in a long term relationship with him. I thought I did but my recent thoughts make me question his genuineness a little bit, which changed how I feel about him). Do you think any of the above indicate anything particular about his intentions? I think I am physically attracted to him as well but I don't want to feel used in the end if it looks like he just wants someone to mess around with in the end. Getting Ready for a First Date
    Last edited by elyssac; 05-27-2020 at 09:24 AM.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    Lady, you're a grown woman. Where's your sense of agency? Don't want to "feel used?" Him "grooming" you? You're an equal player here. Have sex if you want to. Don't if you don't. Why the rush to play hapless victim?

    You can't know this guy's intentions. And frankly, agonizing over what you can't know is a miserable way to be in general, never mind date. If you need to feel more secure with a person and your prospects with them before engaging in sexual activity with them, then you wait. It doesn't really matter what he wants or what his intentions are. All you know and can control are your own. Whether he is just in it for sex or if he's simply comfortable progressing things physically at a quicker pace than yours, you assert your own boundaries. Or if you truly are convinced he's only in it for a lay, stop seeing him. You don't owe any guy a day in court before deciding they're not with your investment.

    I'm by no means God's gift to women, and even so, if I wanted to hook up with someone, I didn't need to waste time, effort, and money on 5+ dates to do it. Most guys don't. Adding to that, I'm not seeing any tremendous red flags in your "grooming" list. 3, 4, 5+ dates in is a pretty common number of dates where people start ramping up the flirting and physical advances. It's perfectly fine if you're the type to take things slower, but I'd work on maintaining your boundaries without assuming the worst of guys who do take things at a conventional enough pace.

    You'll get a lot further with a lot less headache knowing what you want and taking it upon yourself to act in your own interests rather than relying on the vague intentions of other people.

  3. #3
    Bronze Member Smoothie58's Avatar
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    Iíd agree with the above. Iím not sure why youíd refer to it as ďgrooming.Ē
    Iím sure he is interested in sex with you- most people who are dating are - but it doesnít seem like he is only in it for sex.

    If youíre not comfortable or not ready, thatís your prerogative, but itís not unreasonable for him to be interested to take it to the next level with someone heís dating and attracted to.

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    I think "grooming" might have been the wrong term to use here. It's possible as a non-native speaker of English, I am not properly expression what I had in mind. But your response sounds reasonable (about focusing on my own things instead of trying to figure out his intentions).

    Originally Posted by j.man
    if I wanted to hook up with someone, I didn't need to waste time, effort, and money on 5+ dates to do it. Most guys don't.
    I am not sure if this is still true with the pandemic lockdown having affected people's willingness to go out :P but sure, in general.


    Originally Posted by j.man
    Adding to that, I'm not seeing any tremendous red flags in your "grooming" list.
    This is reassuring to hear. Thank you.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    The best thing you can do in this situation is not sleep with him.

    It sounds like you've been involved for about two months. That's really not a lot of time to get to know each other. You are right to be somewhat wary.

    Originally Posted by elyssac
    - Pretty sure he is not going out with anyone else right now and wanted to know if I was seeing other people.
    Why didn't you ask whether he was dating other people or not?

    Originally Posted by elyssac
    - Has made a comment that his attraction "is not just physical" a few weeks ago. He mentioned that our dates have been progressing slower than how he would date normally but this was mostly due to the pandemic and he actually liked it: He says normally it is more difficult to figure out if the attraction is just physical or not.

    He still initiated contact that week but definitely came across less interested.

    He keeps mentioning how much he enjoys kissing me, asked to see me again the very next day (I was busy, scheduled something for later in the week), so there is a marked increase in his interest for sure.

    relationship feels a little bit sexualized in comparison to the past now. He now compliments me on my physical features (such as beautiful face, cute smile etc) instead of personality/intellect and keeps mentioning how much he would like to kiss me again etc. I think this sharp change (combined with the first two points) is what makes me question him the most.

    - Sometimes he sees some funny video clip from a show we both like and he will send it to me to laugh. But recently a few times, these contained some quite sexualized content

    my recent thoughts make me question his genuineness a little bit, which changed how I feel about him

    I don't want to feel used in the end if it looks like he just wants someone to mess around with in the end.
    You are the the one with boots on the ground in this situation. Always trust your gut. You are your best possible advocate.

    If you feel he's 'grooming you for sex,' pump the brakes.

    Worst case scenario, he kicks you to the curb because you fail to adhere to his sex schedule.

    Wouldn't that be better than sleeping with him only to find out that he was using you?

  7. #6
    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    I would assume any guy who finds you attractive on the first date and goes on more with you is imagining having sex with you. It's a normal goal. And after the fifth date, it's normal to be flirting more after kissing, and commenting on looks. If a guy I went on dates with didn't, I'd be worried that we were just buddies and that he just wasn't that into me. He hasn't crossed any boundaries like groping you or asking if you want to have sex. It's really hard to sift through all the sand that's out there now to find the treasure. With all the OLD I did after my first marriage ended, I'm seeing this guy you're dating as a good prospect so far.

    Of course, don't have sex until you're comfortable, but if you're unreasonable about the timeline, expect many guys not to wait around more than four months for this to happen. And just because you wait that long doesn't guarantee success. My friend waited 4 months to have sex with a guy. But of course you've barely scratched the surface of who a person is by that point, and during the next 5 months with him she learned he was an alcoholic and ended things.

    A guy co-worker, oddly enough, shared with other co-workers that he and his wife had sex on their first date. They are happily married with 2 children.

    The only control you have is to find out more about him including his past relationship history, because if he's never had more than a 2 month relationship, that would be a pretty good bet that your dating life with him would end up the same way. You look for must-haves and look for dealbreakers, and beyond that, if everything looks good, enjoy each date as it comes along and hope for the best.

    If you've used your brain and heart, they're in sync, and so have sex and it doesn't work out, tell yourself you'll survive and move on.

    Relationships are always a risk. More will end than survive, and that's reality. Learn to be resilient because achieving the goal of gaining a lifetime partner is worth all the frustrations and heartbreak that normally happen until you find "the one."

    Relax your brain because nobody wants to be with a shaking worrywart, sleuthing for underhanded motives. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

  8. #7
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    Sounds like you are looking for an excuse to end this. I don't know where you get the "grooming" bit.

    You need to chill out! Too much overthinking. If you don't want to sleep with him yet, then don't sleep with him.

  9. #8
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    Nothing wrong with slowing down the pace if it feels rushed to you. Let him know you are physically attracted to him but don't want to have sex so soon. I personally would find videos with explicit sexual content from someone I've been on a few dates with off putting. If his comments or behavior make you uncomfortable, gently let him know and if he gets defensive and rude, then you know you are not a good match.


    Originally Posted by elyssac
    I don't yet feel comfortable with him enough to bring up the question of what he is looking for from our dates (mostly because I don't want to accidentally slip into the topic of defining the relationship since I haven't figured out if I like him enough to want to be in a long term relationship with him.
    You can and probably should talk about this. It doesn't have to slip into defining your relationship - however, the longer you wait before touching this topic, the more likely it will. In my experience most of the guys I go on a date with will ask some version of the question "so, what are you looking for?" within the first 2-3 dates. At that point there is almost no risk of being cornered to define our nonexistent "relationship." However if someone I've been seeing 3 months but not in an official relationship with asks this question? It would sound like he wants to know where we are.

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    Originally Posted by Jibralta
    Why didn't you ask whether he was dating other people or not?
    He actually volunteered this information himself in our last date. We didn't have any exclusivity talk but when talking about contact tracing, he told me that apart from his roommate I was his only contact.

    Originally Posted by Jibralta
    It sounds like you've been involved for about two months. That's really not a lot of time to get to know each other. You are right to be somewhat wary.
    That's actually how I feel like, too, but it seems like I am much slower than other people around me (or the dating norms around me). It's nice to hear that other people feel similarly, though. I mean, I am attracted to him and can see myself sleeping with him but I guess I haven't got that comfortable with him yet.

    Thanks for your response!

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    Originally Posted by SophiaG
    I personally would find videos with explicit sexual content from someone I've been on a few dates with off putting.
    Honestly, I did, too. I didn't really know how to respond so I tried to take it lightly and made a joke about the video, but yeah, I feel like stuff like that is pretty awkward early on.

    Originally Posted by SophiaG
    You can and probably should talk about this. It doesn't have to slip into defining your relationship - however, the longer you wait before touching this topic, the more likely it will. In my experience most of the guys I go on a date with will ask some version of the question "so, what are you looking for?" within the first 2-3 dates. At that point there is almost no risk of being cornered to define our nonexistent "relationship." However if someone I've been seeing 3 months but not in an official relationship with asks this question? It would sound like he wants to know where we are.
    Yeah, I kind of wish we talked about it earlier on because I find myself trying to guess (which isn't good) but I also can't bring myself to ask, either. I don't want him to think I want to rush into a relationship because I really don't want to. Do you think "so, what are you looking for?" would still be appropriate to ask now?

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