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Tell me this is “normal”


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Hi all,

 

I think my head is in the right place, but this particular situation is new to me and I’m soliciting some thoughts about it as reassurance.

 

Met a guy online—he is adorable, funny, and my type. Went on three really fun dates. We got frisky on date two, date three was the next night and we had sex twice and he stayed over. Honestly, this is not my norm (I usually only have sex in relationships) but after a rough breakup a number of months ago needed to feel wanted and to have fun. We did not discuss what we were looking for explicitly, although he did appear interested in dating me and I was interested in dating him. Since leaving in the morning he has not shown interest in seeing me again—communication has been brief and only if I initiate it. He was very enthusiastic between dates 1 and 3. I’m not going to contact him again and I’ll let this go.

 

His deal is that he has been separated from his wife for 5 months, not yet divorced. I get the sense he has only begun to date. I suspect I was the woman who he was with the rip the bandaid off and get back out there and that he may not be in the headspace to date. I have never been married so I can’t relate to this but I know he might be processing the end of a marriage. We are in our early 40’s.

 

My cognitive error is thinking: I wasn’t attractive enough or I did something wrong. This is where I get stuck and hard on myself, despite rational thinking.

 

So tell me this situation happens and that it’s not necessarily any indication that I wasn’t “enough.” I don’t regret my actions, but some normalization of this situation would help me.

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When I was separated from my ex for around 6 months, I had a few of those "rip the band-aid off" interactions... let's just say that those guys never stood a chance as I was no where near ready to be in a relationship at that point.

 

It's got nothing to do with how attractive you are or whether you did anything wrong. Perhaps the only wrong thing here is that you had some unrealistic expectations of him and what he was capable of at this point in his life.

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Sorry to hear this. There is no "normal", but this is a red flag.🚩 He's a kid in the candy store. Delete and block him. Move on, you'll get hurt.

 

He's just running amok bedding anything and everything to explore his freedom and distract himself. The heartache hasn't even begun, so don't go further with someone in this situation. He is married and may be back with his wife at any given time. It's not about you.

His deal is that he has been separated from his wife for 5 months, not yet divorced. I wasn’t attractive enough or I did something wrong.

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Who asked who out for the first three dates? If it's been him, did you take any initiative to ask him out for the next?

 

I'd encourage you not to slip into the "only taking 3 dates" ergo he doesn't need you anymore mentality. It's as archaic as it is frankly kinda miserable. Men don't need to be trained to take a woman seriously by not having sex within a certain number of dates. Nor should women be expected to have that responsibility. If indeed all he wanted was sex, it's certainly better that you found out 3 dates in rather than later. That's not saying to go right ahead and bang dudes early strictly as a litmus test. But that insofar as you want to have sex to have sex, that's up to your own discretion, and you're definitely not ruining prospects in the process.

 

And really, with you dating out of a "need to feel wanted" after a bad breakup and him just being five months out from a separation, not even divorced, a fling is about all I'd healthily expect. It may not feel good, but it's probably for the better.

 

But speaking generally, sex doesn't preclude the standard liability that there are 1,001 reasons someone could lose interest after date 1, 2, 3, 4, or even beyond. I wasn't there that evening to document any observations, so I couldn't tell you. At the end of the day, whether all he wanted was sex, if perhaps there was an off-putting line blurted out after a passionate moment, he was genuinely interested but the sex woke him up to how unavailable he is, or whether your stuffed animal collection on the bed was a long-term turn off, it's really not worth racking your brain. At the end of the day, he just doesn't seem interested. Not much you can do to help that. If it happens that you're feeling particularly worse about it given you've had sex, then it may be best to hold off until you've better established other measures of compatibility.

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anytime you give it up early (no judgement here), there will always be risk of a person moving on quickly. analyzing it to death does no good. maybe he used you for sex or maybe he used you as a rebound. maybe he does really like you and would date you under different circumstances. we shall never know. his actions indicate that he's moved on so learn from this and decide next time if it's worth getting frisky too early.

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He's still married. Separated is "still married." No matter if he's emotionally "ready". I agree with the others and I am sorry if you feel disappointed. Sounds like the fun wasn't worth the expectations afterwards and the stuck getting too hard on yourself feeling. How is it you feel wanted by a person who wants to have sex with you on the third date - you wanted to feel needed sexually? I'd be hard on myself if I were you -but about this -be very honest with yourself and what fun means to you and whether the risks of casual sex are worth the benefits.

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Does his wife know they are separated and he is sleeping around????

 

There is a good chance that he is just your run of the mill charismatic cheater, got what he wanted and moved on to the next willing body.

 

Even if he is honest, you still got involved with someone who is nowhere near being in any kind of relationship of dating frame of mind.

 

Bottom line is you got involved with a guy who is not in any way available for anything more than a fun romp in the sheets.

 

If you were simply looking for some fun and validation that you are still desirable, you got exactly what you wanted.

 

If you are looking for more serious dating, stay away from married, recently divorced, recently out of a break up type men. Don't place yourself in a one and done or rebound chic situation and then get upset that things play out exactly as is predictable. For serious dating, look for men who are healed and in a healthy place to date and are actually seeking to do just that. Be more selective and you won't have to sit and scratch your head wondering why a married guy just disappeared on you.

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He's still married. Separated is "still married."

 

Yep... I found that out when I tried to date while I was "separated"... not too many woman are into that.

 

And to think, I was not divorced because my ex wanted to stay "separated" for a year so she could still be covered under my insurance (this, while she was living with the guy she left me for). Sorry, it obviously hit a nerve! :stung:

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Yep... I found that out when I tried to date while I was "separated"... not too many woman are into that.

 

And to think, I was not divorced because my ex wanted to stay "separated" for a year so she could still be covered under my insurance (this, while she was living with the guy she left me for). Sorry, it obviously hit a nerve! :stung:

 

I always followed Dr. Joy Browne's one year rule and I did go on a date with a separated man when I was 23 as I actually didn't know the difference.

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Who asked who out for the first three dates? If it's been him, did you take any initiative to ask him out for the next?

 

I'd encourage you not to slip into the "only taking 3 dates" ergo he doesn't need you anymore mentality. It's as archaic as it is frankly kinda miserable. Men don't need to be trained to take a woman seriously by not having sex within a certain number of dates. Nor should women be expected to have that responsibility. If indeed all he wanted was sex, it's certainly better that you found out 3 dates in rather than later. That's not saying to go right ahead and bang dudes early strictly as a litmus test. But that insofar as you want to have sex to have sex, that's up to your own discretion, and you're definitely not ruining prospects in the process.

 

And really, with you dating out of a "need to feel wanted" after a bad breakup and him just being five months out from a separation, not even divorced, a fling is about all I'd healthily expect. It may not feel good, but it's probably for the better.

 

But speaking generally, sex doesn't preclude the standard liability that there are 1,001 reasons someone could lose interest after date 1, 2, 3, 4, or even beyond. I wasn't there that evening to document any observations, so I couldn't tell you. At the end of the day, whether all he wanted was sex, if perhaps there was an off-putting line blurted out after a passionate moment, he was genuinely interested but the sex woke him up to how unavailable he is, or whether your stuffed animal collection on the bed was a long-term turn off, it's really not worth racking your brain. At the end of the day, he just doesn't seem interested. Not much you can do to help that. If it happens that you're feeling particularly worse about it given you've had sex, then it may be best to hold off until you've better established other measures of compatibility.

 

Well put.

 

It sounds like you were both in a similar headspace, or at least sounds like you're now projecting some of your own emotional state (recent breakup, seeking #yolo fun) onto him.

 

Yes, it's human to be bummed when three fun dates don't lead to a fourth, however those dates went, but I think it's a disservice to human connection to chalk all that up to "he got what he wanted," as if men are single-celled sex monsters who can only be tamed through turning intimacy into a labyrinth. The world is filled with people in longterm relationships and marriages who had sex on the second or fourth date. This, alas, doesn't seem to be one of those stories.

 

You both wanted to have sex, got what you both wanted in that moment—while now, from the sounds of it, being on different pages about what you'd like to happen next. Which sucks. But that is the most common story to dating, with the "same page" stuff being the rarity. Better to chalk this up to a sparkly missed connection than rake yourself over the coals or diagnose his emotional state.

 

There are a million reasons why this is where it is, and none of them have anything to do with how awesome you are. You are awesome! Not every man will see that, and that's okay, and of course there are various factors, be it recently separated to recently arrived in town, that can fog a human's lens to being able to see the awesomeness of another, and want to cultivate their own awesome alongside that person. Perhaps you both needed this interlude to scrape off some rust.

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You both wanted to have sex, got what you wanted—while now, from the sounds of it, being on different pages about what you'd like to happen next. Which sucks. But that is the most common story to dating, with the "same page" stuff being the rarity. Better to chalk this up to a sparkly missed connection than rake yourself over the coals.

 

I think there's less risk of being on different pages when the two people discuss their general goals early on and wait to have sex until both are on the same page as to expectations from having sex (or no expectations). She wasn't honest with herself about her expectations or why she was having sex with this new person. I think more typically what happens in early dating whether sex is involved or not is that the people (especially if they didn't know each other before) change their minds sometimes because they meet someone else they like better or sometimes not. Very often they don't even know why they changed their minds and it's irrelevant other than for ego purposes. In a minority of cases it's because the person offended them, etc.

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It wasn't you, it is him.

 

No matter his reason he is showing classic signs of not being that into you. You could have waited 10 dates and the same thing probably would have happened.

 

Let it go and don't feel bad about yourself or think you are not enough. There are tons of men and women using online dating to make themselves feel wanted or desired and have no intention of getting serious with anyone.

 

You had some fun dates and hopefully good sex so look on the bright side of this.

 

Lost

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So to answer a question, he pursued me and was charming and sweet. But I literally only saw him 3 times. I guess there’s no point in trying to follow up with him, right?

 

I guess I also worry that I was somehow bad in bed, and that turned him off. But although comparability can differ, sure, I think for a first time things were just fine. I didn’t do anything weird and nothing felt awkward.

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So tell me this situation happens and that it’s not necessarily any indication that I wasn’t “enough.” I don’t regret my actions, but some normalization of this situation would help me.

 

Yes it is completely, 100% normal. One of the most common things ever. Man attentive, charming, in full pursuit before sex--afterwards, mission accomplished, bye. It has absolutely nothing to do with you. And "waiting to have sex" wouldn't have done any good either, only delayed the departure. He's just looking to sample what's out there is all. It's where he's at with his life after being married for X amount of years. There's nothing you could've done so do not dissect the evening wondering if it was the way you laugh or "not good enough in the sack" or whatever. Just chalk it up to experience and move on.

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I think there's less risk of being on different pages when the two people discuss their general goals early on and wait to have sex until both are on the same page as to expectations from having sex (or no expectations). She wasn't honest with herself about her expectations or why she was having sex with this new person. I think more typically what happens in early dating whether sex is involved or not is that the people (especially if they didn't know each other before) change their minds sometimes because they meet someone else they like better or sometimes not. Very often they don't even know why they changed their minds and it's irrelevant other than for ego purposes. In a minority of cases it's because the person offended them, etc.

 

I agree with this, for the most part, though I'm not sure if this is a case of someone being dishonest with themselves about post-coital expectations—but just someone being stung, and being honest about that, by a sparkly connection losing momentum after three dates. Does sex increase that sting? Perhaps. If so, sex can be approached differently in the future—or not, depending on how sharp the sting is, and how long it lingers.

 

I guess I just find the whole "he got what he wanted narrative," which makes a lot of cameos on this site, to be reductive. People change their minds, as you said, for a million reasons. The chances of that are much, much higher in the early days than once things are more established—so, sure, if you're sleeping with someone after a week or three you are invariably sleeping with someone who has a higher probability of changing their mind about you. Everyone can approach that however they please, and adjust their approach as they see fit.

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So to answer a question, he pursued me and was charming and sweet. But I literally only saw him 3 times. I guess there’s no point in trying to follow up with him, right?

 

I guess I also worry that I was somehow bad in bed, and that turned him off. But although comparability can differ, sure, I think for a first time things were just fine. I didn’t do anything weird and nothing felt awkward.

 

But that's just asking someone you just met to evaluate you for your own ego -if he was offended or thought you were rude/thoughtless I'm sure he would have told you. If he thought you were bad in bed so what? You barely know him. It doesn't matter who pursued whom or if he said charming and sweet things. His silence =lack of interest. Also married people cannot date. So no I don't see a point in following up.

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So to answer a question, he pursued me and was charming and sweet. But I literally only saw him 3 times. I guess there’s no point in trying to follow up with him, right?

 

I guess I also worry that I was somehow bad in bed, and that turned him off. But although comparability can differ, sure, I think for a first time things were just fine. I didn’t do anything weird and nothing felt awkward.

 

If this is where your mind is prone to jump it is probably best to avoid getting naked until a bit more of a connection is established.

 

Call me arrogant, call me healthy, but it would never cross my mind that I was "bad in bed" in a scenario like this, which I've been in here and there, just like it would never cross my mind that I "wasn't charming/smart/successful enough" if a woman decided to fade out after meeting me three times. I'm just me, I talk like x, have sex like y, do z for a living—am who I am. It's not going to be for everyone, just like everyone is not going to be for me. It's not a matter of "bad" or "good," but just about being good together, which is a choice both people need to make in order for things to progress. He's making a different choice, for reasons that have nothing to do with you and aren't worth trying to understand.

 

These moments always bruise the ego a bit. But I think the key is knowing how to treat those bruises (aside from from asking the bruiser for a bandaid) and to know your threshold. Without that combo, dating is a nightmare; with that combo pretty shored up, it's a lot of fun—sometimes smooth, sometimes choppy, sometimes hot, sometimes cold.

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He either was:

 

A.) Not ready to date seriously and you were a rebound, or

 

B.) Things moved too fast and he saw you as a one night stand and nothing more.

 

He's not interested, best to move on.

 

Next time around, find a man who has been single for a long while and has no complications and secondly, hold off on the sex. If you have sex too soon you've got no place to go and the man might not be interested once you've bedded him this quickly.

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I agree and with that and it’s even more important to be honest because you got what you claimed to want - you had fun and you were wanted sexually. You didnÂ’t tell yourself you wanted him to want you as a date or want to see you again. But you wouldn’t be analyzing this in this way if you truly only wanted a fun night and someone who wanted to have sex with you.

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These are two separate issues. One is he's married, just separated, playing the field, etc. the other is your insecurities. They are not related. Do not try to "win" a booby-prize like this to prove anything to yourself. It will backfire.

So to answer a question, he pursued me and was charming and sweet. But I literally only saw him 3 times. I guess there’s no point in trying to follow up with him, right?

 

I guess I also worry that I was somehow bad in bed, and that turned him off. But although comparability can differ, sure, I think for a first time things were just fine. I didn’t do anything weird and nothing felt awkward.

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He's not interested. I'd take this as a blessing in disguise that you spent only three dates together. That's not much time wasted to see someone's true colours. My husband was separated when we met. We're now married (I'm his second wife). Meet new people. Go out and have fun. Don't let this bring you down.

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