How can you tell when it’s the right time to sleep with a partner? And what can you do if you've already been physical, and now they’re pulling away? Here’s how to make sure you’re putting yourself first.
Have you ever become physical with a partner only to see them pull away from you and even disappear?
I have some advice that’ll help you feel good about your choices when it comes to intimacy—and help you avoid the unnecessary pain that comes from getting involved with people who may never be able to give you the kind of relationship you deserve.
What Not to Do
I grew up in a family of women and have spent years dedicating myself to helping women attract and build great relationships with worthy partners. It might make you cringe to read these, but ask yourself if you’ve done any of them:
1. Not saying anything about what it means for you to share yourself because you keep telling yourself that the other person feels the same way you do. Assuming they want a relationship because they want to sleep with you
2. Not saying anything about your feelings or about wanting a relationship because you thought it might "weird them out" or make it awkward.
3. Not knowing exactly how you feel or what sleeping with that person will mean to you until after you do it and a whole rush of feelings hits you like a tidal wave.
If you've felt hurt because you became physical with someone who ended up not wanting to date or start a relationship, odds are that one or more of the above circumstances was involved.
Many of us get "caught up" in that moment and end up sleeping with someone we aren’t in a relationship with—thinking that we’re OK with it—or even that it will be a good thing.
Then our true feelings sneak up on us. We start to feel awful when we realize the person we shared ourselves with isn’t on the same page as we are emotionally.
Ask yourself this question:
Who made this person the final judge of your worth?
No one else holds the true measure of your worth—meaning no one else can either give it to you, or take it away. Hoping someone will become the person you want them to be if you give them what they want is a doomed strategy.
Stop making decisions based on what you think your relationship could be, and open your eyes to what it is right now. You're so wrapped up in someone else’s perspective, actions, feelings, and desires (or lack thereof) that you've stopped thinking about what YOU want.
Do you even want them?
I'll take a wild guess here and bet that the kind of partner that you truly want isn't one who’ll freak out or get distant just because you're telling him how you're feeling after you've already slept together.
So why are you wasting your energy trying to convince someone to give you the approval you already deserve. That's right, you don’t want to be doing this. There's a better way.
Be Clear About What Sex Means to You (and the Other Person) Before You Have It
Just because a man has sex with a woman, it doesn't mean that he has decided whether or not he wants to be with her or have a relationship in the future.
And a person is not going to "see your worth" just because you've slept with them. More to the point, it’s not the physical attraction that causes someone to really feel affection. Sure, it would be nice if everyone had the same approach to physical intimacy or explained how they felt before sleeping with you.
In short, you can’t control or manipulate someone else into feeling a certain way about you. That’s why it’s absolutely imperative that YOU decide how you feel about physical intimacy with this person before it happens—and that you get clear on what kind of relationship YOU want.
Apply this rule next time you’re faced with the decision to sleep with someone or not:
"I only sleep with someone if I feel certain they already value me and see me for the amazing person I am."
The Thrill of the Chase
The other thing to know is that a lot of people (men especially) have something that I call the "Pursuit Gene."
There's a drive to be that challenged—and to overcome that challenge. I know it sounds cliché, but it's true. They want to be challenged by the idea of meeting, attracting, and pursuing a woman. And then they want to win the “prize.” They feel stronger for having done it.
Pursuers meet this challenge in one of two ways:
1. They achieve short-term fulfillment (sex).
2. They pursue connection, love, and physical intimacy in a deeper way, over the long term.
Here's the amazing part: You get to choose.
If you lose control emotionally, seek approval, or think you can “trade” sex for love before someone is experiencing an intense desire to win you over and to be with you, then the opposite occurs.
The pursuer loses that feeling of excitement and challenge. They recognize that you have already given over physical and emotional control to him, which destroys the strongest "lead-in" to creating lasting love with a pursuer.
What is that "lead-in"? Attraction. Pursuers want to feel attraction. And that attraction is both the cause and the effect of the pursuit. They don't want someone to try to convince them that what they're experiencing and feeling should be meaningful and loving. That's not how it works.
Instead, they want to feel their desire independently. It should be emotionally driving them. They want it to be undeniable and unrelenting. Get where I'm going here? Don’t deny your pursuer the thrill of the chase.
If you don't allow them to feel that desire, to give them a chance to experience delayed gratification, you might stop the relationship before it has a chance to start.