Recently, I met a man I liked. We shared three dates, had a fiery connection, and on our third date, finished the evening with mind-blowing sex. And then he dumped me.
I was a bit disappointed that our three-date streak didn't turn into a bona fide romance. It felt great to be having sex again—and with him, the sex was really something.
I didn't sleep over. I’m not a fan of sharing my space with anyone, including my intimate partners, so I tiptoed out while he was fast asleep. The next day, we texted. There was talk of a fourth date.
We exchanged a few more messages (primarily because I’d left my [nipple clamps and] earrings there). It was an accident, I swear. Highly convenient but absolutely unintentional.
I didn't hear from him for a few days. I tried to start playful exchanges a few times, but he didn't really engage.
Four days after our last encounter, I got this message: "I'm coming out of a very intense time of my life and I am not available for much," he wrote.
It didn't feel good. I felt rejected, discounted, and hurt that all he thought I deserved was a perfunctory text message.
I started to doubt myself and second-guess my attractiveness, my independence, my sexual liberation. But then I remembered the beliefs that guide my choices in every dating scenario. These beliefs are the mantras that keep me feeling confident, assertive, and intentional no matter the ups and downs of my romantic life.