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.
1. Healthy relationships can only be formed between equals.
I don't want to be with someone who isn't going to be as invested in the relationship as I am. This guy wasn't right for me, if for no other reason than that he wasn't excited about it.
2. Good sex doesn't necessarily mean you'll make a good couple.
There's a lot more to relationship compatibility than just sexual compatibility. It's easy to imagine that hot physical chemistry suggests a match made in heaven, but that's just not realistic.
3. Great sex is more about me than about anyone else.
Like I said, the sex was amazing. It's easy to feel like I'm missing out—like he didn't think I deserved him, and now my sex life will suffer as a result. But that's so not true! I enjoy sex more now than I used to because of how I've grown sexually—not because of a particular prowess on his part. I’ve released myself from the orthodox upbringing that made me feel guilty for wanting to enjoy sex. I had my first orgasm with another person at the age of 35. And now, at 40, I enjoy sex more every single time.
4. If I live and love with expectations, I'm doing it wrong.
Love, to me, is only worth having if it's given without condition or expectation. To regret giving affection because it was not received in equal measure is missing the point.
Sure, my ego is a bit bruised. But I know that my ego likes to create drama in my life. I can choose not to listen to its whispers. No matter how a relationship evolves or ends, I can choose to learn from it. And I do.
It's OK for me to be disappointed. It's human to crave intimacy and feel hurt by rejection. I came away from this experience more convinced than ever that loving someone is a gift and a privilege. Loving is my superpower! I am too sexy, sassy, and sensational to do anything but keep being myself.