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I want to wait

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  October 25, 2011 08:48 AM

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Q: Dear Meredith,

Love the blog, love you, love the readers. However, I noticed there was a shortage of letters about gay people for whatever reason, so I decided to write in about my situation and try to bump up the stats for Love Letters. Well that, and I also need some advice.

After a rough breakup last year and then several months of not dating, I felt like it was time for me to get back out there and try to meet some new people. I went to Meetup events, created an online dating profile, kept an open mind about being fixed up by friends, the whole nine yards. I met some really interesting people and eventually I started going on dates. Some of them were trainwrecks, but some of them have been great.

I met one of the great ones three weeks ago. He's funny, cute, smart, and overall a really nice guy. Since we clicked right off the bat, we have gotten together a handful of times and have had a few sleepovers. When we crashed at each other’s places, even though I am attracted to him, I knew in my mind that I wasn't going to have sex with him just yet. However this past weekend, he stayed over and we did have some late night grilled cheese (I am a guy after all ...). He definitely tried to take things further, but I resisted. When he asked if everything was OK, I basically said, "I like to get to know someone before I have sex with him," which elicited a slightly surprised reaction from my date.

My question is this: Is it really such an outlandish concept to want to get to know someone before you have sex with them these days? Don't get me wrong -- I have been dating for over ten years now and I definitely went through the phase where I threw around the term "date" very liberally, as many of these were clearly one night stands. But at this point in my life (I'm 29), I feel like I want to find out if this person has the potential to be in a relationship with me before we just dive right in. And I don't mean waiting three months; I'm talking about maybe another two or three weeks while we are still getting to know each other. I don't think that is unreasonable, but maybe I am in the minority here. How, if at all, do you think I should bring this up to him? I don't want to make a big dramatic scene about this. I just think it would be better to have a brief but honest chat about what is going on rather than sending mixed signals or making him confused.
Any advice from you and the readers will be much appreciated. Thanks!

– Wanting a Bit More Time, Boston


A: Bring this up with your guy -- but very, very casually. Like you said, you don't want to make a big dramatic scene.

Just say, "Hey -- I hope I'm not confusing you with the bedroom stuff. I'm very into what we're doing here, but I don't want to rush things."

Honestly, how can anyone argue with that?

My guess is that his surprised reaction had to do with being caught up in the moment. For some people, sleepovers mean a specific thing so it's always best to make your intentions clear. He might have also been a bit hurt. Your reason for not having sex with him was that you didn't know him well enough. Maybe he feels like he already knows you. Make sure he understands that you're just as psyched as he is about continuing this.

Waiting for good things isn't outlandish at all. Keep your own pace. Just make sure that if you really like a guy, he knows it. There's a difference between "I'm not ready" and "You've been rejected."

Readers? How do you say, "Let's wait awhile?" How do you sleep over without sleeping over? Help.

– Meredith


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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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