Today I’m going to be answering a question from the audience.
I got an email from a young woman who’s just lost her virginity to a guy and they don’t have any sort of established label on their relationship. She wants to know what I think she should do about her current dilemma.
She says “I need advice, I don’t know where this guy that I’m dealing with head is at” (they’re both under 20). “So I’ve known this guy for two months now. He’s taken me on several dates. We don’t have a title yet but we ended up having sex.”
Apparently the sex went well but because he’s shy and he knows that he took her virginity, she feels that he doesn’t know how to talk to her now, he doesn’t know how to how to come at her.
She wants to have sex with him again. She also wouldn’t mind pursuing an emotional connection with him, but because they don’t have a title, they don’t have an official relationship she doesn’t feel like she has the right to kind of push him or challenge him about this. She’s saying “We could pursue an emotional connection but is it too late because we’ve had sex now?”
Basically this guy’s kind of gone a bit cold and weird it sounds like, since they had sex, and she’d like to see him again but because they’re not officially boyfriend and girlfriend she doesn’t feel like she has the right to ask for what she wants. That’s what I’ll be addressing today.
There’s a couple of things to look at there.
TAP ‘N GAP
First and foremost, we’ll get one option out of the way which is the “tap and gap” kind of guy. So for girls out there who have had sex with a guy and he suddenly goes cold and disappears, there’s a hook-up culture type thing happening, what I suggest is that this is actually about taking a preventative measure.
If you’re worried about guys just using you for sex and then moving on – just notching up the bedpost – just hold out for a couple of dates, that’s all it takes to get rid of the old tire kickers. And avoid online dating apps like Tinder and all these like quick-hookup apps.
Go meet people in real life, through your hobbies, through your circle of friends – it’ll be much less likely that you’ll come across the kind of more predatory guys. So we get that out of the way because that’s not what this situation is.
To the main issue. Short answer: directly discuss what you’re feeling or what you’re thinking with the guy. Don’t wait for permission. Don’t sit around waiting for a title to be formed or waiting for him to make the next move. Go to him and be direct.
Be willing to lose him rather than try to play it safe and not do anything that might scare him away. If he’s gonna be scared away then scare him away – get it out of the way early. If he’s good for you, you won’t be able to do that with honesty – being honest will just draw him in. You can’t really lose either way, it’s already predetermined.
Don’t ask for what you want – tell them what you want, and then give them a chance to respond and reciprocate, and a clear path they can follow. What I mean by this is rather than saying to someone like “Are we boyfriend/girlfriend? What are we now? Where’s this going? Can we see each other again?” You can just say what you want, which is “I’d like to see you again. I’d like to take this further. I want to have sex with you again.”
You should be very direct with them, preferably in person if you can or on the phone – not by text! I know I sound like an old man for saying that but text is just the worst form of communication – it’s just cowardly. But even if text is the best you can come up with, with your level of courage, go for it.
MAKE AN OFFER
Just say “Look, I want this” and give them clear guidance as to how they can show you whether they’re on board with this. Rather than saying “Can we be girlfriend and boyfriend?” You can say “Look, I’d like to get into a committed relationship with you, if you’re on board with this call me back. If this is what you want too, let me know. ”
Make an offer, with here’s how you show me that you like this offer, and if I don’t see that from you I’m gonna assume it’s a No and I’m gonna move on with my life. And you can give them this out – either you’re keen and here’s how you would show me how you’re keen, or you’re not and I’m gonna continue on, I’m not gonna chase you.”
Chasing is the worst because if someone’s scared and they’re on the fence about you, chasing them just makes it guaranteed that they’re gonna run away. Whereas if you say “Look this is what I want, here’s all my cards on the table. If you want the same thing get in touch” they’re free to decide. There’s no pressure or obligation. They can just do nothing if they want, and you’ll leave them alone.
DOES RELATIONSHIP STATUS MATTER?
The question she really asked me is “How can I ask for something if I don’t have a title?”
Well no relationship actually needs a title. A connection between two people is just a connection. The titles that we give it are just bullshit we make up to feel more secure about loyalty. In reality, it’s just connections and every connection needs boundaries and clear expectations.
You need to know what each other wants from the connection, and if the other person isn’t giving it then go first, lead, say “This is what I want and you need to tell me what you want or we can’t go any further.” There really needs to always be this option on your side that you will call it off if certain respect is not paid to you.
If the other person is not reciprocating and not investing equally to you, you will end the whole thing. If you don’t have that option available, or you’re not willing to take that option, then you’re powerless – you’ll always be doomed to poor-fit connections.
SEX v EMOTIONS
Does sex cut off emotional availability? Once you have sex is it all over? Is the chance for emotional connection done? Actually, I think it’s the opposite. I think having sex often enables an emotional connection, especially with emotionally repressed guys.
There’s an old joke that guys are their most honest right after they orgasm, and it’s so true because it’s the one time where we don’t give a fuck how we’re seen. That’s why some guys cry after sex I’m sure.
Having sex with someone is such an emotional and vulnerable event that it can be the gateway to a deeper connection. Now you’ve seen each other naked, you’ve been inside each other, what’s left to hide? Your may as well let all the other stuff out too, you may as well talk about your secrets and your relationship with your parents and how you really feel about each other and your boundaries and your beliefs. That gateway has been opened by sex, not closed by it.
TAKE BACK YOUR POWER
The key thing – I’ve already said this but I really want to make the point again: never leave a relationship in someone else’s hands.
Never be the one waiting for their decision. Always have independence, where if somebody else isn’t playing ball – they’re not respecting you, they’re not reciprocating, they’re not investing – you’ve got an option, and that option is to move on with your life. Never put yourself in a position where you’re hoping somebody else will behave in a certain way. Ask for what you want, tell them what you want, tell them what they need to do to show you that they’re going to deliver that, and then move on with your life okay.
If they’re good for you they will come back in and say “I’m ready” and you won’t have to do anything extra. You won’t have to chase or pressure or manipulate or use an ultimatum.
That was my answer for the general audience, but for the girl who sent this question in: look, you’re both young and you’re both inexperienced, so you can relax a little bit. You’re not going to know the answers to all of this stuff, you have to figure it out. You’re actually going through the process of figuring it out. It’s not like you’re lacking something. You’re both shooting in the dark here.
He’s as confused about this as you are, and he probably isn’t being cold and hostile, it’s more likely he doesn’t know how to act. He doesn’t want to hurt you, he doesn’t want to screw things up, so he’s scared to do anything at all. He’s kind of just playing passive, hoping that something else moves this forward without him needing to take a risk.
THERE’S NO RIGHT WAY
There’s no “right” way to deal with this. It’s a myth that people get like more mature as they grow up, really! People my age and older are just as confused about these matters as anyone younger! There’s no right way to do this, you’re gonna have to figure it out, the right way for the two of you, not the right way in general. But you and him just need to sit down, have a vulnerable conversation, like “What are we doing? This is what I want. What do you want? Let’s figure this out one way or the other” and nobody can really tell you the right way to do that because it’s your connection with him. It’s nobody else’s business – not mine, not anybody’s okay.
You two get together, sort it out – your own unique solution to this between the two of you.
If you enjoyed this and you like me to answer one of your questions email me firstname.lastname@example.org for more support. I respond to everyone, even though there’s a bit of a waitlist, I’ll get to you eventually.