I recently had a guy become distant on me. We had only been dating for a short period of time. Full disclosure: we never had the “exclusive” talk so I continued to see other people. Shortly after we began dating I took off on an amazing trip to Italy. During my time on the trip, I heard from him consistently and he even offered to pick me up from the airport when I arrived home.
During those two weeks he told me everyday that he missed me and could not wait to see me. We made a plan to see each other as soon as I got back. He made it clear that he wanted to spend the night and the following day together. Even though I was concerned about missing another day of work, I was so excited that he clearly had missed me and wanted to spend time together. I didn’t think much of it when on the night we had plans, he indicated that he in fact, could not spend the next day together because of an important work meeting. While I was a little disappointed, I was also somewhat relieved given how much work I had missed from being away.
On a Wednesday evening he met me at my building and when I walked into the lobby he picked me up and told me how much he missed me. From my perspective, we had a great time that night. As he was leaving my apartment, I teased him saying, “you can make it up to me on Saturday by taking me out and staying over.”
He texted me when he got home that night and sent me a kissy face emoji. After that, crickets. I didn’t hear from him at all on Saturday, then the excuses started. He was sorry that he hadn’t seen me and blamed it on a busy upcoming month at work. My heart sunk.
I keep thinking that I did something wrong, it’s the worst feeling not knowing. I had been planning on talking to him when I got back from Italy about where we stood. Do I even try and reach out again? Is this worth another effort? I really thought we had something good going.
Thank you in advance for any advice you have.
– Heartache in the City
A note from JTB…Whenever I receive an “Ask The Bee” letter, I try very hard to leave it in its purest state. On occasion, I will reach out to the sender to ask a question, usually about their age or for clarification on a detail or two. In this case I had a gut feeling that something was missing. This missing detail felt important in how I would answer her. I reached out to her and she generously responded with the intimate truth.
JTB: “Can I ask you a personal question? As you already know, names and identities are NEVER revealed, but I do think it presents an interesting perspective and twist – zero judgment here, but may I ask if you slept with him on that date before he went dark?”
HIC: “Thanks for reaching out. I’d tell you anything, Bee! I actually did sleep with him that night.”
Here is how Jule responded. Be sure to read to the end. Wait until you see how things turned out!
*Note: This letter was sent prior to Corona.
Dear Heartache in the City,
This past October I recorded a live podcast in NYC with Julie Lauren of “Hashtag No Filter” and Lindsey Metselaar of “We Met At Acme.” On a stage in Manhattan, with 100 women in the audience we talked about everything from marriage, to friendships, to dating. What made the night so much fun and so interesting for so many women was having the perspective of three different women from three different age brackets, and three different stages of life: 40s (me) 30s (Julie) and 20s (Lindsey). So when the notion of sleeping with someone early on in dating came up I was actually surprised by the different responses.
I look back at my 20s, which was an entire decade for me spent in a long term serious relationship, turned engagement, turned marriage, and I wish I hadn’t spent so much time worrying and thinking about how/when I would get engaged and then how/when I would get married. It’s not that I regret decisions that I made, but I do regret not living a little bit more. Does that include sex? Truthfully? A little bit!
So there I was, up on stage, microphone in hand, the “Nana” of this threesome, in my mid forties answering whether or not I think it’s a good idea to sleep with someone early on in dating. And I surprised myself with how I felt inside about it at that moment. Of course I believe in safety first and respecting your body, and not leading with sex or using it as a default or thinking that you can build a lasting relationship based on sex. And all of those things still stand.
For a multitude of reasons it is always wise to take things slow. Unless of course you feel like hitting the gas pedal. And if you do, then vroom f*cking vroom! Good for you! But please know yourself. Know what you can handle. Have your finger on the pulse of your emotions, not just on the pulse of your sex drive. You had not yet had that exclusivity talk; you yourself were dating other people (and bravo to you for that decision by the way. So many girls screw that one up royally by putting all their eggs in one basket, but that’s another article for another day.)
This is a two fold answer for me. Everyone needs to check themselves before they wreck themselves. My guess is what felt wrong was having your heart dragged alongside his piss poor excuses; the fact that you had already slept with him probably made these feelings worse. But I also believe that from these experiences come better relationships, better decisions, and perhaps different choices the next go around. It sounds like maybe you weren’t emotionally ready to suffer the consequences of him going radio silent.
Do you remember my story about Jeremy? Here’s the link to that heartache if you need a refresh. He was my post marriage, falling apart, rush into too soon sex, hot and heavy, strong feelings right outta the gate, tough lesson learned for me. In some ways Jeremy was almost as painful as my divorce. Of course it wasn’t about Jeremy; quite frankly I’m shocked I even remember his name, but I do remember the pain like it was yesterday. Sharp, searing, shockingly brutal. I had leapt with no net, no substance, no real connection, though at the time I told myself there was. It was pure impulse. And I paid for it with my heart and my pride. By the time he circled back six months later I had met Bazz and it was sort of “Jeremy who?” The rest of course is history.
Don’t underestimate the power of the build up, the power of those butterflies, the power of the slowest, warmest kisses on the sidewalk outside of your building without the invitation to come upstairs too early on. That build up, that time of just getting to know each other a little bit more, a little bit more deeply, is currency in a potential relationship. It’s also a bit of armor. I’m not saying not to have the one night stand, I’m not saying not to indulge in having hot, no strings attached sex just because you’re making the call to have it, but know yourself well, ask yourself what the consequences are, and make sure you’re actually the one in control of those strings.
And if you do decide that you can handle it emotionally and you’re going to indulge, I wish you only Ferraris. Vroom! F*cking Vroom!
An Update from ‘Heartache in the City’: “Funny thing, now he is chasing me. I’ve moved on and I am with an amazing man (whom I’m blissfully quarantined with!)
All illustrations by @courtneycoloring