Sometimes, a man will jump right into talking about sex, and I’ll engage immediately and it’s fun. And sometimes a man will jump right into talking about sex and I’ll get pissed as all hell and cut him off at the knees.
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out why I’m so on/off about that. I’ve come to the conclusion it depends on how well I feel I know him through our online conversations before meeting in real life, my level and type of attraction to him, and whether I perceive he’s being playful or aggressive.
If he’s playful, I generally won’t feel threatened. That doesn’t mean I won’t steer him off topic if I’m not ready to talk about sex, or if I’m not in the frame of mind to go there. But if he’s aggressive, I’ll feel unsafe, and that’s simply not acceptable.
I’ll give a guy three chances. Usually this all happens before we meet in real life, when we’re still chatting online, but not always. Sometimes men are subtle online, then really start in on the sex stuff when you meet in person.
The first time my date makes me uncomfortable, I’ll tell him. If he backs off then circles round and pushes on that boundary again, I’ll tell him again. If he does it a third time, he’s OUT. Done deal. I will literally get up and walk out on the date.
You have to know where your boundaries lie. You may cut off communication the second time a man crosses your boundary after you’ve warned him. You may give him five chances. But regardless of where your personal level of tolerance lies, when your date crosses a boundary, you must educate him on that fact. You cannot expect him to read your mind. Don’t just let him stomp all over your boundaries, say nothing, and get pissed off and then blame the failure of the date on him. He’s not being a jerk by bringing up sex if he’s not getting any pushback from you. If you’re not telling him you’re uncomfortable and he must stop, you’re the one that’s being a jerk. Give your date a chance to respect your boundaries by communicating what they are. Be firm and be fair.
Remember to give yourself the flexibility to shift your boundaries when you want, but that doesn’t mean you ever have to compromise your values and allow your date to lead you down a path you don’t want to go. In fact just don’t. Don’t. Ever. Compromise.
*An excerpt from my book How To Do Single With Dignity & Grace, available on Amazon.