A woman wrote in asking why men change after you have sex with them. My video response can be viewed below. But I wanted to expand on one of the issues raised in my reply. It is important to understand what is going on (or not) during the courtship phase of a developing relationship.
When two people meet and there is an attraction, courting begins. People put their best foot forward. Some people are more naturally authentic, others are more naturally shy, and some people are simply manipulative. Either way, most people tend to show aspects of themselves that they think will ingratiate the other and seduce them into wanting more. Basically, this is a time when people “sell” themselves whether they know it or not.
The woman that wrote in was complaining that the men she dated treated her one way before she had sex with them and then treated her in a less desirable way afterwards. Sometimes, they would disappear, never to be heard from again. While my advice included that she simply slow down and take more time in getting to know someone before having sex, there are many reasons why this is a good idea. They include:
- It takes time to get to know someone’s true character. It takes shared experiences.
- It takes multiple conversations to ascertain what each person wants and expects from this relationship going forward, especially once it becomes a sexual relationship.
- Some people are simply out to get sex, nothing more, and nothing less. Taking your time gives you a better chance of avoiding this encounter if this is not what you want as well. If it takes too much time and work to get it, this person will often move on.
- Some people like the chase, but are not interested in having any real intimate and meaningful connection. Once they’ve won, they’re done. Again, taking your time gives you more time to figure out if this is what you are dealing with.
- Taking a risk in love should be a calculated risk, not one that is taken impulsively. Your heart, body, and soul are worth protecting.
Don’t get me wrong. Sex is great and if sex is what you want, go for it. But if you want something that has the possibility of developing into something more, then take your time. Have a conversation about expectations and wants. At some point, all relationships require taking a risk. But if you are clear on what it is you want and are committed to your well-being and personal integrity, you will be in a better position to make better choices as you navigate the waters of courtship and dating.
Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery
Create Relationships in Your Life That Work — learn more at www.julieorlov.com