I started dating a really great guy, “Pete,” about four months ago. Shortly after we first slept together, Pete started dropping hints about a threesome with his best friend, “Rob.” He’s getting more insistent, and I don’t know what to say. Part of me is curious, and part is terrified at the thought. Pete swears that neither of them is gay or bisexual — they just like to make love to a woman together. I don’t know whether I’m being a prude, or if this situation is as weird as I think it is. What should I do?
First of all, refusing to take part in a threesome with your boyfriend and his best friend does not make you a prude. Yes, there are those who look upon a threesome as an exciting way to enjoy the pleasure of sex, but far more would agree with you that this situation is weird. In addition, many would consider it disrespectful for Pete to keep insisting that you engage in a sexual act that terrifies you. Does it feel disrespectful to you? If not, why not? If this guy started asking you to take part in this three months ago and you haven’t yet, seems to me that is enough of an answer for him to back off.
As you decide what to do about Pete’s persisting request that you become the third member of his menage-a-trois, you might ponder these questions:
- Is your curiosity enough of a reason to say yes?
- Is the terror you feel enough to say no?
- What advice would you give a daughter your age if she were asking about this arrangement?
- Six months from now, if you are no longer dating Pete, will you be glad you said yes or no to his request?
You must also consider the fact that individuals who engage in sexual exploration enjoy pushing the envelope. Chances are if you engage in a threesome with Pete and Rob, in a short time more exploration will be requested — don’t be deluded that it will stop here.
Mainstream attitude defines healthy sex as safe, respectful, non-coercive, and taking place between consenting adults. Since the sexplay in question doesn’t seem to fit this description, I support your resistance. If saying no to this request is a deal-breaker, the relationship would not have worked anyway.
I’m a 40-year-old man who’s going through a divorce. I know that splitting up was the right choice, but I’m starting to feel like I will be alone forever — and this is not a good feeling. How do I find love again?
The feelings that you are having now are very normal, and the fact that you’re acknowledging them is a good sign that you will love again. If nothing else, statistics are on your side. Four out of five people who divorce will remarry at some point, and men tend to remarry sooner than women. So take heart and trust that there will be many opportunities for you. There’s probably a woman out there with her eye on you right now.
Instead of jumping out of the frying pan into the fire, however, I suggest you use this time to fulfill yourself, instead of just filling a void. You might begin by strengthening your support system. I suggest you start by reaching out to family and friends. A surefire way to find love again is to show love to others, and regardless of the status of your love life, you will always need support from other people. This transition period also provides a great opportunity to clear up any unresolved issues from your past. Make contact with people from your history, or make apologies if they are warranted. You might also take advantage of this time and get yourself in the best physical health possible. Last, but not least, get out of the house. Use your spare time for personal enrichment. The best way to meet new friends — or lovers — is to take up an interesting activity. People bond around mutual interests. Instead of focusing on the fact that you are alone, think of all the things you need to do to prepare yourself for love again.
Since my boyfriend and I started living together, he seems totally different: inconsiderate, lazy, ungrateful, and not even a little bit interested in my happiness. In fact, he now reminds me of my ex-husband — which is not good. I feel like he tricked me! Should I try to work things out, or toss him out?
If you believe your boyfriend tricked you, then you fell for one of the oldest tricks in the book. The game of “bait-and-switch” has been around for a long time, and early dating is an example of baiting. At the beginning of a relationship, when you’re both on your best behavior, it’s easy to get lured into thinking it will always be this way — although history has proven the contrary time and time again. For this reason, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what’s going to happen after this stage has passed before you make any type of commitment, such as moving in together.
Since you referred to your boyfriend as ungrateful and implied that you’re in a position to toss him out, it leads me to believe that you two are living in your place. This makes me wonder if you two had a clear agreement about roles, rules, and expectations before he moved in with you. By clear, I mean spelled out, with mutual input and discussion. One of the big problems of living together is that it doesn’t come with clear guidelines. Some couples live together for convenience or financial reasons only, others live together to deepen their relationship and move toward marriage, still others live together to avoid marriage or a more permanent commitment. Before you throw this guy out, I suggest you take the time to write out your expectations and at least give him the right of refusal. In my book, The Truth About Love, I dedicate several chapters to clarifying expectations in relationships. There are exercises that can make your discussion enjoyable and productive. If nothing else, using the book will give you experience in making your needs and expectations clear; you’re going to need this skill whether you stay with this guy or move on to the next.
I started dating someone a couple of months ago. We have so much in common — including being recently divorced — and I find her incredibly hot. So far, she has refused to take our physical relationship much beyond kissing; she says she wants to avoid making the mistake of rushing in that she did with her ex. How long should I wait for her to be ready? How can I help her get over this fear? Sometimes I wonder if she’s handing me a line — that she never intends to have sex with me but is keeping me around until something better comes along.
In one respect, I can understand why you are questioning the intentions of the woman you are dating because there seems to be this unwritten expectation that two people will be having sex after the third date. However, far more people express regret about having sex sooner rather than later. Additionally, there is the mistaken belief that single people — especially recently divorced people — are having lots and lots of sex. Research indicates just the opposite. Studies show that married people have more frequent sex than singles. Therefore, some of your disappointment may be related to unrealistic expectations. In the big scheme of things, two months doesn’t seem long for two people who are each recently divorced to wait.
Regardless of the differences in timing between you and the woman in question, before you jump to conclusions and convince yourself that she is simply keeping you around until something better comes along, consider these viable reasons why she may be proceeding with caution:
- She’s trying to learn from her past so she won’t be destined to repeat it.
- She needs time to learn to trust herself — and you.
- She doesn’t want to jump out of the frying pan into the fire: she isn’t ready to make the commitment that sexual contact requires.
- She’s enjoying the courtship phase of your relationship and knows that premature sex will short-circuit the process.
- She’s not ready for a sexual relationship at this time.
In answer to your question about how long you should wait for her to be ready — you’ll know. If sex is vital to you at this stage of a relationship, you won’t wait around much longer. The way you can help her get over her fear is by being a safe, understanding, and patient person in her life.
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