Sex on the third date?

The pros and cons of the social premise where having three dates means sex.

As a hard-boiled European person and a woman at that, when I first saw in series and movies this dating rule where in the U.S. people have sex on the third date, I was shocked. Times have truly changed from when I was young. Gee, that makes me sound so old and I’m only 44.

Having grown up in small towns, a boy could not ‘misbehave’ without consequences. If a boy was only interested in getting girls into bed, the word would spread quickly and there would be none of that any longer, he would be cut off from the potential ‘cookie’ as Stephen Harvey calls it.

So back in my younger days, getting to the point of having sex took far longer than three dates, I can assure you;)

Now we live in big cities, we move and change countries and don’t know the people we meet any longer. And neither can we check with our neighbours if they know anything about the person which used to be the ‘background check’ of a small town.

What I’ve noticed though is that we behave now as if we were still living in a trusting small town and instead of giving ourselves MORE time to do our ‘due diligence’ about a new person, we went into the opposite direction and are enjoying the freedom of Tinder and Bumble and Grindr, sleeping with complete strangers without even a date.

Freedom. It’s the one thing I love about our western culture. I guess one really needs to learn how to deal with freedom.

No, not everything is perfect, FAR from it when it comes to our freedom. But unlike the rest of the world, we are not cutting ourselves a leg and an arm and half the head off by limiting women to the kitchen.

If only we learned a bit quicker to forget the concept of ‘racism’ as well and stopped missing out on all the brains and talent of everyone else around us! We’d already solved every single problem on earth by now, don’t you agree?

But the thing that’s great about our western culture is the freedom of choice, also of being able to choose and make mistakes. Because only that’s how we grow and learn, fair enough.

People, I went through some serious shit in my life, but I still would rather know everything I know, including the pain of abuse, and be able to lead a creative life or a life in which I can fight for the right thing, today — than be in a culture where I would still get a lot of abuse but would be able to do absolutely ZERO about it and would be limited to staying at home and bearing children and cooking.

I wouldn’t be able to write a book, I wouldn’t be able to teach men and women how to communicate better, I wouldn’t be able to have a career as an executive assistant (it’s just a glorified term for bad-ass secretary, paid three times more than a nurse which is somehow simply just wrong but I can’t complain now, can I?), I can just travel and do whatever I please — including meeting and dating anyone I want and jumping into bed with them too quickly.

That’s freedom. Right?

Sex on the third date…

What’s the good thing about it? Well, at least you’re giving yourself A BIT of time before just jumping into bed with a complete stranger.

What else? At least there are some rules and clarity what’s expected. We need so much more of that!

And the cons?

Two or three dates don’t necessarily show you who the person really is unless you’ve done an actual background check yourself, asked a ton of questions and had him show you where he lives, where he works, who his friends are — but who would ever insist on that on the first few dates? You would come across like a policeman and you don’t want THAT, now do you?

You want the guy to like you, right? And we all know men are like deer, easy to spook;)

Sorry, guys, joking a bit, but unfortunately that’s how some men come across at times.

Effectively, if you decide to sleep with a man on the third date (– or the woman!), you don’t really know who you’re dealing with.

My husband paid dearly for that in his early twenties. Before he knew, it was too late. He stayed stuck in a toxic relationship for over a decade and it nearly killed him. She…nearly killed him.

Oh yes, it can go the other way as well. Which is WHY I’m absolutely baffled that men will so easily jump into bed with women these days. In the end they are in just as much danger as we women are.

Taking your TIME to date and get to know someone, what are the pros and cons of that?

Well, let’s start with the cons. I admit, one can lose a lot of time and money dating someone for longer. Which also costs a lot of money. Especially men are hit with that more than we women and I get that.

Pros you would think is to get to know the person.

Here is the tricky bit though.

Once you invest more hopes/dreams/time/money into a person, you start getting (emotionally) invested.

By the time you have figured out that you’re not compatible, instead of shaking hands and walking away, you now don’t want to feel like you’ve wasted all that time and it was all for nothing. So you stay and keep fighting. It would also possibly hurt and you’ll be heartbroken. Or you don’t want to break the heart of the person you were seeing.

But guess what, people, that’s called life. Shit happens and you need to deal with it. You can’t go on like a 15-year-old teenage girl and try to avoid pain and life altogether.

Who knows the movie “The Jane Austen Book Club”? Guys, don’t roll your eyes, it’s actually a great movie, even for a chick flick. It’s very realistic, one of my favourite movies of all times. Anyway, one of the characters has been married six times in her life. And she says to the lady she just met: “You know, it’s always great in the beginning. What counts is how you feel in the end.”

Exactly! I thought to myself. Why don’t we have a plan then, perhaps an agreement at the start, how to deal with things in the end, if they don’t work out? Well, because we don’t want to think about things not working out, am I right? We completely push that away. Dreaming about the perfect life is so much nicer! (Yes, I’m being sarcastic, for those who didn’t pick up on that. Have to make sure;)

And here we are — confronted with the choice of either dealing with the pain of proper dating and trying to have a relationship, or just hopping from one bed to another, avoiding the possibility of pain altogether. I get it… Why not at least have some fun and sex and get the closeness we need, even if it’s just for the night?

Why not? I’ll tell you why not. I know that it was leaving me emptier and emptier when I was doing that myself. I felt more and more lost. But I’m a woman, women are like that, getting quickly emotionally attached, right? Wrong. I read an article that this doesn’t apply just to women.

A study has shown that bed hopping has a negative lasting effect on men just as well, if maybe not as much right away. I could imagine that’s true. At the end of the day we all crave love, being accepted for who we are, feeling heard and all that jazz. Men no less than women, I know that for a fact, through my own experiences, I don’t have to read articles about that.

So what should we do then? If we all crave love and are afraid of too much pain or lost time, then what?

Simple:)Compromise. Speak up. Dare to be bold. What do I mean with that?

The example which made the biggest impression on me and which I applied myself is this one:

I was reading Jonathan Robinson’s great book “Communication Miracles for Couples”. He’s a couple’s therapist, he really knows his stuff.

So one day this couple walks in, I believe the woman knew Jonathan already, a friend or something. They sit down and she asks Jonathan Robinson to evaluate their relationship. They’ve been together for three months and wanted to see if they were really compatible or wasting their time. What a fantastic pragmatic approach!

You see, once you hit 30 or more, you start thinking about these things.

So Jonathan gave them a simple questionnaire to fill out, each separately, with stuff like “How much TV do you watch a day”, “How much do you drink a day” etc… Really basic habits which you have and what you expect of a relationship.

The differences turned out to be so big, that they quickly shook hands, thanked each other and went their separate ways.

I loved that approach of that woman. So she dated a guy, took her time to get to know him a bit who he really is, no pressure right from the start, but she kept in mind that there is no point in rushing and committing her heart before she was sure.

And that’s what I did with the last guy I met because I was fed up with the BS out there.

We met online, we couldn’t stop chatting all week. He then wanted to meet me, organised our evening, I paid for one round of drinks as well (only fair, right?) and still we couldn’t stop talking. The waiters had to throw us out of the bar, not because we were drunk but because going out would have meant going home and having to say goodbye to each other.

Two weeks later I saw where he lived and yes, I slept with him on practically our second date. But by then he has shown me who he is and we started to talk for real. Given that he wanted to try this for real, I asked all kinds of questions and made it clear right there and then — we can try this but I need to see that he will sort certain things out within a year or two or I walk away.

I was 41 by then and I didn’t mind investing two years into someone I thought was really right for me. BUT! I meant it when I said I would walk away if it turned out he couldn’t sort his mess out and that he would pull me in some kind of drama.

At 41 I wasn’t planning to have kids any longer and what I really wanted is to enjoy my life and travel if possible a bit more. What I would have welcomed was an interesting partner I could share my joy with. JOY please, not BS drama. But if there was no drama, I was prepared to enjoy my life on my own, why not?

He kept his word. And I kept mine. The two years timeline was also meant for me. I also needed to prove myself that I will live my own life, not someone else’s. I guess we both kept our word.

After two years I let my heart go out to him. Oh yes, I kept it on hold all that time. How do you do that? Well… Let me think back, what did I do? I stayed a bit cynical. Maybe sometimes that’s not a bad thing. I stayed cynical in the sense — “Yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Sure, I loved the man, but by then I also knew — love alone is not enough to lead a successful relationship.

But there’s another little trick I had up my sleeve to be able to do that — in the year before I met this guy, I learned and have proven to myself how to be happy on my own again.

This helped because I KNEW — if this relationship wouldn’t work out, if he wasn’t a man of his word, I could easily be happy on my own.

The time wouldn’t have been wasted. I stayed as long as I was prepared to stay. Had my cuddles, plenty of sex and kisses and amazing talks. I learned a lot as well. And we had no arguments. Time well spent I would say.

But he kept his word and he made the effort and when he asked me to marry him, I could say yes with all my heart.

And yet… Ladies and gentlemen, I know this doesn’t sound romantic, but…

We’ve had a contract right from the start. We have updated that contract as we got married. And if my husband should break any term of that contract or not stick to it NOW, I will walk away. First for a while, without a divorce. But I would take my lovely energy, company, love AND money and spend it on my own travelling or whatever. Until he sorts his promise out.

And if that’s not possible, or he even breaks it, guess what? Yes, divorce. So what?

Just because we’re married, it doesn’t mean we can take each other for granted. We are humans, we are flawed. The way I deal with it is to be realistic about my so called weaknesses and trick myself out. Having a contract is one way to make sure I behave as well. Because my husband is just as entitled to walk out if I don’t uphold my end of the promise of not making my unhappiness with my career his problem. For example.

So who knows, maybe we need to re-think the whole dating scene. Introduce far more honesty right from the start. Maybe also more financial equality, have the girls pay half of the check or every other date. It would take the pressure off of the guys.

Hm… Is THAT why men are pressuring us into bed as quickly as possible, because long dating is just costing too much? LOL

Look, we want equality? Let’s start right here. Both invest the money but then also both should be prepared to answer some tough questions right at the start. Why not make a game of it, just like Speed-Dating but tweak the rules.

I’m just saying… We need to start helping each other get what we both need. And we will get there quicker and with less heartache if we started with some honesty and re-think everything we knew until now because guess what?

Everything we’ve been doing UP till now these past few decades — clearly isn’t working in our favour long term.

As my husband says every day: “Pragmatism is a beautiful thing! Oh yeah! Mwuahahahaha!”

Or am I seeing this entirely wrong? 🙂

Hey, I’m always up for a discussion. Go on, comment, comment, comment! Let’s hear it.

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