A curious anonymous dater asks:
I met a guy on Monday and he asked me to be his girlfriend on the first date! I’ve hung out with him over the past 3 days and we have had sex, but I told him that we needed to take a day off since I’m still just getting to know him. I do really like him and I like how much he likes me but I just feel like this is a recipe for disaster. I have never been with a guy who seems to like everything about me so much and he makes me feel super comfortable about my body. I want to proceed with dating him, but I don’t want him to think I am toying with him.
What should I do?
You know, this sort of problem is usually reversed in my experience. I’m used to getting this question from men who have women who want a relationship, while the guy is wary of jumping into things, so it’s a nice change of pace to see the situation reversed. I’ll advise you the same way I’d advise a man, or anyone in a similar situation: Proceed with caution.
By your description of him and the situation, I’ll just infer that he is a good match for you. It seems like you have chemistry, he makes you feel good about your body, and besides pursuing you in a way that is super aggressive, he seems like the type of guy you’d want to date seriously. Awesome! That’s one huge stumbling block out-of-the-way, but a different stumbling block lies ahead of you. Based on all of this, I think it’s safe to say that this guy is one of these types (or maybe all three): A hopeless romantic, someone who is eager to be in a relationship, or someone who aggressively pursues what he wants. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with any of those character traits, but I always advise caution when people start dating people who exhibit these traits. I’m sure you’re a beautiful, talented, smart, funny, and lovely woman who would be nothing but an amazing girlfriend and an awesome person to date, but between the time before your first date and during your first date, he really only had your conversations and how you look to decide that he wanted you to be his girlfriend. I’m all for romance, love at first sight, and going after what you want, but that’s a bit of a leap to make, no matter your age or dating experience. It’s good that you realize that this is a recipe for disaster and didn’t leap into a relationship, because it is.
Whether he’s a romantic, someone who lives for relationships, or is absolutely merciless in his aggressive pursuit of what he seeks, the root of the behavior is still the same. He is the type that goes after his goals based on his intuition. Intuition, at its root is unconscious reasoning, and while it’s a good skill to have, I always recommend a bit of conscious reasoning paired with intuition. That’s where you’ll come in. You’ll need to lay down some ground rules and boundaries if you want to date without pressuring yourself or making him feel unwanted. Basically, you’ll be making him use conscious reasoning, whether he realizes it or not.
The best way to do it is to establish relationship prerequisites (for lack of a better term). You can either give him a specifics or more general requirements of what you’d like to develop between each other before you commit to a serious relationship with him. Let him know that above all else you like him and mention the things that really have charmed you about him (how he makes you feel, how much you like him, etc.). You also need to let him know that you’re wary about jumping into a relationship early on, however, you are willing to date him, and think it COULD (not will, COULD) lead to a serious commitment. Whatever your relationship prerequisites are, whether it’s amount of time, time spent together, number of dates, fighting a bear to the death, etc., just let him know that you need these things before you jump into a relationship. Men tend to think in a very goal-oriented, problem-solving way, so giving him an idea of what you need to start a relationship, and what he’ll need to do, probably wont discourage him in the slightest.
I just want to end this by counseling caution, but also, a bit of optimism. If the biggest problem you have with this guy is that he likes you enough to want to enter into a relationship but he decided this too soon, things could be a whole lot worse. Set some boundaries and who knows, he might just be the perfect guy for you.
Good Luck Out There.