Ask Drew: How Soon is Too Soon?
Q: Dear Drew,
I'm feeling a bit helpless at this point. I've been out of the "dating game" for a few years and have recently taken an interest in a new guy. The chemistry is really strong between us and things seem to be going great, but I'm really just kind of awkward and internally nervous about the whole thing.
From a guy's perspective, how soon is too soon to be cuddling, kissing, etc? I have this phobia of him getting the wrong idea of me. I've been held to a standard by my parents to "always expect a gentleman," or "you need to be treated like a princess," and so on. I'm afraid sometimes that I may push someone away with my snail-like progress to romance, but is there such thing as going too slow?
I'm not prude to the point that I'm uncomfortable with sexual implications so sometimes I make flirty innuendos but don't act on them. Do you think this could cause a bit of an annoyance?
I am not sure if these things could be considered normal insecurities, but they are certainly things I've found myself buzzing about in my head on more than one occasion and figured I'd just get a man's perspective on the matter.
A. Wow. I don't even know where to start, so I'll address the email overall first. Straight out of the gate I can tell that you're way up in your own head. You've gotta relax a little bit or this will become a self-fulfilling prophecy: you're going to over-think everything and scare the bejesus out of this guy.
Now, that being said, you also need to ditch the preconceived notions of romance that have been ingrained into your head. Life isn't a Disney movie. If you always expect a gentleman, you're going to be hurt and disappointed over and over again. Most guys aren't gentleman. They're walking boners that will say and do whatever is necessary to get into your pants. It's amazing the mental gymnastics we'll do to get you into bed. And then, only after we've made our man mess do our senses come back to us. We go from the Hulk back to Bruce Banner. But I digress.
There is definitely such a thing as going too slow. Ask yourself this though: are you going slowly because you're not comfortable yet or are you doing it because you're milking this carefully constructed idea of romance for all it's worth? If it's the former, that's totally fine. But if you're waiting for some passionate kiss in the pouring rain, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. Unless we really, really like a girl, those kinds of situations aren't genuine. We're doing it because we know how important romance is to you.
If you've hung out a few times and haven't done anything, you're probably going too slow. I'm not saying the next time you hang out that the night has to end with your face mushed into the pillow, but give the guy something to work with. If I ever take a girl out and after three dates nothing has happened past making out a little bit, I lose interest. Women like to kiss because it's fun to them. Men like to kiss because it will hopefully lead to groping and dry humping which will hopefully lead to the no-pants dance. Let him see some light at the end of the tunnel. Toss out a few sexual innuendos, playfully touch his arm every now and then, etc. You don't need to act on them, he does. That's his job, not yours.
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Drew is a single guy living in Los Angeles. When he's not bar-hopping with a friend's golden retriever to convince women he has a soft side, he's taking them on short-lived dates. His fickle dating habits and "perspective" almost guarantee he'll die alone. All opinions are his own. Got a question for Drew? Ask away... firstname.lastname@example.org