On Wednesday, December 16, 1998, there was a long article on Leslie Friedman in the Wall Street Journal about her hunt to find a man to marry. While there were a lot of interesting bits and pieces in this article (she is a woman probably in her 40s who made a lot of money but neglected her social life, and who is now spending a considerable amount of cash redesigning herself, getting high-priced dating consultants, going where she feels qualified men will be, etc., in her search for a marriage partner).
One of the snippets that jumped out at me was her discussion about how men want to sleep with her right away. For example, she talks about meeting a successful, educated attorney who, on the first date, suggests going up to his apartment. She says “I hardly know you,” and it ends with him seeing her home in a cab (I am not sure if that means he got into the cab with her, but that would be an original idea to me).
A few days later, over drinks, he tells her, “If you really liked me, you would sleep with me tonight.” When she says no, his response is, “Why does this have to be all on your terms ? What about my needs and feelings ?” She recognizes this as the language of negotiation which she feels is familiar terrain, and responds, “Maybe we could meet both of our needs. I’m willing to sleep with you tonight, but I want to know your not going to just drop me.” In return, she asks for “12 weeks of monogamy.” She actually has a fallback position, and is willing to settle for six weeks. But this makes her date nervous, and in the end of the date gives her a peck on the cheek, says “I’ve heard your terms,” and disappears into the night.
While this may seem obvious to most of you reading this, the issue of a woman feeling that you will not just sleep with her and never call again appears to be a key element in the seduction process for many of them. In other words, if they feel you will be around afterwards, they may go for it much sooner than otherwise.
I also notice that women who describe what they want as a “long term relationship” are dancing a fine line; they don’t want a short term relationship (they don’t want to be thought of as easy), but they themselves don’t know if they will want to be with a particular man long term until they go out with them for awhile. This “long term relationship” is just a defense mechanism, a term that may actually mean more what a man is looking for than they would be willing to outwardly admit.
Another thing that I have noticed (for some reason, I have to learn these lessons over and over during my life) is that the possibility of a long term relationship also entails some scary prospects for women, no matter how much they may say that that is what they want. I have been very successful almost always when I begin an encounter with a woman by saying something like, “Right now my life is going through a lot of changes and I am not looking for anything serious. I take life one day at a time. If something really serious develops, I’ll think about it when the time comes, but for now I don’t want to pressure anyone and I don’t want any pressure from anyone.”
It seems that this gives them permission to let loose and relax from the push to find that one special man for that intense, serious relationship. But, key in this equation is the sense that there will be an ongoing “friendship” (I don’t know about you, but I don’t sleep with my friends, although perhaps I should reconsider my attitude here) where respect and dignity are maintained despite the uncommitted nature of the physical intimacy.