Dear Annie, Why do most women think that men who want sex before commitment are only interested in sex?
That's not true for me. I am looking for a committed relationship, but I can't imagine wholeheartedly committing to a woman until I know that we are truly sexually compatible. Fred
Many men feel the same way as you do. But, most women have difficulty understanding a man's intentions as they are getting to know each other.
In the early stages of dating, men who are only interested in sex often behave the same way as those who are seeking a committed relationship. After all, many women won't agree to engage in sex with a man if he tells her that all he wants is a temporary, sexual liaison with no possibility of a future.
Most men quickly learn that if they want to have the greatest chance at successful sexual conquest, they must use romantic language and gestures to court a woman.
This is where it gets confusing for women. It's difficult for many women to discern whether a man is interested in the possibility being in the kind of relationship that she's looking for or if he's only interested in sex.
Men who are only interested in playing the field often send women mixed messages. For example a man may talk to a woman about the many ways that he finds her fun and irresistible, briefly mention that he's not quite ready for a relationship, then resume his intense romantic pursuit. A woman may interpret this to mean that she is so special that he will not be able to resist becoming deeply involved with her.
A man who is genuinely interested in a relationship usually won't send mixed messages. He will continue to reliably romantically and sexually pursue a woman.
For the most part, women who are seeking a relationship desire a reliable emotional connection before they engage in sex. And, like you, most men want to know if there is sexual compatibility before they commit to a relationship.
However, there are no guarantees in dating. If you are seeking a long-term relationship, the first few dates are an introduction to someone whom you find attractive. After a few dates, both of you are in an extended "audition" to figure out how you get along. During that process, it's important that each of you appraise the other's intentions.
This works both ways—both men and women worry about being "used" in different ways during dating. A woman might want to discover if a man is only dating her in order to have sex. And, like most men, you may want to be assured that a woman isn't just interested in dating you for your money, so it's up to you to discover whether she's attracted to you or drawn to your bank account.
It's not just about chemistry and sexual compatibility. A relationship won't succeed unless you are compatible on multiple levels. And dating is about discovering whether you're right for each other by sharing time and experiences together.
Commitment when you're dating usually means different things as your relationship progresses. Initially, it may mean that you're exclusively dating each other and seeing how it goes. As time goes by, the two of you could develop into a couple with the intention of exploring the possibility of a future together. Becoming engaged is a deeper level of commitment, and marriage takes it even further.
Relationships that are in the earlier stages of commitment are more likely to break up as the people involved discover incompatibilities, annoyances and red flags. As painful as it may be, it's the only way that people who are dating can discover whether they are a match.
If you and your date discuss how becoming sexually involved impacts each of you, you'll gain a deeper understanding of each other. That knowledge may make it easier for you to take your time and get into a early committed relationship before discovering if you're sexually compatible.