Let’s take an anonymous poll. Close your eyes (no peeking!) and raise your hand if you have ever done any of the following:
– Agreed (either implicitly or expressly) to a casual sex arrangement with a man even though what you really wanted was a serious relationship with him?
– Been woken up by a late-night text and immediately responded by crawling out of bed and scurrying over to his house for a last-minute sleepover – even though this was the first time you’d heard from him for several days?
– Spent weeks or months sleeping with a man who showed little interest in taking you out on a real date, let alone making things exclusive with you?
– Become physically involved with a guy who was taken and then hoped he would eventually leave his wife or girlfriend for you (which he, of course, never did)?
Did you answer “yes” to one or more of these questions? If so, you’ve allowed yourself to be used for sex and, chances are, you know all too well just how hurtful that experience can be.
Not every situation where a man uses a woman for sex is as clear cut as the examples above. Very often, there’s confusion involved. It might not be as blatant as a “booty call” arrangement, but you have a terrible feeling he’s not serious about you. Use the following as a check list.
He’s Using You for Sex If…
He doesn’t take you out. A man who wants more than sex will take you on dates. He’s willing to put in the effort to court you and treat you properly. There are dinners and movies in public, not just a beer and a DVD at his place.
He’s not interested in getting to know you. A man who is truly serious about a woman wants to know all he can about her – from what her childhood was like to her favorite foods. He will ask you questions about your hobbies, your tastes, your job – and everything else. If he’s not making an effort to learn who you are, he’s not thinking long-term.
His contact is inconsistent – at best. If you stopped contacting him, would you hear from him again? And would it be for more than the occasional late-night “delivery?” A guy who is serious will not let days or weeks pass without calling or sending a text. If he’s only contacting you when he’s horny, he’s not thinking about you when he’s not.
He isn’t affectionate. If he only touches during (or right before) sex, that’s a major problem. Non-sexual touching is vital to a healthy, long-term relationship. Likewise, if he refuses to spend the night or can’t get away fast enough after sex, that’s a very bad sign.
You suspect he’s using you. Women have a sixth sense when it comes to love and relationships. The problem is, we often ignore it. We meet a guy, fall for him, and lose all sense of rationality. So pay attention to your instincts. If your gut tells you he might be using you for sex, he probably is.
It doesn’t matter how beautiful, smart, or amazing the woman is – anyone can be used for sex. So protect yourself. See yourself as a special prize and wait to give yourself – both emotionally and physically – until you’re certain he’s worthy of that gift.
Jenn Clark is the author of the book “How to Be a Goddess (A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming the Woman Men Dream About),” the new edition of which is slated for publication and hitting the shelves of bookstores in 2014. She is also a monthly columnist for “The 9s” – a men’s lifestyle magazine – and the resident relationship advice expert for a variety of websites. Her blog, “Jenn X: 30Something & Single,” was recently named one of the ten best dating blogs by DatingAdvice.com.
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