Trust me, this is the kiss of death for any relationship.
I met the beautiful blonde Katie in a yoga class. She was sexy, fun, funny, and we instantly connected. Unfortunately, she was also dating someone else at the time, so my hopes of taking our down dogs any farther disappeared down the drain.
Years later, she had broken up with that guy, and her mom had died unexpectedly. Since I had gone through something similar when my wife died a few years earlier she called me up and we started dating. But that was a mistake that ended up costing us our relationship.
When I say she made a mistake, I do not intend to blame her. This is something a lot of women do, because it sounds like good advice. But many hearts broke and many relationships ended because of it.
Here's what happened. We started seeing each other casually. We were wildly attracted to each other, but she made a rule: no sex until we're exclusive. Ladies, don't ever, ever, EVER make this deal.
Trust me, it will be the ruin of your relationship.
I'm going to tell you something that sounds kind of embarrassing, but it's absolutely true. When you make a deal with a man like that, here's what happens. In his head, sex with you becomes the goal. And if your relationship is already charged with electricity, he will do anything required to have sex with you.
Here's the deal. He won't know that sex is what is motivating him. And neither will you. Intoxicated by my own overwhelming desire to have sex with her, I agreed to this exclusivity. But I wasn't ready for that. I didn't even want that.
I was in a single phase, where I wanted to date, but not get serious. The ultimatum allowed me to convince myself I was ready and that I wanted a serious relationship.
And as soon as we had sex, I regretted it. With my desire satisfied, my eyes opened to what I really wanted. It's kind of like this: Have you ever been really hungry? Say you're on a road trip, it's the middle of the night and you're in the middle of Kansas. You haven't eaten since Louisville and the only thing open at that time of night is the Wendy's drive thru.
Usually, you'd never compromise and at some fast food joint, but you are about to gnaw off your own forearm. So you take the exit, and order the triple stack burger.
That's what an ultimatum is like for a guy. When a girl makes an ultimatum, his goal switches from winning you, to conquering you, your objections, your reservations.
All guys? Of course not. Some guys will take your ultimatum and allow you to set the rules. Because he's afraid of you and later you'll resent his lack of masculinity.
So what to do instead? Don't set up any rules of when you have sex with him. Be clear about what you want: if it's casual sex, do that. If it's a real relationship, hold out until you see evidence that he's committed. Most importantly, before you have sex with him NEVER tell him what the requirements are for you to have sex with him.
If you do, you're setting yourself up for disappointment, especially considering his overwhelming desire for you—an overwhelming desire that must be properly directed.
As for me and Katie? We broke up shortly after we slept together. She was pretty mad at me, and with good reason. And I shook my head wondering what happened. About 18 months later, I ran into her at a coffee shop. She'd gotten engaged to a great guy who really loved her the way she wanted. So in spite of our little bump in the road, it turned out happy for her.
Which means even if you've made this mistake, or feel like you've made every mistake possible, if you wonder if love will ever find his way to your door, he will. And he'll bring you something better than a Wendy's junior bacon cheeseburger for dinner.