When I turned 40, I was no longer willing to settle for just anyone. I had tried this many times before and knew it didn’t work. I wanted to find the love of my life, the last man I would ever date, the one who would be with me for the rest of my days.
For this to happen, I had to make some changes. First and foremost, no jumping into bed with anyone I was dating—and this meant ANYONE. In the past, I had my share of casual sex. I don’t regret that I was sometimes naughty. It was a lot of fun, but it never got me what I ultimately wanted. It never got the right guy to pledge his undying love and make me his bride.
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Well, that’s not exactly true. I did have some relationships along the way, but they were with all the wrong people. And, someone had made me his bride, just not the right someone. As it turned out, my first husband had a little lying problem. Actually, he had a BIG lying problem, but that was many years and several therapists ago…
I never thought of myself as promiscuous or loose. As a product of the sexual revolution, I always thought that I was being very modern and mature in my approach to sex. I figured that if two people shared a strong sexual attraction, why shouldn’t they just go for it? As it turns out, there are a lot of reasons why it isn’t a good idea to jump into bed. First and foremost, once most men get sex, they’re not interested in getting to know a woman any further. At some level, these men are probably aware of the “When Harry Met Sally” Effect. They know that many women start to get emotionally attached the minute they have intercourse. So, the moment the deed is done, these men get out of Dodge and don’t look back. I’d like to think that there’s a possibility that some of the men I slept with would have wanted to get to know me, but I’ll never know because I never kept my clothes on long enough to find out.
As silly as I feel admitting that it wasn’t until I was nearly forty that I decided to put sex on the back burner, it changed everything. I began to realize that the only thing I knew a man wanted from me was sex. When sex was out of the equation, I didn’t know what else to do. I mean, if I wasn’t going to sleep someone, what else was there? How was I going to capture and hold a man’s attention and make him keep coming back for more? I decided that I wanted to be the kind of woman whose company a man craved. But what did that look like? I didn’t have a clue.
Stay tuned for part two of "Should you keep your clothes on or off" where I will talk about what men and women need from each other in a romantic relationship besides sex and how to keep him coming back for more.
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Lisa Shield, MA, CPCC
Transformational Dating and Relationship Coach