Amy met Brad online. After a couple of emails, they agreed to talk on the phone. That went well, so they set up a date for drinks after work. Sparks flew instantly. After two hours and a bottle of wine between them, they moved on to a nearby restaurant hot spot.
Dinner was fabulous; they couldn’t stop talking. Time flew and suddenly they realized it was late in the evening. Brad asked if he could follow Amy home to make sure she was okay. That turned into an invitation to come in for-you guessed it, another drink. One thing led to another and Brad didn’t walk out of Amy’s door until 6:00 a.m. the following morning. Amy and Brad’s marathon date lasted for twelve hours. Did they have fun? Yes! Was it romantic and spontaneous? You betcha! What’s wrong with this picture? Too much too soon!
The problem with marathon dates is that they almost never lead to great relationships. What happened to Brad and Amy is typical. That day, Brad rushed home, showered and dressed, then rushed to his office for work. There, he dove into his day, and although he paused once or twice to reflect on the glow he felt about Amy (sexy, gorgeous woman – wow!), he was too busy to do much else.
Amy, meanwhile, was waiting by the phone at her office for THE CALL. Amy wanted Brad to call within the hour to tell her how much he felt for her and to schedule their next date, hopefully for that night. Fresh flowers delivered to her office that day would have been the perfect punctuation mark to their romantic launch. Why the high expectations? Because she gave herself away to a virtual stranger. And the last thing Amy wants to feel is cheap. She wants to feel that she’s made a significant connection with a guy who could be her future husband. She wants to feel wanted, desired for more than her hot body. Ultimately, she wants to feel loved.
Brad didn’t call Amy until three days later, thinking he had all the time in the world to follow up. When he did call, it was to suggest that he come over to her house the following night to cook dinner together. Being a classy dude, he suggested that he would bring his favorite wine as well as a couple of steaks. Brad’s thought: maybe I’ll get laid again.
Amy, meanwhile, after dealing with rampant insecurity for three days, breathed a sigh of relief, accepted the offer, and immediately shifted back to romantic visions of an unfolding significant relationship with a great guy (read: future husband). So where did this modern day fairy tale wind up?
After several weeks of cycling through last-minute dates (read: booty calls), rampant insecurity on Amy’s part, bewilderment on Brad’s part, and escalating drama, Brad threw in the towel. His take-away: Amy was an insecure drama queen, definitely not marriage material. Her take-away: Brad was a selfish jerk who only wanted to use her.
What could have been a great relationship was ruined by too much too soon. Most couples can’t handle the intensity of emotions that are aroused when they sleep together so quickly. The truth: they were actually two great people who might have had a great connection if they had avoided the temptation to spend hours together and dive into bed on the first date.
Research shows that the longer you date, and the more slowly you pace the relationship, the more likely you are to choose your mate wisely and have a lasting marriage. We just are not wired to fall in love instantly and somehow convert that to true love.
The take-away is this: pacing new relationships leads to a deeper, more lasting connection. Putting off sex helps you achieve that since sex releases oxytocin for women, a powerful bonding hormone. Once you sleep with him, the choosing is over for you and the chasing is over for him. Turns out, guys are more likely to want to marry the woman they have to pursue.