An Open Letter To The Man Who Left Because I Said 'No' To Sex

writing a letter

Dear Disappearing Man,

I want to thank you for waking me up. After going on so many first dates with men who were trying too hard, who were not strong, who didn't have much of a personality, who had little depth or consciousness, you showed up with your passions, your zest for life, your keen intelligence, your manliness, and your sexiness. You awakened me to the exhilaration of being with a man who is not afraid to express his opinions. You seemed to be balancing your home life (great cook, loving dad) with your work life (moving up in your company, saving and planning for your future). You weren't afraid to express a strong manliness and desire for my womanliness. And that turned me on. You woke me up to the possibility of having found the mature life partner I have been seeking since my divorce.

But your sexual desire soon took over every conversation. "Hey sexy". "There is something about you that turns me on". And those conversations, which soon became quite graphic, took place mostly via text. A grownup man picks up the phone. A grownup man doesn't only focus on sex, especially as he's getting to know me. And a grownup man wants to get to know all of me—my heart, my passions, my values, my mind. When a man focuses primarily on sex, I feel objectified. You seemed to respect my wishes to stop sexting and start exploring our whole selves.

Our first date was short and sweet. We met in the park and talked about our lives. We discussed books, our favorite foods, and our children. We connected through our minds and souls, and I liked that. And then the texts began again. At first it was fun and flirty. But then it became graphic and crass. I felt that you were seeing me as a sex object. When I let you know how I felt, you slowed down. I felt respected and heard. And you finally picked up the phone. I loved connecting voice to voice. And then we had our second date.

You drove an hour to meet me in my hometown. You held my hand throughout the evening. That was delicious. We kissed passionately. You told me you really liked me. We got vulnerable and shared some intimate details about our lives. We seemed to "get" each other in so many ways. We took a walk, and you pulled me into a dark corner, expressing your desire for me to come home with you. I said I only sleep with men if/when we're exclusive and have shared our STD test results. Not so sexy, but you said you understood. You were cool with that.

You told me you'd call the next day. You didn't. You texted the following day, something chaste, devoid of emotion or any true connection or interest. And then you slowly began to disappear. Until poof…you were gone.

So, disappearing man, I'm glad I met you and I'm also glad you're gone now. This was so much easier to deal with after only two dates. At first I was angry. How dare you lie and promise me you'd be honest with your feelings all along so no one gets hurt? When I asked you if everything was okay (because you seemed to be shutting down), you lied and said, "Everything's fine. Just busy at work." I'm really glad you lied. Because it showed me your true character.

So I want to thank you again for waking me up—to the importance of staying true to my values and to being my most authentic self in relationships. Because in the future, I will honor my timeline even more. I'll make sure to pace myself, even when the attraction is strong. If a man pressures me to talk sexy and be sexual before I'm ready, I'll stand up even stronger for what I believe in. I'm no prude, but the right man will respect my desire to build a friendship and a mature connected partnership. He will not disappear when I don't go home with him, when I let him know what my relationship standards are. The right man will see all of me, not just the sum of my body parts. He will call when he says he will. His words and actions will match. He'll have a steel core of integrity.

So, goodbye my disappearing man. Life has a way of sending you the teachers you need over and over again until you've learned the lesson you need to learn. I'm happy to say that I've graduated. I'm so ready for the right man. Your disappearing helped create the space for a grownup man, my true love partner to show up in my life. And I thank you for that.