General Dating Questions/query about dating
HI dr Neder
I was just wondering whether it was possible to start off as 'friends' with a guy before deciding whether it would be worth pursuing a relationship or serious dating?
I've heard that some people started off as great friends, then dated and then got into a serious relationship.
I've found that after having a few dates as friends, nothing happened, or we still remain friends. The guys said let's start off as friends and keep it casual.
So if a guy says let's start off as friends and see where that leads, is this good or bad? Or can I say this or not?
Also do you need to have sex straight away to determine whether the person is right for you or not?
Thanks for being able to answer this
Your question seems very simple on the surface, but is actually quite complicated. I'll try to answer it the best I can.
Yes, it's possible to start off as friends and for things to become romantic and sometimes it does happen, but it's rare. The problem isn't with the guy by the way. Most guys are happy to become friends first and let you lead things, but therein lies the exact problem. It's about how YOU (and a woman) and YOUR BRAIN reacts to this that is the problem.
Most women are looking for a large number of things that happen with romantic connection. They (you?) want "chemistry". They want men that are bold enough to take the risk to move things where they want them to go. They are usually looking for men that know what they want and aren't willing to settle. They usually want someone that shows interest and attraction first - which often creates interest and attraction in them.
Does any of this sound like how "friends" or "friendships" are?
Making a guy your friend first is safe and gives you a chance to figure out what he is all about but when are any worthwhile relationships "safe"? In fact, it's all about what you could lose that makes them worthwhile. I'm not talking about making dumb, risky choices at all. I'm talking about the most important element in relationships: passion. Becoming a friend first just bleeds away any chance of passion or excitement or anything else.
Is that really the sort of relationship you want to be in; one that's so bland and banal that you just coast through it?
The reality is; starting off as friends first usually ruins any potential relationship for most people. Yes, there are some that make it through this but trust me, the best, longest, most solid relationships don't.
As to guys asking for this; it's usually built around one of 3 things:
1) The guy is a coward and doesn't want to take the risk of being rejected. So, he starts off as being the girl's "friend" when in fact he wants something very different. He's hoping to "work it from the inside" such that she'll see what a great guy he is, fall in love with him and do all his work for him. Then, he won't have to take any risks whatsoever. Lots of girls have lots of these "friends" hanging around them - and never, ever getting a chance at her heart.
2) He's looking for a fuck-buddy. He doesn't want to make any sort of investment or (gasp!) a commitment but figures that he can invest just a little bit (by being the "friend") and eventually wind up in bed with the girl. Then, he can easily dump her when he gets tired of it because; well, they didn't have anything real anyway, right?
3) He simply doesn't know any better. He has no other way of connecting, so he chooses the "path of least resistance".
As to having sex early, the answer is yes. There are a number of very important reasons behind this. Let me summarize some of the most important:
First, if you look at long-term, reportedly "happy" relationships and marriages, the vast majority of them had sex within the first 3 dates. I'm not talking about a few more either. I'm saying that MOST of them started this way.
While sex isn't the most important thing in a relationship, it's right up there in the top-3. It's also about skill, confidence, technique and a bunch of other important things you bring to a relationship. Think about this: what would happen if you had only 2 of the 3 things you needed to do your job? Answer: you wouldn't have your job very long. You'd be replaced by someone that had all three. That happens in relationships all the time.
Along this line; it's also about you (again, as a woman) and your skill, confidence, etc. If you're able to be a sexual person comfortably and have some experience (which leads to skill) then you have a very important tool in your "relationships toolkit". Being a great lover won't make a man fall in love with you, but it'll keep him around long enough for you to work your magic on him. That's worth everything!
There's another critical thing to understand about sex in relationships related to how men are wired.
You (as a woman) have your own wiring pre-programmed into your genes. So do us guys. Consider this question: what's more important: love or sex? Most people assume it's the loftier answer of "love" but in fact, it's not. Do animals have to be in love to have sex? Do humans? Of course not. Nature gives us love more as a reward, but requires sex in order to create new generations. The reality is; nature doesn't give a shit about love. That's not very romantic, but it's accurate.
In fact, nature does something else to us. It has created a "shelf life" in men or I call the "window of opportunity" or "WoO". Just like women have a shelf life or WoO regarding their fertility, men have one regarding love and relationships that works like this:
When you meet a man that sees you as a potential partner, a timer starts in that man's head. While that timer is ticking down, you have real access to his emotional side; his "heart". Once you get hold of it that man can fall in love with you. However, once the timer clicks all the way down and his WoO "closes" you no longer have that important key. In fact, a man loses the ability to fall in love with you. He can still have sex with you, but you'll never again have access to his heart.
Even more important, men don't know whether they even COULD fall in love with you or not until after he's had sex with you! Consider that point for a second. Remember that I told you earlier that relationships that have sex early are far more likely to stay together? This is one of the most important reasons why.
Men need to get past the physical part of a relationship BEFORE they can deal with any emotional part. That's critical to understand.
How many times have you heard other women complain that; "Well, I held him off for 3 months and as soon as we had sex, I never heard from him again!" Now you know why that happens. The guy finally had sex with her; realized that he couldn't have what he wanted (love - and yes, guys want love too - it's a "drive" just like sex is) and went off to find someone else he COULD have that with. The guy probably wasn't looking just for a one-night stand at all. He wouldn't have invested all that time. Instead, he wanted something more; only to find out he couldn't have it with that girl. His WoO closed.
By the way, this one point explains a lot of "male mysteries" that women have about men. For instance; the guy that is in a 5-year relationship with a woman that dumps him because he won't get married only to have the guy marry someone else he just met after 3 months. Guess which woman had sex early-on in the relationship?
Obviously, there are exceptions to everything I've said here but I constantly see these problems (about friends, sex and other misunderstandings) every single day. I don't deal with exceptions however. I deal with realities. Far too many people go off chasing fairy tales and never find them. The winners go after what really works - often doing what others won't do - and get what they want.
Dr. Dennis W. Neder
Producers: "BAM! TV" and “Love and Sex”
Publishers: "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III”