Going All The Away
The other night, I really hit it off with a woman I met in a bar. Even though her friend had taken me aside and told me I could get this woman to go home with me, at the end of the evening, I only asked her for her number. When she hesitated in giving it to me, I gave her my e-mail address. I still haven't heard from her. My guy friend chided me that I missed an opportunity to "get some." The thing is, I am not looking to just "get some." What I want most is a lasting, stable, sexual relationship with a woman with whom I can share this fleetingly beautiful existence. Did I do the right thing, or should I give up on my foolish notions of finding that special someone and just go for the "hookup"?
-- A Gentleman
It's not the sort of thing you dream of telling your grandkids: "Your grandma and I met at a bar. We were drinking heavily, and she looked awfully good at closing time."
Still, even if you aren't looking to "get some," if you do happen to be offered some, the wisest course of action isn't covering your privates and diving behind a barstool. This doesn't mean you have to end the evening in the position to cancer-check a woman's hidden moles. But, once you get something going with somebody, why not see that you keep it going? At least offer her a ride home, take her out for pancakes, grope her on her porch.
Whatever you do, do SOMETHING -- except if that something is giving her your e-mail address. You're better off giving up on ever seeing her again. (Beats being chained to your computer, waiting to be wanted.) "But, she wouldn't give me her phone number!" Well, be a man, ask harder, and cut your losses if she still doesn't respond. For all you know, this woman "hesitated" because she didn't know how to tell you she wanted to go home with you -- not go home alone and forward you something about how your deodorant could be giving you a brain tumor.
Where you go wrong is in thinking the choices are mutually exclusive -- either share fleetingly beautiful drunken sex or "this fleetingly beautiful existence." Sure, the hookup has its downsides: pregnancy ... disease ... missing the thrill of the chase because there's no need to run after anybody, just roll over in bed. And then there's the chance that "that sweetie" from the bar will turn into your psycho-stalker. Despite being given no assurances a one-night stand would lead to any future nights, there she is, storming around outside your workplace, shouting through a traffic cone, "Is that all I was to YOOOUUU?"
It turns out one of the downsides for other men could be an upside for you. Yes, some women can "compartmentalize" the way men do -- decide they're having a fling, and that's that. Even so, people don't always know what they want. Sometimes they just think they know what they want. And with women, sometimes a hormone called oxytocin does their thinking for them. It kicks in when a woman has an orgasm, making her feel bonded to her partner, even if, intellectually, she'd rather be the kind of girl who uses him and puts him out like the cat. In other words, having casual sex doesn't necessarily preclude you from having, well, formal sex -- all that naked and nasty stability you've been pining for. It may even lead you there -- providing you see to it that it's not over until everybody has a big finish.
The Mail Animal
I just received a beautiful card in the mail, but the only thing inside was a clipping of your column advising "Underwanted" to stop trying to be friends with the ex she wasn't over. I just dumped my cheating long-distance boyfriend (who's now calling constantly, desperately apologetic). I'm hoping this card, postmarked locally, was from a secret admirer (specifically, the young, attractive, creative single guy in my small community). Should I cut all ties with my ex in hopes my secret crush will reveal himself?
There's a tendency to believe "Somebody wants me!" over "Somebody wants me to stop being so dumb!" Naturally, that somebody must be a hot guy, not the receptionist with hot flashes who's been putting through all your cheating ex's calls. If you're going to cut all ties, do it because it's damaging to maintain contact, not because you're impatient to unmask your secret santa. And, if there is a guy behind this ... eeuw ... how wimpy weirdo. A man worth having gives you time to get over your ex, then asks you out -- he doesn't romance you with the postal version of leaving a bottle of mouthwash in somebody's locker.