‘I’ve been having fairly casual, good fun sex with a friend. I’m happiest not calling this a relationship. He’s seemed to want more – and now he’s started avoiding me altogether.’ Advice is given.
I’ve been seeing a guy now for about four months. It’s kind of casual. We’ve been having a great time and the sex has been really fun. We’re not sleeping with anyone else but I wouldn’t really call him my boyfriend – maybe he’s a bit more into the idea of it being a ‘relationship’ than I am (he gets me quite a lot of presents and says he loves me every now and then when we’re having sex). Anyway, a couple of weeks ago we were talking with a bunch of friends about sex and teenage pregnancies, unplanned pregnancies, contraception failure, parental responsibility and so on, and since then the sex has slumped to pretty much zero and I think he’s started avoiding me. If it’s the babies, well, he’s never used condoms, apparently, but I’m on the pill and there’s no way I’d want him as a husband/father. It’s all got frustrating, and a bit embarrassing, socially. I’d like to have a ‘serious talk’ with him about it but don’t know what to say to make things right.
Our reply – Have your say in the LoveSpace forums:
It sounds as if you have quite a few issues all jumbled together here. First reaction: he’s never used condoms? Well, maybe he could be a dad already – and it could be a very good thing if that thought’s freaking him out. It begs the question as to whether he’s actually discussed contraception with you, or just relied on you to sort it out. You’re also running a serious sexual health risk with STIs, assuming you weren’t tested before you started having sex and at least three months since previous partners. If you’re defining this partner as casual – have you explicitly agreed you’re not sleeping with anyone else? – then really you want to use condoms.
Yes, sex makes babies. Not all the time. Actually, proportionately, not very often. But sex does make babies and contraception, pill included, doesn’t always work. It would even be a little surprising if most of us didn’t know someone who’s unexpectedly and, with all precautions taken, become a mother or father to be.
Perhaps this had genuinely never occurred to him: the idea of zero-consequences sex has quite a hold over many people still – for example, when people have liberated themselves from thoughts of ‘sinfulness’ but failed to put in place different, appropriate, rational thoughts to guide sensible, responsible behaviour. (Witness the failure of young people’s virginity pledges and the increased risks of pregnancy and STIs through having taken such vows in the first place.) Maybe he needs to grow up a bit and think these things through.
All that said, it’s fairly obvious there are broader relationship issues at stake here. You like it casual. You like it ‘fun’. He wants more than that. After four months, maybe he’s realised he’s got his feelings way too involved here for his good and that he is going to get more and more hurt if he carries on this route. It could be the talk about some of the serious potential consequences of having sex that’s triggered this realisation.
If you want to have the serious talk to make things right, you’ve got to think about what the right outcome would really be. You know what you want: more of the same, low-commitment fun. He seems to have rather different ideas, which you might be honestly unable to agree to – and this is obviously aside from all thoughts of possible parenthood! Have a talk – even just send a text if he’s proving hard to get hold of. Ask if he’s had enough and if that’s your time together come to an end. Ask if there is some other problem. Ask if he really isn’t going to be happy keeping it fairly casual, as friends who have sex. If you are both looking for different things, well, then that’s where you stand and that’s it. And then you’ll both know.