Dating After Divorce? Be Prepared For Sex Sooner

Long gone are the days of long courtships and taking relationships slowly

Dear Monica, I am newly divorced after being married for over 20 years. The biggest change that I have noticed in the dating world is that men want sex right away. I want to take my time and evaluate him as a partner. How do I establish a connection without sleeping with each guy? – S.B. Elkins Park

You are absolutely right. Men usually want to turn dating into a way to access your bedroom while women generally want to have the opportunity to get to know someone. To most men, sex is a type of a connection. It’s the way that they say “I like you,” or “I want to be with you.” Women are usually judging the emotional, intellectual, and day-to-day compatibility of the man. For women sex is most often romantically driven, but for men, it’s a natural reaction, just like reading the paper.

Things have changed dramatically since you were in the dating world more than 20 years ago. Couples don’t date for months with just a little touchy-feely before hitting the sack. Today, by the third date, it seems it is either hit it or quit it. Long gone are the days of extended courtships with a gradual increase in intimacy. In this age of immediate gratification it is harder to slow things down.

If you allow yourself to fall into the habit of sleeping with men after a few dates in order to continue the relationship you may find yourself sleeping with many more men in a year than you anticipated. This will only leave you feeling empty and unfulfilled and probably without a boyfriend.

Why not be honest with the man you are interested in? Explain that dating is new to you and you want to take it slow. If the number of men you’ve slept with up to that point is small, you can tell him that as well. Men may want sex, but do they really want a woman who has slept with the neighborhood as their partner? On the flip side, why would you want to be with a man who has spread the love so far himself? Remember: You hold the sexual trump card.

Take your time and make sure he’s someone you really want to spend your days — and nights — with. Don’t be fooled into thinking sex is what is going to make him like you more than the next girl. Foremost on your mind should be compatibility regarding morals, values, ethics and family. When two people connect on a higher level, intimacy becomes deeper and more passionate. You have already had a marriage that did not work out. If you are contemplating entering another significant relationship, make the choices that will increase the chances of the next one being more fulfilling and long-lasting.

Monica Mandell, Ph.D. is the Director of the Philadelphia office of Selective Search, the premiere (off-line) upscale matchmaking firm for the most eligible singles. Please send your questions to: