Never Do Anything You’re Not Ready To Do

Dear Karen,

I went on a date with a man I thought was nice, and I would like to see him again.  You may be wondering what the problem is. Well, he kissed me, and I wasn’t ready for that yet.  How should I handle this in the future? – Sarah

Dear Sarah,

What a juicy question!  I love it!  And I’ll bet there are loads of women reading this who have allowed more than they were ready for on a date.  I know I sure did, back in my old dating days.

The answer to your question is short, and very important to take to heart.

Never, ever, ever do anything on a date that you are not ready to do.



Okay, now that I’ve made the big (only?) point to make, I’ll say a few more things:

1. When it comes to dating, you are the chooser.  I spent a few of my dating years not knowing that, and it was painful; for me, it was more important that they picked me, than to think about what I wanted.

2. When you accept an invitation from a man, he (naturally) assumes he’s doing a good job with you, and that you approve of him.  You are always either accepting or rejecting invitations, right?  For the date, for the kiss, for the…well, you get the idea.  If you accept, he is going to keep going, fueled by your acceptance of him and of what he’s doing.  He is responding to your communication.

3. It is not only okay to say “no”, it is the only way you can build a foundation of trust with a man.  If you say “yes” (which includes when you want to say “no” but don’t), and mean “no”, you are likely to build up a wall to protect yourself from him, and he is operating on false information, which eventually could undermine his ability to trust you.

4. I am a big fan of taking opportunities to be vulnerable and real with men, so instead of “going along and not making waves”, how about instead you share with him what is going on for you?  Start off by acknowledging anything you can about him and/or the time you’re having with him (I am enjoying myself with you; I find you attractive; I’m having a hard time controlling myself around you; you’re great to be with, etc.).  Then let him know you’re not ready for this (holding hands; kissing; fondling; sex; sitting on the couch; being in his bedroom; inviting him in to your place, etc.).

And it’s perfectly fine to be nervous when you’re talking with him, and to fumble for words…it’s just where you are, and where you are is totally fine.

Hey, if he’s not okay with where you are, he’s just identified himself as being out of the running as a candidate for what you’re looking for, right?

Men just want to know how to do a good job, and it’s up to us to let them know what that is.  Trust me on this: they appreciate the map.  It’s way better for a man’s ego than operating from a false sense of confidence because you’re going along with his advances, only to learn later that he was way off base and blew it with you.