Originally published at: YourTango.com
Photo credit: Your Tango
Better to know now.
During my time as a Beverly Hills matchmaker, I have worked with thousands of beautiful, smart, and witty women from all walks of life with one shared common thread—they are single, but they want to be in relationships ... real relationships, with real commitment.
In one of my favorite rom-coms, The Wedding Date, Dermot Mulroney's character said to the fabulously single Deborah Messing: "Every woman has the exact love life she wants." If this is the case, why are so many lovely single women who desire to be in a serious relationship single?
This weekend, as I was nursing my Pinot at one of the Hollywood hot-spots listening to one of my favorite bachelorettes of Beverly Hills recount yet another short-lived second-date-kiss-of-death relationship, it hit me: I have worked with thousands of men who are at the point where they are ready to find the love of their lives.
Sometimes I feel like a spy; these men are so brutally open and honest with me about what the problems have been in their past encounters with women, I could write an encyclopedia unveiling the secrets and dating mistakes women make.
I knew that I needed to clue in the glorious women of the world on this little secret: If you want to be in a relationship with a man, do not have sex with him until he gives you the kind of commitment that you want.
Women seek security. Men seek sex as their initial fix that can often overshadow their own desires for security, companionship, and being a part of a fun, fabulous relationship (in the beginning, at least).
For women, yes, sex is a huge factor in a potential mate, but it is typically not the first factor that a woman thinks about when she meets a new man. Men, on the other hand, are immediately propelled by their initial sexual desire.
The trick here is that while I believe the sexual revolution was a wonderful, much-needed chapter in history: women need to be smart and use a whole lot of self-control to minimize heartache and maximize results. Honey, if you don't want a happy, healthy relationship with a wonderful man, then stop reading this and continue with your old habits.
You may be in a different phase of your life where you are not looking for a committed relationship, and that's okay because you are in control. But if you are like the women I coach who are ready for something more, read on.
In one of my favorite books, Why Men Love Bitches, Sherry Argov gives the best analogy for why women need to wait to have sex. She tells the story of a man who loves to go hunting (although I am against hunting, and I know my animal-loving bachelorettes are as well, so bear with me). We will call him John.
He will spend hours, days, even weeks, in the muddy forest staking out his claim. He will endure the elements — rain and shine, frostbite, no bathrooms, without his Egyptian cotton sheets — to achieve his goal. And even though the elements may not sound oh-so-appealing to a bachelorette like yourself, he loves it.
He goes every year with his buddies on his big hunting trip and loves the thrill that he gets from being out in the trenches. When he finally shoots that (poor, innocent) deer, he comes home triumphantly and proudly mounts the deer head bust right above the fireplace (even though it completely clashes with the décor). His eyes light up like a little boy every time he tells the story of his epic adventure to every guest that enters his home.
Let's imagine another story starring John. Imagine that John gets a knock on his door and that same beautiful deer is laying there at his door. It's dead, and mounting would easy. He looks at it quizzically and throws it in the trash.
Let's look at these stories. The deer that John was so proud of, who he was so eager to recount every detail of his epic journey, the one that is now at the forefront of his sacred space, is the same deer in the second story. When that same deer that he treasured so much in the first story was laying outside of his door, he wasn't interested because it had no meaning to him. He didn't have to put any effort in attaining the deer, it was just there for him, already dead.
Let me let you in on a little secret ladies: he wants you to be the first deer. So, what can you do instead of having sex?
1. Show him you aren't like the other girls.
He wants you to be different. He wants you to be that girl who challenges him. He wants you to be that woman who he can say to his friends, "She's a keeper."
If he's at a point in his life where he is ready for a relationship, he wants to find the woman that will be worth that epic journey so that he can recount the story to his friends about how all the other hunters tried but failed, and he proved himself to be the one.
2. Date him.
Go on several dates with him — day dates, night dates, adventure dates, dates where you can build memories and experiences together and see if there is a potential future there. Get to know him as you would a friend, but be affectionate. Don't be afraid to kiss him and let him know that you think he is extremely attractive, endearing, and witty.
You can even let him in on your new rule for yourself. Just tell him upfront: "I don't have sex with guys unless they are my boyfriend (or fiancé, or husband... whatever 'commitment that you require)."
If he can't handle it and bolts when he hears your rule, then you just saved yourself from a lot of heartache; he wasn't the right guy to begin with. On to the next, my dear.
3. Stay far away from oxytocin.
There is another important scientific reason why you should wait to have sex with a man that is a huge game changer. You probably have a girlfriend (or five) that keeps going back to that awful jerk who treats them horrendously or is still in a relationship with a #DeadBeatDouche. When women have sex, they release a hormone called oxytocin.
Oxytocin is the love, bonding, and trust hormone. The average woman releases an oxytocin spike dramatically when she has sex. This is a beautiful, but dangerous, hormone because it bonds the woman to the guy who she sleeps with; oxytocin does not discriminate. It doesn't care whether he wants kids, has a criminal record, or a porn addiction. It is an equal opportunity employer.
So, at the risk of sounding like the gym teacher in Mean Girls ("Don't have sex, because you will get pregnant, and die), until you're in a committed, monogamous relationship with a great guy you can envision for the future, just don't do it.