It's Not His Fault

Jade Wood shares her thoughts on the value of defining relationships and expressing expectations, even in a casual romantic setting. Can you really be annoyed with someone for not meeting your expectations, if you weren’t clear about what those expectations were?

You’ve hit the club, the music is loud, the drinks are flowing, and your outfit could have walked right off the Vogue runway.  You own the dancefloor and those tequila’s you consumed earlier gives you moves you didn’t know you had.  He catches your eye and smiles.  He’s tall, handsome, aloof.  He’s noticed you, you’ve noticed him, and sparks begin to fly.  He spots you at the bar and buys you a drink; you’ve got this. He tries to spark up conversation but it’s so loud that you invite him to go somewhere quiet to talk and hit a late-night coffee shop. 

It’s almost magical: a winter chill in the air, he lends you his coat and pulls you in close as you walk arm in arm towards the warm smell of freshly brewed coffee.  You’re both laughing and enjoying the moment and you feel something real.  You think he feels it too and before you know it, you’re 2 hours deep in what feels like life changing and meaningful conversation.  It’s closing time but you don’t want the night to end, it feels like forever since you’ve met a nice guy. He’s a gentleman though and offers to walk you back to your flat.  You accept graciously and walk hand in hand together through the dark streets of town. 

You reach the front door and still you don’t want it to end so you invite him up.  Just for a coffee, right?  Wrong.  Things heat up quickly.  Sparks turn into roaring flames.  Before you know it, you’re hot, naked and sweaty.  You’re now enjoying the most amazing first night sex you’ve ever had.  It feels so passionate, you feel like you’ve known him all your life.  Afterwards you expect a warm embrace but look at the time, he has a class in the morning.  He takes your number and kisses you warmly on the forehead, he says he’ll text you in the morning and then thanks you for an amazing evening on the way out.  You go to sleep feeling excited at the prospect of a new relationship.

Tomorrow comes and there it is, a text from him thanking you for last night; it’s warm and friendly, but not what you were expecting.  He doesn’t say when he wants to see you again, or even that he does.  You text back and forth with some light-hearted chit chat that doesn’t come close to last night’s deep and meaningful conversation. You suggest meeting for another coffee but he’s busy this week.  While you’re playing it cool, and don’t want to scare him off, you also would really like to see something more develop- he’s perfect!  So, you give him some space and text him again a couple of days later with a short and sweet ‘Hey, how’s it going’, several texts later you pop in a suggestion about hooking up again soon and he’s taken the bait.  Excellent!

He comes over after sports practice and you crack open a bottle of wine and relax in each other’s company, once again things turn hot and spicy.  Another night of epic sex that leaves you breathless and hungry for more, but once again he has to go.  You don’t want to make a scene, you’re developing feelings for him but you don’t want to scare him off by saying anything. You’ve only known each other a week so you let him go without quarrel. 

Now, if this was your story, I expect you might be starting to feel like you’ve been used.  The sex was great, but that is all it has been: sex. Looking at the bigger picture, did anyone make clear what it is they wanted from their meeting?  In the deep and meaningful chat on the first night do you think she told him what she expected, that she wanted a relationship with him? No of course not, that’s a heavy topic when you’ve just met someone new, so she kept that part of her expectations to herself.  Then, she invites him back to her home and they have sex.  Do you think then it was discussed what she wanted more moving forward?  Again, no, it wasn’t.  Now, the sex is wholly consensual in this scenario and both parties are clear on this, but that’s really all they’re clear on. 

What is it that can be expected in a situation such as this?  If neither party made their intentions clear, can either party be held responsible for how the situation plays out, and therefore any heartbreak as a result?  If the roles were reversed and she didn’t want commitment, and he did, would that make her the user? 

So, let’s be clear, if someone doesn’t know what you want, how can you expect them to understand why you’d be upset in this scenario?  You can avoid any confusion and upset by following these three steps to ensure that you are in control of your own story when it comes to meeting someone new.


1.     Know what it is you want.  Understand what you’re trying to achieve when it comes to relationships; a steady boyfriend, someone to settle down with, or a one-night stand.  Once you know what you want then you are then better prepared to tell potential partners.

2.     Honesty is the best policy.  It might sound like a bomb-scare, admitting to someone you’ve just met you are looking for a long-term relationship but if you don’t tell them, you can’t be angry, or hurt, when you find out that is not their intention. 

3.     If you want to have sex on the first night you meet someone that’s entirely your choice but remember that it is your choice.  Be safe, be honest and don’t be afraid to be open about what your expectations are for the sex itself and you’re your expectations are afterwards.