I’ve been dating a guy who is nice to me but I think he just wants sex. It’s confusing because I’ve dated other guys who only want physical and will make that clear, but this guy is still nice to me. How can I determine if he’s only in it for the physical?
You have two main options here: You can read lots sexist online articles on this topic which might still leave you feeling confused, or you could be direct. This could potentially be an uncomfortable conversation, but the best way to put your mind at ease is just to ask him. You don’t need to be incredibly straightforward if that’s not a part of your personality, you can phrase it in the context of the other guys you’ve dated, and say something like “Oh my exes clearly only wanted sex, and I’m honestly not looking for that right now” at an appropriate time in the conversation. A potential sign that someone is only in it for the physical is that they don’t pay attention to your opinions and don’t care much about your emotions (although of course it’s not always true), and a person like this is definitely not worth pursuing a more committed relationship with. I hope it goes well for you! Good luck!
To begin with, I’m very happy you’ve met a guy who’s treating you well and is nice, that’s a great start! While being very straightforward and confronting him about what he’s looking for in a relationship (just sex, a short-term thing, or serious commitment, …) is going to be your most effective option, it’s not always the most comfortable route and he might not even know at this moment what exactly he’s looking for. Since he’s being kind, I would continue to hang out with him and take things slow. Keep going on dates and having fun! If things get too physical too fast, then take a step back and let him know that you’re interested in a longer relationship and would prefer getting to know someone well before continuing physically. Strong relationships are built on communication, so don’t be afraid talk things out!
From what it sounds like, you might be more interested in being with a partner who will welcome, endorse and provide this “something more” you refer to be looking for. The first step towards understanding what that means to you and who can provide you with it, might mean being honest with yourself and proactive about communicating/expressing your expectations towards the ideal relationship for you, currently. That way you are being fair with both you and him by allowing a mutual consideration, evaluation and decision regarding both sides’ desires and (again) expectations in respect to dating at the moment. Just try to remember that by assuming others simply know what you want and expect is a likely path to frustrating interactions and relationships, inconveniently (and conveniently at times, ha!) no one will ever be able to read your thoughts. So, if you expect something to change at least give them the chance to know you do before getting disappointed at their lack of awareness regarding your feelings. There is no such thing as common sense when it comes to yours or someones feelings, needs and desires, so keep it in mind: communication, communication and communication!
Want to learn more about communicating and perpetuating a culture of consent? Next week is Cal Consent Week. Find out more info here.