On following that star…



I like a road trip

The hum of the engine

The Styrofoam coffee

The eagles chowing down on road-kill.

I travelled hopefully

And then arrived

At a destination that was better than the brochures

At a place where I found something of myself

Lost along the way on previous trips

Where I discovered the strikingly familiar

In a space that was new to me.

Now as I return to the discomfort of home

And the dust slowly settles

I wonder

If I have left the natives yearning for my return

Or just relieved that I’ve gone


Recently, I drove 1600k in order to meet a man I connected with on a dating site.

This is not something I do as a rule. In fact I don’t travel ANY distance beyond the urban environs of my home city, just to meet a man. Not because I’m lazy, but because I know it is an activity fraught with emotional danger.But this one was different. From on-line and phone chats, I felt a connection so strong that I was compelled to make the journey. I had also, through our chats, developed a fondness for the little town he lived in, and was keen to visit. He is very much a man of his place.

From our first meeting I felt relaxed, excited and content. For the first time in my life, I met a man with whom the face-to-face connection was just like the cyber/phone one. I was enraptured.

Over the next three days he showed me around his area, introduced me to friends, took me to his favourite haunts. We talked, we laughed, we shagged. It was blissful. When I left he was already asking about my return visit. Driving the 1600ks back, I wondered if it were possible for me to be in love. And I reveled in that possibility.

That was nearly four weeks ago. Since then we’ve chatted on-line maybe twice, and had one, brief phone conversation. Previously we had chatted every day, sometimes twice a day. And despite his telling me ten days ago that he has been feeling down, and consequently has been lying low, it is clear to me that whatever was going on has finished. And I have no idea why. So I contemplate. Not because I’m not aware that second-guessing someone is a futile exercise, but so that I can attempt to extract some lesson from this.

I think the introduction of sex into the equation confuses men far more than it confuses women. A man is, generally, quite happy to keep seeing a woman who he likes and with whom he is able to have hassle-free sex. And sometimes he mistakes that situation for meaning he is “interested” in her. But usually, he isn’t. It’s not that he is consciously using her, but more that he is going along with a pleasant set-up, without questioning his own motivations, or those of the woman. He might even mistake it for love.

But he doesn’t think about her at odd times of the day. When he is involved in an activity he doesn’t contemplate that it would be much nicer were she with him. He doesn’t randomly buy her a book, or a CD or even the clichéd flowers. If she doesn’t ring, or he doesn’t find himself alone and randy, they will not see or speak to each other. And as soon as a woman comes along who really captures his imagination, he is out of there.

And we women often find it difficult to let go of these men, until they have let go of us. We think, quite reasonably, that it will develop. We know he likes us. We have sex. We chat and maybe go out for a meal before the sex. Surely this is dating?

I’m not necessarily saying that the “hold out on sex” approach is always right. I have issues with feeling as though I am rewarding a man for good behaviour. But I can see how keeping sex out of it for a while can clear the mud from the water. A man will generally not hang around dating for several weeks JUST so he can get laid. There are easier ways. If he is hanging around, the chances are that he is truly interested in you.

I don’t know if this is what happened with my chap. I suppose because I was a visitor in his town he felt obliged to hang out with me.Yet  I’m an independent woman, and didn’t give him the impression that I expected his constant attention. And possibly he felt obliged to have sex with me because I had travelled all that distance. And now that my visit is over, he has heaved a sigh of relief and decided to essentially ignore me until I went away.

If that was his ploy, it has worked.

Looking back over my ramblings here, I have to say, I am none the wiser. I guess this is one step up from thinking out loud.

If any of you, my lovely readers, have any ideas about this one, feel free to post them. I would be most interested.



4 thoughts on “On following that star…

  1. The older I get the more I think it is true: if you want a relationship, you have to wait on the sex. If you had sex the first time you actually met this guy, after driving two days to get to his town, you made it way to easy and casual for him.

    My theory is that men’s feelings of the relationship often are frozen at the moment you have sex. So if you haven’t developed a real relationship before you have sex, you never will. This rule is 100% true for me: even women I wanted badly to have a relationship with, if we slept together right away it usually meant we were quickly doomed.

    Here’s the other thing: men love to chase, to pursue, to woo, to convince. Making him prove himself in little ways often amps up the feelings on both sides. Please don’t take offense to this, but between all that driving and the instant sex, you sound like you may have been overeager. Men love to have sex with desperate women, but as soon as we are done having sex we can’t stand to be around them.

    1. Thanks, Drew, for your honesty. I love getting a male perspective on these things, and yours is certainly a an oft-told story. I suppose I sometimes slip and think “surely…at our age…we can move beyond that”…but no…I think these things are biologically hard-wired!!

      1. I really think it is hard wired. Like I mentioned, there were times I wanted a relationship, but having sex too soon weirded me and maybe both of us out, and things crashed and burned. It’s so intimate and powerful, I think you really have to know the other person well to be able to handle the waves that will be unleashed.

        Men also I think are hard wired to not want a relationship if they have sex right away- again, even if they started out wanting a relationship. It is so tough because if you like someone of course you want to have sex with them! But I believe that by waiting and building the anticipation, you can build the foundation of great sex for life.

        You are obviously going into this with a pure heart, and I wish you luck in finding a good one. It only takes one!

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