Q: I am in a relationship with a man and just became intimate with him. I am not in love with him, but really like him. He views our sexual intimacy, however, as proof that I must love him. I’d like to clear the air, but don’t want to hurt his feelings. How should I proceed?
A: Some men think women can only have sex with them if they’re in love. They don’t realize that a number of women like sex just for the pleasure of it. In fact, research shows that, in some ways, men are actually more romantic, idealistic and fantasy oriented in love and relationships. Women tend to be more practical and realistic, while men often overly fantasize about the women they desire. Given that, you need to appeal to your man’s romantic nature. Tell him that you’re a complex woman who has many sides: emotional, romantic and physical. Right now, let him know that he’s won over your physical, sexual part. At the same time, gently explain that he hasn’t won over your romantic and emotional side yet. Let him know that you can enjoy just the sex and friendship by itself and maybe in the future you can fall in love as well. Instead of limiting him, you’re giving him options; challenging him, inspiring him. Who knows? He may be the man who will win over your heart if you give him the opportunity and incentive.