I'm a 30-year-old straight woman living in Los Angeles, recently out of a three-year relationship with a man I loved for his intellect but was never sexually attracted to or in love with. I've been single now for seven months and have slept with seven men in this time. One of them is my downstairs neighbor. We've been hooking up every 1-2 weeks for the last four months. It has always been casual but in the last month I felt like there were some symbolic shifts, like spending the night when we don't need to because of our proximity, and him inviting me out to meet his friends. He also initiated a conversation about our dynamic, in which I said I was content and figured it would end when either one of us started seeing someone new. He said he's emotionally unavailable but also just got an OKCupid account and I believe he's looking for a relationship. We had a second conversation and I expressed to him my emotional conflict, recognizing my double standard because even though I'm occasionally sleeping with other people and am open to dating others, it would make me feel bad to see or hear him bring someone home. I think my biggest issue is that considering the time we've spent together and our sexual chemistry it bothers me that he doesn't want to date me. This could be because he's emotionally unavailable or because I'm just not the person he wants to make himself available to. I don't know if I should end this or keep it open, although I get the impression he might be turned off now knowing I have emotional conflict about it. I want to keep seeing him but I don't want to feel like he has the upper hand and run the risk of rejection again.

In order to get over this neighbor thing, the other night I went out and met a hot guy from New York who I ended up having great sex with. He asked me a couple times if I was coming to NY any time soon, and that I could stay with him when I'm there this summer, and right before he left he told me to stay in touch. I texted him the next morning saying it was nice to meet him and that I hope to see him again someday aaaaaannnnndd nothing. Radio silence.

So Dan, I'm feeling pretty disheartened right now, and not sure if I'm attracting the wrong people, if I'm being self-destructive, how I can have sex on the first date and have a meaningful relationship, and wondering if I'm going to regret breaking it off with my ex who has wonderful qualities and values but not someone I'm sexually attracted to. Because clearly there are so many ding-dongs out there who may be hot but turn out to be jerks or don't want to date me. How can I date with dignity and get what I want?

Down On Love

If I'm following the timeline of events correctly, DOL, you told your downstairs neighbor—a man you're sexually attracted to, sexually compatible with, and someone you don't like to imagine sleeping with anyone else—that you were "content" with things as they are and "figured it would end when either [of you] started seeing someone new." And he basically replied to this love sonnet by saying, "Okay, yeah, sure, well, I'm not emotionally available right now either and, um, so I'm going to get on OKCupid now."

If you like this guy, say so. If you want to date him, say so. If you'd rather things didn't end when someone else came along, DOL, but instead got more serious thereby minimizing the chances of someone else coming along, SAY SO.

Want to date with dignity? Wanna get what you want? Use your words, be honest, take risks, and ask for what you want.

That does mean making yourself vulnerable, DOL. It means being willing to risk rejection and, yes, willing to risk someone else getting the upper hand. While it's not impossible to find love in a defensive crouch or curled up in the fetal position on the floor, DOL, it's much, much harder to do so. And remember: If you're so paralyzed by the fear of rejection that you can't bring yourself to tell someone you like like that you like like them then you're rejecting yourself.

I'm sorry that asshole from NYC ghosted you, DOL. I'd be your gay bestie and say something, "Men, gurl! They're awful!", but women do the same thing to men all the time. Maybe he sensed you were only fucking him to get over some other guy, i.e. your neighbor, who I don't actually think the sex with Mr. NYC got you over. If it had, you would've have written.

Go fuck your neighbor, DOL, and have another convo about your dynamic. Tell him you've given it a lot more thought and feel less conflicted. You would like to date him—you would like to continue seeing him, continue spending the occasional night, continue meeting each other's friends, and continue getting to know each other better. Make yourself vulnerable.

And if he isn't interested, DOL, it's only been seven months and seven guys. You haven't haven't exactly been wandering in the dick desert for forty years. And remember...

Listen to my podcast, the Savage Lovecast, at www.savagelovecast.com.

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