A month ago, I went on a date and he tried to take it too far. I am interested in a relationship, and it was clear he was annoyed I wouldn’t kiss or have sex on the first date. He told me “No guy will ever respect you if you respect yourself too much.”
I am new to dating so this incident has left me with nightmares and worried to go out again. But I don’t know how to keep this from happening since asking someone if they are looking for a genuine relationship might come off too strong. How do I protect myself in the future so that I can better understand a guy’s intentions before I put myself in harm’s way?
Beauty and the Beast
Dear Beauty and the Beast,
I am so sorry this happened to you, and I need you to know that this is not your fault. Absolutely nothing you say, or don’t say, do, or don’t do, should ever give any man the right to disrespect your boundaries—physical or emotional.
And as for his Andrew-Tate-ass quote, please disregard. He obviously has never felt any motherly love—or the touch of a woman (not consensually, at least).
In no way is asking if a person wants a genuine relationship coming off too strong—it’s simply honest. If they’re a good person, their answer will come easily—and whether it’s yes or no, there will be a concrete, consensual, next step. But, also be weary; men will say anything to get in your pants. Take for example my first kiss. I was a naïve 15-year-old who thought that a guy saying I’d make a great girlfriend meant he was deserving of my untouched lips. I guess he meant I’d make a great girlfriend for someone else, because I got ghosted.
There are two things you should do when you go out on a date next time (and please, don’t let this one asshole be the reason you don’t find love). First—listen to your inner voice and take any red flags, turning stomachs, or racing heartbeats seriously. Don’t give him “just another chance” if it means putting yourself in danger. Second—make sure to assign a “SOS-I-have-a-flat-tire-stranded-on-the-QEW-and-if-you-don’t-come-right-now-I’ll-get-eaten-by-a-coyote” friend who at the utter of a safe word will call you and give you a good excuse out of any nasty situation. Make sure that friend, and perhaps a parent if you’re comfortable, has your location so that if you don’t reply at your hourly check-in, they can rush over to make sure you’re okay.
Please do not ever lower your standards for a man—or anyone for that matter. You know yourself best so don’t let anyone make you question your worth. Even if that means saying no to a guy whose Tinder profile and enticing pick up line made you think you’d finally found “the one.” (Side note: maybe “the one” isn’t on Tinder). And remember, before, after, or even during your next date, I’m just a short letter away with all my support.
Editor-in-Chief (Volume 48 & 49) | email@example.com — Liz is completing a double major in Chemistry and Art History. She previously served as Features Editor for Volume 47, and Editor-in-Chief for Volume 48. Liz is extremely excited to have spent her time as an undergrad at The Medium, and can’t wait to inspire others and be inspired in her final year at UTM. When she’s not studying, working, writing, or editing countless articles, you can find her singing Motown hits at her piano, going on long walks by the lake, or listening to music. You can connect with Liz on her website, Instagram, or LinkedIn.