Dating terms defined: “self-preservation”

February 9, 2011

The long overdue story of how R and I met.

February 9, 2011

What to make of being denied the sleep-over

February 9, 2011
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I am very sad to report that the “off the record” function on the gchat machine works. The minute you X-out the chat it goes into some Internet black hole, never to be found again.

  • “Isn’t there a way to search and retrieve it?” I asked my friend, “The people at Google must have this figured out.”
  • “I think the whole point is that you can’t,” she said, “That’s what they figured out.

And so a hysterical, 20-minute chat has to be reduced to a bullet point paraphrase of our conversation about a night in the dating life. I’ll do my best.

  • My friend (MF) embarks on the third date with a guy (G) she’s been seeing for about two weeks. The dates have been good and frequent thus far, as has the communication.
  • MF lives in a suburb of a city. G lives in the city. It is approx 45 minutes by public transport and 25 minutes by cab/car from one apartment to the next.
  • All three dates thus far have been close to G’s apartment or midway between the two apartments. In defense of G, he lives in a lively, bar-laden part of the city. MF does not.
  • Date three begins at 8pm and by 11pm they are back at G’s place having another drink and doing one of those things we do to kill an appropriate amount of time before hooking up (my favorite of which is to watch random youtube videos – “OMG have you seen Cat with Printer?! You HAVE to see it!! Hold on. I’ll find it.”
  • Total drinks consumed to that point equal between 4 and 6.
  • Hooking up occurs for the next 45 minutes or so bringing the time to about 12:15. I can’t decide how relevant this is, but MF was clear that both parties were equal participants in the hook up and agreed on how far it would go. And it was mutually enjoyed by both.
  • I’m pretty sure it’s relevant that G and MF engaged in said activity on the apartment couch, not in the bedroom. I could be wrong, but I’d be surprised.
  • After the post-hook up cuddle session G says, “So, what time does your train run until?” promptly setting MF on a course of confusion. “My train?” she thought-and-probably-said, “Oh, I’ll just take a cab?…”
  • Cuddling continued for 15 maybe 20 minutes until it was close to 1am. “Well, I guess I should get a cab?” MF said with – she admits – a twinge of what could be described as pouting. “Okay. Let me walk you out to get one,” G said – an act of chivalry that confused MF even more.
  • And then he got his coat on, walked her to the corner, and waited with her until she hailed a cab.
  • Texting and communication has continued between them since.

My initial reaction: WTF?! What kind of guy makes a girl take a cab at 1am in the freeeezing cold. Granted it was 1am, not 3am, and he walked her to the corner versus waving bye at the door, but still. If all was going well, why wouldn’t he want her to just stay over? More potential for something more to happen (wink) and points in the chivalry department, right?

  • “Listen, I’m with you,” MF said, “but what do you think it could be, if you had to guess?”

Guessing is among my favorite things to do. Usually I like to guess just one option and refer to it as knowing, but for the sake of MF’s question, I’ll explore all possible scenarios. So, if I had to guess, these are the options I’d come up with. No offense at all is meant to MF.

  • G doesn’t really like MF that much or isn’t quite sure how much he likes her and didn’t want her to spend the night as a result.
  • There is something up with G’s bedroom that he’s embarrassed about, uncomfortable with, whatever, and he doesn’t want MF to stay because she’ll see that.
  • G has a strict policy against girls of any kind spending the night at this point in a relationship
  • G thinks MF doesn’t want to stay based on some unknown information, so he’s trying to be chivalrous and not push the issue

Honestly, I think it’s option 3 – G has a policy against girls staying over. This is based on a few more details MF shared regarding things he’s expressed being a little conservative about and his dating history (which is slight).

But the devil-on-my-shoulder just keeps saying, “Guys want girls in their apartment and, ideally, in their bed. They don’t care if it’s messy. They don’t care if it’s awkward. They just want girl in position to allow for more hooking up to happen, ESPECIALLY if there is drinking involved.”

So, what do you think? And how unfair is the devil-on-my-shoulder being to the general male population?


  1. I don’t really have an answer, but I would love to hear what other people think. I think it’s a little odd but I lean towards not wanting to push her/take things a little slower. I wouldn’t worry unless it happens again.

    Personally, I went through something similar a few years ago with a guy I was dating. We were well past date number three and he still didn’t ask me to sleep over, including on my birthday at 12am on a week night. In that case, I think he was just set in his bachelor ways and didn’t want his routine to be disturbed. I wish I had taken it as a sign then but I continued dating him and he continues to be a perma-bachelor.

  2. It’s a little weird. I wouldn’t write him off just yet, but, most of the time, if a guy is into the girl but feels uncomfortable with her staying over, he’ll at least set her up on the couch… did he not have a couch? Cause that would make sense.

    Maybe he had bed bugs?

  3. I agree with Nicole. I don’t think it’s too much to worry about considering they are still communicating, but if it happens one or even more (if it even goes that far) times, then I would get worried. Although it is strange seeing as there was potential for more drinking and more hooking up…as a girl I would want to stay over. I dated a guy and we didn’t really start spending the night on week nights until we had our first sleep-over on a weekend night so it wasn’t awkward the first sleep-over when either of us had to wake up at 6am rush back to our own house and get ready. There is definitely a convenience to waking up in your own bed.

  4. While it does seem a little weird, I would be willing to say that, if this was on a weeknight, perhaps he figured it would be easier for her to get to work the next day if she was already home.

    Sometimes racing home in the morning to get ready for work and then racing to work is stressful and not ideal.

    But if it was a weekend, your guess is as good as mine.

  5. Hey, not all boys in the world [or men for that matter] are so quick to have someone stay over. Lot of them are… but it’s not a hard and fast rule, and some people, no matter how in love they are [don’t even know if that’s where this relationship is] are bed-sharers. I was once in a relationship with someone, admittedly in closer proximity, where we kept separate beds and rarely stayed over. More my preference at the time than now, but I was younger, private, etc.

    It’s equally possible he just feels it isn’t the time, isn’t the place, etc. Lot of boys in this generation, especially the chivalrous ones, were raised mostly by their mothers — same thing that indoctrinated walking a girl to a cab, may have also put “girl does not stay over on the third date.” Or maybe he really likes her, and he’s worried about rushing things, or maybe he really likes her and is slightly neurotic… I’ve been in a situation like that once, where I really liked someone, slept with them [actually sleeping], and it was an incredibly uncomfortable experience that led me to wonder if the chemistry was there at all. We all have weird hang-ups that “tell” us things about relationships — and some of us do believe everything is evidence [hm… where did I get that phrase from?].

    And then we can just go simple. No hot water in his apartment. Or, simple and crude… nature had been calling, and a third date may not be when he’s comfortable going #2 when someone he wants to be his number one woman is in the apartment [I tried really hard to be both clever and not vulgar there. The failure on both counts is… acceptable.]

    So that’s just some stuff off the top of my head. Mostly anecdotal, not all from all personal experience, but things to consider.

  6. I talk to guys a lot aaaaaand I think I’ve figured them out. Its possible G is weird or clueless, but most likely, its his way of establishing that what they have is not a relationship or likely to be, its some sort of friends with benefits (without the friendship?!). Guys play this mental Jedi trick with themselves. If a relationship with a woman has all the elements of a relationship, (dates, phone calls, meeting the friends, whatever) they believe that by removing one, JUST ONE relationship-y element, that signals that what they have is NOT a relationship, and absolves them of any responsibility to the lady. Like, “I never introduced her to my friends, so it was understood that it wasn’t something serious.”
    Therefore, they feel that they don’t have to say it in words and do what they want.
    So. If MF is cool with this casual situation, she can continue on, but the fact that the story made it into someone’s blog post suggests she isn’t, and she should leave this guy alone. Whatever his reasons are, its still bad manners. If you can’t have a girl you slept with share your bed, you shouldn’t be sleeping with her.

  7. When I was first dating my husband (so you know how the story ends), on date number 3 we hung out at his place until very late and it was really stormy, so I wasn’t keen on driving home. He invited me to stay over and found a tupperware and solution for my contacts. Very sweet, clearly interested in more hooking up and over 2 years later we’re married. So, I don’t know…maybe he’s just not ready for that kind of intimacy. Morning breath is a killer.

  8. Has MF asked G about the situation. I feel since there’s a lot of guessing shouldn’t she just ask? I’ve been an advocate for communication even if you end up looking like an idiot, which most people hate. After you ask, there is no guessing.

    Also, my bestie and I always reiterate “Men don’t think like us.” G is probably clueless to what his actions had aroused from 20-nothing author and followers.

  9. I definitely wouldn’t write him off yet but I would also be skeptical. It is weird. I dated a guy a few times who lived far from me and was very chivalrous. And before our third date — to a music show in the city — he told me I was welcome to stay if it was easier and could bring an overnight bag. It was the chivalrous way of inviting me back. I admired it… but didn’t go! I wasn’t that into him.

  10. Maybe I’m just too terribly blunt, but on the next date when he then said, “Hey, let’s go watch stupid You-Tube videos” or whatever, I’d say, “OK, if I can stay over. It’s too cold out to be schlepping home in the middle of the night.” And to be fair to the guy, all he did was ask when the train was running (assuming there’s not more info that got lost into the black hole). It’s possible he didn’t want to assume she was staying (maybe he thinks “Hey, why don’t you stay over?” comes across as coercive or like he’s hoping for more later despite prior agreements) and that was his way of broaching the subject. Maybe he thinks sleepovers are only for actual sex (which, given the description, is not what I assume happened). I agree with previous posters, if it was a weekday this probably means far less than if it was a weekend–morning routines definitely play into it.

    But really there’s no way to know without asking.

  11. He converted his bedroom to a grow room to make some extra cash, and he’s worried that she’ll think of him as a drug dealer, despite the fact that it’s medicinal.

  12. Perhaps he’s just worried about how he’d get her out in the morning and doesn’t want to deal with the situation. That doesn’t explain or give rise to any evidence to uncover how he feels about her, but in this situation, I bet he just didn’t want to have to deal with an awkward morning, “Soooo when do you plan on leaving?”

    If they go to her apartment, and he cuts out without staying over, it’s not the above. But if he stays over her place and leaves in the morning, it’s because he can control that situation, but he can’t if she stays at his apartment.

    Let me know what happens if they ever go back to her place.

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