Dear Dr. Neder:

I’m 23 years old and I met this guy (25) about 6 months ago and we really hit it off. He’s absolutely perfect! We got along great and started dating and things turned physical pretty quickly. I’ve decided to wait until I’m married before I’ll have sex but we made out and generally played around. We would see each other 2-3 times a week and always did fun things together.

Now, it has been two weeks since I heard from him! I called him and left a message and have been sending him cute little emails, but he won’t respond. Do you think this is because I wouldn’t have sex with him? Do you think he’s met someone else? Is he mad at me?

Please help – this is killing me!


First of all, I never learned to read minds so I can’t tell you what this is all about. If everything else was “perfect” in your relationship however and he just took off and you haven’t heard from him, I’ll bet it’s due to the sex – or lack thereof.

I’m always concerned when I hear that someone wants to wait until they get married to start learning about sex; and trust me on this one: you can not learn it from a book or from friends or TV or even from videos. Sex takes hands-on experience; and potentially, many partners and many years in order to learn all that goes into it.

Many women mistakenly believe that the “perfect guy” will come along and just unlock all their doors. I’m afraid it doesn’t work this way at all. YOU have to first unlock all those doors for yourself, and that takes many years of practice. Then and only then can you teach some guy all about your own personal sexuality in order for him to know how to please you in bed. Men on the other hand have to discover a very important truth: women are far more complicated sexually than they are.

No doubt you’ve heard that sex isn’t the most important thing in a relationship, and while that may be true, trust me on this one: its right up there in the top 3! Let’s say that you get a job but only have 2 of the 3 skills you need to do that job. Do you think you’ll be employed for very long? Don’t count on it! A bad relationship will stay together if the sex is really good, but if the sex is bad, even a good relationship won’t survive it.

Frankly, I think that staying a virgin is a huge mistake. You’re not learning the skills you need in order to keep your marriage going – and growing. Sure, you might get lucky, but even among those couples that ARE sexual and that DO learn these skills, ½ of them wind up divorced. You’re just increasing those odds through your choices. Even worse; as I often tell men: a sexless courtship usually leads to a sexless marriage!

Let me try to give you some insight into how men work:

Men have a built-in “window of opportunity” when it comes to being in relationships. Like you, many men want to invest their hearts and get yours in return. So far, that seems reasonable, right?

Now, here’s the kicker: very few men will invest their hearts in you if they haven’t been with you physically! This isn’t a conscious act however – it’s pre-wired into us. We have an internal need to be “complete” with you before we’ll risk our emotional sides. More important, you have limited time in order for this to happen. This is that “window” I spoke about.

Men control the relationship itself, but you (as the woman) control the sex in the relationship. That’s just the way it is and nobody is particularly surprised by that fact. However, if you continue to turn him down when he asks (politely, I hope!) all you’re doing is telling him that you’re not going to give him what he needs in order to be with you emotionally. Worse yet, you expect your own emotional needs to be met! Do you see the disconnect here?

Eventually, that window will close and he’ll move on emotionally to find someone he can be complete with. He’ll likely agree to have sex with you even after all of this, but you’ll never have his heart. He’ll save that for someone else that isn’t so focused on their own needs or that has a better, healthier attitude toward sex – and their own roll in it!

Now, here’s the worst news: you don’t know how long that window will be open as it’s different for each guy! For some it might be just a few dates, for others it might be 6 months or even a year – you won’t know!

What I suspect is that this guy’s window was about 6-months long. He finally got tired of never being able to move things forward with you, and thus, simply gave up. If you went to him today and asked him about all of this, I doubt he’d be able to describe it to you as we guys generally aren’t good with all this complicated emotional stuff. However, trust me that this description is pretty accurate.

The ultimate question is this: when do you know that you’re “ready” to have sex with someone? That’s a far more difficult question to answer and will be different for every woman. What you need to do is determine when you’re ready to move things forward with someone; when you’re ready to give yourself and to get from him

Sex is a natural part of a strong, healthy relationship – whatever the format (marriage, dating, living together, etc.) Sex is NOT a bargaining chip you have to get what you want however! If you try to use it that way, you’ll lose every time. It’s something that two people share when they have things to communicate that mere words can’t convey. It’s when they are ready to invest themselves intimately – but rationally – into the other person. If you never feel this way with someone, that person isn’t the right one for you.

So, you need to ask yourself this: how much is virginity worth to you? How much is sex worth to you? How much is a good, solid, healthy relationship worth to you? Once you have a good handle on these things and where most men fit in them, you’ll have a good understanding of what went wrong with this relationship.

Best regards…
Have a love, dating, relationship, sex or man/woman question? You can write to me by going to: for answers. For more information about my books, "Being a Man in a Woman's World tm" (volumes I and II), and other products visit: Check out the discussion group at:

Copyright (c) 2007, Dr. Dennis W. Neder
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Author's Bio: 

Dr. Neder is known around the world as a tough, but fair relationship expert, dealing with all sorts of dating, sex and relationship issues from a man's perspective. Having written 3 books ("Being a Man in a Woman's World™" series) and is working on others, hundreds of articles, been on hundreds of radio and TV shows, he is funny, direct and intuitive.

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