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Functional long-term relationship funk

good friends by Juliana Coutinho
good friends by Juliana Coutinho

Q: I am a single woman in her mid-20s and am completely perplexed about finding a functional long-term relationship. I don't live with my parents, pay my own bills, non-smoker, petite, educated, keeps her place tidy and I love baking, sports, music, even South Park...What seems to be the problem? I'm pretty laid back when it comes to plans. I'm thinking it might come down to the physical aspect of the relationship as I think you should be tested, committed and known each other for a few months before having sex. Any advice?

A: The obvious problem is the physical aspect. This could be an big issue for younger, immature, and commitment fearing men, which means that it is an excellent way to weed out bad apples. While it may be difficult for a guy to understand waiting to get physical in a world of one-night stands and third date sex, it is better to wait. Being upfront about the decision to take things slowly does not have to kill a budding relationship. The right kind of guy will respect the decision and any guy interested in getting serious will be able to understand and comply. Moving slowly leaves time for the connection to grow and that can lead to a much better sex life when you do take that step.

The bigger problem is that you might have things a little too together. When a girl comes off as “too perfect” a guy will be left to wonder what flaws she might be hiding. The “nobody is this perfect syndrome” can lead to doubts and dread of finding out what is “wrong” with you. Since you are still available they can reasonably assume you are not perfect and the harder they have to look to find your flaws the more wild ideas will come to mind.

If you approach new men with the intent of being just friends without any pressure for romance you might find a whole new outlook on things. Chances are when all the pressure is off guys will start to notice that you are a great girl. This will also diffuse the delay in getting physical since you took the time to get to know one another as friends first.