Coupled With D&S

Real, nonjudgmental advice about dating, sex, love, and life from a thirty-something couple that has seen it all over thirteen years.

Trust us. We live in Brooklyn. (Joking. Kind of.)

(Not the) Last Tango in Paris

The Question

last_tango_in_paris_inventing_namesA 41 year-old divorced woman who does not, to our knowledge, tango or live in Paris writes, “I identify as a sex-positive, joyful and mature person who was married for a long time and has recently re-entered the dating scene. I had a hot tryst while on a work trip abroad that unlocked some unknown erotic treasure trove in me. There was nothing this guy could do wrong, and it kind of made me into a desiring machine. Tried as I did to forget and replace this lover, nothing came close to that voltage generated by us. There is no long term potential with that man (we both have kids from previous relationships who we are committed to loving and prioritizing), but the dialog continues at a leisurely pace. Should I just cut this off, stop obsessing about him to clear space for new partners to come into my life, or continue to patiently nourish a situation I felt was so unique and precious? Is there such a thing as an ideal pheromone match?”

Sally Says

You should definitely consider this tryst a success no matter how it proceeds from here. You’re newly back in the game, and you’ve already had a powerful experience that proves that you’ve still got it—or newly have it, perhaps. It might be that this guy is the one pheromone match for you, but that’s probably not the case. Even if he is, and even if you most likely can’t be together, that doesn’t mean you need to rid yourself of him completely.

Also, there’s no reason you need to turn off your desiring machine. Let it run, and make sure it has plenty of fuel. You don’t say where he lives; since this is a work trip, you most likely don’t live near each other. It sounds like even at a long distance this tryst is creating some electricity, and there’s no reason you can’t continue to text, email, Skype, or whatever gets you off. Use the voltage to generate something in person with people who live nearer to you. And continue to stay in touch with pheromone guy. Often when you’re hot and bothered, it creates an ideal situation and environment to meet people. Develop a great sexual relationship with someone who can really be in your life.

Although you should appreciate the pleasure, also know that one of the great things you got out of this bigger than short-term gratification. Although I’m sure it created some hot memories to cherish, you’ve more importantly found out who you’re capable of being sex-wise. Enjoy it.

In other words, the electricity you feel with this guy is probably at least as much about you as him. If that’s so, you’re likely to be able to feel it with someone else too. I think that’s especially true of a woman who describes herself as sex positive and joyful, which are important qualities to have no matter where you are with sex and dating.

David Says

I believe in pheromones. Science isn’t sure though it seems to be leaning in that direction too, but I’m not even sure the scientific explanation matters here. There are just some people who taste and smell better—people you don’t want to take your mouth away from. Whether it’s pheromones or some other explanation, physical matches like that are true. They’re not unique, however.You will find yourself similarly pulled to other men, which you may have experienced even while married, even if you didn’t get to see what those men could and couldn’t do wrong to you.

Sally assumes that you’re long-distance. While that’s likely because your trip was abroad, I’d like to address the possibility that this was someone who lives a little closer to you. In that case, it might be worth the risk to let this guy know how you feel. If he feels the same way, then you can decide what’s next together, whether that means tomorrow or in a year or two. If you don’t feel the same way, it’s better to get that over with sooner. In that case, it wasn’t going to happen anyway. And it’s not like one of you is married and might have to hide from someone. You’re actually both at a point where people expect you to be dating other men.

Whether he’s near or far, you can ask to take a break, let him fade a little, and see what happens when you try other guys. That is, don’t cut him out completely, but be active in seeking out other guys. If he doesn’t like that, well then that means he wasn’t right for you either. If he’s OK with that, that’s a good sign that he’s someone who would be willing to work with you.

The Consensus

To answer your multi-part question in order: No, you shouldn’t completely cut this off; but yes, you should clear out space for new partners even as you own this experience. Maybe you should patiently nourish this precious situation, but only if you live near enough to make this a reality one day, children and all.

Finally, while your kids should be your priority, that doesn’t mean that they should completely prevent you from finding romantic love after you and your children have adjusted to the divorce. The recentness of your divorce is definitely determinative of how soon you can really pursue this. Still, you can’t completely close off your romantic life whether we’re discussing the guy you met abroad or the next guy who’s going to step into your “erotic treasure trove.”