Picture: iStock.
Picture: iStock.

Woman’s confusion over first date sex

Welcome to Relationship Rehab, news.com.au's weekly column solving all your romantic problems, no holds barred.

This week, our resident expert Isiah McKimmie tackles what to do when you keep getting friend-zoned by someone you have feelings for, how to end old friendships and if it's OK to have sex on the first date - even when you have no intention of seeing them again.




QUESTION: There's this woman that I've known for years, we became close and eventually best friends for 10 years. Last year I tried to make her more than a friend but got rejected because I was needy and overbearing. We've started talking again and I've found that I still have the same feelings for her. I've tried a couple of times to catch up but even though we make plans she pulls out the day before. I have this feeling that I'm permanently friend-zoned and I want to know if there's a way to get out or if I should give up.

ANSWER: Forget whether you're 'friend-zoned' or not. What I'm hearing is that you have different needs for connection in a relationship.

You were needy and overbearing to her. You might not be to someone who has similar needs for intimacy and connection to you. She's not giving you what you need intimately either because she keeps pulling out of your plans to catch up.

My guess is that you have different Attachment Styles.

Attachment Styles develop early in our lives based on the relationships we have with our parents and caregivers. These relationships quite literally effect the way our brains are wired and this impacts the way we deal with emotions and relationships for the rest of our lives.



There are 3 main attachment styles - anxious, avoidant and secure. Anxiously attached people tend to worry more about their relationships and have a high need for closeness and reassurance. Securely attached people find that being intimate in a relationship and communicating their needs comes easily to them. They tend not to worry too much about their relationships and can easily find a balance between independence and interdependence. Those with an avoidant attachment style really value independence and self-sufficiency. They are particularly sensitive to feeling controlled or like someone is 'too much' for them in a relationship.

There's also a fourth, less common style known as anxious-avoidant or fearful-avoidant, which has tendencies of both the anxious and avoidant style.

RELATED: My boyfriend won't have sex with me

None of these attachment styles are wrong - these were all valid ways of adapting to relationships based on your childhood upbringing. Being in a relationship with someone with a different attachment style is possible, though certain combinations tend to experience difficulties.

It sounds like you might tend more towards anxious attachment style and she tends towards avoidant attachment style. The anxious-avoidant combination of attachment styles in a relationship can be particularly challenging.

This combination tends to see constant patterns of one person wanting closer intimacy and the other consistently feeling overwhelmed and pulling away or creating distance. This pattern is likely to continue even if you do end up in a relationship together.

Really think about what you want from an intimate relationship and what your needs are. Although you might currently have feelings for this person, it takes more than that to make a relationship work. Are you and your friend going to be able to meet each other's needs for intimacy, connect and space in the long-term?

Sexologist and couples therapist Isiah McKimmie.
Sexologist and couples therapist Isiah McKimmie.

RELATED: My wife's shocking sex confession

RELATED: Husband's despair at sex with 'perfect' wife


QUESTION: I'm been out of high school for five years now and have naturally drifted apart from my two best friends, who stayed in our home town and are now married. I'm OK with this - life moves on - but they're desperately clinging on to the relationship and it's very stressful. How do I move on without causing more drama?

ANSWER: I can't guarantee a way to move on without there being drama. It might however be a matter of how long the drama goes on for.

If you keep trying to placate your friends in an effort to stop any drama, you may just be prolonging it.

At the end of the day, you need to do what's right for you. This may mean setting firmer boundaries with your friends about how you spend your time, the behaviour you engage with and your friendship with them.

If you can do this clearly and firmly, they'll get the message about your changed friendship eventually making things less stressful.

The woman's mother said it was never OK to have sex on the first date. Picture: iStock.
The woman's mother said it was never OK to have sex on the first date. Picture: iStock.


QUESTION: My mum always said you should never sleep with a man on the first date. So when is it acceptable these days? Because sometimes, I have to admit, I don't want a second date but I would quite like some sex.

ANSWER: It's okay to just want sex - regardless of the your gender.

Rules about women needing to be careful about the amount of sex we have are grounded in sexist, misogynistic double standards.

It paints a picture of sex being something that men want and that women control.

We need to stop this message - it's false and damaging.

It perpetuates a myth that women are somehow less valuable if we have sex 'too much' and that sex is something we have protect. This view leaves women disempowered, inhibiting our sexual desire and pleasure. It also unfairly places men in the role of 'pursuer'.

This is 2020. Have sex with who you want when you want. Just make sure it's consensual and be safe.

Isiah McKimmie is a couples therapist, sex therapist and sexologist. For more expert advice follow her on Instagram