He’s Acting Like He Wants More Than No Strings Attached. Is This Normal?

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Written by: Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh is the author of "The 30-Day Love Detox"" (April 2013).

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles and reports have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

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Reader Question:

I have known this guy for about eight years. We started out with a conversation laying down the “rules.” The basic rule was no strings attached.

He was acting like he wanted more than no strings attached. He then asked if he could see me the next day and left but not before giving me two sweet kisses goodbye.

He had never acted like this before. Well, the next day came and went. He didn’t show or call.

I have kids which is why I keep it on the down low. They are 16-year-old girls. I don’t want to give them the wrong impression. And one last note, he is 12 years younger than me.

Is this normal no-strings-attached behavior?

-Gina (California)

Dr. Wendy Walsh’s Answer:

Dear Gina,

You seem like a good mother. Thank goodness you are trying to protect your daughters from this. But to be an even better mother, you have to model healthy sexual and love behaviors.

Would you like for your girls to have no-strings-attached sex?

As you have just experienced, there is no such thing as no-strings-attached sex. There is always an invisible emotional string for at least one of the partners. In this case, it was you.

You got hopeful and optimistic by two long kisses and an impulsive desire to see you in the daylight. Then you felt disappointed that his random overture disappeared as fast as the moon.

By the way, your emotional attachment may have happened because oxytocin, the female bonding hormone excreted during female orgasm.

Bottom line: You may not parade your romantic life in front of your daughters, but I guarantee they sponge up your emotional signals and are learning something here. Probably nothing helpful.

Next time, try having a healthy relationship that involves friendship, care giving and, yes, eventually sex. This is the kind of relationship model your kids need to see.

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