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

Known as America's Relationship Expert, Dr. Wendy Walsh is an award-winning television journalist, radio host & podcaster, and the author of three books on relationships and thousands of print and digital articles. More than 1.5 million people follow her sage advice on social media. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and teaches in the Psychology Department at California State University Channel Islands and has been the host of "The Dr. Wendy Walsh Show" on iHeart Radio's KFI AM 640 since 2015. Walsh is also a former Emmy-nominated co-host of "The Doctors," as well as former host of the nationally syndicated show "EXTRA." She was named a Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2017 after speaking out about harassment at a major news network.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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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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