Shivering Sylvia

Posted on May 31, 2013 at 6:00 am by wpadmin Comments Off on Shivering Sylvia

Shivering Sylvia

Dear Samantha,

I’m rather new at the “dating game.” I’ve only been divorced for about six months and I was married to my college sweetheart. We met as freshmen and married right after college graduation, consequently, I really didn’t date a variety of women all that much.. Twenty-seven years and two children later has made me very insecure about what is appropriate behavior in dating.

I’ve been dating this really neat, wonderful woman for about a month. She is a year younger than I am and I’m not sure how to handle the “touching” aspect of our relationship. For instance, I took her to a football game and of course, it was cold. I had a blanket and was going to wrap both of us in it, but she didn’t seem to be comfortable with that, so I gave it to her. I didn’t enjoy the game much, as I was frozen all during the game. Are there guidelines to follow? What is acceptable behavior now that we are in mid-life?

-Shivering Sylvia

Dear Shivering,

Yes, indeed, dating with its guidelines and moirés’ is a new game these days. Unfortunately, not much has been written in Christian circles about appropriate behavior for the various kinds of touch in these, our mid-life single years and beyond. So I have tackled this delicate subject in my new book Savvy Singles Relationship Secrets.

When singles are no longer in their twenties, they should be able to enjoy hugging, holding hands, and even being wrapped up in a blanket at football games without the expectation of having sex later that night. For most women, and perhaps for your friend, that’s always a concern. We wonder if we are our normal, warm, affectionate self, are we giving the wrong signal that we are available for sex later.

I recently had a Christian male friend of mine email me, saying he needed help in explaining to this new lady he was dating that while he loved hugging and snuggling with her, due to his commitment to living a life of abstinence before marriage, he did not want to have sex with her. It seemed when he tried to explain, he just messed it up and she felt rejected. Apparently, she did not have the same commitment he did. So I sent him my new book, Savvy Singles Relationship Secrets, and suggested he read the chapter about boundaries where I (and some friends of mine) developed a “Relationship Dating Chart” of acceptable behavior for the various kinds of relationships and the various stages of a relationship with suggested appropriate touch.

For instance, there is a difference in the kinds of affection you would want to participate in if this person is just a friend, or if they have progressed to a potential marriage partner. I think an open discussion is very helpful so she will understand that snuggling in a blanket with you at a football game doesn’t mean that you expect sex later. That may have been a concern for her. If we have ever learned anything in these years as we mature, it should be that discussing our relationship and possible expectations with each other will help to facilitate the relationship. If you’ve never thought about what is appropriate touch at the various stages of a relationship, this is the time to educate yourself. Read my book!  If it is a difficult subject for you to bring up, perhaps have her read that chapter too. You’ll be glad you did and so will your new friend. This discussion will bring a certain comfortableness and richness into your relationship, and you will both know what to expect.