[Two Pronged] Wanting more from a ‘casual relationship’

Jeremy Baer, Margarita Holmes

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[Two Pronged] Wanting more from a ‘casual relationship’
Donna starts a casual relationship – with someone who is apparently already married. But now she wants more.


 Rappler’s Life and Style section runs an advice column by couple Jeremy Baer and clinical psychologist Dr Margarita Holmes.

Jeremy has a master’s degree in law from Oxford University. A banker of 37 years who worked in 3 continents, he has been training with Dr Holmes for the last 10 years as co-lecturer and, occasionally, as co-therapist, especially with clients whose financial concerns intrude into their daily lives

Together, they have written two books: Love Triangles: Understanding the Macho-Mistress Mentality and Imported Love: Filipino-Foreign Liaisons. 

Dear Dr. Holmes and Mr. Baer,

I met a guy from a dating app and started a casual relationship. I wanted to get rid of my virginity without commitment and he wanted to keep it fun, and so we did. We texted non-stop for a week before going on our first date. I asked him directly several times if he’s single and he said he is. On our second date, we both decided to give it a go and we both enjoyed it. However, before our third date, I found it he’s married someone just 6 months ago, so it baffled me. 

He apologized profusely and said he’s feeling guilty. I asked him why he lied to me and all he could say is because he really likes me. I asked him what if I told his wife? He said he would accept the consequences. I asked him if he was unhappy. He said he wasn’t. I asked him why he married his wife, he said he didn’t want to answer via PM that question. 

I know I should have walked away but we both decided to continue our conversations which includes mundane stuff and not just about sex. Now I want more than a one night stand, which I am trying to suppress. However, he’s making it hard since he’s made it clear that he wants me and even said he’ll settle for a kiss if I don’t want to have sex. 

Why is it that we both feel like we want more?



Dear Donna,

So you started out wanting to get rid of your virginity in a way that would not bring any unwanted complications. What better than a casual hookup via a dating site! And your efforts were duly crowned with success; you lost your virginity to a total stranger who just wanted “to keep it fun.”

Despite this, the relationship which you embraced because it was to be free of commitment, changed character.

First, you discovered he was married and this disturbed you. You do not, however, explain why you initially reacted negatively to something that merely confirmed his lack of commitment, which was after all a requirement of yours from the outset. Perhaps this was because you changed your mind about the nature of the relationship you wanted. We don’t know.

Anyway, having found to your displeasure that he was married, you didn’t sever all ties with him, which would have been understandable, but instead carried on communicating which seems to fly in the face of wanting no commitment (unless you felt that being married removed all possibility of commitment). Now you and he “want more.”

That he should want more is plausible. He has a wife and now a mistress; what’s not to like? He can see you when he wishes and life with his wife and family go on. For you the situation is different. You don’t have a true boyfriend, merely that part of this guy that his family won’t miss – in other words, you have zero control over the time you will get to spend together.

If he is that fantastic, carry on. Otherwise there are plenty of other fish in the ocean, not all of which are encumbered with a Mrs Fish.

All the best,

JAF Baer

Dear Donna,

Thank you very much for your letter. I will limit my comments to why it is that he seems (operative word: “seems”) to want more; since answering why YOU do will require much deeper analysis, and your answer to many more questions, some of which you may consider intrusive.

I am afraid I may come across as really sexist, but my clinical experience confirms that men and women react very differently to offers of sex. For example, over 40 years ago, we at the now-defunct Population Center Foundation conducted a study where the result showed a clear sexual/gender divide. When asked when they would consider having sex with their partner, all the female students said if they truly loved the guy. A majority of the male students had a much lower bar: as long as she said yes, they were willing.

Eager to discover whether this was a quirk of Filipino sexuality or universal, I researched Elaine Hatfield (in the 70’s considered the premier sex researcher in the US). In the Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality, Russell and Hatfield wrote “Gender differences in receptivity to sexual offers” and discovered that when a female student approached males on campus and asks, “Would you like to go to bed with me tonight?” 75% of the men said yes. The same scenario, with the genders reversed, had this result: 0% of the women said yes.  

Several other studies have replicated Russell’s and Hatfield’s study and come up with the same result: Men are more willing to engage in casual sex than women are and to lie to get the women to say yes.

In that sense, your guy is behaving true to form.

In a 2010 article written by Notre Dame Professor Anita E. Kelly she concludes that “when a guy wants to have sex with you, it doesn’t necessarily mean he likes you. He might like you; it’s just that his wanting sex doesn’t tell you anything about his commitment to you.” Again, this fits your guy to a T.

Oh, Donna. Your and his wanting more from your relationship doesn’t necessarily mean you want the same thing.  You sound like you now want a relationship and not just a casual hookup. But I feel that what he really wants is more sex from you, an enthusiastic, albeit innocent partner.

Mr Baer and I could be wrong, but somehow I doubt it. Oh dear, that makes us sound sooooo mayabang, but (sigh) I still feel we are correct.  

Good luck dearest Donna, and tell us how it pans out, ok?

All the best,

MG Holmes


Need advice from our Two Pronged duo? Email twopronged@rappler.com with subject heading TWO PRONGED. Unfortunately, the volume of correspondence precludes a personal response.

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