The next week, I hosted a board game night and invited her so she could meet some of my friends.Over the course of our time together, we talked about plenty of our romantic and sexual preferences, but neither of us pressed for anything physical.Sex and romance can definitely still happen in the context of friendship-first dating, but they are never assumed or expected, and the top priority is always to understand and validate someone’s existing preferences and goals rather than imposing your own goals and expectations upon them.
The friendship-first approach centers around sharing fun and memorable experiences with the people we meet, and seeking to learn their stories and their preferences, free of any overtly sexual or romantic expectations.
I mentioned my predicament to Jessica, and she excitedly revealed that her good friend had just moved to the city I was visiting.
She quickly connected us via Facebook, where her friend and I immediately hit it off and subsequently spent the whole weekend together.
We kept things friendly and fun rather than expecting things to turn romantic or physical right away.
By not overtly expecting sex, commitment, or even compatibility upfront, and instead focusing on just creating a series of fun, memorable experiences, we had implicitly set the precedent for a approach to dating.