Dear Fiona: My date stopped seeing me after I panicked about condom breaking – did I scare him off?

23 March 2022

The problem…

“I was dating this guy casually for two months. We would go for a drink, to a restaurant, watch movies at his flat, and generally have sex every time we met. One time, after we’d had sex, I was anxious about the possibility of the condom we’d used having broken – which had happened once before to me. I told him I was worried and asked him to check it to make sure it was still intact. He seemed surprised but did so and showed me it was fine.

“Later, he started asking me questions, and then for the rest of evening he was more distant and didn’t arrange to make plans for the week ahead like we usually did. I reached out to him during the week as there was radio silence, and he flat out told me that he doesn’t think we should take our relationship any further.

“He said he’d had a good time with me and that he wishes me the best, but since then I can’t stop thinking about this. The evening was going well until I asked that question, so I assume that’s the reason why he decided to not continue seeing me. Was it too much information?

“I think if you decide to sleep with someone, there is always the risk of contraception failing, and I’m not in a position to have a baby right now. I only wanted reassurance – was this so wrong? What is your view on this?”

Fiona says…

“I don’t think it’s unreasonable of you to ask for reassurance, as you did. However, if you want to avoid pregnancy, you might want to consider using an additional form of contraception yourself.

“I’d certainly encourage you to continue to use condoms as well, especially while having casual relationships. The risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is obviously greater when there are a number of casual relationships involved – and as well as helping protect against unwanted pregnancy, condoms are a physical barrier which protect against many STIs too.

“Perhaps this was something that occurred to the man in question.Perhaps your question focussed his mind on what might happen if you did become pregnant. But I don’t know – and neither do you – what made this man decide he didn’t want to continue seeing you. Treat it for what it was – a casual relationship – and let it go. Put it behind you and move on.

“But before you have sex with anyone else, I’d really encourage you to take more active steps to protect yourself from pregnancy. There are about 15 different types of contraception to choose from, although condoms are the only method that can protect against both pregnancy and STIs. I’d encourage you to find a community contraceptive clinic or sexual health clinic where you can get some advice, as you are certainly not limited to the Pill, as many women seem to think. Contraception is free for most people in the UK, so get some help to find what best suits you and your lifestyle.”

If you have a problem you need help with, email Fiona by writing to [email protected] for advice. All letters are treated in complete confidence and, to protect this privacy, Fiona is unable to pass on your messages to other readers. Fiona regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox