dating....exclusivity...

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2014
dating....exclusivity...
30
Tue, 04-01-2014 - 7:54am

Hello all. I was in a relationship for 5 years where I had a 3 1/2 year old daughter, she is my only child. I have been single for 9 months and have dated around with no interest in anyone. I get asked out a lot, people tell me I am a catch, but I had not found the right guy for me.

So, that leads into this situation, and my advice topic, which is, I have met someone that I feel is perfect for me and everything is incredible between us, but I need to determine where to go with things as far as communicating about the very necessary "what are we conversation" because of my own beliefs, morals, and feelings. Here's the background on "us." Tell me your advice on what I should do with things next.

We met on an online dating site, where he emailed me and said "I would love to meet you" and I checked out his profile, and responded and told him that he seemed like a really great guy, and that I liked how much we had in common (our commonalities are STAGGERING, I will get into that later), and I asked if he was on Facebook. He said yes, so we found eachother on facebook, and began to see in doing so that we have a lot in common. So, we went on a first date, and here's the amazing things that have happened.

We met at the restaurant, for our first date, and sat down for a drink together. We instantly hit it off. We discovered through talking for about 3 hours that we have a thousand things in common....... I am 35 and he is 39, we are both into fitness, we are both into boating, we have the same parenting views (very important!), we both have joint custody, we both like the same EXACT types of music and are music buffs and concert buffs, we both have 1 daughter (his is 9, mine is 3), we both have a very funny and sarcastic sense of humor, we both operate our own businesses, we both like to travel to the same locations such as Mexico, certain areas of Florida, he has an older brother 2 years older than him, I have an older sister 2 years older than me, we both have a family vacation home that we each go to with our families, we drive the SAME CAR in different colors (so crazy!), we like the same sports teams, we have the same three favorite foods, we like all the same other  foods, we have the exact same political views, we wear the same brands of clothing......I  could go on like this for a while. It's staggering. We literally discovered all of this on our first date. It was amazing. So, first date was amazing, we talked and lauighed all night, then he gave me the MOST AMAZING KISS that we both literally had to pry ourselves away from and go "okay.....we both need to go home and have another date soon." And we said that to eachother, outloud, very openly and matter of factly, smiling. LOL. And we started keeping in touch by text message throughout the day each day and have for the last month.

Second date, he took me to a great sushi restaurant, and again, we had an amazing time where we talked all about music all night, and how we have been to a lot of the same concerts, old memories from when we were younger, our families, we talked and laughed and connected for over 5 hours, never an awkward moment, like two old friends....we again had a very amazing kiss at the end of our date, and agreed that we need to get together again. And arranged by text a third date....

Third date, we went out to dinner again, watched basketball together which we both love, had a great meal, laughed, talked about more things in common...went to his house to play a game of pool....had an amazing kiss that led to our first time having sex, the sex was amazing, we connected on an incredible level during sex, in a way I have NEVER experienced before....I stayed the night.... we have kept in touch ever since....and we are now going to see eachother this upcoming Saturday.....

So....I am at a point of, I know that I am falling in love with him, and I am fine with that, LOL, because he is AMAZING and is everything I could ever want.  However, I want to know that he's in the same place I am as far as where we are at, and I feel like I need to talk to him about exclusivity at this point not only now that intimacy has happened, and I think that intimacy in dating equals exclusivity, but also because I know we are so very right for eachother. We both had on our profiles that we were looking for a relationship with the right person, so I do know he's not looking to just "no commitment, casually date" forever or something. I actually checked the dating site the other day to "hide" my profile (you can do that on this site, and no one can see it anymore), and I discovered that his profile had been removed....telling me that he is not casually dating other women. And then as of yesterday, I removed my own profile as well, just knowing how I feel is that I don't want to date other people. So, I guess where I am at is this: I am about to fall head over heels in love with this man, and I need to know that he's seeing what I'm seeing too. And I am at a point in life where I not only don't have time for something that's not going to be potentially long-lasting, but I also don't want to get hurt. So......I want to have the "talk" with him about where we are at and that I think that we should be exclusive and that I'm falling in love with him. But I also don't want to chase him away and make him think I'm some crazy person that just falls in love with anybody or everybody after 3 dates!! Ha ha. And I also don't want him to feel like....pressured.....like all of a sudden I'm hearing wedding bells or something crazy, which would make some men RUN at the concern of too much commitment too fast, especially someone that is as great of a catch as he is, because he's very successful and attractive, and probably has had women that are wrong for him "fall for him" a lot (or fall for his money,he's somewhat wealthy, which I could care less about, because I have my own money, nor am I a materialistic person like that). So......what would you do??? I feel the conversation could go something like this......

Next date, when we head back to his or my place after our date, have a little casual chat with him before things get intimate, Tell him that he is amazing, that I don't want to date anyone else, and I hope he feels that way too, and that I see really amazing things between us that I have never had before and feel for him a way I have never felt before. Then say....I think for me that means exclusively dating, and I want to know where you are at, too. And then just let him say where he's at, and pray to god that he's in the same spot. Ha ha ha

Thoughts??? I'm scared, I don't want throw a monkey wrench into a really great thing, but I also don't need the heartache of being in two different places with things and like....for example....never having "the talk" and me assuming we are exclusive, when he is seeing other people, and doesn't see what I see. I do feel like being exclusive is what I know I want, deserve, and need with him, in order to continue to see eachother. So, would you just say to him the above information that I am wanting to say to him? Or should I let him initiate it??? As the guy??

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 04-01-2014 - 1:10pm

If you believe that intimacy = exclusivity, it would have been a good idea to have had that talk before you became intimate--that's a pretty easy way to see if they guy is on the same page.  I have to say that I never really had a discussion about exclusivity and I've been married twice--it just evolved where we started spending more & more time together and it became obvious that we were interested in each other and not dating anyone else.  However I don't think it's necessarily bad to have a discussion about whether you are excclusive--it just seems like you are really rushing things.  Please do not tell him you are in love after 3 dates--you do have a lot of things in common but this is the excitement phase of having just met someone great that you are attracted to and hoping that this goes somewhere.   You do not know each other to know whether you are in love or going to last long term so I think you need to dial things back in your mind a little and just enjoy getting to know each other better.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2014
Tue, 04-01-2014 - 1:39pm

I agree having the talk beforehand would have been good....but I am also in uncharted territory right now. I did not anticipate going to his place and suddenly having a passionate night happen together. It just sort of happened naturally. I've never had the feelings I have for anyone as I do for him....

I guess I  just got really badly burned by a man in my past that basically, I feel was using me for sex when he was apparently getting serious with someone else entirely. We dated for 2 months long distance, 1 hour apart, and he invited me over for Christmas Eve to exchange a gift...had not met family or friends or anything....but were definitely spending a lot of time together...we were very intimate together....then 2 days after Christmas, pictures surfaced on Facebook of him tagged in pictures by a different woman, clearly as a "couple" with her, at clearly some sort of couples party. It was the biggest shock and pain I ever experienced in dating. Made me feel like talking about where things are at once intimacy is involved is not such a bad thing....

I guess the power of omission just concerns me. I don't particularly like leaving things unsaid for too long. I personally feel like you either acknowledge a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, pretty early on, within a couple of months, if there's feelings there on both sides, or not. I don't do the "open dating" thing where men date (and have sex with) 2, 3, 4 women at the same time for months or even years, and the women never know about eachother, because everything is "unsaid". Very, very inappropriate in my opinion. And I have known enough men in my life as close friends to know it goes on....a lot. Seems like a matter of a man just stringing along multiple women that probably think things are more serious than they apparently are. Not ok with me.

Avatar for floridagirl52
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2006
Tue, 04-01-2014 - 4:30pm

I agree with Musiclover. I think it's perfectly reasonable to tell him that you want to be sexually exclusive. You don't have to talk about "Where is this relationship going," or "I'm in love" or anything like that. It doesn't have to be a big heavy conversation, just say you don't want to sleep with a guy who's sleeping with other women at the same time.

He can of course lie to you and say he's not sleeping with anyone. Only his actions over time will give you the answers you want. I think the train has already left the station in this situation, and I don't think you're going to be able to slow down--you sound pretty excited, and that's mostly a good thing. It's hard to be objective when you meet someone you feel you really click with. But now is the time to pay attention.

It reminds me of the Joni Mitchell song "Help Me":
Help me I think I'm falling
In love too fast
You've got me hoping for the future
And worrying about the past
'Cause I've seen some hot, hot blazes
Come down to smoke and ash 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2014
Tue, 04-01-2014 - 5:11pm

This is the input that I NEEDED. Thank you guys. I think this is the perfect idea. When we get together next, I think I will say to him that if we are going to be intimate, then we need to be sexually exclusive. Because that's all I want. I know that he has some female (attached and single) friends, I have a few platonic (attached and single) male friends...and so I don't want him to think I'm saying to him that I want him and me both to cut off all contact with friends of the opposite sex suddenly after a couple of months. I just simply feel that, if you want to be in a sexual relationship with me, then it should be with only me, period. No sex with "friends"....no one night stands....no dating other women and "keeping your options open"....just.....no. I won't be strung along like that. I have too much to offer and deserve better, I feel. Not the way I think things should be if feelings and intimacy are involved.

So, I guess if he says he thinks that's not where he's at, then I can tell him that I don't think we can be intimate, but maybe we can keep in contact. Then I know where things stand, and know that at least the conversation has been had and he knows where I stand on intimacy. Man, it's going to stink if he is not where I'm at, but hey, I'm not the woman that's going to be the "one of many" girl. If he wants that, he can find it somewhere else and is not the right guy for me anyhow.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2014
Tue, 04-01-2014 - 5:12pm

This is the input that I NEEDED. Thank you guys. I think this is the perfect idea. When we get together next, I think I will say to him that if we are going to be intimate, then we need to be sexually exclusive. Because that's all I want. I know that he has some female (attached and single) friends, I have a few platonic (attached and single) male friends...and so I don't want him to think I'm saying to him that I want him and me both to cut off all contact with friends of the opposite sex suddenly after a couple of months. I just simply feel that, if you want to be in a sexual relationship with me, then it should be with only me, period. No sex with "friends"....no one night stands....no dating other women and "keeping your options open"....just.....no. I won't be strung along like that. I have too much to offer and deserve better, I feel. Not the way I think things should be if feelings and intimacy are involved.

So, I guess if he says he thinks that's not where he's at, then I can tell him that I don't think we can be intimate, but maybe we can keep in contact. Then I know where things stand, and know that at least the conversation has been had and he knows where I stand on intimacy. Man, it's going to stink if he is not where I'm at, but hey, I'm not the woman that's going to be the "one of many" girl. If he wants that, he can find it somewhere else and is not the right guy for me anyhow.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2014
Tue, 04-01-2014 - 8:06pm
And yes, Joni Mitchell's "Help Me" is perfect....and I can't get it out of my head now!
Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Sun, 04-06-2014 - 2:46am

bbI disagree as it is way too soon to be talking exclusive.  Egos aside it seems to me there is a jump to commitment .  That can be very bad.  Too fast too fast is what i am saying.  Some men are not players by nature.  But when they feel somone is trying to control them they rebel. 

chaika

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2014
Tue, 04-08-2014 - 8:08am

I do agree that if he senses that I'm suddenly talking "relationship" and I come across as wanting to tie him down, he's going to probably run or get very distant. And I don't want this. But at the same time, I don't want to get hurt by wrapping my heart up into something that the other person has no intentions of "more" with. I have been turning down a lot of dates because I only want to see him. 3 dates from 3 different men all together in the last two weeks I have turned down because I don't want to date outside of this dating situation with him because I really care for him. I feel like no one piques my interest like him, and so I don't want to bother going out with others when I would feel like I was leading them on when I have feelings for someone else. 

Tomorrow night, Wednesday, will be our 4th date. We have been keeping in touch by text message for the week or so since our last date, and everything has been nothing but positive and good and great as far as our communication and messages to eachother. We made plans and he said "looking forward to seeing you" and all good things. We're going out to dinner and then I'm making us dessert at my house. I feel like the night is going to definitely lead to intimacy if I want it to.....and I do want it to....but I also know that I don't want to keep going with the intimacy and yet still keeping things completely up in the air as far as seeing or not seeing others, when intimacy is involved. I think maybe when we get back to my place, I'm simply going to casually ask him "so, is there anyone else in your life that you are seeing?" And let him respond and go from there. I do think it's a risk to start talking about things between us yet being anything other than casual....but I also just don't want to get my heart broken and be thinking were more than what we are. He could very well say, "Yes, I'm dating around," and just feel (or at least come across to me) as very casual about things with us. And I guess if that is what happens, at least I know where he stands. Or, maybe he will say something like, "No, I am only seeing you" ....who knows.

Maybe this is more to him than a casual dating thing where we are now being intimate. And maybe it's not. And maybe only time will tell. Maybe I just need to relax and let the chips fall where they may and let things happen and just be what they are, and in my mind, tell myself not to go falling in love with him, and just enjoy the time for what it is and let him pursue me and tell me if he wants more with me. And to not go asking a bunch of questions or trying to have the dreaded "What are we" conversation.

I guess when the night comes, and we are in the moment, I will know what my gut tells me to do.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Tue, 04-08-2014 - 9:07am

He could very well say, "Yes, I'm dating around," and just feel (or at least come across to me) as very casual about things with us. And I guess if that is what happens, at least I know where he stands. Or, maybe he will say something like, "No, I am only seeing you" ....

Or he could say 'No, I'm only seeing you' and not mean it. Lie... like many men do. You have to try your hardest to remember that you barely know him. What he says - about himself, his life, his feelings for you - could be complete and total fabrication. I'm just rying to say that you have no guarantees whether you raise the subject or not. That's why I think raising it is pointless and, no matter how 'casual' you try to do it it will come accross as 'please tell me you love me and we will be together forever'. IF he feels for you what you do for him... it will all work out without you having to do/say anything. If he doesn't... you won't succeed whatever you do or say.

I honestly truly wish you all the best. If this works out...you are one LUCKY woman!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2014
Tue, 04-08-2014 - 9:41am

I do have an awareness of the fact the could very well lie. Tell me he's exclusive with me....tell another woman he's exclusive with her...yes, this happens and could very well be the outcome. Yes, it's too soon to tell if he would be upfront. Which is honestly part of my hesitation in bothering to have any conversations about it anyhow. I feel like he would just maybe say, "well, I've dated, but I'm really just "friends" with the women I've met." Which to me means, translation: I'm dating, I'm sleeping with other women, but trying to make ME as someone he is also dating think I am "the only one" he's dating. I do have ONE point of reference, which is Facebook. We are connected on there, his status is listed as single, he has photos of him at the company he owns with his employees, photos of him doing "good dad" types of things with his daughter, there are no photos of him with other women (unless he adjusted his settings so I can't see the pictures)....I see pictures of him and his extended family, pictures of him socializing with male friends and things.....so at least I do have one small thing that tells me he's single, he is who he says he is as far as his career, family, child.....I can see his interests, musical interests and things on there.....so I do have a bit of point of reference for the fact that he is who he claims to be at least to SOME SMALL level. But, he could also be listed as "single" and be telling some other woman "You're the only one for me" and "I'm in love with you" or whatever, and still be seeing me "on the side" in case things with her don't work out, and he has a safety net (me), or because he never plans on committing to seeing anyone at all long term, and just wants to have fun and date lots of attractive women like it's some sort of game.

Time will tell, and I'm deciding right now, to not get my heart involved, take it one day at a time with him, and not initiate any conversations about anything. Just enjoy our time together for what it is, and if someone else does cross my own path that I do feel interested in, and this man has not asked me to be exclusive with him, go on a date with that person. And as far he is concerned, just I guess allow it to be casual between us, unless HE initiates more. Because I don't need to chase a man down, nor will I, I simply have too much to offer to ever do that.

It would be a shame if two people like he and I didn't end up together, because we seem to be one of those matches made in heaven. BUT - he could very well just be a player, playing a game of "how many women can I get." Who knows. Time will tell. And in the meantime, I'm just going to be myself, live my life, and be happy.

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