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How long before exclusivity?


Nixee

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I know there is really no set answer to this... just hoping to get some general answers...

 

I've been seeing someone since around the holidays - so basically a couple months. The thing is - I have a lot going on in my life right now, and since we started dating I've had to make two trips back home to my family (they live in CA, I live in NY), and aside from that, my relationship past makes it hard for me to open up very easily. I've explained all this to him though, and he has tried to be understanding.... yet at the same time I know he is eager and wanting me to ....I guess commit to him more.

 

My feeling is that I can't force things to happen for me right now. I'd rather continue seeing him as we have been. And though we are exclusive... I guess what I lean away from is the "in a relationship" status. I fear trying to jump into something serious too fast. I want to take it slow and easy.

 

My fear is that as I'm trying to take it slow... that his feelings are stronger and more anxious... and that he will think I'm TOO slow, and won't wait.

 

So how slow is too slow? Two-three months of dating? Is there a set limit? Is he too eager... am I really just too slow and scared and need to bite the bullet? He really is a good guy. I just don't feel goo-goo ga-ga because... I just don't seem to EVER feel that way anymore. But I do like him a lot.

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There is never a set in stone "time" where you "have" to become exclusive.

 

You need to listen to your instincts and do exactly what you have been doing - taking it slow. Any good guy would understand that.

 

If he brings it up explain a little about your past and how you want to take it slower. He'll respect that.

 

You said you are "exclusive" but not "in a relationship" as far as status. Forget about the labels for a second. If you enjoy spending time with him and don't want to date anybody else that is fine for right now. It sounds like you're already in a "relationship" and that you're already "exclusive" anyway --- you just sound like you want to limit the "seriousness" of the title. Which is fine.

 

Would it really be so bad if he calls you his girlfriend, if for all intents and purposes, you are his girlfriend? It doesn't mean you have to get married it just means you are his girlfriend.

 

I would suggest you think about getting some therapy. I get a sense that you've been burned so bad in the past that if you are not labeled as "in a relationship" then you can't get hurt. So you don't fall for anybody, no matter how good of a guy they are. At 2-3 months I think you are emotionally invested in someone and you will hurt if things go sour. The only way to take that leap is to have faith that you won't fall. Sometimes it's hard to take that leap when you've been burned in the past but otherwise you may never fall in love if you hold yourself back and close yourself off.

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I don't understand. If the two of you are physically exclusive then you are exclusive, no? What is it exactly that he's waiting for to happen?

 

I think he feels a lot for me, and is eager to jump ahead to the "in a relationship" status and feeling... whereas I'm cautious, and I like to take things slower emotionally. Even though technically, yes, we are exclusive... I have a hard time saying things like "boyfriend" rather than "guy I'm seeing". I guess that is my issue.

 

He has a good friend who has a girlfriend and they have a great relationship - they are a couple and are open and friendly and he seems to want the type of relationship they have... he seems eager to get to their level. I try to let him know that we can't rush to that level... it has to build.

 

There is never a set in stone "time" where you "have" to become exclusive.

 

You need to listen to your instincts and do exactly what you have been doing - taking it slow. Any good guy would understand that.

 

If he brings it up explain a little about your past and how you want to take it slower. He'll respect that.

 

You said you are "exclusive" but not "in a relationship" as far as status. Forget about the labels for a second. If you enjoy spending time with him and don't want to date anybody else that is fine for right now. It sounds like you're already in a "relationship" and that you're already "exclusive" anyway --- you just sound like you want to limit the "seriousness" of the title. Which is fine.

 

Would it really be so bad if he calls you his girlfriend, if for all intents and purposes, you are his girlfriend? It doesn't mean you have to get married it just means you are his girlfriend.

 

I would suggest you think about getting some therapy. I get a sense that you've been burned so bad in the past that if you are not labeled as "in a relationship" then you can't get hurt. So you don't fall for anybody, no matter how good of a guy they are. At 2-3 months I think you are emotionally invested in someone and you will hurt if things go sour. The only way to take that leap is to have faith that you won't fall. Sometimes it's hard to take that leap when you've been burned in the past but otherwise you may never fall in love if you hold yourself back and close yourself off.

 

To be honest... I do want to see a therapist. I haven't thus far due to my travel plans and schedule (literally the week I was going to call one I'd found, I had to make this trip back home, and I'm in CA right now). So ...we'll see.

 

But you may be right about using the lighter labels to avoid hurt. All I've been able to do so far is keep reassuring him that I AM interested and I'm not leading him on... that I'm trying my best.

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I think he feels a lot for me, and is eager to jump ahead to the "in a relationship" status and feeling... whereas I'm cautious, and I like to take things slower emotionally. Even though technically, yes, we are exclusive... I have a hard time saying things like "boyfriend" rather than "guy I'm seeing". I guess that is my issue.

 

He has a good friend who has a girlfriend and they have a great relationship - they are a couple and are open and friendly and he seems to want the type of relationship they have... he seems eager to get to their level. I try to let him know that we can't rush to that level... it has to build.

 

The discrepency seems to be in how each of you view the relationship. You don't want a certain label on it and he's comparing you two to what other people have. If you each become a little more compliant in these pre-concieved notions without pushing each other to do so, you will make your way to common ground. It just takes a little time, patience, understanding and communication. You'll get there.

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The discrepency seems to be in how each of you view the relationship. You don't want a certain label on it and he's comparing you two to what other people have. If you each become a little more compliant in these pre-concieved notions without pushing each other to do so, you will make your way to common ground. It just takes a little time, patience, understanding and communication. You'll get there.

 

Hmm.... I hope so. I feel like I have been explaining this to him recently.

 

I really hope he will understand where I am coming from.

 

I will have to work on how I view labels... I don't know why they scare me so much.

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You can only expect someone to "wait around" for so long. If I had been seeing someone since the holidays and they still were unsure of the "relationship" status, as you put it (and it is now March), I would be looking to date other people. But I'm not a guy, so I don't know. Maybe a man will stick around for longer.

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Hmm...fair enough..

 

I guess it isn't so much that I'm unsure of the status. It is that I'm just wanting to move a bit slower than him is all. I do feel like things are and have been progressing well and steady.

 

I think he's not looking to date other people because he does seem very very interested in me... which is flattering. Quite simply, he seems serious about me, or about giving things a real shot.... he just seems to wish I could move at his pace.

 

I think what I'm realizing is that... I used to love in the fast lane, so to speak... but I've kinda turned into a slow burn sorta person. We're moving at different speeds.

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3 months or 12 dates, whichever comes first.

 

I think that would be a fair amount of time for most but this varies greatly from person to person, couple to couple. Some may not choose to be exclusive after 8 months of dating, while others commit to being exclusive after the second date.

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3 months or 12 dates!?

 

That's like having a girlfriend for god's sake!

 

Well.... I guess transitioning to girlfriend status IS kinda what we're getting at here...

 

 

3 months sounds pretty fair... we haven't quite hit that mark yet... nearly I think. I haven't counted dates though.. .probably less than 12 haha... so maybe I'll go by that

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I think maybe you just might not be all that into him. It's like you are trying to feel more for him than you do. I know oftentimes someone will say they just are "afraid of getting hurt", but later it turns out they just weren't that into the person, and soon meet someone else that they dive into a relationship with - hence, they really weren't that afraid.

 

If you've been seeing him since the holidays and still feel this iffy about it, that would be my guess. I doubt 2 or 3 months from now your feelings for him will have gotten much stronger. But he sounds crazy for you, so tread carefully....

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I think maybe you just might not be all that into him. It's like you are trying to feel more for him than you do. I know oftentimes someone will say they just are "afraid of getting hurt", but later it turns out they just weren't that into the person, and soon meet someone else that they dive into a relationship with - hence, they really weren't that afraid.

 

If you've been seeing him since the holidays and still feel this iffy about it, that would be my guess. I doubt 2 or 3 months from now your feelings for him will have gotten much stronger. But he sounds crazy for you, so tread carefully....

 

Thanks Misskitty.... and I will and do take this into consideration.

 

Thing is.... this has been my issue with about the last 4-5 guys I've dated. I end up "just not that into them".... and after all that, I begin to realize that the common denominator is me.

 

But this guy is different. I really did like him right off the bat. We have TONS in common and he treats me amazingly well... not one wrong step, and I do feel attraction. He even passes my bizarre little self-test: The jealousy test. When I'm really not interested in a guy, the thought of them seeing someone else doesn't make me feel weird or jealous, but if I do like them... it makes me feel weird or jealous... and I do feel that way about him... I do like him.

 

So yeah... things are progressing with him. I just think I move slowly.

 

But... I dunno... I do consider the possibility. I just honestly can't imagine myself "diving" into a relationship with anyone. Even the rare random person I get a crush on from afar... I seem to clam up every time.

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