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When to bring up exclusivity talk


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Hi amigos,

I've been dating this guy for 2 months, we met online as friends, discovered a tons of things we have in common and have similar personalities, ideas and get along fabulous! he's very affectionate and treats me like a lady, chemistry is off the charts and sex is great.

We laugh a lot and talk about deep things too.

I know is very early on, still honeymoon phase stuff, but I'm wondering when to bring that topic up.

I am a very insecure woman in general but I dont act it outwards.  I have been burned badly and I'm working on improving that about me, it has been a couple of times that he leaves me on read and that fires up my insecurities 

We are both 40, I have 2 grown daughters he's never had kids

Im not looking to get serious too fast, and I am actually enjoying our casual whatever this is, should the question be how to calm myself down or to bring exclusivity talk so I feel better ...

Edited by Afireblue
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An "exclusivity talk" won't make you feel better.

Getting a handle on your anxiety and insecurity actually will make you feel better.

If you're still feeling the effects of being "burned badly", I would suggest you deal with that. If being "left on read" is giving you anxiety you really need to address that before you allow your fear to steer your thoughts and actions.

That being said, there's nothing wrong with asking if you two can date each other exclusively.  Be sure to define what "exclusive" means to you and see if he's on the same page.

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1 hour ago, Afireblue said:

chemistry is off the charts and sex is great.

Usually when things get physical and dating 8 weeks is a good time to bring up dating/having  sex with only each other. 

Speak your mind. The last thing you want is to continue and start getting attached, only to find out he's sharing body fluids, covid, etc. with an assortment of women.

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I would bring it up whenever it feels most comfortable. Could you explain a bit more about the texting and leaving on 'read'? 

What do you know about him? Is he open to dating exclusively? How does he view relationships in general?

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After 8 weeks of dating and having sex, then yes, you have the right to know if he prefers focusing on one woman at a time or if he multi-dates. Because if you knew he was also having sex with other women, I'm sure you wouldn't want to continue being one in a harem. When I was in the dating world, I'd ask that question of what a guy's dating style was to get the info I needed. I didn't care how cute or sexy he was to determine if I'd continue dating him. If he didn't share my dating goals, I moved on to find someone who did, which was to focus on only one another once we decided to have sex. 

To me, it wasn't like we were serious and bound for life. It meant we were seeing how it went with another without outside distractions. When I met my future husband, he was totally in the exact mind frame as me. He certainly didn't want me kissing other guys, etc., even though we were only in the beginning stages of dating, which wasn't my style anyway. Before that, I stopped dating a guy who said it took him a really long time to be exclusive with someone while multi dating. I wasn't comfortable with that so I said goodbye.

You're in the driver's seat of your life. Operate the way you're comfortable with. Does he arrange dates that don't involve intimacy, taking a real interest in you as a person and not just your body? What is his relationship history? Sometimes that pattern should be taken note of. If he's never had a relationship last past 10 months, you can expect the same for you two. Does he make effort without you being the first one to always reach out? Do you sit back to see if he is giving as much as he's getting? Don't let the other fulfilling things in your life slide when you're dating so that if a relationship doesn't work out, you'll bounce back more quickly. 

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Sounds like your motivation is for reassurance because you're feeling insecure about his response to your texts.  I wouldn't raise it at all if that is your motivation.  I would raise sexual monogamy for health reasons though.  And then if, separately, this is a person you have serious intentions about for the future then sure ask him what his intentions are and express yours.  It's not too early at all.  My guess is if he hasn't brought it up yet then he wants to keep things casual.  Good luck!

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2 hours ago, boltnrun said:

An "exclusivity talk" won't make you feel better.

Getting a handle on your anxiety and insecurity actually will make you feel better.

If you're still feeling the effects of being "burned badly", I would suggest you deal with that. If being "left on read" is giving you anxiety you really need to address that before you allow your fear to steer your thoughts and actions.

That being said, there's nothing wrong with asking if you two can date each other exclusively.  Be sure to define what "exclusive" means to you and see if he's on the same page.

You are completely right, my anxiety is pretty bad because I've had horrible experiences with relationships, abuse, cheating, etc... I have had therapy before and have gotten a lot better but this feeling I have proves I still need improvement to do

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2 hours ago, smackie9 said:

How does he introduce you to his friends?

Well, I have met only 1 of his friends,  I went hiking and invited him and he came with his bff and his son, and we spend the whole day together, it was so nice, he texted me that night that he enjoyed my company huge!! However, he had friends visiting from abroad last week and he did not include me in anything and we barely talked that week, but he send me photos of what him and his friends were doing. of course my anxiety went to the roof but I gave him his space and when his friends left he called me and said he missed me.

He also plays front tennis at the same arena where my daughter trains for volleyball, so we have coincided there a couple of times and he asks to come see him play

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When to have an exclusivity talk? Typically before you sleep with him and/or shortly after.

One really good way to get burned, get cheated on, etc, etc, etc is to jump into relationships without being crystal clear with yourself about what it is that you are after and being equally clear with the potential partner where you stand and what you want from them and making sure that you are both on the same page and heading in the same direction.

Walking on eggshells and being unclear will do nothing more than what you are getting - fear, anxiety, and insecurities. You are not OK with this thing being undefined, so define it. If he doesn't agree, it will save you a great deal of grief down the road. The last thing you want is to do is catch an STD. So yes, define things.

 

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2 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

Usually when things get physical and dating 8 weeks is a good time to bring up dating/having  sex with only each other. 

Speak your mind. The last thing you want is to continue and start getting attached, only to find out he's sharing body fluids, covid, etc. with an assortment of women.

You are right, but I have to do this when I am not in an anxious frame of mind, thank you!! ❤️

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17 minutes ago, Afireblue said:

You are completely right, my anxiety is pretty bad because I've had horrible experiences with relationships, abuse, cheating, etc... I have had therapy before and have gotten a lot better but this feeling I have proves I still need improvement to do

Yup, I agree... your past experiences seem to be affecting you with this still?

So, maybe tread carefully. . with knowing your anxiety is setting you off- this is for you to deal with.  so, be careful with what's all going on.

- should you be looking at something 'serious' at this time?

- should you be thinking along those lines of approaching this guy on exclusiveness - when maybe you can't really handle this yourself?

- Look at how you are reacting over messaging . ( Is this good, or an issue?) .

.......

I can understand your deep rooted fears etc... But, you know your experiences & what they have done... So, you know how you are, and if maybe this may not work out.... Be careful, if possible that you don't 'act out' to push him away, etc ( as this is all new for you both-  8 weeks in).

Just think on all of this... do YOU feel okay?

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8 minutes ago, Afireblue said:

Well, I have met only 1 of his friends,  I went hiking and invited him and he came with his bff and his son, and we spend the whole day together, it was so nice, he texted me that night that he enjoyed my company huge!! However, he had friends visiting from abroad last week and he did not include me in anything and we barely talked that week, but he send me photos of what him and his friends were doing. of course my anxiety went to the roof but I gave him his space and when his friends left he called me and said he missed me.

He also plays front tennis at the same arena where my daughter trains for volleyball, so we have coincided there a couple of times and he asks to come see him play

After only two months of dating, I would not be expecting to be included in the friend visit.  I think that you need to address your anxiety with someone.  Have you received therapy for your trust issues?

Regarding the talk,  it would have happened after being intimate.

Edited by Hollyj
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9 minutes ago, Afireblue said:

I went hiking and invited him and he came with his bff and his son, and we spend the whole day together, it was so nice, he texted me that night that he enjoyed my company huge!

he send me photos of what him and his friends were doing. 

He also plays front tennis at the same arena where my daughter trains for volleyball, so we have coincided there a couple of times and he asks to come see him play

Completely par for the course.

Do not focus on labels (GF, etc.) or introductions, it's unnecessary nonsense to worry about. You're not teens.

He's into you, treating you well, including you on appropriate levels etc. Focus on the positives.

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1 hour ago, Rose Mosse said:

I would bring it up whenever it feels most comfortable. Could you explain a bit more about the texting and leaving on 'read'? 

What do you know about him? Is he open to dating exclusively? How does he view relationships in general?

That's the thing, we went from being friends/ activity partners, to kissing and then seeing each other regularly, we never talked of where things were going, we just decided to enjoy the attraction, for me it was all unexpected because he never gave me a hint that he liked me, and I thought he was attractive but that was it.

I know that he wants to have kids in the future and he is working on being more financially stable to raise a family, I dont want more kids, and we may not stay together forever, but I"m okay with that, even though we have never discuss that, I want to be able to enjoy the present, I like having someone in my life but Im not ready for someone to move in with me, etc I havent had a boyfriend in a long time and so far I like how he treats me and I think we could have a nice, healthy relationship because our personalities are so in tune, minus my traumas  and my anxiety... lol

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3 minutes ago, Afireblue said:

That's the thing, we went from being friends/ activity partners, to kissing and then seeing each other regularly, we never talked of where things were going, we just decided to enjoy the attraction, for me it was all unexpected because he never gave me a hint that he liked me, and I thought he was attractive but that was it.

I know that he wants to have kids in the future and he is working on being more financially stable to raise a family, I dont want more kids, and we may not stay together forever, but I"m okay with that, even though we have never discuss that, I want to be able to enjoy the present, I like having someone in my life but Im not ready for someone to move in with me, etc I havent had a boyfriend in a long time and so far I like how he treats me and I think we could have a nice, healthy relationship because our personalities are so in tune, minus my traumas  and my anxiety... lol

Sounds lovely. Live in the moment but for your peace of mind, I'd bring it up. I'm not sure why this would be an issue if you're spending a lot of time together. Doesn't it happen to just fall out? 

I wouldn't discuss moving in at all as that seems too far ahead. 

I tend to have long conversations with a partner. What else do you do after sex aside sleep, talk and eat good food? It can't all be simply mechanical in bed. Do you date and go out? It sounds like he enjoys your company.

I agree with you. It doesn't have to be a forever thing. As long as both of you are comfortable with your set up and you both are on the same wavelength (whatever that is) that's all that matters.

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1 hour ago, Rose Mosse said:

I would bring it up whenever it feels most comfortable. Could you explain a bit more about the texting and leaving on 'read'? 

Well, because we talk every day, he calls me almost daily, checks on me, etc, so when he doesnt reply to me saying, "hey are you busy, just wanted to wish you a good night" I panic 😞

 

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13 minutes ago, Afireblue said:

That's the thing, we went from being friends/ activity partners, to kissing and then seeing each other regularly, we never talked of where things were going, we just decided to enjoy the attraction, for me it was all unexpected because he never gave me a hint that he liked me, and I thought he was attractive but that was it.

I know that he wants to have kids in the future and he is working on being more financially stable to raise a family, I dont want more kids, and we may not stay together forever, but I"m okay with that, even though we have never discuss that, I want to be able to enjoy the present, I like having someone in my life but Im not ready for someone to move in with me, etc I havent had a boyfriend in a long time and so far I like how he treats me and I think we could have a nice, healthy relationship because our personalities are so in tune, minus my traumas  and my anxiety... lol

I'm sorry but you are literally talking out of both sides of your mouth simultaneously.

You say that you don't want a relationship but then you talk about having a healthy relationship with him. Well guess what? You already identified a major serious deal breaker - he wants a family and you don't. Therefore any long term healthy happy relationship idea is already dead in the water as we speak.

You also say that you are good with just what is going on, but very obviously you are not and this lying to yourself is driving your anxiety. If you were truly cool with whatever this casual thing is and just happy to go along for as long as it lasts, you wouldn't give a flip where he is and with who or why he doesn't text you right back - you are not his gf, you are not in a relationship, so not your concern.

Make up your mind - what do you really actually want and is this really the guy to pursue for that????

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7 minutes ago, Afireblue said:

 

Are you seeing a therapist or on meds?

 Panicking when you don't hear from someone within a few hours is not healthy.

If you don't see a future with this guy, I don't understand why you would get involved?  This also involves your kids and their stability.  You are not compatible.

I agree with DF, you are talking "out of both sides of your mouth."

 

Edited by Hollyj
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It boggles me how people can do something really intimate, such as sex, but are not comfortable with speaking their mind. The time to figure out where this is going was before you jumped in the sack, not later.

At 8 weeks i would never after the fact ask someone to be exclusive.  I would have stated what you were looking for up front (if you were set up together, met online, that's much easier than if you just struck up a conversation out in public). With my guy, by the third date we were talking about what we were looking for.  The first date was just to get to know eachother/see if we were interested enough in eachother to have a conversation and to see if we wanted a second date.  The second date was to see if we were right about our impressions on the first date and by the third date we had sort of talked about what we were looking for - i had been divorced, he had never married, we were both not looking to jump in the sack - was i open to marriage as a divorced person, did either of us want kids someday and that we were both trying to get to know someone to see if there was a possibility of a relationship. BOOM. We would have declined a fourth date if it wasn't a match before attachments developed or we would have gone on a fifth date (we did)  

Once all the sex bonding hormones come in to play, we get way too attached and are less likely to break up with someone that is not right for us.

 

What do YOU want?  Do you want to remarry?  Are you looking or a guy to occasionally be a plus one?  WHat?

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23 minutes ago, DancingFool said:

I'm sorry but you are literally talking out of both sides of your mouth simultaneously.

You say that you don't want a relationship but then you talk about having a healthy relationship with him. Well guess what? You already identified a major serious deal breaker - he wants a family and you don't. Therefore any long term healthy happy relationship idea is already dead in the water as we speak.

You also say that you are good with just what is going on, but very obviously you are not and this lying to yourself is driving your anxiety. If you were truly cool with whatever this casual thing is and just happy to go along for as long as it lasts, you wouldn't give a flip where he is and with who or why he doesn't text you right back - you are not his gf, you are not in a relationship, so not your concern.

Make up your mind - what do you really actually want and is this really the guy to pursue for that????

I think because they are having sex, its confusing things for her.  I say let him go so he can meet a woman who wants to have kids (if he's 40, dating a 32-36 year old who wants kids and can have them is not icky or too young).  If you are not interested in getting married, sharing your children and adopting or going through IVF, i would let him go.  its not fair for him to tell you he wants a family and then for you to stay silent but not want more kids.  Be VERY clear to him that you are looking for different things.

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Since he's dating you, a woman who would have an extremely low chance of having children in 2 years time (the minimal period it would take to establish if someone will likely be a good lifetime partner to have a family with), I'm assuming either his goal is short term or that he's not that bright with major decisions. Did he even ask you the same, if you want more kids? If not, maybe he doesn't care because his intent is short term. Why isn't he financially sound with his life already half gone? Do you take financially stability of a partner into consideration when dating?

Are you really happy getting more invested with him, falling more in love, knowing he will eventually leave you when he's ready for a family? There are no guarantees if a relationship will work or not, but having the same dating and relationship goals should be one of your must-haves. 

As others have said, you say you're okay with casual and living in the present, yet on the other hand freak out when you sense he's pulling away or losing interest. 

You're infatuated, with hormones running wild with the newness of this relationship. And having sex with a guy releases hormones in a woman that makes her want to bond with him even if he's not right for her. Your brain must match your heart for true relationship happiness. For your own good, have some more discussions with him to clarify all the major things, because you're fooling yourself that you can be an" anything goes" sort of woman who will say, "Thanks for the ride. Fun while it lasted." and walk away totally fine.

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1 hour ago, Andrina said:

 

You're in the driver's seat of your life. Operate the way you're comfortable with. Does he arrange dates that don't involve intimacy, taking a real interest in you as a person and not just your body? What is his relationship history? Sometimes that pattern should be taken note of. If he's never had a relationship last past 10 months, you can expect the same for you two. Does he make effort without you being the first one to always reach out? Do you sit back to see if he is giving as much as he's getting? Don't let the other fulfilling things in your life slide when you're dating so that if a relationship doesn't work out, you'll bounce back more quickly. 

OMG You are right! this is spot on 

He has arranged multiple dates where we dont have sex, like when he knows Im in his town (we live 1 hour away) he meets up with me just to see me, and I find that very cute

He is a very private person and does not offer any information regarding his past relationship nor he asks about mine, but I am more open and I have told him the general info, that im divorced and my ex is not in the picture, etc.

He always makes an effort to communicate, for sure, and when his friends were here and I felt ignored I just gave him space but we got together right after they left, he came to see me.

I have a very good and fulfilling life, my daughters and I have a great relationship, we foster puppies and older dogs for adoption, we live very close the beach, I have a great group of friends, but at this point in my life I am missing is someone like him, like a boyfriend who I can do adult things with, not just sex, and so far it has been really great getting to know him but I am afraid that my insecurities and anxiety will ruin it 😞

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No what's going to ruin it is the day he wants children.

1 hour ago, Afireblue said:

 

I know that he wants to have kids in the future and he is working on being more financially stable to raise a family, I dont want more kids, and we may not stay together forever, but I"m okay with that, even though we have never discuss that, I want to be able to enjoy the present, I like having someone in my life but Im not ready for someone to move in with me, etc I havent had a boyfriend in a long time and so far I like how he treats me and I think we could have a nice, healthy relationship because our personalities are so in tune, minus my traumas  and my anxiety... lol

 So he has no idea that you don't want a family?

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