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I told her I didn't want to be exclusive


QuietWolf
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A few weeks back (probably 6 by now) I told a women I was dating that I didn't want to be exclusive... we had never agreed that we were exclusive but she had just assumed we were since we had been intimate. I wasn't dating anybody else at the time but I wanted to leave that option open, and be honest with her about it. Anyway, she didn't want to be in a non-exclusive dating relationship so we broke up... which is fine. We agreed to still be friends.

 

Since then we have hung out a couple of times (she always initiates it), purely platonically, but I'm getting this vibe from her that she is hoping I'll grow to like her enough to date her (again), but this time exclusively. She will call me or email me to see what I'm up to, to see if I'm free... as if she is trying to figure out if I'm seeing anybody else.

 

I just don't see liking her enough to be exclusive with her, and now I'm kinda realizing I don't really want to 'date' her anyway (exclusive or not), but I'm fine being friends. I'm not sure what the most humane way is to let her know this. I have the impression that she is going through a phase because her sister is getting married next month, and her family is hinting that she should be too (she is in her mid 30s).

 

Should I just be honest and blunt? Should I just decline her invitations and expect that she will get the point? To make things worse, maybe being friends is tough because she has developed this somewhat bitter/judgemental view of me that I have a hard time getting close to somebody, she said this the other day, based on the fact that I've had many girlfriends. I didn't have the guts/heart to tell her that I just didn't want to get that close to her, and I have gotten very close in some past relationships... I just don't see it with her.

 

Anyway, I normally don't have to do the breaking up, even though I've had many girlfriends, and a few very long term relationships (3 over 3 years each). Just looking for some tips on the nicest and most mature way to handle this. I don't want to be rude or an * * *, just honest about where I'm at.

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In my opinion, and this is MY opinion only,

 

If you are sleeping with someone it's assumed that,

 

You won't be sleeping with anyone else,

 

Otherwise, you need to set up a no strings attached (NSA) agreement,

 

Between the 2 of you ahead of time,

 

You should sit her down and tell her,

 

That you had a misunderstanding,

 

And that you are sorry that you didn't clarify,

 

That you didn't want to be exclusive,

 

But you just don't want to settle down with 1 person right now,

 

You need to be fair with her,

 

And let her know in a very clarified way,

 

Otherwise feelings can get really hurt here.

 

Cheers,

 

Rose

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Hi QuietWolf, you should be as honest as possible. Let her know that you do not have relationship feelings toward her. Since people always want what they can't have she might come on a little strong at first, thinking that she might be able to change your mind, (which is what sounds like is already happening) at which point you have to continue to be clear to this woman. Whatever you do, do NOT be intimate with her again. Of course, this is going to sting, but it's in her best interest for you to be up front, in order for her to realize and then move on.

 

I applaud your integrity!

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Honesty, Honesty, Honesty.

 

The key words for no miscommunications. You are probably right that she is trying to see if you will like her more to date exclusively. I think in order to save her more heartache and allow her to move on that you need to tell her right away.

 

One thing is don't avoid her or put her off. That is not fair to her. If you know that this is what you want be strong enough to tell her face to face or over the phone. Just my two cents about that.

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Rose: I've already told her (6 weeks ago) that I didn't want to be exclusive. While I was sleeping with her, I was not infact sleeping with anybody else (or dating anybody else). After telling her this, we broke up, so we have already moved beyond that part... we are not dating or sleeping together. Just friends.

 

My question, now that we are trying to be just friends, is walking that delicate line where I'm getting this *vibe* from her that she is hanging around hoping for more. She hasn't come out and said she wants to date again, but I am getting the vibe.

 

Shelly: That is what I think, but the hard part is that she hasn't really said she wants more than friendship, it is just a sense I'm getting based on her behavior. I sorta feel like it would be rude or arrogant of me to just assume she is wanting more.

 

Perhaps I should just let her be responsible for her own actions. We are just friends now (we agreed to that), and I could simply behave that way, and assume nothing more, unless she says something. But I've been thinking of making myself less available to her just as insurance that feelings don't rekindle... that seems less rude to me than saying something.

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In that case QW,

 

I would try to distance yourself from her,

 

If you are absolutely sure you were very clear that you are just friends,

 

And not friends of benefits,

 

And she just doesn't understnad that,

 

It may be best to create space between you two,

 

Or if you want to spend time together, don't do it alone,

 

Invite some friends along so that closeness isn't evident,

 

Good luck,

 

Rosie

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Elektra,

I feel that I was honest with her. What I'm trying to navigate now is how to handle a vibe or sense I'm getting... nothing new really spoken. Perhaps I'm projecting, but since she hasn't said she wants more again, I think it would be rude to tell her (again) that I don't want what she wants (or what I think she wants). Does that make sense?

 

If I were to talk to her again about this, I can see the conversation going something like this:

 

Me: Hey, I'm getting the sense you are hoping for more and I just want to be clear that I don't feel that way.

 

Her: What are you talking about. We are just friends. I'm fine with that you goofball.

 

Me: Ok, well, I was just getting this vibe. My mistake I guess. Sorry I brought it up.

 

I guess I don't want to bring it up with her since I'm not certain this is where she is coming from... it is just a hunch; and my hunches have been wrong before.

 

Do you all think I should bring it up for clarity, even if it turns out that I'm wrong about this sense I'm getting from her, since she has not said anything?

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wow. a few things...if you're intimate with someone, it is not assumed you are exclusive. that is a personal choice. i would always make that clear...whether they are the only person i'm sleeping with or not. if nothing is said, they are to assume they are not the only one, uless i stated that fact.

 

you sound as though you don't want to be friends, and that's all you are now. just stop responding. friends are allowed to move on without explanations. and personally, i can't stand it when a guy is interested in me and it's not reciprocated (sp) i feel like they're just waiting to 'pounce' on the littlest thing i might say. it's creepy.

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Yes, because I have done that before. Thinking to myself that I could "change" their mind. However, I just hurt myself even more. I would really bring it up and be very adament that there is NO hope or chance for this to go anywhere but friendsville.

 

I think the true test is that if you started to date how would she take it. If she really just wants to be your friend it won't phase her. If she wants more that will be a bone of contention with her.

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Do you all think I should bring it up for clarity, even if it turns out that I'm wrong about this sense I'm getting from her, since she has not said anything?

 

I think your vibe about her wanting more is correct. And YES she will definitely say something along the lines that you're off base, to preserve her own self-esteem. You could play it safe and not say anything, odds are she will eventually either make a move or say something.

 

If you continue to hang out with her and talk to her on the phone though her feelings will only grow stronger. Hmmm....delicate situation. Maybe you could wait until she makes a flirtatious remark and then use that as your doorway into the conversation of not viewing her as someone you would want to pursue a relationship with (of course be more tactful than that).

 

Either way you're going to have to be clear.

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Ignoring someone or disappearing off the face of the earth is never the way to go. It is insulting. People don't generally continue to go after someone without having been sent signals that the advances are welcome. You may be giving off mixed signals and that is why she is hoping for more. I would say that you talk to her and make it clear that you are not interested in a relationship with her and only like her as a friend and nothing more. Then she can choose to continue the friendship or not. Do you even have the basis for a friendship or are your feelings simply, okay "lets be friends" with no actual meaning behind the term "friends".

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