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t/j the exclusivity talk

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better4me posted 2/9/2014 16:56 PM

CompleteShock's thread on the guy who said he didn't have time to date turning out to be a guy who was wanting to date someone else makes me wonder about something. We talk here about the wisdom of having the "exclusivity talk" when you decide you don't want to keep dating around...when you decide you're going to become intimate...

In the last 3 years, I've had that talk 3 times and it has turned out "badly" each time. Two times the relationship ended that night, with the guy saying something to the effect of "I don't want to be that serious". One time (just last week as a matter of fact) it ended with a "well, there's this other person." I'm glad that two of the three times were before we had gotten intimate. The third guy, he was cool with the talk, but a week later said he was afraid I was going to end up falling in love with me and he wasn't going to do the same, so we ended it. That was an "I don't want to be that serious" talk after the fact...jerkier by far...

So, I'm wondering if the way I ask the question or timing of when I have the talk is the problem. I've waited until things seem to be heading to the bedroom and that timing varies. Is it me? Is it them? Is it my timing? Am I doing it "too soon"? Is it my word choice--do I seem too serious? Is it that circumstances weren't right with these men anyway and that no matter when I had the exclusivity talk, things would have ended?

And really, with all but one of them, I'm actually glad it ended...

Maybe it is simply a sign for me that I need to wait a while longer before deciding to be ready to become intimate with someone...putting my libido on hold...

And as I type all this, I realize I'm still looking for the "secret handshake" the right way of doing things so that I will be "safe". As if there is a "right" way of doing anything. There is no secret...I'm already safe.

And you know, the one time it really turned out okay was before I was on line dating and I didn't have to have the talk...I had no profile up and neither did he. I knew we were exclusive, I didn't have to guess. Maybe having it happen organically is the right way. Gah....Who knows?????

eta: t/j my own thread :)Re reading the "it turned out badly" sentence makes me smile. It turned out the way it turned out--not badly, not good, just the way it turned out--breathing--I think I'm getting "this" after all...

[This message edited by better4me at 4:59 PM, February 9th (Sunday)]

phmh posted 2/9/2014 17:12 PM

I think OLD throws all sorts of wrenches into normal dating behavior. I think it's way too easy to put yourself out there before you're really ready to date, so you wind up seeing far more still-damaged people than if you meet organically. I think it's also really easy to get a "kid in the candy store" mentality.

I've had the exclusive talk with only one guy (happened to be off of OLD) and things were great for another week or so -- until he realized he hadn't healed and needed to take some time alone.

From what you've written, it doesn't seem like it's about you.

TrustedHer posted 2/9/2014 17:14 PM

It sounds like you just needed to talk it out.

Glad I could be here to listen for you...

Seriously, what are the options?

Don't have the talk at all?
Postpone intimacy until he brings it up?
Stay with a guy you're afraid to have serious discussions with?

I don't know that online dating is really a factor, except it may be that you're meeting people who are too much into the whole idea of having multiple options.

And just because someone is not online, doesn't imply they are going to jump to exclusivity.

I had the exclusivity talk early on. Exclusivity does not mean jumping to a lifetime commitment, it means no one else while you develop this relationship and see where it is going.

Of course, we also had the whole STD test conversation at the same time, too.

cmego posted 2/9/2014 17:47 PM

The only SO I've had…it was organic. We met organically (via a MeetUp for single parents), took a long time for it to become physical (like 8 weeks?) and never had the "exclusive" talk. We didn't have to, I knew I was the only one as did he. We did have the "STD" talk though.

I am beginning to think that OLD really is too artificial. It IS a wonder that people do meet and make it work. I wonder what the "real" percentage is…how many actual dates happen vs. how many relationships really happen. They make it sound great, but I'm guessing the number is a very, very, very small percentage.

I keep telling myself that when it happens, I'll know it. When I meet the right guy, it will be easy and uncomplicated.

phmh posted 2/9/2014 18:20 PM

I'm at something like 32 meets off of OLD and no real relationship.

My BIL met over 100 ladies on OLD before he met (and married) my sister.

I think the percentages are ridiculously small, but it definitely works for some. I remain optimistic since I am not meeting people organically!

completeshock posted 2/9/2014 19:42 PM

I've never done the OLD thing. I lurk around on Match from time to time, but never had the guts to actually post a profile. Not sure if I have a thick enough skin for it. Seems to be slim pickings in my area anyway. LOL

I will agree with you on the exclusivity talk. I've done it twice now with disastrous results each time. I have an extremely difficult time discussing emotional stuff (this is what most of my IC focus has been on) and it took a lot for me to put it out there. It is so discouraging and makes me want to retreat into a hole and never come out. I'm doing something very wrong.

fireproof posted 2/9/2014 22:01 PM

I think it depends on your boundaries. For me by the time I am intimate with someone I would need to be exclusive but some people don't work that way.

If it doesn't matter to you I would let the person with the issue say something. For me I would figure until clear I would be free to date.

Personally and it might not be 100% correct but I think there is a need to have that talk early. Decide if you want to be exclusive and if you do then he isn't the one but this is after at least 3 to 4 dates (no intimacy). Why ask? I have seen lots of women ask and then later themselves find they just wanted to know or feel secure. I think you are hurting yourselves from naturally finding out and time will tell.

I think if the guy asks be honest. If they don't ask then assume they are dating. If they say they want to then you can say you will or won't and then they might still choose to date you or not.

I think the right person will match your needs and I know in my prior relationships it was understood (not explainable nor needed to be said etc.).

Good luck! I think dating is a ton of trial and error and you not the guy might surprise yourself.

LearningToRun posted 2/9/2014 22:14 PM

Just curious, have to considered perhaps you are picking the wrong type?

I found that I had a real thing for the unemotionally available man. The more unavailable, the better I liked them.

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