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t/j on exclusivity

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nomoreplease posted 6/2/2014 11:12 AM

So this is another t/j from nutmegkittyís dumped thread. Iím really sorry, nutmegkitty, for derailing that thread as much as I did. I obviously had an unpopular view, but it has made me examine the topic much more closely.

I saw EOW single mother over the weekend, again, and we still did not have Ďthe conversationí but the topic was skirted around. I donít remember exactly how the topic came up, but she said that she thought it was Ďimpliedí. I responded something to the effect that she is still free to see other people. She then stated, Ďmaybe it is different for guysí. At which point, I didnít say anything, and she changed the subject. I also, now see that she has taken her OLD profile down.

Now, normally I would be thinking that I still havenít committed to her, but following the thread last week Iíve been feeling pretty guilty about this. Iím really wondering, do I need to explicitly tell her that I am still dating other people? If so, what is the best way to have this conversation?

FaithFool posted 6/2/2014 11:20 AM

I donít remember exactly how the topic came up, but she said that she thought it was Ďimpliedí.

Doesn't sound like you're on the same page at all.

Are you having sex with her as well as other people or is it just "dating"?

Lonelygirl10 posted 6/2/2014 11:31 AM

I would tell her that you are seeing other people. It does not sound like you are on the same page. This is especially true if you are sleeping together.

Charity411 posted 6/2/2014 12:06 PM

I completely agree that no one has the right after a few dates to assume exclusivity. But I have a question for you. You told her she is still free to date other people in response to something she or you may have brought up. Then when she said "I guess it's different for guys" you said nothing. That's what I have a problem with. Who is doing the skirting around here? It's somewhat obvious to me that she was asking if you were dating other people. You didn't honestly answer her. Why not just say you are still on the market instead of telling her she can still be on the market. It would have been more honest. Clearly you think there is nothing wrong with you dating other women and I agree. There isn't anything wrong with that. It's the fact that you refused to say so that is bothersome. It leaves the person you are seeing in the position of trying to figure you out.

nomoreplease posted 6/2/2014 12:19 PM

Doesn't sound like you're on the same page at all.
I agree, but if she wants exclusivity isnít that on her to ask?
Are you having sex with her as well as other people or is it just "dating"?
We have been having sex, but I have not had sex with anyone else during this time. Iím not sure how I would handle that, TBH.
Then when she said "I guess it's different for guys" you said nothing. That's what I have a problem with. Who is doing the skirting around here?
Well, the conversation was specifically about her seeing other people, not either of us seeing other people. And if she had actually asked me, I wouldíve been honest. But you are definitely right, we both were skirting the topic.

Was me telling her she is free to see others not obvious enough? If this is a conversation I need to have, does it need to be done in person (2 weeks is a long time)? What is the best way to have this conversation?

InnerLight posted 6/2/2014 12:24 PM

She could have asked. You both avoided discussing the topic to get to an understanding. Implied? That's just making assumptions. 'Different for guys' is another assumption.

Take the lead and set the tone for the kind of relationship you might want regardless of whether or not this person is the one you will commit to. If you want a relationship where important topics are not discussed but left to assumptions you are on the right path. If you want to be with someone who can express thoughts, needs, feelings with kindness and consideration, then reset on this path soon, and be the one to start.

You are free to date others, but you don't want to hurt her feelings, so talk soon and see if you can come to an agreement that works for you both for now. If not, then you know this person isn't the relationship for you and you can stop wasting each other's time.

Ask for a time to talk. Phone or in person. In person if possible.

Begin with affirming the parts of being with her that are working to set context for the difficult part.

Discuss the difficult part, ie. you are not ready to be exclusive but you don't want to hurt her feelings.

Listen to her thoughts and feelings.

See if there is a middle ground where you can both be comfortable for now.

Reaffirm the good parts about your connection even if it is not going to work out.

Good luck!

[This message edited by InnerLight at 12:28 PM, June 2nd (Monday)]

Sad in AZ posted 6/2/2014 12:50 PM

if she wants exclusivity isnít that on her to ask?

Oh, come on buddy. The topic of exclusivity came up,she thinks it's already implied and you are waiting for her to ask for it?? Stop being passive/aggressive and just tell her you do not want to be exclusive at this point and are in fact dating other women. Anything else is dishonest.

cmego posted 6/2/2014 12:53 PM

I have the exclusive conversation before sex. For me, once sex, or even clothes are coming off, we are in an exclusive relationship. By that point, I already know we are exclusive, but I always have that conversation before a penis is involved. I know me. I'm not going to date anyone else until we end. If a guy is not on board with this, the relationship ends. I want sex and I don't want to have to worry.

Just be honest with her. Obviously it was on her mindÖand yours too.

Do you think you should be prepared that she may be upset? Or end it? Just worth a thought...

Lonelygirl10 posted 6/2/2014 12:54 PM

I usually hint around the topic to let the guy know I'm receptive, but I prefer to let the guy be the one to actually ask that question. I think it's an issue that I feel more comfortable with guys taking the lead on. She may be the same. Seems like she was hinting, and you left her hanging.

She11ybeanz posted 6/2/2014 13:14 PM

By that point, I already know we are exclusive, but I always have that conversation before a penis is involved.

Me too. I don't have sex until I KNOW we are both on the same page and exclusive. I know me too and its just the way I am. I don't want to have to "wonder" if he is having sex with other people while he is with me. The best way for you to establish a trusting foundation with this woman is to get on the same page with her. If she is not okay with you seeing other people and you don't want to be exclusive, then end things but either way......honestly is the best policy! IMHO.

FaithFool posted 6/2/2014 14:35 PM

Agree ^^^. This kind of thing shouldn't really be pillow talk, but since she didn't establish that boundary clearly in the first place, you now have to negotiate how to clarify things.

If you're not sharing body fluids with anyone else but just dating around to see if you can find something more fulfilling, you still need to have that conversation.

You need to let her know that you're not 'all in'.

getnbtr1 posted 6/2/2014 14:45 PM

This sounds like one of those situations where if you don't say something and she later finds out that you have been seeing others while sleeping with her, she may very well (and rightfully so), feel betrayed and led on, and likely very hurt. If you know she wants and is seeking exclusivity, and likely believes this to be your status, you should clarify if it is indeed not. If you are avoiding the discussion because you believe this will be unacceptable to her and you will lose the relationship, then you are manipulating her. Regardless, its always best to talk openly about this kind of stuff, it can prevent hurt feelings and possibly lead to a better, more fulfilling relationship.. If that's not what you want, then leading her to believe that's what's being built is cruel.

Crescita posted 6/2/2014 15:27 PM

Do you prefer honesty or truth?

Think about it. There is a difference.

Technically, you aren't lying, but you know you have not been entirely honest with her either. While it may not be an easy discussion, I would hope you don't want your comments to be misleading.

HopeImOverIt posted 6/2/2014 20:17 PM

Iím really wondering, do I need to explicitly tell her that I am still dating other people?

Yes you do. Now that she's said it's "implied" that you are exclusive, the morally correct thing to do is to be forthright and tell her that you are not.

Should she ask you directly? Yes she should. But as we tell people all the time, "the only person you control is you." The feeling of guilt you are having is your gut telling you something important. Listen to it. Do the upstanding thing and tell her the truth about dating other women.

nomoreplease posted 6/2/2014 20:33 PM

Do you prefer honesty or truth?
You are completely right. I had the conversation with her tonight (yes, over the phone). She said she understood and has been where I am, but was not ok continuing as we are. This is what I suspected she would do (and why I was avoiding the conversation), but I'm glad that I was honest with her.

Thank you all for your input.

fireproof posted 6/2/2014 20:40 PM

Unless you are set on dating other people - is she worth losing or seeing where it goes?

Being honest is the right thing but if you were that close to her to her is it possible you are giving her up for the idea is something else which may not exist or could grow with her?

Just a thought.

persevere posted 6/2/2014 21:01 PM

You did the right thing, and I love IL's advice:

Take the lead and set the tone for the kind of relationship you might want regardless of whether or not this person is the one you will commit to. If you want a relationship where important topics are not discussed but left to assumptions you are on the right path. If you want to be with someone who can express thoughts, needs, feelings with kindness and consideration, then reset on this path soon, and be the one to start.

FaithFool posted 6/2/2014 21:30 PM

Totally the right thing to do. Good for you.

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