So, possible see new guy tonight to talk about this:
After talking with my BFF, I think the "problem" boils down to two different dating styles.
I want to be clear when I talk with him tonight, and I don't want to throw all the "problems" at once at either of us. It really just a simple issue...different styles.
Obviously he likes to date more casually in the beginning, then decide if the person is worth "exclusivity/commitment" and I only date monogamously. Which, granted, worked for me as a young person, but hasn't worked the "second time around".
I'd like to hear from "multi-daters" and how you view dating. At what point DO you decide to become monogamous? How do you like to communicate this?
I think I can hang in there a few more dates while I get to know him and let him get to know me a little more. After 5-6 dates, though, I think you've got a good idea if the other person is worth "pursuing".
"For whatever we lose, like a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find in the sea" ee cummings
I’ve never multi-dated, but around 2 months, to me, has always felt like a comfortable amount of time to wait before you discuss where it is going, regardless of how many people either of you are seeing.
But use whatever timeline works for you. It doesn’t have to be set in stone, and you don’t have to communicate it. You will know when you need more. If you get to that point and he still waivers, cut him loose.
Some professions are notorious for entitled attitudes and super egos.
At what point DO you decide to become monogamous?
And, in retrospect, I see that my personal values and boundaries keep me safe from the whims of chemistry.
It takes 2. When a guy thinks you're special, he'll make you feel special. There won't be uncomfortable talks about dating styles ... there will simply be dates. You won't be "hanging in there" hoping for him to change.
For the guy you're seeing now, I would hold off on the physical stuff until he's ready to be exclusive. And if he can't do that, walk away. Your boundaries worked with the other guys. I don't think it's their fault that nothing has lasted. I don't have your boundary, and when things don't work out for me, I wonder the reverse--if I waited until exclusivity to have sex, would more things work out? You always wonder if you're doing it wrong. But eventually it will click with the right person.
[This message edited by norabird at 10:35 AM, July 15th (Tuesday)]
When a guy thinks you're special, he'll make you feel special. There won't be uncomfortable talks about dating styles ... there will simply be dates.
That's where I'm at. And, it's somewhat a new thing for me. I was with STBXH for 15 years. Taking things slow is something I have to adjust to, too, norabird. I had major chemistry with first guy I dated, but he's emotionally incapable of what I want, so I dropped him. New guy gives me the impression I'm a friend, it's kind of wierd. I mean I don't know if he's attracted to me, but persues me daily...I'm so confused! I don't think I'm used to nice guys...ha!
With xwSO, he actually officially asked me to be his girlfriend on the third date. I liked him, and said I would be exclusive. On his drive home, he made it official on facebook. I hadn't told my friends about him yet, so it freaked me out a little. I took a few days to tell people, and then accepted the whole facebook thing. I think it stressed him out that I didn't do it immediately, but I wasn't ready to. I had been multi-dating before he talked to me.
With new guy recently, we went on 6 dates before he made a joke at dinner asking me if I was seeing 20 other guys. I said no, and he lowered the number until it was one other guy. I said no again, and he said "good me either." He wasn't big on communication, so that's how he handled it. I had been multi-dating, and stopped probably a week before he asked that question because I really liked him. But, he asked it himself before I really started worrying about it too much.
I really think this answer is going to be very different depending on who you ask. Some people are okay with multi-dating, and some people aren't. I don't think one viewpoint is right and one is wrong. It just depends on your views and comfort level.
Question for you though... why are you trying to change your own views for a guy that you've not known for very long? I ask that because I'm guilty of doing it myself all the time. There will be another guy that comes along who has your same views and feelings on multi-dating because I honestly think there are tons of people on both sides of this issue.
Another thing to consider is that instead of talking to you about his views on the issue, he pulled away until you reached out.
I did feel special up until this point. He was very attentive, contacted me frequently, set up the dates in advance, all that stuff. This is partially why I was kinda surprised that he wanted to continue to multi-date. He said, "I tell them I've started dating someone...".
No, I wasn't interested in the cop. He, literally, was telling me that his friends couldn't wait to meet me on the first date. Plus, a definite religious difference that made me uncomfortable. I didn't see him again. Great guy...just not great for me.
Yeah, sex is important to me. It isn't the "end all" for me, but it causes me to bond, which is why I have the "exclusive" conversation.
I guess I don't understand with multi-daters at what point the other person becomes "special". My view is that if we make it past the first few dates and things are going well...then I focus on you until something "happens" that causes the relationship to end. I don't expect to marry anyone I'm exclusive with, I'm just giving what attention I have to one person.
But, there is part of me that thinks if he doesn't think I'm pretty special by the next few dates, then we shouldn't continue.
New territory for me, I'm just confronting my thoughts and seeing how I feel. I am known to be "organized and more rigid", my IC calls me a "linear thinker". Those attributes are great in many situations, I can handle huge amounts of stress and responsibility and people are amazed at how I do it all. For me, huge amounts of stress and responsibility are like breathing. But, then I'm also organized and more rigid in relationships and that isn't a great thing for dating. I gotta go with the flow more.
Even answering the question, "what is multi-dating" requires a complex thesis. Is it an action or is it a state of mind?
When it works, you'll know it. It won't have to be negotiated, and you won't have to feel like you're being a relationship cop. Unfortunately, as we in the SI club know, trust doesn't always mean anything. A big part of being ready for dating again means understanding that we don't always make good partnership choices.
I think it's dangerous to say that issues involving dating boil down to distinct styles in dating. We're complex organisms. We consciously or unconsciously have infinite numbers of preferences. We might make a different choice based on something irrelevant that happened at work. Or a chemical reaction to a cologne. Or reading something into eye contact that simply isn't there. Our brains help us and betray us a million times a day.
Dating is difficult. And there are no shortcuts to getting where you want to go.
I think it won't be difficult to find a guy willing to commit to you on the first date. However, it's likely this person will be quite clingy, romantic-sounding, and rather off-putting. You might find it difficult to accept that first date.
So, rather than defining multi-dating, ask yourself what components of dating you can accept and what you can't accept. What kinds of communication do you need?
How do you handle the issue of "ok, I like you, I'm not seeing someone else, but I slept with you in good faith, evaluated my feelings, and decided it's time to move on." Because that's the one that hurts, and is the real danger if you feel strongly (as I do) that dating someone who is currently in the feeling out process with others doesn't work very well.
I also think that if this was supposed to work, it should have been easy. I think I did a poor job of evaluating *if* he is looking for a relationship. I may have assumed that from discussion based on his previous dating pattern. He dated early, someone very young, and she hurt him after 6 months. The next one was 6 months, she moved. Then he took a major break and threw himself into work, then kids. Then, dated someone a year who lived 2 hours away, but she ended up lying to him. Been on OLD a few months.
So, maybe I assumed he was a relationship kinda guy. And, yeah, part of me is totally thinking that if we hit this bump at 3 week in...then this isn't a match. He may not be looking to settle down, although the signs were there. That will be easy..."not a match right now". We all know that timing is a huge issue in getting a relationship started.
The last two relationship that started quickly for me, both guys basically relocated. One deployed and he decided he didnt' want to continue (although we had agreed to try...) and the other ended when he found out he had to unexpectedly relocated. He imploded and poofed. I wished them both well.
But, I also recognize that the guys that start fast, all end up leaving or ending. Including my marriage.
I guess I don't understand with multi-daters at what point the other person becomes "special". My view is that if we make it past the first few dates and things are going well...then I focus on you until something "happens" that causes the relationship to end.
I don't think it's a matter of when the person becomes "special." When I date on OLD (and even in my younger days without OLD), I don't invest a lot of myself into a guy on the first date. I go on a first date with an open mind, but that's it. I don't get overly excited about the first date, and I don't get disappointed after the first date. A first date with someone on OLD is just a meeting to gauge whether there is chemistry in person, whether we have anything to talk about, etc. I don't really view a first date as an actual date.
The second date to me is more of a real date where I'm more excited/nervous about it. And then somewhere in the 3-6 date range is where I start getting attached to the guy. When I start feeling attached, I stop multi-dating. It's not that the guy suddenly becomes "special" to me. It's just that I know him well enough to be really interested in him and know that I don't want to see other people. I think that point happens at different times depending on the guy.
I keep my options open on OLD so that I can talk/meet with a lot of guys in order to find the perfect match for me. I figure the more guys I talk to, the higher the chance of me finding someone compatible with me.
Now, with that said, I don't get physical with multiple people at the same time. In my last experience with OLD, I never got more than a chaste goodnight kiss at the car until around the 5th date. I can't do that, so I'm not sure how other people do it.
I think someone becoming special takes time. Not 6 dates or 2 months. I think you are expecting too much too soon and you might get it, but that doesn't mean it will last.
To me, the signs were there he was quite interested. I was relaxing and showing more interest.
eta: I guess what kinda hit me is that...well...what did he expect?? If you are texting someone everyday, maybe twice a day...telling a girl how awesome and amazing and beautiful she is, asking for dates in advance, telling me how he can't wait to spend time with me, having a 5 hour date and a make out session...why was he surprised that I thought it was leading to being exclusive??
He isn't innocent in me thinking this way. He was going pretty fast and driving the dating bus. All I did was ask for directions.
He got tied up with work and asked to reschedule until Thursday. Which, I think will give me some more time to sort through my thoughts. I asked if he wanted to talk on the phone about it tonight, and he said he prefers "in person". Thursday it is.
[This message edited by cmego at 5:50 PM, July 15th (Tuesday)]
Fear Of Missing Out
I think many people on OLD have FOMO. They don't want to give up "the hunt" because.... what if there's someone "better" out there and they "missed out" because they committed to you too soon.
I multi date, will kiss guys, no sex unless we are exclusive/committed. I assume that they are also multi-dating unless its been specifically discussed. I find exclusive dating puts way too much pressure on the relationship early on. I probably wouldn't be exclusive with someone unless we had dated several months, maybe longer. But I'm a take things slow kinda gal. I'm usually the one slowing things down. If a guy is too into me or hot and heavy right off it scares me away.
I hope the chat went well tonight. There is something to different dating styles. I hope this evening went well, this guy seems like a keeper!
Sometimes I hear my voice, and it's been here, silent all these years. I've been here, silent all these years.
I think all good relationships involve compromise of some sort. I would list the points you are willing to compromise on and the ones you are not.
What are your absolute no compromise issues?
What are you willing to compromise on?
Once those are established you have a good basis for discussion. You may give on a few not so important points without compromising your set standards.
I think I"m moving into being kinda pissy that he has shown/admitted no culpability in this situation so far.
HE was pushing. I was slowing him down, and had a very honest talk about all of the "sweet words". He said he understood and did slow all of that down, but after saying, "I just call it like I see it..."
He was perfectly happy to fast-forward this relationship, and when I wanted clarification, he dodged.
So, today, on the advice of a very wise SI friend, I'm going to try to see this from his side and find my empathy.
He liked me. He is male.
I will have to be patient to see what he has to say tomorrow. He is pretty self aware and he may be looking at his own behavior.
In the meantime, I have a few interesting emails to respond to on OLD.
But, at the same time...I'm kinda at the point that I'm not even sure I want to see him tomorrow. What is the point? I doubt very many relationships get past a big bump in the beginning.
Yeah, if I had known he was interested in multi-dating, I wouldn't have had a make-out session.
If your boundary is no make-outs without exclusivity (nevermind commitment or long term intention), that's totally cool. Your boundaries are whatever you want them to be. BUT you have to be the one to enforce it. If you didn't even bring it up to this guy until after said make out session, how was he supposed to know you felt that way? Is it just me or is that unfair to him?
he has shown/admitted no culpability in this situation so far
Culpability for what exactly? Did you express to him in advance what your boundary was? I feel like there's a lot of responsibility on this guy to enforce your boundaries that he didn't know about.
Yeah, he knew before the second date.
Culpability for pushing the relationship and then being surprised when I assumed we were moving to exclusivity. He was pursuing me. Pretty hard. This wasn't a guy who texted every 3 or 4 days. This was a guy that was texting constantly and telling me how amazing I was, blah, blah, blah. I never reciprocated and even told him that it was a lot for an early relationship. He pulled back a little, but still was in constant contact. saying things like, "I'll be happy anywhere as long as I get to spend with with you and see that smile."
Yes, I did talk about being a monogamous dater before the second date. I felt it was going kinda fast, I was uncomfortable, and told him that I only dated one guy at a time, and I wanted to make sure we were on the same page in being interested in each other. He said "Yes, we are on the same page. I like you. Understood that you only date one at a time." I felt like it was settled (we weren't dating others and interested in getting to know each other) and went on the second date. Then had the 5 hour second long date with the kissing. Where, I did address it again when we were talking dating pasts. He told stories about women who, on about the 4th date, where trying to pin down the "exclusivity" and didn't handle it well. I even said something like, "That is why I only date one at a time. I need a safe zone of trying to see if I like someone without pressure". We were drinking, so my memory is a little fuzzy on the exact conversation.
It wasn't until the NEXT day, after the date, that I kinda realized he never said, "I do want to be exclusive" and tried to get a clear answer from him before the 3rd date happened. I asked, "Are you dating others?" and his reply was, "I went on another 1st date around the time we met, but it was a 'non-starter'" and "If someone emails me on OLD, I tell them I'm dating someone...".
It wasn't a clear "Yes" or "no" to my question.
So, yeah. I think he has some responsibility here. I was clear. He answered ambiguously and I didn't pick it up until later.
Or, more specifically, he wanted his options open but still wanted to see me. And he did not address it in anyway I could understand. I tried not to be a bitch about it, but he knew it was important to me...so he dodged. I think he dodged in order to keep me around and hoping that I would drop the subject.
You don't pursue a woman hard, and then act all surprised when she is asking about exclusivity. Especially if you know she is a monogamous dater. I'm not saying that he is all at fault here, or I"m all at fault here. I'm saying that we were coming at this "problem" from different sides and I want to see if he acknowledges anything from his side.
I prefaced this by saying I'm pissy today. I'm tired of guys pursuing hard, then pulling back. I'm tired of emotionally unavailable guys who can play the early game and I'm supposed to be able to spot them early enough to not get hurt, but allow myself to still be open to the possibility that they are "datable".
I asked, "Are you dating others?" and his reply was, "I went on another 1st date around the time we met, but it was a 'non-starter'" and "If someone emails me on OLD, I tell them I'm dating someone...".
It wasn't a clear "Yes" or "no" to my question.
It wasn't a clear "Yes" or "no" to my question.
I answer questions like that, too. I try to be precise and put things in my own language. My assessment, and it could be wrong, is that this was a clear answer that he was on the same page. But that he wanted to make it clear that while he doesn't multi-date, this isn't necessarily a commitment, should it not work out.
It was committing to just not pursue others for a few weeks to see if we really like each other. That was it.
I dunno. He offered to take me someone "special" for brunch tomorrow and I turned him down. I"m happy with a muffin and some coffee...especially if this is more than likely going to end. I'm just going to go camp out and study and wait to see if he shows up.