New Beginnings
User Topic: the exclusivity assumption
New Member
Member # 36867
Question  Posted: 4:40 AM, July 18th (Thursday)

I have been seeing SO for several months now.

Everything has been going great. No major issues. We've had our disagreements, but our personalities have always complimented each other's.

Until, today, my friend said she was contacted by SO on match. She showed me the email.

My stomach sank. I am gutted.

Now, we have not formally had the exclusivity talk. We did meet on match, however, I took my profile down pretty much immediately. In retrospect, I guess that I should have checked that he had as well.

So, I sent SO a text because I cant bring myself to talk to him at all.

I said:
"My friend showed me a message from you on match. I dont know what to say. I dont want to understand. I am deeply hurt. I'm insulted and feel Ive been taken for a fool. This is the end of the line for me. Dont ever contact me again."

He replied back 8 hours later. And, he sent a couple of texts, which I have not replied back to because I am so done, and hurting.

I just cant believe his insensitivity. I dont know if I should just leave this alone, and move on. I'm just sick to my stomach right now that he is so nonchalant about all this. It makes me wonder if he has been doing this all along.

"I want to send you this text to prove that I was not dating anybody. Hence I was back on match. I am looking again for somebody. I have been trying to pursue you, but one day your are good then you are angry. So proves that I was not with any other girl. I bet you also went out on dates. So why be mad at me."

"But if I can go out with you, then I dont need to pursue your friend."

I fear that if I 'forgive' him that he will try to be more careful with his online pursuits in the future.

I need advice please.

Posts: 27 | Registered: Sep 2012
Member # 22860
Default  Posted: 4:59 AM, July 18th (Thursday)

so sorry this has happened to you.

sorry I don't have any good advice but my opinion is that he has shown you who he is. believe him. his texts smack of down-playing his behaviour, and blame-shifting onto you.

you deserve, not just better, but much better.


Me = FBS
Him = gone

things that happen in my life do not define who I am. I get to choose to be the best I can be, for me. cause I'm worth it.

Posts: 286 | Registered: Feb 2009 | From: my happy place (most of the time)
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 5:45 AM, July 18th (Thursday)

If those last two quotes are his responses to you, he's mighty quick to get defensive (although if you chewed him a new one, what else would he be?). Are you willing to talk with him and work this out? Or has too much damage been done?

The lesson is pretty straight forward, I think you've already learned it: always assume you're not exclusive unless you've had a conversation clearly defining that that is what both parties want and are willing to do.

(((Better life)))
Simple but painful lesson to learn.

"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13798 | Registered: Jul 2011
Member # 34677
Default  Posted: 5:48 AM, July 18th (Thursday)

I agree about the blame shifting. He should have called you, not waited 8 hrs and texted that kind of reply.

Basically it read to me "I didn't tell you I wanted to date only you but you should have fallen all over me and I wouldn't be still flirting with other women. It's because of YOU that I did that."

I'm sorry you spent several months with someone who didn't view your relationship and you at the level you deserve.

Did he KNOW this was your friend by chance? Just curious. It does make him more of a slimeball if so....but in reality, he still tried to blame you for him wanting to date behind your back.

[This message edited by I.will.survive at 5:49 AM, July 18th (Thursday)]

Posts: 530 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: east coast
Member # 23890
Default  Posted: 6:00 AM, July 18th (Thursday)

^^ UM... Is communication important to you? Cause I can't follow his logic, this is gobble-de-gook.

What I see is a blameshift: you are either good or angry; projection: the accusation that you have probably been dating others too.

And then this: "But if I can go out with you, then I don't need to pursue your friend."

Um... he was going out with you - when he pursued your friend.

I'd be done. You know where he is coming from.

"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." Joseph Campbell...So, If fear was not a factor - what would you do?

Posts: 4129 | Registered: May 2009 | From: New England
Member # 21964
Default  Posted: 6:25 AM, July 18th (Thursday)

I fear that if I 'forgive' him that he will try to be more careful with his online pursuits in the future.

So, you stated your boundary and that it had been crossed and that you were no longer interested.

He responds by blaming you and being ugly.

And you're wondering if you should forgive him????? He couldn't even be bothered to account for your hurt feelings, he blamed you for them, he challenged you to a tit for tat game of "I was only dating others because you were too".

The only mistake you made was to not have the exclusivity talk initially. By not doing so, you weren't dating on a level playing field. So he likely was dating others all this time, assumed you were too, and is probably taken aback at your anger.

But so what given his response. If he were worth anything, he's say something along the lines of "I'm sorry we got our wires crossed" as opposed to being ugly to you. Your words to him were about you, your hurt, your boundaries. His words to you were about you, your ridiculousness etc.

We've had our disagreements

For a new relationship of only a few months, this sounds ominous. While this was a painful learning lesson for you, I think it's a good thing to step away from this guy and keep looking.

"The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved, the pig is committed." -Martina Navratilova
"The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 3120 | Registered: Dec 2008 | From: Mexico
Member # 17484
Default  Posted: 6:37 AM, July 18th (Thursday)

betterlife, I'm sorry - his response to your pain is gobbledegook indeed.
Forgiving does not mean his behavior is acceptable (sorry, I'm on a kick), or that you take him back.
You can forgive and walk away.

Posts: 6644 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: texas
Member # 10866
Default  Posted: 6:39 AM, July 18th (Thursday)

Okay, so, you guys never had the "exclusivity talk." Well, I do think that is essential. You need to have 'the talk' at some point. When I was on match, I was dating and flirting quite a bit. I'm sure there were some guys who were only seeing me, others that were not. However, until we had 'the talk,' there was no knowing where the relationship was. It's a little unfair to assume that he knew where you were without having a conversation about it.

In terms of pursuing your friend and his responses. They're a little all over the place and hard to see out of context. Did he know she was your friend? Did your friend contact him first, and vice versa?

DDays 2006, and then numerous more
Divorced 2012

"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate." - Asimov
"Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you." - Ovid

Posts: 15325 | Registered: Jun 2006
Member # 27457
Default  Posted: 7:23 AM, July 18th (Thursday)

his texts smack of down-playing his behaviour, and blame-shifting onto you.

you deserve, not just better, but much better.


You deserve so much better and I am seeing way too many red flag behaviors to overlook that remind me of XWH... keep moving forward WITHOUT him! I know it hurts....but he is not the one. And, it doesn't look like he wants to be the ONE with any ONE girl anyways...

"Sometimes your knight in shining armor just a douchebag in tin foil!!"

ME - BW - 35
HIM - XWH - 39
D day: November 15th, 2009
Married: 5 Years, together 8
Divorced: December 13th, 2010
New Beginning: Piper/8-3-12

Posts: 2724 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: Virginia
New Member
Member # 36867
Default  Posted: 7:26 AM, July 18th (Thursday)

Thanks for the responses, and questions.

Just to clarify a few things.

My friend is a colleague relatively new to this city, and was divorced 2 years ago.

She was wanting to meet more people and felt she was ready to start dating, since her divorce well behind her.

I had recommended her to try match.

She has never met SO, but I did tell her a bit about him.

He emailed her out of the blue. She was barely online for a week.

She showed me the emails she had gotten and wasnt sure if one of the guys sounded like SO.

When I saw the email, I nearly collapsed.

Posts: 27 | Registered: Sep 2012
Member # 30346
Default  Posted: 7:29 AM, July 18th (Thursday)

Blameshift, much?

He got busted, plain and simple...then wants to blame you for being "angry"? If he was concerned, why didn't he try to talk to you about it?

Red flag. Red flag. Red flag.

me...BS, 43 years old, 2 small kids
WS, 41, multiple gay affairs
M 15 years, together 17

"For whatever we lose, like a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find in the sea" ee cummings

Posts: 4185 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: South
Member # 27457
Default  Posted: 7:44 AM, July 18th (Thursday)

Red flag. Red flag. Red flag.

Agree. Run. Don't walk to the nearest single exit....

"Sometimes your knight in shining armor just a douchebag in tin foil!!"

ME - BW - 35
HIM - XWH - 39
D day: November 15th, 2009
Married: 5 Years, together 8
Divorced: December 13th, 2010
New Beginning: Piper/8-3-12

Posts: 2724 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: Virginia
Member # 33440
Default  Posted: 9:36 AM, July 18th (Thursday)

Run - don't walk - away. Please do yourself this favor. I was caught in a similar situation - except I was the one who was contacted. My BFF started dating someone she met online. We all hung out one night (it was me, BFF, her guy, and one of his friends) and the NEXT DAY BFF's "man" contacted me through POF. He told me he thought I was a better match for him than my BFF, and all sorts of ridiculousness. Of course I told my BFF and I thought I was actually going to lose her as a friend because of it. Anyway, her and I are fine, but she's still dating this guy and she constantly wonders if he's cheating on her. Sometimes I really want to shake her because I feel like the red flag was literally waved in her face in the beginning and she has chosen to continue the relationship.

So please, take the red flag and run as fast as you can.

Me (BS): 32, Mommy to J: 2 1/2 Divorced: 4/10/13
Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes, in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself

Posts: 485 | Registered: Sep 2011 | From: NY
Member # 26152
Default  Posted: 12:55 PM, July 18th (Thursday)

In addition to being a creep, he also sounds rather stupid.

Me --> BS
D-Day 10-1988
D-Day 9-12-2005
S 9-13-2005
D 3-6-12

Posts: 1500 | Registered: Nov 2009 | From: Kentucky
Oh the Irony
Member # 12354
Default  Posted: 1:02 PM, July 18th (Thursday)

Drop him.

Technically, the dude did no wrong because you did not have an exclusivity talk.

His response however, was totally immature and weird.

And you set a boundary "this is the end of the line" without conversing about what your expectations were. So if you continue, then you show him that you set boundaries, he can break them, and you will change the boundary.

This is not a good situation.

I'm sorry.

Two gorgeous boys, 14 and 8.
D-day Sept. 15, 2006.
Me, BS 43
Him, WS 50
Her, OG (Guess she is 27 or 28 now! 19-21 at the time...)
Separated. Divorcing. Happily working on myself.

Posts: 735 | Registered: Oct 2006 | From: thankful for truth
Member # 26023
Default  Posted: 6:49 PM, July 18th (Thursday)

I respectfully disagree that he did no wrong by multidating all this time. Why? Because it sounds like you two had an intimate relationship. He was lying by omission, not telling you he was seeing others. You refer to him as your SO. To me, that implies a couple that do not keep secrets on that scale from each other.

I mean, it *must* have occurred to him that it might well bother you that he was secretly dating others.

Call me old fashioned, but multidatong after a point is indecent and deceptive if it's not out in the open.

BH, now divorced

Posts: 3012 | Registered: Oct 2009
Member # 32616
Default  Posted: 7:03 PM, July 18th (Thursday)

^^^ Agreed

I find a certain squick factor to his idea of multidating. Seeing where things might go with a few people at a time is one thing, actively persuing new people two months later is another.

Posts: 3445 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: The Valley of the Sun
Member # 28376
Default  Posted: 7:18 PM, July 18th (Thursday)

I am sorry that you are hurting.

Please remember this lesson to never assume exclusivity. He made you think he was your SO. Protect your heart next time and take the time to communicate.

Its your choice to take your time to talk to him after this, but I wouldn't.

Me: 44/WH (SA): 49
M: 24 years 3 kids over 10 yrs old
EA/ PA Dec. 2009 -Divorce pending

Posts: 1240 | Registered: Apr 2010 | From: Midwest
Member # 38458
Default  Posted: 7:57 PM, July 18th (Thursday) basically he is saying that you made him do it? If you had done X he wouldn't have done Y. If you do Y he will no longer have to hurt you by pursuing who he now knows is your friend?

Drop that loser with a quickness! Be very thankful you found out that he is a jackass before you spend another moment with him and get any more emotionally involved.

Me-29 Starting over
ExWH-29 Probable NPD, PA, manchild
3 beautiful young children
DDay 1/20/13 Admits PA
No remorse so NO R. DIVORCED! 9/2013

Posts: 541 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: USA
Member # 35229
Default  Posted: 9:13 PM, July 18th (Thursday)

I'm with OIAL too. You haven't had the 'exclusivity' talk but you also haven't had the "I'm still trawling for dates" talk or the "Let's still see other people" talk either.

Until he was caught. If he's doing it online what has he done IRL? Are you using protection? I'd still go and get a full STD screening.


I have been having casual relationships this year. I am exclusive in these casual relationships. I have been clear that they are casual AND exclusive. They are free to see others anytime they like but our arrangement ends at that point.

If he wants that arrangement let him go find it rather than cake eating with you.

I may have reached a point where I'd piss on him if he was on fire.... eventually!!

Posts: 5609 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: Australia
Topic Posts: 20