Exclusivity Devide

Do men think we are all just waiting for them to decide to be our boyfriend?

Are guys just as insecure spending the first month wondering if the girl is dating other people and where they might fall in rank? Do men stare at their phone waiting for the next text to come from that special person? Are they sitting there wondering if they are texting too much or not enough? Are they dating multiple people due to FOMO (as if you don’t know: Fear Of Missing Out)? Or are they dating several women in order to not get their feelings hurt if it doesn’t work out? The classic Don’t-Put-All-Your-Eggs-In-One-Basket strategy. And, more specifically, is the guy that I really like doing these things?!

I’m entering into the weird phase with someone. One where we are past 3 dates, but undefined. We haven’t made it to the 90 day make or break point, so bringing up the conversation seems presumptuous. This is where things got dicey with Rebound, and where I found out that Young Gun had a girlfriend. Understandably, I’m a tad gun shy about this phase.

In reading up on exclusivity – and the rules and expectations – I found the Zoosk survey regarding when to bring up certain topics. According to their survey, nearly half of men want to DTR (define the relationship) after the first few dates. I’m assuming this means in the 3-6 dates range. While women tend to wait longer. Only 1/3 of women are ready to talk about exclusivity after a few dates.

Who are these men? I’m pretty sure it’s only the half that don’t want to get exclusive. That half is having “the talk” because they are saying, “hey I really like you, but I don’t like-like you”. The men that are having the DTR are the men that are telling the girl that they are, and will continue, seeing other people. These are the men, that don’t want to settle down with the girl, but at least are honest and open about it.

In 4 months I’ve kinda had the talk twice. I brought it up with Rebound a few times in a joking manner letting him know that we were both still free to see other people. I was desperately hoping he would correct me. He never did. April Fools (or Good on Paper) basically brought it up on the second date asking me how many other guys I was seeing. When I answered him the answer was 2, now its 3.

Then, as I was reading other blogs I’ve found, I came across this guide for men written by The Frequent Dater. Women are waiting about 3 months (11 weeks) to DTR, while men say they it only takes about a month maybe two.

It also said that men tend to assume exclusivity after about a month. Uh, I’m sorry.  Say what now?! I really think men need to know that they should bring up the topic of not dating other people, if they don’t want the girl to date other people – or even entertain the thought. It could be that you spend all your time together – but are you still swiping through dating apps? Is getting or giving numbers at the bar ok? Should you be telling the other people you’ve been texting with that you have a steady beau now? Should the dating apps be deleted?

Women do have a three month rule. It’s a thing that is passed down. I think I’ve mentioned it before. I’ve heard about it from several sources. These are women who have been in the trenches of dating. This is not a reflection of a women needing to take 11 weeks to get to know a guy. Or even to be sure about their feelings. Regardless if you are dating one guy or many, the idea is that you give the guy three months and check in at the three month mark for red flags (if you haven’t hit any major deal breakers before then).

Women are trained NOT to talk about feelings and relationships with the guy, in order to not scare off the guy. We are told over and over to play it cool. To play hard to get. We are given the advice to not talk about getting serious, even if we may want to, for fear of scaring the guy away. We are told to wait for the guy to bring it up, or wait the three months. So, we wait.

I think what we all really want. What we are all waiting to have happen in the date 3 – 3 months period, is for there to be an event that lends itself to the conversation. Some cute, spontaneous, conversation in which the other person does something so relationship-y that you have no choice but to call them out on it, in a joking manner of course, and gauge the reaction. Or that moment where the guy says, “this is my girlfriend”, and you just stand there staring, thinking, “I am?”

Maybe it’s because I’m from LA, maybe I’ve seen too many rom-com movies, or maybe I am a hopeless romantic despite my pragmatic exterior, but to me there should be that moment in which you realize that the other person is in love with you. Not the moment that you realize you are in love with someone. Not the moment that you are silently freaking out that the other person may see your weakness to them, because that may happen weeks earlier. But the moment that you see it in the other person’s face, actions, demeanor that they are falling madly in love with you. AND, that they don’t care if they do or that you see it. That special moment, in which they accept it, and so you can too. But then again, maybe that’s just me, and maybe that’s just because I’ve been through so much shit.

So, here I am. I like Bachelor #1. This is the guy that I currently spend all day every day thinking about. This is the guy that I relive the first, second, and third kisses over and over and over again in my head. I like a lot of things about him, but I don’t know what he wants or is thinking. All I “know” is what I’ve learned from his actions. And, I don’t know how to have the, what are you looking for in a relationship conversation, without seeming desperate. Because, its only been 3 weeks (4 dates), after all.

There is Bachelor #2. I’m a little clearer on what he wants, I know he is seeing other people and he knows I am as well. We have fun together, but I’m not wowed. I’m not looking for exclusivity from this guy, and honestly I think he’s about to get friend-zoned.

And, then there is Bachelor #3. A guy that I have been “talking to” via text sporadically for a few weeks now. It’s mostly friendly and a little flirty. But I have not yet met him in person. I’m hesitant to meet Bachelor #3, because of Bachelor #1, but also feel like I need a back-up plan just in case. A safety net for my emotions.

And rounding out the pack is Bachelor #4, who is someone I just started talking with and has asked me out for drink sometime soon. Again, I hesitate, but I don’t yet have a reason to not go.

Me texting a friend about Bachelor #1: “But until he tells me he’s madly in love with me I have to keep my options open”

This is life in modern dating.

 

 

 

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