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Non-commital

Simplicity posted 1/9/2020 14:50 PM

First, I want to thank everyone who got me through the darkest stages of vacillation, indecision, resolve, and post-divorce blues (the only thing I didn't get here was help during discovery, only because I hadn't found this wonderful place earlier!).

I met a wonderful man who I hesitated to commit to, and could never pin point why. When asked, I would dig up all sorts of reasons, that weren't even big deals, actually. We have amazing chemistry, and lots of other things just click well, too (language, upbringing, sense of humor, etc)! He finally got upset with me and said that while he understands I went through something traumatic, he feels like he is being punished for what my XH did. I feel distraught by his words, but I don't know how to label my feelings further. I don't want him to feel so terrible! He feels like he has waited a very long time for me to give commitment (it's been over half a year). He would like it if we could be exclusive. I don't know why I can't make that jump to exclusive. It's not even like I'm really actively dating anyone else. A safe relationship is all I really want, and I feel so safe with him, and yet I have not been able to give him this. Is it something wrong? I don't even know how to put all my feelings into words!

WhoTheBleep posted 1/9/2020 15:25 PM

Do you have to actually have "the talk"? Can't you just both be adults and continue to not see other people? And just not talk about it? That's what SO and I have done. It seems to be working. And there's no pressure from a heavy conversation about how we are committed to each other.

People think you have to have the talk. You really don't if you are both on the same page. Actions speak louder than words, right?

[This message edited by WhoTheBleep at 3:26 PM, January 9th (Thursday)]

ShatteredSakura posted 1/10/2020 10:42 AM

Sounds like you already are defacto exclusive. A year and a half IMO is a long time to wait to be exclusive.

[Edit: Woops I misread it, you wrote "half a year" thanks to Skeeter saying the length of time for me to notice my error. I guess my opinion is somewhat invalidated, but that's still a non-trivial chunk of time. Personally if my GF didn't commit to exclusivity by then I'd be out of the relationship. But that's just me...I'm the type of person who if I'm seeing you week-to-week I ONLY want to see you!]


A safe relationship is all I really want, and I feel so safe with him, and yet I have not been able to give him this

Isn't exclusivity safe? Personally I would not have lasted as long as he knowing I was not secure in the relationship I'm pursuing. And especially after my trauma with infidelity, a woman I was with who may be dating others would be a massive trigger.

If you feel safe with him and don't want to be with anyone else, give him the "safety" he wants too.


[This message edited by ShatteredSakura at 3:42 PM, January 10th (Friday)]

skeetermooch posted 1/10/2020 13:05 PM

Simplicity,
Your post triggered a memory for me. My bf of 8 years, prior to my STBX, was a cheater. I was all kinds of gun shy with my STBX because of it. I never quite felt all the way safe in the relationship and we both kept blaming it on my prior cheater. He even said exactly what your current bf says about being punished for my ex's actions.

I'm not exactly suggesting your current bf is a cheater, but I'm suggesting that maybe it's okay to trust your gut. If you aren't ready to commit, why can't he go with it? I can't imagine you're running around dating a different person every night - so what's the rush to verbalize a commitment?

Half a year isn't very long. I'd give yourself time and insist he does too.

Going forward, I'm going to trust my gut even if it makes no sense. If I had trusted it with my current husband, I could have avoided a lot of pain.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 1/10/2020 18:03 PM

If you aren't ready to commit, why can't he go with it?

I'm guessing because he doesn't want to? I know if the situation were reversed for me, after 6 months, I would be wondering what the other person was up to (you can't really use the word cheater here as if you're not exclusive you can't be cheating).

I have worried that if/when I get back out there I will do the same thing - and I've actually said it exactly as the person you are dating has said. I've wondered if I tried to date someone if they wouldn't be "punished by my WH" and how I may be gun-shy.

I have no advice but wanted to say I don't think what this person is saying is necessarily weird or unreasonable. While it just occurred to me I've never had the exclusivity talk with anyone I've dated until the marriage proposal, it's not a strange thing to do.

You said you aren't "actively dating anyone else" but are you looking? Keeping an eye out? Keeping your options open, at least passively? I would guess that is what the concern is, and I don't want to lawyer you to death, but in reading your comment and how you phrased that, the first thing that popped into my mind is "Simplicity is still keeping options open" which is totally fine if you are - but if that is the case, the person your dating is asking because they want to hear where they stand, and they may want to end it if you feel the way I said about it...but again, as we've learned on here time and time again...you have to let go of the consequences and just tell the truth, even if that truth is "I'm just not that into you" or whatever you need to say.

If it really is just you than explain that, and explain that you wish it didn't make them feel bad but you want to be honest etc...and let the chips fall as they may. You may just not be ready, and that's okay too.

Dating sucks...and I'm not even doing it. Ugh.

ShatteredSakura posted 1/10/2020 18:15 PM

I have no advice but wanted to say I don't think what this person is saying is necessarily weird or unreasonable. While it just occurred to me I've never had the exclusivity talk with anyone I've dated until the marriage proposal, it's not a strange thing to do.

I don't know if I'm the younglin' here between the OP and responses, but as a young(ish) man, the exclusivity talk is very important to me. There are many people out there that are okay with casual relationships - I am not one of those people, I would very much like to know where I stand. And there are some who are not okay, but will go with the flow because they're too scared to speak up. I'm used to "early rejection" I guess, either me or them. Anything that goes past the first month is pretty much exclusive (and I wouldn't assume, but actually communicate that). If the woman thinks it's okay to sleep around at that point, I don't want to be with her.

And I'm saying this, because I feel like dating among the younger crowd has gotten VERY lackadaisical. My WW had friends her age (she's 2 years younger than me, she's 30) who were sleeping with men and "did not know if they were boyfriend and girlfriend" and were too scared to even ask in fear of rejection. I don't think that is a good mentality for either party. I think you should know answers to that question before you actually start sleeping with them too...

I guess I am very binary on this, it's either on or it's off. That obviously doesn't apply to everyone, but I think it simplifies things and cuts a lot of the drama out before it can start.

And to the OP...it's not like you can't break up later. Are you worried that you'll fall in love and get trapped by another cheater? Maybe you aren't ready for another relationship?

But anyways, I think my opinion comes down to the talk about what a "safe relationship" is...and not knowing where you stand to me does not fit in the definition of a "safe relationship". So I'm coming more from the guy's perspective here, but if you're feeling safe in it right now...and he isn't and breaks up with you tomorrow, you're not going to feel safe tomorrow then. It's a two way street.

[This message edited by ShatteredSakura at 6:16 PM, January 10th (Friday)]

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