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Newest Member: Misery

New Beginnings :
Non-exclusive talk advice??

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 Hobbyist (original poster member #55532) posted at 4:52 PM on Monday, March 21st, 2022

Just looking for some dating advice... I recently started back on a dating app, had a couple of nice dates with a very recently divorced woman. But I got the sense that she was expecting a lot after just 2 dates (only kissing, no sex, if that matters), so at the end of the second date I told her I wanted to make sure she knew we weren't exclusive and I wanted to take things slow for my own sake (I tend to fall into relationships very fast). She looked genuinely hurt and confused, saying she wasn't pursuing anyone else other than me. The best path for me is to date a few people at one time, and gradually weed them out until I find someone I really click with. I feel like this is standard dating advice in this day and age?

So fast forward a bit (girl above didn't work out for obvious reasons), and now I've been dating a girl for a couple of weeks I do really like. But, I don't want to be exclusive for at least a month or two, while I'm getting to know her. The last girl has me gun shy, should I tell this new girl we're not exclusive or just assume she knows how dating works (she's been single a long time so it's not like she just got divorced and is still learning how to date)?

Don't get me wrong, I want to be exclusive with someone ultimately, but it's not healthy for me to commit to that unspoken after just a few dates. Is it safe to assume you're not exclusive until you have "the talk"? I hated how I felt after hurting the first girl, but it was literally our second date and she was surprised we weren't exclusive duh . I'm just trying to tread the fine line between good communication and assuming unspoken rules of dating.

BH, 30's with 3 beautiful kids. Divorced in 2017 - SO much happier!

posts: 430   ·   registered: Oct. 8th, 2016   ·   location: USA
id 8724633
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Catwoman ( member #1330) posted at 6:28 PM on Monday, March 21st, 2022

I believe assumptions do more harm than good. I would rather the fellow be up front and honest.

If you don't want to be exclusive at this point in time, I would definitely mention it. You don't come outright and say this, but is it your intent to have a physical relationship while not yet exclusive? If that is the case (and I'm not knocking it either way), you should make it very clear so that the other person can decide whether or not that works for them.

Personally, I believe someone else to be a free agent unless there have been discussions negating that fact. However, I don't pursue a physical relationship with someone unless we are agreed to be exclusive.

Cat

FBS: Married 20 years, 2 daughters 27 and 24. Divorced by the grace of GOD.
D-Days: 2/23/93; 10/11/97; 3/5/03
Ex & OW Broke up 12-10
"An erection does not count as personal growth."

posts: 33056   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2003   ·   location: Massachusetts
id 8724655
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AnnieOakley ( member #13332) posted at 8:57 PM on Monday, March 21st, 2022

I made it known that I expected physical exclusivity pretty early in the getting to know someone stage. Now…I started dating during a pandemic mind you…so most of us were very careful about close contact of any sort.

But until we were physically intimate, I assumed multi-dating. Even if I wasn’t. I just kept the conversation casual but clear. I was also asked by 2 men about my dating style/expectations regarding dating more than one person and for how long if so. Again, low key, but clear.

Me= BSHim=xWH (did the work & became the man I always thought he was, but it was too late)M=23+,T=27+dday=7/06, 8/09 (pics at a work function), 11/09 VAR, 6/12 Sep'd, 10/14 Divorced."If you are going through hell, keep going."

posts: 1696   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2007   ·   location: Pacific Time Zone
id 8724704
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crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 8:59 PM on Monday, March 21st, 2022

I believe someone else to be a free agent unless there have been discussions negating that fact.

This is what I believe too. If it hasn't been discussed you are not exclusive.

fBS/fWS(me):48 Mad-hattered after DD1
XWS:51 Serial Cheater, NPD tendencies
Together 25 years, Married 19
DD(18) DS(15)
DD1 (2008) COW, DD2 (2012) MOW, False R (2014) Same MOW. DD3 (2019) Webcam girl

posts: 8217   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8724706
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 Hobbyist (original poster member #55532) posted at 2:12 AM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

Thanks for the input, all! I like the advice of being exclusive once sex is involved (and of course not assuming anything until you talk about it). That seems like a much safer way to handle things, both emotionally and physically.

BH, 30's with 3 beautiful kids. Divorced in 2017 - SO much happier!

posts: 430   ·   registered: Oct. 8th, 2016   ·   location: USA
id 8725271
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src9043 ( member #75367) posted at 6:50 AM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

I think that when first meeting someone, you can explain your approach to dating if you have found this issue to be a problem. You can tell them that you are looking for a committed relationship but given your history, you do not plan to become exclusive after just a couple of dates with anyone. If you broach the subject after you have dated someone for a short period of time, she may interpret your approach as simply a way to tell her that you are really not that interested in her. Once you start having sex, the issue of exclusivity becomes front and center and can't be ignored by most people. It's either shit or get off the pot at that point.

posts: 624   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8725317
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papoula ( member #39079) posted at 8:22 PM on Saturday, March 26th, 2022

I think communication and honesty is all you can do. I would be upfront and honest communicating that you are not willing to be exclusive for a while and if that's not what they want they have the right to know and make their own decision.

Me: BS 41 years oldHim: WH 44 years old1st DDay 2013 and several others after that Married 10 yearsMoving forward with separation and divorce

posts: 143   ·   registered: Apr. 25th, 2013   ·   location: United States
id 8726075
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straightup ( member #78778) posted at 1:05 AM on Sunday, March 27th, 2022

I haven’t dated in 24 years.

When I did I never dated more than one person at a time. It’s not the only way, but it’s the only thing I’ve known myself.

From the perspective of someone outside looking in, isn’t there a difference between exclusive dating and being in a full-on relationship with all the trappings of marriage?

I wasn’t necessarily looking for my future wife when I dated back at Uni. I was looking for someone to love, I guess. I didn’t look too far ahead. It didn’t seem hard or complicated at the time, to date one person at a time, but we were all young a relatively free of baggage I guess, with a lot of time ahead of us.

It doesn’t have to be that daunting if you say ‘I’m keen on you, so I won’t be dating others, but I an going to take my time here’. It’s not like there is a job opening and you will pick between applicants. If the right person doesn’t show, there is no job to apply for.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
Mother Teresa

posts: 133   ·   registered: May. 11th, 2021   ·   location: Australia
id 8726122
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Catwoman ( member #1330) posted at 9:03 PM on Friday, April 1st, 2022

From the perspective of someone outside looking in, isn’t there a difference between exclusive dating and being in a full-on relationship with all the trappings of marriage?

It depends on what you mean by full-on relationship with all the trappings of marriage. If you mean co-habitation, certainly there's a difference between two people who maintain their own households and date exclusively vs. co-habitation. However, I've been in a relationship for nearly 12 years and we do not co-habitate. It works for us--it may not work for everyone.

I think linking exclusivity and a sexual relationship is important. I want to know that the person believes that introducing sex means exclusivity, and I definitely have had that conversation before. It's my personal boundary that I don't participate in a sexual relationship without being exclusive. That may not fit another person's perspective.

Cat

FBS: Married 20 years, 2 daughters 27 and 24. Divorced by the grace of GOD.
D-Days: 2/23/93; 10/11/97; 3/5/03
Ex & OW Broke up 12-10
"An erection does not count as personal growth."

posts: 33056   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2003   ·   location: Massachusetts
id 8727467
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Shehawk ( member #68741) posted at 3:06 AM on Saturday, April 2nd, 2022

My thoughts on dating..

I am very big on the idea of getting to know someone before committing especially given my history.

So if someone said to me that they were getting to know me along with other people that would be fine with me as long as things were platonic ish all around.


I have a full life I enjoy and I don't over invest in a fantasy relationship. A real relationship takes time to develop. Hence I would not be dropping over for netflix and chill or to drop off dinner I cooked uninvited (or writing a new last name in cursive) after 2 dates.

I would also be open to a courting type situation where someone is choosing to get to know me slowly and gradually without either of us dating other people.

Given my spiritual beliefs, I think the latter would be more aligned for me.
But I would want to know what the other people's expectations are and see if they align with mine.

So I think clear communication and alignment are important.

posts: 939   ·   registered: Nov. 5th, 2018   ·   location: VA
id 8727532
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 7:47 PM on Friday, April 15th, 2022

The time to have the exclusive or non-exclusive talk is when things begin to get physical, beyond kissing.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8729994
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