Has Dating Become Too “Loosey-Goosey?”

Name: Confused on Dating |  | Location: Manhattan , Ny |Question: I met this guy at a party, instant attraction. We went out to dinner and many drinks, I was so attracted to him and tipsy, I brought him back to my house and we got busy.  Since our first night, we continued to go out to nice dinner and drinks 3 nights a week and usually back to my house and a couple times his house.  We must have went out 12 times now in the past month. Here’s the issue.  I spent the night at his house twice, he only spent the night at my house once. WHY DONT DUDES SPEND THE NIGHT?

Ok, next thing… so after another nice night of dinner, and drinks, we go back to my house and conversation comes up that I ask him if hes sleeping with anybody. He responds that i’m the only one hes sleeping with without a condom.  I said “Ok, what about with a condom… he said one girl. I dont have a girlfriend. He mentioned that he doesnt want a girlfriend because he just got out of a 3 year relationship.  Im confused. Im not sure what to do at this point. Im not into sharing. I think this changes things for me.  I do like him.  But I dont think I can handle chilling at home thinking “is he banging that other chick”. I guess this is what guys do when they arent exclusive?  At least he was honest right? Is he doing what other men dont do and be upfront? I know the dude is digging me… but to what point?  I guess my options are to bounce or continue with this… What is the norm? |Age: 36

 

Holy balls. Okay. I need a moment.

First of all, what’s with the bareback sex? Ok, wait. I know the answer to that. I do. I’ve done it. I like it. I don’t mean to get judgey. But we both know that’s risky. Please don’t be that reckless with yourself.

Since our first night, we continued to go out to nice dinner and drinks 3 nights a week and usually back to my house and a couple times his house.

Uh huh. Swell. But drinks and dinner do not a relationship make.

Here’s the issue.  I spent the night at his house twice, he only spent the night at my house once. WHY DONT DUDES SPEND THE NIGHT?

There are many reason they don’t spend the night. The main one being..they don’t want to. They’re not with you for the closeness or intimacy. There with you because you allow them to have sex with you without a condom and probably don’t push them to integrate you in to their lives in any substantive way. 12 dates? Have you met his friends? Ever been out  somewhere other than dinner or drinks? Do you do things that involve actual interaction and stimulation? Or do you two just wolf down some food, toss back a couple drinks and then screw? You’re wondering why he’s not making effort or showing signs that he truly cares about you. That’s why you’re confused. You actually believe he’s with you because he has feelings for you. So many of us say it all the time…men don’t need to have feelings for someone just to have sex with them or spend time with them. They don’t.

He responds that i’m the only one hes sleeping with without a condom.  I said “Ok, what about with a condom… he said one girl. I dont have a girlfriend.

Well, let’s think about this. He rarely spends the night and he’s sleeping with someone else. So..he could have a girlfriend. You really don’t know either way, now do you?

I know the dude is digging me… but to what point?

Until the point where he a) gets bored with you b) feels like you’re approaching that point where you’ll ask where things are going or c) meets someone he does want to commit to. Could that person be you? Anything is possible. But the fact that he’s telling you he’s sleeping with someone else tells me he has absolutely no designs on having anything real with you. In fact, he could be making that up strictly to keep you from getting attached. He’s making sure, by not staying over and by telling you he’s sleeping with someone else, that there is a separation of sorts between you and him.

I guess this is what guys do when they arent exclusive?  At least he was honest right? Is he doing what other men dont do and be upfront?

I’ll stop you here. You’re trying to make this guy seem better than he is and trying to convince yourself you mean more to him than you do. You’re rationalizing your decision to continue sleeping with him. You don’t have to rationalize it. You want to keep sleeping with him, do it. With a condom. And keep dating. Just know that there’s an expiration date here. You have no idea if he was actually being honest. Don’t assign characteristics to him like that to make him seem more ideal. You asked a question. He answered. That’s what we’re supposed to do. We’re supposed to be honest. Don’t praise him for doing what he’s supposed to do. That will quickly spiral in to you making excuses for bad behavior.

I guess my options are to bounce or continue with this… What is the norm?

The norm appears to be what you’re doing. Waiting it out. Waiting for the other shoe to drop. And it will. But this is what “traditional dating” has become. It’s all very loosey-goosey. Lots of people are not signing on the dotted line and closing the deal. Many of us are constantly in transition. We’re apprehensive about locking ourselves in to something. Personally, I think this is about our fear or ambivalence towards intimacy brought on by the lack of faith people have in monogamy and marriage. I mean, every week there’s a new story of someone cheating on their appears to be ideal mate. So many aspects of our society are tenuous. The economy. The state of family and marriage. Our government. Many of us have just lost faith. We don’t know who or what to believe because everybody has a different angle or experience. There’s no set formula that works.

I want to say that you should hold out for a guy that can offer you what you want. The problem I have with that is that I don’t really know if that’s realistic anymore. My friend S. was telling me about her online dating experience and how the last five guys or so all seemed to be looking for just sex. They’d take her out several times, hold her hand, act romantic. But they all, when asked what they were looking for, revealed their lack of desire for a serious relationship.  She met a guy that she’s been seeing for a couple months now, the only one she slept with, and he’s told her that he isn’t looking for commitment. But she likes him. And they have fun together. And the sex is great. And they’re going away for the Fourth of July.   She asked me if the fact that she wasn’t walking away from her meant she was desperate. She’s a few years younger than I am, 37, and the reality is..this behavior that this man is exhibiting is common. Getting a man or woman our age to commit and give up their freedom…it isn’t easy.

As long as there are men and women out there willing to engage in these situations, they’ll continue.

The question is, is there really any harm in that? People will check in and say the OP slept with him too soon. Well, this guy probably would have stuck it out a few dates and she would have slept with him eventually and things would still be going the way they’re going. She could have asked him earlier what his deal was and who else he was seeing. Maybe at that point he wasn’t sleeping with anyone else. Or he could have lied because he didn’t know her well enough to know how she’d react. There’s just no way to sniff these people out except to lock it all up, reveal little and wait. If he is one of those relationship guys, he’s likely to bail or lose interest because he’s tired of doing all the work or feels she’s not emotionally available.

So what do we do?

Since traditional dating is changing, doesn’t it stand to reason that the traditional idea of commitment should also change? I think that’s the real issue. It’s not that these men and women are apprehensive about getting emotionally intimate with someone. They’re just not comfortable with the idea of traditional commitment or obligation or monogamy. Okay. What’s the happy medium? Is there one?

I’m as confused about that as everyone else. I wish I had an answer. I don’t. I don’t mean to make this sound dour. I still believe that there are many people out there want to find one person with whom they can invite along on their journey through life. But I also believe that “long -term commitment” means something different to everyone.

What if we were to throw away all those terms and words? How would that change how we date? What if we took that stuff off the table or at least downplayed it? What would happen, do you think?

 

 

 


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66 Responses to “Has Dating Become Too “Loosey-Goosey?””

  1. 2 cents Says:

    bounce

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    • breebree Says:

      Moxie I agree with u on this one….in the end this person has to do whatever she feels is right for her….if that means walk away then walk away and don’t look back….
      Or keep things as is as long as she knows what she is dealing with and she is cool with it.
      Since she doesn’t sound cool with this “situation” she does need to tell the guy that and end this and never again sleep with a man that doesn’t clearly say he wants a relationship and wants to be with one person and wait for a man who shows her he is serious about her and only her. Unfortunately easier said than done.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Christina Says:

    To the OP, I’d say bounce. You’re not looking at this with the mindset that will make you okay with a casual situation for very long.

    Moxie brings up some really interesting points. Maybe we do need to entertain a paradigm shift when it comes to commitment. When I was dating, I ran into quite a few men (in their 40’s and up) who flat-out said they were interested in marriage/long-term, but since I wasn’t at the time, I didn’t stick around to see how serious they were about that. I guess there are still people who take the traditional view; they’re just harder to find than they used to be.

    Generally speaking, until all this is sorted out, it’s probably best to be clear upfront with what you want (if you know), and if you insist on exclusivity, be sure to have that talk sooner rather than later to make sure you’re on the same page.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  3. Sue Says:

    Dating/commitment’s changed only because we’ve allowed it! I learned what Miss 36 year-old is learning by age 24…so c’mon. He wants you for sex only because you made it really easy for him to get. Stop accepting men who treat you like less than you’re really worth!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  4. Saj Says:

    I think it would end up like logan’s run with the destruction of the family unit and kids growing up with even less stability.

    Whatever the OP is doing isn’t working. Why is it so hard if a guy tells you he isn’t looking for a relationship to go it was nice meeting you and continue dating? Girls are getting told to settle all the time one looks, height, money and now they are being told to settle on commitment too? Meh that’s just a self feeding cycle of disappointment.

    Your friend going away for fourth of July with a guy she digs who told her he doesn’t want a relationship is a mistake. She’s having a bad run and wants to waste more time on go nowhere relationships?

    What happened to being assertive? These career girls are assertive in their jobs but they aren’t assertive in stating their basic needs without fear that a guy will bail. If they want to start turning their dating lives around ditching the fear is a good first step.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 1

  5. Vox Says:

    I really don’t think that traditional dating is changing. I think that some people believe that to be the case, and also that those same people seem to be very frustrated daters. I was one of those people for a while, but once I embraced traditional dating things became much better for me. I’m not wasting my time anymore like the OP.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  6. Selena Says:

    The OP wrote: “Im not into sharing. I think this changes things for me. I do like him. But I dont think I can handle chilling at home thinking “is he banging that other chick”.

    She gave herself the answer. She feels this way after dating him for a month, she’s not going to get any happier with the status quo if she becomes more attached. If she wants exclusivity she can ask for it – and be prepared to end it if his answer is no.

    I’ve become annoyed with usuage of the phrase LTR. What does it mean? How long is long? A year? 5? A lifetime? Since no one can predict how long a relationship will last saying “I want an LTR” doesn’t say much. What is commitment? Monogamy? Living together? Legal marriage? Maybe instead of throwing away all the words and terms, taking them off the table, we should become more precise about what it is we actually want. And communicate that directly. And be willing to walk and keep looking until we find the person who wants the same thing.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

    • Dimplz Says:

      Amen. I said on my first date, I’m dating because I want to be married; I’m not dating for the sake of dating.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  7. Angeline Says:

    I don’t think our ideas of monogamy or commitment have changed, I think what has changed is the timetable for when we believe we’ve achieved it. Boyfriend/girlfriend status after a few weeks. Moving in together after a few months. The timetable for all of it has become hugely compressed. I think that’s what scares guys away from it more than anything, although there are other issues (financial risk, fear of boredom, loss of freedom).

    Do statistics and the bad behavior of public figures really influence the average person’s decisions? I don’t believe so – we all think we can and surely will do (whatever) better. Case in point: Who’s the best driver you know? The increasing divorce rate can surely be used as an excuse to bolster an already present decision to avoid marriage, but I doubt that it sways anyone who wants to be married.

    I get that women who want kids feel pressure as the years advance, but that drumbeat in the background of questions, proofs, analysis of every action and word to speed up the headlong rush to exclusivity/monogamy/marriage has got to be oppressive to the person on the other end of it, like the theme from Jaws playing in the background of every date. It seems as if the goal is trying to get to some magical point where everything is all nailed down and set in place. Which is just impossible anyway – nothing in life is nailed down.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  8. D Says:

    “Do statistics and the bad behavior of public figures really influence the average person’s decisions?”

    Yes. Maybe not in an individual sense, but in a macro sense. Divorce was once scandalous, but as more celebrities did it, the culture at large felt like it had permission as well.

    That was the influence of mainstream media. Social media makes it even worse IMO. Not so much that it encourages divorce or cheating per se, but it creates a sense that people are out there doing exciting stuff while you’re sitting at home bored.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  9. Kurt Says:

    “He responds that i’m the only one hes sleeping with without a condom.”

    I don’t believe that statement for one second! Also, she’s really putting herself at risk by sleeping with him like this when apparently they aren’t even in a real relationship.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

    • C Says:

      Examples of acceptable compliments (choose the one that does not belong):

      a. “You have a great smile.”

      b. “I’d wear a rubber with you because you appear to be cleaner than the other women I am currently sleeping with”

      c. “I really enjoy spending time with you”

      (The correct answer is ‘b’, as in BOUNCE!)

      By the way, “normal” is relative. Go with your gut and do what feels right.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  10. nathan Says:

    I think it is all changing. The goals of relationships. The roles. The way people prioritize it. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it has brought a lot of confusion, and definitely some flaky, disrespectful behavior that might have been less prevalent in the past. For all my talk advocating more liberated roles in dating and relationships, I still have some of that “traditional” in me. I’m not into casual relationships. I wouldn’t waste time with a situation like the OP’s. I want to find a woman to be with for the rest of my life if possible.

    But people seem to forget that what we call “traditional dating” hasn’t been around all that long. Maybe a hundred years at most. Women were considered property in a marriage not too terribly long ago, and courtship was mostly about a man establishing a family and a woman finding a man to take care of her. And the families of both parties were often highly involved in marriage decisions. What we call “traditional dating” is really a product of the rise of the nuclear family, the decline of emphasis on the extended family, and the social/economic mores that underpin it all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  11. pistola Says:

    This is an interesting thread.

    IME people who are commit are those who are, generally, interested in commitment and what commitment brings. They’re people who are interested in depth a bit more than breadth. In quality rather than quantity. In going deeper, in being known, in knowing others.

    Those people don’t think twice about commitment. They take it for granted that this is what happens and don’t have a problem with it. It sure has never worked that I’ve seen to try to “get” anyone to commit because what this usually means is that the non-committing person is not someone who values the kinds of things the committing person does. Or they’re not compatible enough for it to even be on the table.

    I guess in the case of Moxie’s friend I wonder what it is she really wants, what she hopes for. Something fun for now? Something long term? If she’s confused herself about what she wants then that doesn’t help. As for the OP, she already knows the answer to her question about what to do.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      “They’re people who are interested in depth a bit more than breadth. In quality rather than quantity. In going deeper, in being known, in knowing others.”

      I disagree and think this is a very idealized view of people who supposedly “want commitment.” People who want committment, in my experience, are more driven by jealousy and control than in any desire for depth or character or a substantive connection to someone else. That’s why its so easy for these people to commit – you don’t get to know someone that well in a few dates, and yet they’re ready to commit. Often serially, with multiple “long-term relationships” or marriages. That’s not evidence of substance, it’s evidence of superficiality in my opinion. In my experience, the women that want a committment from me are doing it for superficial reasons.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 17

      • pistola Says:

        DMN, the thing about committing after a few dates is something that came completely out of your own head and has nothing to do with what I wrote. It isn’t about timeline. It’s about the interest in commitment IN GENERAL and a value set. One that you don’t happen to have, so I don’t think you are really in a position to comment on it from the inside.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

        • DrivingMeNutes Says:

          No, I said your view of committment was idealized and not reflective of real life people who (say they) are interested in committment. Of course it is from my head – based on my experience.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

          • pistola Says:

            With all due respect, DMN, you’ve made it clear over and over again that you are not one of the people I’m talking about who’s interested in commitment. That’s not your model. You do not get what makes those of us interested in it tick. Sorry.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

            • DrivingMeNutes Says:

              See my point below. Why does it matter to my point whether I’m personally interested in “commitment.” But since it seems to matter to you, I can assure you that I’m far more interested in substantive relationships with people of good character than most people I know. I just don’t care about romantic exclusivity.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

              • Treifalicious Says:

                So, DrivingMeNutes, are you saying that you are interested in substantive relationships but don’t care about romantic exclusivity? So then, does that mean that you can be in a subatantive relationship where you and your partner love each other, but it’s OK if she sleeps with other people?

                Hmmm, this arrangement sound like it could work for me. Would you like to be MY non-boyfriend?

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

        • Cristina Says:

          Pistola, can you please explain what you mean by “depth”?
          Looking back in history, I can almost exclusively recall either celibate hermits (monks, prophets) or people with very tumultuous love lives (philosophers, artists) to be the deepest of thinkers.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Selena Says:

        DMN,
        Curious, what do you consider superficial reasons for women who date you wanting a commitment? And how do you define commitment?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • DrivingMeNutes Says:

          Jealousy and control are the primary drivers. As for me pesonally, I’ll let you use your imagination (hint, I’m Brad Pitt).

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

          • Selena Says:

            DMN,
            Okay uh, Brad. So what do you think about my supposition that most singles WANT to find that one person they connect with? Does that fit you?

            And again I ask, how are you defining commitment?

            BTW, odd seeing these posts from you Brad since you’ve been in two committed relationships and have six children.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

            • DrivingMeNutes Says:

              “So what do you think about my supposition that most singles WANT to find that one person they connect with?”

              I agree that most singles say they want to find the one person they connect with. How they objectively behave is an entirely different story, as you point out (below). Your point is that behavior if often inconsistent with people’s stated goals and, you think, this shows that people make exceptions to their goals for convenience or whatever. That’s where I would disgaree. To me, the incongruent behavior demonstrates the real underlying motivation – not the exception.. In other words, the stated goals are a “lie.”

              What I say or what I want for myself is entirely irrelevant to my criticsim which is based on my observations and went to people’s motivation for committment – I just don’t think it’s really about seeking depth of character, as Pistola said. If people were genuinely seeking depth of character, you would observe very diffferent behaior, in my opinion.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

              • Vox Says:

                That would make a great topic of discussion: why do you seek commitment?

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

              • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

                I think what the OP is really up against is what many women in her/our age range are up against. Sorry, but once you’ve hit 37 or so, you’re slogging through the mud. That diamond in the rough you seek is going to be harder and harder to find. Especially now. Which means women either have to do some real compromise and adjust their attitudes and must haves or just accept that they’re not going to find anyone for some time.

                I keep hearing story after story of unemployed/marginally employed men living off of women. In some cases, I think the women they are with either don’t care that the guy is unemployed and have accepted the economic shift. Or the women they are with are just so wanting of a partner that they turn a blind eye to the guy’s possible lack of ambition and character. These women are the ones benefiting from the downturn. They’re not fighting it. The women who are expecting to find a man in his late thirties/forties who is gainfully employed AND emotionally available AND willing to commit AND willing to be exclusive AND is single at all are the ones that struggle. Especially the women who rely heavily on online dating. Sorry, but those guys are just not online, and if they are, they’re in high demand and it’s a competition to win them. So women have to be willing to compete. Yep, it feels demeaning and all, but that’s what we’re up against. How do we stand out, how do we present our pitch more effectively, etc. You’re literally competing for a spot. But few women want to do that because they think it’s degrading. If you’re not willing to do that, then get off those sites or enjoy them for what they are…great ways to find dates, but not relationships as you define them.

                Get off the online dating sites. Focus on friends of friends or meeting men through activities. But also accept the fact that finding a man who has all these qualities is an uphill battle and decide which one of those things you can do without.

                Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

                • breebree Says:

                  Now Moxie I agree with u on this….dating truly is a competition nowadays….and it’s nothing to be ashamed of….people have been competing for the love and affection and time of others since the beginning of time…..and will probably continue to do so until the end of time….it’s perfectly natural..

                  Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

                • Vox Says:

                  The women who are expecting to find a man in his late thirties/forties who is gainfully employed AND emotionally available AND willing to commit AND willing to be exclusive AND is single at all are the ones that struggle.

                  Most never-married women in this age group haven’t accepted the fact that they are shopping for a new man on the used goods market. At this stage of the game, dating is like shopping for a new suit at the Salvation Army. Expectations need to be brought in check if you want a man who is all of these things – you have to look for the sturdy suit that is relatively clean although slightly worn and frayed. It may be the wrong color, you may have to settle for a pants suit although your heart is set on a skirt.

                  You aren’t going to find Mr perfect (the above list who is also good looking, tall and lives in a neighborhood you desire) because those guys are already taken. Those are the gals who struggle with dating – the ones who want a emotionally healthy, commitment minded man who has superficial qualities they swear they don’t care about but actually do. Perhaps it is easier for me as I am used goods myself.

                  Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

                  • nathan Says:

                    Actually, Mr. Perfect never existed. Nor did Ms. Perfect. It’s all a big story we tell ourselves. That’s one of the problems in much of these kinds of discussions. People either want every last detail to fit their image, or they’ll screw around and be casual with a whole bunch of people who aren’t even close, but offer some comfort, fun, and attention in the short term. In the end, it makes a lot more sense in my view to figure out what your values are, what key qualities you want in a partner, and then go from there.

                    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

                    • Selena Says:

                      Agree with Nathan. Mr. & Ms. Perfect never existed outside of imagination. This was true in your 20’s. Remains true at any age.

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

                    • Charlie Says:

                      This is a pretty large reason I was turned off by Match.com even though I should be in the right age range (mid twenties) for it. The number of women who specified their ‘perfect matches’ down to eye color drove me up the wall. In the end it turned me off enough I didn’t even really want to bother trying.

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

                  • Vox Says:

                    Next time I will be more explicit when I use a figurative term in a facetious manner. I thought that was obvious but I guess not.

                    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

                • Selena Says:

                  Wow Moxie. Well said. All of it.

                  Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

              • Selena Says:

                Drivingmenuts:

                No. I think people to who want connect, and a form of commitment (what that may mean to them) DO behave congruently. Boring to reiterate, but people ARE getting married every Saturday; they DO choose to cohabitate; and they ARE forming exclusive bf/gf relationships and seeing where that leads.

                Curious as to why you think your criticism is irrelavent to what you want -or what you say you want – for yourself. Me thinks it’s completely relavent.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

                • DrivingMeNutes Says:

                  “Me thinks it’s completely relavent.”

                  I see. Well, I’m convinced! Perhaps you’d like to explain why it’s relevant to my observations (similar to how I explained the basis for my response to you?) Or, better yet, don’t. We don’t know each other. It’s fine with me if you think my otherwise logically impenetrable comments somehow carry less weight because of the person you imagine me to be.

                  Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

                  • nathan Says:

                    DMN – your views might have some accuracy, but they certainly don’t offer the whole picture. People with great intentions make mistakes, do contradictory things, and choose the wrong people sometimes. It often takes a lot of self reflection and at least some experience to learn how to match your intentions with reality.

                    Are some people shallow and liars? No doubt. But plenty of others are not.

                    Are some people using commitment as a trip to control another? No doubt. But plenty of others are not.

                    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

              • Crotch Rocket Says:

                “the incongruent behavior demonstrates the real underlying motivation – not the exception.. In other words, the stated goals are a ‘lie.'” I’m not sure I’d go so far as to call it a lie, which implies malicious intent. These people may truly believe what they say their motivations are but are confused why they don’t act in accordance in practice. This, to me, shows a general lack of self-awareness, which is linked to how culture conditions us to want (or at least think we want) certain things not in our personal best interests because they’re good for society as a whole.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

            • breebree Says:

              WOW at 2 relationships and 6 children……omg

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      • breebree Says:

        So Drivinmenutes what are “non-superficial” reasons for a woman to want a committment from a man??

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • breebree Says:

          disregard my question DMN since u already answered it….didn’t see it at first.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • C Says:

        “People who want committment, in my experience, are more driven by jealousy and control than in any desire for depth or character or a substantive connection to someone else.”

        Maybe this is your experience, but it is dangerous to assume that every commitment-minded person approaches their relationships in this way. Why is it so crazy to think that a person would seek exclusivity with another simply for the reason that they genuinely enjoy that connection (wahtever it may be) with each other more than anyone else? And you are forgetting that a commitment-minded person is not always just demanding exclusivity…they are offering it.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

        • Crotch Rocket Says:

          “Why is it so crazy to think that a person would seek exclusivity with another simply for the reason that they genuinely enjoy that connection (wahtever it may be) with each other more than anyone else?” It’s not crazy at all. However, exclusivity is rooted in jealousy and control: exclusivity means nobody else can have what you have with that person (and vice versa). This was rooted in male desire to not waste effort (in evolutionary terms) on raising another man’s offspring, but DNA testing has obviated that function, making it a vestigial social construct.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • Selena Says:

      I want to agree with this post, but again, how is commitment defined? Marriage? Co-habitation? Monogamous bf/gf relationship? I’ll venture most singles would like to find that ONE person they really connect with. But it isn’t easy to find such a connection so they date non-exclusively or are exclusive in relationships that prove to be short-term.

      People are still getting married every Saturday. People are still choosing co-habitation as an alternative or possible prelude to marriage. People are still choosing to be exclusive bf/gf and see where it leads. So yeah, I think there’s truth to the statement: “Those people don’t think twice about commitment. They take it for granted that this is what happens and don’t have a problem with it. “

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  12. chuckrock Says:

    I think what this guy is doing is fairly normal. I always assume that a woman I am dating is dating/sleeping with others until if/when we have an exclusivity conversation. She should be assuming the same about me whether it is true or not.

    I think his honesty in answering the question is a little shocking, not in that he was honest bit in his bluntness about the condom thing. It’s like he was trying to tell her that the sex with her was more intimate because they weren’t using condoms.

    I think she answered her own question when she said she doesn’t share. She should not be sleeping with anyone who is sleeping with others, if she can not. I’m not sure why she slept with him in the first place, if that was the case though.

    I think she has two choices here. Ask him to be exclusive, knowing full well that he is almost definitely going to say no – but at least she has closure. Or just end it. He is giving clear signs that he doesn’t want just her.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    • amazingg0477 Says:

      Interesting discussion. Just happened to talk about this exact topic with my FWB last night. After living in North America for over 2 years now (he is from Europe) he is used to what he calls the “American” way of dating. But upon arrival, he was shocked when after dating a few girls for over a month, having regular dates multiple times a week, sleeping over, meeting each other’s friends, you know – couple stuff, that using the term “girlfriend” was met with ambivalence or even horror. He caught on to the fact that exclusivity & commitment are not automatic – there must be a conversation and an understanding that yes, in fact we are boyfriend/girlfriend. Until then, you should assume that the other person is still dating other people.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  13. nathan Says:

    The whole dating other people for extended periods of time has always confused me as well. If I’m spending extended time with a woman, sleeping over, meeting each others; friends, etc – I have always shut down other options. The whole juggling multiple women thing has never made sense to me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

    • breebree Says:

      Nathan I sooooo like you…..juggling multiple partners makes no sense to me either.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      “The whole juggling multiple women thing has never made sense to me.” I’ve rarely done it, and never for an extended period of time, but I definitely understand it. People have a variety of needs, and we frequently find others that meet some but not all of those needs; it is logical to continue looking for someone else who will be a better fit or, worst case, someone who can at least meet the needs unfilled by the first. Personally, I find the logistical hassle and drama to be not worth it, but many people (both men and women) apparently think it is.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  14. trouble Says:

    I’m as confused about that as everyone else. I wish I had an answer. I don’t. I don’t mean to make this sound dour. I still believe that there are many people out there want to find one person with whom they can invite along on their journey through life. But I also believe that “long -term commitment” means something different to everyone.

    I think that we each have to define this in our own way, and that we have to be willing to talk openly about what we want. Saying to a guy, “I’m looking for something serious and exclusive” is going to scare a lot of guys away. But is that a bad thing? I don’t think it is. I think that there are guys out there who are looking for serious/exclusive too, and when they hear that from a girl, it’s now starting to sound almost novel. To be a person who knows what she wants, and who is willing to be candid about wanting things is to be a person who is that much closer to getting what you want.

    What if we were to throw away all those terms and words? How would that change how we date? What if we took that stuff off the table or at least downplayed it? What would happen, do you think?

    In my case, because I am with a guy who ultimately wants to get married, and had reached a point in his life where he was looking for someone to commit to, failing to ask for what I want would have suggested to him that we were looking for different things.

    Beyond that, though…to thine own self be true. If you want something more casual, then be casual about it. If you want something more formal, then be true to that. It is about defining what you want, and then acting in ways that are logically going to be more likely to lead to the end goal. But, before you can even start, you have to define what the end goal looks like inside your own head.

    There are a lot of areas where I am willing to compromise. I don’t need a guy to be a breadwinner. I don’t need him to make a lot of money. I don’t need him to have all his hair, I don’t need him to be suave, and I don’t need him to drive a luxury car to impress me. I don’t even need him to pay for the first date.

    But I do need someone who is honest and true, who is willing to risk it all and commit to me, and who wants to find that one person to grow old with. Those things, i’m not willing to compromise on, and I would not do so. Doing that would be me not being true to myself and my real life goals.

    Sometimes, I think women these days are tempted to be too laid back, to make things too loose and comfortable, because we’re scared of just asking for what we want, and we assume that we aren’t going to get it. We also feel lucky when a guy gives us time and attention, without a commitment or any promises at all. I think that is a sign that we don’t cherish ourselves nearly as much as we should.

    I’ve done it. And, for me at least, it was sad and kind of soul killing.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

    • breebree Says:

      Trouble I completely agree with u . Especially the last statements.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      “Saying to a guy, ‘I’m looking for something serious and exclusive’ is going to scare a lot of guys away. But is that a bad thing? I don’t think it is.” As long as it’s honest, rather than the result of cultural conditioning, I agree. And then, if the other person says they’re not interested in that, walk away. I’ve had plenty of gals tell me that (in various forms) over the years, and it never scared me off. I respect people who are open and honest.

      “To be a person who knows what she wants, and who is willing to be candid about wanting things is to be a person who is that much closer to getting what you want.” At minimum, it will reduce the amount of time you waste on people who aren’t a good fit. Some will still get through, but you’ll learn to recognize them faster and walk away.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  15. Aldonza Says:

    In this case, I’d say he isn’t spending the night because that’s a “girlfriend” thing to do…which you clearly are not.

    I know the dude is digging me… but to what point?

    Don’t kill yourself patting yourself on the back, most guys dig reasonably attractive women who give them lots of no-strings sex, with the added bonus of some pleasant dinners and hanging out.

    He’s being *crystal clear* about what he wants and doesn’t want. If you stay, you’re co-signing the “no strings” agreement. Which means, if you want to keep sleeping with him, you’re not entitled to drama or demanding anything more. But if you actually do want something more, you’re not going to get it by co-signing what he’s offering.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  16. Dimplz Says:

    1- bounce
    2- save unprotected sex for marriage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      “save unprotected sex for marriage.” Bah. If you’re both sure the other is exclusive, you’ve gotten tested together and agree on an alternate (and effective) means of birth control, go for it. Marriage is just a piece of paper; it doesn’t prevent STDs or unwanted children.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

      • Dimplz Says:

        Well that’s obviously not the case here, and its a much simpler, safe and smart way to establish boundaries.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. Devon Brown Says:

    I wanted to throw a couple thoughts in here about something very interesting. Moxie asked, “What if we were to throw away all those terms and words? How would that change how we date? What if we took that stuff off the table or at least downplayed it? What would happen, do you think?”

    These four little sentences asks an awful lot and transforms the entire discussion from one about a concrete situation into a complex philosophical quandary.

    Language is a fickle beast. We adopt certain words to mean certain things. All words though are completely arbitrary. We could have called a “door” a “cragthing” and it would still be its physical object. The word itself doesn’t mean anything without knowledge of the associated object. The word becomes accepted when enough people (i.e. society) all use it for the same object.

    When we are talking about dating and love and relationships and commitment and obligation and monogamy, we start to get into a very different realm. While their may be a general concept that most people agree on with these words, there is no physical object. For example, what Person A defines “dating” as might have some things in common with what Person B defines “dating” as, but it may not be exactly the same. So when Person A and Person B start spending time together and one of them brings up the word “dating,” it is possible that two different definitions are being used. And then the incompatible word begins being used.

    We can’t spend our whole lives trying to define completely every little word we use, just to make sure we are understood. But when we are trying to communicate ideas that are not tangible, we have to take that extra step and make sure everyone is “speaking the same language,” so to speak.

    These issues with how we use language in communication is inherent in the use of words itself. In fact, it is used often by hack television sitcom writers to manufacture a misunderstanding.

    So, turning away from the philosophy of linguistics for a moment, what would happen if we stripped away all these words? The feelings, the ideas, the concepts, the morals, the emotions, etc. would all still be there. We just wouldn’t know how to talk about it. Sure, it would save us the hassle of over-analyzing things people say, but that doesn’t mean the questions wouldn’t still riddle our own minds. We would have no one to share it with because we wouldn’t have the language to help someone else understand. (As a thought exercise, just change all of those words regarding romance to something non-sensical, like “smurf.” You would hopefully get some understanding out of context (based on our similar experiences), but you would never know for sure if what the other person was saying was the same thing you mean. Person A says, “I smurf you.” Person B smiles and says, “I smurf you too.” But Person A really means that they love Person B and Person B really means that they only lust for Person A. The emotions and thoughts are still there, but the ability to communicate it, as limited as it may be, is shot.)

    And if we took away words altogether, we still have the basic human desires and instincts. We would just revert to club-bashing, grunting, and dragging each other back to our caves. Don’t believe me? Just look at how many questions there are about “does he/she like me?” or “did I do the right thing?” or something like that which are based on the fact that the two people are NOT TALKING…

    So, in my opinion, I think downplaying those words or removing them or changing them is actually the opposite way to go. Given the uncertainty about how people use those words, and the discomfort so many people feel with those emotions and thoughts, I think the only thing we can do is to try to define those words better. Break them down into their smallest components. It may have to be defined between two people at a time. Words change meanings over time, these words might just need a revolution to push them along.

    Otherwise, we would all be in the dark, looking for a way to communicate with anyone else. So we won’t be alone.

    Well, maybe it wouldn’t be that different after all.

    Thanks for indulging me.
    – Devon

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  18. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    “As a thought exercise, just change all of those words regarding romance to something non-sensical, like “smurf.” You would hopefully get some understanding out of context (based on our similar experiences), but you would never know for sure if what the other person was saying was the same thing you mean. Person A says, “I smurf you.” Person B smiles and says, “I smurf you too.” But Person A really means that they love Person B and Person B really means that they only lust for Person A. The emotions and thoughts are still there, but the ability to communicate it, as limited as it may be, is shot.”

    I’ve always wondered how smurfs manage to communicate so well with their seemingly crippling lack of vocabulary. Fortunately for me and my avatar, they have a similar deficiency in their understanding of copyright law. Magical creatures, yes, but very dumb.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      That occurred to me, but every time I tried to figure it out, I got distracted by how there were so many smurfs but only one smurfette.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  19. Marshmallow Says:

    This is a little off track but I am baffled both of them are having sex without a condom. Not just for the disease but in his case, he’s awfully trusting about her using birth control. A baby can tie you down really fast.
    I had a friend who was having anal sex bareback she was dating casually. Too stupid for words.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  20. WO7 Says:

    My issue with this post, is the advice given seems to contradict with several overarching themes that are common to this blog.

    1. Don’t ever assume you’re exclusive until you have the talk. Yet it seems like everyone is shocked that this guy is sleeping with someone else.
    2. A month is an awfully short amount of time to become exclusive. Yet everyone is telling this girl she should throw this guy out.
    3. Don’t pry into someone else’s business before you are willing to have the exclusivity talk with them. Yet no one seems shocked that this woman was asking questions that weren’t appropriate to ask of someone she hasn’t had the talk with yet.

    I mean, I have to give the guy kudos for being completely honest. That has to be a good sign. Why doesn’t the OP tell him that she is ready to take it to the next level and both be exclusive. If he’s not willing to do this, then she can walk.

    But it sounds like the issue is more routed in jealousy. She just doesn’t want to think he might be with someone else (which is exactly why she should have never asked). But does she really want to be serious with this guy, or does she just want to possess him? If she wants to be serious, then she should just ask for it!

    As for the people who seem to not understand juggling multiple partners. I will try to explain it from the point of view of the men who do this. At any moment, you can be at various stages of development in a relationship. Let’s say I have known one woman for two months. We are having a good time, but things are not ready to go to stage 2. I know another woman for 3 dates. Why would I throw away girl number 1 for girl number 2 when girl number 2 might disappear in another date or 2? Or perhaps girl number 2 turns out to be someone you’re less interested in once you get to know her better? It’s called hedging your bets, and as a guy, I think this is more important then being exclusive with everyone you have sex with.

    Or how about an example that women might find more sympathetic. Let’s say I want to become exclusive with girl number 1, but she’s not ready yet. I continue to date girl number 2 because it makes it easier to wait for girl number 1 to be ready. It also makes it less painful if girl number 1 gets rid of me.

    Both situations have happened to me.

    The bottom line, the main reason woman do not understand men who want multiple partners, is because it is so much easier for them to get to a point where they are having sex with someone, or to rekindle an old flame to tide themselves over. If I was a woman, I could date one person exclusively, and the day after we broke up I could either find a new partner, or I could rekindle an old flame. Maybe if I had that power as a man, I would not ever have multiple partners. But alas, I can not do that as a man. You have to build things up before you start having success.

    In addition, I swear that the confidence you get from having multiple options is attractive to women in some way. Because I find myself presented with more options the more options I am currently holding.

    In my defense, when I commit to a woman, I am 100% faithful. I have never cheated on a woman I was exclusive with, and I have been in 5 exclusive relationships in my life that span 7 out of the last 14 years. I also do not lie or use manipulation when I am in a non exclusive relationship.

    Anyway, I’m prepared for the barrage of thumbs down from the women on this blog. But it is what it is. You can’t make something not true just because you don’t want it to be.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      “The bottom line, the main reason woman do not understand men who want multiple partners, is because it is so much easier for them to get to a point where they are having sex with someone, or to rekindle an old flame to tide themselves over. If I was a woman, I could date one person exclusively, and the day after we broke up I could either find a new partner, or I could rekindle an old flame. Maybe if I had that power as a man, I would not ever have multiple partners. But alas, I can not do that as a man. You have to build things up before you start having success.”

      There is truth to this. The problem is that women don’t see it this way. They don’t really care about getting easy sex. So, the irony is that, although women do have the power you say they do, they don’t care. They don’t want it. Everyone wants what is scarce. Men want sex. Women want exclusivity and marriage. Neither can get it easy.

      “I swear that the confidence you get from having multiple options is attractive to women in some way. Because I find myself presented with more options the more options I am currently holding.”

      This is the “manipulation” you deny in your next paragraph. As I said, scarcity creates value. It’s confidence, yes, but it’s really the fact that you are less available and less invested in each woman which makes you more desirable. I will take your word that you are not doing it on purpose but when we say people are “manipulating,” that’s pretty much what they’re talking about.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  21. Maargen Says:

    DMN:

    “It’s confidence, yes, but it’s really the fact that you are less available and less invested in each woman which makes you more desirable.”

    I see youpost this sentiment again and again, and I really wonder how many women agree with you. Is this a guy thing? If you meet two women, and all else being equal (ok…let’s assume that was even possible between two people, which I know it isn’t), the one you’d be more interested is the one who has LESS time to spend with you?? Is this interest based on the connection between you and the woman in question (which I think is the most important factor in a relationship), or is this interest based on a totally irrelevent outside factor: your perception of this woman’s desirability to others?

    I can’t imagine being attracted to someone who isn’t into me. What would be the point in that? And by being into me, I don’t mean that he says it – I mean that he behaves as if he is: he wants to be with me, he wants to get to know me, he gets my jokes, he treats me well, he makes time for me. The guy who gives me the impression that I’m on some list of options quickly becomes very uninteresting to date (No hard feelings, though – I put them on the “friend” list. By the time they realize that they squandered away any chance they had of being anything else, we’re really good friends).

    It seems to me that availability leads to more time together which leads to greater intimacy. Scarcity leads to less time together and less intimacy – not to mention confusion. Where’s the allure in that?

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