Question: I began dating this guy two weeks ago, but we didn’t establish we were exclusively dating until last week. The day before we were exclusive I messed up and had sex with my ex boyfriend and told the guy I am dating now. He feels really hurt, because he thought that we were exclusive. Although, I considered we were dating, I hadn’t made the emotional commitment in my head 100%. Am I in the wrong?
Technically, you did nothing wrong.
You didn’t cheat on the guy you’re dating. But if it were me, I’d be wondering why – if I was into a guy enough to go exclusive after 2 weeks – I would even want to have sex with someone else? Everybody is different when it comes to things like this. For me, when I’m into someone else, really into them, regardless of whether we’re exclusive, I just don’t have the desire to be with anyone else.
Your guy has a right to be hurt. Nobody should have to feel like they have to justify how a situation or revelation affects them. We feel what we feel. Nobody can dictate that for us. He’s hurt for two reasons. One, because you told him, which was rather thoughtless and insensitive. Two, because you slept with someone else. Those are two actions that tell me that maybe you’re not as into this guy as you claim to be. That’s not an accusation. Just an observation. What I hear are instances of self-sabotage and possible lack of interest.
The lure of commitment is really strong to many men and women. We like the idea of it. There’s a sense of security that comes from it. The challenge is putting this idea into practice. For me, emotional commitment takes longer than 2 weeks to develop. I place far more importance on emotional monogamy than I do on sexual monogamy because attraction is often times instant and unquestionable. True emotional intimacy takes time to develop. Committing to someone after two weeks seems sort of impulsive, given the specifics of this situation.
I don’t understand how, 24 hours before you agree to commit to someone, you weren’t 100% ready to become exclusive. Did the sex with your Ex push you over the line into the 100% Zone? How were you able to be in a head space to sleep with someone other than the guy you’re dating and then, a day later, turn around and say you were ready to swear off all other options?
I guess there’s the possibility that you needed to get something out of your system. That seems plausible, if not completely immature. The idea that we need to exorcise ghosts from our pasts and erase people from some bucket list before we settle into something exclusive is someone else sounds healthy. But it’s not. Thinking that way just indicates that you fear you might be missing out on something and will only agree to commit once you know the other options won’t come through.
As for telling this guy what you did, you really have to ask yourself why you did that. There was just no need. Plus, if you really cared about that guy and you knew the night with your ex was a one time thing and you could skate by under a technicality, you would have instinctively been looking to protect his feelings and would have lied. That that instinct didn’t kick in should tell you something about how you feel about this man and the situation.
I’ve said this countless times: 100% honesty, 100% of the time does not belong in a relationship. Diplomacy is what matters.