Understanding Men: Don’t Assume You’re Exclusive

Understanding men is not always easy and exclusivity can be a challenge. In this post, I hope to help you clear up some of that confusion.

understanding menAre We Exclusive? Tips for Understanding Men

“Hi Dating Coach Ronnie,

I think I have made a mistake with a guy I met while away on holiday. We got on fab and had a few dates while away and when I came home, we made plans to see each other again. We have booked to meet up in a few weeks. We have only kissed and nothing else. Since I’ve been home, we have been contacting each other pretty much every day, both instigating texts because it’s the easiest method.

The other day however, I got a text that wasn’t intended for me and was meant for another woman because he called her ‘my sweet’. I texted him back to ask him about it and he said it was just a friend.

Sadly I overreacted. I am quite sensitive having experienced betrayal before and do feel my overreaction is connected to this. I replied that I hoped he was telling the truth because if not, there didn’t seem any point in us carrying on. It was quite late and I think this annoyed him because he responded it was too late for this type of conversation.

Because of the distance between us and the fact I like him so much, it makes me feel a little more insecure then I normally would. I left it a day to think through my feelings and then text him to say that I was sorry and that I may have overreacted. He replied to say that it was OK and we had a small conversation that ended normally. I felt a bit better. However I haven’t heard from him since, and that was 5 days ago. I know this isn’t a massive amount of time but for us it is.

 I have probably pushed him away especially as we are still in the relatively early stages of things. I have resisted the urge to contact him and I won’t, but I am dying to. Do you think I’ve blown it?

Thank you,
Holiday Gal”

Dear Holiday Gal,

Oh, this is one of the toughest parts of dating and a budding new relationship. I feel your angst and know this is worrisome. To help, there are a few things I want to go over with you about this situation. Please know I share this dating advice with compassion for you.

1. Assume He’s Dating Others

When you meet a new man and start dating him, just expect that he is seeing other women. It takes several dates to see if you have lasting potential and to catch on if the man is serious about you. You’ll need to watch for consistency in his pursuit. Does he call and set up dates at least once week if not more?

The point of dating is to get to know a man to discover if he’s worthy of more of your time and energy. That doesn’t happen in a week, it could take up to two or three months before you shift into relationship mode.

2. Exclusivity Is a Mutual Agreement

You only had a few dates while on vacation. When you got back you stayed in touch but hadn’t seen each other again. Now I say this gently, but what gave you the idea you were in an exclusive relationship? That’s quite a leap of faith.

Exclusivity is something that needs to be discussed and then agreed to by both parties. Without this discussion, you are not actually in an exclusive relationship, even if it seems like you are. The words need to be spoken or you are making an emotionally dangerous assumption.

3. Feeling Secure Comes from Within

The last thing you want to do is look for a new man to help you feel secure. The security you seek must come from the inside, otherwise you will be a victim of the whims of every man you date. You are OK with or without him. Clinging to a new man or any man is a sign of neediness which is a huge turn off.

4. The Past Does Not Predict Your Future

Learning from past mistakes is the way to do things better next time. It’s such a good thing that you recognize this is a trigger from the past. While I completely understand how a prior betrayal might leave you feeling unsure about a new romance, your past only predicts your future when you let it. That guy has nothing to do with this guy.

5. Vacation Flings Are Fun, then Done

A vacation fling is just that. On the rarest of occasions, a vacation fling might become a romance. Does that make them bad? Not at all! You had a great time with him. You opened up and made a connection. The experience helped you shed a protective layer so you could enjoy a new man.

It’s OK to hope it might turn into something more, but don’t feel too bad if it doesn’t. A holiday fling can be a wonderful, enlivening experience that you can use to attract and manifest a new man and lasting love interest. Use the positive feelings of how good it felt to be in a new romance to attract the right man into your life. You want a man who wants to date you regularly, get to know you and end up in a long-term committed relationship.

You might not see it this way, but I want to encourage you to consider the benefits. Sometimes a vacation fling is the best thing that can happen to a single gal. You had fun. You flirted. You enjoyed the romance. That’s fabulous. Now, let that fuel your desire to meet men and find the right one for you.

6. Did You Blow it?

Honestly, I don’t think that is the best question to ask yourself. The real question is “Is he the right man for me?” Right now, I’m not sure he is.  He doesn’t seem to be in the same place as you are about your connection. He is obviously seeing other women. While you apologized for flipping out, you cannot ignore that you want him all to yourself and he’s not ready. That sort of knocks him out of the running as a potential boyfriend don’t you think?

There are plenty more men out there. Good men. Men who want what you want. Don’t pressure them early on; just try to enjoy and relax. See who pursues you consistently and makes you laugh. Find out who is a good person and shares your values and interests. Don’t expect a few dates to turn into an immediate relationship. Remember love cannot be rushed, it takes time to get it right.

Here’s to understanding men and finding love,

understanding men



Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. So, she made a few tweaks and then dated 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late for Love to help other smart, successful women find love too! Her mission is to share her proven dating advice  and keen insights about men with women everywhere who are serious about finding love with the right man. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000’s of midlife women with her Love & Dating Coach services. She’s been featured on BBC’s 5 Live Radio, NBC, ABC, and Fox News, NPR, eHarmony, MSN.com, MORE.com, Connecticut Magazine among others around the world. An established author, you can find her 6 books on Amazon.

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