Need help understanding men? If you wonder about meeting friends and family and getting to an exclusive relationship, this post answers one woman’s question about the guys she is dating. Getting to exclusivity with a man requires handling the situation delicately and knowing when to throw in the towel.
Dear Ronnie The Dating Coach for Women,
My question is about understanding men and how to handle being not being incorporated into a guy’s life.
I am dating two guys. I could fall for either guy, but while both say they want to be exclusive, neither seems to want to incorporate me into his life. As a result, I have not agreed to be exclusive with either. The first guy I’ve been seeing on and off for about a year. He is long distance (5 hours away in a different state) and neither he nor his relatives or friends are local to me. The closest person he could introduce me to is his sister who lives about 2 hours from me. His children are adults who he says have told him they don’t want anything to do with anyone he dates since divorcing his mother years ago.
The second guy is local and I’ve been dating him for about 3 months. His only local relative is his young son. Local guy’s other relatives live in a different country. He says his reason for not introducing me to his son is that the boy’s mother creates instability by introducing him to a revolving door of guys she dates. Local guy did not marry the mother of his child and has never been married.
Neither guy ever mentions any particular friends who are involved in their lives. What I want is an exclusive relationship with one man and to build a life together with that man. I feel badly about dating both guys, but can’t bring myself to be exclusive with either since neither seems to offer the relationship I want by incorporating me into their lives. What should I do?
Thanks for your advice,
Hi Kathy Lee,
I’m thinking that it’s possible neither guy is the right man for you.
If you’ve been dating the long distance guy for a year without him asking for exclusivity, he’s not going to ask. It’s been way too long. When a man doesn’t incorporate you into his life or introduce you to people, that’s a sign he doesn’t see you as right for a serious relationship. But, it won’t keep him from wanting to see you. Unfortunately this relationship is probably going no where.
You’ve been dating the second guy for only three months and at least he is local. I can see what he says about his son and the revolving door. But not sure what to think about his not mentioning any friends. Have you asked about his friends? I don’t mean to alarm you and this might not be the case, but sometimes married men will behave this way. They have to shut you out since meeting anyone would let his other woman know about you right?
Now maybe local guy is just taking things slowly. Have you tried introducing him to your friends?
You can also tell him what you are looking for in a relationship. Don’t say, “We need to talk.” Just look for an opening in the conversation and tell him that you want to be in an exclusive relationship with the right man and hope it leads to marriage (if you want that) or living together (if you want that). Keep the conversation short and don’t come across as demanding – just state what you want.
Then, stop talking! Wait to hear what he says. This is a great way to understand men and learn what they think or want. If he doesn’t say much, ask him what he wants. The direct approach doesn’t always produce a direct answer, but if you see him squirming, that let’s you know he’s not comfortable with the idea. That does count as an answer.
What I recommend is putting a limit on how long you will see a man without exclusivity so you don’t waste too much time. Pick your number – maybe 4 to 6 months. You don’t tell the men you date how long they have to come around, just keep that to yourself. You can tell a man that you will only be in a non-committed, non-exclusive relationship for so long (without mentioning how long) before you will need to move on.
Be aware, discussing exclusivity too soon can make a man uncomfortable and he may walk. But, that is an answer too right? After the third month of consistently seeing a man, you can mention that you only stay so long waiting for exclusivity. If he can’t handle you simply stating what you want in this non-demanding way, he’s probably not the right man for you.
Exclusivity is a critical step in the development of any relationship.To understand men, know that if he doesn’t want to take down his online dating profile or doesn’t want to discuss being exclusive, don’t keep waiting around hoping things will change.
Wising you love,
Photo Credit: David Silver