He doesn't want to be exclusive, but he isn't seeing anyone else

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 07, 2014 1:34 AM GMT
    I've been dating this guy for almost two months (well, seven weeks) and everything seems to be going well: our dates are always great and never awkward at all and often end in sleepovers and/or sex. We've learned a lot about each other, have watched each other's favorite movies together. He initiates texts pretty frequently and even sends links to things he knows I'd like. Stuff like that. All sounds like we're heading to relationship-land, right?

    Well, I finally got the balls to ask him yesterday if we were exclusive because during our date he said he didn't remember something I brought up (that he was ticklish when I tried to rub his back) and he said: "That must have been some other boy" and I said "Actually, I've stopped seeing other boys... what do you think about that?" and he said "Well, I haven't met anyone since I met you. But I do check my messages [implying grindr/scruff/okcupid] time to time."

    I mentioned that I really liked how things have been progressing and that I've been glad there's been no pressure but I did wonder if what he means by saying that he hasn't met any other guys is that we're exclusive?

    His response wasn't ideal: he said that he hasn't met any guys and hasn't been seeing any other guys but he likes that there's no pressure and if he DOES end up meeting someone else he'll let me know and expects I would do the same. And that he really likes what we have going on at present but understands that some guys don't like things to stay the same.

    He could tell I wasn't completely pleased and asked what I was thinking and I said "Well, I'd hoped that you were ready to become exclusive because I'm not all that interested in seeing any other guys. I'm not looking to define us as 'boyfriends' today or anything, but I WAS ready to move to the next phase and be exclusive and if that goes well then down the road move onto the relationship phase, but it sounds like you're saying you're not ready for that yet?"

    He said that no, he wasn't, and said he didn't even know what the social norm was for going into the next phase and that for some people--I said I didn't either.

    I clarified further saying: "So, you like the way things are now, and don't want to be exclusive, but is that permanent? Or could that evolve and change down the road and eventually we WOULD end up being in a relationship?" And his response was again less than ideal: "Well, nothing is permanent."

    Hmph.

    Strangely, the rest of the date that night/this morning went as good (if not) better and more romantic and sweet than ever.

    So before you all jump on the "he's just not that into you" bandwagon, I have to say I don't really think that's the case here. He makes an effort to constantly show me through little things when we're apart and all the regular things (always wanting to kiss and cuddle and hold hands) when we're together. I'm pretty comfortable thinking that he IS pretty into me.

    So what's going on here? He is much younger than I am, so maybe it's a simple matter of him not wanting to be rushed into anything? Or perhaps his friends have all warned him to not rush into anything?

    Speaking of his friends, his best friend (with whom I assume he has talked about me) Facebook "liked" a selfie I took of the guy and me. I have to think that indicates that the guy I'm seeing hasn't painted the situation as "yikes, I'm dating a guy I'm not all that into" or whatever.

    So help me discet this please, and feel free to ask more detailed questions.

    TL;DR VERSION: I've been dating a guy for 7 weeks (and everything is going VERY well) and when I asked to be exclusive he said he wasn't ready for that yet. But seven weeks is long enough to be ready, right?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 07, 2014 2:00 AM GMT
    He's a decade younger than me.

    His last relationship (from what I can gather) was quite a while ago (little less than a year ago maybe) and that boyfriend turned out to be a cheater and an alcoholic. So I can totally understand if he wants to make sure I don't have any serious flaws first.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 07, 2014 2:04 AM GMT
    Don't worry about time constraints and speed limits.

    Enjoy what what you have NOW and the future will take care of itself.

    Don't rob yourself of a tru present by fretting over the past or trying to manipulate the future.

    It didn't work for Napoleon ... It won't work for you.

    Good luck and enjoy!!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 07, 2014 2:09 AM GMT
    All sounds good to me. Don't rush him. Enjoy what you have now. If you don't want to date anyone else now that's fine. Play safe since he hasn't (yet?) committed to exclusivity. You have to decide at what point it is that you can't continue dating him without some commitment to exclusivity. Perhaps that point might be after you find yourselves saying "I love you" to each other without the utterance feeling forced or unnatural. Good luck!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 07, 2014 2:12 AM GMT
    danlport saidBut seven weeks is long enough to be ready, right?

    Seems like a balancing act between not being too pushy or clingy but at the same time letting him know what you're thinking.

    Everybody's different. There's no specific time period for "long enough" that can be assigned.
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    Nov 07, 2014 2:27 AM GMT


    Commitment of any kind makes some men feel claustrophobic. I had to learn to let those ones go. Glad now that I did.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 07, 2014 2:27 AM GMT
    a Decade?
    NICE
    You go boy
    Where were you at at his age?
    You still had a good date, he didn't run for the door; so I think you'll be fine.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Nov 07, 2014 2:34 AM GMT
    A "decade" when you are 28 and he's 18 is huge, I would think he just isn't ready to say yes, he may not be mature enough yet or simply comfortable with the whole process. I'd suggest not defining "parameters" at this point and let it remain a bit unstructured.
    I personally wouldn't want that, but probably a wise approach.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 07, 2014 2:41 AM GMT
    Normally I would say give it another month and if you still felt that way then its probably just a friends with benefits deal. Now throwing into the mix that he's only 18 ... you shouldn't expect much out of the relationship.
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    Nov 07, 2014 2:48 AM GMT
    You mentioned your situation in another thread and I remember telling you I thought you were turning him off by trying to get him to commit too soon. And now I'm even more convinced I was right. It's been seven weeks, not seven months. And even after he told you how he felt, you once again pushed him by asking more probing questions. Keep this up and you'll crash this plane before it even leaves the runway. Stop trying to rush into a relationship and just let things develop naturally. And start dating other guys!
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Nov 07, 2014 3:43 AM GMT
    Eighteen is too young for most people to commit to a lifelong relationship. Not saying it doesn't happen, but it's like living life on fast forward. I think the fact that he's taking it slow actually seems mature for his age.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 07, 2014 12:34 PM GMT
    I don't mean to be rude but is it maybe that he does likes you but feels like he could get someone better and therefore is not willing to commit into a monogamous relationship? Or maybe he's just not into monogamous arrangements at this time? Some people like to feel without strings attached, especially when they're young. Don't rush him into making a decision because that'll drive him away, as others have said enjoy what you're having now and stop worrying about defining what you have. With time you'll both get there hopefully. Hope everything goes well for you. Cheers!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 07, 2014 1:51 PM GMT
    Enjoy the moment, for as long as the moments last. Could be another 7 weeks, 7 months or 7 years, only time will tell. You both seem like you're able to advocate for yourself and express things clearly - so keep doing that and see where it leads.
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    Nov 07, 2014 2:21 PM GMT
    He is too young to settle down and he has told you that point blank. Points for your communications skills but see other guys to take the pressure off of him and derail your obsessiveness.
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    Nov 07, 2014 2:23 PM GMT
    Alpha13 said He is too young to settle down and he has told you that point blank. Points for your communications skills but see other guys to take the pressure off of him and derail your obsessiveness.

    This.
    Why not believe what people say when they tell you stuff?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 07, 2014 4:43 PM GMT
    Depends from each person I think. I am not guru in this, but the guy is not stressed and enjoys his life. He has met you, he likes something in you, the time spent together is cool for him.

    You must remember, that in each relationship one person loves other more, it can't be equal.

    As I was reading your statement, I got idea, that he is not yet thinking taking your friendship to the next level, he is happy at the stage he is, but you are willing to go further.
    Either leave it now as it is, because he is not in a rush and thinks you as a good choice to hang out, but from other side I dunno if that is a good thing that still he is chatting with other man out. I don't get reason why he is doing? He likes attention from other guys, or he misses contact spent with you, so he decides to have a chat around.
  • SilverRRCloud

    Posts: 872

    Nov 07, 2014 5:21 PM GMT
    You are probably dealing with a guy who actually belongs to a different generation than yourself. 10 years is more than half of his life, we are talking about.

    You subscribe to a more "classical" kind of an exclusive LTR that you are planning to build up with your new BF. You also have had 10 more years on him to sow your wild oats. He may or may not be willing to forfeit this experience at this stage of your dating (7 weeks and counting). It is easy to see his point.

    That he is so cautious is actually a great testimony to his wisdom and integrity at the gentle age of 18. You should not underestimate this.

    Put absolutely no pressure on him in terms of going exclusive. He aptly demonstrated that he ain't ready and willing at this time. Make sure that he sees all the good sides of being in a functioning relationship with you. Allow him to learn that there are tons of guys out there who will be happy to have sex with a cute 18 y.o.,and move on the next morning, leaving him exactly where?

    I am not suggesting that you should go on an endless hold on pattern. You have got your life to live, and you have got your objectives to reach. Choose a reasonable time span for him to grow up, and warm up to the idea of going exclusive. If he stalls, you'll have to either move on or accept the idea of being in a non-exclusive relationship with him.

    SC
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 07, 2014 7:48 PM GMT
    Honestly, I'm 18 and I would be afraid to commit only because your age group is much more experienced than mine and sometimes it's the fear that you'll be too old one day. Plus he is probably fairly new to the whole club scene and such, and still isn't legal to drink at a bar and that has hinged his experience with the whole dating thing. I wouldn't rush it or pressure it, which it seems like you're not, because of I was, I would just walk away.

    Everyone is different though...... I guess
  • mybud

    Posts: 11829

    Nov 07, 2014 9:38 PM GMT
    You're in two places...You're probably over the bars, and he wants to experience it. You want stability...He wants adventure. Let him go and find out things for himself. He may return and be grateful you gave him freedom when he needed it.That's all I got man...All the best.
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    Nov 07, 2014 11:34 PM GMT
    Thanks for all the great advice. Some of your great advice could have been even better had I listed my actual age on here. icon_razz.gif I'm 33 and he is 23. Which is still pretty young, but not as "yikes, only 18?!" young.

    Also a few clarifications: he's not really into gay bars and such (neither am I). I'd describe him as an old soul. He is pretty conservative, not politically, but in his demeanor. And according to him (and his OkCupid profile) what he is ultimately looking for IS an LTR and love and all that jazz, and he is not at all interested in an open relationship or anything like that, and he doesn't like hookups/"meaningless sex". We are on the same page about all of that. But because of his very "old soul" logical-style personality, I think he has some preconceived notion that dating should last x number of months (I'm guessing at least more than 1.5 haha) before committing. I don't really work that way. I like very few guys I meet and none of them really ever get a second date out of me, and so the fact that he's now had eight or nine dates with me means something to me, it means I'm ready to move forward.

    I really am getting that I need to not put any pressure on him about being exclusive though at this point. I will not bring it up again for... how long exactly? Should I NEVER bring it up again and wait until he does? Or should I bring it up again after another month or so?

    I guess I'm asking: how long is too long for me to be waiting? If we both continue to not see other guys, how many months later should I give up on us ever moving forward?
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    Nov 08, 2014 1:55 AM GMT
    danlport saidThanks for all the great advice. Some of your great advice could have been even better had I listed my actual age on here. icon_razz.gif I'm 33 and he is 23. Which is still pretty young, but not as "yikes, only 18?!" young.

    Also a few clarifications: he's not really into gay bars and such (neither am I). I'd describe him as an old soul. He is pretty conservative, not politically, but in his demeanor. And according to him (and his OkCupid profile) what he is ultimately looking for IS an LTR and love and all that jazz, and he is not at all interested in an open relationship or anything like that, and he doesn't like hookups/"meaningless sex". We are on the same page about all of that. But because of his very "old soul" logical-style personality, I think he has some preconceived notion that dating should last x number of months (I'm guessing at least more than 1.5 haha) before committing. I don't really work that way. I like very few guys I meet and none of them really ever get a second date out of me, and so the fact that he's now had eight or nine dates with me means something to me, it means I'm ready to move forward.

    I really am getting that I need to not put any pressure on him about being exclusive though at this point. I will not bring it up again for... how long exactly? Should I NEVER bring it up again and wait until he does? Or should I bring it up again after another month or so?

    I guess I'm asking: how long is too long for me to be waiting? If we both continue to not see other guys, how many months later should I give up on us ever moving forward?


    Whatever you decide is right for you is your answer. Take what he is saying about himself at face value and try to avoid over-analyzing or thinking you can manipulate him and have a happy result. Once you have reached your own time limit tell him that either things need to change by mutual agreement, or you will move on. Then act accordingly.
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    Nov 08, 2014 2:24 AM GMT
    danlport saidThanks for all the great advice. Some of your great advice could have been even better had I listed my actual age on here. icon_razz.gif I'm 33 and he is 23. Which is still pretty young, but not as "yikes, only 18?!" young.

    Also a few clarifications: he's not really into gay bars and such (neither am I). I'd describe him as an old soul. He is pretty conservative, not politically, but in his demeanor. And according to him (and his OkCupid profile) what he is ultimately looking for IS an LTR and love and all that jazz, and he is not at all interested in an open relationship or anything like that, and he doesn't like hookups/"meaningless sex". We are on the same page about all of that. But because of his very "old soul" logical-style personality, I think he has some preconceived notion that dating should last x number of months (I'm guessing at least more than 1.5 haha) before committing. I don't really work that way. I like very few guys I meet and none of them really ever get a second date out of me, and so the fact that he's now had eight or nine dates with me means something to me, it means I'm ready to move forward.

    I really am getting that I need to not put any pressure on him about being exclusive though at this point. I will not bring it up again for... how long exactly? Should I NEVER bring it up again and wait until he does? Or should I bring it up again after another month or so?

    I guess I'm asking: how long is too long for me to be waiting? If we both continue to not see other guys, how many months later should I give up on us ever moving forward?



    I can't help but get the feeling you're more interested in caging him into the
    "boyfriend" label than actually getting to know him and enjoying each other's company. You're old enough to know you can't possibly know someone in seven weeks. And no, if you try to corner him in another month your result will be the same, except by then you're likely to scare him off for good. You're acting like the 23 year old and he's the one trying to make the adult decisions. Confidence is sexy but you don't seem to have much in yourself or this potential relationship.
  • SilverRRCloud

    Posts: 872

    Nov 08, 2014 6:00 AM GMT
    danlport saidThanks for all the great advice. Some of your great advice could have been even better had I listed my actual age on here. icon_razz.gif I'm 33 and he is 23. Which is still pretty young, but not as "yikes, only 18?!" young.

    Also a few clarifications: he's not really into gay bars and such (neither am I). I'd describe him as an old soul. He is pretty conservative, not politically, but in his demeanor. And according to him (and his OkCupid profile) what he is ultimately looking for IS an LTR and love and all that jazz, and he is not at all interested in an open relationship or anything like that, and he doesn't like hookups/"meaningless sex". We are on the same page about all of that. But because of his very "old soul" logical-style personality, I think he has some preconceived notion that dating should last x number of months (I'm guessing at least more than 1.5 haha) before committing. I don't really work that way. I like very few guys I meet and none of them really ever get a second date out of me, and so the fact that he's now had eight or nine dates with me means something to me, it means I'm ready to move forward.

    I really am getting that I need to not put any pressure on him about being exclusive though at this point. I will not bring it up again for... how long exactly? Should I NEVER bring it up again and wait until he does? Or should I bring it up again after another month or so?

    I guess I'm asking: how long is too long for me to be waiting? If we both continue to not see other guys, how many months later should I give up on us ever moving forward?


    Only you know "how long is too long?"

    Do not put a numerical value to it. Enjoy your relationship as it is, and make sure that it does not stall your life. Once you start feeling that you are getting stuck in an endless loop, try again in a friendly, reasonable way. You, too, have the right to know, where your life may be going toicon_wink.gif

    Recognize the fact that the monogamy can be reached only if both partners agree to it. Not before. When it comes to human relationships, the least common denominator is what usually works. For whatever his real reasons may be, your present bf is leaving all his options open. He may have profiled himself as someone who is looking for a monogamous LTR but he certainly meant this on his terms, i.e. in his time. Do not allow him or anyone else to take you and your emotions for granted. If he still goes around checking his Grindr, and chatting with other dudes, why shouldn't you be doing the same?

    SC
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 08, 2014 1:50 PM GMT
    Kudos to both of you for being so open. This guy seems to have a good approach to life and relationships.

    Only you can decide what's right for you but from my age/vantage point, something that is honest and brings joy should be savored in the moment (as others have said).
  • MarvelClimber

    Posts: 511

    Nov 08, 2014 4:03 PM GMT
    Dating a much younger guy is going to come with some hiccups. 23 is still pretty young. He's told you that he's with you now and isn't seeing other people. He's still exploring. The best thing you can do is show that you trust him; don't put him on a leash. If you guys are moving into a new phase, allow yourself to sense it. Planning a relationship as if it was a work project kills the spontaneity.