Dear Gems from Jen,
I met a really nice man on JDate a couple of months ago. We went on a date and felt an immediate connection. At the time, I was casually dating some other men and told Mr. P that I was not looking for an exclusive relationship. I had just broken up with my boyfriend of 7 years and was not ready for a commitment. He seemed to be fine with my choice. I never asked him what he did when we were apart and vice versa. As we started spending more time together, we became intimate and we made a deal that we would be exclusive in that regard only for obvious reasons. He recently found out that I was going on a date with somebody else and kind of freaked out on me accusing me of being deceitful because I told him I was meeting a friend. Mr. P and I do not have an exclusive relationship. He has never shared with me what he was expecting or what he wanted from me. He recently told me he needed some time to think things over and would not talk to me until then. I feel like a scolded child who has been given the cold-shoulder treatment and I don’t like it. Did I do anything wrong? I am new to dating and puzzled by all the drama involved in relationships building. I do like Mr. P very much and would be sad to see him go but I don’t want to sit around and wait for him to decide to talk to me again. Please help me to sort out my feelings.
– Hurt and Confused
Dear Hurt and Confused,
I can understand why you are feeling this way, however I can also see Mr. P’s point of view as well. The two of you made a deal, but it seems to me a big piece of the deal was left out of the negotiations.
I’m curious as to why you would agree to be exclusive sexually, but not exclusive in the entire dating arena. It sounds to me as if you need to decide what it is you are looking for in terms of a relationship. If you are looking to date casually, then by all means, date casually. There is nothing wrong with not entering into a committed relationship until you feel ready.
You cannot have it both ways. Sleeping with one person, on what sounds like, a regular basis, then going on casual dates with other suitors makes for a very confusing message, not only to you, but to Mr. P as well.
Once two people become physically intimate with one another the relationship tends to change. You both had expectations that were not discussed and now both of you are feeling hurt and confused. My guess is Mr. P. believed you were not dating other people and now feels betrayed that you were not completely honest with him. Even though your pattern with this man was to stay out of each other’s lives when you were not spending time together.
Do yourself and Mr. P. a favor and let him know exactly what you expect and want from this relationship. You need to be honest with Mr. P and tell him exactly where you stand. You stated that you liked Mr. P. a lot, so pick up the phone and have a candid conversation with him. Honesty is the best policy here.
Gems from Jen