You’ve met an amazing man or woman and enjoyed numerous exciting dates together. You click. They’ve met your friends and you’ve met theirs. A new relationship is budding into something real, and you’re not dating anyone else. You want to take things to the next level and be exclusive… but this sentiment isn’t shared. What do you do when the person you like doesn’t want to be exclusive, but you do? Can you transform their interest into something more, or should you walk away and avoid setting yourself up for being hurt?
Male or female, if you find yourself on the short end of the exclusivity stick, it can be a painful place to be. You want more than the person wants to give – and you most likely have more powerful feelings than they do, putting you at a disadvantage in the romantic ring. Whether your date knows that you want to be exclusive or not, there are certain steps you can take to move the relationship along – either to a more committed place or to break-upsville. Either way, you’ll be better off.
Do not get needy. You must fight your inner urges to get closer by creating distance between you and your wannabe boyfriend or girlfriend. Stop taking their calls so often, and stop being so available all the time.
Do not get hung up on the idea of “The One.” In reality, there are numerous people out there that you can connect and fall in love with. If you want a soul mate, get a dog.
Do not mistake feelings of anxiety for butterflies. Romantic anticipation and stressful anxiety are both stimulating experiences. Don’t get them confused; if your date isn’t calling you back like they said they would, those aren’t butterflies in your stomach – it’s stress.
Do not give words more importance than actions. If your date says they want to be with you but only calls after midnight, then you are most likely just a booty call – no matter what sweet words accompany the act.
Do curate outside interests, aka get a life. Enjoy personal hobbies and time with friends. You will either stoke your date’s interest and draw them closer, or they won’t even notice and you can say “buh-bye” (with a raft of outside hobbies and plans with friends to fall back on).
Do have respect for yourself as more than a “friend with benefits.” If you want a real relationship, stop giving your date all the benefits of a relationship (sex, attention, affection, Friday night company). Why should he or she bother with the hassle of a committed relationship when you are providing all the positive benefits of one already?
Do date other people, even just for fun. Seeing you with another date is often all it takes to turn a relationship up a notch to exclusive. If not, you’ll be gathering new prospects for your dating future.
Do ask what they see in the future for your relationship, in a non-confrontational way. Perhaps you’re just the person to date until something better comes along; if so, you’d probably rather know that now than later. If communicating on this level frightens you, you’re probably not ready for a committed relationship anyway.