By Megan Weks
Are you stuck in an exclusive relationship but not really ready for a monogamous one on one? While we all yearn for that special someone to be just ours, jumping into exclusivity too soon can be damaging, especially to women. Read the expert relationship advice below to help you make healthier dating decisions.
Expert Relationship Advice to Help You Stand Up for Your Best Interests in a Relationship!
What angers me the most about being a relationship coach is the same reason I am a relationship coach: women are breaking their own hearts. Yesterday, three women reached out to me in desperation. They each have a man but they are feeling frustrated and nervous. Their stomachs are in balls of knots, they are crossing their fingers for luck, and they are extremely anxious. Why? Because their needs are not being met in their new relationships. Interestingly, these women happily agreed to jump into the situations they now find themselves in. Didn’t they want a boyfriend? Afterall, that was their goal. Now, however, they feel trapped in exclusivity with men that may not be right for them.
Related Link: Expert Dating Advice: How to Handle Heartbreak
The “going steady” dating model, by the way, did not occur until the 1940s. It was born out of the desire for — and the more acceptable view of — casual sex. Before that, people would take their time to really determine if someone was a match, and then get married through a leisurely process called “courting.” The “going steady” dating model, or “linear” dating, as I call it, can be extremely disempowering for a woman who has the goal of getting married within the next couple of years.
You meet a man. You date and spend time at his place and at yours. You get close, enjoy his compliments, and share laughs. Things are going great. You feel attached to him. You are excited to finally find someone who sees what you have to offer: how special you are. You feel like a celebrity couple at first. You feel comfortable and slip into that girlfriend role with ease…heck, you’ve been waiting a while for this. You’re sick and tired of being “out there.” Now it’s your turn.
Or, is it…?
Suddenly, he starts to get a bit lazy. The communication isn’t what you feel it should be from a boyfriend. He said he wasn’t dating others, and you aren’t supposed to, either. However, you don’t know if you’re seeing him this weekend or not. You’re playing the waiting game…again. The nervousness, the anxiety-stricken feeling, the knots in the pit of your stomach return. You start thinking that you’re running out of time and that you’re back in the waiting game. You want this all to be over. It’s a familiar feeling, and it’s awful.
“How did I get here again? Why is dating, and men, in particular, so difficult? What can I do to save this relationship?” You don’t want to make plans with your friends and then have to cancel on them if he comes around. You think to yourself, if you just see him again you’ll get the magic back. So you push to see him again. You will accommodate his busy schedule. You make excuses for him. You accept less than you deserve. You lack integrity for yourself. You worry that if you stand up for yourself or push for more time, it will backfire. It’s like your fate is dependent on his next move, which is determined by a stupid little flashing red light on a digital screen. You peek at it all day while at work.
Ladies, if you find yourself in this position, get yourself out of exclusivity. Exclusivity is a trap! You have no business spending your precious mind, sanity, and time waiting for a man to choose you. While it may not be what you want to hear in relationship advice, you must get yourself back out there and explore your options. Allow a man to get to know you, and allow yourself to get to know him and his intentions deeply before you jump into an exclusive relationship.
Rushing over to his place and getting cozy is the lazy dater’s way to find relief. You both can’t wait to drop the pesky formalities of dating, jump in the bed, and experience what the relationship would be like — now. The problem with this is, the formalities are actually an important part of the courtship process, and a courtship process is exactly what you need to go through in order to avoid getting into “the exclusivity trap!”