Very often, a woman can be in an exclusive relationship with a great person only to learn at some point, to her utter shock, he wasn’t very committed and that he wants to move on. He’s not into it anymore. The relationship is done. What happened?
After personal experience and coaching for years, I’ve discovered that being exclusive with someone does NOT equate to having a commitment. Some men just find it more comfortable and enjoy dating just one woman (and we love them for that!); some really can’t handle or are turned off at the idea of seeing multiple women at once. Even though this type of man will be more likely to want an exclusive relationship early on in the dating process, it doesn’t mean he is ready for commitment either.
What is commitment then? By commitment, I mean some kind of announcement of partnership along with living together. In a relationship, you’re still getting to know one another to see if you’re compatible for that next step and it’s relatively easy, though maybe not emotionally, to get out of it. Sharing a home together requires real effort and pretty much says that he’s ready to wake up next to you everyday.
The thing is when you’re first dating, you don’t always know how things are going to turn out. After all, there aren’t even guarantees if you are married.
So how do you keep a clear head and stay grounded while you’re waiting to see if his intentions are serious and you’re getting to know him?
Be Upfront About Your Long-Term Desires in the Beginning
Though this idea isn’t popular, I’ll say it again. It should be pretty clear to him from the start that you’re ready to find your soulmate partner. (You’re not saying it’s him yet, you’re just saying, that is the person you’re looking for now.) Any guy that can’t handle that will be scared off nice and early – thankfully.
Have an Open Heart but Maintain Healthy Boundaries Even if You’re Exclusively Dating
Do you remember “The Rules?” They’ve become a joke now, and I don’t really agree with them, but the purpose was to teach women how to have boundaries before they are married (and you should still have them in marriage as well). I don’t like blanket rules for everyone but I suggest having a limit as to how far you will invest in the relationship until you’re in the commitment you’re heart is longing for. Your boundaries may have to do with how physical you are together, how much time you’re spending together, how much you’re getting emotionally invested, or even whether or not you choose to change your Facebook status yet. Whatever they are for you, I just recommend you have them and don’t go “all in” until he clearly is.
Observe His Actions Not His Words
“Talk is cheap” is a cliché for a reason. Anyone can say anything but only if someone’s actions are backing it up does it really mean anything. “Action is proof to the Universe that you’re serious,” says coach Christie Marie Sheldon. The same is true if he knows you’re his soul mate. He will introduce you to his family and closest friends. He will make space for you in his life. He will take steps to have a committed relationship with you. He will behave like he wants to spend everyday for the rest of his life with you.
Continue Doing the Things That Make YOU Happy
All the things that brought you balance and joy before you met him: meditation, spiritual practice, exercise, family, socializing, hobbies, etc. – keep doing them because they bring you happiness that has nothing to do with him and the outcome of your relationship together. These are the things that give you joy. Additionally, these things are what made you so darn attractive to him to begin with.
There are no guarantees in life and relationships are no exception. Ultimately, you don’t have control over whether someone chooses to commit to you or not, however, if you continue practicing these four tips, you will feel more empowered and in control while dating until you know for sure that he is your soul mate partner – and even after.
What do you think? Have you experienced being exclusive without real commitment? Has anything else worked for you to maintain your balance?
Please comment. I’d love to read your thoughts below!