Maybe you’ve been playing the field but you’re ready to focus your attention on one guy. Or what if the two of you are “friends with benefits” and now you want more? Is there a reliable way to change the temperature in your relationship from “huh?” to “huh-huh-hot”?
Hi, Claire – I’ve been casually seeing this guy at work for about 5 months, we are good friends and we get along really well, but now it seems I am having trouble getting him to commit to me.
He’s the kind of guy who doesn’t usually date or go out with girls all the time, and after a couple of talks he has confirmed that he hasn’t been sleeping with anyone else other than me, and I haven’t either, but I have been out on a couple of dates.
Basically I want to know how I can get him to take this relationship a bit further than what it is. I’m not saying that I wanna get married tomorrow, but I do like to be in a exclusive status with him, like boyfriend and girlfriend for now. ~ Vickie
Vickie – Here’s what I think is going on for you.
First of all, if he’s not going out with (or sleeping with) any other women, he IS “exclusive” with you. You’re seeing other guys, but he’s not seeing other women, which is a little weird, but it may be simply that he hasn’t been trying to see other women. If you want to make things clear, you should talk and agree together to date only each other, then do that. However…
A good question to ask yourself is this:
WHY do you want to be exclusive? You say you’re not interested in marriage any time soon. So why are you narrowing down the options? This doesn’t make a lot of sense.
From the way you described him, you two are probably “friends with benefits.” He sees you as a bootie call or sex buddy, so it may be that you want to be more than just someone he gets naked with and maybe hangs out with once in a while.
In that case, you need to do some thinking, clarify your goals, and amp up your game.
It’s hard to turn a friends with benefits into a deeper, more connected relationship, but it can be done if BOTH partners want it.
But you have work to do first…
1. Get clear on what, exactly, you want out of a romantic relationship.
I’m not a fan of serial dating (dating only one guy at a time), but if that’s what you want for yourself and from any guy you’re with, you need to make it clear to him as soon as you can. Just don’t expect anything from a man that you’re not also willing to do.
Likewise, if you’d like to date freely without any thought of marriage or commitment, it’s helpful in your relationships to know that and share it with your partner. If you want to get married in three (or four, or eight) years, that’s also good to know when you’re making dating decisions.
My point is that you can’t make good relationship decisions unless you know what you want.
2. Communicate with your man.
Vickie, your guy probably has NO idea you want more than just casual sex. You haven’t wanted that before now, and in fact, you’re dating other guys. So it’s up to you to find a way to share what you’ve been thinking about and what you’re aiming for.
3. Decide how long you’ll date someone before you determine whether he will/won’t work out in the long term.
If you plan to “settle down” three years from now, then there’s no reason to be dating a guy who is committed to playing the field for the next ten years, right? And if you’re dating a guy who is only interested in casual sex when you want a powerful, committed relationship, you’ll need to be ready to move on if that’s not something he also wants.
You need to have a timeline in your head for that, otherwise you may end up waiting indefinitely on him, and missing out on other great opportunities.
How Liza aced this transition…
My friend Liza wanted Kyle to get more serious about her and she was willing to roll the dice and walk away if she lost her gamble. So she invited him out to eat at a fancy restaurant, her treat. During dinner she was her most beautiful, sexy, radiant self, and she casually named some of the sincere reasons she really liked Kyle and thought they were great together. Then, during after-dinner Irish coffees, she made her move.
“I’ve been toying with the idea of transferring to the Florida office,” she told him. “I like it here okay, but I’m not sure I see much future for myself here. I would love to live near the ocean. Plus maybe I’ll learn to surf…”
His first reaction was surprise. They had not been exclusive, but he immediately thought she was leaving him, and he asked her straight out about it. “What about us?” he asked her. “I thought we had something pretty special.”
Liza played it cool. “Do we?” she asked, smiling over her coffee.
And all of a sudden they were having THAT conversation!
This ploy could totally backfire on you, but in Liza’s case, she had nothing to lose. They were friends with benefits, nothing more. But once she made it clear she was ready to move on, he wanted to shift gears with her rather than be left behind.
Vickie, you could do this too, if you wanted to. My best to you no matter what you decide!
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