dating communication and exclusivity

A communication hiccup, followed by exclusivity

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Unfortunately, Jack and I experienced a hiccup in our early dating communication. Well, to be specific, he didn’t realize a hiccup occurred, but it did.

He didn’t reply to my text, but over lunch, he called. Even better. He told me his parent had taken a turn for the worse in the hospital – he’s been there every day for a few hours. But he went on to tell me his ex-girlfriend (with whom he is still sharing a house, but imminently moving out of) called the police on him to say he had assaulted her.

Wait. What?

I won’t recount the story here but based on what he said, it seemed baseless. He wasn’t being charged. But I did say it seemed she was very angry with him if a small incident with opening a door too hard ends up in the police getting involved.

He wanted me to know because he thought I should know, in case it turned into anything. While I find it disconcerting to date someone who can be at the end of a messy breakup, I also liked he was being open about it.

Unfortunately, he said, he wasn’t going to be able to come visit me later that night. Given what happened, he was accelerating his move-out date and needed to pack so he could get the heck out of the house. With packing and visiting an ill parent, he simply couldn’t make it work. I completely understood.

Later that afternoon I sent him a text saying I felt bad he was dealing with so much crap at the same time, and that I appreciated him calling today to let me know.

He replied:

I want to be with you, so you should know the good the bad the ugly. I don’t ever want to hear I hid something from you.

I like your openness. It will also help me be less guarded than I may normally be this early on.

I will say be yourself. I only have one request. Maybe not even a request but a demand. Although what we have is in the early stages. I don’t dip myself into anyone else’s pool and I expect the same courtesy. I am not saying you are or will. I’m just putting it out there.

Hmm. Exclusivity already? I stared at my phone, cognizant of the time I was taking to reply. I knew he didn’t like to date more than one person, and I also knew that given the potential we had, I wasn’t comfortable actively seeking out others.

But to give up Lewis, Clark, Jake, Ian, and Tony? Hmm. Jack didn’t even know what he was asking. I texted Hy and she joked it wasn’t like I had to tell 10 men… but then I reminded her there were five. Granted, Lewis and Clark are both rather quiet at the moment, Ian isn’t traveling much these days, Tony is just Tony and there’s no real consistency there anyway, and Jake is chill and would be fine if I told him I’d met someone.

I figured it wouldn’t take more than a few weeks with Jack to see whether there is real potential, and I knew it was unlikely any of the above-mentioned horses in my stable would even notice.

But knowing he had been on the site, and the nagging wonder why he chose not to reply to my text the night before, still had me off kilter. So I replied:

That was actually what I wanted to talk to you about last night. I hid my POF profile on Sun so as not to get new messages, and I told those I was chatting with that I was focussing on someone else…because I want to be respectful to you since I heard you say you date only one woman at a time. I wanted to know whether you were intending to do the same (or what kind of interactions you still wanted to have there) because I don’t think you have done so. I have a couple of casual infrequent lovers who have kept me going from out of my mind with my libido…I haven’t seen them since I’ve met you. But the bottom line is I like you enough to agree to your demand 🙂 and frankly would have done so anyway. Meaning, my preference is to focus on you. You’re a “fuck yes” so I don’t want to dick around with anyone else!

Perfect then. I actually went on POF yesterday to try to figure out how to suspend my profile but couldn’t figure it out. Good. Tell me how so I can do it please please help me lol.

I explained the limitations of the site and how he could do what I did. We agreed it was a crappy website. I also told him “when I was cleaning up my profile yesterday I saw you’d been online and it admittedly gave me an internal hiccup.”

He didn’t apologize, which I found interesting… not because he’d done anything wrong, assuming it was actually that he was going online to try to hide his profile. But if it was me, I would be apologizing for inadvertently doing something that caused someone pain. Different styles, perhaps.

We talked about the ego boost we get when someone messages us on the site. I told him if he wanted that ego boost, that was fine, but it was a slippery slope and would go both ways. He clarified he wasn’t looking for an ego boost from anyone other than me.

We both had to get back to work but I felt better after our conversation. Any seeming conflict between his POF activity and what he told me was settled in my mind. While I didn’t love his occasional lack of text responses, it’s always been followed with a phone call and frankly, he’s got a lot of crap going on and it is still very early days between us.

He asked if he could see me the next night and I agreed.

And when I hung up the phone it hit me – I’d agreed to be exclusive with someone, something I haven’t done in 18 months – after just three dates. Yikes.

33 thoughts on “A communication hiccup, followed by exclusivity

  1. I think this all sounds reasonable. I like him. The assault thing is a Wtf thing, but it doesn’t raise alarm bells in my gut like HWWNBN did. I’m looking forward to more Jack tales.

    • Glad to hear. To me the only thing is it seems it’s less amicable than he originally portrayed… assuming he’s telling the entire truth about what happened, then it’s a serious overreaction. And if he’s fudging a bit, I say it means then they are both angrier than he lets on.

      • Well, seeing as we’re women, and tend to “know” how women can be… I’d be willing to accept that she might have had a meltdown on him simply because he’s moving out and they’ve broken up. Some women get the crazy, sometimes. Doesn’t mean he is without blame. In any case, keeping your fibers fine-tuned – you’ll see if there’s anything to it, if there is.

    • Sorry to alarm you 🙂
      I wrote a post about him called (I think) “How he Feels”.
      After almost 2 months of zero contact, I’ve seen him a couple of times but it’s very different than before as I am able avoid going down any kind of rabbit hole with him. But now with Jack, while I will still answer the phone when Tony calls, I won’t see him. Which is just fine.

  2. I wasn’t worried at all!
    The thing that got my (negative) attention was the request/demand that you don’t dip into any other pools since he isn’t. It’s not the kind of thing that everyone would agree to at this point. What would he have done if you were not ready?

    • You’re right, many people don’t date just one person at a time and therefore also don’t ask for exclusivity. While it’s early, I am also okay with having the focus on just one person – but that’s because I rather like him. With someone I was on the fence about, there’s no way I would agree to it.

      • I guess it’s the presentation that bothers me. To demand it is a bit much. How about, “Hey Ann, I’m not dating anyone else to focus on you. Do you think you’ll be doing the same for me.”

  3. Yeah… yikes! What have you done with Ann and where is she? Seriously, though, I have a question: When it comes to exclusivity, does it have to be on your terms or is the offer of exclusivity something that makes you feel warm and fuzzy? I know enough about you that if we were dating, I wouldn’t dream of asking you for something you might not really be willing to provide – not that you couldn’t be exclusive or that you don’t want to be but you also very much enjoy your freedom to act as situations call for. But not every guy you might meet knows that and it would probably freak them out if they did. So when a guy “demands” exclusivity “right out of the gate” as it were, are you really okay with it… or does it kinda rub you the wrong way?

    • It definitely didn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy because I think, while definitely we are both into each other, it wasn’t about me as much as he is someone who doesn’t like to date more than one person at a time. On the other hand, I’m fine to focus on him – there were 1-2 other interesting prospects on POF but I’m okay at this point to invest what could only be a few weeks to gauge potential.

  4. I would have had the same reaction to his request for exclusivity early on, and would have agreed to it for the same reasons you mention.

    Still, I thought it was odd that he was making assumptions without really discussing it.

  5. I’ve been reading you faithfully for years (because you write well and we have a lot in common). More than once in your recent posts, his choice of wording has felt off to me. I worry that you are agreeing to exclusivity quickly, especially without knowing how often he will make himself available to see you. And he strikes me as someone who would not be comfortable with your sexual history (please correct me if I’m wrong and that he at least knows about recent lovers). He just feels controlling to me and I worry that he will be intimidated and insecure with a sexually confident woman who may want more than him. But I hope I’m wrong.

    • He is making himself pretty available (at least so far) so that’s not been an issue. You’re right about the sexual history concerns, although he has heard some of my stories and didn’t seem too fussed. He’s also been on AFF and had various partners so he’s no prude. But I do worry perhaps he’s a bit too controlling for me. It’s on my radar for sure. I don’t think he’s at all intimidated – he’s got a strong ego.

What do you think?