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He's still dating other women

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  July 27, 2009 09:42 AM

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Good morning. Thanks for thoughtful help with Friday’s letter. I’m hoping A&S checks in to tell us how she got through the wedding.

Also, DJ from Thursday sent me a nice thank you note. He said we were his lifeline last week. That is because we are awesome.

Today’s letter is from a woman dating a guy who wants to date other women. Let’s get it going.

Q: Meredith, I need your help. I have been dating a terrific guy now for over four months. We are both divorced and have been in several relationships since returning to “single” status. We spend most of our free time together -- about 5 days a week. Things are great -- we are into the same things, have similar tastes, love to travel together, etc. I truly feel we are a great match, and if asked, I am sure he would agree. I am close with his family at this point, and have met most of his circle of friends. Currently we are planning another vacation getaway.

The challenge is that for all the time we do spend together, he still insists on dating other women about once a week. This seems so odd to me, given the fact that we do spend most of our week together. In a nutshell, when we have discussed an exclusive dating relationship, he has basically stated that in the past he has just jumped into serious relationships only to come to the realization that he truly didn't love the women he was in the relationship with at the time. He wants to avoid this from happening again, which is why he continues to date and “take things slow.” He also acknowledges that at this point he should be giving the status of our relationship more thought, and is always apologetic that he has not paid more attention and been more communicative.

Now, I am not the type of person to ever give someone I care about deeply an ultimatum. It is not my style, and I feel that nags and threats accomplish nothing. However, don't you think that four months of serious dating should at least start to hint at some level of commitment? How do I balance being patient with being just a plain fool?? Plus, do I go on another vacation with someone who will only be back on the dating scene as soon as the plane lands back at Logan?

-- Ann, Boston

A: It seems odd that this guy can come up with a random person to date once a week. I guess we can thank the Internet for that.

Ann, your guy is obviously trying to delay the seriousness of his relationship with you, which is understandable. After a divorce and a few long-term relationships that weren’t quite right, this is yet another opportunity for him to fail at commitment. He’s scared. I don’t blame him.

What he’s denying is that he’s the one who’s responsible for getting serious so fast. After four months, he’s made you his constant companion, he’s introduced you to his community, and now he’s taking a trip with you. He seems to think that dating other people will counteract all that he’s done to make your relationship stronger. You can tell him that it just doesn’t work that way.

Some readers are going to tell you that your guy isn’t into you, that he’s a liner-upper looking for a better option. Maybe they’re right. But my guess is that he’s enjoying his relationship with you. I think he’s just trying to slow it down because the early stages of a relationship are the easy ones. I think he wants to preserve the beginning for as long as possible.

I’m with you -- ultimatums are not nice and they usually don’t work. What you can say to him is that he doesn’t have to date other people to slow things down. You can assure him that exclusivity at four months doesn’t mean that you expect marriage -- it just means that you’re giving the relationship a real shot. And if you can think of a nice way to say it, tell him to get over himself. I hate it when men (and women) assume someone is trying to pin them down.

Be honest and tell him that your goal is to date someone exclusively. If that’s not a shared goal, you have to move on. It's not an ultimatum, it's just the truth. You don’t have to draw a line in the sand, but you can tell him what you need to do for yourself. He can make plans accordingly. If he needs to keep dating, well, there's your answer.

Readers? Is this guy a liner-upper or a commitment-shy guy who’s trying to delay the inevitable? Share here. Twitter here. For those of you who asked, there’s some audio of me babbling on the radio here.

-- Meredith

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170 comments so far...
  1. I think after about two months - in most new relationships - a determination can be made if you want to be exclusive with each other. That being said, when I read your letter - I feel like you have completely put the ball in his court and given him all the control. My suggestion is to take the ball back a little. You know - it is likely that despite your feelings for him - you CAN find someone else that you feel the same way about AND is more ready than this guy - why not explore that a little? In turn, you won't be as avaiable for him when he wants to see you as often as you have been. If/when he asks why - take Meridith's advice and tell him what YOU want in a relationship and that you are going to be proactive in seeking it out. It is NOT an ultimatum, but rather treating yourself with respect for what you want.

    Long story short - he has NO reason not to continue dating once a week outside of you - so why should he stop? Look out for yourself a little and I think your answer will rise to the surface in your relationship with him...

    Posted by spaceman July 27, 09 10:09 AM
  1. Woah. I agree with Mer here, but:
    1. He is completely fooling himself into thinking your relationship isn't serious. Weekend getaways? "Close" with his family? That SCREAMS serious relationship. He is in complete denial. If he doesn't want a serious relationship/commitment, he should not be doing these things with you. It is leading you on.
    2. That being said, he clearly DOES want this with you if he keeps coming back to you after seeing these other women (an things mentioned in part 1). My question: Is he sleeping with them? Because that would be effed up. At least he isn't lying about seeing other women, but how much do you trust him?
    Conclusion: You both need to be on the same page for the relationship to work. So, either start dating other men (maybe that will be a wake-up call for him!!) OR tell him it has to stop. Sometimes ultimatums are the only way to go. Be fair to yourself.

    Posted by summa! baby bumma! July 27, 09 10:19 AM
  1. That's a big red flag. Four months is a little long to be keeping doors open.

    Posted by Craig July 27, 09 10:23 AM
  1. I think that 4 months of dating after a failed marriage IS TOO SOON TO COMMIT. I would not get antsy unless it had been 4 years. One of the problems of living lives based on movies, films, email and the internet is that everyone thinks you can and should pick your life partner in just under one hour and 40 minutes. Give the guy some room to breathe and let him swim in the ocean of life for a while. If you all are really great together you will be . . . . It take time to see and get to know someone. Signed a gal who's been there. . . .

    Posted by ellen d. July 27, 09 10:26 AM
  1. I think that 4 months of dating after a failed marriage IS TOO SOON TO COMMIT. I would not get antsy unless it had been 4 years. One of the problems of living lives based on movies, films, email and the internet is that everyone thinks you can and should pick your life partner in just under one hour and 40 minutes. Give the guy some room to breathe and let him swim in the ocean of life for a while. If you all are really great together you will be . . . . It take time to see and get to know someone. Signed a gal who's been there. . . .

    Posted by ellen d. July 27, 09 10:27 AM
  1. Ann, tell you what you do: invite his favorite young lady (and they're almost certainly in their 20s, let me tell you) along on your next vacation. Then really let loose and have her share a king-sized resort bed with you and Mr. Right. Everyone's a winner: Mr. Right sees that you are a new age woman not bound by outdated fantasies of monogamy; you get to experience the ultimate in pleasure; she gets to see her BF in action up close; plus, you'll have a vacation to remember until you are in your 90s!!! Go with the new age flow, Annie! Loosen up!

    Posted by Lance Romance July 27, 09 10:31 AM
  1. All in all, love Meredith's response. However, I am going to jump on the "He's just not that into you" train. I think your guy is full of crap to be honest. For someone that wants to "take things slow", spending 5 days a week with you is an awful lot of time! That doesn't seem slow-paced to me. I do not doubt that this man likes and has feelings for you--the problem is they are not strong enough. He is happy spending time with you but still wants to check out other options.

    Exclusivity, to me, is different than having a serious relationship. It means, while we get to know each other and see whether we'd work in a more serious situation, I'd like to focus only on each other, no distractions. Your man's reluctance to do this, and his behavior (taking other woman out on dates once a week) suggests to me that he is well.... a bit slutty!! But atleast he is an upfront slut!

    I don't think this man is worth your time. But Meredith is right. If you think it is worth the chance, talk with him. Tell him exactly what you are looking for at this time, and if what he is looking for doesn't match (or he is unwilling to take the next step with you) then it is time to move along and find someone else. It isn't an ultimatum at all... it is putting all the cards out on the table and making a decision on whether you two are compatible in what you are looking to get from one another. Good luck.

    Posted by Kathleen is back from vaca....blah. July 27, 09 10:31 AM
  1. maybe he's just not monogamous -- feels the need to have more than one love interest at a time -- he needs variety -- i know a lot of people like that -- don't understand myself -- but could be what is going on -- could be why his marriage ended

    Posted by Anonymous July 27, 09 10:32 AM
  1. Date other men, see how he likes seeing a car in your driveway at 5:00am LOL

    Posted by whatevuh July 27, 09 10:33 AM
  1. Ann, it sounds like he's scared. It sounds like there's a legitimate chance that his fear could be based on his own past, and not on an attribute of yours.

    But you have to be a little bit scared for yourself, at this point. You're clearly attached to him, and you are investing time and money and travel into him. You can't keep doing that if he won't even sign off of match.com.

    Though you don't want to nag (and that's a good thing!), you have to be communicative. You have to let him know, bluntly and without any equivocating, where you stand on this issue. That way, he then has a fair shot to keep you in his life, if that's what important to him. If not, then unfortunately, your opportunity will be destroyed because of his fears.

    Posted by Fievel July 27, 09 10:34 AM
  1. I don’t think he’s a liner-upper and I don’t think he’s commitment shy. I think he’s doing what feels right for himself and being honest with you about it. I think Meredith is right – if this style of relationship isn’t for you, you do have the right to move on without it being some sort of ultimatum; it’s saying “I need X from you and right now you’re only able to give me Y”. It’s perfectly fine that he can’t or won’t, but it doesn’t mean you have to lower your expectations. I’d say he should see other people if that’s what makes him most comfortable and most happy, however if it doesn’t make you happy or comfortable, then don’t put up with it. Personally I’d probably back off a little, possibly start seeing other people myself and see what happens. Maybe he’ll come around or maybe you’ll find someone else who wants the same things you want.

    Posted by bumbly-bee July 27, 09 10:35 AM
  1. I think the question you need to ask yourself is why you aren't comfortable asking for what you need from this relationship.

    I had a number of short lived relationships after my divorce that really did a number on my self esteem. For a period of time, I was afraid to ask for what I needed because the fear of being alone was worse than the fear of finding out that a relationship wasn't going to survive once I put any demands upon the guy I was seeing.

    The reality is - this is your first test of whether this relationship can go the distance. If you cannot ask this guy for what you need directly and assertively, no matter how compatible your interests are, no matter how much you like his family, no matter how fun a playmate he is, he isn't the guy for you.

    The essense of any relationship is the ability to communicate and adapt and adjust to each other. Sounds like you are doing all the adapting here.....it is time to balance the scales a little

    Posted by older and wiser July 27, 09 10:35 AM
  1. He wants to have his cake and eat it too! Who wouldn't want to have the standby girl or guy and still be able to shop at the candy store looking for something, perhaps, a little tastier? If he can't find something tastier, he still has his standby to prevent his loneliness and the basic suckiness of being single.

    I say, take a step back, start dating others also. It will either snap him out of it, or you will have your answer- he just isn't that into you.

    Posted by Dawnmarie July 27, 09 10:36 AM
  1. dump this jerk
    before long you will have this type of conversation with this guy

    you "i'm having dental surgery monday"
    him "okay then, I 'll call you friday to see how you are coming along"

    don't sell yourself short, jettison this jerk ASAP

    Posted by beachbum66 July 27, 09 10:37 AM
  1. Having cake and eating it too...'nuff said.

    Posted by urkiddinme July 27, 09 10:42 AM
  1. He may have reservations about the relationship but not understand what these are exactly or how to approach the subject: I see some challenges in his ability to be clear with himself on his emotional matters.

    He also may have FOMO (fear of missing out)--I wish I knew the ages involved here. Or perhaps he married young and feels like he missed out on a certain period of his life that he is now trying to capture. It could also be several of these at play at once.

    I also do think he's very much afraid of being burned. I largely agree with Mer. I think an ultimatum would be foolish. I think stating what you need for the relationship to work would be wise.

    I think Mer misses the issue with the "get over himself" bit. I imagine he's afraid of pinning himself, not being pinned down by someone else. He seems to have enough self awareness to sense that he may not be acting entirely fair.

    Posted by Mario July 27, 09 10:42 AM
  1. Easy answer (though tough to do) - Resist the urge to call him or see him 5 days a week - Slowly but steadily stop seeing him 5 days and cut it down to 4, then 3, then 2, etc. -
    Maintain perfect tone and politeness with him - make certain that he does not believe that you are losing interest!

    But make sure that you are demonstrating that you do not depend upon him for your happiness and wellbeing. Go out yourself and not necessarily date, but get some activities during the week that he is not a part of - dinner with girlfriends, etc. Maintain the seriousness of the relationship that you desire in quality, but decrease the quantity.

    I suspect that he is afraid that you are too clingy and not independent enough. Truth or not, by taking my recommended steps, he will either a) start to want to spend more time with you when he begins to realize that you are beginning to slip away and that he will find you more attractive because of his perception of your independence; or b) he will let you slip away, which if it happens, is for the best anyway.

    I suspect it is answer A. Time will tell.

    Take home message? Sometimes less is more in the pursuit.

    Posted by Bob July 27, 09 10:43 AM
  1. Meredith is offering solid advice here.

    I add that you should ask about the real reasons for his past relationship breakups. Were those reasons related to his infidelity?

    It's quite possible that this guy is very much "into you", yet wants an open relationship for himself. And if it is an open relationship he's after you should ask if him if that means you get to see others, too. A lot of times the "open relationship" is one-sided.

    I think you should spend a bit less time with his family until he's progressed to the point in the relationship that you have reached.

    Posted by Sigh July 27, 09 10:43 AM
  1. I def agree-I wouldnt give him an ultimatum that is a surefire way to end the relationship. You mentioned how he's had a failed marriage and failed relationships, sounds to me like he just doesn't want to continue to fail at yet another relationship, keeping it light and taking it slow to an extent, is probably all he can handle at the current moment. That's not to say that he won't be able to eventually have a full-blown exclusive relationship with you or someone else, but at the current moment it sounds like he's doing his best to ease into it instead of jumping in blind and it failing. He's been honest with you from the start it sounds, letting you know he's seeing someone else, which is only fair and I say kudos to him for not being a jack*ss and just not saying anything at all! You should do the same, maybe you'll realize that he's actually not the one, or maybe after dating around some more and having spent a few more months also with him, you will both be ready to be exclusive. At this point he is not-for whatever reason he is not ready, and isn't one of the most important aspects to long lasting healthy relationships for both parties to be able to grow together instead of growing apart? Sometimes it's not as important to figure out why someone is doing something but to figure out why you are not. Maybe you're really 100% ready for an exclusive relationship, but maybe you're just jumping into this and taking a step sideways might help to not end up back where you started. There's never any need to rush, if you really like this guy why not take it slow, keep him in your life at the pace you have been going and see what else is out there as well. You never know what will happen and you're obviously enjoying the time you spend with him.

    Posted by J July 27, 09 10:43 AM
  1. It is always hurtful to be told to buzz off because your sweetie wants to spend time with someone else. What he's telling you is to get lost on his schedule. It's all very well to be polite about it, but how long do you want to be told to "get lost" so he can hook up with someone else? Six months? Six years?

    Some people are not into monogamy.

    Posted by Kimball'sMom July 27, 09 10:44 AM
  1. i dont know...i can clearly see where that guy is coming from....if i could go back in time, i would have done the same....hes just making sure shes the right one.

    Posted by dont hate on him July 27, 09 10:45 AM
  1. He is keeping his options open and I hope you do the same. Men tell us all we need to hear, the key part is listening to the things they say. Most likely due to his divorce and other failed relationships, I think you are dealing with a man who has a broken heart and therefore, his emotions are repressed. Classic, older divorced man complex. He is going to have his cake and eat it too and if you think you are going to change him or convince him otherwise I think you are setting yourself up for failure. The women he has dated before you have most likely felt the same way about him as you do and have failed. Some of them have probably tried much harder since they got the "exclusive girlfriend" status. I would nip this relationship in the bud because it is going nowhere. He's the type that will die alone in a nursing home. You seem like a nice lady so i would keep looking for someone who wants to be your boyfriend and recognizes that you are special and more than enough.


    Posted by trueluv4eva July 27, 09 10:45 AM
  1. I think we tend to rush into exclusive relationships. There's nothing wrong with either of you continuing to see other people for much longer than 4 months. In fact, if the two of you are meant to be in a monogamous relationship, then over time the desire for others will simply drop off as your relationship deepens. And, isn't that really the way you want it to happen? Not by coersion, but by shared desires.
    Be secure, and maybe continue to see others yourself. You'll see.

    Posted by Mrs_J July 27, 09 10:45 AM
  1. You've been dating him four months, and you're seeing him five times a week, and you know his friends and family?

    There's a word for that, and it is called "boyfriend". At this point, this should be a serious relationship. You need to tell him your thoughts on that and if he doesn't want exclusivity, it's time to cut your losses and leave.

    You know his friends -- I'm curious as to what they think of your boyfriend's seeing other people...

    Posted by mz July 27, 09 10:46 AM
  1. Bottom line: he is interested in an exclusive relationship, or he is not.

    I don't think you need another rambling analysis too see that he is not ready for that, for whatever reason.

    Totally agree with you that nagging and ultimatums don't work, in fact they often only make things worse.

    It might be time to move on. This is probably not what you want to hear. But if you were sure of this relationship you would probably not be asking.

    Or, if you want to hang on a bit to see where things go: I would date him, but cut out the exclusive getways and the family get-togethers, which will only drag you down.

    Posted by Ava July 27, 09 10:47 AM
  1. Seriously? This guy wants to have his cake and eat it too. You are the "girlfriend" and ready companion yet he still gets to go out and screw around every week while you sit at home like a lapdog.

    Stop being available. Go on dates yourself. Cut him down to 1 or 2 nights a week. Get your own life going without him. He'll either realize what he's missing and commit or he'll disappear - either way, you have your answer.

    Done.

    Posted by beentheredonethat July 27, 09 10:47 AM
  1. Ann
    Perhaps you should consider other things to fill your life and be "less available" for him. Your making it to convenient. You don't mention your ages but personally four months is not that long a time. Sounds like you both jomped in fast and you liked the waters and he is not sure.
    One comment by Meredith I disagree with is that "he has made you his constant companion". That could only happen if you allowed it and you did. If he is sleeping with you and also dating is this the kind of man you really want in your life anyway. Make your own happiness here and stop thinking that you need a committed relationship to be happy in life.
    Skip any joint vacations....

    Posted by Kathy July 27, 09 10:49 AM
  1. This guy doesn't know what he wants, only what he doesn't want. I would not spend 5 days a week with this guy when he's dating other women. Keep your other friendships, your hobbies and other activities on your calendar. You're building your world around his and it's not reciprocal.
    Plus, in this day and age, not being in an exclusive relationship is very sketchy with all the STD's there are out there. I trust you're taking proper precautions and getting tested regularly.
    I agree with spaceman, keep looking for someone who does know what they want and that's to be with you in a monogamous relationship. I wouldn't be planning a vacation together with a guy who had not made that next step with me either.
    Just as a side note, years ago, I was with a man 5 nights a week and thought we were an "item" until I went to a party hosted by mutual friends. I spoke with two other women there who were also dating the same guy . In fact one girl was engaged to this creep! Lesson learned: if you're not in a mutually agreed upon exclusive relationship, then you ain't.

    Posted by exvermonter July 27, 09 10:50 AM
  1. I would like to say that four months is not that long at all - however my husband of 6 and a half years and I met and married four months later. Being honest with him can only bring about a response - you need to make sure that you are ready for the outcome - whatever it may be. Good luck and keep that faith - it worked for me.

    Posted by Still_happily_married_with_ two_kids July 27, 09 10:50 AM
  1. 4 months is not to long to still be seeing other people, but if you're spending 5 days/week together and meeting his family while not exclusive, thats just weird. maybe it's different because I'm a bit younger, but don't intruduce a girl to family unless i'm convinced she'll be around a while. i can relate though, the guy is a serial monogamist who's trying to break his ways. it just comes naturally to invest everything into the relationship right away, even though he shouldn't be.

    bottom line, though, is that as long as your getting what you want/need from him, and you're happy, then it shouldn't matter who else he's seeing. if he blows you off for someone else or isn't giving you enough attention, then you should worry.

    Posted by B.A. July 27, 09 10:51 AM
  1. Unless he's secretly gay and the other women are actually men, I completely agree with Meredith.

    Posted by Alvin July 27, 09 10:53 AM
  1. Too many unanswered questions here. How old are these two? How long divorced? How long married before divorced?

    See, I think four months isn't very long at all. What I really think is that Ann is reeling in her line before the fish is really on the hook. Chill out. Enjoy. The guy obviously made a poor decision and now he wants to be sure and he wants to live without regrets. It's possible the timing is just out of sync for the two of you. Either you can live with that or you can't Ann. But based on your letter there's nothing to say he's a bad guy or a user.

    Posted by Spork July 27, 09 10:55 AM
  1. Rico is just going to be straight with you:

    Rico thinks this guy is with you to occupy time while he looks for a better, ?younger? girl to spend time with. He is WRONG doing what he is doing however Rico also gives him credit for his honesty. It's not cheating since he hasn't become exclusive with you and he told you where he stands. Now it is up to you to decide whether you want to be with a guy that basically sees you as a nice "safe" backup in case he can't find better than you.

    Rico explains it this way. Rico knows a guy that kept leading a girl along in a relationship while he was "dating" or picking up other women along the way. After years of this he finally cut the relationship off and the girl was left devestated. She knew all along what was going on and yet she continued to go along because the sex/companionship was too good for her to let go. Rico knows women that have done the same to men so this is not gender specific. There is a thing we call a FWB's or a "booty call" and Rico hates to break it to you but you are not getting much more than that right now. Meeting friends and family does not constitute a "relationship", exclusivity, talk of future other than a vacation together does. How old are you and this guy?

    Look, Rico is just calling it as he sees it and thinks you need to not give an ultimatum but at the same time maybe you need to start dating as well. If there is a sexual relationship between you then you can tell him you don't have sex outside of a committed relationship. You don't get the milk without paying for the feed...Rico suggests having a honest and straight conversation about this. If you don't like the results which Rico thinks you probably won't then too bad. Like Rico and everyone says, either $hit or get off the pot.

    You may be back in the dating game by choice, make it by your choice rather than him cutting back from 5 days a week to the occasional Wednesday after work then to the call after he gets home from a frustrating date with that 22 year old from the bar he met last week. Don't be a doormat. Rico thinks the result will be him walking away so be prepared for that. If he wants to be with you then great, otherwise dump him like last weeks trash and find someone who will treat you the way a PERSON deserves. Sorry but that is how it is.

    Remember, you are both divorced, and it is nice to be with someone, don't get your head clouded with the excitement. Do you want to be with this guy and get married to find out he had a girl on the side and go for a second divorce? Rico doesn't think so...Now get to work and talk to this guy when you get home. Tell us how it goes.

    Love always,

    Rico

    Get some fresh humid air before the rains come...Gears not gas.

    Posted by Rico July 27, 09 10:56 AM
  1. I'm assuming that neither of you are in your early twenties. I think it's a huge red flag that you spend five nights a week together and he insists on seeing someone else that 6th night. I also am going to assume you're sleeping together (since you're going on getaways). Is he sleeping with other women? I think dating more than one person at the same time is fine. I think sleeping with more than one person at the same time is not.

    He's into you - but he's not into you enough to give up dating other women. After four months, he should be able to make a choice. I suggest you pull back on how much you see him and reconsider sleeping with him (if you are) and let him miss you. I'd be really annoyed if I went away with someone for a weekend to know that when we returned he'd be going out on a date with another woman. He's sending some very mixed messages.

    You can keep the status quo or you can push it to see what he will do. If it was me, I'd push.

    Posted by Patty July 27, 09 10:56 AM
  1. Date other guys and stop being so available to him.

    You are making it way too easy for him to date other women. You want him to be exclusive, tell him get serious or get lost!

    Posted by Sabs July 27, 09 10:58 AM
  1. If he wants to date other women - let him. BUT you are responsible for setting the boundaries in your own relationship. I went through exactly the same thing with my current BF. We were instantly inseperable, but he freaked out and said "things are going too fast. I want to keep seeing other people" I said OK, but told him that "seeing other people" is a different relationship stage which has different rules. WE weren't going to spend all our free nights together, talk several times a day, etc. I honestly said that if we weren't exclusive, I didn't want to have unrealistic expectations abourt our relationship. If/when we decided to be exclusive we could spend more time together.

    That lasted about 3 weeks before he decided that he'd rather see me more than go on random dates. It wasn't a ploy or an ultimatum, I just stood up for myself and my best interests. But it worked.

    Posted by kelly July 27, 09 11:01 AM
  1. I agree with Kathleen who says this guy is full of crap, and everyone else who has used some variation of "have his cake and eat it too." He is taking advantage of you. If you guys were dating occasionally and he was dating others, that's one thing. But you two are having a full on relationship while he has his dalliances on the side. I'd love to know what he tells them about YOU. I think given the situation you describe you have every right to say, "That's fine if that's what you want, but what I want is a relationship that is growing in maturity and exclusivity, so maybe we are not compatible." It's not an ultimatum, it's a fact. I mean, how long are you willing to let this go on? You guys may want different things from this relationship so it might be time to move on.

    Posted by move on July 27, 09 11:01 AM
  1. I would not go vacation with someone that I did not have an exclusive relationship with.

    I would be curious about the reason for his divorce. Maybe, he liked to date someone once a week when he was married.

    Sorry, but this guy does not seem like a keeper. I think it's time to move on.

    Posted by vinca123 July 27, 09 11:04 AM
  1. The dreaded "open relationship" sucks when it's only one way. Hey, if YOU want to date other men and you ARE, then it's fun in the summertime! But if you are with a guy who wants to play the field that can get really sad.

    YOU need to decide when enough is enough. The pain of knowing that he is "dating" other women while you and he have a regular thing can take it's toll. Be honest with yourself, then him... It's that simple.

    No need to be bitchy. Just calmly say to him if we cannot be exclusive, I cannot date you anymore. It's that simple. And I know everyone says this but there ARE other fish in the sea.

    Good luck!

    Posted by Amazed July 27, 09 11:07 AM
  1. He is ready when he is ready, simple as that. Go date other men if you feel that you would like to do that. I would not do it as a passive aggressive way to try to control his desires. If you are enjoying the relationship, great! Why the rush to get some type of commitment or exclusivity? Be patient and know what you want.
    But, you need to tell him why it is important to you to be moving towards exclusivity. And to tell him where you want the relationship to go in the long run. He can't guess your expectations. He may have completely different goals. After 4 months, each of you should know in what direction you want to head. It is possible that he doesn't want marriage or even a monogamous relationship. If so, better you know that earlier if that is mandatory for you.

    Posted by sanity123 July 27, 09 11:07 AM
  1. If you are sleeping with eachother, seeing eachother 5 days a week, going on vacations, and meeting his family, it sounds like a relationship to me. Yet he feels that it is okay to date another woman one day a week? I want to give him the benefit of the doubt - being divorced, he may be cautious. But, something isn't kosher about this. Sounds like he has been honest with you - great. Now you need to be honest with him and tell him what *your* needs are. Trust me, I have screwed myself multiple times by putting the guy first without listening to my needs. Sounds like this may need a little bit of a breather. Would you consider a cooling off period to do some thinking on your own for those five days that you normally would see him? You need to take care of yourself. I wish I had done that. If he realizes that he can't live without you, great. If he continues to see other women, then you know you've done all you can do and it may be time to let go and look elsewhere.

    Posted by Newly Single July 27, 09 11:08 AM
  1. I actually really agree with Bob (#17). Making sure you are not too convenient makes you more desirable. No need for fancy speeches or ultimatums - just start cutting back on how often you see him and see what happens. I think he will begin to realize how much he really does want to be with you (and only you) after a short while. Good luck!

    Posted by -M July 27, 09 11:09 AM
  1. Water rises to its own level. If you settle for less, you will get less. If you take care of yourself in a healthy way, then you will get more of what you want.

    Think about what you need and have control over, and how that translates into boundaries. You have no control over his decision to be exclusive. However, you can control if you meet family or go on vacations or spend so much time together. If you don't want to date someone who wants to date others after you've been deepening the bond between you, you have control over that. It appears you've reached the point where it is not acceptable to you.
    You can tell him that you are not interested in that arrangement, and to call you when he is interested in exclusivity, or let him know that you will need to significantly cut down the time you spend together which won't include family, vacations, or sleeping together. If he wants to "date", then "date" him. My guess is that he will either not call again or will have an epiphany about how he wants to be exclusive.

    You can't make someone feel a level of commitment, and being constantly pressured is a real drag. You do have control over your own life and the level of happiness you settle for.

    Posted by yupokay July 27, 09 11:09 AM
  1. I think #1 Spaceman has great advice. You should start dating other men, or atleast let him think that. See what his reaction is and then move on from there.

    Posted by korriv July 27, 09 11:09 AM
  1. I think what's good for the gander is good for the goose is the way to go here:
    strange car in the driveway should clear things up in a hurry, even if you have to rent the car.

    Posted by Bob July 27, 09 11:10 AM
  1. Liner-upper.
    Plain and simple. You are the rest stop on his highway to love.

    DrK

    Posted by DrK July 27, 09 11:12 AM
  1. Last night I just broke up with the guy I was 'dating' for the past 5 months. Similar situation in the respect that we spent a fair amount of time together, but he didn't want to get serious. He was not dating anyone else, but he was just not ready to commit to an exclusive relationship. He didn’t mistreat me, but he would always do something to remind me that we were not in a serious relationship. I liked him, but I grew tired of waiting for him to change his mind. He didn’t change his mind, and I didn’t feel better about not having a relationship. My advice – end it before it drags out even longer.

    Posted by LuLuLemon July 27, 09 11:16 AM
  1. I agree that you should start dating other people. If you cut back on your time together he will either do the same (i.e. cut back) or pursue you. Either way you will have your answer.

    Posted by Legaleye July 27, 09 11:17 AM
  1. bawww, that doesn't sound kosher at all. you should give him a taste of his own medicine like some others here have suggested, and see how he likes it.

    Posted by g30rg3 July 27, 09 11:17 AM
  1. I think I dated this guy! He was in a relationship he wasn't happy with and new needed to end but wanted to see me as well. I tried to be realxed and go with the flow. Finally he broke it off with the other woman. He was very upfront with me that he sometimes dated other women and wasn't ready for anything too serious but he had a way of making me feel special. Then one day, after getting a text asking for a little somthin' somethin', I texted back that I was looking for more than he could give and left it at that. It's too bad, he was a great guy but I had to look out for myself and what I deserved. Still haven't found it but I can't compromise my self esteem for anyone anymore.

    I think you're right, the ultimatum thing doesn't usually work very well. Do what you need for yourself and if it get's too hard to be with him, it's time to go.

    Posted by elsee July 27, 09 11:19 AM
  1. Mere has been doing a great job with the advise lately!
    I totally agree with everything she said. I myself am a divorcee and I prefer to take things extra slow and enjoy a relationship without pressure. So maybe he feels the same. Just give him time and alittle space. Tell him there is no pressure and that you just want to be exclusive. Make it plain that you dont want a ring or an apartment in the sky "just yet". But you do want a boyfriend that you don't have to share with random women once a week.

    Posted by LilShorty98 July 27, 09 11:19 AM
  1. RUN!!!! RUN FAST!!! Have you seen "He's Just Not That In To You"? If not, watch it. It's true. The whole entire movie is true. If, after 4 months, he has not committed himself to you, it sounds like he's not going to do it any time soon. Quit doing this to yourself. If he is having sex with you, he is having sex with her too. Why continue????

    Posted by Shelly Counelis July 27, 09 11:20 AM
  1. I think most of the replys are correct. Make less time for him if he won't be exclusive and date other men as well. You might find that the current man isn't the one after all if you are meeting other dates, and he might realize that he could blow it with you if he doesn't make some kind of commitment..

    Posted by techdood July 27, 09 11:21 AM
  1. What's "taking things slow" to this guy? Spending 5 days a week together, introducing you to his family and going away on trips? Doesn't sound slow to me! Or can it be that "taking it slowly" is his excuse to continue to play the field? I don't necessarily think this guy is a jerk (unless he's sleeping with these women- if that's the case- RUN!) but I do think that he's not being considerate of your feelings. Follow Mere's advice- tell him your goal for this relationship and if he doesn't reciprocate, it's time to move on.

    Posted by It's time for "the talk"... July 27, 09 11:22 AM
  1. have your cake and eat it too -- why would you want cake if you couldn't eat it --

    Posted by Anonymous July 27, 09 11:25 AM
  1. If I were having a sexual relationship with a man, I wouldn't tolerate his dating other women. Likewise, I wouldn't expect him to tolerate my dating other men.

    It wouldn't matter whether it was a new relationship in the "getting to know each other" stage or a stronger emotional relationship. Sleeping with more than one person at a time isn't acceptable to me. It introduces too many emotional, ego, and health risks.

    I'd stop trying to accomodate this guy's emotional baggage, and move on.

    Posted by TallGirl July 27, 09 11:26 AM
  1. If I did not have a divorced guy friend who is doing exactly what you described - I would think you were crazy to stay in this relationship. I think Mer hit the nail on the head that this is somehow his way of not getting too serious - getting very serious but then going on a date with some other random person every once in awhile. If you have a bit of patience - it has only been 4 months - he may be worth it. But you may want to go on a few dates of your own. That may be a real reality check for him. Good luck.

    Posted by north shore girl July 27, 09 11:33 AM
  1. I was the other person in a relationship like this. I was very insistent about the relationship being "more casual" and keeping the almost-boyfriend at a distance. I'd just gotten out of a long relationship and didn't want to rush into anything. I dated lots of other men and made a big point of making sure the almost-boyfriend knew I was doing so, and encouraged him to see other women. (He refused.) After several months of this, I just woke up one morning and realized I was being a complete a**hat. I loved the almost-boyfriend, and I didn't give a hoot about any of the others.

    The almost-boyfriend never challenged me on this, and I am unsure what I would have done if he had. I might have said that he wanted too much from me and broken up with him. I also might have realized that was a mistake a week later and crawled back with some flowers.

    But, in the end, the almost-boyfriend and I dated exclusively for 3 years, broke up, married other people, and haven't spoken to each other since. Ann, this guy might think you are wonderful and love being with you, but still subconsciously know in his heart that you aren't meant to be together. He's not stringing you along, waiting for something better. He wants to try not to get to close because he sees an end-point for your relationship, as opposed to an unlimited future. If you see it differently, you should protect your heart and leave now - forget about the ultimatim, just go.

    Posted by Q97 July 27, 09 11:33 AM
  1. My question: is he sleeping with these once-a-week women? If so, you need to worry about STD's. He must think of himself as 'available' if he's dating different women weekly & sleeping w them. That's downright weird. He might come around at a time in the future but my advice to you: be careful, be very careful. The not wanting to commit after 4 months isn't too strange, it's the dating other women weekely that's strange. And for God's sake tell him that you won't be sleeping with him for a while while you 'assess the situation'. Date him once or twice a week but keep it at that.

    Posted by Rose July 27, 09 11:38 AM
  1. There are three possibilities here:

    1) You're the "good enough" girl. As in "good enough until someone better comes along."

    2) He is not the monogamous type and he's telling you that loud and clear. You are in an open relationship. I do hope you are using condoms. Maybe you are his primary relationship, but on the 6th and 7th nights he's sleeping with others. Those others are probably not emotional attachments, if that is any consolation, just recreational sex.

    3) He's got a shrink who's telling him he should date other people. I swear, there is a shrink like that somewhere in Boston, as I ran into this while dating. If you get the "you're too good for me, I need to evolve emotionally, through relationships, to become the man you deserve"... RUN.

    I agree with the advice that you should date other people too. Be less available. Go on a vacation with someone else (not necessarily a guy - a girlfriend will do).

    Alternatively, tell him this: "I am at the point in my life where I am ready for an exclusive, committed relationship. I understand that you are not in that same place right now. I think it is best for us to stop dating for the time being, because it makes me uncomfortable knowing you are dating others. Go date and get it out of your system, and when you are ready for something exclusive, look me up."


    Posted by anecdotal evidence July 27, 09 11:38 AM
  1. A guy I was seeing did this to me once after 6 months and he went crazy on me when he found out I was merely talking to another guy that I had met through a friend. Can you imagine! Talk about him controlling the entire situation. A few months later he tells me the other woman he was seeing could never compare to me and now he wants us to be exclusive. Guess what I'm now engaged to a stable and trustworthy guy and I bet the ex boyfriend is still wasting time with the floosies he was screwing around with. I am so much better than that! If I were you, I'd look around, there are some nice guys still around.

    Posted by LoriG. July 27, 09 11:39 AM
  1. Posting again... with an anecdote that has a happy ending. I hesitate to post this, because I don't want the LW to get her hopes up, but here goes:

    When I first started dating my husband, we got hot & heavy very fast. His family and friends, before they got to know me, raised alarm bells, because I look like his ex-wife and on paper sound like her too. So at one point, he panicked and said maybe we should slow this down, and date other people.

    I told him that was fine with me, that I was open to dating other people as well. This lasted all of about one or two weeks......because he could not stand the idea of me dating other people! So we mutually decided to be exclusive.

    Ultimately we DID take things slow, as it took us 4 years to get to the alter. We've been happily married for 4 years now. (And all his family and friends concede I'm nothing like his ex...)

    Do not try this trick at home, if you are hoping that it will work. Emotionally, I was fully ready and perfectly okay about dating others, and prepared to have him date others too. Then again, I was not ready to get remarried (which is the big reason it took us 4 years).

    Posted by anecdotal evidence July 27, 09 11:54 AM
  1. Some people just aren't into monogamy, as long as everyone is fully informed, what is the problem? This is not the Victorian age . . .

    Posted by why choose? July 27, 09 11:58 AM
  1. After four months he is still seeing other women? Bottom line, if you and he are having sex (which I assume you are), he should not be seeing other women.

    Posted by UmNoWay July 27, 09 12:00 PM
  1. I disagree. LW needs to do absolutely NOTHING more than start making herself less available. Stop spending all your free time with him. He’s with you 5 days per week, dating the field on day 6 and then, I assume, resting on the seventh day…

    Get busy. Join a club, take a class, start dating, or just let him know you’re busy on some of the days each week. Your life will no longer revolve around him.

    Give it a month.

    If he decides that he doesn’t like being on the other end of such an arrangement, then he’ll do something to alter the current state of the relationship either by changing his schedule or by opening up a dialog with you. If he’s fine with it and says or does nothing, then at the end of a month, you sit down and have the talk about your goal to be in an exclusive relationship.

    Giving an ultimatum or having an “honest” talk with him right now will do nothing more than validate his feelings of wanting to take it slow and avoid commitment. From the sounds of it, odds are that he’ll either bail or tuck in like a frightened turtle if you try to lay down an “exclusivity” hammer at the present moment.

    To use a sports analogy, put the ball in his court. See what he does. Right now, you are Costanza and you have no ‘hand’ in the relationship.

    - Hoss

    Posted by Hoss July 27, 09 12:06 PM
  1. Ann,
    In your state of mind right now I would say NO to the vacation with him. NO to anymore family gatherings and NO to nights out with the friends.
    I might agree that he may not be ready for an exclusive commitment, except for the GLARING fact that you have bonded with his family, know his friends and spend 5 days per week with him-after only 4 months of dating! If he is not serious about you why would he introduce you to the family? Honestly, this guy sounds like a cad. Is he also sleeping with his once-a-week babes? He knows that his behavior is misleading. Then he says he is sorry-while lining up his girl Friday for a little afternoon delight. Let's face it, you have become the little wife- his staple of meat and potatoes during the week and then on Saturday night he goes out for dessert with some hot tamale. When I read this letter I wondered what the grounds for his divorce were (serial cheating on the ex-wife?) I don't know how much a conversation will work with this guy. It seems like he is set in his ways and is living la vida loca with women at his beck and call. As others have said, just be less available. Be a once-a-week woman and date other guys, find a hobby, let the voicemail pick-up, etc. After a month or two of being his once-a-week or every-other-week woman see what happens. The upside is that you might meet a nice guy who wants to date only you.

    Posted by Patsy Cline July 27, 09 12:10 PM
  1. Personally, I HATE seeing more than 1 person at a time... did I already tell her the funny vacation in Jamaica story or was that the other girl??? Is she the one who's sister died or is it the other one? Plus, who really enjoys first dates??? I'd rather schedule another teeth cleaning appointment than go on another first date. And it's not like the internet makes this any easier. It can take 5-10 emails before you get to the 1st date. Then you have to review them before the date to remind yourself of what you've already told her and what she's told you. Multiply that times the number of "new" people you intend to see. Man, what a hassle.
    If you want this guy to pick you over the others, my timeless advice is for you to make sure that you are better in the sack than the other chicks. Do that and you've got him. Check out youporn if you need any hints.

    Posted by sean July 27, 09 12:13 PM
  1. I agree with the folks that say to be less available and to try dating others yourself, if you're comfortable with that.

    He has stated what his needs are and he's sticking to them. You need to decide if those coincide with your needs. If not, then don't compromise. It's not an ultimatum, it's just standing up for what YOU need and not putting your needs after his.

    Another thing that occurred to me is that he may be unhappy in the relationship with you and this is his way of trying to get out of the relationship by doing things that will make you dump him. So he can avoid being the bad guy.

    I wouldn't play games or do anything immature. Just tell him what you need out of the relationship and if it doesn't match what he wants, then you're not compatible and both need to move on.

    As two divorcees, you both know that suborning one's own needs for another is a sure way to destroy a relationship. Just talk to him and see if you're both headed in the same direction or not.

    Posted by Knotdefined July 27, 09 12:14 PM
  1. He is just treading water and waiting to see what else he can find. It is a good sign that you have met his family and friends but as a man who came off a 25 year marriage and then tried internet dating, it only took me 2 weeks after I met someone that really connected to lose interest in dating other people. It didn’t mean I was going to marry her (although I did), what it did mean was that I was not simply parked in a place just passing time. It took a year before I proposed and a year engagement after that but I knew from almost the first minute that this was a special person and someone I wanted to make an effort to keep. It was not love at first sight but a guy knows when has met someone secial. Take care of yourself first. I don’t support all these games of making yourself unavailable; you should be able to tell it like it is after 4 months and if he can’t take it then leave.

    Posted by an_older_guy July 27, 09 12:20 PM
  1. "How do I balance being patient with being just a plain fool?? "
    Start by taking action. Time for you to start dating on your own schedule, taking responsibility for the outcomes you experience and making sure this guy knows you have choices too. In the end, you may find someone better, he may find someone 'better' or you may come to an understanding. Who knows, maybe #6 is the answer for the weekends and you can live your normal grilled cheese on Wednesday night existence during the week together... Or, you could suggest something similar but you want to invite a 2nd dude over for Wednesday night 'bingo' games.

    Posted by Darwin July 27, 09 12:21 PM
  1. I think he's been bitten and is shy. I also think he's enjoying the dating scene without the committment, so why limit himself. And, by his own admission, he doesn't know what love is. He thinks he does, but he doesn't trust himself- I don't know why you'd trust him either. Give this guy some space. In fact, if you really want him, probably the best thing you can do is walk away from him, and let him think about whether or not you're worth the fight. If you're worth it to him, he'll be back. If not, you got out early and in tact.

    Posted by hippydippy July 27, 09 12:23 PM
  1. Rico is dead on and you cant beat anyone who gives advice in the third person. Me think so.

    Posted by President of Rico's Fan Club July 27, 09 12:25 PM
  1. You're asking if 4 months is enough time to be exclusive....well for some people yes, for some others no, and for some, there may not be any set time because they may not want to be exclusive EVER...and that's their perorogative. Everyone has a right to want what they want. You have a right to want exclusivity....and he too has a right to NOT want that. For whatever reason...that's not what he wants and you need to stop thinking something is wrong with him and that you're on a mission to change his mindset. He is who he is based on his own experiences, values, and relationship goals, just as you are who you are based on your experiences and what you expect from a relationship. Neither is right or wrong...they're just different. As I say to so many people...."We can't change other people....we can only change ourselves"...so that means take the focus of him and his choices and turn it around to focusing on what YOU can do now given the information you have. So, if don't like the concept of him dating other people, then YOU need to scale back on this relationship as well. Another common relationship quote I hear is..."don't make someone else a priority when they are making you an option". This man wants to date others and yet you're seeing him 5 days a week. What is that saying about you and your priorities? Why are you making him the focus of your life, when you are obviously not the focus of his? My humble suggestion is to scale back. He has a life outside of you and is being honest with you that you are not the focus of his life. Keep him at friend/dating level if you still want him in your life to some degree and expand your horizons. Meet other men, date, hang out with friends, spend some of those days alone doing a fun activity with just yourself. Eventually, you will need to meet someone who has the same relationship goals that you do...and clearly, you and this guy (regardless of how fantastic he is) don't have that...and that's ok. People want different things in life...which makes sense since we're all different and have different goals in many facets of life. There's really no right or wrong as long as people are honest....and thankfully, he's being honest with you. You now need to be honest with yourself and value your own goals and not force something to fit when it doesn't. You have to be true to yourself before someone can be true to you...never forget that.


    Posted by bklynmom July 27, 09 12:26 PM
  1. Start dating other guys. Then, invite him over at a time when you know you will have another guy at your house. What you do next is up to you, but if you answered he door covered only in a wrinkled bed sheet claiming you thought he was coming over "tomorrow night" he will quickly make up his mind about your relationship and then you will have yur path forward.

    Posted by Kay-Man July 27, 09 12:28 PM
  1. Ann - think about what is really going on here. You are exclusive to him - available when he wants you. Including travelling together. What do you want Ann? If you were also dating others then it would be understandable. I've been dating someone for four months too. He's getting over a terrible marriage. I'm a widow - my husband died last year. My marriage was not good either. Both of us are scared - we're not talking marriage. We're talking about trying to build a relationship. We're doing it together - we're exclusive - that's what we need to be to be in a relationship together. We talk about what our deal breakers are - and one of them for both of us is we both demand monogomy. You sound like you want it also - tell him that and move on. Seriously move on - if he changes his mind fine - if not - you have lost nothing - there never was a serious relationship.

    Posted by Scrambler July 27, 09 12:30 PM
  1. I don't know where to begin....

    He goes on vacations with you - has introduced you to his family & friends - you spend 5 days a week together - and I'm assuming you are sleeping together. I'm stunned he is still dating other woman. Stunned.

    The good news is that he is honest with you about it and not going behind your back to cheat on you. But how can you spend all of this quality time with him knowing he turns around to wine and dine some other woman? I don't think it's about ultimatums at this point - it's about having respect for yourself. Four months is NOT too soon to commit. There is no way I would sit home while my boyfriend (because that is what he is) goes out on a date.

    How long are you going to let him get away with this "is there something better around the corner" crap? You deserve to be treated better than this. If you want him to commit - don't be afraid to ask for that. If your needs aren't being met - than move on. But please please please realize your worth! It's not an ultimatum or nagging, it is realizing what you deserve, want, and need.

    Posted by T July 27, 09 12:30 PM
  1. A few troubling things here...you guys are not exclusive yet you spend five nights a week together, spend time with his family, and go on vacations together? That is quite contradictory. I am not sure what the real reason is for his not wanting to commit to you, but I also don't think it is right for you to be so available for him. If you don't want to give him an "ultimatum," I would cut back the amount of time you spend with him, stay open to other dating possibilities, and stop spending QT with his family. But I also don't see the problem with talking to him about what you need from him after dating for four months and getting this serious. If he takes it as an ultimatum, fine. That would be your cue to move on, maybe keeping him around for those evenings where you just want some companionship.

    Posted by fairlee76 July 27, 09 12:37 PM
  1. The dude's weekly date is via craigslist. Guaranteed. You have three choices:

    1. Run
    2. Run faster
    3. Run and get tested.

    Posted by Asked and answered July 27, 09 12:41 PM
  1. Well, you HAVE been seeing him with this other arrangement on the side. So take it in a slow, open, honest and communicative manner.

    I don't think you can label the guy, because you don't know WHAT he is thinking. He may not know himself. And I don't think you should take on actions that aren't true to yourself like multi-dating etc. Those are just games and you don't have to play.

    You obviously like him enough and yourself enough to want to be his exclusive. So tell him that is what you want and accept the implications.

    And one of the implications is you may accept this arrangment for a bit longer until you find the right situation for yourself.

    Are you OK? If this is going to be a breakup, will you want help? Talk to someone, these breakups aren't easy, especially when you have to make a tough decision. Get someone to remind you that ultimately you were true to yourself. Alternately, if you keep on seeing your superhero in the guise of multi-man, ask him if he would go with you to therapy if you decide to do this for another 6 months or so and decide you want to break up then anyway. Personally, I hate therapy even more than commitment, haha.

    Posted by dano_in_ny July 27, 09 12:41 PM
  1. When you're in a new relationship it's all about the chase!. You're the one doing all the chasing, so there is no fun in it for him. Give him the opportunity to chase you instead of random other chicks once a week and you'll get your answer. It's like Bob (#17) and Anecdotal Evidence (#60) said. It's one of three things: a - liner upper, b - you're too clingy and freaking out the commitment-phobe, c- bad shrink giving bad advice. Good luck!

    Posted by RealityChic July 27, 09 12:43 PM
  1. Ann,

    Have you done any reading on "Polyamory"? From what you have written in your letter it sounds like this is the relationship style that your partner is following. He might be the kind of person who does better with having, or having the option, to have more than one important person in their life. Parents love all of their children, and their love given to one doesn’t take away from their love with another.

    It sounds like you are his primary relationship, but the other women he meets keeps him balanced. He is being completely honest with you so I find that to be a spectacular sign in the strength of your relationship. (As we have all read on this blog there are many people who still date without telling their partners. AKA cheating) Even in a strong relationship there is still the emotion of jealousy that likes to hang around so you too should be honest with him. I hope you keep in mind that if he decided to stop seeing the other women, but this life style is a need of his he will come to resent you and your relationship will fail. With that in mind make sure you know what your needs are too.

    You do not say if his other dates are with different folks each time or with the same woman. In either case I hope he is honest with his dates knowing about you before they go out and that you and he have agreed on safe sex practices that are always followed.

    Good luck. I hope you do find the full happiness that you seek and that this might open your eyes to a different way of thinking about love and your relationship options.

    Posted by my2cents July 27, 09 12:44 PM
  1. I think that you should start dating other people & spend less time with him... When you do that he may realize that he doesn't want to share you... Or, if he doesn't, you are one step closer to moving on...

    Posted by Nessa July 27, 09 12:48 PM
  1. Up in the club (club), we just broke up (up)
    I'm doing my own little thing
    You decided to dip (dip), but now you want to trip (trip)
    Cause another brother noticed me
    I'm up on him (him), he up on me (me)
    Don't pay him any attention
    Cause I cried my tears (tears), for three good years (years)
    You can't be mad at me

    [Chorus]
    Cause if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it
    If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it
    Don't be mad once you see that *he* want it
    If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it


    (2x) Wuh Uh Oh Uh Uh Oh Uh Oh Oh Uh Uh Oh

    If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it
    If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it
    Don't be mad once you see that he want it
    If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it

    (Verse 2)

    I got gloss on my lips (lips), a man on my hips (hips)
    Hold me tighter than my Dereon jeans
    Acting up (up), drink in my cup (cup)
    I can care less what you think
    I need no permission, did I mention
    Don't pay him any attention
    Cause you had your turn (turn)
    But now you gon' learn
    What it really feels like to Miss Bee

    (Chorus)
    Cause if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it
    If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it
    Don't be mad once you see that *he* want it
    If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it

    (2x's) Wuh Uh Oh Uh Uh Oh Uh Oh Oh Uh Uh Oh
    (REPEAT)

    (bridge)
    Don't treat me to these things of this world
    I'm not that kind of girl
    Your love is what I prefer, what I deserve
    Here's a man that makes me then takes me
    And delivers me to a destiny, to infinity and beyond
    Pull me into your arms
    Say I'm the one you own
    If you don't, you'll be alone
    And like a ghost, I'll be gone

    All the single ladies (7x's)
    Now put your hands up

    (2x's) Wuh Uh Oh Uh Uh Oh Uh Oh Oh Uh Uh Oh

    Wuh Uh Oh

    (Chorus)
    Cause if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it
    If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it
    Don't be mad once you see that he want it
    If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it

    (REPEAT CHORUS)

    Wuh uh oh

    Posted by anonymouslycommenting July 27, 09 12:54 PM
  1. A few thoughts:

    1. I agree with someone's comment that therapy could be the source of this. I got into a serious committed relationship "too soon" after my wife left of 17 years me and got constant flack from a therapist about how I needed to take some time, date around, put myself first for once, etc. It's possible something like that is happening.

    2. But probably not. I think generally we get the relationship we demand, especially that which we demand early on. You have presented yourself as a great companion/lover who will not really demand much in return. I personally don't think it is feasible to be easygoing about these things early in a relationship and then later on demand more respect. It's much easier to just start out demanding respect. You can always tone it down later, but you can't successfully ramp it up as time goes on. Having put up with this so long, I think you should follow Bob's advice above (become more unavailable) and try to re-set things that way.

    3. Ultimatums: I think ultimatums get a bum rap. They sound bad if you think of them as one person demanding something from the other, or else the relationship is over. That sounds like extortion. But of course, each person always has every right to pursue those things in a relationship that are important to them, or else (at least pre-marriage) to find them elsewhere. For you, exclusivity is simply one of those things. You're not saying he's a bad person. If he isn't into exclusivity, that's cool. But exclusivity is a must-have for you. A relationship lacking that just doesn't work for you. There is nothing at all wrong with saying so. Until people are married, the whole point is to figure out if the person gives you all your "must haves" and enough of your "would like to haves" to make continuing the relationship worthwhile. If not, then you should spend your time on finding someone who does. You seem afraid of ultimatums because you really are afraid of having him saying "no, I won't give you that" and being without him. You need to develop the self esteem to demand what you must have, or look for it elsewhere. If you stay with him even though he doesn't give you something you so clearly require, then you practically lose right to complain about it.

    Posted by JC July 27, 09 12:57 PM
  1. I know it will be hard to withdraw from him, but I agree with many of the other posters---you should definitely stop being so available. It's not "pretending" or "playing games" to live your life---just go about your business in the way you were doing before you met him.

    I'm glad that he's been both honest and communicative with you---that's a very good sign. I don't think fomenting a bit a jealously is a bad thing---purposely trying to hurt him is not. If he doesn't come running to you, then you'll already be busy with plenty of other things to do and people to meet.

    Posted by Teddy July 27, 09 12:59 PM
  1. T is right. You deserve better. I think your conflict stems from being intimate without having any kind of commitment. That's easy to fix. Be honest with him and tell him that you understand if he feels it's too soon to be exclusive, but that for you, intimacy is something that you reserve for a committed, exclusive relationship. Slow things down for a while so you can each decide if this is something you both want. To accept the situation as is makes you appear desperate. I think you sense that, don't like it, and want to do something about it.

    Posted by yikes July 27, 09 01:12 PM
  1. What's the big deal about ultimatums? I think you should break up with this guy...or else.

    And, just to point out a detail that seems to be missing: have you introduced him to your family? Your friends? Hmmmm....maybe the one who needs an ultimatum is you.

    Posted by Sally July 27, 09 01:13 PM
  1. Going forward, I wouldn't be making myself so available to this guy. Maybe you need to start dating others as well. Whats good for the goose is good for the gander. I'm sorry I don't understand why he feels the need to date others once a week. If your really interested in someone and want to be with them, you don't want to share them with anyone else. How do you know he isn't playing this game with someone else he's dating? I don't know, something just doesn't feel right about this whole situation, sorry........if It were me, I'd just say good by and good luck.

    Posted by Pam July 27, 09 01:15 PM
  1. I totally disagree with those who are saying you should try to play his game and insist that you will also see other people and he will realize how much he wants you and come around. This is game playing and he will still be the winner. Even if he does "come around" it will last about six months. He is a player. Tell him what you think you want from the relationship (it sounds like you want monogamy) and ask what he wants. If they don't match, then BUH BYE. You guys sound like you are old enough to just move along if you don't want the same things. BTW, if you continue your relationship, use a condom!!

    Posted by dr. teeth July 27, 09 01:15 PM
  1. I think Rico's helmet is on too tight. Can he be more of a tool

    Posted by Salspal July 27, 09 01:16 PM
  1. I thinks its really quite simple... tell him that you don't want a non-exclusive relationship with him anymore. Tell him that it makes you unhappy that he sees other women and you don't want to be in a relationship that makes you unhappy. End of story. If he values your relationship, he will cease seeing other women. If he needs space, time, opp, whatever... then let him go.

    Posted by sibdee July 27, 09 01:19 PM
  1. #83 (Beyonce)
    Perfect song for this LW. I was crackn up!

    Posted by LilShorty98 July 27, 09 01:20 PM
  1. he's doing what every man in a committed relationship wants to do. enjoying the exclusivity of a woman he loves and trusts and who will be there for him when HE wants her there, and he gets to put you on the shelf one day a week, forget about you and date other women. you're allowing this to go on, keep that in mind.
    my advice would be to explore your options - start dating other men and let your 'four month friend with benefits' guy know that you're dating others because you want to find someone who is ok with being exclusive. or you could use his story and say you're no longer interested in a committed relationship with HIM.
    he is using you for stability and will continue to do so because you haven't kicked him to the curb yet. who knows, maybe he'll realize how wonderful you are and decide to give up the one night stands. in the meantime? make sure he wears a condom every single last time you are in bed together.

    Posted by dorchesterd July 27, 09 01:22 PM
  1. I am guessing the LW is approaching the early stages on "The Change"? Some of us men can notice the Pheromones becoming different, and we find it rather unpleasant. He is just doing the old "Liner Upper" thing with you, until someone younger comes along.

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 July 27, 09 01:23 PM
  1. He's just not into you. Maybe in his eyes you don't take care of business for him. Hopefully you're practicing safe sex.

    Posted by Bustoff July 27, 09 01:24 PM
  1. Let's face it, decent unattached guy's over 30 are in great demand! I bet this guy is like a kid in a candy store on the dating websites. Has a timeline or how many woman he'll date before he commits to you been determined? Dating more than one person at a time always leads to someone getting really hurt.

    Posted by Susan July 27, 09 01:26 PM
  1. The previous comments have been reasonably unanimous that Ann should let the guy know what she is looking for and then let him decide to stay or go. Those are reasonable suggestions. But let me talk from one guy's side. Perhaps it may clarify the situation some, even though I think the majority of the comments are correct.

    As a guy in his 60s who's been divorced for more than 10 years, I can identify with Ann's guy. I tend to do the same thing he does: I primarily date one "favored" woman but still occasional date or doing things separately with my friends and my groups. I don't think I have a problem with a permanent relationship, but I'm fussy. Without putting too fine an edge on it, the qualifications for my ideal mate have changed over the years. What I looked for in my 30s is not what I looked for in my 50s or am looking for in my 60s. Many people use the term Chemistry, but that isn't specific enough for me, an engineer who likes to make lists. My basic check list has four components, which I define as: physical, intellectual, emotional and financial. The subcomponents of each are not so well defined for me and sometimes change. The physical component includes the woman's physical features -- those features that appeal to me-- and the "score" is based on the whole package, not just a single feature. Younger women (40s and 50s) don't always score higher than those in their 60s. As much as I wish physical didn't play as large a role in getting a relationship started, it certainly does for me and I don't think I'm alone. Placing such an emphasis means that I've never met (or avoided meeting) a number of women who probably have a lot to offer and could have been the love of my life. The second component is intellectual. That includes education, job, hobbies/skills, ability to carry on intelligent (not necessarily scholarly) conversations. I award bonuses for understanding or showing some interest in those things I'm interested in, just as I expect to get bonuses if I'm interested in some things she is. The third component I call emotional, but it contains a lot of disparate elements such as energy, sense of self, independence, and ability to fit in different social situations. Stability and the ability to remain calm are important to me. The fourth component is financial. It took me a long time to recover from financial losses that occured during my divorce settlement even though my ex had the affair. The current economic situation has significantly reduced what I had built up since then. I can live comfortably and still do most of what I want to do (travelling, boating,biking, skiing), but only by working part-time. So I can not afford to completely support a significant other. She must be able to support herself and be able to contribute (though not necessarily 50-50) to our mutual activities. My concern is that if I have to assume too much of the financial burden then resentment will rear its ugly head and potentially will spoil our relationship if we can't do things that we want to do.

    Even though my formula is not cut and dried, I get criticised for being too anal about my check list. Though I find it a useful tool, perhaps too much thinking has led to my remaining single after having relationships that certainly could have led to marriage. I haven't found anyone who is perfect and I'm continually thinking about who has enough good points that would still allow for a good and enduring relationship. But no one has yet crossed the threshhold. I don't want to go through another divorce. I still see several of these women and (Ithink) we are good friends. I have also stayed with women longer than I should, evcen though I knew the relationship wasn't what I wanted, yet she was ready for marriage. It's very difficult for me to initiate a break up even when I know that's the best way. So maybe that's Ann's friend's position as well.

    Posted by Still Looking July 27, 09 01:29 PM
  1. Well, Rico went out to lunch and it is pretty humid out there...Can't wait for the lightning...imagine if we could harness that power? Rico heard you could power NYC on one bolt...anyone know the truth?

    Rico has nothing to add to his earlier comments, he thinks he said it pretty well the first time around.

    Please answer us these questions as curious minds want to know.

    How old are you and this guy?
    How long divorced?
    What reasons for divorce? The TRUTH

    Have a great afternoon, stay cool and be safe, humidity can kill so stay Hydrated!!!

    Rico

    Green is the new Black

    Posted by Rico July 27, 09 01:35 PM
  1. sounds like your 'playing along' just to be coopertive. Maybe you're afraid he may see you as the kind of woman he is trying to avoid, if you speak up. Maybe you don't want to scare him off by appearing clingy or demanding. In my opinion, what you want is normal. Who would want their man creeping around with other women on his "days off" ? As strange as it sounds, maybe he doesn't want to be alone, after being in a marraige. Does this guy spend any time alone? Who knows why people do what they do. If you aren't telling him what you really want, maybe your not being honest with yourself. One day you'll get sick of pretending and wonder what you have gotten yourself into. Sounds like you need to find a guy who shares your views instead of trying to understand his. :)

    Posted by hmr July 27, 09 01:43 PM
  1. Still Looking (#98): And you wonder why you are STILL LOOKING? Hilarious.

    Posted by jenny July 27, 09 01:44 PM
  1. i believe that not even because you have a child , you should stayed in that relationship even when u are feeling miserable , your kid is going to grow eventually and he might blame you for staying in a no healthy relationship , is better for you to move on and always have a relationship with your lil one .

    Posted by angie July 27, 09 01:48 PM
  1. Ann,
    Like my mother would tell us when we were kids and we kept running in and out of the house, "In or Out", Your either in a relationship or your not. Don't be fooled by all the taking it slow crap. Any guy that brings you around his family and friends and wnats to go away and wants to see you most of the week is IN a relationship. If he wants to still date others on the side then he's OUT.
    Take heed this dude is strictly playin you.

    Posted by vinman July 27, 09 01:50 PM
  1. This just in, Rico has another thing to say :)

    Rico can't believe he missed it...or did he? Just to add to the example of the guy that dated others and dropped the girl and left her devestated...

    He is doing to you what he can get away with because of your YES YOUR insecurities. You want him to be the one so badly you are allowing this behavior. You need to stand up for yourself and get what you deserve. Do you deserve to be treated liek a FWB's or Booty Call? If not then change who you are and what you want and how you get it.

    Rico was just reminded of something. This is you: Once upon a time you were every guys desire and you married a guy you thought was the one. You got divorced and after a short time began to date. Now here you are dating a guy that you think is the one but he has told you he dates other women. You accept this because although you had self confidence in the past you are beginning to age and feel time running out so you decide to lower your standards in the hopes that this is finally the last guy you have to date. You are sick of dating aren't you? The sex is nice to have and a guy to go to the movies with or for a walk in the park is nice but then we add the VACATION and WOW it doesn't get any better than this. But there is this elephant in the room and her name is "candy" with her 22yr old tight body and bubbly attitude and hot friends that like to have lots of fun and take your new guy along. Which to the new guy is very exciting and he is running along like a puppy to these new found "friends" until they realize he is 42 and dating a girl 5 days a week and going on vacations with her while he is divorced and lives in a 500sf studio in Brighton close to the bars so he can "try" to look like a player. Is this sounding familiar?

    Seriously, Rico thinks you show a lack of self confidence/esteem and thinks you need to work on that...NO VACATION unless it is with YOUR FRIENDS or until he actually has a real committed relationship with you. Rico doubts he will commit to you because Rico thinks this guy just wants to play and have something guaranteed in case he fails on the other fronts. DON'T BE A DOORMAT. Right now you are the easy fall back option...

    Join a club, run, bike, go out with friends, meet someone else. This guy has a short shelf life so trade him in and trade up to something more reliable.

    Good luck, Rico loves all...

    Posted by Rico July 27, 09 01:51 PM
  1. This is so simple...If he loved you, he would only want to be with you.

    Posted by cupcake July 27, 09 01:52 PM
  1. It sounds odd that he's concerned about "taking things slow" while at the same time seeing you 5 times a week. At best, he is sending mixed messages to you. I would agree with the sentiment of some posters here that you may be well-advised to back off of the relationship a bit, devote some of your energies elsewhere, and see what happens.

    Posted by Terminater5 July 27, 09 01:59 PM
  1. " How do I balance being patient with being just a plain fool??" --------- By not being the fool.

    Why do women constantly want men who do not want them?

    If after four months of seeing you so often he isn't of the opinion he better snatch you up, then he is just not of that opinion. Youth and inexperience cannot be blamed. Given how often you are together, time offers little consolation.

    I'm sorry, but yes, you are being more than a bit of fool by making no other options possible due to your unjustified one-sided commitment.

    My Dear, you have given too much, you have given it too soon, and you give it at your expense.

    Begin dating other men. No announcement needed. You two are not exclusive, remember? It will not endanger this 'relationship'.

    I also offer one word of warning. Beware. He may be hiding a side of himself. I hope you are using every STD protection available. You know this man is still sleeping around. Please tell me you at least recognize that.

    Frankly, this has many red flags. Back it up. Spend more time out meeting other prospective interesting people. Start dating other men. If you can date him while keeping a foot out the door, then enjoy. But beware.

    In fact, do make note of today's date, add six months to it, write it down, tape it on your refrigerator. If, when the six month mark passes, you are in the same situations as you are now, it's time for a clean break. This has potential to drag on, be a real heartache. Try not to let that happen.

    The writing is on the wall right now.

    Read it.


    Posted by A few grey hairs and much life behind me July 27, 09 01:59 PM
  1. This sounds like a difficult situation. You have all the signs of having what you want--time with a man who meets many of your wants, and who appears to feel the same way about you. However, he is waving a GIANT sign saying that he's ambivalent, and you need to read that sign loud and clear.

    I've always had success in this situation when I took care of myself first. I totally agree with people who are suggesting that you cut down on the amount of time you're spending with him, and that you start developing more of your own interests and re-establishing your independence. Right now, you are setting yourself up to play the victim, which will only weaken and undermine your self-esteem and self-respect. You need to avoid that at all costs, no matter whether you stay with him or move on.

    How you feel about yourself is the basis for your own well being and the basis for the success of your relationships. If you let this guy call all the shots, your well being will erode and the relationship will definitely fail, which may be his unconscious plan. Either way, you need to take care of yourself. Date other people if you want to, but most importantly, you need to wave your own GIANT sign that you are important and worthy of being valued and respected. If you don't read and act on your own sign, there's no way on earth he's going to do it, ever.

    Posted by Done that, too! July 27, 09 02:01 PM
  1. is this comment #100 ?
    did he/she really say that ' He's the type that will die alone in a nursing home' ?

    Posted by turn off July 27, 09 02:04 PM
  1. tell her/him that you don't want to be event-driven or date-driven
    bonding usually is amiss there,
    you want to be there as in everyday while he/she is multi-tasking around
    dying is natural , so one is not here forever,
    to know what comes next is a good thing.

    Posted by driven by what? July 27, 09 02:09 PM
  1. Twenty eight years ago I met a guy who was burned badly in a previous relationship. He didn't commit to an exclusive relationship for a year - which was fine with me as I was young and it was before the widespread awareness of HIV. Four years later we were married, and have been happily married ever since. Bad relationships scare some guys very badly - trusting a woman can be a scary thing.

    Posted by Amaryllis81 July 27, 09 02:09 PM
  1. This guy has a lot of male fans. He can have his cake and eat it to. Sounds like a Southern man. Is she dating Gov. Sanford?

    Posted by Jabbo July 27, 09 02:09 PM
  1. Dear Still Looking (#97),

    I think you accidentally posted your personal ad in your comment here. Just to bring you up to speed, we're talking about our new friend, Ann, and her dilemma -- not what specific quadrants and their associated subcategories you've used to define your all-elusive mate-bot.

    Posted by Ruby July 27, 09 02:10 PM
  1. Still looking men =you will never find any one. You want a hot, pulled together, sugar mama to service your tired, broke bits and pieces. Monogamy requires strength of character. Isn't that what we all want- a strong caring person to love. Being alone is better than being used.

    Posted by thelizardking July 27, 09 02:17 PM
  1. Hold out for "Mr Right, not Mr. Right Now", to paraphrase Judge Joe Jackson. Stop seeing this gentleman immediately and keep dating other men until you find one who wants to be with you exclusively. Someone who apologizes to you for "not paying more attention" and gets away with it is manipulating you, and you are letting him; actions speak stronger than words. Having similar values and tastes is great for friendship, but sharing ethics, humor and sexual compatibility is necessary for a permanent relationship...if that is indeed what you want. I have the same question as #31....are his hookups actually with men? Ignore the comments about your age or closeness to menopause; you can find true love at any age. Trust your instincts.

    Posted by still learning July 27, 09 02:20 PM
  1. How old are you and this guy? mid-30's - early-40's
    How long divorced? me - 1.5 yrs him- 5 yrs
    What reasons for divorce? The TRUTH - He left his wife due to other reasons not relevant (i.e. - NOT due to any infidelity)

    Thank you all for your great comments and amazing suggestions and support. Next step.....booking another date ASAP ;). Thanks again!

    Posted by Ann July 27, 09 02:28 PM
  1. I assume your relationship with this guy is a sexual one, right? If you're spending 5 nights a week with him, and going away on a trip together, I'd say that's a safe assumption. Sister...."if you're giving him the milk for free, why would he ever buy the cow"?. You are giving him all the benefits of having a constant girlfriend and companion while allowing him to set his own rules and boundaries in the relationship Also, how do you know he's not physically involved with any of the other women and thus putting you at risk for std's,etc? If he doesn't want to be monogamous after 4 months of acting like you're a couple, set him free. If he comes back to you, he's truly yours. Either that, or tell him you want to see other people too---and follow through with it! It's not a matter of giving an ultimatum--it's just a fact that you are allowing him to have the best of both worlds (because I also assume you are NOT seeing other people). He has the perfect scenario right now! Do yourself a huge favor---either kick him to the curb entirely, or see other people too. Either way, you will be able to invest in other people and hopefully find someone who thinks you are the bomb and doesn't need to test the waters and keep his options open. Good luck

    Posted by Jolie July 27, 09 02:35 PM
  1. Sounds like you just want somebody to cling to. Ultimatum? Girl, if it's down to that, you're clearly not offering enough to make his monogamy voluntary. Why not just kidnap him and hold a gun to his head? If you were right for him, he would be demanding what you seem to be demanding - exclusivity.
    Tell him you can't make the trip because you've had a better offer, and see where that goes.

    Posted by beaux July 27, 09 02:38 PM
  1. Those who tell you to not make yourself available, let some time go by and see what he does... Gee, that's a lot like playing a game. Life is too short to play mind games! If he can't take your honesty right now, he's an immature, spoiled brat.

    Posted by Amazed July 27, 09 02:48 PM
  1. Those who tell you to not make yourself available, let some time go by and see what he does... Gee, that's a lot like playing a game. Life is too short to play mind games! If he can't take your honesty right now, he's an immature, spoiled brat.

    Posted by Amazed July 27, 09 02:49 PM
  1. Forget the family, circle of friends, etc. You are dating him, not them.

    Posted by Lemon July 27, 09 02:52 PM
  1. To follow on Meredith's comment, it is impressive that this guy can get a date on the off nights he is not out with Ann. Two words come to mind - pocket rocket. This guy is a stud. God bless him.

    Ann - I would suggest a two-pronged approach to get this guy to commit: 1) find some outside dates yourself, and 2) cut off all 'action' with the pocket rocket (incl grilled cheeses, etc.). These two steps will definitely focus his thinking about your relationship - the little head always leads the big one.

    Posted by Ari July 27, 09 02:54 PM
  1. Message to Still Looking (#97)-
    You're a tool!

    Posted by Your score = 0 July 27, 09 02:57 PM
  1. Date other people too. Can't hurt!

    Posted by Really_Seriously July 27, 09 03:02 PM
  1. First of all, to #97 (Still Looking) I say ... Seriously??? Because you come off as an patronizing know-it-all and most women with a clue will smell that coming for miles. Standards is one thing, ridiculous rules and regulations is another. You'll never find your perfect woman -- she doesn't exist. You might as well just build one out of spare parts you may have laying around.

    Secondly to the LW: it doesn't matter what **HIS** story is, it matters what YOURS is, and it all boils down to this: if you're so reluctant to stand up for yourself because you're afraid he'll leave you, then you're in for a long and painful process with him and when that ends ... with the next one. Relationships are great, but they're not all there is to life.

    Posted by Ancela's Ashes July 27, 09 03:08 PM
  1. When I met my boyfriend, he had just ended a four year relationship with a girl he thought he was going to marry. We really hit off one night, but he explained that he was in no way ready for a relationship. He said the thought of having a girlfriend was impossible to him right now, he had no trust in females anymore. I understood, but made it clear that we could take it slow, but absolutely had to be exclusive. You can take it slow without being exclusive. We went on dates once or twice a week, and were not completely involved in each others lives yet. We gradually started seeing each other more and more, and after about 5 months were very serious. We have now been dating for 3 years and live together.

    Long story short, you can take it slow while being exclusive.


    Posted by E July 27, 09 03:17 PM
  1. If things are great (as you say), then don't listen to these donkeys. Take the five nights a week your getting and stop being greedy.

    Posted by Hadie Nuff July 27, 09 03:26 PM
  1. I was right. She is starting to get that weird "Old Lady Smell", which I have noticed happens right about Late 30's - Early 40's (I got a BULLSEYE!!!). I used to think it was the Perfume & Hair products they used, but now I realize it is Pheromones. Nature has an agenda like that sometimes...

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 July 27, 09 03:27 PM
  1. He likes to date other women. Sounds like an honest enough guy (find all of the JERK comments a little puzzling) who’s not afraid to let you know where you stand. And you likely take a little satisfaction from the fact that he has not dumped you all together for Ms. Second Tuesday. But that’s not enough. You want him for yourself alone. An ultimatum is one way to go, but few healthy relationships start with a threat. And you could see him less, but that would likely simply open up his calendar for others. Then where are you. So, you have to break up with him and find a man who is either (a) less honest or (b) willing to date you exclusively.

    Posted by July 27 09 July 27, 09 03:41 PM
  1. Still Looking,

    I think there are plenty of women who meet your criteria. I just don't think they're going to be interested in you.

    You've talked at length about what you want. You haven't talked at all about what you have to offer. If that's your usual modus operandi, you'll be looking indefinitely.

    Posted by TallGirl July 27, 09 03:48 PM
  1. Rico thanks you for answering his questions...He actually was thinking around late 30's-early 40's and most likely divorced less than a few years...Why he left his marriage is not as important as why you left yours though. His 5 years out and still looking for someone while he sees you 5 days a week is a RED FLAG that you need to walk away and not look back. After 1.5 years you are just at the stage of being ready for full commitment again and deserve better than this guy stringing you along. He may seem great to you, takes you out, introduces you to friends etc... but the truth is he is using it as a smoke screen.

    Rico is betting his description earlier hit a cord? Wow, How did Rico know he was 42 and playing the field? The guy is 40's and trying to be 25 again because his ex-wife in his mind stole his good years and now he is trying to recreate those "lost years". You on the other hand want to settle down and have a family or at the very least a nice realtionship with the guy you hope to grow old with. Rico suggests moving on, he is not right for you even though you think he has the looks, the personality etc...

    Rico knows a guy that was in his mid-late 30's that did the same exact thing...he would go after every girl under 25 he could get his hands on. It's OK and he told you what he is doing so don't hate the player...

    Rico is curious so please tell us about your divorce and what were his real reasons for divorce?

    Love always,

    Rico

    Posted by Rico July 27, 09 03:51 PM
  1. Dudekidguywhatever (#127): why don't you fess up? You and Still Looking (#97) are one and the same, aren't you?

    Posted by dude get a life July 27, 09 03:52 PM
  1. I am married with 2 kids and I am looking for a new guy to replace the guy I have at home. I was sleeping with a guy I thought was great, he had a home, a car, a great personality and he was HOT. He was also dating regularly and I knew it but what could I say, I have a huband and 2 kids. Anyway, this went on for a while and I did everything I could to make this guy happy. Heck, I would have had sex with him and other women if I thought I could have had him to myself. Basically after a couple/few years he got tired of me or actually he found a single girl, really nice, attractive, smart etc...to have a real relationship with. I was hurt, actually destroyed. I am in my 40's and I am still married to a guy I could care less about and 2 kids that I love but would have given them up to be with this guy. He was amazing!!! Looks, body, intelligence, job, etc...I could go on. He was every womans dream guy and I was getting a chance to be with him a few days a week.

    Anyway, the moral to the story is this. I should have dumped my husband and gotten a divorce and moved on so I could have been the girl he wanted to be with and not just a toy for his pleasure. Leaving the husband or in your case "boyfriend" is not easy since there is no guarantee of meeting another guy so great, but it is a hell of a lot better than being hurt losing him to some young, hot little girl he was dating on the side. I continue to look and my husband probably thinks I just work a lot but some day maybe I will have the guts to leave him and get my life on track. Being a cheating wife is not a good thing, I am a slut, whore, rotten mother/wife for doing this and probably deserve the hurt and disappointment. You can do better.

    Posted by Sportsclub/LA badgirl July 27, 09 04:03 PM
  1. Truth is shorter than fiction....He is just not that into you ;(

    Posted by crackberry July 27, 09 04:06 PM
  1. When my husband and I met, he had gotten out of a 6 year relationship only a couple of months prior. He said he wasn't ready to have a serious relationship, and there was no ultimatum, but guess what....he didn't want to lose what we had, and what we had was inherently serious because we were really into each other. A couple years later we were married, and now we've been married for a couple too...and neither of us has any regrets. Sometimes plans change when the stakes are high.

    Posted by boredinboston July 27, 09 04:07 PM
  1. I think you should date others as well. He may decide that he doesn't like it...or even better you may meet someone you click with and wants to be more committed. You never know. Good luck.

    Posted by Deb July 27, 09 04:23 PM
  1. This guy wants his cake and eat it too and he is getting exactly that! If this guy wanted to take things slow - he would be doing just that - See you one week and another woman the next week. He doesn't want to vacation alone and you are right there for him. I say, find someone that wants YOU and not just someone who is the best of the lot right now. And what about intimacy?...I hope you are using protection? The only thing good about this guy is he is being honest about being with other women. Been there, done that!

    Posted by Angel_of_4 July 27, 09 04:30 PM
  1. You want him? Just tell him it is ok you are on the pill and no chance of you getting pregnant...do this for a few months and hope you get pregnant then drop the news over dinner and a movie on one of those 5 nights...or better yet send him a text while he is out with one of his other "dates".

    That'll work!!!

    Posted by Diaper Rash July 27, 09 04:48 PM
  1. #132: So just get a divorce, or is he paying the bills?
    Ann, be your own woman and dump this guy. You can do MUCH better.

    Posted by zitro July 27, 09 05:01 PM
  1. Ann,
    This guy is a jerk. your (ahem) "relationship" with him is not a relationship. He is going to dump you the minute he finds someone else he'd rather see five nights a week instead of only one. By that time, you'll have invested so much emotional energy into making this relationship work that you'll probably need professional help to deal with the breakup. You take control of this situation, not him. Dump him. Dump him now. Dump him this minute. Have a friend take you out tonight and cry in your beer. Make tomorrow a new beginning. NO ONE is allowed to play mind games with you. That is emotional abuse. NO ONE abuses you or mistreats you.
    .
    an aside to DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666: You are a jerk.

    Posted by Hansel's Hottie July 27, 09 05:01 PM
  1. Houston, we have a problem...

    Posted by Pocket Rocket July 27, 09 05:09 PM
  1. this guy is using you because you are letting him. don't waste your time playing games, pretending to see other men, or getting "accidentally" pregnant - none of those tactics will ever work if you are really looking for true and lasting love.

    just tell him that you are looking for an exclusive committed relationship, and since that is clearly not what he wants, it's over. then get busy living your life and getting what you want and deserve - true love. if he comes back to you and you're still available, then you can consider him for your future. if not, you just saved yourself years more of this nonsense.

    I know it's easier said than done to walk away, but it's so worth it because there are lots of wonderful men out there who want to be in real relationships built on respect and love. good luck!

    Posted by Soo B. Vious July 27, 09 05:14 PM
  1. Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.

    Posted by Anonymous July 27, 09 05:15 PM
  1. Ann, you sound really sweet. Any man worth is salt would want you. I hope you are taking care of your health, ie, was people said here about STDs. I do not think you are about to give him an ultimatum, but you have needs of your own that are going unmet.

    Ann, I do not think this man is being a rake. I think what he is, is poly. That does not make him bad, and it does not make you a fool. He is capable, and needful of, loving more than one person at a time. This must be part of your discussion with him, to learn if he is poly. Then, based on the information he gives you, you will finally be free to make your own choice about your relationship.

    Bleako is being nosy, Ann. You have already provided us with enough information – and you can see that except for a few smarmy ageist (are you listening, Bleako and dude?) types here, most of us are on your side. At least it has only been few months and not a few years – can you take any consolation in that? It's hard, I know, but not so hard once you have more information. Talk, talk, talk until both of you are exhausted. It's possible that you may find great love and commitment from this man in the discussion.

    Now Bleako: You are asking for TMI. Hasn't Ann given enough? Stop acting like some gossip-monger; get on your bike, and enjoy riding in (not fearing) a little rain.

    Now Still Looking: You're quite the little list maker, aren't you?

    Now valentino:

    Tied to teak bedposts
    valentino's captive dreams
    his whispered haiku

    Posted by reindeergirl July 27, 09 05:27 PM
  1. #139, "Hansel's Hottie": Awwwwww! Did I hit a little too close to home? People really have a hard time dealing with the truth, sheesh! PS: expensive perfume from Macy's does not cover up that chemical at all, it sort of reminds me of Formaldehyde (aka embalming fluid, no pun at all seriously).

    Posted by DudeGuyKidDudeGuy666 July 27, 09 05:45 PM
  1. "I am in my 40's and I am still married to a guy I could care less about and 2 kids that I love but would have given them up to be with this guy".----------Yes, of course, because what is the long term committed love from the father of your children when you can have a guy who is 'hot'. Complete distraction, ridiculous tangent, but sometimes the occasion calls. To the self-proclaimed whore/rotton mother (your words, I believe?), I must address you, do your family a HUGE favor and leave them. All of them. Give your 'looking for another guy' your full attention. Get as far away from your children as possible. Nobody is nearly the fool you believe them to be, but you ARE being a horrific role model who, I am sure, your children are acutely aware of your feelings if not your actions, which will follow in only a matter of time. Leave them. Do them this favor. Please. While I'm sure the pain you cause them is of no real consequence to you, I do appeal to you to allow yourself some discomfort on their behalf if you can find a generous bone in your body. Do you realize you are telling your children that THIS is what a marriage should be, and THIS is what a mother is. While most couples I would counsel to work on the marriage, i do not even attempt it here. If you give them nothing else in life, give them your leave. While I suspect this may be an exaggerated joke, on the possibility that your words are sincere, I appeal for you to , set the lot of them free. And consider it the most unselfish thing you have probably ever done.

    Posted by a few grey horrified hairs July 27, 09 05:46 PM
  1. Glad Kathleen is back from vacation!

    I have been this guy. After a 10 yr relationship ended, I was not ready to jump into another serious relationship right away. Dating was a nightmare. Almost every woman I dated more than a few times was interested in a exclusive. If I wasnt ready to commit to an exclusive, dealbreaker. I understand that since we were in our 40s, women didnt want to waste time in something that wouldnt work into a ltr. But I couldnt be forced into something, I wasnt ready for.

    Lets reverse the situation. If I was dating her exclusively, and sleeping with her, and she wanted to date other men, I would be walking out the door. I would not be her boyfriend and spend all my time with her. The writing would be on the wall.

    I wanted a long term monagamous relationship. Just not right away. LW needs to slow herself down, and dont blame him. Its you. Excellent advice from many here. Dont see him so much. Turn down a few dates with him. Dont be available every time. Go on a couple of dates yourself. He will see the light.

    Posted by billy13 July 27, 09 05:59 PM
  1. i was going to say the same as #142, so in the words of the great Smokey Robinson, I second that emotion.

    Posted by Kate's Nonna July 27, 09 06:04 PM
  1. He's been divorced 5 years and still wants to play the field? He's planning vacations with you (after only 4 months) yet wants to "take it slow." He's being "honest" with you about dating others while still hanging around together 5 days a week (do you work together?).

    Sorry .. it all stinks. Don't be so available, don't go on that vacation either. Vacations are for exclusive couples, not those who are dating around IMO. Live your life, make other dates, travel on your own and enjoy things without him. If he's the one he'll stop dating others (just in case.)

    My guess from his age (early 40's, divorced 5 years) is that he got married young. Lots of guys in that situation feel they have missed out on dating around and partying. I've seen plenty of them trying way to hard to make up for lost time. Let him have his fun .. without you waiting around.

    Posted by ReadingRocket July 27, 09 06:09 PM
  1. I don't recall a mention of children. Are you still capable of having kids? He may enjoy your company but he could be looking to date someone younger who can provide him with his dream for children. I know a lot of male friends who feel this way. It's a pity.

    Even, if that's not the case, then I would REALLY think about NOT thinking about him. This guy, scared or not, is having his cake and eating it too. Don't let him play dumb, which you are. If he really wants you, he will make you his priority sans the other women. If not, well, like the others have said before me, "you have your answer." He is not the only fish in the sea. There are many men who will make a real commitment to you, and their self esteem is intact enough not to need to date multiple women. Let's hope your self esteem is high, too.

    Posted by esteem July 27, 09 07:03 PM
  1. Just like others have mentioned, I find it more than a little strange (bizarro?) that he's saying one thing ("take things slow"), but doing something completely different (with you 5 days of the week, introducing you to family/friends, going on several vacations). Those behaviors are not considered "taking things slow". Suspicion should always be raised when words and actions do not jibe. The same red flag that goes up when someone proclaims someone to be the love of their life, but does not put in the time to spend with them is the same verbal/action incongruity as this (saying one thing, but doing another). If he was truly taking things slow, he wouldn't be spending on average 5 of 7 days of the week with you, going on multiple vacations (if any), and introducing you to family. Like I mentioned previously (and as many have stated), you need to scale back on this mixed-message relationship...not only because he's keeping his options open (which means you should as well), but also because you need to step back and evaluate why he's giving these mixed signals. Mixed signals are problematic because he's either 1) lying to you, 2) lying to himself, or 3) both. All (3) are not good things. Like someone else said...go back to doing what you were doing before you met him.

    Posted by bklynmom July 27, 09 07:34 PM
  1. I agree with Meredith. I don't believe at all that this is about him leading you on or not that interested in you. It has been 4 months and he has had past failures in relationship and is skiddish. It sounds like he wants to go slow and keep his options only. I think this is more about you than him. Perhaps, you shouldn't put all your eggs in one basket and make sure you go out with your girlfriends etc...and not be too available for him.

    Posted by lisa July 27, 09 07:45 PM
  1. to add to my earlier post: he's just using you for sex until someone younger comes along. stop putting out and see how long this five night a week guy hangs around. when he leaves you, you'll understand what he was doing all along. using you for sex.

    Posted by dorchesterd July 27, 09 09:02 PM
  1. You might want to consider the possibility that he is afraid to be alone, but he doesn't want to be committed/monogamous. He wants his "girlfriend" as a security blanket, but a part of him still wants to feel the freedom to date other women. I think it's odd that he brings you into his life so full throttle yet doesn't want to make the relationship official or exclusive. You don't have to nag or give ultimatums to let him know what is ok with you and what is not ok. You need to figure out what YOU want. It sounds like he's told you what he needs and wants, and now it's your turn to return the favor.

    Posted by Skyler July 27, 09 09:06 PM
  1. Agree w/ 148.
    Don't over-invest in this relationship any more than you already have. You did not mention reason for his divorce. Was his wife one of those relationships where he 'realized' he wasn't in love?

    It does sound like a guy who really wants to have some 'fun' and enjoys the idea of a little stability on the side.

    I'd stop the vacations unless he is paying :)! This sounds very common in my opinion - a lot of guys get older and WISH they had the opportunities that seem to be so bountiful today in the singles world. Lots of females out there! This 'gotta bang everything that walks' mentality borders on little-brain mental illness! Too many women are enablers.

    If you like him well enough to continue to see him, slow it down to once/twice a week and avoid s#x with him until after he's been tested and wants to be exclusive. The idea of his dipping his fishing pole in sluddy waters is enough to be concerned about STD's not to mention his emotional stability/maturity.

    I can't help but wonder why he divorced. Monogamy is work & can seem like a prison (especially for guys, but for us gals as well), If you care about someone, you care about their emotional and physical well being and monogamy is one big area of concern. Don't get duped, he's posturing! He'll just take advantage of your being more into him forever if you let him. This is a pattern - probably a long history of it. Can't help but wonder if he finds you less attractive since you are pushing the issue with him. Forget ultimatums - they backfire. Just change it up and stop acting like its more than it is. I'm potentially embarrassed for you in that his family/friends may know his game and perhaps you are his latest pawn. I hope that is not the case, because you sound too nice for that - you want a decent guy and think you found one. Time will tell, in the meantime don't get taken advantage of and don't lose your own life to a wing and a prayer.

    You are not a fool now, but the fact that you kind of feel like one tells me that you need to trust your instincts.

    Posted by EmotionallyWarpedHeIs July 27, 09 09:21 PM
  1. Ann, a terrific guy for _you_ , and someone who is a "good match" is a man who would be in a monogamous relationship after 4 months. Please don't say paint him as being so good for you when he cannot even match your desires for a relationship, which is the point of your connection with him! Realize his desires for what they are: he does not want a monogamous relationship with you. I assume you are both sleeping together. If this is the case, really think about what level of intimacy would be acceptable to you with these other women he is dating. Hand holding while talking? It's probably not limited to that. If you've said what you want, and if he's not into it, accept it and stay in the relationship. If you can't accept it, it's not the relationship for you.

    Posted by Pregcurious July 28, 09 07:25 AM
  1. You need to start dating someone else as well. Cancel the trips together. He needs to get over his own self-importance. He's selfish, and worse, he's probably sleeping with these women and then jumping in the sack with you. Lets not give him the power to spread his seed and STD's all over the state. You also don't want to put your eggs in this basket until he figures out what he wants. You're being treated like crap. Find some dignity, find someone else, and leave him to figure out what he wants to be when he grows up.

    Posted by Mandy July 28, 09 07:41 AM
  1. Ew. I'm sorry, but your situation grosses me out. I don't know if I'm too old-fashioned or too modern (I'm 25), but I could never date someone who's dating other people at the same time after more than *maybe* a month. I just think I'm worth someone's full attention, and since I would never continue to see other people if I really cared about the person I'm dating, I would expect the same consideration from someone else! But I've never been divorced or had a really painful breakup, so that's probably why I can't see your point of view.

    STILL- if this guy is having ANY kind of physical relationship with the women he's dating-- EVEN KISSING THEM-- I'd get out of there as fast as I could! He could pick up herpes from some other woman's lips and give it to you! Do you want to live life like someone on The Bachelor? I am far too much of a germaphobe to handle being with a guy who has more than platonic contact with other women. That's nas-ty.

    Maybe it's my generation or my age or my situation, or the fact that I've never been with anyone but guys who were completely and exclusively into me. But I cannot bring myself to see the appeal of a man who wants to see other people! Different people have different dating styles, and I guess that's mine.

    Posted by JinMet July 28, 09 07:54 AM
  1. Look, the guy is being hurtful. If he's going to date other people (and that's his perogative), I'd cut my losses and look elsewhere. It's not as if he didn't introduce you to his family and friends and travel places with you. It's not as if you only see each other once a week, and nothing physical happened.

    Men and women who pull this crap are being hurtful. Don't stick around. Don't issue an ultimatum. Just start dating other people and don't have any contact with him (you do have feelings for him, and will easily slip back into this fake-relationship if you see him even occasionally).

    Why be with someone who plays silly headgames?

    Posted by PM July 28, 09 08:29 AM
  1. This doesn't look good. If this guy is a "player" of sort, then there is no real relationship in this. If he is seriously looking, then there must be something that doesn't feel right to him. In any case, even if a elationship comes out of this, it has a built-in inequity. I doubt it will last.

    Posted by NotLookingGood July 28, 09 09:39 AM
  1. He's just not sure, and nothing's going to change that but his own decision. I don't agree that he's being hurtful. What's hard to understand about the fact that he at this point wants to continue to meet other women (not "people" by the way)?

    The only real question here is whether it works for you to wait, or whether you are ok with the relationship as it is.

    And really, four months isn't that long from my perspective. In my experience generally though (not in all cases) women will want to settle into a relationship by that time, and men, particularly younger men, will want it to stay slightly open. In the case of yur own relationship, really it sounds like you are the primary relationship and these other women aren't adding up to much for him.

    You should initiate a conversation with him telling him all the positive reasons (you listed several, I'm sure there are more) you want to be exclusive with him and offer to make that leap with him. It's his option to accept your offer or not. He should have some good reasons to want to do this with you. If they aren't compelling for him, then he has no reason to move to form an exclusive relationship with you.

    After that, you just have to decide what to do--just tell him it doesn't work for you and leave, or issue the ultimatum (bad choice in my opinion), or decide together to give it some more time. and revisit the issue if you still feel that way in a couple of months. It should feel like a positive decision on both sides, which is why the ultimatum is a bad idea in the long run in my opinion.

    Posted by steve in W MA July 28, 09 10:42 AM
  1. The GOOD Reverend is back ... better late than never.

    OK. Without going into stories from too many bad poker nights in the old days, the Good Reverend is going to give it to you, the LW, plain and straight. Tell him you are interested in seeing someone else - bluff him. See where he's at in the relationship. If he puts up a big stink about it, you know his feelings are with you. But if he says, "OK" or doesn't really care what you do, then you know where he really ... a divorced guy with another shot of the bachelor/single-guy lifestyle. Truthfully, he is unchained, and he's going to not let anything get in the way of his happiness. You, on the other hand, have fallen for him and have put him - an unworthy individual - on a pedastal. NO GOOD. Please take him off of the pedastal, smack him. That's the way to go.

    Posted by TheRevHortonHeat July 28, 09 10:44 AM
  1. Steve, when someone introduces you to their family and friends, spends five nights a week with you, and takes vacations with you BUT wants to see other people and not let things get serious, yes, they're being hurtful. They're playing head games. They are happy to have you spend your time and energy on them, to string you along, while they maintain an easy out.

    Lose this guy, Ann. If he was into you, he wouldn't play this ridiculous game. If he doesn't know what he wants/was hurt in the past/whatever, it's HIS problem. It's not your job to fix it or to figure him out. You deserve better than what he's offering.

    I don't agree that he's poly. He'd say something (unless he's a real jackass).

    My original advice still stands. No ultimatums, no big talks. His actions and his words don't match up, and it's not your job or your problem to figure him out. Move on, move up, and cut off all contact.

    Posted by PM July 28, 09 11:25 AM
  1. Sweetie move on. Keep seeing him if you think he's a nice guy and worth your time but you've had one failed marriage already...find someone who is worth your time. You clearly are not in the same place as he is right now but you are awfully convenient for him. There is no downside for him. You've done all you can and he's not into it so think about yourself because you're totally allowing him to call the shots. Life is too short for this. You're worth more than this and should realize it. See him one or two times a week at most! Don't see his family. Just date him. In the end though sounds like you need to back off and move on. Oh and I don't think he's scared. He's just not there and you can't force it.

    Posted by Anonymous July 28, 09 12:00 PM
  1. Serial relationships MAY be a sign of something more serious than just emotional immaturity, they may warn of abuse. The need for distraction is a classic red flag. Abusers NEED a target for their behavior like they need air to breathe. The irony here is that ultimately, it's not personal for them. Abusive men seek a body in which they can build their 'dream woman'. Problems arise when the real woman tries to express herself. It's hard to see and hard to believe until you've lived it....

    Posted by Anna Moss July 28, 09 12:04 PM
  1. Uh...Judge Joe Jackson? More like Judge Joe Brown...don't get hung up in the details.

    Posted by big dummy July 28, 09 12:13 PM
  1. Why did he get divorced and why didn't his other relationships last? That could tell you a lot about him. This could be a pattern or he's a cheater that is being honest with you.

    The most important thing is that YOU need to feel good about YOU. Sounds like you are not liking his behavior. It's up to you to talk to him.

    Posted by KimberlyM July 28, 09 12:23 PM
  1. Those of you fixated on the cause of his divorce -- didn't you read Ann's second message that she feels the cause isn't relevant? Pay attention.

    Posted by Miss Frizzle July 28, 09 12:45 PM
  1. Those of you fixated on the cause of his divorce -- didn't you read Ann's second message that she feels the cause isn't relevant? Pay attention.

    Posted by Miss Frizzle July 28, 09 12:46 PM
  1. Those of you fixated on the cause of his divorce -- didn't you read Ann's second message that she feels the cause isn't relevant? Pay attention.

    Posted by Miss Frizzle July 28, 09 12:46 PM
  1. Something's not right here. If the man feels like he needs an escape clause, like one night a week away from you specifically to see other women, then you have to wonder why he wants to spend five nights with you. If he needs space or needs to be sure about the relationship, then you should only see him once or twice a week and give him the rest of the time to do what he wants (as you should) and get his head on straight. If four months isn't enough, then how long does he need? Six? Twelve? I can understand being shy of entering into a committed relationship, but he effectively HAS entered that relationship by spending so much time with you and bringing you so close to his inner circle. I think you need to take control and carve out some boundaries -- limit the amount of time spent with him, and keep family / friends out of the picture until he's ready to get more serious.

    Posted by DJ in Burlington July 28, 09 02:15 PM
 
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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