Can you relate? After 4 or 5 dates with a great guy— nerdy in that hot way you like, or devilishly handsome but somehow really nice— you are sold.
The gentleman in question perfectly matches the “boyfriend” job description in your head, and you are ready to hire. You fantasize about changing your Facebook relationship status because of him. You consider canceling coffee with that random Tinder dude you’re supposed to meet next Tuesday.
Yet, Mr. Wonderful seems content to keep things where they are. He likes you and he clearly wants to keep dating you, but words like “exclusive” and “girlfriend” just aren’t rolling off his tongue.
What should you do to get him to level up?
Is it time to have "The Talk" so you don't waste any more time?
The good news is that the best path for you to take is also the path that is most likely to draw him to you for a committed relationship, if that is part of his future plan. And that is to sit back and enjoy the phase you’re in right now—casually dating someone with potential—and consider these 3 potential benefits to delaying exclusivity:
Benefit #1: Information Is Power
The longer you delay exclusivity, the more information you will have about each person you are dating. Almost any guy can seem like a prince for a few weeks or months, but what happens when he starts to reveal the “real” him? If you are dating multiple people—which I highly encourage, provided you are also delaying physical intimacy—you may be surprised to find that your ultimate best match is not the guy you originally targeted. Always let the best man win!
Benefit #2: Real Men Date With Their Brains Switched On
Sure, it may seem romantic to get caught up in a whirlwind romance, with a man whispering that you are The One by the second date. But let’s be real. Emotionally healthy men—you know, the kind that make great husbands—often choose to take their time before they commit to a special woman. I’m not talking about dragging his feet endlessly for months, but having the maturity and self-discipline to step back emotionally and make sure that you fit into his life, in a long-term way, before he presses you for exclusivity.
Benefit #3: If It Occurs Too Early, Becoming Exclusive May Actually Slow Down Courtship
A man loves knowing that his girlfriend is a high-status, in-demand woman.When a man locks you down too early, he may miss out on the pleasure of “winning” you over from your single status. Now he’s got you—but is some of the fire and momentum fizzling out? Is he regretting his move, and starting to look around at other women? It is far better to become exclusive after you’re sure that you have truly captivated him and he deeply appreciates all you can bring to his life.
Always keep these benefits in mind when you find yourself really liking someone and hoping he will initiate The Talk. Appreciate where you’re at today, and understand that your pace and his don’t have to line up perfectly for this to be a true love match.
Robyn Wahlgast is a Rules Certified Dating and Relationship Coach for Women. If you're online dating (or thinking about it) read How To Have An Awesome First Date With An Online Guy for road-tested tips and advice. Never miss a new blog post: subscribe to our FREE newsletter.