How long to go before going exclusive or otherwise?


#1

Hi all! I did a search on the forums, but couldn’t find a thread on this topic. So my question is, how long should two people date before going exclusive or deciding to call it quits? I know every situation’s different, so I’m just looking for a rough time frame here, in terms of number of dates or the duration of involvement.

Thanks in advance!


#2

Oh gosh that’s hard to quantify…
It takes getting to know a person… you go on a date and you seem to click then go for date #2, if not then call it quits…
If you continually seem to connect on more and more as you continue to date then you should proceed forward…

If your dates aren’t effective at getting to know the other person then maybe it would take longer. But if your first dates included some in-depth talks about your life dreams and such then you could figure out if you connect early on…

It just depends on how quickly you communicate!


#3

There are no rules. It totally depends on the people involved.

I knew my wife was the one after the first date. Three weeks later she said yes, and we were married 3 months afterwards. Our wedding was 36 years, 10 months and 9 days ago.


#4

Okay, I see. Thanks!

I guess my next question is, how soon should one bring up this question?


#5

There is no religious, magisterial, legal, binding or anything, way to answer that. There’s no obligation to make it no sooner than, no later than or anything like that. Whatever is right for you. :slight_smile:

As of me, I don’t consider someone else and myself a couple for merely going out to the cinema or park or a cafe and having a good time. Not even if there’s a second or third meeting. I do, however, consider myself coupled when some feelings of love have been declared, when there’s been some kissing or an otherwise romantic action. I believe any form of polygamy to be immoral, therefore a relationship with more than one girl at the same time I cannot consider moral, therefore I cannot engage in. And I don’t make out outside relationships. I believe that to be wrong.

Therefore, my rules are that going out with several girls at the same time is okay if it’s just friends and/or getting to know, but strictly romantic behaviours such as kissing on the lips or declaring love, passing for a couple and the like, are reserved for an exclusive relationship. That exclusive relationship is not merely an exclusive affair being had for fun, it’s a relationship which, if everything goes right, will proceed to engagement, then to marriage.


#6

I think a lot of it has to do with how you go into a relationship in the first place. My personal opinion is that a Catholic needs to only consider marriage when courting anyone (notice that I said courting, not dating, they are totally different mind sets).

If you are going to have a relationship with someone and NOT consider that marriage is ever an option, then you are in it for the wrong reasons. Just dating around without the end purpose being marriage is a waste of everyone’s time, because as Catholics we don’t have the option of shacking up, so what’s the use of just dating if you would never consider marriage with them? So - your perspective of the person is totally different when you approach a relationship from this position.

Now - that is not to say that the first person you ever date is the one you must marry (though that does happen for some). It means that your end goal of the relationship, and therefore how you approach a question such as yours, is considered. If you go into it thinking that you are looking for your future spouse, you sure do look a lot more seriously at the person, and not just how fun and warm and fuzzy it is to be with them. If you are only looking for a date, you are wasting your time as well as the other person’s.

So - for the first part of your question regarding “going exclusive” - I don’t think that dating more than one person at the same time is ever a good idea, nor is it respectful of the person you are dating. So “going exclusive” should be the norm right out the shoot. For the second part of the question, “deciding to call it quits”, that is a question that answers itself when you consider whether or not you would ever consider marrying her. If that is not even a consideration, then you have made your decision. Time to move on and stop wasting her time and yours.

Hope this makes sense. Dating is for men and women who just want a good time - courting is for serious Catholics who are looking for someone to spend the rest of their lives with. Big difference.

~Liza


#7

“I guess my next question is, how soon should one bring up this question?”

Usually the other person eventually starts making comments like “You’re not seeing other people, are you?” Or they start wanting a claim on all your free time. I would run far from a man who on the first date told me he didn’t want me dating anyone else and he pressed for an exclusive commitment. That would scream “wifebeater” to me.

Let it evolve. You will eventually have no doubt if the other person wants you to be exclusive.

I’m not going to condemn dating. No one I know goes on every date expecting that to lead to courtship. You don’t hardly even know the person. How can you be deciding to court them? Dating is how you get to know the person enough to make it exclusive.

I"m personally sorry I wasn’t dating more than one person at the beginning of my “courtship” with xh. Maybe if I had someone to compare his behavior with, I would have realized just how out of bounds he was. There would have been some contrast between his evasiveness and manipulative behavior and someone else who may have treated me as if I had more value. But as it was, the treatment by xh was just nice enough that I fell for it.

And there is something to be said for a man who knows he has competition. It makes some work harder, and it drives some away. My xh would have been the kind who would have dropped me like a hot potato if I had been seeing other people at the same time as him in the beginning. (different rules for him, of course.) And you know what? It would have been no loss to me! Sometimes people take you for granted if they don’t have to work too hard to earn your love.


#8

I was worried by the previous paragraph, but here I agree so much with you. I believe it’s awfully wrong to date around, including above-friendly PDA, without the intention of marrying the person or at least hoping the person will prove the right one.

So - for the first part of your question regarding “going exclusive” - I don’t think that dating more than one person at the same time is ever a good idea, nor is it respectful of the person you are dating. So “going exclusive” should be the norm right out the shoot.

:tiphat: :clapping:


#9

Very true. :slight_smile:

I would run far from a man who on the first date told me he didn’t want me dating anyone else and he pressed for an exclusive commitment. That would scream “wifebeater” to me.

That’s true… So long as there have been no explicit declarations, there’s no formal relationship. So long as there have been no implicit declarations even, there are no obligations. Consistently going to the park of cafe or cinema with a person isn’t really a sufficient declaration even in the implicit sense. It just gives enough ground to ask about other people and that’s it. However, I pay much attention to PDA. If a girl kissed me romantically and then I saw her kissing some other guy the same way, I would consider any relationship between her and me terminated. Hugs, spontaneous cheek pecks (I’m not talking about hello’s and goodbye’s), walking arm-in-arm, that’s strong but still ambiguous signs. Once physical signs of romantic involvement are exchanges, the relationship should be exclusive or the matter cleared up, apologies made after second thoughts and so on.

Let it evolve. You will eventually have no doubt if the other person wants you to be exclusive.

In fact, I would talk about stages of relationship rather than exclusivity. Concurrent relationships of the boyfriend-girlfriend kind are wrong and there’s nothing in friendship-like relationships to make them exclusive. It’s hard to say what should be exclusive in it except attention maybe.

I’m not going to condemn dating. No one I know goes on every date expecting that to lead to courtship. You don’t hardly even know the person. How can you be deciding to court them? Dating is how you get to know the person enough to make it exclusive.

Well yeah, but the problem is some people go on to have fun with everyone as with an “almost bf/gf”, leading to situations like sitting in the tree with Jane on Monday, Joan on Tuesday, Wilma on Wednesday and Alice on Thursday, different girl for sweet kissing every day of the week. I don’t find that proper.

And there is something to be said for a man who knows he has competition. It makes some work harder, and it drives some away. My xh would have been the kind who would have dropped me like a hot potato if I had been seeing other people at the same time as him in the beginning. (different rules for him, of course.) And you know what? It would have been no loss to me! Sometimes people take you for granted if they don’t have to work too hard to earn your love.

I sort of understand him. On the one hand, I don’t mind going here or there with a friend who goes here or there with another guy, but if a girl were seeing several men on a level between friends and boyfriend, I would avoid her. Especially if it involved overtly romantic PDA, declarations of love, attraction, interest and the like. If this means I’m crossed out from the very beginning in the mind of many women, if not most, then I’m fine with this as the consequence of my choices, which are made on my principles. :slight_smile:

Hmm… Another thing. With all respect of course, but what about a woman who knows she has competition? Is it equally as fine as a man who does?

Personally, I’d rather everyone met his or her spouse without having to compete. I don’t fancy competition and while I can pull that off, I don’t get the thrill of win, let alone rivalry that many men do. I consider the process a necessary evil, not an added fun. Sometimes I will show off a bit but I’m certainly not going to participate in any game in which scores are kept or times compared. In fact, I believe it would be better for a woman to make a rational comparison between the guys rather than running a contest. :wink: Besides, I think the best situation is when the man and the woman are mutually and equally interested from the beginning.


#10

By competition I meant that the man wasn’t the only prospect, so he couldn’t treat her as if she had nowhere else to go if he treated her shabbily.

My idea about other women… if he isn’t soon won over by me, who needs him? It shouldn’t be a hard choice. If he can’t pick me in a short time, she can have him.

I wouldn’t want to be anyone’s second choice.

No, I wouldn’t like to be dating someone who kissed me while he was out kissing other women. Nor do I take the view that a woman is a prize to be won.

Please don’t say you understand my xh in any way. That scares me for you. :smiley:

I personally think the ability to be in any way intimate with more than one person is probably more a guy thing. Many women are much quicker to want a commitment sooner rather than later. The woman who plays the field is not the cliche.


#11

Agreed. Though I’d rather he based the good treatment on a genuine need to be charitable to others. As in, a need coming from inside, rather than a fear of anything. I fear no competition when treating ladies well and sometimes I behave the right way knowing that being a gentleman ends you up in the friend bracket. :wink:

My idea about other women… if he isn’t soon won over by me, who needs him? It shouldn’t be a hard choice. If he can’t pick me in a short time, she can have him.

Now, why should he not think the same, but you should? You must admit it’s a different standard for you and for him. You have to be won over in a long process in which he’s proving himself, but he has to pick you quickly without knowing that much about you. Again, with respect, I consider that a bit unfair.

I wouldn’t want to be anyone’s second choice.

Neither. But I wouldn’t want to be the guy who spoke the most languages, had the best education and got the biggest paycheck in the right place at the right time, knowing fully well it was an evaluation of assets ending in my favour because someone thought he couldn’t make any better. :wink:

No, I wouldn’t like to be dating someone who kissed me while he was out kissing other women. Nor do I take the view that a woman is a prize to be won.

:slight_smile:

Hah. There’s a bit of schizophrenia in the public mores. On the one hand, there are all the good things of chivarly. On the other hand, there’s the mentality in which a woman’s charms are the reward of a hero. The noble version isn’t all that noble when you look into it…

…And the reasonable version with mutual-interest-based marriages in which people pick partners freely basing on what they like (think finding matches on a dating site), doesn’t really work out that great.

In fact, I’m inclined to conclude it’s for the best if things are left to their own course, so long as it’s not overly pathological. I suppose it’s just hard to take that the process is so complicated, some people are left out, others end up in abusive or mismatched relationships and so on.

Please don’t say you understand my xh in any way. That scares me for you. :smiley:

Okay. :smiley: I certainly don’t like double standards, rest assured. :smiley: I just somewhat empathise with preference to avoid competition. :wink:

I personally think the ability to be in any way intimate with more than one person is probably more a guy thing. Many women are much quicker to want a commitment sooner rather than later. The woman who plays the field is not the cliche.

My intuition says you’re right, but I think some women like the idea of having many suitors to fight for them, many guys to depend on, this kind of thing. Traditionally, guys would be the more one-night-stand-inclined sex, as well. These days things are changing, however. And I’m not sure about the commitment thing. In my experience, my past girlfriends have had the knack for first complaining about being suffocated by my wanting to spend time with them, while constnatly giving me the impression they are trying to run away or close me in a bracket, only later to complain that I am the one neglecting or ignoring them when I have learnt to deal with their smaller need for spending time with me by finding myself a new hobby or something like that.


#12

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