Author Topic: A friendly way to ask?  (Read 6953 times)

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TurtleDove

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Re: A friendly way to ask?
« Reply #30 on: January 17, 2014, 04:04:24 PM »

I think you should expect casual dating unless it is explicitly discussed that you are exclusive.

This.  I think you can discuss whether you wish to be exclusive at any point, but unless and until you do, assume you are both free to see other people.  Personally, I have the discussion early on if I like someone, and definitely before anything beyond kissing happens.  There is nothing wrong with playing the field so long as everyone is on the same page. 

Allyson

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Re: A friendly way to ask?
« Reply #31 on: January 17, 2014, 07:48:09 PM »

I think you should expect casual dating unless it is explicitly discussed that you are exclusive.

This.  I think you can discuss whether you wish to be exclusive at any point, but unless and until you do, assume you are both free to see other people.  Personally, I have the discussion early on if I like someone, and definitely before anything beyond kissing happens.  There is nothing wrong with playing the field so long as everyone is on the same page.

Agree. I have either dated friends, where I sort of already knew their social schedule and who they were/weren't seeing, or else gave it a few dates before having the 'sooo...are you seeing anyone else?' speech?

I was casually seeing a friend of mine, Adam, when I met my current guy, Drew. Adam and I were never going to be serious and knew it, and Drew and I had a *really* strong connection, and I knew right away that I was interested. I think I saw Adam once after the first date with Drew, then pulled back a bit because my interest took a sharp dive.

I also think what's defined as a 'date' matters, as I hang out as friends with people regardless of gender, so I'd need a specific declaration of intent (verbal or by a kiss works) before I would assume anything was going on.

Raintree

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Re: A friendly way to ask?
« Reply #32 on: January 17, 2014, 09:01:16 PM »

Jenna and Ralph meet at an alumni event for the very large university they both attended. A couple months later, they run into each other at another alumni event and get to know each other better. They talk on the phone and go on 3 successful dates. They have kissed- but that's it physically.

They go on their 4th date. By now, over a month has passed since their first date (and even more since their first meeting). Jenna is hoping to define the relationship on that date. Ralph receives a call during the date while waiting to be seated at the restaurant. It is a very short and perfunctory call- so he takes it in front of Jenna (he had never taken a call in front of her before). She asks if everything is fine- Ralph says it was just Deborah (whom he had not mentioned before). Jenna asks casually if Deborah is his friend- Ralph says it was a woman he met. Jenna asks if he was interested in her- he said no, that they went out just once (one night he was not seeing Jenna) and he could tell she was not a good match for him, and that she now was more of a business contact since they work in the same broad industry. Jenna does not bring it up on the rest of their dinner and movie date...

Until they are in the car on the way back to drop Jenna off at her place. Ralph asks Jenna if she has a problem with his dating other women. Jenna said yes. Ralph replied "I never said we were dating exclusively".  Jenna replied "true"...but she said that she was the kind of person who by 4 dates needed exclusivity and was hoping to discuss it. Ralph and Jenna part ways cordially that evening, but Jenna is still hurt because she really liked Ralph and she thought he liked her back and all.

Was it just a misunderstanding? Did Jenna do wrong in assuming exclusivity? Assume this happened in the United States of America- would it be different in another country, given what has been said here? Is there a communication breakdown, regardless of what country this is happening in? Which one should be assumed- exclusivity, or casual dating- until it is explicitly discussed.

Perhaps this is for a separate thread, but you're right, it is similar to the OP's friend's situation. My opinions:

1) It was rude of him to take that call during his date with Jenna. It's almost like he wanted Jenna to know there were other women, without having to say so.
2) After 3 successful dates, some kissing, and now a 4th date, I'd expect Ralph to have mentioned he was still dabbling around and casting the net for something better, so that Jenna would know where she stood. If a guy shows me that much interest, I assume it's me he's interested in and I'm not just one of several. Unless he states otherwise. In my entire dating life, I've never had the "so, are we an item now?" conversation. It's implied. Guys who want to keep dating other women have said to me some version of, "Please don't get too attached to me. I want you to continue to date other people." (Translation: "I want to keep seeing other women.")
3) I think Jenna's best course of action now is to state that because she wants exclusivity, and Ralph does not, she thinks it best they part ways until such a time comes that they both want the same thing. If he really likes her, he will take steps to be with her. If he doesn't, he won't.

As for Sally in the OP, probably best to ask about this Amy person. "I heard you had a girlfriend named Amy. Is this true? I would just like to clarify, as I thought we had something developing and I just want to know where this is going so I can decide on my own course of action."

greencat

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Re: A friendly way to ask?
« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2014, 10:23:46 PM »
I've frequently been mistakenly thought by acquaintances to be the girlfriend of many of my male friends - it is also possible that "Amy" is just a platonic female friend who he is often seen at events with. 

LifeOnPluto

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Re: A friendly way to ask?
« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2014, 09:33:24 PM »
I wonder how long Sally and Joe had been dating, time-wise and number of dates wise. I wonder if both length of calendar time and number of dates play a role.

Imagine something like this:

Jenna and Ralph meet at an alumni event for the very large university they both attended. A couple months later, they run into each other at another alumni event and get to know each other better. They talk on the phone and go on 3 successful dates. They have kissed- but that's it physically.

They go on their 4th date. By now, over a month has passed since their first date (and even more since their first meeting). Jenna is hoping to define the relationship on that date. Ralph receives a call during the date while waiting to be seated at the restaurant. It is a very short and perfunctory call- so he takes it in front of Jenna (he had never taken a call in front of her before). She asks if everything is fine- Ralph says it was just Deborah (whom he had not mentioned before). Jenna asks casually if Deborah is his friend- Ralph says it was a woman he met. Jenna asks if he was interested in her- he said no, that they went out just once (one night he was not seeing Jenna) and he could tell she was not a good match for him, and that she now was more of a business contact since they work in the same broad industry. Jenna does not bring it up on the rest of their dinner and movie date...

Until they are in the car on the way back to drop Jenna off at her place. Ralph asks Jenna if she has a problem with his dating other women. Jenna said yes. Ralph replied "I never said we were dating exclusively".  Jenna replied "true"...but she said that she was the kind of person who by 4 dates needed exclusivity and was hoping to discuss it. Ralph and Jenna part ways cordially that evening, but Jenna is still hurt because she really liked Ralph and she thought he liked her back and all.

Was it just a misunderstanding? Did Jenna do wrong in assuming exclusivity? Assume this happened in the United States of America- would it be different in another country, given what has been said here? Is there a communication breakdown, regardless of what country this is happening in? Which one should be assumed- exclusivity, or casual dating- until it is explicitly discussed.

OP- was the situation similar to the one I just described, or is there another variable?

I can't speak for the USA, but in Australia, Ralph's behaviour would be considered dodgy and two-timing. By Date No.4, exclusiveness would (or should) be implied. So in Australia, Jenna would not be wrong in assuming that she and Ralph were an exclusive couple.

I also think that this sort of revelation from Ralph would be a deal breaker for most Aussie women.

Jones

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Re: A friendly way to ask?
« Reply #35 on: January 20, 2014, 12:12:26 AM »
Granted, I haven't dated in a few years (married young and desperately) but from what I've observed, in my area of the US, exclusivity is implied after the 3rd date or 1st kiss. For some reason those two things go hand in hand...I tended to wait a little extra time for that first kiss. My first boyfriend was entirely too patient, waiting to the 11th date for a kiss. He already knew we were exclusive, though.

Anyway, I hope no one from my corner gets their heart broken by someone like Ralph in Whiterose's hypothetical situation...but I'm sure we have a few Jennas around here.

greencat

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Re: A friendly way to ask?
« Reply #36 on: January 20, 2014, 12:40:17 AM »
Wow.  I'm kind of shocked.  Maybe it's because of my age range and the very liberal big city where I live, but exclusivity is not assumed in the social groups I've encountered until you actually discuss it, or at least until you start calling each other boyfriend/girlfriend.  Kissing and even playing scrabble together is not necessarily indicative of commitment. 

I also hope I'm not the only one that laughs when real life people talk about actually playing scrabble and I think of the ehell definition. 

Teenyweeny

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Re: A friendly way to ask?
« Reply #37 on: January 20, 2014, 04:22:13 AM »
I wonder how long Sally and Joe had been dating, time-wise and number of dates wise. I wonder if both length of calendar time and number of dates play a role.

Imagine something like this:

Jenna and Ralph meet at an alumni event for the very large university they both attended. A couple months later, they run into each other at another alumni event and get to know each other better. They talk on the phone and go on 3 successful dates. They have kissed- but that's it physically.

They go on their 4th date. By now, over a month has passed since their first date (and even more since their first meeting). Jenna is hoping to define the relationship on that date. Ralph receives a call during the date while waiting to be seated at the restaurant. It is a very short and perfunctory call- so he takes it in front of Jenna (he had never taken a call in front of her before). She asks if everything is fine- Ralph says it was just Deborah (whom he had not mentioned before). Jenna asks casually if Deborah is his friend- Ralph says it was a woman he met. Jenna asks if he was interested in her- he said no, that they went out just once (one night he was not seeing Jenna) and he could tell she was not a good match for him, and that she now was more of a business contact since they work in the same broad industry. Jenna does not bring it up on the rest of their dinner and movie date...

Until they are in the car on the way back to drop Jenna off at her place. Ralph asks Jenna if she has a problem with his dating other women. Jenna said yes. Ralph replied "I never said we were dating exclusively".  Jenna replied "true"...but she said that she was the kind of person who by 4 dates needed exclusivity and was hoping to discuss it. Ralph and Jenna part ways cordially that evening, but Jenna is still hurt because she really liked Ralph and she thought he liked her back and all.

Was it just a misunderstanding? Did Jenna do wrong in assuming exclusivity? Assume this happened in the United States of America- would it be different in another country, given what has been said here? Is there a communication breakdown, regardless of what country this is happening in? Which one should be assumed- exclusivity, or casual dating- until it is explicitly discussed.

OP- was the situation similar to the one I just described, or is there another variable?

I can't speak for the USA, but in Australia, Ralph's behaviour would be considered dodgy and two-timing. By Date No.4, exclusiveness would (or should) be implied. So in Australia, Jenna would not be wrong in assuming that she and Ralph were an exclusive couple.

I also think that this sort of revelation from Ralph would be a deal breaker for most Aussie women.

In the UK, most people would consider Ralph a cheat, at this point.



MariaE

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Re: A friendly way to ask?
« Reply #38 on: January 20, 2014, 04:36:49 AM »
I wonder how long Sally and Joe had been dating, time-wise and number of dates wise. I wonder if both length of calendar time and number of dates play a role.

Imagine something like this:

Jenna and Ralph meet at an alumni event for the very large university they both attended. A couple months later, they run into each other at another alumni event and get to know each other better. They talk on the phone and go on 3 successful dates. They have kissed- but that's it physically.

They go on their 4th date. By now, over a month has passed since their first date (and even more since their first meeting). Jenna is hoping to define the relationship on that date. Ralph receives a call during the date while waiting to be seated at the restaurant. It is a very short and perfunctory call- so he takes it in front of Jenna (he had never taken a call in front of her before). She asks if everything is fine- Ralph says it was just Deborah (whom he had not mentioned before). Jenna asks casually if Deborah is his friend- Ralph says it was a woman he met. Jenna asks if he was interested in her- he said no, that they went out just once (one night he was not seeing Jenna) and he could tell she was not a good match for him, and that she now was more of a business contact since they work in the same broad industry. Jenna does not bring it up on the rest of their dinner and movie date...

Until they are in the car on the way back to drop Jenna off at her place. Ralph asks Jenna if she has a problem with his dating other women. Jenna said yes. Ralph replied "I never said we were dating exclusively".  Jenna replied "true"...but she said that she was the kind of person who by 4 dates needed exclusivity and was hoping to discuss it. Ralph and Jenna part ways cordially that evening, but Jenna is still hurt because she really liked Ralph and she thought he liked her back and all.

Was it just a misunderstanding? Did Jenna do wrong in assuming exclusivity? Assume this happened in the United States of America- would it be different in another country, given what has been said here? Is there a communication breakdown, regardless of what country this is happening in? Which one should be assumed- exclusivity, or casual dating- until it is explicitly discussed.

OP- was the situation similar to the one I just described, or is there another variable?

I can't speak for the USA, but in Australia, Ralph's behaviour would be considered dodgy and two-timing. By Date No.4, exclusiveness would (or should) be implied. So in Australia, Jenna would not be wrong in assuming that she and Ralph were an exclusive couple.

I also think that this sort of revelation from Ralph would be a deal breaker for most Aussie women.

In the UK, most people would consider Ralph a cheat, at this point.

Denmark too.
 
Dane by birth, Kiwi by choice

TurtleDove

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Re: A friendly way to ask?
« Reply #39 on: January 20, 2014, 06:50:53 AM »
I would just ask - I wouldn't want a relationship with someone I couldn't talk to. I certainly would not be exclusive if the other person was seeing other people in addition to me.

menley

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Re: A friendly way to ask?
« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2014, 06:57:01 AM »
In the US, it depends a lot on your social circle. Nearly all of my American friends and family would say that they never really "dated", but they were in relationships. Meaning, they did not ever go on dates with more than one person at a time, and that generally if the first date went well, they'd be considered to be in a relationship. However, that's not necessarily true for even people that lived in the same area as us - they would go on casual or even serious dates with multiple people, with varying levels of intimacy, and think nothing of it.

This is why it's very key (in the US at least - perhaps not other countries) to make it clear upfront whether you're looking for exclusivity, even in the first few dates. You simply can't just assume everyone plays by the same rules here because there are just so many differences in what people do.

TurtleDove

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Re: A friendly way to ask?
« Reply #41 on: January 20, 2014, 07:12:54 AM »
POD to menley. I have no problem with a person is upfront about a decision to play the field. I wouldn't personally date such a person. And I would think very poorly of someone who led another t believe they were exclusive but was instead seeing others. Always have open communication and be honest about what YOU want is my advice. Want to date severally people casually? Great! Make sure they all know that. Want an exclusive relationship? Get an agreement that that is what you are doing.

perpetua

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Re: A friendly way to ask?
« Reply #42 on: January 20, 2014, 07:58:13 AM »
Yeah, I wouldn't be touching Ralph with a ten-foot bargepole after that, neither would I be seeing someone who made it clear their intention was to 'play the field' but then I just can't get my head around the concept of casual dating.

I think it's because to me it comes across a bit like treating people like commodities or trying to pick someone out of a line-up. 'dating' to me, or 'going out with someone' as we more often call it here, tends to work a bit more like you meet someone, you click, you like them, you ask them out, and then if it goes well you stick with seeing that person because why wouldn't you if you like them that much? Casual dating more than one person at the same time implies to me 'Yeah, I like you, but I'm still going to see if I can find someone else I like better'. I just find it all a bit offensive, for some reason.

English1

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Re: A friendly way to ask?
« Reply #43 on: January 20, 2014, 08:05:03 AM »
I don't think there is a one-size-fits-all answer.

In the UK, generally it's assumed that you are dating only one person. Historically, anyway. However, I think that's changing with the increase in internet dating/'influence of US TV etc - and there are people who now date more casually. It's only a problem if it's not clear to everyone involved. I wouldn't think that one or two dates necessarily meant a lot and it would be wrong to see someone else as well. Much more than that though is starting to get a bit...userish ...unless you all know about it and want to date casually.

When I met my ex I was already seeing two men on a casual basis (I know, I'm such a tart!) and I told all of them about each other. Ex was a little taken aback I think but carried on. After about 2 weeks of dating ex I knew I wanted to give us a chance at a proper relationship, not casual, so dumped the other two (sounds cruel but they knew we were only a temporary thing) and told ex I was no longer seeing anyone else. Those other two men - one had been on the scene for around 2 years, one for a couple of months. I think it's very quickly apparent to you how much you like someone and what you are looking for (at the time I wasn't really wanting a serious relationship). A decent person spells it out honestly.

Current OH - we met through internet dating and I think it was on our third date it was brought up and we confirmed had no intention of meeting up with anyone else now. We both cancelled our memberships a couple of weeks later.

On dating more than one person at a time. It doesn't necessarily make you a creep!
"I think it's because to me it comes across a bit like treating people like commodities or trying to pick someone out of a line-up."
My mindset at the time was that I really did not want a serious relationship (if the right person tripped over me, fine, but I wasn't looking for them). I had other priorities. I still enjoyed going out, having fun with someone, and yes, scrabble. I'm not cut out to live like a nun  ;D. I liked both them men I was seeing,  but also both of them were not interested in a proper relationship either, for their own reasons. And while they were great in small doses, neither of them was the sort of man I'd want as a partner. I am genuinely fond of the one I saw for two years and we are still friends many years after we stopped 'seeing' each other. But we were never, and will never be, truly right for each other romantically.

You don't always have to date with marriage/commitment/long term in mind. I think that can be a big mistake, especially when you are young, as you can end up drifting into something serious with the wrong person.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 08:11:39 AM by English1 »

TurtleDove

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Re: A friendly way to ask?
« Reply #44 on: January 20, 2014, 09:09:04 AM »
You don't always have to date with marriage/commitment/long term in mind. I think that can be a big mistake, especially when you are young, as you can end up drifting into something serious with the wrong person.

This exactly.  There is nothing wrong with not wanting a serious relationship, and there is nothing wrong with wanting a serious relationship.  A person just needs to be honest with herself and with the people she is dating about what she wants.  Never try to "convince" someone to want a serious relationship - instead, move on if you want more than a person says they can give you.