Poll

Did Ralph do anything wrong?

Not at all
131 (62.1%)
Delivery failure
56 (26.5%)
Circumstantial
2 (0.9%)
Kind of- maybe
16 (7.6%)
Definitely
6 (2.8%)

Total Members Voted: 199

Author Topic: Etiquette of defining exclusivity- a spinoff  (Read 12393 times)

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TurtleDove

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Re: Etiquette of defining exclusivity- a spinoff
« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2014, 09:10:32 AM »
...an attempt by either party to argue 'I never said I wasn't dating elsewhere' would not go down well.


This is why I think it always makes sense to be up front about these thing and not assume.  I am not saying a person should spend 45 minutes on the first date defining "the relationship" that does not yet exist, but never assume the other person is on the same page as you are (general you).  For me, I wouldn't want to be in a relationship with someone I could not speak openly with about these things anyway.

I don't have a problem with playing the field, so long as everyone knows what the deal is. I have a major problem with being in an exclusive relationship and cheating, but that is not at all the same thing.  In the latter situation, it makes sense that a person would be hurt.  But if you are not exclusive, while a person may be hurt, the one playing the field did nothing wrong.

CakeEater

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Re: Etiquette of defining exclusivity- a spinoff
« Reply #31 on: April 21, 2014, 09:24:05 AM »
...an attempt by either party to argue 'I never said I wasn't dating elsewhere' would not go down well.


This is why I think it always makes sense to be up front about these thing and not assume.  I am not saying a person should spend 45 minutes on the first date defining "the relationship" that does not yet exist, but never assume the other person is on the same page as you are (general you).  For me, I wouldn't want to be in a relationship with someone I could not speak openly with about these things anyway.

I don't have a problem with playing the field, so long as everyone knows what the deal is. I have a major problem with being in an exclusive relationship and cheating, but that is not at all the same thing.  In the latter situation, it makes sense that a person would be hurt.  But if you are not exclusive, while a person may be hurt, the one playing the field did nothing wrong.

They would be in Australia and the UK, it sounds like. I didn't date a lot before I met DH, but as far as I know, here, going out on a date with someone generally means you have no other prospects lined up. I would be dumbfounded to discover that someone I dated twice in two weeks had been on a date with someone else between them. I wouldn't expect a commitment, but I'd expect that if a man went on a couple of dates with me, that he'd wait until he'd decided that he wasn't interested in me any more before dating someone else.

Anyone with a different experience in Australia can feel free to correct me - lack of vast experience here, as I said.

Winterlight

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Re: Etiquette of defining exclusivity- a spinoff
« Reply #32 on: April 21, 2014, 09:54:01 AM »
Perhaps he should have brought it up at the beginning of their dating, but that's as much as I can "blame" him for.

At the same time, why couldn't she say "After 4 dates, I expect to be exclusive. Are you okay with that?"

Perhaps "blame" isn't the best word. Maybe he just didn't realize that she was ready to be exclusive? He might have been a little clueless, but I agree, if this was important to her she could have brought it up sooner.
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pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Etiquette of defining exclusivity- a spinoff
« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2014, 10:39:34 AM »
Four dates?  And not on four successive nights, but over a period of time?  I have been in the situation that she was, but I was not upset because for me to assume exclusivity at that point seems outrageously presumptuous.
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Sophia

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Re: Etiquette of defining exclusivity- a spinoff
« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2014, 10:46:12 AM »
Shoot, my husband didn't even know my address by the fourth date.  We'd met on a dating site so we proceeded slower than usual.  I think at that point he still ranked 3rd in my boyfriend ranking.  After a few months of dating, I fell in love, hard, and since then I've only had eyes for him. 

123sandy

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Re: Etiquette of defining exclusivity- a spinoff
« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2014, 10:55:22 AM »
Exclusive after 4 dates over a month seems very quick to me. It is a very long time since I was dating so maybe my memory is bad...

TurtleDove

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Re: Etiquette of defining exclusivity- a spinoff
« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2014, 10:57:32 AM »
[I wouldn't expect a commitment, but I'd expect that if a man went on a couple of dates with me, that he'd wait until he'd decided that he wasn't interested in me any more before dating someone else.

I think this *is* expecting a commitment, and expecting it unfairly if this expectation is not communicated.  I think there is nothing wrong with wanting to be the only person the person you date is dating, but that it should be communicated.  I know for me, if I "liked" someone I always asked whether they were seeing anyone else, and that way I could be informed about the situation.  If the answer was, "yes," and I wanted exclusivity, I would explain that I wanted exclusivity and if they couldn't give it to me, then no harm no foul but I am moving on.  If they did want exclusivity, then viola!  We were officially dating!

But to never communicate your wants/needs and then get upset that the other person did not read your mind....well, that seems like a recipe for hurt feelings and drama that could so easily be avoided.

bah12

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Re: Etiquette of defining exclusivity- a spinoff
« Reply #37 on: April 21, 2014, 11:01:56 AM »
Jenna is allowed to want exclusivity after 4 dates and Ralph is allowed not to want it.  I do think that if Jenna wants definition for a relationship and especially since the definition she wants, IMO, is not the default, then she needs to speak up. It's not fair to Ralph to expect that he's going to read her mind and have a convesation she expects to have to define a relationship he doesn't expect to have.  And I don't think he did anything wrong in neither bringing it up nor sensing that she wanted something more and being clear that he didn't.   And Jenna, knowing where he stands shouldn't expect anything more.  If it's not what she wants, then she needs to move on. 

As for the phone call.  I don't think he should have taken it in the middle of a date.  The fact that he did speaks volumes about how much he wanted to focus on Jenna.  I also don't think it was polite for her to ask him who it was and quetion him about the nature of the relationship with the caller.  After four dates and one month, she isn't owed that kind of information.

sparksals

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Re: Etiquette of defining exclusivity- a spinoff
« Reply #38 on: April 21, 2014, 11:23:32 AM »
Jenna ' s expectations were way off base.  There was a month between the 3rd and 4th date.  That would not imply exclusivity to me!

I thought it was a month between 1st and 4th , which in the right context may imply exclusivity.  I keep coming back to context.............. 4 dates that last 8 hours in quick succession and lots of phone calls in between/making plans for the next date right away etc.  might seem exclusive.  A 40 minute cup of coffee on Wend. , 60 minute  jog in the park on Thurs morning ,  90 afternoon at an craft fair on Sunday and  2 hour dinner on Monday over 6 weeks with 3 day between calls and 7 days between having a date and planning the next one I'd probably not think exclusive.

There are signs beside "the talk" that things are exclusive but I think number of dates is probably one of the least important.


I reread and you are right, it was over a month between 1st and 4th date.  I still believe that more dates would be required to imply exclusivity and no one is exclusive until they both agree.  If over a month passed, it was less than one date per week.  That is hardly exclusive dating.. it seems far more casual to me.


wolfie

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Re: Etiquette of defining exclusivity- a spinoff
« Reply #39 on: April 21, 2014, 11:26:48 AM »

Had the phone call not happen or been taken, and Jenna had brought up exclusivity at the end of their successful fourth date, would it have been acceptable for Ralph to tell her that he does not want to date exclusively/seriously, but that he wants to keep seeing her casually?

Why wouldn't it have been acceptable for Ralph to tell Jenna what he wants and then see if they come to a compromise first? They are both in the relationship so both their opinions matter. It's not for one person to define the relationship and the other to take it or leave it. They both get to say what they want and then see if they can make it work.

TurtleDove

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Re: Etiquette of defining exclusivity- a spinoff
« Reply #40 on: April 21, 2014, 02:05:15 PM »

Had the phone call not happen or been taken, and Jenna had brought up exclusivity at the end of their successful fourth date, would it have been acceptable for Ralph to tell her that he does not want to date exclusively/seriously, but that he wants to keep seeing her casually?

Why wouldn't it have been acceptable for Ralph to tell Jenna what he wants and then see if they come to a compromise first? They are both in the relationship so both their opinions matter. It's not for one person to define the relationship and the other to take it or leave it. They both get to say what they want and then see if they can make it work.

This confuses me because in romantic relationships it simply does not work that way.  If I want an exclusive relationship, the only thing that would "make it work" would be an exclusive relationship.  If I want to play the field, well, if a guy I am dating is fine with only dating me knowing I am dating other people, then fine, but he doesn't get to say I am "cheating" on him or not treating him fairly - we are not in an exclusive relationship, even though he wants one.  The only way relationships work is if both people want the same thing regarding exclusivity.  There isn't room for compromise because, well, then that isn't exclusivity!

wolfie

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Re: Etiquette of defining exclusivity- a spinoff
« Reply #41 on: April 21, 2014, 02:49:53 PM »

Had the phone call not happen or been taken, and Jenna had brought up exclusivity at the end of their successful fourth date, would it have been acceptable for Ralph to tell her that he does not want to date exclusively/seriously, but that he wants to keep seeing her casually?

Why wouldn't it have been acceptable for Ralph to tell Jenna what he wants and then see if they come to a compromise first? They are both in the relationship so both their opinions matter. It's not for one person to define the relationship and the other to take it or leave it. They both get to say what they want and then see if they can make it work.

This confuses me because in romantic relationships it simply does not work that way.  If I want an exclusive relationship, the only thing that would "make it work" would be an exclusive relationship.  If I want to play the field, well, if a guy I am dating is fine with only dating me knowing I am dating other people, then fine, but he doesn't get to say I am "cheating" on him or not treating him fairly - we are not in an exclusive relationship, even though he wants one.  The only way relationships work is if both people want the same thing regarding exclusivity.  There isn't room for compromise because, well, then that isn't exclusivity!

In the very beginning of a relationship I could see where I would want exclusivity but he doesn't yet (or vice versa) and I decide that i am willing to give it a little more time before saying "exclusive or nothing". It would depend on a number of factors but I might not be in the "all or nothing" frame of mind yet - just that i am ready to move forward but am okay with standing still for a little longer too. So I would say it is worth talking about to see if the other person wants X now, or if they would like to move there but are okay with waiting a bit.

daen

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Re: Etiquette of defining exclusivity- a spinoff
« Reply #42 on: April 21, 2014, 02:51:33 PM »

Had the phone call not happen or been taken, and Jenna had brought up exclusivity at the end of their successful fourth date, would it have been acceptable for Ralph to tell her that he does not want to date exclusively/seriously, but that he wants to keep seeing her casually?

Why wouldn't it have been acceptable for Ralph to tell Jenna what he wants and then see if they come to a compromise first? They are both in the relationship so both their opinions matter. It's not for one person to define the relationship and the other to take it or leave it. They both get to say what they want and then see if they can make it work.

I think that, in a sense, the bolded is what does happen. The level of the relationship is ultimately dictated by the person who wants the lower level of intimacy, be that "exclusive" or  "not-exclusive" or "nodding acquaintance" or "completely cut off." If you are presented with a situation where the other is firm that s/he wants a non-exclusive relationship where you want more, you may choose the non-exclusive relationship or go to a less-intimate level than that.  Both people in the relationship have veto power, and that's as it should be.

However, I fully agree that it's not a case of "first to speak," where whoever first states what they want out of the relationship has set the only terms possible, and all that remains is a yes or no response. If Jenna says she wants exclusivity,  Ralph has every right to say he is not ready for that and suggest a non-exclusive relationship. Jenna can then decide if she's okay with dating Ralph casually a while longer before looking at an exclusive relationship again, or if she has now learned something that rules out Ralph as a romantic partner.

(or what wolfie said.  :) )

Some things regarding relationships are worth compromising on. Some are not. If anyone can explain how to clearly and consistently distinguish the one from the other,  there's a fortune to be made on the self-help circuit.  :)

bah12

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Re: Etiquette of defining exclusivity- a spinoff
« Reply #43 on: April 21, 2014, 02:57:06 PM »

Had the phone call not happen or been taken, and Jenna had brought up exclusivity at the end of their successful fourth date, would it have been acceptable for Ralph to tell her that he does not want to date exclusively/seriously, but that he wants to keep seeing her casually?

Why wouldn't it have been acceptable for Ralph to tell Jenna what he wants and then see if they come to a compromise first? They are both in the relationship so both their opinions matter. It's not for one person to define the relationship and the other to take it or leave it. They both get to say what they want and then see if they can make it work.

I'm actually responding to the OP's question here:  Of course it's acceptable for Ralph to tell Jenna that he doesn't want to date exclusively. It's the truth!  Just because it's not what Jenna wants to hear, doesn't make it wrong. The phone call has absolutely nothing to do with it.   I get that Jenna was hurt...but her hurt stems more from  the rejection that Ralph isn't in the same place as her than it does from anything that Ralph did or said wrong.  You didn't provide too much detail, but from what is stated, it doesn't sound like Ralph did anything to lead Jenna on either.  They went out four times.  They kissed. Only a month has gone by.  I get Jenna's feelings on the matter (mine used to be the same...dating around wasn't my thing). To want exclusivity is understandable.  To be hurt that it isn't happening is understandable.  But to expect that it be given automatically or to asign any blame or rudeness to Ralph because he's not on the same page, isn't.

As for the bolded...I agree in principle.  But to me, this only practically works in already committed relationships.  If I want my DH to behave a certain way towards me (say, hypothetically, always include me in conversations he has with other women) and he doesn't feel that he should, then yes, we both get to say what we want and work out a compromise.  But when it comes to exclusivity, or just dating in general where no commitment has been made, I think that the person who doesn't want the exclusivity sort of has the upper hand.  There's no compromise there.  If I don't want to date you exclusively, you can't force me to.  And if you don't want to date me unless I'm committed to you, I can't make you date me anyway. 

I can kind of see a scenario where Ralph would say "I'm not ready to date exclusively yet.  But perhaps after we get to know each other better and develop the relationship better, I may be willing to make that step with you.  I can't promise that now." and Jenna replying with "Ok, but I'm not interested in doing X, Y or Z unless we are exclusive, and I'm going to date around too" as sort of a compromise.  But honestly, if Jenna is the type of person that is uncomfortable dating someone unless he's only seeing her (even if they aren't serious) and Ralph is the type of person that likes to date around until he's made a commitment, then they aren't likely a good match anyway.  It was smart of Jenna to move on.  Neither is exactly wrong in their desires, they just aren't very compatible with each other.

ETA: I see you already said something similar in your other post :)


shhh its me

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Re: Etiquette of defining exclusivity- a spinoff
« Reply #44 on: April 21, 2014, 02:59:16 PM »

Had the phone call not happen or been taken, and Jenna had brought up exclusivity at the end of their successful fourth date, would it have been acceptable for Ralph to tell her that he does not want to date exclusively/seriously, but that he wants to keep seeing her casually?

Why wouldn't it have been acceptable for Ralph to tell Jenna what he wants and then see if they come to a compromise first? They are both in the relationship so both their opinions matter. It's not for one person to define the relationship and the other to take it or leave it. They both get to say what they want and then see if they can make it work.

This confuses me because in romantic relationships it simply does not work that way.  If I want an exclusive relationship, the only thing that would "make it work" would be an exclusive relationship.  If I want to play the field, well, if a guy I am dating is fine with only dating me knowing I am dating other people, then fine, but he doesn't get to say I am "cheating" on him or not treating him fairly - we are not in an exclusive relationship, even though he wants one.  The only way relationships work is if both people want the same thing regarding exclusivity.  There isn't room for compromise because, well, then that isn't exclusivity!

In the very beginning of a relationship I could see where I would want exclusivity but he doesn't yet (or vice versa) and I decide that i am willing to give it a little more time before saying "exclusive or nothing". It would depend on a number of factors but I might not be in the "all or nothing" frame of mind yet - just that i am ready to move forward but am okay with standing still for a little longer too. So I would say it is worth talking about to see if the other person wants X now, or if they would like to move there but are okay with waiting a bit.

I think its worth talking about , I think almost everything is worth talking about. 

I think the first post  in the tree was referring to the fact that if Jenna brought up exclusivity on the 4th date (My understanding was that was her intentions )and they were in firm  agreement or disagreement, the phone call and the fact Ralph went on a date with someone else between dates 1-4  is moot.  The result would have been the same , Jenna didn't expect exclusivity before date 4.