Dating before becoming exclusive

Because I had no idea how much heartbreak and misery I could have saved myself if someone had only told me what huge mistakes I was making by doing some of the these things, I'm going to tell you about the huge mistakes you are making (and we all make).

So here’s my list for you of what I consider to be the top five biggest dating mistakes. At the time, I would have thought that dating more than one person at the same time was just downright slutty.

The reality is if he's interested, and this applies to whatever stage of the relationship you’re in, he’ll find a way to contact you and won’t leave you wondering where you stand.

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If I had only realized just how much healthier a relationship is when two people are both able to communicate directly, I would have understood one of the true tenets of the type of relationship I longed for, yet had no idea of how to get there.

So you’ve been dating one special person for a few months now, but haven’t had the courage to have “the talk” about exclusivity. If he or she shakes at the thought of labels and won’t define your relationship as “girlfriend” and “boyfriend,” it’s a red sign that your relationship just hasn’t become exclusive yet and they might be keeping other options open. Why bother looking for someone else when you’re clearly off the market and you’ve won the prize? If someone wants to make the relationship exclusive, they won’t be logging on while you’re asleep to stare at emails and photos of others. When someone wants to date others, they’ll leave one of the weekend nights available.

I would automatically assume he was so much more than me and I was thrilled that he was paying so much attention to me.

What I finally figured out was that this really was about me.

While some people make their intentions known and agree to becoming exclusive at a certain point, others go with the flow with the hope that they’ll become his or her one and only, even before becoming Facebook official. When someone is really into you and has made you their steady squeeze, they won’t be hiding you and will be proud to show you off. When your significant other stops introducing you as just a friend and it’s replaced with BF or GF publicly, chances are you’re the one-and-only. When you’re excited about being together every weekend, you should know that you’re the one-and-only. You’ve whispered those three special words of “I love you” to each other. If he’s playing the field, all the ladies will know it’s his birthday and will want to be by his side. Not every day is filled with hearts, bells, and whistles. From a toothbrush to an extra set of panties and makeup, when your sweetie carves out a place in his closet or bathroom for you and vice versa, you’ll know it’s serious.

Here are 17 ways to tell if you’re exclusive without having to ask. If your plans regularly include socializing with their friends and co-workers, it’s a terrific sign that you’re exclusive. He refers to relationship as “we” when talking about future plans. Most people don’t say “I love you” until they really mean it. When he doesn’t look at you as temporary, he’ll let you know if his plans include possibly living together, marriage, and will want to make sure you know that you’ll be together for events and holidays months down the line. Your Facebook page includes photos of the two of you. When either of you hears from an ex and it makes you uncomfortable, you’ll both realize you’re not open to the possibilities with them and won’t want to lose what you’ve got. If the two of you hold hands in public, even in front of business associates and family, signs of affection will show the world you’re taken. If he’s making plans with you for his birthday and Valentine’s Day, which are important days for women, you’ll know there isn’t anyone else but you. If you’re under the weather and this person at your side with chicken soup, flowers, and would rather nurse you back to health than hang out with their friends, it’s their way of saying that you’re a keeper. There’s no way he’d want another love interest noticing your presence in his home. He lets his ex know he’s in a serious relationship.

When I think about all the times I skirted around the issues that would come up, the number of occasions where I remained silent, waiting, watching, hoping and waiting some more to see what he was thinking, where this was all going, wondering whether he would choose me in the end, I can clearly see now just how much I contributed to my own relationship failures.

Instead of wasting weeks and months and even years of energy, time and oh so many tears, I could have found out the answers to my unspoken questions that eventually would come out in the end, right away.

Hear me loud and clear here - , he was someone worth proving myself to that I was worthy of his love.

It didn’t matter if I barely knew him, if I knew very little about his character, his values, his integrity, or even him.

And my own lack of self-esteem and confidence that came from deep inside me.