In the early stages of dating, sometimes men and women aren't on the same page. I know this from personal experience. I met a fantastic woman on OkCupid and things were going great. Over the course of a few dates, we learned a lot about each other. We had a lot in common and the physical attraction was definitely there. Even though it was early it just felt right to ask her to be my girlfriend. She was shocked! It was too soon for her and she was not interested in taking that step yet. I was left feeling rejected and disappointed.
You live and learn, right? So what did I learn? First, let's talk about science! Studies show that men know if they are falling in love with someone after 2 dates. Woman, on the other hand, will know after an average of 14 dates. Why is this? Men tend to feel the physical attraction, get pulled in by her personality, and BAM... they're in love. It's different for women. They need time to feel safe and secure and like they can trust the man before they fall in love with him.
So, how do you know when you should become exclusive? First of all, don't take it too seriously. If you do, it will only put pressure on you and your relationship. Continue casually dating the person and see where it goes. If you want to stop seeing other people, go for it! Let your partner know that you aren't seeing anyone else. If they are ready to take that step, too, great! If not, give them more time. Just make sure that they are interested in becoming exclusive with you in the future.
Ladies, if a man asks you to be exclusive early on in the relationship, it is not a red flag. It's just a sign that he has really fallen for you. He is letting you know that he doesn't want to be with anyone else. He only wants to be with you. If you aren't ready yet, that is totally fine. Take it as a compliment and let him know how you're feeling. If you like him and want to continue dating to see where it goes, be open and explain that to him. If you don't see it ever ending up that way, let him know that.
You will know that it is time to be exclusive when you both don't want to date anyone else. You both feel like you've found someone that is really special and you are ready to commit to them. This is a big step but this is also a wonderful step. When you are fully committed to someone, you are showing that person how much they mean to you. You want to love that person and that person alone. You want to be with that person and that person alone. You are ready to be exclusive.
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