Exclusivity vs. Relationships
What is it about exclusivity and relationships that just makes men cringe? Well I’m not a man but most of my friends say I have a guy’s mentality when it comes to dating and relationships. When I think of commitment I usually get the urge to run, or pick the guy apart until he is no longer desirable. By doing either of the two, I escape being trapped and maintain my freedom.
For me, the idea of being in a relationship is not scary it is more so the thought that I have to share my life. I like being able to come and go as I please, without having to consider someone else’s feelings or opinions. At the age of 24 being wifed up, cooking, and cleaning, is not my idea of a good time. The way I see it, is that I have at least 30-35 years of fun times. After that, the REST of my life will be spent MARRIED, so why waste the best years?
This leads me to my big question “What is the difference between exclusivity and a relationship?” For me, and I think a lot of men can agree, I am more comfortable committing to exclusivity versus a relationship. But before I go there I want to share the answers I got from a man and a woman.
So I first asked one of my best friends the question and this is what she said. “Exclusivity is the precursor to a relationship. It has the same relationship to boyfriend and girlfriend that an engagement has to marriage.” After hearing what she had to say, I asked a male friend. He answered “Aren’t they the same?”
My male friend’s answer made me laugh because that is what I’m guessing most men think. I said earlier that I am okay committing to exclusivity faster than I will commit to a relationship. But if exclusivity and a relationship are the same from the guy’s perspective, am I really accomplishing anything?
Well here is the tricky part. Women are crazy and instead of simplifying everything like men do, we over analyze and create unnecessary categories. Most men would say exclusivity and relationships are the same. But here’s what women would say:
We see exclusivity as an agreement that basically says . . . “I am only having sex with you and at the current moment I am interested in you.” It is fair enough to say that the ONLY expectation a woman can have, is that her partner will commit to her sexually, BUT at any moment he can walk away as can she.
Now a relationship is more than just a title. It “guarantees” that a guy will act right because he is making the choice to commit, and acknowledge the woman’s role in his life. We also feel like this allows us to expect certain behaviors and not have to be questioned about why we feel a certain way. They give us security and grant us the right to hold you accountable for certain behaviors. It is safe to say that we hope to be able to expect that you will communicate openly, respect our likes and dislikes, while sharing your life with us.
So this brings me back to my dilemma; “am I accomplishing anything if men see exclusivity and relationships as being the same?” My simple answer would be no lol. Well I am accomplishing something for the men I date by making them think we are on the same page, but with myself I am playing a psychological mind game. I am making myself believe that I am still single when in actuality, I am doing all of the things I would do if I were in a relationship. Going on dates, having sex with one guy, while respecting his wishes, does not exactly sound single to me.
But from what I shared about how women see exclusivity and relationships, I can say I am beating the system. Under exclusivity, if I want to pick up and move to a new country, I don’t have to consult someone I’m not in a relationship with. So because of how women view exclusivity and relationships, there actually is a big difference. This is why I can sleep at night and not feel like life is over when I’m in an exclusive situation.
The next time you are having a great time with a girl and you are enjoying your “go with the flow” approach, aka exclusivity, you might want to pick her brain. See where she stands in terms of the agreement you guys have. Relationships and exclusivity are like comparing oranges and apples when it comes to the women’s perspective.
So don’t assume that just because you THINK they are the same, that women have the same opinion. This may help you understand why women either 1. one day wake up and realize they want something new, and feel no obligation to explain why things have changed or 2. Push so hard for a relationship when you think things are fine as they are without the title.
Written By: M.T.