Touch: Exclusivity v.s. Relationships

30 May

 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.

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6 Responses to “Touch: Exclusivity v.s. Relationships”

  1. dhanediesil May 30, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    As a man, I don’t think men fear commitment. We just don’t want to be committed to something that isn’t worth committing to.

  2. Sheris June 3, 2011 at 5:13 am #

    The fact of a woman saying they have a man’s mentality when it comes to relationships is b.s. To me now. I use to think the sAme thing about myself but in the end I never approached thought or felt the same way a man feels about relationship and never will. We are not meant. Overall it’s a matter of interacting with someone that evokes the emotions of wanting to be committed. Secondly, men are not afraid of commitment, they just have to do things when they want to. So women do make the mistake, which I have in the past, by pressuring men too much. To be in a relationship is a mutual agreement between the two peopl involved so I one is not ready or unsure there is no relationship. I believe it should be relationship or nothing. Sure you date in the beginning, that’s the precursor, but giving partial benefits of relationship (sex, since this is what it is really about) will get you nowhere. Finally, the nature of and man and woman’s relationship is subjective to the two involved. Being in a relationship does not constitute cooking and cleaning done by the woman single married or in a relationship chores are chores and the man and woman will divide them the way they see fit. It is detrimental for any woman to limit their mind in believing that is what defines a relationship. Making the choice to be with someone is similar to any other choice you choose the one that fits Your requirements and needs, so it seems obvious to say, don’t choose one that requires you to take on responsibilities you don’t want or can’t handle.

  3. tia June 13, 2011 at 7:15 am #

    I totally agree with you Ms. Sheris. Many women who desire being in a committted relationship versus an exclusive one may settle for exclusivity out of fear of loosing the man altoghter. When it comes down to it, men and women are “hard wired” differently when it comes to relationships. Women may front like they’re okay with hanging out exclusively with one guy but like M.T.’s article points out, the mutual understanding of being in a committed relationship provides a sense of security for not only the women but also the man. Out of all my female friends(who are independent, smart, and well off) not one of them would freely choose the “mentality of a man” when it comes to being in stable relationship. Who would choose instability! Life/love is already unpredictable….why complicate a relationship by going into it without expectations. Having open communication (mutual agreements) in a relationship is the key. Although I’m apart of this generation I believe we’ve twisted the idea of what a true meaningful relationship is all about… God, respect, love, unity, integrity. We become jaded by our selfish motives and only take the good things out of a relationship instead of endureing all that comes with uniting with your significant other. By being in an exclusive relationship we easily tell the other person, I like you enough to take what I want that’s good now but if something better comes along that’s more beneficial to me then I’m out! Well, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m definitely pro relationship vs exclusivity. We need to go back to valuing eachothers worth like our parents did instead of being selfish and wanting the perks from being in a relationship but not committing and enduring the challenges that may arise as well.

    • M.T. June 25, 2011 at 12:24 am #

      Tia I like your reply! I am definitely glad that this article generated some good topic discussions. I grew up with 3 boys so my outlook on relationships has been partially shaped by being around them and seeing how they interact with woman. On the other hand, I did see my mother and father in a loving relationship which as you mentioned has gone through a phase of “enduring challeneges.” So what I can say from the comments made by yourself and Sheris is that am I hardwired like a man? No obviously not, but my brothers have influenced the way I treat men in the beginning/ dating phases. What I can agree with Sheri is that at some point my mentality shifts and I am influenced by the healthy relationship my parents continue to show me. However, as Sheris mentioned that is at a time when I feel like both of us are ready to move into a relationship.

      I wrote this article after observing a close friend of mine push so hard for a relationship when the guy she was dating was content with exclusivity. It made me realize that for men and women the meaning of exclusivity and relationships are completely different. Whatever the case, I appreciate the comments and discussion this article has brought about. All comments have provided great opinions!

      • tia July 9, 2011 at 1:20 am #

        Thanks M.T. I enjoyed reading your article. Thanks for the clarification as well. It sounds as though we have similar backgrounds. Being the only girl with two older brothers afforded me the opportunity to gain a males perspective on dating. And I must agree that my brothers as as well as my parents had a major influence on how I approach relationships. I agree that while dating someone it’s necessary to be exclusive to give both people involved the opportunity to explore if what they have has the potential to blossom into a committed relationship. However,more times than not, women are typically ready for a relationship before the man is ready. Because I have two older brothers, whom I love dearly, I’ve seen the women they date settle for exclusivity for years at a time when their desires were way beyond exclusiveness. So with that being said, I believe that if a man or woman ultimately knows that they have know interest in being committed to someone they’re seeing exclusively, then don’t waste the other persons time. 🙂

  4. tia June 13, 2011 at 7:23 am #

    I totally agree with you Ms. Sheris. Many women who desire being in a committted relationship versus an exclusive one may settle for exclusivity out of fear of loosing the man altoghter. When it comes down to it, men and women are “hard wired” differently when it comes to relationships. Women may front like they’re okay with hanging out exclusively with one guy but like M.T.’s article points out, the mutual understanding of being in a committed relationship provides a sense of security for not only the women but also the man. Out of all my female friends(who are independent, smart, and well off) not one of them would freely choose the “mentality of a man” when it comes to being in stable relationship. Who would choose instability! Life/love is already unpredictable….why complicate a relationship by going into it without expectations. Having open communication (mutual agreements) in a relationship is the key. Although I’m apart of this generation I believe we’ve twisted the idea of what a true meaningful relationship is all about… God, respect, love, unity, integrity. We become jaded by our selfish motives and only take the good things out of a relationship instead of enduring all that comes with uniting with your significant other. By being in an exclusive relationship we easily tell the other person, I like you enough to take what I want that’s good now but if something better comes along that’s more beneficial to me then I’m out! Well, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m definitely pro relationship vs exclusivity. We need to go back to valuing eachothers worth like our parents did instead of being selfish and wanting the perks from being in a relationship but not committing and enduring the challenges that may arise as well.

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