Falling In Love Again: Focus 1 - Exclusivity

In our last advice on relationships blog, we navigated the waters of Stage Two of Dating: Uncertainty. Once you have decided to focus on a primary romantic relationship, you are entering the 3rd stage of dating: Exclusivity.  Previously you were flushed with the anticipation of getting your needs met while testing to see if you really wanted to get involved.  Now you are choosing to open up, give freely and experience getting what you need in return.

Exclusivity begins with a conversation. Stage Three is still early in the relationship and begins with a specific conversation and commitment to stop seeing other people.  Exclusivity must not be assumed before this conversation takes place.  Many people assume that if they are sexually involved then, of course, they are exclusive.  Not without the talk.

A woman at one of our workshops shared that her last boyfriend was sexually involved with other women and she had no idea. In our discussion she realized that they had not had the exclusivity conversation and, in her next relationship, needed to clearly articulate her standards (e.g. I don’t sleep with men who are sleeping with anyone else). This does not excuse her ex-boyfriend’s behaviour, but relationships are about communication. Speaking openly about the intention to focus on only one is a pivotal all-points bulletin.

Most dating couples in this stage sabotage the opportunity to experience the best of their partners and themselves.  As soon as they become exclusive, they may forget to put their best foot forward.  Let’s look at typical non-starters for men and women …

Exclusivity For Him:

Pursuit is not over.  Without an understanding of Stage #3, a man may assume the he has done all that is required to win a willing partner.  This belief will result in losing his edge.  Complacence sets in  … and that’s not sexy.

This is not the time to sit home every weekend and assume that the work of building a romance is over.  A man needs to continue to take the time to explore what his woman might like and plan romantic dates.  Remember that romantic attention fuels a woman’s attraction for a man.  If he relaxes too much, a woman will not get the fuel she needs to continue responding to him the way she did. Assuming her needs are being met because she isn’t complaining isn’t the way to go.

Exclusivity For Her:

Ask for what you want. In stage three, a woman’s greatest challenge is to practice the art of asking for support. Never assume that a man will do things without being asked.

What is the best time to ask for support? When a man stops offering it.  This simple truth can be confusing to women.  More often women will postpone their needs, or just do it themselves.  Although sacrifice is part of any relationship, women tend to make too many.  Just as a man’s romantic gestures reassure a woman that she is special, a woman’s little requests encourage him to continue giving her what she needs. In this stage, a woman may have to break through some limiting conditioning to discover that she is more desirable when she expresses her desires.

So what’s the best advice on relationships during the Exclusivity stage of dating?  This is not a time to evaluate your partner.  Instead, evaluate how you are doing and what you can do to be your best self and bring out your partner’s best.  To this end, a man focuses on making romantic gestures and a woman focuses on being receptive and asking for what she wants.  Once you both feel inspired to be your best, you are ready to experience the real and lasting love that can grow in the fourth stage of dating: intimacy.

From my advice on relationships to you …


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