How Do I Get Him to Want to Be My Boyfriend?

385 Shares

I started dating a guy recently whose actions and words don’t quite match up, and it’s left me a little confused. His actions are wonderful: he plans fun and interesting dates and communicates with me frequently. He has introduced me to his friends. We spend 2-3 days a week together. He is attentive and kind. It’s now been about two and a half months since our first date. Sounds great, right?

The catch is that about three weeks in to dating, we had a conversation defining that our relationship was just casual. He brought the topic up, I felt like it was waaay early to DTR, and I was still dating other people. Frankly, I didn’t think the relationship was going anywhere — I wasn’t that into him initially. I was very happy to confirm the “just casual” thing. But he kept planning fun things to do, and as we spent more time together, I became very attracted and attached.

So now, I want to define the relationship (or, I guess, re-define it) as exclusive. Normally I’d wait for the man to bring this up, but since he already did (way early), I don’t know that he will. How do I bring up this topic, without giving off clingy/needy vibes?

Background info: We’re both 27, we’ve been sleeping together since date 3 (kind of a cliche, but not a policy), I am still dating other people but unenthusiastically. If he still wants to keep it casual, I’ll break it off — being emotionally insecure in a relationship is not fun for anybody. I don’t feel any need to be in the THE relationship leading to marriage right now, but I do want to be in a relationship that makes me feel safe, loved, and confident.

Your advice is appreciated!
Kelly

Oy.

Sometimes the only way to write these responses is to dissect them line by line. So here goes:

The catch is that about three weeks in to dating, we had a conversation defining that our relationship was just casual. He brought the topic up,

Yeah, that’s a pretty big catch.

So when you say, “Sounds great, right?” what I hear is a woman who has consciously blinded herself to the fact that the guy who is acting like your boyfriend DOESN’T WANT TO BE YOUR BOYFRIEND.

I wrote a popular piece about this called “Believe the negatives, ignore the positives,” which pretty much means what it says. When a guy says, “I’m not looking for anything serious,” believe him.

I was very happy to confirm the “just casual” thing. But he kept planning fun things to do, and as we spent more time together, I became very attracted and attached.

When a guy says, “I’m not looking for anything serious,” believe him.

Yeah, that’s sort of how it happens. It’s not just you. In fact, millions of women sleep with guys for fun, get attached, and then find themselves in the exact same position as you. The shocking thing is not that you grew closer to the guy who was acting like your boyfriend, but that you didn’t see this as a potential outcome from the beginning.

So now, I want to define the relationship (or, I guess, re-define it) as exclusive. Normally I’d wait for the man to bring this up, but since he already did (way early), I don’t know that he will. How do I bring up this topic, without giving off clingy/needy vibes?

Too late. I mean, it’s never too late to have a conversation. But he defined your relationship, you accepted his terms, and now you’re trying to renegotiate — without any leverage. You’ve already established that you’ll sleep with a guy without a commitment; what incentive does he have to commit?

Astute readers will already know the answer:

He’ll commit only if he wants to be your boyfriend and doesn’t want to lose you.

Therefore, the only way to bring it up is to let him know that he’s going to lose you if he doesn’t make you his girlfriend now. (And yes, the word is GIRLFRIEND. “Exclusive” is just a loophole that means he’s not fucking anybody else at the moment.)

Background info: We’re both 27, we’ve been sleeping together since date 3 (kind of a cliche, but not a policy), I am still dating other people but unenthusiastically. If he still wants to keep it casual, I’ll break it off — being emotionally insecure in a relationship is not fun for anybody. I don’t feel any need to be in the THE relationship leading to marriage right now, but I do want to be in a relationship that makes me feel safe, loved, and confident.

Good. You got there on your own.

You’re not needy for wanting a boyfriend. You’re a woman who has needs. Reasonable ones. And you’re going to break it off the second he hesitates to make things official.

Stop sleeping with men who aren’t your boyfriend.

I can’t tell you what’s going to happen, Kelly, but I can tell you that you serve as a cautionary for all of my female readers who fall into “relationships” like yours. So if you’re a reader and you:

    1. Sleep with a guy on the third date.
    2. He tells you he’s only looking for something casual.
    3. Keep sleeping with him and start to get attached to him.
    4. Don’t have the security of being a girlfriend after a few months and wonder how you got here and what you can do to “redefine” the relationship…

This is really fucking simple:

Stop sleeping with men who aren’t your boyfriend.

That’s not slut-shaming; that’s just common sense. Especially when you consistently find yourself getting attached and blown off by the men you’re casually sleeping with.

Join our conversation (93 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.

Comments:

  1. 21
    Lisa

    So here’s the thing, in today’s dating world if you don’t sleep with a guy by the third date you will not get a fourth one.   Men have tons of choices with online dating these days and plenty of other quality women that will sleep with him on the third date with a swipe of a finger.   No man is going to committ by date three nor will most women so really what do you do as a woman?   You often say men look for sex and find love.   I totally get that but if they don’t have the sex how do they get to the love?   Men sleep with you first then decide on commitment and in the past they were willing to wait longer because well any respectable gir would make him wait except now they don’t.   So really if you practice this rule you as a woman will be left in the dust.

  2. 22
    KMall

    Hi everybody! OP here and just want to share that I’m now very happily married to this man.  Thanks to Evan for giving me advice and perspective, and thanks to all the thoughtful commenters.

    I needed to get out of my own way and feel comfortable committing, and be confident that he wanted to commit to me too! Anyways just wanted to share the happy ending and say thank you.

  3. 23
    S.

    Congratulations, Kelly! I’m curious, did you guys have the DTR convo (obviously) soon after Evan’s advice? And how long has it been?

    Glad it wasn’t ‘too late’. Cheers to you both!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *