(Video) How Long Should You Wait Until You Know You’re Exclusive With a Man?

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This is a question I received on my latest survey about a dozen times, which lets me know that it’s important to you. And if it’s important to you, it’s important to me.

You’ve said it to me loud and clear; you’ve been hurt before, you don’t want it to happen again, and you definitely don’t want to waste your time.

It’s important to remember, however, that nobody escapes matters of the heart completely unscathed. In 99% of relationships, either he’s breaking up with you or you’re breaking up with him. Somebody always gets hurt.

Which means that there’s a bit of risk involved in any relationship, and there’s not a single thing that your trusty dating coach can do to entirely eliminate that risk.

What I’d like to do is help you mitigate that risk a bit so that you don’t end up wasting too much time on the “wrong” men.

Which brings us to a notion that I articulated in “Why He Disappeared,” which has a funny way of always resurfacing on this blog: “Men look for sex and find love.”

This doesn’t mean he’s a player or a liar or a loser. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to be a good husband and father one day. All it means is that when he shows up on the first date with you and sees how attracted you are, he’s not thinking about the long-term future, he’s thinking about the short-term future:

“How am I going to charm her? How am I going to make her like me? How am I going to give her an extra drink so I can get her back to my place?”

Once again, I’m not proud of this fact, but it’s true. Men become focused on the here and now, trying to make the most of the present moment.

Women, for the most part, are rarely focused on the date itself. Half the time you’re on the first date with him, you’re trying to see through him and predict the future:

“What’s wrong with this guy? Where is this headed? Is he financially stable? Does he believe in marriage? Is he a player? Does he respect women? Does he want children? He better not hurt me. I don’t want to waste my time.”

Whew.

This disconnect explains almost all of the friction in dating and once you understand it, you can make a permanent adjustment.

All he knows on the first date is that he’s attracted to you.

The way he figures out if he really wants to be in a relationship with you is based on the quality time you spend talking over that first month or two. This is completely separate from his desire to sleep with you.

In this time, when you feel like you’re in limbo, he’s giving you a lot of information about his intentions, based on the effort he makes for you. If he enjoys seeing you platonically and wants to talk to you on the phone, and not every date is planned around him trying to get you in bed, you might just have a man who actually LIKES you.

The way he figures out if he really wants to be in a relationship with you is based on the quality time you spend talking over that first month or two. This is completely separate from his desire to sleep with you.

If you want to be exclusive with a guy, you have to give him time to want to be exclusive with you. That can reveal itself over days, weeks, or a couple of months. But not much longer than that.

The guy who’s been casually seeing you for over two months, where he occasionally texts you, occasionally sees you is simply not putting in the requisite effort to win you over. In the long run, he’s a waste of time because he’s already showing you the kind of relationship he wants: low-stakes, low rewards, no commitment.

I personally became exclusive with my wife after a month. Guys who don’t escalate their efforts after about two months are probably a waste of your time.

This is not a hard and fast rule, of course, but merely a guideline. But don’t lose sight of the bigger picture about mistaking excitement for a future.

If you go on a first date, have electric chemistry and end up in bed, it’s impossible to know if he actually likes you, much less loves you, much less is looking to be married, much less is ready to be married, much less is compatible with you for the next 40 years.

All you know after the first email, first date, or first, is that things are promising. Don’t get ahead of yourself and make things mean more.

And don’t waste your time with a guy who’s not your boyfriend after two months or so.

Wamest wishes,

Evan

P.S. Even though this video is free…don’t discount the value of it. I have talked to thousands of men and women to draw these conclusions. I hope you can break your “bad man” cycle right away!

If you’ve struggled to understand and connect with the “right” men, do yourself a favor, if you haven’t already, and put in your email address. That will put you on my priority mailing list so that you’ll get first notification when my new offering comes out in a few weeks.

*UPDATE: FOCUS Coaching is now available! Click here to learn more about this coaching program for smart, strong, successful women.

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Comments:

  1. 21
    Honey

    Jake and I agreed to be exclusive on the first or second date, largely because he was moving to another city for a 3-month internship.   I told him flat out that  I wasn’t going to be in a situation where  we were going to be driving back and forth to see each other if we were going on other dates during the week.   The other city was 2 hours away, and we saw each other every other weekend (he did half the driving and I did half).   Pretty much as soon as he moved back to my town he asked me to be his girlfriend.   So, yeah…if you like the other person, you make an effort.

  2. 22
    JB

    Bravo Evan on the video’s so far !! They’re great !! You should be as big as
    De Angelo and certainly bigger than Christian Carter by now.Can’t wait for the full multi disc feature hopefully you’re working on?

    On a different note,I’ve just had the rarest of rare things happen(at least for me….lol) I met 2 women in the same week I like equally and I don’t really feel comfortable persuing both simultaneously.I’ve already planned a 3rd date with one and a second with the other.Both are nice,pleasant,cute,fun etc…. so I just take it one day at a time.One of them even took her profile down after 1 day because she was barraged with emails.I’m not naive but neither of them seem to be the “multiple dater”type but I don’t really know obviously.I’m smart enough to know that I have to get to know each of them over a bit of time and hopefully it will sort itself out.

    And Lily….I’d had 2 or 3  dates with a woman I really liked once and  she put up new pictures and I felt bad so I know how  YOU must of felt. Good thing you’re in a better place now.

    1. 22.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Thanks, JB. Way to go on the positive dating news.

      Pursue both of them simultaneously – don’t tell them that you’re doing so, because dating is inherently “don’t ask/don’t tell” – and pretty soon, one women will emerge as your favorite.

      Enjoy your high-class problem and things will sort themselves out. Plus, you get to keep your integrity by not sleeping with either of them until you know whom you want as a girlfriend.

  3. 23
    Margo

    Lily, that is great news! 🙂

  4. 24
    LK

    I LOVE your information Evan Thank you!!   You’ve definitely opened my eyes to how much of my thinking was faulty… I’m now open to possibilities that I wouldn’t have been open to before and I’m so much more happy because of it.   The guy I’m dating now fits the “good guy” Beta type you describe that’s possibly a better fit for us alpha females… And I’m definitely using much more of my feminine energy (that I definitely have) to my advantage… when maybe in the past I would have thought my accomplishments/etc spoke for themselves.  

    He is still in school and works overnights/overtime right now so we only see each other once a week (his only free night) but we talk on the phone every night and text several times a day too.   I just worry he’s in a different spot in his life and I have decided to take my dating life more seriously after turning 35 (where did the time go??).   He’s younger than I being 32 and although says he wants a long term relationship/ does reference the future like future activities together etc, says he wants kids/ family/ marriage and isn’t pursuing anyone else/ profiles are down… he still hasn’t convinced me I’m not wasting my time or that I’m the one he wants to build that life with.   I don’t want to be too pushy about it either. There’s always risk in relationships… and sometimes we just have to be patient and go for it!    We’ve dated for 7 months now (at one night a week for the most part) and I just worry I fall into both sides of this equation and I’m confused… to stay or go!!     

  5. 25
    Marie

    I just saw this article, and how painfully true. I just broke it off after getting back together for a couple of dates, and my typical pattern tends to be to jump out, then miss that person and regret or think I’ve made a mistake and hint so, further hurting myself. On the upside as much as he wanted to have sex (as did I), I didnt go there this time. So I kept a drop of dignity. As well I can really give someone whom I recently met who is definately the steady Eddy type, constant contact, reading up on good date ideas. I’m trying to break my patterns with going towards the chemistry and use my head more instead. I’m still sad, feel rejected because given his actions and then his response I wasn’t worth it to him, but….I’ve freed myself up. Time heals anyway, eh?

    Hope I don’t have to return to this article in the future to remind myself of when it’s time to break free! 🙂

  6. 26
    JB

    @ Evan #23 “you get to keep your integrity by not sleeping with either of them until you know whom you want as a girlfriend”

    Well Evan it wasn’t as easy as that ^^^. The situation of the 2 women resolved itself quickly when one of them went back to her boyfriend. I dated the other one for 2 months but I don’t make anyone my “girlfriend” before I have sex with them and see that we have THAT “chemistry”. Sadly we didn’t have it so I had to let her go. I didn’t want to lead her on and she understood.

  7. 27
    Greg

    Whew… wish I saw the site sooner. Just got pushed by a woman I have been seeing for the last four months. We had sex in about week 8 or so; wanted to call her my girlfriend then and she  recoiled with a big no.

    Basically, I was a male version of FOB; helping her find a job, consoling her on bad interviews and results.   Been out nearly a 10 months now.   BUT she was not wanting ‘relationship’ and like the opportunity to meet new people. We had alot of passion but held off on the intercourse.. seemed like a good compromise.   

    Ok, we are both in our 50s and it seemed reasonable as we were both seeing others. But the ‘busy’ signal in her calendar was not satisfying and I wanted more.   At thanksgiving she disappeared on Friday and did not resurface until Sunday night, telling me that she was not ready for a relationship and wanted to go slow.   Ok…since then its been reasonable but I did not feel confident .   Again I tried to be ‘modern’ in my approach and enjoyed in physical touch. I tried to be endearing, supportive,  available  to her as a  down payment  of my intent.   On Wed night after the movie and some couch time I began talking about the beginning of a relationship.   By Thurs PM she wanted to talk; on Friday over the phone she walked away.   Not surprising she seemed unconcerned about me cancelled a very nice New Years Eve dinner I had arranged.

    Bottom line, I let the signal go by me atleast twice … in week 8 or so then then at Thanksgiving.   She wanted to be ‘friends’ but not a relationship.   It has torn me up over the last two days, but this site has help me alot see what I should had been looking for.   BTW as reference, I came out of a 25 yr marriage two years ago, started dating a year ago, and just did not know the ‘new rules’ .   Now I do and I feel in much more control of events and what is reasonable.

  8. 28
    Nassu Toledo

    I met on Match a guy , very nerd, but liked his smile, he winked, I winked, then he winked again, then email then reply to him, then a date, every day multiple  texts, phone calls even from across the Atlantic, then another date then his soon to be ex wife call off the divorce process and the guy was like a lost puppy back home. He lied when stating at Match that he was divorced, he was separated only, and all he wanted was to forget about his ex. This is the second time it happens to me, a “vulnerable, broken hearted, lonely” man who pretends to be ready to move on and is just a player. Thanks for your advises Evan. The 2 month period of time to escalate the relationship is perfect to stop wasting time.

  9. 29
    Cara

    This has helped me in an almost opposite way to most here it seems. I’ve been single for a while after having various mostly short term relationships where i didn’t feel cared for or that i really mattered. This made me very fearful of  future  relationships,   I’m only young but have been through enough  guys not caring/using me to really put me off seeing anyone, i’d  occasionally try a date or two but nothing worked for me, Pretty sure it was me blocking things though. Until recently,   i  randomly messaged a few guys on the dating site im on and i really seemed to click with one,   we chatted a lot and decided to  meet,   all seems to be going well.   We’ve been seeing each other about a month,   he   comes to see me,   messages me,   buys medinner etc… He seems great.   He has expressed his wish to make me him girlfriend and I’ve been apprehensive.   I’mscared,of getting hurt again,   of going through the motionsjust for it to not work…   this post however has got me to think about various things. Previously I’ve been the one to push for a relationship but this time is different,   maybe the relationship will be and maybe i should just relax and see how it goes. Maybe I’ll say yes to being his girlfriend.  

    1. 29.1
      Julia

      I think it would be great thing for you to do Cara. Seems like he’s into you, relax and enjoy it!

  10. 30
    Ivy

    Loved this video! Wish I saw it sooner before wasting my time with a guy who wasn’t willing to commit after 8 months. I’m currently seeing someone who asked to be exclusive after 3 dates and recently asked me to be his girlfriend after a month of dating. To me, it’s a little too fast and I have to wonder about ulterior motives (we haven’t had sex yet), but it’s better than wondering if he’s interested in me and whether or not he’ll want a serious relationship.

    1. 30.1
      Falynn

      I’ve been dating this guy for 3 months, we spent a lot of time together   at first but it is slowly declining. When I asked him abt what he see us being in the future he exclaimed snobbishly “I should force a relationship that’s a turn off”. I do feel like the video is correct after 2 months a guy should be trying to secure a future with you. It sucks because I want to continue to give him a chance because I really adore him

  11. 31
    James

    Oh god I’m sick to my stomach hearing these ladies
    talk crap.
    plain and simple it takes 2 to tango
    period. Nuff said.
    you wanted it and you had it
    now don’t fret
    you want a relationship?
    Then go and have one!
    You want sex?
    go and get it
    but please spare the world your all guys crap
    women are just as devious and demanding
    this ain’t the 50’s anymore
    and the youth ain’t listening to your cries
    or relating to it..
      

  12. 32
    twinkle

    Feel so sad reading this. 🙁 Anyway, one important rule I’ve always followed is–before exclusivity, date at least 2 people at a time. I think that would be in line with Evan’s advice and most dating experts’ advice. I broke that rule because I was busy and wanted to spend my limited free time (one weekend day a week) with the 1 guy I was dating, since we got along so well. Now things aren’t going so well with him (a lot of that is my fault) and without other good distractions, I feel like my heart is being stamped on.

    From now on, I will always date at least 2 guys at a time until me and a guy are really committed to each other.
      

    1. 32.1
      Natalie

      Hi Twinkle!

      It doesn’t sound like you need to date multiple guys, it sounds like you need to work on yourself a little bit more, you need to work out your personal issues before you can receive real love. Dating multiple guys won’t fix the fact that you don’t know how to carry on with your own life comfortably separate from someone else. What would happen if you two got into a committed and exclusive relationship? What will you do then with out your distractions? My problem used to be that I was so caught up in a man, that I would let their actions dictate my feelings. I had to spend time alone and do a lot of soul searching to not allow someone else’s actions to change who I am. This helped me a lot in my current dating situation. I wasn’t dating multiple men when we met however I was content enough with my own life that when I didn’t see him for 2 weeks, I just let it go and decided that if it was meant to be than it will be. After his 2 weeks away, he came back and we’ve been pretty inseparable now. Maybe we’ll be together forever, maybe we won’t but all I can do is try to enjoy my time with him as much as possible because I am happy when we are together and that is it. If more comes of it then great but if not, it was still great because he’s an amazing man and Im happy I met him. Don’t let your happiness be depended upon what he is or is not doing. Unless he is mistreating you, there is no reason to feel bad.

      1. 32.1.1
        Twinkle

        Hi Natalie! Thanks for your kind and helpful reply.

        I agree with much of what   u’re saying. It turns out there had been a misunderstanding between me and him, we resumed dating after a few wks and things have been going well; in fact it seems similar to the situation between u and your guy.

        It’s been a difficult and busy year for me (from a non-dating standpoint, in the other areas of my life), and I let some of that negativity and stress creep into my dating life–which was not fair to the guy. U’re right that it’s impt to settle those other issues to allow love into one’s life…In fact, I think that’s a big problem for many pple which is why they struggle in relationships. Their lives aren’t in order. When my life was going well, I had a lot of guys who wanted to be my bf, which isn’t surprising when u think about it, because guys want to be with women who have good lives!  

        I hope it will work out between me and this guy, but otherwise I have faith that things will work out between me and other terrific man.

        Thumbs up to your positive and resilient attitude, and all the best to u in your love life. 🙂

    2. 32.2
      Mike

      “I was busy and wanted to spend my limited free time …. with the 1 guy I was dating”

      “I feel like my heart is being stamped on”

      “From now on, I will always date at least 2 guys at a time”

       

      WHOA WHOA WHOA… wait a second… because you gave 1 person ALL your attention and it didnt work, you now want to divide your attention between multiple guys simultaneously.   How on Earth is this fair or even logical?   Im sorry, but its 100% or 0%… not 50%.

      I dont half-ass dating… and neither should you… its disrespectful.

  13. 33
    Thomas

    I dont buy this. If you are an emotionally available man ready for a relationship it seems the women are the ones who are not ready. Where are these amazing women who are thinking about these things on the first date? It seems everyone I meet is damaged goods who is reeling over some guy from the past. Believe me, being a guy who actually is looking for love is the worst. Women are odd, they want love and think about it all the time according to this blog but then, they run from it.

    1. 33.1
      Yelena

      Yep – Bingo!

  14. 34
    elizabeth

    I have been “seeing” this guy for just over a month or two. Now it is hard he is a truck driver and gone to the states all wk. We have spent every wkd together. A 2 wks ago he told me he was going to see an old friend from high school. Now it was a girl ( i should mention he just got out of a relationship that he was not aloud to talk to old friends if they were girls); i dont want to seem the jealous type but im been cheated on before several time. He has not said i was his girlfriend he has said he not ready for a relationship yet but for me to know he is not going anywhere. Now he has a 4 yr old son and i have a 3yr old daughter. They have not met nore we meet each others kids. But we seem to find ways to spend time even when its his wk with his son. There is one barrier with us and that is his friend who used to be my fwb. We never knew each other knew him in the beginning. We go out in public. We have even talked about our dreams and what our house is going to look like. But how long should i wait before we are official. I am starting to fall in love with him.

  15. 35
    Chelsea

    Wow! This article helps ENORMOUSLY! We are exactly at that two monthish mark and I was wondering if I was on the right track by thinking about exclusivity. Now I know my instincts are correct. Thank you!

  16. 36
    Sally

    Okay so, I just recently got into this site, and reading all of the comments has actually really helped put my thoughts into order! So here’s my problem I guess you could call it that! I met this guy at his work and we exchange numbers and social media usernames. we only texted and messaged back and forth for almost two months, then I decided to push to maybe just hangout as friends or something and then he asked me out on a date instead! we started dating and it’s been about three months now, we text everyday, talk on the phone and FaceTime (he lives in my city) I used to see him about once a week now I see him quite often three or more times, and for long periods of time as well, I sleepover at his place at least once a week now as well, I have a hoodie there, and a toothbrush! We decided to be exclusive after our third date which was three weeks into dating, we’ve had the relationship talk twice now. We were both not looking to get into one as he was just out of a relationship before me and same for me, so we wanted casual fun, we had a friendship going before we got intimate! Anyways now I feel as though I am ready to get into a relationship with him, but he’s kinda slow when it comes to the dating world lol and I’m the one that usually instigates the big devolving steps! So should I declare that I want him as my boyfriend or just continue in our “no title” relationship? P.s i have met his friends, brother, roommates, and some co workers, he always says that he is mine and that I’m his one and only because I’m the only one he’s dating and I believe him, he also says I can do whatever I want and he’d like to know if I started seeing someone else and that it would upset him and he wouldn’t like it, but then says that it’s not his place to tell me not to though! His last gf it took him a year of dating her to recognize her as his girlfriend and that’s not the type of girl I am! I don’t have it in me to wait around that long but I don’t want to lose him! Oh also he mostly calls me by his pet name for me, or my name, or my last name! never does he use my nickname that everyone calls! Lately he has become a lot more affection in public! With hand holding, hugs, kisses, …etc, can’t seem to go even 10 mins without touching me or grazing me somewhere! That’s what made me start to consider my thoughts and feelings!

    The other day we went to an event and at the start he said I could dance with whomever I want and about 3 hours in he asked me if I could only dance with him because he didn’t want to see me dancing with someone else! (To be fair though it was manly club music and I was feeling good about myself and the music, so I was dancing pretty sexually!)

     

     

  17. 37
    Mike

    Great article… and I definitely want to speak for all guys that the same goes for girls as well.   Believe me, I want a partner-in-crime that I am deeply attracted to, with whom I would want to start a family and so on.   But everytime a girl has wanted to have the exclusivity talk with me, it means they just had sex with a different guy within the past week.   I appreciate these conversations immensely as communication is so important.   Yet, it never surprises me that these  guys “always” seem to fade in-out of the background of the relationships.   Im not one to judge my girlfriend’s guy-friends before I met her, that would be unfair, but I find it disrespectful to me when my GF and these “guys” go out together, sometimes alone for lunch or to the bars at night.   I have no choice but to trust her.

    TO ALL GIRLS READING THIS…   if you’re going to have the “exclusivity” with your man, you better hold yourself to the same standard as you hold us.

    BTW… im a 28 y/o doctor who  would like to have  this conversation very soon.

     

    -Cheers Mike

  18. 38
    Cam

    wow you literally helped me make the best decision in the situation I was in and now I feel like I’ve gotten rid of the burner question in my mind: “is he looking for a relationship with me or just friends”. After reading this I cleared the air and got a clear answer out of him. I no longer feel like I’m wasting any time.

     

    Thank you.

  19. 39
    Michelle

    I have been trying to decide if the guy I have been seeing is a waste of time. And thanks to your video I think he is. I mean we have been seeing each other almost 4 months and are not exclusive. I have met his family, and most of his friends. We text daily and see each other two to three nights a week. After two months I had told him I was done. He has stepped up since then but I think in the end I am going to get hurt in this relationship. Thank you, I really appreciate the help I have got from your video and article

  20. 40
    Hayley

    I have been talking to this guy for over 9 months. I had a relationship before him where I had no trust and I felt obligated to stay in it because I know he loved me despite how flirty he was to others. I am so beyond happy with this new guy I am talking to and we are only talking to each other so we are loyal and all. I think people have lost the importance of dating. You wouldn’t marry someone after only knowing them a month, why do people need to rush to date. If anything you should wait and see if that person is willing to wait for you too cause obviously if they weren’t okay with the idea of waiting they don’t care about you that much. Just my thoughts on things. Even though me and him are not OFFICIALLY in a relationship, we are willing to trust eachother and basically test eachother to see if it’s all gonna be worth it. Also even though we were good friends two years before (going on dates) and then another 9 months on that, we learn new things about each other everyday! I get alot of crap at home from my family and friends and even from his family people saying “no you two are boyfriend and girlfriend” idk why we get so much crap though if someone is worth waiting for it just proves to both of you that it’s legit. Obviously there are different relationships where there isn’t so much trust and you want to be official so you can feel more secure but I don’t see a problem with waiting when you have a good guy who takes stuff serious anyway

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