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

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.”


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,


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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  1. 31

    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..

  2. 32

    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

      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

        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

      “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.

  3. 33

    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

      Yep – Bingo!

  4. 34

    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.

  5. 35

    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!

  6. 36

    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!)



  7. 37

    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

  8. 38

    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.

  9. 39

    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

  10. 40

    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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