I’m Exclusive with a Woman Who Won’t Let Me Call Her My Girlfriend

Dear Evan, I really need your help. Here’s the deal. I’ve been dating this girl now for 2 and a half months. We were good friends for 5 months before one-night things changed and we ended up having sex. I’ve known her all my life, since her parents and mine have been friends for over 30 years. She lives in NYC but is moving home to Buffalo to go to law school this July, and I’m here at medical school in Buffalo.

She tells me she wants to take it slow. She says she feels like she’s in more of a relationship with me then she’s felt in her past relationships, which she considered to be actual relationships. She also is not the best communicator of her feelings when it comes to how she personally feels. She told me that she’s talked to me more about how she personally feels then all her other relationships combined; I’m not sure if I should be happy about that or not. I told her I have no problem taking it slow. We are sexually exclusive with each other, but she gets upset sometimes when I do really nice things for her. She says that me taking her to expensive dinners and stuff of that nature is moving too fast and that I do too many nice things. She feels that if she does not reciprocate, then it makes her feel like the bad guy or some such nonsense. But I am just naturally a romantic person and I like to do that stuff!

So I have been trying to not call her as much, and some days I just ignore her and do my own thing. But I feel by trying not to call as much and not be as romantic as I want to be I am playing some silly game with her. I don’t see what is so wrong with a boyfriend who wants to make his woman happy all the time, it’s not like I’m asking for anything in return. Oh and that brings me to another point: I dare not refer to her as “my girlfriend” I guess because that sounds very relationship, and she is not ready for that. So I guess I’m trying to ask what do I do? Do I take it slow like she says and really back off? Since we slept together we’ve only been together on nine dates. I wish I knew how she really felt. I mean her actions tell me that she is really into me but I’m just not super sure. I come from a family where we tell each other how we feel all the time and she comes from one where stuff is just assumed. Ugggh. What should I do? Am I just over thinking all this stuff? Please help!!!! 🙁 Daniel

Congratulations, Daniel. You’re the woman in the relationship.

Congratulations, Daniel. You’re the woman in the relationship.

And I say that with a wink and a nod, because it’s not an insult; it’s just an archetype. After all, how many letters have you read here from women who could have said the same thing, verbatim?

“He wants to take it slow.”

“He is not the best communicator of his feelings.”

“By trying not to call as much and not be as romantic as I want to be, I feel I’m playing a silly game with him.”

“I dare not refer to him as my boyfriend; he is not ready for that.”

“His actions tell me that he’s really into me, but I’m just not sure.”

So yes, Daniel, your letter seems like it could have been ripped out of the pages of Glamour or Cosmo, but that’s a good thing. It shows us that emotions and feelings and commitment are not exclusively female territory…. And hey, believe me, you’re not alone. I’m as much of a female-type communicator as you’re going to find. That’s why I’m a dating coach, and that’s why 75% of my readers are women. Which is why I want you to put your male hat on when answering your own question. If you were giving advice to a trusted girl friend about a guy who was not committing to her, what would you say? Well, you may say something cliched like “He’s just not that into you” And you may be right. But that wouldn’t be enough to satisfy your girl friend. She’s the one who’s feeling the connection. She’s the one who wants to believe this is workable. She knows how he truly feels. Well, sort of…

You’re hung up on a woman who is doing everything in her power NOT to make you feel special.

And that’s where you are, right now, Daniel. Too emotionally engaged in your own relationship to see it objectively. So what you’re doing is using all available evidence to support your ideas. You’re justifying her lack of commitment by saying that she says she feels like she’s in a relationship with you. But you’re ignoring that she won’t let you call her “girlfriend.”

You’re saying that you have no problem taking it slow. But you’re ignoring that you DO have a problem because she’s not making you feel safe and secure.

You’re trying to be a giver because that’s how you feel about her. But you’re ignoring that your girlfriend should WANT to get nice things from you AND give back as well.

Listen, I don’t know you and I don’t know this woman. But it’s glaringly clear that she’s got some serious intimacy issues, issues which you don’t share with her. You seem kind, well-adjusted, and you come from a close family. In other words, you’re a catch. Any woman reading this would love to be with a man like you. But that doesn’t matter. You’re hung up on a woman who is doing everything in her power NOT to make you feel special. Is that what you want? Is that what you deserve? – Cause that’s what you get when you wait for her to come around.

I wouldn’t give up on her yet, Daniel. Certainly, things can change when you’re in the same city. But if she’s not your girlfriend, and there’s no real commitment, I would highly consider dating some other people right now. You may just find that this amazing lawyer woman is not the best catch for you after all.

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  1. 31
    Katarina Phang

    OP is a typical nice guy and she’s just not that into him (maybe has intimacy issues as well, but we don’t know if she’s like that with every guy she really likes).  The roles are really reversed.  He’s the she, and she’s the he.  That’s probably why she’s not that into him.

    Move on. He probably needs an alpha female who is attracted to a beta male she can control.  Problem is many alpha females want very masculine guys themselves.  A woman who is more like him (moderate alpha/beta) is probably best.  So both can be flexible in what roles to take and when.

  2. 32

    I have a girlfriend who hasn’t even called me her boyfriend”yet” but is always around me. She barely tells me how she feels although she did in the beginning. I say I miss her way before she even gets to say it. I do admit that although I am feeling like the female, she lets me take the lead when we go out because she tells me as long as she’s with me it doesn’t matter what we do. I don’t think she’s not into me, but she did get out of a ten month relationship six months ago. I had asked a question regarding our being exclusive and she said she liked me but didn’t want to move too fast. We haven’t had sex, becuase I want the title boy friend before we get too intimate. so she better be patient. I had asked her if she was my girl and she was like “what do you think” …she won’t give me a straight answer, so I’m thinking it’s assumed we are, but then she was talking to one of her girlfriends and she told her about her “friend” when speaking about me. MY GOD that was so annoying. Took all my might to keep a straight face. She doesn’t put an emphasis on our going to fast..so I would say she’s into me. but as for Daniel, I would have to wonder why she keeps insisting that you not call her your girlfriend. Maybe she takes longer to consider that title. Everybody’s different and who knows how her exes treated her.

    All I know is I just want this “trial period” to end already, and yes I’ve been dating her for two and half months. 😀

  3. 33

    I just want to say I’m in the same boat as Daniel and I’ve moved on from her, on the advice of friends.

    My girl was nice enough to tell me to take a step back. Like Daniel I didn’t listen. I wasn’t objective.

    Yes I’m a student, and I’ll take it slow with the gifts next time round. Mine aren’t expensive but they’re hand-made/-drawn and it’s obvious I put effort into them.

    I’m a nice guy and I’m not inclined towards the “nice guys finish last” line of argument. I’m just waiting for the right girl to come along who’ll reciprocate my feelings. 

    I still think of her and wonder if I’ve hurt her. But it’s just me wishing I mattered to her.

    Evan’s response, and everyone’s comments, really helped.


  4. 34

    I am curious if she has another boyfriend in Buffalo or if she has another boyfriend in her town while she is away?

  5. 35

    Im in a similar boat as Daniel albeit I havent done the whole dinners thing and to the ladies commenting and reading I will say please dont do this because it’s very confusing.

    I have been seeing this girl for 6 weeks.  I know that doesnt sound like very long but we have spent nearly 5 of those weeks together 24/7, we see eachother nearly every day and there’s only been 2 days where we havent talked to eachother so on an intensity level we could have been dating for 6 months or longer depending on how frequently you’d consider “dating”.

    We aren’t technically exclusive but in practice we are, obviously, seeing as there really isnt any time to see anyone else.  I was seeing and dating 9 girls when I met her but we just clicked and have been thick as theives ever since we met, the other poor girls dont get much of anything other than a touch base text here and there because I’m not ready to completely drop them until this girl commits to being exclusive and/or uses the label.

    She refers to me as her “friend”, yet was the one who told me first in a very serious way that she loves me.  We kiss, we’ve obviously had a lot of sex, some of it quite kinky (her family is very conservative so shed have to be very comfortable with me to ask me to do those things), we kiss all the time, hold hands, cuddle, both in public and in private.  To any fly on the wall watching us the whole time and anyone who bumps into us on the street we would for all intensive purposes appear to be a total couple.

    Just last night she had a co-worker ask her out for drinks and she wanted to go.  So she asked me to come because she’s had a co-worker (at a previous job) ask her out for drinks before and try to have sex with her, then when she denied him it made work awkward.  She wanted me to come so that the guy “would know he’s not going to get to cut your grass”.  Sounds like a girlfriend to me.  She also has had two guys she knows are totally into her try to ask her out and she declined them both and phoned me when she got home instead.

    The complicating factors are these.  I met her when she had a boyfriend, who she dumped a week after meeting me (it wasnt working out before I met her).  She is also 25 and I am 37.  I’m not chomping at the bit for the exclusivity nor the label; and she says its OK if I sleep with other girls- although I know in my bones if I actually did it she would not be impressed at all even if she didnt get mad about it.

    Im just going to keep doing what I’m doing and give her time.  I’m having a blast with her and I see her all the time, almost every day and more times than not she sleeps over at my house- so I am getting the “girlfriend experience” anyway even without the label.  My theory is she needs time to ease into the idea being someone’s girlfriend.

    But I am at the point where I wish that she would just bite the bullet and roll with it. 

  6. 36
    Tony Montana

    I’m in the same situation, minus the buying stuff n going on expensive dinners. But I am coming to the realization that this person doesn’t want me to call her girlfriend, which is fine but she continues to have sex with me lol? So i find it odd, its nothing wrong with it, but once i get over my feelings for her n  continue to have sex with her while exploring options am i the bad guy? If i already genuinely explained the situation and  gave an ultimatum to take it or leave me, am i the bad guy when she comes around n im not there anymore mentally but sexually I am? Or maybe she wont come around at all….? Smh Life sucks some times 

  7. 37

    Most women today Don’t know how to Commit to just one man.

  8. 38
    Danni California

    Not sure how old this post is as I don’t see dates.

    Anyways, I want to say this I feel for your girlfriend. Two months is not a long time. I have been rushed into relationships with lavish dinners and great sex and kind words for it all to be snatched away.

    Can we stop being one sided about things. Find out why she acts the way she does and let her know it’s ok and that you are there to help and support her.

    My bf is very jealous and it’s becuase of all his exes have cheated on him. And I can’t be mad at him because he’s insecure I just accommodate. I only talk to my guy friends online and I don’t hag out with them unless it’s a double date. I call him and make him feel wanted and needed.

    Because I understand he’s been hurt before And I love him.l would do anything for him that isn’t causing me any type of harm

  9. 39
    Logical guru

    Its clear, i think she having a relationship with another guy outside your radar . She doesn’t want you to be nice to her and feels bad about it when u do because she is having another relationship with another guy and it seems like you are her boyfriend when you do nice things for her. She feels like she is cheating on you because she is doing stuff with another guy and that’s why she doesn’t want it to feel like you guys are dating. She is saying “take it slow” because she is having other relationships and when she leaves her town or city( her other sex buddy) then she would have a proper relationship with you because there is nothing for her to feel guilty about.

  10. 40

    Whats wrong with this picture;  

    Dude;   Im sorry;  move on!   you were never liked in the first place!  your so interested in finding a relationship,  its all blown over your head!  

    The girl expects you to be a guy and get the picture and move on!  

    She’s bored;   you sleep with her!  big deal!  

    ITs hard for you to believe!  she likes you;  this must me your her boyfriend!   No!  it does not;  it does not mean anything!  


    Ive had to dump a few girls!   no commitment!  but they acted interested!   They got mad when I called them girlfriend!   technically,  they were using me for conversation and sex!  I was safe! 

    Find more decent people!   This person has no business leading you on for so long!  


  11. 41

    Well it looks like she’s not your girlfriend if you ask me maybe she wants to be just friends or maybe she’s scared you’ll friend zone her oh and a word of advice if she is your girlfriend don’t ask any girl to be just your friend she’s going to say no

  12. 42

    If she does what she does and you continue orbiting her as you do you implicitly communicate you like being treated that way.

    Solution? Go forth and tell her that you need an emotionally available person and that you walk away as you are unhappy like this.

    You cannot force yourself into someone’s heart. Attraction is not a choice, if she is not all over you during the early stage of the “relationship”, she will never be.

    And read “No more Mr. Nice Guy” by Robert Glover. You need it.


  13. 43

    Serious intimacy issues? I’m in the same position as the female written about here and I can tell you that’s not true for me. I want the guy I’m seeing exclusively to be my boyfriend, but I don’t believe in making things official before about 6 months. Not issues just don’t make just anyone my boyfriend. Geez.

  14. 44

    So why does using the title”Girlfriend or Boyfriend”? This guy truly seems to want her and she know this. I mean no one wants to be known as just a friends, especially when the line has been cross.

  15. 45

    Yeeeah, D, you’re doing too much. You’re doing the most. You need to cut it out.  She probably likes you a lot, wants to have a relationship, but is feeling smothered with a hot blanket. 2 1/2 months is way too soon to be doing all this! Yeebus, bro, give a girl some room and stop blitzing her with All The Things!


    I know I, as a woman, would personally make like the nope octopus and get away from you QUICK, because it’s just too freaking much! I’m just not inclined to like being smothered with romantic and expensive gestures. It feels like you’re trying to buy me, and that’s just crazy. If you’re a good guy (and I suspect you are), then you don’t NEED to do all that. Back off and let the girl breathe!

  16. 46

    Most women these days just want to sleep around all the time unfortunately, especially the ones that like to party and get real wasted since they just don’t know what real commitment is.  This is a very excellent reason why many of us good single men just can’t find love at all today because of these very pathetic loser women that are very much to blame as well.  And there are many of us men out there that can be very happy with just only one woman all the time which unfortunately most women these days will never make a good wife at all to begin with anyway.   And today most women will usually go for the rich type of men since they’re always looking for men to spend money on them all the time which makes these type of women nothing but users and losers.

    1. 46.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      You’re a broken record, James. You’re not learning a thing and every comment is the same complaint. Either vary your comments or find another place to vent.

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