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He wanted to be exclusive but without a relationship. Make it make sense.

April 14, 2021

Guy I was seeing is exactly what I'm looking for, and we have a lot in common. He wanted to see me often, was very consistent in communication, took me on a date, etc. Then he all of a sudden said that he wants to slow things down, and that he's not looking to commit to anyone for a very long time since he got out of a relationship in November.

He asked to be exclusive, go on dates and continue our connection but a relationship would be out of the question and not what he's looking for. I said then and there that it's possible I could catch feelings beyond that, and I said no. It was so hard, because he's so attractive and he's everything I would choose in a guy but it wasn't meant to be.

I'm happy I cut it off, but at the same time it's hard because he is my producer for music I am working on with my band. He said he can keep it professional and I can too, but is there any advice moving forward? I want to make sure I did the right thing.

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Post Information
Title He wanted to be exclusive but without a relationship. Make it make sense.
Author kittycakes22
Upvotes 141
Comments 26
Date April 14, 2021 5:35 AM UTC (1 year ago)
Subreddit /r/askFDS
Archive Link https://theredarchive.com/r/askFDS/he-wanted-to-be-exclusive-but-without-a.792228
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/AskFDS/comments/mqk32m/he_wanted_to_be_exclusive_but_without_a/

[–]its_me_phosphene 148 points149 points  (7 children) | Copy Link

You 100% did the right thing. Exclusive is just wanting all the benefits of a relationship without any effort.

Exclusive = relationship. My ex asked to be exclusive and I said I considered exclusive to mean in a relationship. Two days later we were official. Don’t fall for the b.s.

[–]kittycakes22[S] 50 points51 points  (6 children) | Copy Link

He seems to think those are two completely different things for some reason. When I explained he wasn’t having it. Makes no sense!

[–][deleted] 94 points95 points  (4 children) | Copy Link

"Seems to think?"

Stop explaining.

He knows what he's doing.

If he wanted to he would.

[–]kittycakes22[S] 19 points20 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

Newly out of a relationship I can understand a bit. That’s probably why it’s hard to frame it that way. But you’re right.

[–]Jinxhourglass 28 points29 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

I wouldn’t call 5 months a new break up unless he was with his ex for a very long time

[–]kittycakes22[S] 4 points5 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

He said they were together 2 and a half years. We both had a bad break up in common which we bonded over, though mine was over a year ago.

He seemed upset I didn’t want to continue things, saying “I finally found someone I’m deeply attracted to. And I do have feelings for you but I just can’t be in a relationship right now. I’m not ready.”

If that were actually true, he wouldn’t want to lose me and he’d be open to a relationship down the line. 🤷‍♀️

[–]Jinxhourglass 13 points14 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Please don’t bond over bad breakups with men in the future. It will tell them how much you’ll tolerate in a relationship and sets the bar low. He probably thinks he’a a good person for being non-committal just because he was upfront about it.

[–]oddcharm 27 points28 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Yup. For ages now men love to do this exclusive but not in a relationship stuff so that they can turn around and invalidate your feelings and concerns because "well we aren't together!" I was done with that shit when I was 21 lmao

[–]Lavender_flowFDS Specialist 102 points103 points  (4 children) | Copy Link

He wanted to make sure you were not sleeping around while he was out fucking other people. Story as old as time.

I'm happy I cut it off, but at the same time it's hard because he is my producer for music I am working on with my band. He said he can keep it professional and I can too, but is there any advice moving forward

sis this is a bad situation. Do your best to keep it casual, and deny his advances. But this is a bad bad situation. Can you find another producer? This is a classic take of don't shit where you eat.

[–]kittycakes22[S] 24 points25 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

Agreed..he charges us a decent amount though. Anywhere else would be more expensive. But I think if I don’t hang with him one on one it’ll be fine. I hope so at least, the attraction will likely wear off knowing what I know now (or I hope so anyway).

It was strange that he wanted to be around me everyday, make music together and how much effort he was putting in for someone who doesn’t want a relationship. So manipulative.

[–]Lavender_flowFDS Specialist 14 points15 points  (1 child) | Copy Link


My best advice is to arm yourself with knowledge, so you can protect yourself. Knowledge is power

[–]kittycakes22[S] 4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Oh I definitely get controlling narc vibes from him. It was hard for him to take no for an answer and the fact that he wants exclusivity. I think I dodged a bullet there. I just wish he was unattractive, that would have made things much easier lol it’s rare that I’m attracted to a man tbh. If only I could swing the other way.

[–]sweet_birthday_babyy 23 points24 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

My guess is that he has another love interest but wants to keep you on the back burner in case it doesn’t work out

[–]Hhjjuuy 83 points84 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

he's everything I would choose in a guy but it wasn't meant to be.

You're framing this as some sort of fate thing, out of your hands. But it isn't. He is choosing not to commit to you. He is not everything you would choose, you would choose a man who wants to commit to you.

If you can see this as an action he has taken within his control you will realise that he isn't actually who you are seeing him as.

[–]NiBBasBeCrazy 44 points45 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

He’s a manipulative asshole! Sometimes I wonder how men have the audacity to even ask such things. “Hey I want sex from you, but you can’t have sex with anyone else!! Oh and btw, yeah, I’m not looking for a relationship”.

If he was still so torn about his breakup in November, he shouldn’t be dating. Simple as that.

Fuck this guy OP, remove men from the pedestal entirely. YOU’RE the PRIZE, not him. Reframe your way of thinking and you’ll be indestructible.

[–]flowerpower102938 26 points27 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

You did the right thing. He was just going to use and dump you. I bet he isn't over his ex yet. Also, is it possible for you to work with someone else? This guy is still going to try for you. This doesn't mean that he cares for you. He just wants to get the benefits that women offer. I'd just finding someone else or creating extremely firm boundaries like-

  1. No talking about anything other than work.

  2. No going out alone whether it's for work or not for work.

  3. Don't be alone with him.

  4. Don't ask him about his personal life and you don't talk about yours.

  5. Try to keep evidence and document stuff as it happens if he pushes your boundaries.

  6. Make sure that you're assertive and don't let him get handsy.

[–]kittycakes22[S] 7 points8 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

I’ll definitely use this comment as a reminder! I’m completely distancing myself. He tried the whole deep eye contact, lightly touching my arm, asking about my day, thing before we even tried dating. So I bet he’s going to try that again because he knows he’s attractive but I have enough red flags now to not be as into it. Professional stuff only. If he tries to swing the conversation I’ll cut it short.

[–]flowerpower102938 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Yes please do. All the best. Take care❤️

[–]nancy5559 36 points37 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

He’s a user who wants sex but without actually being there for you emotionally. He’s disrespectful, you did the right thing !! You don’t want to be with someone like that anyways. Remember: if he wanted to, he would. He doesn’t, so find someone better <3 someone who actually is worthy of your time, queen!!

[–]oddcharm 12 points13 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

The right choice was definitely made. He would have taken advantage of your time until he found someone to be in a relationship with. Be proud that you are the type of person who knows your value and is strong enough to turn down people who cannot see it! Personally, I don't even like being exclusive and cutting off my options before getting into a proper relationship. It's all or nothing over here. I only stop dating around when I get a boyfriend.

I wish I had more advice re: the further interaction because of your band but I think if I was in your shoes I would still remain cordial/ casual but I would just let him know you are busy if he ever tries to ask you to hang out. I wouldn't hang out at all after this tbh, will be easier for you to move on also. Use some girl friends to fill the void if you feel one :)

[–]snowwhite224 10 points11 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

You made the right choice.

My question is why the heck do men do this? If you’re still hurting why go chase after someone else only to not commit? Why play games like that?

Why don’t men take time to focus on themselves and level up like we do? It’s so lame.

[–]kittycakes22[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I don’t understand it either. Probably cause they need constant sex to function. So done with men.

[–]Buckley92 44 points45 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

He wanted a free prostitute and free servant that would be just for him and nobody else that he wouldn't have to pay for things for. Don't want a relationship equals don't want one with YOU.

At work: Grey rock. 'Hello!' 'Hi.' 'How are you?' 'Good.' 'What you get upto this weekend?' 'Watched a movie.' 'Ooooooohhhhh, what movie?' 'Rush Hour.' 'Was it good?' 'Yep.' 'How's your mom?' 'She's good thanks.'

[–]ms_monquisFDS Specialist 9 points10 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Every dude on OLD: "I don't want to date, I just want to hang out and see where it goes."

What, exactly, do they think dating IS?

This dude: "I don't want a relationship, I just want to be close to you, get to know you, spend time with you, work with you, and sleep with you, while not sleeping with anyone else."

What, exactly, does he think a relationship IS?

I think I have an idea. We've had decades to beat the idea into people's heads that a "Relationship" is a harpy woman telling a downtrodden man all the things he can't do. Relationship means not spending time with your friends or doing any of the things you enjoy. Relationship means kids and a house and taxes and minivans.

It's weird, honestly, and more than a little depressing. A big-R-Relationship is what the people in it mutually decide it is. I have no idea what this particular man's deal is, but recoiling at a "label" while wanting to continue all the things that are contained therein seems immature at the very least. It smells very much like "YES I want all of those things! But when I no longer want them, I want to be able to walk away cleanly without being the bad guy."

It seems frustratingly semantic. But anyone who isn't mature enough to simply have that conversation needs to retreat to his One Pot for finishing.

Oh and be careful — lots of others have already warned you about your future around this guy. 110% chance he's going to take another shot.

[–]kittycakes22[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Ugh exactly. Like the definition of “relationship”depends what the person is looking for and what defines a relationship for them. For example, I am a very independent person. I don’t get attached to the point that I’d want to be around that person 24/7, I don’t want kids, I want to sort out my life and career before marriage.

But if I’m with someone, I’d want to call it a relationship and still do my own thing, while checking in with eachother. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. I don’t understand why that’s so hard. Do they assume women are going to physically tie them to a radiator once the relationship is defined?

He told me that relationship means you’re expecting it to turn into marriage and he doesn’t want to deal with the messiness that comes with a breakup. Fair point I suppose.

[–]ms_monquisFDS Specialist 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I'm in exactly the same position, and it's doing my head in. For me, a relationship means sexual exclusivity and social priority, and then maybe some other negotiable details. I don't need (or want) 30 minute check-ins, or permission slips, or putting anyone on my mortgage! How often do we see each other? I don't know, we're individuals with lives and friends and schedules, let's work that out, or see how it evolves. (And if he DOESN'T have a life or a schedule? We're not a match.)

Too many people are too accustomed to "Relationship = THE ONLY PERSON IN MY LIFE EVER AT EVERY SECOND OF EVERY DAY" and oh my god no god please no. That's why so many people can never be single! It means they have zero social life, have to make all their own decisions, and I guess can never go to the movies or out to eat. If they aren't attached at the hip and up each other's asses, it isn't a "relationship."

So I guess instead of "relationship," which has become SO fraught, I'll use those 5 words when asked what I'm "looking for": Sexual exclusivity and social priority. Boom.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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