Friday, May 8, 2009

What's your take?

I have a very strong opinion in the following situation, but I am most definitely biased so I'm throwing this out to the six of you: What do you think?

This guy, we'll refer to him as "The Catch" is a really good, fun, smart guy that is at the point in his life where he'd like to get married. He's been dating a number of girls over the past three months but one stands out that he likes a bit more than the rest- he doesn't want to spend Friday and Saturday night with her, and really doesn't care if she dates other guys- but she's pretty, smart and fun. We'll refer to her as young girl.

Young girl really likes the catch, and she's not so thrilled that he's dating other girls. It hurts her feelings that he's dating her AND other women so young girl tells The Catch that he has to be exclusive in dating her or not date her at all. "Be my boyfriend or you can't date me"

The Catch likes this girl a lot, and wants to continue dating her, and is willing to stop seeing other women in order to keep young girl around, but he recently met another girl (who'll we'll refer to as the total package) that he hit it off with, and a big part of him would like to continue dating her as well, and is nervous that if things don't go anywhere with young girl he may lose his opportunity with the total package. Still he feels he owes it to himself to see if it can go anywhere with young girl, even though he innately doesn't like her enough to want to spend time exclusively with her.

What do you think?


Steve said...

"Catch" is far from one at this point b/c he doesn't want to be tied down, no matter what he says. (speaking from experience here.) The fact that he wants and was open to another person coming into his life shows that Young Girl is just Good Enough For Now. Maybe someday, after some more oat sowing, he'd prefer Young Girl, but it isn't today!

Jo's Outlet said...

Please remember I usually give terrible advice, but these were my first thoughts:

(1) "The Catch" needs to grow some balls and make a decision. Basically, if he likes a girl enough that he doesn't want to lose her, he should stay with her and stop dating other people (like he is willing to do.) But if when he is with the girl, he is thinking about other girls or does not feel "settled" - he should definitely move on! If the other girls move on as well, including Young Girl, it wasn't meant to be anyway.

(2) What he's doing right now is that old phrase, "having his cake and eating it too" which has never made any sense to me but it came to mind when I read this situation. The Catch wants all these girls to be at his disposal at all times. He wants them to wait around for him to make a decision. I like to call these types of guys "jerks" or "a$$holes". I am sorry if this guy is related to you. It is not a reflection on you at all.

(3) Young girl should say, "Do I like him enough to know that he is dating other people and to continue dating him if he is wishy-washy?" I think her answer is no, so SHE should move on. If The Chase really likes her, he will stop dating all the other girls including Total Package.

(4) And if Total Package REALLY IS all that, The Catch would have let go of Young Girl in the first place!!! (See #2.)

Jo's Outlet said...

Ok, I just read Steve's and that makes sense. Just the fact that his eyes are all over the place shows that he's not ready to be committed to anybody...therefore in my opinion he shouldn't be physically intimate (including kissing) but MAYBE hand-holding is OK. Just my opinion. For many girls that I know, at least, once the physical intimacy starts (at whatever level) there is more attachment and expectation for the girl. He can't lead these girls on!

Mike said...

I think it's inauthentic of him to agree to be exclusive with young girl if he doesn't like her enough to be exclusive. I just don't think "fear of missing out" is a good enough reason. And I think it's kinda selfish to try to keep her on the line in case the total package doesn't work out-- you can't have both. He's gotta make a choice.

davers said...

Dump young girl. She's needy, insecure, and dependent. Go for the interdependent relationship ... will be much happier in the long run.

When he meets a girl that he's HAPPY to dump all other girls for her (not just "willing to dump the others") ... then it will be "right", but as long as he always sees it as if he's making the sacrifice for her then he will never feel the way that he should.

Good things come to those who wait.

Mike said...

A) After reading Jo's response... yeah I think it takes two to tango, and young girl needs some perspective and needs to realize he's just not that into her, and that she doesn't want to be with someone, no matter what qualities they possess or how much she likes them, if they're not into her that much.

B) This just reaffirms how lame the whole dating culture is. It sounds more like test driving cars or something than actually building meaningful friendships / relationships. Is it a stretch to think this is a big factor in the creation of many a shallow marriage? (I'm single so I wouldn't know anything about being married but what I observe.)

adam said...

I don't have any good advice here because during my short-lived "dating life" I was maybe dating 2 during the same month... not that I had a chance with either! haha.

I like what has been said so far though. All I would add is that Catch sounds pretty ambivalent. He should think about what his core values are regarding a partner or relationship, and then try to figure out which person fills that better. I DEFINITELY would not agree to be exclusive in a relationship going into it with cold feet.

Entertaining post!

Christin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I think the catch should tell young girl he wants date other people (i.e. the total package)and if she's not okay with that then he has to be willing to let her go.

Also, it sounds like he either hasn't dated the right person yet or he really isn't ready to settle down and get married.

If I was young girl, I wouldn't put that kind of stipulation on a guy that doesn't even want to see me twice in a weekend.

Tim and Kirst said...

She ain't called "total package" for nothing. Dump the "youngy!" "The Catch" is obviously not that into her if he's still shopping around.

Ben and Kimberly McEvoy said...

I think dating and hanging out with multiple girls is good. but kissing and making out with multiple girls (and/or boys) is disrespectful.

I think the young one need to learn to not give ultimatums in her relationships. If she forces him to marry her by threatening him . .is that really true love. If he not that in to you . . . .move on. But don't let him use you.

I think the 'catch' needs to be real with himself, does he want to be exclusive or is he just trying to be a player, does he have too many friends with benefits. Just because you get along with and like a girls doesn't mean you should date her. I like what the person above said about not willing to dump a person, but not being willing to commit. People if it not working move on. If you come back to that person later . . .then wouldn't you know better that yes I want to be with this person.

Salt H2O said...

One other question I have- Would your advice be any different if a guy told a girl she had to commit to him or it's over?

If your advice is different- why?

Steve said...

Davers - Who knew you and I would agree 100% on something?!?! haha.

I actually don't have a problem with Catch dating around or even having "kissing buddies", as long as he is truthful with everyone involved. Chances are, Chance has been like this all along and Young Girl was too naive and/or blind to see all the signs. It takes two people to make a good and BAD relationship.

Salty - The sex doesn't matter. I've known men and women on both sides of this equation. It doesn't change who and what needs to be done.

Jeri and Amy said...

I have a unique take on the Catch's predicament. I am TOTALLY anti-exclusivity before engagement. If the entire purpose of dating is to "find the one", why would you enter into an exclusive relationship unless you were near certain this was it? All you are doing is wasting a few months/years of your life every time you date someone exclusively that doesn't turn out to be the "one." Until I was engaged, I was NEVER completely exclusive with anyone. I always retained the option of going on a date if I so chose.

People shouldn't criticize the fact that the Catch is looking at more than one girl seriously. Just because he's considering the total package, doesn't mean the tween doesn't have anything to offer. Marriage is a HUGE decision. It shouldn't be entered into lightly.

I agree that the catch should be straight forward with his tween and tell her how he really feels. If he really sees potential there but doesn't know for sure, he should let her know. I'd tell her, something to the effect of, "Look, I'm too old to date just one person if she isn't the one... and I'm not totally sure you're it. I wouldn't be dating you if I didn't see potential for us to be heading in that direction, but until I know for sure, I don't want to waste your time or mine in an exclusive relationship that could oneday end. When I DO become exclusive with you, it will be because I'm pretty convinced you're it... but I just can't rush that. Therefore, I can't commit to you - yet- but I can promise that I won't string you along, either. If I ever decide that you aren't the one, I'll stop dating you immediately so you can find happiness with someone else. As long as we are together, marriage is ultimately the direction I'm heading."

CAVEAT: While I fully endorse dating multiple people simultaneously, it's not fair to string a girl along simply as a safety net. You MUST really see potential there or let her go.

Sherpa said...

So, Young girl is sure she's found the One, and it's the Catch. If Catch doesn't see himself married to her, then Catch needs to break it off with the young girl. Leading Young Girl on isn't fair to any of the parties involved except himself.

If he's really interested in Total Package then he has to do the right thing at the beginning of their relationship. Otherwise, if she's the total package, she's going to dump him fast.

Young Girl will get over Catch eventually, learn a few lessons, and hopefully find someone who thinks she is the total package, and ride off into the sunset with that guy.

Kory, it doesn't matter at all to me if it's male or female. I've never initiated a "DTR" conversation, but I've been in well, lets just say more than one.

f*bomb. said...

"The Catch" certainly has a high opinion of himself, does he not? I mean, love is a RISK. At some point, you choose to be with someone, regardless of who comes along. And yeah- maybe if you buy into lame romantic comedies that probably star Matthew McConogay or Meg Ryan or anyone named Jennifer, maybe you think that running off with every "next person" every time you think you see a good resume is the way to go. And maybe you'd like to pick up some STDs along the way. I'm not judging.
Again, it's YOUR CHOICE.
To be frank, all parties involved seem to be a little too concerned with what looks good on paper than what the actual relationship is translating into. If he's not willing to invest himself to fully knowing the first girl (which can only happen through commitment and dedication) then he should just admit he's just not that into her. And I'd tell woman #2 to watch her back. Because this guy sounds like a fool.

Salt H2O said...

Farrah, a bit quick to judge-
The catch doesn't think too highly of himself at all- in fact it's quite the opposite, he tends to undervalue himself.

It's not too far fetched for a person to like 2 people at the same time or even 3 or 4- but to find one that stands out is the key.

Because someone chooses to date a lot of people and be interested in more than one does not make them a fool. And because someone doesn't want to commit to another person doesn't make them self-absorbed.

Kamilli Vanilli said...

I think you're right--I don't think it is bad to be dating more than one person at a time. I think as long as he's honest about it, then he's not doing anything wrong. If young girl can't handle that, then she shouldn't stick around. I think it's only fair to all parties involved that he explore his options. Like someone already said--that's what dating's about. If he's not ready to commit to her, then he's not ready. I've never been a fan of forced and manipulated commitment.

Will and Natalie Giddens said...

"...even though he innately doesn't like her enough to want to spend time exclusively with her."

I think that's the key point. If you don't like someone enough to the point where you want to be exclusive with them, then they just don't sound like the person for you (especially in this case since it sounds like he and Y.G. have spent a good amount of time together. Enough time to know). This doesn't mean Young Girl isn't great, pretty, smart, fun and all of those other things, it just means she doesn't sound like the ONE for The Catch. He should not continue to date her.

That doesn't necessarily mean Total Package is the ONE either, but whether or not he and T.P. get together and date or not, Young Girl is not the girl for him. He shouldn't continue to spend time and invest energy in a relationship that he feels obligated to continue simply because she's a great girl. Whenever the right girl for him comes along, it won't feel like an obligation.

chloe said...

A) Don't give ultimatum's unless you are actually prepared to follow through. Should Catch choose to tell this girl that he's not ready to be exclusive, I hope she walks away (if that's what she said she was going to do...not because I think it's the right thing to do).

B) To reiterate, if Catch actually does see long-term potential, keep dating Young Girl, but it sounds like he doesn't.

C) No one is perfect, but I do think that a respective "Total Package" is possible. If Catch thinks this other girl might be it, then he should be willing to lose Young Girl if that's what Young Girl decides to do.

D) Having been engaged to someone I didn't marry, I absolutely think that you can't marry someone who's "good enough" even if it means you never get married. That's not to say you should have some ridiculous list, or anything, but you should not feel like you are settling. And, to be fair, the person that you are marrying deserves to be with someone who doesn't feel like he/she is settling. If Catch doesn't see potential with Young Girl, he should really let her go either way (with or without the ultimatum).

davers said...

Steve - I was thinking the same thing. Ha!

Salty - I think it doesn't matter if roles are reversed. I can't imagine giving ultimatums when I was dating (of course am now very very happily married). After engagement it's another story of course and commitment is 100% mandatory, but until then dating should be 100% in observation mode. It should be a experience that people nurture (if they want) but not an experiment that they force out of a feeling of obligation.

Boy, I wish I'd learned that early on in my dating life. Would have saved me a lot of heartache.

Courtney said...

Whoah! Comment overload!

Okay, so ditto on what most everybody else has had to say. This situation kind of reminds me of a principle my girlfriends and I like to call "The Grass is Always Greener." You know, when a guy is never willing to committ or settle down in any type of an exclusive relationship because something better has/may come along.

I may be wrong - maybe the Catch isn't afraid of committment/exclusivity, but he really just hasn't found somebody he really digs. If this is the case, however, with Young Girl, he really needs to move on and stop stringing her along. It is just not fair to her.

If he really does see potential with Young Girl(though it sounds like he doesn't), then he must be willing to risk missing out on other opportunities with Perfect Match.

Happy The Man said...

Young girl should pinch the catch, send him packing. If that doesn't bother him, he should move forward with the total package. If it bothers him enough, he should fight to get young girl back and convince her that he's worth having back :)

And that's how girl gets "hand" in this game. She also may end up living out her life with a bunch of cats... But if she has that much confidence and self appreciation, she'll undoubtedly end up living that happily ever after story...

Salt H2O said...

THIS is why we are all e-friends.

I like seeing the majority of you reaffirm what I already believe.

Allie said...

Now we all want to know what happened.

Sally said...

Kory, you owe us a postscript! What/who was this about? Please?

Anonymous said...

This has been interesting to see everyone's comments. Some have been based on wisdom and firm principles, and some have been emotionally biased. I am entertained by the opinions that are formed and the stereotyping that occurs when we only know bits and pieces about people or situations. I guess we ALL project experiences we have had in our life onto others because it's the only way we know how to see things. So here are my thoughts...

There is no formula for success in dating. There is no "one way," even if it worked for someone else. Each person needs to do what they feel is the wise thing at that particular time.

I decided the wise thing to do was to give a potentially great relationship a chance. That meant closing off some options that, in the perfect situation, I wouldn’t have to. I think we all go through that in some way when we commit to an exclusive relationship: we accommodate the other person in order to make it work. In my situation, it just happened to be that she didn’t feel secure with my dating other people and she wouldn’t truly open up to me until she had a commitment.

In what way did you have to accommodate your significant other when you committed? If you say nothing, then it’s likely they did all the accommodating for you. If you say you would never get into a relationship where you have to accommodate someone else, then it is likely you are still single. That is why I am still single at 30.

But perhaps its not that I have to accommodate her that bothers you, rather the WAY I have to accommodate her.

"Young Girl" (who will now be referred to as Great Girl 1A) is a wonderful person. We have fun together and connect. She is 24 (perhaps that is young to you), is working on her masters, has served an LDS mission, is dedicated to her beliefs, is trying to become a better person, and possesses many other great qualities. Most importantly, I see potential with us.

"The Complete Package" (who is now called Great Girl 1B) is just as wonderful. I don’t know her as well, but she seemed to be an amazing person. It would have been ideal to be able to spend more time with her (or girl 1C or 1D or 1E for that matter), but that couldn’t happen without blowing it with 1A. And so I made a decision.

Perhaps 1A should have been more patient and had enough confidence to not care. If she had more dating experience and had been more mature relationally, she probably would not have put pressure on me and she would have allowed herself to open up more emotionally. But she’s not perfect and that’s ok. I guess not everyone has the opportunity to get into relationships after they have already figured it all out. I have a feeling that with time she will learn to relax in relationships. I don’t think it will affect our relationship long term if it were to work out between us. Of course, if I start to see a pattern emerge that shows deeper self-worth and emotional intimacy issues, then I will reconsider. But for now, it doesn’t seem that way.

My final point… For those that are still shaking their heads, keep this in mind. It’s not as if I’m being forced into marriage! This is what dating is all about. If this doesn’t work out, then I hop right back into the dating scene that has always been there. I will get to know 1B better and see if it works out with her. But, at least I know I gave something "good" a chance to grow into something "great.”

Thanks All
“The (not self-proclaimed) Catch”

Sally said...

Nice follow-up. Good luck, catch.

Salt H2O said...

An update-

The Catch and Young Girl broke up because 'as soon as it became officially she became really controlling' :)

Will and Natalie Giddens said...

Oh that's rich. Not to be mean, but hahaha. Well good for Catch for recognizing a controlling gal and cutting her loose.