When He Pleads the Fifth on Exclusivity

June 17, 2020 by No Comments

Sammy is trying to suss out what was going on with her man when she starting talking about having a one-on-one relationship. In fact, when pressed, he actually said, “I’m not going to answer.” What the hey? Is she pushing him away by pressing on this? Should she go along with it?

Let’s find out exactly what we’re dealing with.

I’ve been dating this guy for about three months now and everything’s going well. He’s a great guy and I really like him. We’ve been hanging out a lot and talk everyday. I’ve met a lot of his family and some of his friends. I’m not trying to rush into anything (regarding being exclusive) but just recently I asked if he was seeing other girls.

Just so you know, to amuse myself, I am picturing this happening in an Old West saloon. You ask this question, and the piano player stops playing and dives under the piano. Everybody stops playing cards and looks at him to see what he’s going to do…aaaand….

Seeing as how we spend so much time together I thought it was a legitimate question and also thought I had the right to know. I had to ask him twice to get a response and the only thing he said was ‘i’m not going to answer’.

In case anyone is scoring at home, that answer would usually manslate out to a pretty clear “yes.”

I don’t know if he felt it was a silly question to ask and that i should already know he is not seeing anybody else, or if he for some reason doesn’t want to tell me.

Well…I really wouldn’t think so. I mean, I suppose it is POSSIBLE that one could be “offended” by the question because the answer is so obviously NO. But even in that situation, it would be just too easy to say, “Well, no. Duh. Of course not.” No, I’d say that he had been seeing other people, and you caught him a leeeeetle bit off guard here.

To me it was strange and evasive, and I’m not into those kind of games. Am I pushing him away by wanting to know these types of things? Should I just ‘go with the flow’? Your advice is incredibly helpful and will be incredibly appreciated, Thanks!

Dear Sammy,

I was going to say that you “caught him red handed” but in reality, he hasn’t done anything “wrong” per se. After all, the two of you clearly had not discussed exclusivity, so there couldn’t really be any expectations in that area. But for some reason, he did NOT want to tell you the truth. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that he also couldn’t bring himself to outright lie. If he was really planning on doing you some serious dirt, well, how hard would it have been to say, “Whaaaat? No! Of course not!”

Now…I know that’s not the world’s best good news. But given the facts of the situation, it could be worse, is what I’m saying. Now, onto your questions:


Well, it’s certainly possible, right? Some guys might really not see this as any of your business. Some guys might have been viewing your relationship as something casual, and these questions might have just flipped the, “Uh oh, she’s getting serious, bail out, bail out!” switch in his brain. (It’s right under the Commitmenta Oblongata.)

But it almost doesn’t matter if the question freaks him out. Either you need to know this or you don’t, right? And it sounds like you might.


I don’t know — can you? Do you want to? This brings me to my question for you:

What do you want to know and why?

No, no. Don’t skip the question because you think it’s obvious. I sure don’t know why you want to know. I can guess, but I don’t know. Do you want to know because:

  • …you’re DONE with casual, and expect him to become exclusive, effective immediately?
  • …you want some reassurance from him that he cares about you?
  • …you are testing the waters to see if his feelings for you are progressing?
  • …you expect him to ALREADY have been exclusive, and you are checking in?

The reason I ask this is because he doesn’t know the answer. No, no, it’s not obvious. But he does know…I mean, you sure didn’t ask that question because, oh, you were just curious. No. But what was it? He no know. And he’s worried about what it might be. That’s where you get your reluctance to answer. As in…


Now, that doesn’t mean that’s what you’re doing — trying to trap him. Not at all. But if you were, it wouldn’t be the first time that ever happened. Ergo, the question is potentially a menacing one. So what to do?


Don’t say, “So…ah…just wondering…are you seeing other girls?” No. This question is bad. It’s basically saying, “Ok, I’ve got all of my cards. Now, I’d like to see all of yours before you see mine.” Not nice. And worse, not effective.

A better thing would be to start by acknowledging, “Ok, clearly that question caught you off guard. Here’s why I brought it up…” and then tell him:

  • How YOU feel.
  • What YOU want.
  • WHY you want it.

Oh, do NOT skip that last one. Look, if your reason for wanting to be exclusive is, “I just don’t want you having fun when I’m not in the room,” well yeah , that’s not going to fly. And again, don’t think that ain’t the reason some women want exclusivity, ok? Because it sure is.

So, why do you want to be exclusive? Better yet, why should HE want to be exclusive? In my relationship with Liz, that was an easy one. We liked being close, we wanted to be closer, and dating other people would have made that harder to do. That was a reason for BOTH of us. We wanted more — and we wanted that way harder than we wanted the chance to date various strangers. Period.

That’s what I’d say, Sammy. Don’t pussyfoot around, and ask him these loaded questions. Sure I don’t usually use the term “pussyfoot,” but hey, it’s out there. Unload the loaded questions, is what I’m saying. Talk about what you want DIRECTLY. And if he doesn’t want to go along with it, well, it’s not because you asked. It’s because he doesn’t want to go along.

Good luck!

What do you think, ladies? Is she pushing him away? What’s her next move?If you liked that, you might also like…

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