Dear Donna: June 19, 2021

Dear Donna,

I have been dating a man for about two and a half months and the first two months were a whirlwind, lots of fun, good and intense.
He has been very generous buying me gifts, texting and calling daily.

Two weeks ago he asked me to join him and his family on a yearly vacation. I would very much liked to have joined them but I just started a new job and I don’t feel comfortable asking for time off right away.

Since then I hear from him less and less and I feel like he is pulling away.
I have been super busy with the new job and I thought he understood but something has definitely changed since I said I could not go on vacation with him and his family.

I am not sure what to do or say at this point. What would you suggest? Cheryl

Dear Cheryl,

You are in the time frame in this relationship, between two and three months, where things often change and become more real in a new relationship.
Everyone is on their best behavior in the beginning and it takes many people about two to three months to get relaxed enough to be themselves.

If he is pulling back because you cannot go on the vacation, obviously he is not being very considerate knowing you are adjusting to a new job.

The next time you see him tell him what you are telling me, that you feel he has been pulling back for the last two weeks, and see how he responds.
Do it in person, not a text or a phone call. It will be much more effective in person where you have eye contact and can see his body language.

This could be a little bump in the road or an indication of his lack of empathy and understanding that you do not feel you can ask for time off from a new job.
Either way, you will know where you stand.

Dear Donna,

I met a lady this past summer. We dated casually for the first few months but over the holidays we spent quite a bit of time together and we were intimate.
I thought we were on the same page, and assumed we were exclusive.

Now she tells me she wants to continue to date other men while she also spends time with me.
She suggested that I should date other women. I told her I want us to be exclusive but she says she is not ready to be exclusive.

Do you think it is fair or realistic of her to expect me to continue to spend time with her while she dates other men? Rick

Dear Rick,

If someone you are dating tells you should date other women, you should date other women.

At this point, it does not sound like you are at all on the same page. You are thinking exclusivity and she is thinking about dating other men.
I would encourage you to step back from this relationship and not continue to be intimate.
Why become more emotionally invested in someone who thinks you should date other women?

Many people might assume that intimacy means being exclusive but you should always have a conversation about it and know that it is mutual.
If she was interested in building a relationship with you she would not be telling you to date other women. Donna