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Is He Worth Taking Yourself Off The Market?

I am often asked, “When is the right time to stop dating around and focus on one man?”

Usually, this question is being asked by a woman who wants to do this but is unsure of the man’s intentions or the full extent of her feelings for him. In either case, the bottom line is this is not the time to exclusively date him!

Dating is a time of exploration and discovery. It is not a time to decide someone is “the one” and devote your entire life to him. That being said, there are sweet romantic cases where each person falls madly in love with just one look but these are rare. In the normal dating world, it takes time to really get to know someone. During this time, it is important for a woman to keep dating.

When a woman decides to exclusively date a man, she is putting her attention, time, focus, and heart into him. By doing this she is closing the door to others not just physically but energetically as well.

This should only be done when she can confidently say, “I am sure he is right for me, I am right for him, we are both one-hundred percent committed to developing a serious relationship with one another.” Until she feels this way, it is important for her to keep her options open.

Many women hear this and recoil in shock wondering how they can ever do this.

They will ask me, “How will I balance dating different men all at the same time?…I hate dating, I would rather just be with one guy!”

My answer is always honesty. Sometime during the first few dates be sure to mention that you are in a “dating phase” of your life. Explain to him in a simple and concise manner that you do not plan to take yourself off the market until you are sure about a man.

Believe it or not, men respect this! If he is ready to date you exclusively, he will wait for you until you are ready. Men who are truly interested in you will take your lead. In fact they are looking for you to guide them to your pace and comfort level.

Many times a man who is crazy about you is afraid to scare you off so holds back. While on the other hand, a man who is interested but not sure if you are the one wants more time to get to know you without the pressure of being called a boyfriend.

Time is a precious commodity in our lives that should never be wasted or regretted.  Even when your goal may be marriage and children, there are important steps needed to make before that sacred commitment and dating is the first one.

This time period is meant solely to learn all about him and whether you both are a good fit for one another.  It is not a time of exclusivity, for when that day comes, it is then called a relationship!

Bree Maresca-Kramer,M.A., is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire, a blogging community created by Annie Jennings.