All men want to play the field and all women want marriage and babies, right?
Assumptions are one of the ‘fun destroyers’ of dating and relationships. So if you’re a man (or a woman) and you’ve decided commitment isn’t for you–at least right now–don’t assume this is going to be a major bombshell for whoever you’re dating.
It actually can come across pretty cool and self-aware to be able to acknowledge what you’re able to offer another person and what you aren't, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with not being able to be in a committed relationship.
What is wrong is deceiving another person by ‘keeping things vague’ or hoping the commitment question won’t come up or dodging it when it does. It’s also pretty self-destructive to enter into a relationship with cold feet and knowing you’re going to pull the ripcord as soon as things get more serious.
In comparison to this, to look someone in the eye and admit you’re not currently available for a full-blown relationship, but that you still find them very sexy, makes you saintly.
You may also be surprised to hear that this also makes you attractive.
People value authenticity and are drawn to people who aren’t ‘outcome dependent’ on getting them, who have a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude.
The fact that you’ve been open with them about what level of commitment you’re able to offer them means that you are neither a ‘liar’ or a ‘player’ who is only motivated by sexual conquests.
By removing these two objections and demonstrating that you have integrity (if not fidelity) then people can assess more easily whether they want to have a more open relationship with you.
Let’s also be aware there are more relationship options on the table than just ‘one night stand’ or ‘let’s get married’. You can have a relationship that is honest, respectful, ongoing and uncommitted – as long as both people are content and comfortable.
To get your date on board with what you have to offer I suggest a six-point strategy to get your commitment message across.
- Say it early. Say what you want on the first couple of dates and no one gets upset. Tell someone you’re not looking for anything serious after two months of romance and they’re going to get disappointed.
- Begin with a compliment: Your need to be free is all about you; however it’s human nature for your date to think it has to do with their level of attractiveness to you. So start by letting them know how sexy you think they are.
- Make it clear it’s about you. You’re simply not at a time in your life to offer commitment to anyone, even if the other person is really awesome.
- It’s about respect. You’re an honest person and you respect them, which is why you’ve chosen to lay your cards on the table.
- Tell them what you want. State a plan that you’d like to follow. This creates certainty (even when there isn’t commitment) and demonstrates transparency about what your view on the relationship is.
- Don’t be outcome dependent: let them know that they can say ‘no’ if something isn’t right for them.
Your whole statement may sound something like this: “I hope you know I find you incredibly sexy, however because I respect you I wanted to be upfront that right now I am only able to offer fun & great experiences. I want to keep seeing you, however I understand if that’s not for you.”
By keeping it honest (& not assuming what the other person wants) you create the best opportunity for you both to keep enjoying your relationship to one another. Strings, no strings, or just a couple of strings attached.
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