I remember the day when boy meets girl. Boy and girl like each other. At this point either 1)a friend spills the beans about this mutual interest, or 2) someone reads it on the paperbag bookcover. "I love ........." Freinds initiate a first meeting. Boy and girl are a couple. At this point holding hands, a kiss and much more is acceptable and automatically considered "exclusive." Thats it, the end. Simple. Easy to understand. Fast forward to 2000 and something in the city of Las Vegas. Let me elaborate on the complicated mess we have turned relationships and "love" into. No wonder broken hearts, lack of trust and disease run rampid.
First, lets establish one thing. DO NOT EVER ASSUME the term "exclusive" applies. Once an automatic assumption not needing clarified, now requires discussion and agreement first. Do not assume after the first date, first kiss, first make out session, first intimate encounter. Do not assume even after meeting his friends, family, parents. Not even after several dates, or meeting your children. Get the picture? Unless a formal sit down conversation and mutual agreement has been reached is this term ever to be assumed.
Now, let me ask you this. If after your first date, you saw your date on another date the next day, would you still continue dating him/her? Most people I've asked have said no. But why? A date evidently does not mean your exclusive? And hence, this is allowed.
How about after a first kiss, first sexual encounter. Would you continue dating this person if you saw them on a date with someone else? Again, those I've asked say, "no!" But again, I ask, why not? This does not automatically mean you are exclusive?
Lets try another scenario. You've been intimate for awhile, but still only dating (now there's another status that needs defined). You've hung out with his friends, he's hung out with yours. You would think that at this point it would be natural to assume you are exclusive and considered a couple. Guess what? Evidently, not in Las Vegas.
In Las Vegas there are many categories in the world of boy meets girl. Dating, hook-up, booty call, one night stand, friend with benefits, lovers, open relationships, exclusive, boyfriend/girlfriend, serioius relationship, engaged, married, married but open. Good luck avoiding the uncomfortable conversation where you try to establish exactly what you are and what the ground rules are. Avoid this uncomfortable conversation and you risk being on the wrong page with your "significant whatever."
Had I known how complicated dating had become, I might have stayed married. Okay, no I wouldn't have, but it would have been a quick passing thought. To those of you entering the single life thinking at some point you will return to dating? Trojans are still a good choice, that hasn't changed.