Discussion related to living as a Catholic in the single state of life. As long as a topic is being discussed from the perspective of a single Catholic then it will be on-topic.
Tobias and Sarah's story is from the Book of Tobit, and his journey is guided by Saint Raphael.
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"keeping options open" = he isn't that into you...kind of like when you ladies tell us men that you just want to be "friends
Steve sums it up very well. If a man is keeping his options open it pretty much means that he feels that not everything is there and that you are probably headed to the "friend zone". This does not mean something that what is lacking is superficial, but maybe something as serious as differences in adherence to Church teaching in some area.
Glad to know you don't mind a woman who speaks her mind. :)
There are two different types of dating. There is dating as in going out on casual dates to see how you feel about that person. Then, there is exclusive dating. What I am, and have been, referring to is exclusive dating. This is what is expected after a reasonable amount of time has surpassed. For instance, let's say a guy has been going on casual dates with many women. That is fair. The women has likely been doing the same thing, if she is smart. However, after a period of time, let's say six months of chatting, going out on one date a week, talking on the phone, keeping in touch, learning more and more about each other, etc., the woman eventually begins to wonder if he is looking for anything more than just a "causual date." Often times women will be thrown off by the man's inability to become exclusive because he may have mentioned that he is looking for a "serious relationship" or "something that ultimately leads to marriage" at the beginning of their casual dating. However, if he does not know by a certain point in time, which can ultimately vary depending upon how much time the couple has spent together, then of course she is probably not the one for him. The women tends to be in denial about this and the man typically is too afraid to tell her--fearing he will hurt her feelings.
The better solution would just be to tell her if you are "just not that into her." There are many ways to say it in a diplomatic way. We are ALL adults afterall. The bottom line is that women want to feel like aguy is crazy about her. And I am sure guys want to feel the same way--that a woman is crazy abou him. So let's turn the tables: say you are talking to a woman and going out on dates with her (and other women) for a period of about 6 months. You guys go out once a week, talk on the phone several times a week, all the while you are talking to other women (say 2-3 others). Now, say you decide that you are done talking to others and just want to focus on this one particular woman. You're not sure where it could lead. You certainly are nowhere near thinking she's "the one" but you really just have a special chemistry with this woman. We'll call her Woman A. Well, with typical gender roles being what they are, you would, being the man, ask Woman A to be exclusive. That is, you would have the talk about "not seeing other women" and her "not seeing other men." This is exclusivity. Now say she tells you that she does not feel ready to be exclusive. Wouldn't you feel a bit confused? I mean after ALL that time, wouldn't you wonder WHAT it would take to convince her to go exclusive? Perhaps you would think she is "just not that into you" and wonder how long it has been like that, when did she come to that conclusion, and WHY on Earth did she not cut it off sooner? (Perhaps she liked the free meals?)
Now, as women, since we are typically the ones being asked to go exclusive, after a certain period of time, if we have not been asked, we begin to question a guy's motives. Is he REALLY looking for Ms. Right or is he still in this "figuring it out" stage or "playing the field?" Or is he "just not that into us?" Either option is perfectly fine, although obviously a woman would be upset if she was hoping for something more to turn out from the casual dates. However, it is when we are led to believe that he IS looking for Ms. Right and six months goes by and much time has transpired and he is still just seeing multiple women that we begin to question OUR VALUE TO HIM. This is of course why I always advocate for women (and men) not to put all their eggs into one basket too soon. As Marge previously stated, don't fall in love with him too soon. Don't wear your heart on your sleeve. Well, just because a woman wants exclusivity after a reasonable amount of time does not mean she has fallen in love. She undoubtedly would have feelings for the guy by this point; if she didn't she'd be a robot. However, it is the exclusivity which allows for the ability to better grow in your knowledge of that person and the compatibility between the individuals. Let's face it--casually dating multiple individuals gets exhausting after a while.
I totally agree with you on a lot of points. However, I would have reservations about going exclusive, and yet not being in love with the other person. Similarly, I would not want a woman to go exclusive with me if she does not feel in love with me. I do not discount the fact that going exclusive allows better grounds for each of the partner to get to know each other better, however, I personally will not go exclusive if I feel the woman is not the one I am looking for. If I go exclusive, that means I have seriously felt and discerned that she maybe Ms. Right for me. Things may not always turn out the way they seem to be, but at least at the end of the day I won't have regrets for not even trying. It all boils down to having an open and honest communication where both parties lay their cards on the table and be on the same page in their relationship. I agree with you that we all are adults here, and there is nothing that can not be resolved by an honest open dialogue.
Is that what men say to women when they are not interested......lets be friends????
There has to be interest going both ways, as well as trust and communication. If a guy or lady is not interested in more than just being friends, it should not be taken as being more than that person does not see a more serious relationship. All that being said, I will say that the "lets be friends" statement has been said to me far more than I ever said it to a lady.
Is that what men say to women when they are not interested......lets be friends????
I don't know. I've never said that line for sure. I think that's a statement more often used by women.
So does that mean when a guy/girl says lets be friends they are still talking to you as a friend while looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right?
However, if I feel that she said that only to soften the blow, then I will simply thank her for her honesty and I will move on.
Okay, so I often don't participate too much on public forums. I highly prefer the private, women's-only version. However, I feel that for this particular topic I want input from some testosterone counter-parts.
Why is it that men "keep their options open?" I'm not speaking from personal experience per se, but I have heard a lot of women discuss this issue and quite frankly it makes me cringe like the thought of nails on a chalkboard. Personally, I feel it is un-Christ-like to "keep your options open" when you are interested in a woman and completely against the idea of agape love (God's love) to be this way. If you meet someone whom you click well with, are on similar ground in regard to the important issues, and the chemistry is there, then what is the hold up on taking it to the next level? I'm not talking about talking to someone for only a few weeks and then begin the proper exclusive dating relationship; however, many women have discussed issues where they have spoken to guys for months on end (while going on dates with them at the same time). And yet, the guy continues to play the "I'm not ready to commit card." If guys are not ready to commit, then why in the world would they be on a dating website that is based for Catholics? (When the whole idea of Catholicism in regard to dating is that you date to determine if you are compatible for marriage. And then if you are compatible, then you marry.) Now some of these women have met these men elsewhere--in real life or on other dating websites. However, the bottom line is, if a man says he is a Christian--and truly loves God and lives for Him--then "keeping his options open" in my opinion seems a bit like using contraception in effort not to get pregnant because you do not trust God enough to let His Providence and Divine Will occur. To me, this is why there are so many single older women and men--and by older I mean in their mid to late 30's and early 40's. Women have biological clocks. Men need to know this if they don't already. So, why on Earth are they, more often than not, "keeping their options open" if they want a family one day? Don't they know that eventually a woman will not be able to give them children? I just do not get this!
So, men, feel free to enlighten us women with your ideas, opinions, etc.
This is a great opening post Tiffiany!