Why does he try to limit my (dating) options?

I've been dating this guy for just under 12 months now. He & I definitely like each other & neither one of us is seeing anyone else (or has since we started dating).

We've discussed exclusivity and decided to keep things casual (non-exclusive) for now since neither of us is in a place where we're ready to settle down (+ we're both really busy & don't have the time necessary to devote to a serious relationship), but we have a lot of fun together. Point being, we both know we're non-exclusive.


My question is, why then does he give responses like these to questions guys ask him about me:

Guy: "So, is she your girlfriend?"

Him: "...Yeah."

A mutual acquaintance hugs me as we're leaving from a party.

Him: "Dude, what the hell?" (I keep walking, he stays & confronts our acquaintance). I was out of earshot but there was definitely a serious/tense exchange going on.

Him talking to his uncle about me on the phone (I can only hear one side of the conversation): "Yeah, she's kind of a girlfriend..."

He's also very quick to announce "We're dating," to any of his guy friends that inquire as to what we're doing together or who I am.


So what's going on here? Help me understand, guys. He knows we're not exclusive & yet he operates/responds in a way that limits my dating options (by kind of making it look like we are exclusive) when we're out & other guys show interest. He's not a controlling person (known plenty of those), so I'm sure it's not that. I'm not expecting him to pimp me out to other guys or anything, but I just find it kind of odd the way he responds.

Guys: Under what circumstances would you claim someone was your girlfriend (if you knew you guys weren't exclusive)?


Most Helpful Guy

  • It' fairly safe to say that after twelve months of dating you he's developed feelings for you, perhaps an emotional bond, especially if you are consistently intimate with him. That said, you can't put a label on what he feels for you. Most guys are territorial about the women they care about; his actions and responses are indicative of that.

    In his eyes, you are his, because of the bond and history that's established.


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What Guys Said 8

  • Is he saying that you're sort of his girlfriend when female acquaintances are present?

    For the sake of argument let's say that he is. Here you have a couple options, Either ask him for a deeper commitment (if that is an option for you) or tell him to stop conveying to others that you're a couple when you're not.

    Chances are though, I really think he is only telling male acquaintances that you're sort of his girlfriend in effort to stop a potential suitor from pursuing you, but at the same time, he's telling your female acquaintances that you're not a girlfriend. If that's the case, you're going to have to sit him down and have a nice long talk with him to let him know that you're not happy with his actions and that either he needs to commit, or stop limiting your options.

  • Girlfriends aren't necessarily exclusive; in your situation, I'd also describe you as a girlfriend to ousiders.

    I wouldn't get so jealous about guys hugging you--that's just normal behavior from an acquaintance. You say he's not controlling, but he sure sounds like it from what you are describing! I'd ask myself: what will he be like if we do agree to be exclusive?

    • Interesting. You raise some good ideas. So, personally you would call someone your girlfriend if she was seeing other people? First I've heard that (unless it's explicitly an 'open' relationship or you live in a polyamorous culture).

    • Well, no, not if she were seeing other people and I knew that..., but in your situation where you are sort of informally , if not explicitly, exclusive...yes, I'd call you a girl friend.

    • He sure sounds like he expects you to be exclusive! Soujnds very controlling, even if you're maybe not a 'girlfriend[, depending on how you want to use the term.

      Clearly you're not seeing anyone else, right, or at least, not that he knows about!

  • He just want to make you exclusive to him so he tend to kik away competition by letting you stay in his zone.

  • When you are seeing (sleeping with) a guy and not dating him, you come off as kind of a cheap tart. So he is probably trying to save you from looking like the girl that you are.

    • So I'm guessing you don't do so well on the Reading Comprehension part of standardized tests, right? Seriously though- did you skim over the first paragraph? It's up there next to the Facebook & Twitter logos.

  • Its just a response people want to hear.

    I would say that to avoid friends or relatives thinking I was gay.

    • I didn't put this in the description, but he's had at least 3 prior relationships (all females). So, I don't think coming off as gay is a big issue here.

  • is he talking/sleeping with other women?

  • Could have feelings for you or he might just want to keep guys off of you for non emotional reasons. I assume by "casual" you mean sex, right?

    • Casual = free to see other people if we want to. We've fooled around doing other stuff but we haven't actually gotten to straight up intercourse yet.

    • Still sex. If you do it often, then I would say he's trying to keep other guys away from taking his sex away.

      However, from what you're saying, it sounds like he has gotten attached.

  • Lol make out with or sleep with another guy and see what happens. Then you can really call him out on it.

    • Hah! Thanks. That's an entertaining suggestion. Currently don't have the desire to (have gotten other offers but none were interesting), but I'll keep that in mind.

    • Was half joking lol. Thing is no matter how you define yourselves, feelings are feelings and he might actually be hurt by that. So, be careful. I think you all need to talk. I don't know if there's a way to be somewhat exclusive but at the sametime casual. So this is a somewhat tricky situation. If he's out chasing out girls and says your not allowed to, then that's not okay. But if he's not, he truly has feelings for you and wants to be exclusive. He obviously feels hurt if your with another guy.

    • When a guy becomes controlling like this, its because something is hurting him. He doesn't have the time to be serious with you right now, but he does. And the situation is bothering him right now that you all are casual and you are free to go and "cheat" on him. Like I said if he's pursuing other girls, then he's possessive of you sexually and that's not right. But if he's not, he's focused in on you and you seeing other guys hurts his feelings. Its up to you, what you want.

What Girls Said 2

  • You mentioned in a comment that you haven't had sex with him yet. If he's still with you for 12 whole months without sex, he likes you. As more than just someone he's seeing casually. He probably says he doesn't want something serious because that's what you said and he doesn't want to seem more attached, but I'm pretty sure he is. Why not just go for it and become exclusive? If neither of you are really dating other people anyways then just go for it! If you really don't have that much time or whatever, just make it a low commitment relationship, but still an exclusive one nonetheless. He sounds like a keeper to me, to be honest.

  • He is looking to "claim" you regardless...In situation where you feel there is competition.