I Feel I Should Know if This is Sexually Exclusive. What Do I Do?

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Written by: Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Known as America's Relationship Expert, Dr. Wendy Walsh is an award-winning television journalist, radio host & podcaster, and the author of three books on relationships and thousands of print and digital articles. More than 1.5 million people follow her sage advice on social media. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and teaches in the Psychology Department at California State University Channel Islands and has been the host of "The Dr. Wendy Walsh Show" on iHeart Radio's KFI AM 640 since 2015. Walsh is also a former Emmy-nominated co-host of "The Doctors," as well as former host of the nationally syndicated show "EXTRA." She was named a Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2017 after speaking out about harassment at a major news network.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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Reader Question:

I have been dating a guy I really like for almost a month now. Last weekend he had a friend that he didn’t offer many details about come and stay with him. We have not discussed being sexually exclusive, but I am not sure if I should approach the question of “Did they or didn’t they?”

We have been sexually active together and I feel I should know if this is not exclusive sexually, but I don’t want to rush things with the question. I am new to dating again after a long-term relationship and I don’t want to mess things up.

What should I do?

-John (North Carolina)

Dr. Wendy Walsh’s Answer:

Dear John,

This is the tragedy of modern dating. People seem to be so afraid of abandonment that they can’t even ask for relationship definition before they expose their heart and their bloodstream to a new suitor.

It seems you may have put the cart before the horse. Research shows couples who express love or commitment before the onset of the sexual relationship have a more positive passion turning point when they do have sex.

I know there is subtle pressure in the gay community to lead with sexual attraction. Since men are more able than women to separate the physical act of sex from the emotions of love, sex for sex’s sake is more accepted in the gay community.

But you are not that guy! You value monogamy and get attached.

So I suggest you introduce your new partner to your sensitive side. If he bails because you want to be exclusive, good riddance.

I mean, you’re not asking him to marry you. You’re just asking him to focus on one relationship at a time. And that’s not asking for much.

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