I recently ran across an article that caught my attention. I follow the writer on some of my social media sites and I usually agree with a lot of what he says. I immediately shared the link with a friend of mine who also tends to share a lot of my viewpoints and she agreed 100% with the writer. You can read the article here. First off, I want to say that I really like the writer’s “tell it as it is/no nonsense” approach. The basic assertion of the article is that women need to stop being loyal while they’re in the beginning stages of a relationship in order to “prove” that they have the capability to be monogamous in a relationship. These days there are so many additional nuances to the dating process. It used to be a lot simpler. You were either with someone or you weren’t. Now we have the “talking stage” which is a sort of a dating purgatory or holding period without anything really being defined. This isn’t to be confused with the “friends with benefits” stage where it can get messy if/when emotions get involved and there isn’t always a clear definition of what exactly it means. The writer of the article specifically addresses women who immediately cut off all other options because they’re currently in the talking stage with someone. I know some women who date online and hide their online profile when they start talking to someone so that they don’t have to deal with other interested guys. It’s a nice thought but in the world we live in today, that’s too much of a gamble in my opinion. You can’t afford to put all your eggs in one basket when you initially start talking to someone. If a guy wants to commit he will. Jumping through hoops and forsaking all others too early in the game is one of the quickest ways to get burnt. You get too emotionally invested too soon without being able to tell if the feeling is actually mutual. It’s a recipe for failure. Don’t paint yourself into a corner. You always want to have options until you don’t need them anymore.
Recently I was talking to a friend of mine who has a fairly successful consulting business and we were discussing marketing strategies. I asked him about doing more mainstream advertising in order to gain more visibility in the local area—an idea that he quickly shut down. I asked him his reason and he told me that he wanted to be able to control who he works with. Hence, he wanted to be able to be picky with the clients he chooses to help. And then, in typical friend fashion, he proceeded to tell me about how I was exclusive as well. I think that part of human nature is to surround ourselves with people who share common interests with us. We belong to groups of people who look the same way as us, do the same things as us, and think the same way that we do. Doing this isolates us with our own kind and tends to make us exclusive in our little groups. You can’t really get more exclusive than growing up homeschooled. Your peers are your siblings and the only clique that exists is the one that you make. My entire high school experience consisted of doing homework on my bed with my dog beside me. To top it off, after high school I went to a small private school for college which was a small subculture in itself. The majority of the students, faculty, and administrators adhered (or at least claimed) to a certain set of beliefs that were very unique and also very distinguishable when compared to the mainstream typical college culture. The uniqueness of this environment lent itself to an attitude of exclusiveness because of the beliefs and practices that set the whole school apart from thousands of others. We have tons of inside jokes that would make absolutely no sense to anyone who has not been exposed to the school, its beliefs, or the accompanying subculture. All this being said, exclusiveness exists everywhere. Life consists of socialization and relationships with various people in groups. Point blank. But it’s also important to take time out to get out of our own little bubble and meet people who aren’t like us. Instead of hanging with people who we identify with, we need to take the time to talk to people who we want to identify with one day. A wise person once said to hang with people who have your solution and not your problems. Being exclusive may work for a while and it may even be to your benefit at times, but at the end of the day you separate yourself from people and experiences that could be opportunities to grow.