Style: Ask Nicci

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From the August 23, 2012 edition

By Nicci Sprouse

I have been seeing a guy for about two weeks. I really like him and am interested in seeing where things go. The kicker is I just met another guy who is very appealing to me. I am torn! I like the guy I’ve been seeing, so is it bad to go on a date with someone else? I don’t want to jinx anything but I also don’t want to miss out if the new guy is perfect for me. Help! —Jennifer

Listen up, everyone. This is exactly why you don’t give away all of your candy when just getting to know someone — you never know what is behind Door No. 2. This is a very common dating challenge, especially now that college is starting back up. Look out for all the new potentials about to cross your path!

I advise my clients that there is no rule for dating other people when there is no commitment in place. If you committed to be exclusive with Guy No. 1, then I would suggest you pass on Guy No. 2. But again, in a brand new relationship please don’t start exchanging apartment keys or naming your future kids — if this is you, we have bigger problems to discuss.

Your question sounds to me as if it is too early in the game for you to be discussing exclusivity. Go meet as many people as you can and have fun; you are still on the market.

I have been with my boyfriend for almost five years (living together for three). All of our friends are getting married and buying houses. I am wondering why he hasn’t proposed to me yet. Every time I bring up the topic of getting engaged he changes the subject and gets angry. I am ready for the next step, but I am starting to think he isn’t. What should I do? Laurie, 28

The pressure of expectation is so overpowering when you have walked down the aisle as a bridesmaid one too many times. I get that, but let me be blunt: Stop worrying about this. You may want some answers, but before you start giving ultimatums, make sure you are asking the right questions.

Before you go any further, evaluate for yourself whether this is the man of your dreams. Is he the truest companion to your heart? Forget about big weddings, houses, cars, pets, etc., because the timing of these things is so irrelevant in the big picture of your life. If this is your lifelong partner, none of those things will matter.

I realize you probably need some answers to have a true understanding of whether your life goals match with his. I would suggest you ask him whether he wants to be a father, and if so, when? His immediate reaction and answer will be a gold mine of information about your future with him.

∙ Nicci Sprouse is the owner of a local dating service. Send your questions about love and relationships to infoasknicci@gmail.com. Or get in touch through her website, asknicci.com.