Are you watching The New Atlanta on Bravo TV? The main characters are three young women and two men — all attractive, active and dating. On a recent episode, Vawn shared his ideas on dating and monogamy, stating that it's OK to sleep with as many women as he wants... as long as he is honest with them.
How did this come up? Well Vawn, (AKA Jevon Vawn Sims), a hot single guy and artist development expert, was having a man's night out with his buds; he wanted to have an open discussion with male friends like women have on a girl's night out. Vawn opened the conversation with his point of view on monogamy: basically, it's not for him. No one woman can do it all for Vawn.
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As he described his ideas further, he was looking for agreement from his buddies. As a dating coach for women, my perspective is that he got a few head bobs, but plenty of guys just hung in there and said nothing either way. Another male cast member, Tribble (sidenote: what a name... who could do that to a child?) voiced a strong opinion against such behavior. He seemed appalled at the very idea, and felt it was a very disrespectful way to treat women.
Tribble reported the evening's dialog with Emily at a later event, and both of them expressed concern for Africa, another female lead who is dating Vawn. Emily boldly commented that Vawn's behavior is not how things are done in Atlanta — and that everyone knows that. She said after you have a few dates with someone, you don't continue to sleep around. I wonder if everyone in town knows the rules as explained by Emily and conducts themselves by this code... or by Vawn’s?
I have no idea how Vawn set up his situation with Africa. Did he use his direct approach, telling her that he's still free to bed anyone woman he wants while seeing her? Emily didn't seem to think Africa was in on Vawn's anti-monogamous ways.
So what do you think about this idea: if you are honest, you can sleep around? If your partners know, does that make it OK? I'm certainly not going to support Vawn's dating methodology. However, who am I to tell anyone what he or she can or cannot do?
Yet, as a dating coach, I can give my viewpoint, as well as some advice. This is a lot like the old-school rule of business "Buyer Beware". You need to be smart and make decisions that work for you. Here are some tips that might help you figure out how to handle this situation should you encounter a man like Vawn.
1. Don't assume any man you meet is seeing only you. This is especially true for online dating. Of course, men are meeting multiple women and you should be meeting multiple men! The point of dating is to sort through prospects to find a good match, and not get attached to the first contender. After a few dates, you narrow down who you want to see, but don't expect this process to be automatic for men.
2. Sleeping with a man doesn't mean he's only into you. In this day and age, I'm still surprised at how many women think like this: if a man sleeps with me, then he's into only me. Sorry sister, but nothing could be further from the truth. If he slept with you, it might mean nothing more than, well, he wanted to have sex with you. There are some men focused on finding love and the right partner, but you can't tell after just a few dates and a little hanky panky.
3. Don't assume exclusivity — it needs to be discussed. If you sleep with a man before you discuss exclusivity, don't assume everything is all set. Sometimes a man will bring up the concept, asking you to take down your profile or be his girlfriend and become exclusive. But most of the time, a woman is the one to broach the subject. Be careful, though, because it's a touchy subject. You can also simply put off a man's too-soon advances by saying, "I don't sleep with a man until we are exclusive", which lets him know your boundaries and expectations.
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After the deed, it's a bit tougher. If you've only had a few dates, he might be into you, but not ready for commitment. Even though he may be slowing down his online trolling, that's not the same as agreeing to exclusivity. How you ask about this can send him packing. Instead, you may want to hold off on sex for a bit longer, and bring it up after a few weeks. The third option is to simply take your chances by bringing it up after sleeping together — but please do so in a nice, non-demanding tone of voice for the best results. Keep reading...
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