Context: London, UK, dealing with same-sex male relationships.
I have a recurring issue whenever I date someone new, and all the IPS solutions I have tried to come up with have failed in the past in dealing with this.
When dating someone new, it is my personal preference to refrain from meeting anyone else either for a date or a casual encounter. The reasons for this are two-fold: I like to invest my remaining energy in one person, and for physical intimacy, even knowing someone once before makes me a lot more comfortable, as opposed to someone new.
The person usually finds out about this through a tangential discussion they may bring up, like sexual safety preferences (which I am content discussing and think it's wise to), or some tangential topic. And the problem is either: they think I have become attached to them early, or just knowing this makes them feel pressured to be exclusive early on.
Despite doing my best to stress it's just how I function, and not related to early attachment or a means to pressure them into it too, I am often unsuccessful in convincing them.
Moreover, because I often date much older than me (approx. 10 years), their belief that it could be down to early attachment due to my inexperience relative to them is reinforced.
How can I go about communicating and reassuring why I am exclusive early on, without pressuring them, as it is not my intent at all?