I've been through too many failed relationships and finally found the one. I enjoy writing about relationships and spiritual connection.
The Definition of Exclusive Dating
These days you can approach your relationships in so many ways that it gets to be very confusing and it could take a toll on your heart if you’re not careful. The dating pool is full of people “that want to try out if things work” before committing to a relationship and while that’s happening some couples live in limbo because exclusive dating leaves a lot of room for interpretation.
It could mean a totally different thing to your partner than it means to you, that is why, if you want to avoid things getting messy and a lot of confusion, you need to set things clear from the very beginning. So in the spirit of making things clear, how about getting a definition of what is exclusive dating?
We’ll give you cues on what it means but it’s important that you communicate with your significant other so that both of you decide what you are, and if indeed what you both want is this kind of relationship.
Exclusive dating means that you’re just dating each other, there’s no one else for the both of you. What may vary here are the levels of commitment. For some the terms boyfriend and girlfriend go hand in hand with exclusive dating, that is the way you’re going to introduce each other to your family and friends, but for others, that is not the case. You should talk with your partner to see if both of you are on the same page here, to avoid any awkward situations.
To make it easier to define what you are as a couple, make sure you have it clear first. A good way to do this is by thinking what exclusive dating has meant to you in the past and if going forward with him, you’d like for it to mean the same or you’d have to make some changes. Once you have that clear, you can share it with him, then you can “compare notes” and define as a couple if exclusive dating is what you both want.
Exclusive Dating vs Relationship
Now, you both have stated that you’re dating exclusively, good for you! But then you start wondering if this is the same as being in a committed relationship… we know, it never ends! For some people exclusive dating and relationships are synonyms, but just to be sure let’s clear the doubts.
The main difference between the two relationship states is a compromise. Yes, you’re both not seeing anyone else but is this dating going somewhere? Is it long-term or has that intention? Take note of the rules and expectations of both stages and decide if you want things to progress or stay the same.
During this stage you’re just dating each other; it’s a time to get to know one another better, to meet each other’s friends and family. You’re both on the same page on all this. What you don’t do during this stage is called each other boyfriend/girlfriend (that could be open for discussion) or take trips or vacations together or agree to go to his cousin’s wedding in 6 months. Neither of you is willing to make long-term commitments.
This “upgrades” the dating exclusive stage and puts on a label. You know officially boyfriend and girlfriend. A conversation is a must if you want to make the transition just to check if both of you are on the same boat. Here we’re talking commitment, you envisioned a future together. So be sure that’s what both of you want.
Rules of a Mutually Exclusive Dating Relationship
Exclusive dating could be kind of confusing and tricky, you’re just dating each and… you may not feel much different from when you were just hanging. As they say, it’s exclusive but not official and that may cause some mix feelings, some doubts, and insecurities too.
So if you want to keep exploring this stage because you have strong feelings for him, in spite of all the doubts and insecurities, you need to follow some rules and see what happens. Take a look.
First Of All, Set Some Ground Rules
You both need to be on the same page, so the first thing you need to do is have a conversation where both of you set some rules. What is acceptable and what is not. Remember that communication is the key to a healthy relationship, and even though you’re not official you need to set boundaries to avoid awkward or hurtful situations.
Focus On The Present
Nothing ruins more a relationship than bringing past exes or relationships into conversations about the two of you. You need to focus on the now, we all carry baggage and that’s part of who we are, so don’t throw past mistakes and relationships in each other’s faces. Enjoy what you have right now; make the most of it by getting to know each other.
Avoid Conversations About The Future
This is the trickiest part of exclusive dating since you’re not official there’s no long-term commitment so talks about the future are not a good idea, especially if he’s not there yet. You may be imagining all these scenarios where you too could be in the future but keep them with you for a little while, know him a little more and if after some time you decide to share those scenarios with him, make sure he’s in the same boat. If that’s not the case, then you need to make some decisions.
Try to Spend a Lot of Time Together
Go out on dates as much as possible as that’s the best way to know him better. Plan especial dates or just called each other and go on casual meet-ups. Phone calls, texts, messages sharing bits about your day or jokes to make each other laugh are a good way to know about him and vice-versa when you’re not on a date.
Focus on having fun. It’s hard not to involve emotions but since you’re not 100% sure of him and him of you, focusing on the fun instead of the emotions seems like a good idea in this stage. Enjoy each other’s company doing fun activities or just being silly together. We’re sure you won’t regret this.
10 Signs on when to Go Exclusive
The first and most important sign that you’re ready for an exclusive relationship is that you want to be just with him, but since you can’t be sure about him being ready you need to be sure when you are so you can have “the talk” and set things straight.
Here are 10 signs to tell you if you’re ready.
1. You don’t have a desire to see other people.
You basically act like you’re in an exclusive relationship. Don’t have the desire or the need to see and be with anyone else.
2. You have a healthy relationship.
If you’re happy with him, with the way he treats you and the way the relationship is evolving, then that’s a sign you’re ready.
3. You no longer need an online dating profile.
You’re not interested in browsing through online profiles because you already found the guy, so you take down your online dating profile because you don’t need it anymore.
4. You’re proud to show him off (and vice versa).
Since you’re really into each other, there’s no need to hide each other. You want to introduce him to your loved ones (family and friends), so they get to know him too.
5. You’re excited about spending weekends together.
If you’d still had the desire of dating someone else, you wouldn’t want to clear all the weekends or just Friday nights to spend them with him, so if you do, then you’re ready to go exclusive.
6. When you think about losing him you get sad or upset
It’s nothing like your life would be over if you lose him, you could live without him. It’s just that the thought of not seeing him anymore puts you in a sad mood or upsets you. He’s very important to you hence, you’re ready for exclusivity.
7. Your personalities mesh well together.
You complement each other. Obviously you have nice things to say to each other but it’s not just that. It’s that your lifestyles fit each other well, you have a lot of things in common and have learned to accommodate in each other’s life.
8. You’re comfortable with PDA
You’re more than OK to show your affection for him in public by holding hands or other demonstrations of affection in front of strangers or in front of family and friends, even in front of coworkers.
9. You’re oblivious to the advances of someone else.
You’re not interested in being hit by anyone else, so all advances are blocked or ignored. You’re happy with him, you’re ready.
10. You’re open to discuss the relationship status.
You have been pondering about where you’re at the relationship and are ready to talk about it. Take the leap, you might be happily surprised that he’s been having the same thoughts and is ready to go exclusive too.
Diving into an exclusive relationship is a tricky business, some see it as a transition stage between casual dating and a committed relationship. It’s kind of being in limbo, you’re not seeing anyone else but you’re not certain if it’ll last or turn into a long-term relationship.
Instead of worrying about it, enjoy it, get to know each other, have fun and be open to explore the possibility of turning it into something official and long-term. Just remember, don’t assume anything, any change you might feel necessary requires a conversation between you two, to be sure you’re on the same page and to save you unwanted heartaches.