Exclusive dating can have different meanings depending on who you ask. The standard definition is when both parties agree to devote themselves mutually and solely to their relationship with each other, without seeing other people for romantic purposes.
The problem with the term “exclusive” is that it leaves a lot of room for interpretation. What may be exclusive to you may mean something completely different to your partner. It is important to communicate openly with your partner so that you can both decide how to define your relationship, how you will present yourselves to each other and what the next level of commitment will look like.
For some, exclusive dating means simply dating each other and no one else. This can come with different levels of commitment based on many personal factors. For many, the labels boyfriend and girlfriend go hand-in-hand with exclusive dating, while others see this as an entirely different level of commitment. For those who consider the label boyfriend and girlfriend to be separate from exclusive dating, it can be assumed that having these labels means dedicating their person to the other, while exclusive dating just means that people are no longer interested in dating other people. Others consider exclusive dating to be exactly the same level of commitment that would accompany the boyfriend/girlfriend label.
This can come with different levels of commitment based on many personal factors
To determine how you define exclusive dating, think about what this term has meant to you in the past and how you would like to define it as your relationship moves forward. Once you have determined what it means to you, it will be easier to share your thoughts with your partner. Keep in mind that your friends, family and past partners may have different ideas of what means. This can get confusing, so it’s best to work it out for yourself. After all, you are the one in the relationship.
Once you’ve figured out what exclusive dating means to you, think about how you came to this conclusion. You can draw on your past experiences, your culture, your age, your education and your social group. To start this conversation with your partner, share what exclusive dating means to you and why you feel this way. You may want to ask your partner:
How would you like to introduce yourself to other people when we date?
Getting to this point in your relationship stage is exciting. You have both determined that you want to see each other and no one else. Discussing as a couple what exclusive dating means to both of you is essential. You want to define this term so that you can be on the same page and avoid future confusion.