When it comes to the “exclusive” talk, every relationship is different so there is no perfect time to have the talk. Some couples have the talk within weeks of dating, others wait for months, and quite a few don’t ever have the talk at all.
When it comes to being exclusive with someone, you will usually know when you want to have the conversation. When you are spending a lot of time with him and you have no desire to see anyone else, you will probably be tempted to talk with him and see if he feels the same way. The fear, of course, is that he may not feel the same way and then there can be awkwardness.
Do you even need to have the talk?
Some couples end up never having the exclusive talk. They both feel so comfortable in the relationship that there is no need to bring up exclusivity because there is no doubt as to how the other one feels. Many of these couples end up living together or getting married.
If you are spending five or six nights together each week and you are keeping in touch on the nights you are not together, there really isn’t time for dating anyone else so it doesn’t seem necessary to talk about it. Although this works for many couples, sometimes it is still a good idea to have at least a brief discussion about being exclusive so that there are no questions.
What does being exclusive mean?
If you do decide to have the exclusive talk, you should also discuss what each of you considers exclusive to mean. Although most people have the same idea of what being exclusive is, not everyone is on the same page, which can cause problems down the road.
In general, exclusive means that you are only dating each other and no one else. However, there are some specifics within this that you may want to talk about. Decide if being exclusive means that you need to talk every day or explain where and what you are doing all of the time.
For some, there are certain days that you expect your guy to be available to you, such as on weekends. If he doesn’t feel the same way, however, there may be some weekends that you are spending alone while he goes out with his friends. This can lead to resentment and sadness.
Being exclusive to you may mean that he can’t go out one-on-one with anyone of the opposite sex, even just as friends. If you don’t have that conversation with him, however, he may go out casually with a friend or a co-worker who is female, and this would cause issues.
For other couples, exclusivity only counts when you are in the same state. If one of you goes out of town on vacation or for a business trip, neither of you has to be exclusive. This is one case in which it would be important for both of you to agree on the terms.
Defining what being exclusive means to each of you will keep you both on the same page and prevent any problems. Having the conversation may also help you realize that one of you is more ready to be serious than the other one is.
What if one person doesn’t want to be exclusive?
If you bring up the exclusive topic, there is a chance that your partner isn’t ready to talk about it. If it has only been a couple of months, they may not be ready to give up their ability to date others. For many, being exclusive means that you are moving towards a more serious relationship and this can be scary for some people.
Try to be understanding if your partner doesn’t want to be exclusive yet. If it is fairly early in the relationship and you guys are having fun together, it is probably a good idea to continue dating. More than likely, your partner will come around eventually and be ready to put the exclusive title on your relationship.
On the other hand, if you have been dating for awhile and your partner isn’t ready to only date you, you may have a hard decision to make. If it has been over six months, most people should be ready to be exclusive. If you absolutely do not want your partner to date anyone else but she wants to, you may need to move on, as it can be very hard for you to think of her with anybody else.
On the other hand, if you know that your partner is not dating anyone else but they just have an issue with labeling the relationship, you may want to continue dating. You might find that it is the type of relationship that doesn’t need to have the exclusive talk but is essentially an exclusive relationship.
There is no one time that is right for the exclusive talk. Have it when it feels right and comfortable for you and be open to your partner’s response.