Relationships 101

Exclusive dating – meaning, characteristics and rules

Exclusive dating does not equal a committed relationship.
happy couple on a date

Do you think that what you have can actually go somewhere and you can plan to date exclusively? Are you confused between dating exclusively and a committed relationship? What defines them both and what differentiates them? Make sure to read this article to know everything about dating exclusively.

The meaning of dating exclusively

The idea of dating exclusively is to stop dating other people and be romantically involved with just one person, your partner. It is when you have been dating for a while now and feel that there is a connection between the two of you. Exclusive dating is a modern dating norm and is used by people who still have doubts about commitment. That is not a worry. You need to be sure of the person before getting involved in a committed relationship.

Simply put, exclusively dating does not make you a boyfriend/girlfriend.

Many people mistake exclusive dating for a committed relationship. It is not the same thing. It is quite as different as dating and relationships are. Dating exclusively implies not dating anyone, and it is more like an experiment, not a commitment.

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Dating exclusively is characterised as below-

  • It involves not dating/meeting new people of the opposite sex with the intention of dating till the time you are together
  • It is more serious than casual flings, but is not yet a committed relationship
  • It is a persual of committed relationship – which may or may not happen
  • Exclusive dating often results when partners feel like knowing more about each other before actually committing

How is exclusive dating different from a relationship?

Simply put, exclusively dating does not make you a boyfriend/girlfriend.

As similar as it sounds, exclusive dating is very different from a relationship. It is therefore necessary to understand what you are getting into before going in with other expectations. Here is how exclusive dating is different from an actual relationship:

  1. In a relationship, you are in love and there is no commitment issue. You are not ready to commit just yet in exclusive dating. The idea is to be ready and sure
  2. There are so many late-night conversations about your emotions, your feelings and your future. Conversations in exclusive dating lack emotional bonding. You want to enjoy the present without worrying about your future together
  3. *Knock knock*. Here come so many expectations. Expectations to meet the family, knowing all about each other, moving in together and so many more. Exclusive dating follows the rule of low expectations and no heartbreak
  4. It is official when you are in a relationship. If you are exclusively dating, it means that it may or may not become official; hence insecurity creeps in
  5. You don’t mind leaving your stuff at each other’s places if you are in a relationship. Expect your stuff to be returned the next day if you are dating exclusively

Related reading: 10 red flags about the person you are dating – based on how they treat other people

12 rules to follow when you are dating exclusively

Exclusive dating is a tricky affair, as you know that you are not dating anyone else, but you might not feel different. It is exclusive but not official and that is something that eventually comes up. Mixed emotions, doubts and all kinds of insecurities begin to creep in, only to ruin what you have. Follow these 12 golden exclusive dating rules to keep it going.

1. Establish ground rules first

It is important to talk about what you are getting into. Ground rules need to be set to ensure that both of you are on the same page. Communication is the key to healthy exclusive dating. Imagine him flirting with other girls and you confronting him. He will say, “It was just healthy flirting. Don’t act like my girlfriend.”
Ouch! Hurts. Doesn’t it? Make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

2. Give him space

One should respect their partner’s personal space. He has just let you into a part of his life. Don’t swoop in for more. Give him the space he needs and he will eventually let you in when he is comfortable enough to share a larger part of his life with you. Don’t become clingy and needy. Stop asking too many questions about his friends and family.
That territory comes with its own baggage.

3. Stop exploring dating sites

Now that you are dating exclusively, go inactive on online dating sites for a while. Uninstall Tinder if you want. These apps and sites will only tempt you into exploring more options. Even if you check out the sites for fun, it could make your partner insecure, because your relationship hasn’t been defined yet and you don’t want an app to break you up.

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4. Don’t be insecure

There is no reason to be insecure about a guy you are dating. There could be trust issues and the fear of him going behind your back and dating other girls, but you have to go with your gut and trust him. If there is no sense of trust, then your relationship is doomed anyway. Being insecure does more harm than good and especially if you are dating.

5. Don’t bring up his past

Avoid bringing up his past relationships and exes in conversations. There is no need to do that. The past has nothing to do with your present scenario. You are still getting to know the person. Live in the present and make the most of it. Have fun in finding out new things about him. Don’t spoil your moods by bringing up irrelevant exes.

6. Don’t talk about the future

You have known your partner for a while now and think that there are chances of it becoming serious. Keep those feelings to yourself. You might have seen him with you in your future but don’t plan on making him a part of it just yet. Talking about the future will just drive him farther away from commitment.

7. Lower your expectations

Keep expectations low; if possible, have none. It is better to have no expectations, because when something happens to the contrary, you feel great about it. You both might have taken the relationship to the next level, but it still hasn’t reached the point of commitment. Keeping expectations low will help in remaining satisfied with what you have and let time work its wonders.

8. Spend more time together

Now that you both have got comfortable with each other, spend more time together. Go out more frequently and have more casual meet-ups. Call each other once in a while and make fun of each other or share your day. Get to know how the person is when you both are not on a date. Spending more time together will help you in understanding your partner better.

Related reading: 8 differences between dating and being in a relationship

9. Don’t go in all the way

Warning! Going in all the way is not a rule of exclusive dating. Going in all the way and opening yourself up to him is not something your partner could be ready for. Don’t mistake exclusive dating for a relationship. Keep the deep and intense part of your life under wraps. Bringing such things up will only hurt you in the end if things get ugly.

10. Focus on the fun

Avoid establishing an emotional relationship with him. Emotions and feelings do not do very well in exclusive dating. The idea of dating exclusively is to establish a healthy relationship with a person which involves a more friendly and fun relationship than an emotional one. It is so because even if things end, you feel that you had a good run and there are no ill feelings or heartbreaks.

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11. Social media status

You may befriend your partner on social media and tag each other in memes. There are so many of you that still have your ex in your friend list; then what harm could your date do? Don’t do anything stupid like changing your relationship status as such. He will straightaway block you from his life. A friendly chat on social media is harmless.

12. Reminder: You are not in a relationship

As bugging as it sounds, you need to keep reminding yourself that you are not in a relationship. This will keep you from doing any clingy girlfriend stuff and expecting to be treated like one. Dating exclusively is just a step towards commitment. It may not even turn out to be commitment and you need to be prepared for that.

So it is up to you to see whether what you want is a fun exclusive dating thing or a committed relationship. Think about whether you want a no-drama great fun scenario that is a ticking bomb, or an on-going relationship that gives you some peace of mind. The choice is yours; you need to decide whether you want to play by the rules or end the game.

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