Dating–Just getting to know each other but you know you have other options as well.
Exclusively Dating–You’ve agreed that you’re only talking to each other but you’re still in the getting to know each other phase
Boyfriend/Girlfriend–You’ve made your relationship official and you’re off the market.
The above conversation came from Reddit and I found it simple and easy to understand. Yes, the new dating jargon that the millennials use is tricky but then their relationships are also far more nuanced than the non-Millenials!
Are you confused between casual dating, dating exclusively and a committed relationship? What defines these and are the terms universal? The deal with labels is they are not universally understood. Make sure you read this to understand the latest relationship lingos! There is no issue with labels. The issue is in clearly communicating what they mean. And yes we think exclusive dating and being committed are closely connected!
What Is The Meaning Of Exclusive Dating?
The idea of dating exclusively is to stop dating other people and be romantically involved with just one, your partner. It is when you have been dating for a while and feel that there is a deep connection between the two of you. In the dating game, once you start seeing someone it is always casual at first, it’s like, ‘let’s see where this goes’. Yet, you also keep a watch for other possible suitors, but once you have gone out with the person enough to feel that this could lead to something more serious or in lay terms if it is like the two of you have crossed the first milestone and mutually feel you want to take it to the next level, this is when the idea of exclusive dating comes in.
It is simply about the two people involved to stop looking out for others and date exclusively. Date each other to the exclusion of every other. That’s when it is called exclusive dating. Exclusive dating is a modern dating norm and is used by people who still have doubts about commitment. So yes, if you are dating someone exclusively, that doesn’t mean you both are in a committed relationship – well, not unless you both decide on it.
Simply put, exclusive dating does not make you a boyfriend/girlfriend.
Many people mistake exclusive dating for a committed relationship. It is not the same thing. Dating exclusively implies not dating anyone else, and it is more like an experiment than a full commitment. If you are talking about dating exclusively versus a relationship then in the former, one is still testing the waters and in the latter, they have committed after having tested the waters!
Couples who are dating exclusively still screen each other, but they do not see other people. Dating exclusively is the step right before being in a serious committed relationship which means you envisage a future together (unless something goes wrong). But then in the exclusive dating stage, you may still have backup people who can be called to the forefront if it does not mature into a full-fledged relationship!
I hope you are now clear about the meaning of exclusive dating.
Related Reading: Fishing Dating – The New Dating Trend
Dating exclusively is characterised as below
- It involves not dating/meeting new people of the opposite sex intending to date till the time you are together
- It is more serious than casual flings but is not yet a committed relationship
- It is a perusal of a committed relationship – which may or may not happen
- Exclusive dating often results when partners feel like knowing more about each other before actually committing
- You are not seeing other people right now, but you may have someone in mind in case things do not work out
When we talk about being in a relationship, we are essentially seeing someone as our future spouse or as a partner. Relationships function with the future as their base. So, now let us figure –
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. Exclusive dating has its own rules, meaning and here’s some helpful advice. Here is how exclusive dating is different from an actual relationship:
- 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
- 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
- *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
- It is official when you are in a relationship. Your partner is always your plus-one, without any conditions. If you are exclusively dating, it means that it may or may not become official; hence insecurity creeps in
- You don’t mind leaving your stuff at each other’s places if you are in a relationship. Expect your things to be returned the next day if you are dating exclusively
To make exclusive dating graduate to the relationship stage, you need to follow the simple-yet-critical dating exclusively rules. When you end up following rules of exclusive dating, the entire process is smooth and you move from being together to being in a relationship.
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. In other words, follow our exclusive dating advice.
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 confront 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 his life, even if it is a part. Don’t try to claim 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. You do not think you are clingy at all? Check for signs here.
Stop asking too many questions about his friends and family.
That territory comes with its baggage. Space is how exclusive dating demarcates itself from a committed relationship.
3. Stop exploring dating sites
Now that you are dating exclusively, go inactive on online dating sites. 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. Also, a friend of your partner may see your profile and that could spell disaster for something that could have been something big. Think about it, what if he had done the same to you? What if someone you knew told you he still had a profile on dating apps? Yes, it would make you doubt the entire relationship right?
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. Here is a video on what men normally do to make their women insecure, know that he is yours and this is just one of his ways.
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. Everyone has past baggage and process it in their way. Have faith. Live in the present and make the most of it. Have fun, find out new things about him. Don’t spoil your mood by bringing up irrelevant exes. Here is an expert piece on do we really want to know everything about our partner’s past relationships?
6. Don’t talk about the future
You have known your partner for a while now and think that there could be a future in there. You want a solid answer, yes or no, we understand. But you must keep those feelings to yourself. perhaps you want him to introduce you to his parents, hold it. maybe meet his sister, refrain the urge. Do not rush him, he may feel pressurized and resist you altogether. This is the number one issue in dating couples. Try and read between the lines to understand if he is ready and there. If not, hold your horses, do not force him into a commitment that he may not be ready for. Talking about the future will just drive him farther away from commitment.
Related Reading: Is Caspering Less Brutal Than Ghosting?
7. Lower your expectations
Keep expectations low; if possible, very low! if he does something beyond your expectation it will only make you feel good. Here are some ways you could do this:-
- Do not expect him to pay every time
- Do not compare him to your exes (cause you will only compare what was good about your ex and probably not what your current partner is good at)
- Do not expect him to make plans every time, you should do it too, maybe workout a ratio in your head for it
- Expect him to make time for you, but do not expect to be the centre of his world
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. Share your day’s activities. 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. Here are some texting tips for when you are dating.
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 parts 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.
11. Social media status
You may befriend your partner on social media and tag each other in memes. A friendly chat on social media is harmless but changing your relationship status will make it public and might ruin the rapport you have with your ex who will block you right away, most likely. Unless you are sure that this relationship is going to turn into something serious, there is no need to change your status and give your ex someone to stalk and aunties something to gossip about. Secondly, when you go official on social media sites, the person you are exclusively dating might have an issue with your friend list that contains your ex. No need to have him worry over some harmless conversation.
12. Reminder: Exclusive dating is not 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. Exclusive relationship vs a committed relationship – the choice is yours.