Exclusivity is always a very interesting topic to approach – especially when you’re talking about it in the context of a relationship. What does it mean to be exclusive – and more so, what does it mean when a man thinks of being exclusive?
A lot of men are befuddled by this aspect of exclusivity, and in turn, this confuses a lot of women as to what men might think. This may cause disparities and rifts in relationships or even while approaching one.
What it means to be exclusive with someone is not that complicated. Exclusive as a word is pretty straightforward – it means being particularly involved with only one thing. In the context of a relationship, being exclusive is akin to being monogamous, or being with only one person and committed to that person exclusively.
Sometimes, when people start dating, they want to keep the a level playing field and test out the waters before they can commit themselves to one person that they actually find themselves being drawn to.
What Does Exclusive Mean To A Guy?
The stage before being exclusive in a relationship can be considered a ‘pre-exclusive’ stage. That’s the main difference between casual dating vs exclusive dating. A lot of guys find themselves dabbling in this stage because men are generally a little more wary about committing themselves to someone unless they find the need to, or a sort of perfection in their romantic and emotional compatibilities.
There’s also a stage of being exclusive but not official. This means that you two are indeed committed and cannot see other people. However, you aren’t official about your relationship status or calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend in front of your friends or family. Sounds a little complicated at first but trust us, it isn’t. So, what makes a guy want to be exclusive?
I guess we can say that once guys have really gone around, explored and finally found someone special, they might want to start a full fledged relationship that is exclusive and also official. What are the ways in which men think ‘exclusivity’ exists? Let’s find out.
Related Reading: Exclusive Dating: It Isn’t Surely About A Committed Relationship
1. Physical and emotional bonding
Yes – there’s a difference between physical and emotional exclusivity. A lot of guys may try and figure out a way to have a friends-with-benefits relationship with a consenting woman instead of narrowing the entire relationship down to a commitment.
When this happens with a single woman, it can be termed physical exclusivity – where a man may be only exclusively physical with one other person.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the couple is in a relationship (as long as it’s clear to both people) and is something a lot of people these days indulge in. It is indeed exclusive but not official. This also allows a lot of men to sway away from emotional and mental ties – which they may not want to necessarily devote their time to.
2. Men give cues that they want to be exclusive
Sometimes men try and tell their partners that they want to (or don’t want to) be in an exclusive relationship, by emitting certain signals. Oftentimes, it can be hard for men to directly talk about these things – so they resort to “exclusive” behavior.
This could mean and include anything such as not wanting to be with or spend time with other people, go out of their way to do special things for their partner that works on an emotional level and not just a physical one, spend time with their partner’s friends and family and even simply be upset at the idea of losing them.
Signals are an easy way to tell if a guy wants to be exclusive right away; if he doesn’t do any of the above things, then maybe he is undecided about being with you exclusively.
Related Reading: What is Benching Dating? Signs And Ways To Avoid It
3. He wouldn’t consider advances made by others
Ever been at a club, bar or a party (or basically anywhere) with a guy and seen his body language? If you are with someone who is blatantly interested in being hit on by other people around him, especially in a setting like a bar or at a party, then it is obvious that the guy is looking to be with other people.
Being exclusive to a guy means keeping to his own partner – but if you catch him checking out other people or accepting advances made on him by other people, then the guy is definitely not looking to be exclusive.
When a man wants to be exclusive with his partner, he would not even consider advances made on him by another person, give out that vibe of being available, or if his partner is in the room with him, even think of taking his eyes off them!
Men who want exclusive relationships are usually happy with their partners, and even if the stray thought of infidelity crosses their mind, they will never act on it. He will clearly show signs he wants to date you long term by spending time with you and caring for you like a boyfriend. Not by hitting on other women at a bar. So this is a major signal to understand whether someone is interested in gaining validation from other people or is happy with what they have.
4. He talks about a future together
One of the primary ways to figure out if a guy wants to be exclusive, is to see if he talks about things with his partner futuristically. Talking about the future means committing to a future together – and if a guy talks about attending events, taking trips, or even buying furniture, that means he’s looking at spending time with you, not just in the present, but in the future as well.
If he discusses the idea of a future with you, it’s one of the biggest signs he wants to date you long term – if not, well then, exclusivity isn’t really on his mind.
Related Reading: What Is Cuffing Season And What Are The Rules?
5. Is he shying away?
Exclusivity is a big deal. What it means to be exclusive with someone invites a big range of accountability, trust, dependence and lots of love. Most men are non-confrontational – even without the stereotype, men tend to shy away from topics of exclusivity, commitment and future talk – especially if they are not comfortable with the idea and don’t feel ready.
If you are looking to be exclusive with a man but feel that he gives out mixed signals, then it’s best that you have an open and honest conversation to understand what he wants. If he completely shies away from the topic, then it’s obvious that he isn’t even ready to consider talking about it – and there, you have your answer.
What Does It Mean When A Guy Wants To Be Exclusive?
If a guy asks you to be exclusive, that means he is ready to take your relationship to the next level. By suggesting this, he is stepping forward and asking you to be his girlfriend or a serious partner. So this means, it’s time to let go of all those Tinder boys who have been texting you because now, you have a boyfriend!
If a guy wants to be exclusive right away, he might not say it out loud at first. He might casually try to ask you if you’re seeing other people or make romantic gestures to make you feel like your bond is truly special to him. But if he just comes up to you and tells you that he wants to make you his and that it’s time to cuff you, then girl, you know what that means.
Emotional exclusivity means mentally and emotionally being with a single person – of course it’s human nature to discuss personal and vulnerable things with not just a single person but with a set of close people. Guys are usually not very talkative about their feelings and emotions but if they do talk to you about their private lives then they are emotionally close to you. Moreover, if a guy asks you to be exclusive, then not only are you emotionally exclusive but also in a relationship.
A lot of men think watching porn is a natural way of life – a lot of women think otherwise. But if you are with someone who enjoys watching porn all the time and is less interested in physically or emotionally being with you then such a guy may not be really interested in being exclusive.
Tinder, Bumble, Hinge – what not? Dating websites exist in abundance today – as soon as a guy feels even the slightest level of ‘boredom’ it takes a few minutes to just sign up on one of these and even just swipe just to be entertained. If you think a man is on these websites and refuses to give up his profile, then he’s obviously in two minds about exclusivity.
Exclusivity means being exclusive. Period. If your boyfriend is in touch with his ex and tends to overshare private matters between the two of you, or shares things with the ex that shouldn’t be concerning her, then it means that he’s not entirely exclusive to you. Have a talk with him.