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Exclusive Relationships: Advice on How to Broach the Subject
You may find this concept to be... well, Medieval, but apparently some folks prefer to date only one person at a time.
I suppose this makes sense, should one find oneself becoming attached in a person, and should one be interesting in taking a romantic relationship to the next level (LOTS of "shoulds" there, huh?).
Of course, many feel uncomfortable when it comes to bringing this subject up. Two issues in particular are to blame for many a furrowed brow:
- How can you tell someone that you're interested in dating exclusively in a classy way?
- How can you believe a partner if he or she says that he or she is dating you exclusively?
We shall explore these issues below.
Grow a spine! Power through it!
The Exclusive Relationship Talk
The good news is that making this step in a relationship is pretty clear cut. All you have to do is:
- Find a moment of uninterrupted time in which you can speak with the person you are dating.
- Tell him or her that you have decided to date him or her exclusively, and that you just wanted that choice to be known.
- Wait patiently to see his or her reaction.
This might actually be a telling moment. Should he or she bust out with a very enthusiastic reception of this proclamation, and say that he/she is doing the same thing, you can rest easier knowing that you are both in roughly the same place in your relationship. If he/she say something to the extent of "Oh... that's nice..." you know you may need to cool your jets lest you scare your date off with your wild steps toward greater commitment. And should he/she say, "Well, I am going to continue to see other people." or "You know, I actually think we should both slow down a bit with this..." you can trot home and cry in the shower knowing that your affection is, for the most part, unreciprocated.
What about you?
Would you ever secretly test your partner's fidelity?
But... Are Things Really Exclusive?
Should you choose to embark on an exclusive relationship, you may wish to keep in mind that your exclusive buddy might not be so true to the concept as you are.
Hey, that's what relationships are all about, right? Getting to know the inns and outs of a complete stranger is half the fun! Are you dating the person you think you're dating? Or are you dating your future Crazy Ex?? Oh, what an exciting mystery!!
If you are the paranoid type, is turning point is the perfect time to check and see if your partner is really serious about this whole "exclusive relationship" thing. Really, this is the perfect time to see if your partner is serious about you entirely!
If you met this person on an online dating site, you might check to see if he or she still keeps an active profile. If he/she does, maybe you two have slightly different opinions on the definition of exclusivity (though don't bring out the torches and pitchforks yet- even many happily and very exclusively married people have online dating profiles used just for the sake of meeting new friends. Really!).
You can test the commitment of your partner a bit further by asking a super sexy friend of yours to hit on this person (assuming your victim does not know that you two are friends). This can take place on an online dating site, or even someplace so innocuous as Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.
If your partner flirts back, or (SCANDAL!!), actually agrees to meet, it's time to have a little talk.
At this point, I should remind you, gentle reader, that I am just a collector of fun dating tips and not an actual dating expert. I'm just sharing with you one of the delicious morsels of advice I've collected over a series of most entertaining and insightful conversations with others.
These suggestions regarding relationship exclusivity comes from a couple of experienced, anonymous sources. I trust them, but I would never encourage you to regard this article or video as the ultimate authority on... anything.
That said, I see this as solid counsel. When in relationships, communicate openly and honestly. If you don't think your partner also wishes to be open, have a little fun! Why not??
But what of you? How have you discussed the exclusivity issue in your present and past relationships? Do let me know! I would be most curious to read about your unique approaches.