Saturday, September 5, 2015

Are We Exclusive? Um, Yes?

It wasn't until a few years ago, that I realized that things have started to change in the dating scene. Before, I don't think people really needed to have "a talk" about being together or exclusive with one another. Nowadays, you need to have that talk before being exclusive. You can't just assume that you're exclusive simply because you see the person a lot and you've been dating for a while. While you might not be dating anyone else, they might still be out on the prowl, looking for the next best thing. In order to protect yourself from getting hurt down the line, make sure that you have a conversation about whether or not you're exclusive, and by all means, never assume that you already are.

When people ask you if you're exclusive, you can have a many different responses. You can say something like, "Exclusive? Um, I am." In other words, you're exclusive, but you have no idea if the other person is or not. As the buzzer goes off, you must know that's not okay. Your response should never be that you are exclusive, but... Two people should be exclusive together, that's what exclusive means. An exclusive relationship is where both people stop dating others and only concentrate on each other. It means that they're off of the market until further notice. It means you've taken the next step from dating, to being in a relationship where your main focus is on each other, and you stop dating other people. Another response when someone asks you if you're exclusive with the person you're dating could be, "I don't know." There's another big problem when you have a response like that! You must know if you're exclusively dating someone or not. This is not something that should be up in the air, because you're bound to get hurt. The only real way to know if you're exclusive with someone, is by having a conversation about it. 

Nowadays, things are different and you actually need to have that conversation about being exclusive. Whereas, back in the day, we never needed conversations like that and it was just assumed that two people that were dating a lot were together. Of course, if you think about it, even when we were kids in middle school or high school, many of us have experienced something called, "puppy love." I suppose that we call it puppy love, because when we're so young, it's hard to take boyfriend/girlfriend relationships too seriously, as if it will end up becoming anything long-term. Although, my parents met when they were in high school, so I know that that does happen! Hmm, but, it didn't last, so that's another conversation, for another time. Back to puppy love! When it was just a simple puppy love, even then, we would have "a conversation" about being together in a relationship. Even if it was by passing notes in school and marking in a box, yes or no. There would still be a conversation of some sort in order to know if you were exclusive. As many of us have gotten older, it started to become an assumed thing, that when you date someone enough and very often, you just assumed you were together, and that was the end of it. There was no conversation needed. You were faithful to one another and you handled it in a very honest and decent way, without needing a conversation to not date other people. Well, not only did things change in that way, but they changed drastically! You have to have a conversation now before becoming exclusive. You are not officially exclusive and in a relationship with someone, until you have a conversation about it. 

I learned this the hard way a few years ago, like I said. I learned this by dating someone that lived a short flight away. As we all know, long-distance is long distance, no matter how long of a flight. When you're in a long-distance relationship, it has to be based on a lot of trust, honesty, and communication. Did I mention that you have to have a conversation about being exclusive, before actually being exclusive! Well, there you have it folks! I wasn't dating anyone else but this person, and they were out and dating who, what, and whenever they wanted. Having said that, I learned from my mistake, and now I make sure to have that conversation before just assuming that we're on the same page, exclusively dating each other, and in a relationship. 

It doesn't matter the tempo of the relationship. It doesn't matter how long you've been together, how often you see each other, or whether you're intimate or not. The conversation must be had in order to be exclusive. Exclusivity comes from both people and you must be on the same page as the person you're dating. If they're not exclusively dating you and they're dating other people, you should be doing the same or at least be open to it. I don't recommend doing that more than a few dates, but some people take longer than others in that way. My preference is the three date rule, that way there's no confusion. Having an exclusive talk should come after three dates in my opinion. After three dates, I don't think it's appropriate to be dating more than one person at a time. Buy three dates, if you haven't had a first kiss, it's not a good sign. A kiss is a very important factor during the first few dates. Do you know why? Find out soon, in one of my next upcoming articles! So remember to have the conversation before just assuming your exclusive with someone. Wishing you all a beautiful weekend! 

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