Being exclusive VS. "just dating"

More pages:
1 2 3
2/24/2011 1:34:26 PM | More
krysrenee7

female

Popcorn is best for these kinds of occas

Is there really even a difference?

Me & my girlfriends were talking about this recently & I was surprised that alot of people actually have different definitions of what it means to be "exclusive."

To some, asking another person to be exclusive with you is the SAME as basically asking for a relationship/official title.

To others, being exclusive means NOT yet having the official "relationship title" BUT yet agreeing to ONLY date eachother until a commitment or relationship is finally official or established in the near future (if that ever even happens).

What's your take on this? Is there really even a difference? I think acknowledging that everyone's definition of exclusive (or other things) may be different & actually trying to figure out those differences can actually save 2 people from a big misunderstanding, argument or long-term clash.

For instance, if a guy's definition of being exclusiveness has NOTHING to do with there being an official relationship title, a woman asking him to be exclusive & whom believes that an official commitment absolutely has everything to do with it, might get her feelings hurt & might think she's in a relationship/commitment even though the guy doesn't think so. And THAT can be a problem, especially when it comes to monogamy.

To some, being "Exclusive" means agreeing not to have sexual relations with anyone else. But what about the people who haven't yet had sex? Them not sleeping with others might just be their own way of practicing patience or abstinence, moreso that it indicating that they're committed to eachother. Some may not "give it up" b/c they wouldn't do so with anyone, vs. them only concealing the goods out of respect, loyalty & commitment to the other person.

Back in high school, 2 people would know they were officially in a relationship b/c 1 person (usually the guy) would literally come right out & ask, "Hey, will you be my girlfriend?" But now, it seems that people are naturally fading/falling into relationships with eachother, even if neither person verbally/technically made it official.



2/24/2011 2:50:54 PM | More
LibraSid

34 years old male from Upstate, South Carolina  

Posted by krysrenee7
Back in high school, 2 people would know they were officially in a relationship b/c 1 person (usually the guy) would literally come right out & ask, "Hey, will you be my girlfriend?" But now, it seems that people are naturally fading/falling into relationships with eachother, even if neither person verbally/technically made it official.
That's because back in elementary school (once we figured out only SOME girls had cooties) girls wouldn't let you kiss them unless you were boyfriend and girlfriend... so boys started asking girls to be their girlfriend. Once we got out of high school and there wasn't 2000 other people our age around everyday asking who was dating who, and why that skank was near her man... we don't care any more.

2/24/2011 3:18:12 PM | More
krysrenee7

female

Popcorn is best for these kinds of occas

lol lol

My sorority sister is thinking about having the "talk" with the guy she's been dating. They've been seeing eachother for 4 months now & she wants to tell him that she'd like to be exclusive with him. She doesn't necessarily want the title just yet, BUT she wants to atleast upgrade to the next level of dating where 2 people agree to only date eachother.

Problem is, she fears that if she has the "let's be exclusive" talk with him that he'll take it as her asking him to be her boyfriend..and that's not the case.

This is the 1st guy I've ever seen her date that she's actually taken things slow with. This guy is ready for kids & marriage (he's never had either) & he's a little older than her, so she's not used to dating a guy that hasn't tried to sleep with her yet OR who genuinely seems to be focused on getting to thoroughly know her 1st. She likes this guy so much.

To her, 4 months of "dating" is a long time, since she's used to being in situations that are rushed. But to him, someone who likes to take things at a slow pace, 4 months may not be/seem like such a long time.

Her telling me her situation with this guy made me really try to put things into perspective. I never realized that the definition of what it means to be "Exclusive" could differ so much from person to person. It's a scary thing, bringing up such a topic especially if the other person's definition is completely opposite than yours
2/24/2011 3:22:01 PM | More
LibraSid

34 years old male from Upstate, South Carolina  

Fine, I'll play nice...

I don't think there is a difference between "dating" and "being exclusive". I think where people run into confusion is what is considered dating. I don't consider going out on "dates" to be "dating"... I take friends out to lunch/dinner too. Hell I'll hang out, shoot pool, talk, and drink with guy friends, that doesn't mean we're dating. However, once we both agree we're dating/going steady/exclusive whatever you want to call it, we all know what that means. It's a one-on-one monogamous relationship. (That's why other types have special names "open relationships", etc). The problem comes in that no one has to make a decision anymore because our lives have so much more privacy than they did in school. Since the official statement isn't as big of a deal anymore people start assuming when it 'should have' happened. If the two people guess different times, there's a problem.

When is a relationship official... assume the following are listed in chronological order, but no one ever says "will you be my girlfriend/boyfriend)".

When I first lay my beady eyes on you.
When you give me your number.
When we plan the first date.
After the first date. (assuming things went well)
First kiss.
Fifth date.
Sex.
Two month from first date (since some of you like to track this)
Six months.
One year.

When would you just conclude that you were in an exclusive relationship?

I agree people should be up front and not leave the other guessing, but this happens a lot. Many guys won't consider it an exclusive relationship at any of the points listed above but I'd imagine the vast majority of women would consider it exclusive by the 'sex' line.
2/24/2011 3:26:01 PM | More
LibraSid

34 years old male from Upstate, South Carolina  

Posted by krysrenee7
Problem is, she fears that if she has the "let's be exclusive" talk with him that he'll take it as her asking him to be her boyfriend..and that's not the case.
What does she consider a boyfriend? They go out, have fun together, and she is asking for and offering exclusivity...

She's just afraid of commitment it sounds like. She doesn't want the boyfiriend/girlfriend title.
2/24/2011 3:31:58 PM | More
krysrenee7

female

Popcorn is best for these kinds of occas

Oh she wants the title! But to her, dating is not the same as being in a relationship, since a person can technically "date" multiple people at the same time.

And to her being exclusive is NOT the same as being in a relationship just yet. To her, being exclusive means you're running very close to making things official, but not quite yet.

And then there's the actual title and/or when the relationship becomes official.

Those are the 3 stages she lives by when it comes to her relations with men. She wants to date them 1st (which might include her dating other guys at the same time--no strings attached)...then if she likes 1 in particular & feels that the feeling is mutual, she'll want to make things exclusive, meaning she wants them BOTH to agree to only date eachother now. The last step is in making it official. She doesn't like making things official until she's experienced what it's like to date a guy when he's only dating her. Kind of like another topic I brought up a few months back when I said that dating someone is like getting a sneak preview into what they're gonna be like persay you got into a relationship with them, just like being in a relationship gives you a sneek peak into what it's going to be like persay you marry them.

2/24/2011 3:37:37 PM | More
krysrenee7

female

Popcorn is best for these kinds of occas

Posted by LibraSid
I'd imagine the vast majority of women would consider it exclusive by the 'sex' line.


Not me! I'm very aware that having sex doesn't mean you're exclusive, unless both people verbally agreed that they're only having sex with eachother & no one else.

A person can spend all day with you, talk to you all the time, have sex with you, spend lots of money on you, introduce you to their friends & yet NOT consider themselves "with" you or serious with you, especially if they do those types of things with multiple people. Sheeeesh, it'd be kind of hard to do all of those things with 5 different women all at once or in 1 week span, BUT it's def. possible b/c men do it all the time.

I won't consider things "official" until 1 of us literally opens up our mouths & says so. I don't assume anything! When you assume, that's how your ass ends up landing in the "FWB" category!

To me, we're "official" when we:
1. Verbally agree to be
2. Agree to monogamy
3. Agree to only do certain things with eachother (no more dating other women or giving them the hint that things could go further than friendship---and courting a woman is the EASIEST/FIRST way to give out that signal)

2/24/2011 4:03:12 PM | More
Nefer

42 years old female from Michigan  

Totally freakin' awesome, LOVE being me!

Posted by LibraSid

When would you just conclude that you were in an exclusive relationship?


When it's straight up SAID it's an exclusive relationship, AND the actions match the words.. and not one moment before.

Everyone's definitions of "dating" and "relationship" and "committed" etc are different. It's not a topic to ignore and think it'll all work itself out exactly how you want/hope. For me personally, I assume nothing. And yes, that's where a lot of people trip themselves up (esp women in sexual relationships).. THEY are exclusive, so they feel the other one is or should be, even if nothing's been officially talked about. He spends a lot of time with her, calls and texts and takes her out on the reg. She's met and hangs out with his friends. They're sleeping together. He spends weekends, and took her to the family & friends BBQ.. they're official/exclusive, right? Not necessarily. Never assume, assumption brings out some nasty shocks sometimes. If they never had "the talk" and one just ASSUMED exclusivity/commitment.. why is the other one a cookiemonster/marker for not reading minds and automatically giving what someone wanted/expected.. but didn't have the cojones to ASK FOR or even TALK ABOUT?
2/24/2011 4:06:06 PM | More
LibraSid

34 years old male from Upstate, South Carolina  

Posted by CappyyLuv30
Posted by krysrenee7
Oh she wants the title! But to her, dating is not the same as being in a relationship, since a person can technically "date" multiple people at the same time.

And to her being exclusive is NOT the same as being in a relationship just yet. To her, being exclusive means you're running very close to making things official, but not quite yet.

And then there's the actual title and/or when the relationship becomes official.

I swear I got divorced and all these rules came into play suddenly. It sounds so complicated.
Agreed... I'm trying to figure out the rules myself which will bring on my next question to krys...
2/24/2011 4:08:23 PM | More
LibraSid

34 years old male from Upstate, South Carolina  

Posted by krysrenee7
Those are the 3 stages she lives by when it comes to her relations with men. She wants to date them 1st (which might include her dating other guys at the same time--no strings attached)...then if she likes 1 in particular & feels that the feeling is mutual, she'll want to make things exclusive, meaning she wants them BOTH to agree to only date eachother now. The last step is in making it official. She doesn't like making things official until she's experienced what it's like to date a guy when he's only dating her. Kind of like another topic I brought up a few months back when I said that dating someone is like getting a sneak preview into what they're gonna be like persay you got into a relationship with them, just like being in a relationship gives you a sneek peak into what it's going to be like persay you marry them.

I get the difference between her stages 1 and 2... things are actually different.
What is the difference between stage 2 and 3?

Is it just saving face so later she can say, oh I wasn't dating him we were just seeing each other...

In my mind the relationship level changes when the relationship changes. We agree to be exclusive, okay you're my gf.
2/24/2011 4:46:15 PM | More
Shadows



Sun Aquarius Moon Aries Mercury Pisces

I must be old fashioned. I kind of feel that if I actually feel the need to have a talk about where we're at then we're sure as hell not exclusive yet.

Although, I've never really dated anyone. Spent time with people and it either quickly fizzled out or quickly became a relationship.



2/24/2011 5:01:34 PM | More
Shadows



Sun Aquarius Moon Aries Mercury Pisces

*High five
2/24/2011 6:01:54 PM | More
Shadows



Sun Aquarius Moon Aries Mercury Pisces

Me too! Toooootally. I just prefer it that way. Kinda feels more natural. I cant get into the whole 'lets impress eachother thing'. Ugh!
2/24/2011 7:33:06 PM | More
krysrenee7

female

Popcorn is best for these kinds of occas

@LibraSid: I agree. Things have gotten so complicated these days.

That's why I somewhat kind of wish things went back to the way they were back in the old days when 2 people were either 1. Strictly friends 2. In an official relationship (b/c 1 person bluntly came out & asked) 3. Married or 4. Divorced! lol

Nowadays, there's a whole lot of "in betweens."

For some people being monogamous isn't just about agreeing not to have sex with others. Being monogamous means not doing ANYTHING with someone else that goes past a platonic friendship level (and yes, sex just so happens to be included in that mix). In other words, it'd be kind of hard to say, "Ok let's agree not to sleep with other people" if neither person was doing so to begin with! So what does "exclusive" mean in cases like that when sex hasn't even yet been had?

I think there's even such a thing as being "Exclusive" b/c it's conveinant. If you're exclusive, yeah neither person can sleep with others outside of eachother, BUT technically since they're not together yet, they don't necessarily have to dish out all the loyalty, dedication, sacrifice, etc. that 2 people who were technically in a relationship would have.

And the less invested you are in someone, the less it hurts persay things don't work out. Kind of like being exclusive is like the "Trial run/test" to see what it'd be like to actually be in a relationship with that person. Sure, you may have stopped all sexual activities with others, BUT you may not have necessarily stopped all OTHER things that might've been still considered disrespectful persay you were actually in a relationship with them.

When you finally make it official, it's like F! No more excuses! I have to be monagomous on an emotional AND physical level. But when you're exclusive, the only thing you have to sacrifice is giving up the goods to another person. And for some, that was never an issue since they never slept around anyways
2/24/2011 7:36:15 PM | More
krysrenee7

female

Popcorn is best for these kinds of occas

Seems like women are more quick to bring up the "exclusive talk" 1st moreso than men & if being exclusive means making the relationship official, doesn't that technically mean that women are the ones who asks guys out? Back in the day, the guy used to pop the question & the girl would either gracefully say yes or say no! Now, it's the women who seem to be making the relationships "official" since they are the 1s mainly bringing up the "exclusive" talk. And I don't even think women realize this shift...the shift that they are the ones making it official....especially in a society that is still geered towards the men making all the 1st MAJOR moves
More pages:
1 2 3

You can contact the admins directly by clicking here if there is a matter that needs more immediate attention.