Last Updated 03.10.2022
10 min read

5 Signs You Are In An Exclusive Relationship - What Does It Mean?

Alan Schin (he/him/his) is the Chief Editor at Taimi. He wears several hats daily as a writer, editor, blogger, and content contributor. He began his university studies as a Psychology student but found his passion in Advanced Communication Studies. Alan loves having the opportunity to write and help our content team shine. According to Alan, his education helps him to understand the dynamics behind dating and socialization better. When he isn’t busy with Taimi, Alan works on his first novel, a sci-fi thriller, and creates works of art in his ceramics studio.

If you are seeing someone new and things are going great, you might have considered that staying with this person long-term might not be such a bad idea. 

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    There are so many different kinds of relationships though, and you want to ensure that you will both be on the same page.

    Having this kind of talk with a new partner can be intimidating, and you might be looking for the right words to say. You want to know if you are casually dating or being exclusive, but you're not sure what's on their mind. To help you out, here are the five best signs the two of you are exclusive and what it means for your future.

    What Does It Mean To Be In An Exclusive Relationship?

    When it comes to being exclusive with someone, you need to, first of all, understand that there are different levels of exclusivity. This heavily relies on the stage of the relationship and can tell a lot about what the future holds for you.

    • Exclusive Dating

    When you are exclusively dating a partner, there is a mutual understanding that you are only seeing each other. This is not always something the two of you have discussed, but it might come naturally after some dates. It's usually at some point where you have gotten to know each other better and you are able to see yourself having a future with this person.

    To put it in different words, this is kind of like a stepping stone into an exclusive relationship. You are only seeing each other, spending time together, and learning more about one another every day. At the same time though, this is not an exclusive relationship just yet.

    • Exclusive Relationship

    After some time dating exclusively, the next step is transitioning to an exclusive relationship. This usually happens after the couple has had "the talk". While you might dread talking about the status of this relationship, it can help you go from dating exclusively into an actual couple.

    At this stage, you will openly announce yourselves as a couple and know you are ready to be exclusive and in a committed relationship. This validates you are both on the same page and will help your physical intimacy, as well as your emotional intimacy, grow and mature.

    Is Every Dating Experience Going To Lead To An Exclusive Relationship?

    The truth is that most dating experiences, no matter how exclusive you view them, are not always going to turn into a full-fledged relationship. One thing you need to keep in mind is that many relationships that are now exclusive didn't start that way.

    Many couples start casually dating first and possibly see other people too before deciding this relationship is worth maintaining. Just because you were not in an exclusive kind of a relationship from the beginning, it doesn't mean you won't be in a committed exclusive relationship in the future.

    Some people like to use relationship stages to identify where they are on the relationship exclusivity scale. There are five commonly-recognized stages of a relationship that you can use as a reference when you start down the casual dating road with a new partner:

    1. The Merge - You've just started dating someone new, have had your first date, and are giving the relationship a trial period to start with. While you like the person well enough, you're waiting for other signs to show for you to grow more interested in them.

    2. The Denial - You've started noticing differences in your behavior, and mental health, and are on an important stepping stone toward becoming mentally and physically intimate with one another.

    3. The Disillusionment - You've recognized the fact that you're close to starting a proper long term relationship with the other person - it's now been more than a few weeks since you've started dating and you like what you see.

    4. The Decision - You're not interested in an open relationship anymore and would like to commit yourself to the person completely. You're pondering eventually moving in with your partner, talking about marriage, and building a family together.

    5. The Love - Whether it's a boyfriend or girlfriend, you want to be exclusive with the person and would do anything for them to feel the same toward you. This is where most people feel comfortable with starting to communicate openly about an exclusive relationship with the boyfriend, girlfriend, or other to gauge how ready they are for a serious commitment.

    Determining whether you're in an exclusive kind of a relationship or not can be tricky, but the best way to know where you stand is to simply talk. Ask your partner about their feelings and communicate your own developing emotions and thoughts on the matter. Likewise, be honest with yourself and use each sign to determine how "exclusive" your current relationship is.

    1. You Feel Emotionally Fulfilled And Encouraged By The Relationship's Exclusivity

    Exclusive relationships have a certain sense of finality to them - it's why most people are scared of exclusive dating and would rather keep their options open. However, if you're feeling like yourself when you're around your new partner and would like to feel that way for a long time to come - why not consider taking things a step further?

    Whether you've met through a mutual acquaintance or through dating apps, a committed relationship can work out no matter what. All you have to do is start to talk about taking on a more serious relationship with your partner to get a better read on them.

    Do they feel the same way about you? Is there anything that's bothering them about your current arrangement? Do they share what an exclusive relationship means with you? If you're excited by the prospect of having an exclusive partner who you'd never share with anyone else in the world - it might be a good sign that you're already underway with your exclusive dating.

    2. You Spend A Lot Of Time Pondering Exclusive Dating

    The notion of sharing your partner with someone else and being in an open relationship is starting to be off putting to you. This means that you're ready to start the conversation on the topic of being exclusive to one another from now on.

    The thought of committing oneself to a single person is terrifying to many people so don't be afraid of confronting that fear and working your way through it. True commitment takes mutual dedication, passion, and hard work. Whether you've met through a dating site, an app you both use, or a mutual friend, you're slowly but surely starting to feel like monogamous relationships aren't so bad after all.

    If a monogamous relationship means being with the person you love and respect and who does the same for you - why not give it a shot? Many close friends or would-be lovers would give anything for the level of commitment you and your partner are considering - take the exclusive leap forward and see what the future holds.

    3. You Want To Move Beyond a Casual Relationship And Explore Exclusive Relationships

    Serious commitments such as moving in together, getting a pet, buying furniture, or sharing a new car's expenses are unfortunately beyond the reach of many couples. After all, how could anyone ever commit to someone so much, right? If communicating and functioning through the inbox sign on your device doesn't do it for you anymore, start talking about doing something more as a couple.

    The conversation about whether or not you should start being exclusive has to start with the talk about how committed you are to one another. Do you see yourself making serious commitments such as opening a business together or renting a house with shared expenses with your partner?

    Moreover, do you cherish the thought of making these serious, deeply-involving commitments with your significant other? If the answer's yes, you should discuss the idea of exclusivity and see what you can do about all the wonderful things you could commit to with one another.

    4. You're Content With Spending Plenty Of Time With Your Partner Casually

    Being in physical proximity of someone you love deeply can be very nourishing for your mental health and overall wellbeing. If you find yourself being happy simply by being next to the person you're dating, no matter what they're doing, you might be in for an exclusive relationship.

    Relationships built on mutual acceptance and understanding have the potential of blossoming into truly spectacular displays of love and affection. You can find a related story about long term relationships both in fiction and in real life no matter where you turn - yours might just be starting right now. If you're content and fulfilled by the simple thought of being in close proximity as partners and doing random things while enjoying each other's company, there's a site for an exclusive relationship to be found there.

    All you need to do is start the conversation on the topic and be honest with yourself and the person you're pouring your heart to. This will be all the insight you need about whether you're ready to forever move beyond being friends and growing into something more with your significant other.

    “Two dudes met. They fell in love. They lived. That's our story.” ― Adam Silvera

    5. You Can't Begin To Imagine A Situation Where You Would Hurt Your Partner

    You don't need to seek out professional medical advice to know when the butterflies in your stomach have transformed into something more. To date exclusively means to give all of yourself to the other person.

    Thinking about your partner and coming to terms with the fact that you'd never even hurt a hair on their head is a sign of the fact that you're ready to be exclusive with them. There's nothing wrong with going exclusive, whether you've met through a dating app or in some other way. You do however need to communicate your feelings to them so you're both on the same page about what life could have in store.

    Don't be afraid about expressing your emotions about starting a family one day and seeing yourself with them. If you figure out a way to find a common language and feel the same way about one another in terms of respecting each other's friends, emotions, and barriers, there's a long lasting exclusive relationship to be built there.

    Being On The Same Page About What Dating Exclusively Means

    So, what exactly does exclusive mean in a relationship? When two people "click", find a mutual language, and can see themselves building a future together, they're very likely to be headed toward an exclusive relationship. If you recognize yourself and your significant other in these signs, lean into your relationship and decide to commit to it.

    Life is short and you'll regret not giving it your all when it comes to taking a big step in the right direction. Nobody is ever ready to simply say they're "ready to be exclusive" - it takes finding the right person for us to build, nurture, and cherish a healthy relationship with.

    If you can see yourself building a family with your significant other, feel fulfilled by them, and would stand up to the world for them - don't lose them. This is a sign that you're ready for your exclusivity to take hold, so don't assume anything less and start to enjoy your newfound happiness as partners in an exclusive, loving, and long-term relationship.

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