The world of dating is a lot more complex than what we see in movies and even on TV shows.
There are different kinds of dating you can do, and then there are also these “unspoken” rules that govern how you date.
With no manual containing the dating rules and regulations, you can easily and unknowingly cross a boundary and screw up. One type of dating that is becoming more and more popular is exclusive dating.
Thinking exclusive dating and an exclusive relationship is the same?
I’ve got all the deets you need to know. So if you find yourself exclusively dating someone, you’ll know exactly what’s expected of you and your partner.
Exclusive dating meaning
The anxiety of finding the right label for dating someone or being in a relationship can be quite frustrating. I bet you just hope no gray hairs result from all this worry. I get it; I truly do.
Before I met my husband, I had the same anxieties:
Agh! The drama. Wish you were back in grade 4 where it was simple when someone asked to be their girlfriend or boyfriend?
So exclusive dating, right?
Exclusive dating is defined as being romantically involved with only one person. You are only dating your partner, and they are only dating you. There’s no sleeping with other people, no talking to other people online in a romantic way, and no going on dates with others.
You don’t have to worry about a love triangle, a square, or some other weird geometric shape – no one who is dating exclusively is seeing or dating anyone other than their dating partner.
Only two people are in this relationship test run because you are still feeling each other out and seeing if this relationship is a possibility and something you both want. Plus, if you exclusively date someone, you can focus on each other without the pressure of the “being in a relationship status” weighing you down.
It is often the first step before you officially enter a long-term committed relationship.
Exclusive dating rules
Of course, there are rules. And rules are good because they help us clearly define what is allowed and what isn’t so we can avoid murky areas.
The 8 rules of exclusive dating are:
1. Set the ground rules
Establishing the ground rules when you date someone ensures you are both on the same page. This helps so there are no misunderstandings or accidentally doing something that is actually not allowed or frowned upon.
Like with any relationship, good communication is essential. Clearly define what exclusive dating means to both of you, even if this is an uncomfortable or difficult conversation to have with your partner.
Imagine this scenario: You go out on a date with someone and you really, really like them. You agree to go on more dates, but on date #7, you see your dating partner posting pics on their social media out and about with someone else.
How would you feel, especially if you thought they were as much into you as you were into them?
By communicating with your date about your expectations, you could have avoided heartbreak. So get on the same page as soon as possible.
2. Respect each other’s space
Dating someone isn’t the same as being in a relationship with them, but in both aspects it’s vital to respect each other’s space. Take it casual, but know you are only dating each other.
Don’t be needy or clingy. By giving your dating partner space, you allow them to share when they feel comfortable instead of pushing them into something they aren’t, and potentially ruining something that could have been magical.
3. Don’t open up opportunities to date others
If you are dating exclusively, there is no reason to be flirting with the cute person at the coffee shop or gym you frequent. There is also no reason to still be active on dating sites or signing up to new dating apps.
If you are looking for opportunities to date other people or opening yourself to the possibility, then you’ll only hurt your dating partner who is being faithful.
Once you date someone exclusively and you’ve both chatted about it and agreed, then go inactive on the online dating sites you are registered on. Don’t flirt with other people. Flirt only with the person you are dating.
4. Trust your dating partner
Keeping your insecurities in check makes dating someone exclusively easier. After all, you are both just dating each other – that is, testing out the waters.
Being insecure and constantly thinking your date is cheating on you only does harm to the “relationship.” If you can’t trust the person you are with, what future is there anyway with the person?
5. Don’t have high expectations
If you watch too romantic movies and buy into the “fairytale love” the entertainment industry tries to sell you, I have bad news for you.
Real life isn’t like the movies. You can’t expect your partner to fall in love with you or dream about your date whisking you off your feet and taking you on a super romantic vacay.
Your high expectations will only get the better of you, and you’ll end up disappointed and possibly heartbroken.
Keep your expectations in check by NOT:
6. Don’t talk about past relationships
Live in the present. Your past has no bearing on the relationship you are in because you are only dating this person. So don’t bring up your exes and all your past failed relationships.
While talking about each other’s pasts is one way to get to know each other, it isn’t the right time when you are dating. Wait until you both feel comfortable with each other to have that conversation or when you are ready to take the next step.
7. Don’t talk about the future
Just like you shouldn’t bring up your (many or few) past relationships, you also shouldn’t talk about the future – how you want your dating partner to meet your parents and whole family, be your loving and doting husband/wife, and be the father/mother of all your babies.
This is just way too much pressure and can scare your date away. They may not be ready to think about a future with you because they are still not sure about you two together. Dating gives you the opportunity to find out whether you are right for each other, so don’t push your date or have expectations.
8. Have fun and don’t go all in
So this rule is kinda like a 2-in-1, but they go well together. Expecting or thinking you are completely in love with your date after only a few dates is a bit much, and unrealistic. You are possibly just infatuated and swept up in lust.
So have fun while you exclusively date. Focus on the now and remember that you are both just seeing where dating each other will take you. It could end in friendship, it could end amicably or badly, or it could be the start of a beautiful relationship.
Are you exclusive when dating?
When you date someone, it isn’t necessarily that you are exclusive with each other. Everyone has different views on dating and what they like and feel comfortable with.
If you believe in only dating someone exclusively, this is a chat you need to have with them so you know where you stand. And if you like to explore and date other people before deciding to commit to exclusive dating, you also need to bring this up with your dating partners.
Exclusive dating vs a relationship
I know you are probably dying to know what’s the difference between exclusive dating versus being in a relationship with someone. There are also some similarities.
Similarities between exclusive dating vs a relationship:
Differences between being in a relationship vs exclusive dating:
What is the best exclusive dating app?
There are a variety of options when it comes to exclusive dating apps. According to some reviews, Raya is very popular.
However, I recommend BeHappy2Day.com as the No. 1 exclusive dating app for you (read also BeHappy2Day.com Review: Fake or Legit? We Answer Your Question).
Putting it together
Exclusively dating someone could be your thing or it is simply the next step to make sure you want a future with the person you are dating.
The benefit of exclusively dating someone is that you focus only on them as you get to know each other without the distractions of dating other people added to the mix.
If you do want to make your “relationship” official, a conversation is in order. Even though you’ve now put a label on what you are, continue to have fun, get to know each other, and communicate to make things work.