Making The Jump To Exclusive Dating
So you’ve been with your lover for a few months now, and you’re starting to get that urge to have that chat – you know, the one where you decide that you’d like to change over from an open ‘dating’ style setup to something more exclusive. For you monogamous lovers out there, sometimes approaching that subject with your boyfriend or girlfriend to be can be a sticky one. Here are a few things to consider before bringing up the topic:
Is this just a phase? What we mean by that do you actually want this person to be your partner for the foreseeable future, or are you just in a “I really want a boyfriend/girlfriend” mood? We’d tell you to do a list of pro’s and con’s for this potential life partner, but we’re sure you’ve already done that a million times over in your head. Just be sure that your mind is wanting this person as your partner, not just a partner in general.
Are you emotionally ready for a potential letdown? With all the hemming and hawing over the decision at your end, are you also able to handle the possibility that they will turn down your exclusivity request? Be confident in your approach, but also balance that out with the thought that the answer will be no. (Or some form of “no”, like “not right now” or “maybe”.)Do you have a “Plan B”? So if your request gets turned down, what next? Do you keep on dating this person in the hopes that their mind will change further down the line? Or do you cut your losses and work on forming new relationships with the hope of a new Mr or Miss Right? A lot of this depends on the reason for the decline. Maybe your hopeful is about to go off to college and they aren’t sure how they’ll handle the long distance relationship, or maybe they just need more time after breaking off another exclusive partnership. Be prepared for a number of declines – and what they mean to you.
Can you clearly express what your expectations are? Be up front about what exclusivity means to you. In ‘traditional’ monogamous relationships, that means that your new partner won’t be seeing anyone else while you are together. You may be expecting them to end any other dating relationship they currently have. For others, though, especially those in the polyamourous lifestyle, this has a different twist. Are you asking them to be your primary partner? Do you want first veto when it comes to other lovers? Be very clear about what boundaries you are setting up with this exclusivity request.