One of the most common dating questions that have partners worried is when to make it exclusive. Or, in other words, when to stop going out with anyone else. Is there is an unspoken rule about dating for a certain length of time before calling it a ‘relationship’ or do you make it exclusive as soon as you both feel comfortable about it. Here are a few ways to settle the problem on how long to date before telling your partner he/she is the only one.
Do you want to call him/her at the end of the day
Do you want to call him/her at the end of the day for no other reason than just to say hello. If you find yourself eager to share your day with this person and willing to know what happened with him/her perhaps your feelings are deeper than should be for a casual date. At the same time, if you find a message on your answering machine from your date mentioning nothing more than the fact that you were in his/her thoughts, you can bask in hope of being special to someone.
Do you look forward to be together again?
After a couple of dates with this special person, you find yourself hoping for another occasion when you can ask her out. Or perhaps you rack your brains on ways to suggest that he accompany you to catch the latest Hollywood blockbuster this weekend. When you and your date look forward to be with each other, it is usually a sign that you both are getting ready for exclusive dating.
Do you share the same feelings?
This is one of the most definite signs to watch out for if you wish to date this person exclusively. Sharing the same feelings not only indicates that you both like hanging out with each other and that you dig the same kind of music. Having mutual feelings also means that you both care for each other enough to stop seeing anybody else. While it is easier to choose who you want to be with over the weekend, it is much more difficult to decide whether you also want to say no to someone you had fun with before you met this special person.
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Is there someone else on the horizon?
So you have been having fun dating each other for a few weeks now. But all of a sudden you are jolted by a casual mention from your date that an ex has been calling him/her a couple of times. This is the moment when it should be clearest to you whether you want to be in an exclusive relationship with your date or not. If the prospect of your date meeting up with his/her ex whips up waves of jealousy or despondency in your heart, perhaps you have been investing a good deal of emotions in this relationship. On the other hand if you are cool about your date seeing an ex again, perhaps you can afford to wait a little more before making your relationship exclusive.
Are you still turned on by others?
If you go to a party without your favorite date and are happy to be around beautiful faces and figures, it means that he/she does not attract you to the extent of making it exclusive. On the other hand, if you find yourself comparing every other member of the opposite sex to your dating partner or moping at every social event when not accompanied by him/her, perhaps the time has come to broach the issue of exclusive dating.
How compatible are you both?
The answer to this question should form the basis of your decision to enter into exclusive dating. Even if you are smitten enough by your partner so as to be unable to think of anybody else, it would be prudent to put aside emotions and consider the issue from a practical angle. Do you both share similar life goals or aspire to the same things in future? How common are your values on love, family, money, religion and sex? Do you agree on where to live and when to raise a family down the years or even how to resolve conflicts in relationships. If you have never given a thought to these issues or never discussed them with your partner, how do you know you both are compatible enough to be in an exclusive relationship? In fact by preventing yourself from exploring other potential relationships, you may be missing an opportunity to meet someone more compatible to your personality and likely to stay with you in the long run. If however, you believe you and your present partner are mutually compatible and share the essential values on life and love, then go ahead by all means.
Have you talked about it?
Assuming that you and your partner share the same life goals and feelings for each other should not be enough to decide in favor of an exclusive relationship. A clear discussion on the issue is much more preferable if you don’t want to set yourself for disappointment later. Even though it may not be as easy as asking your date, “Will you be my girl/boyfriend?” as was in high school, still some kind of verbal indication should be insisted upon. You could broach the matter with a casual question like “So who did you meet at the nightclub last Friday?” or some light-hearted ribbing like, “what do you tell your friends about us?”. And from there go on to explore whether you both are emotionally ready to embark into exclusive dating. The whole idea of a talk is simply to ensure that you both understand each other correctly, that you are on the same page as it were. And if you feel too awkward enough to bring up the matter, it only goes to show that you are not yet ready to for an exclusive relationship anyway.
The time from when you start dating each other to when you are an official couple is often the most exciting phase of a relationship. Though relationship experts advise anything from three to six months before committing yourself, finally it your personal equation with your partner which is the best guide to how long you should date before making it exclusive.