The Match Lab

7 Different Meanings of ‘Exclusive Dating’ You Need to Know

Wondering what exclusive dating means?

Well… it could mean a lot of things.


The Most Common Meaning of Exclusive Dating

Exclusive dating is when two people agree to date only each other, meaning they’re not open to pursuing romantic relationships with other people.

7 Different Meanings of ‘Exclusive Dating’

Here are 7 different ways people define exclusivity in dating:

1. Monogamous Relationship:

In the context of romantic relationships, exclusive dating often refers to a committed monogamous partnership.

It means that both people have agreed to be romantically involved exclusively with each other and are not seeing or dating anyone else.

2. Exclusivity Before Commitment:

Exclusive dating can also be a steppingstone stage in a relationship.

People may become exclusive to focus on each other more intimately as they plan to then enter an official long-term relationship.

3. Testing the Waters:

Similarly, people may view exclusive dating as a way to feel out the potential for a more serious relationship, before making that decision yet.

A stage of exclusive dating can allow both people to get to know each other better without the pressure or decision of full commitment.

4. Exclusivity with Emotional Connection:

Exclusive dating may mean that the people involved are just emotionally exclusive.

That means they are committed to having an emotional connection with only each other, and nobody else, but may leave the door open to sexual or casual experiences with other people.

5. Closed to New Dating Opportunities:

One way to interpret the idea of exclusive dating is that both parties have decided to close themselves off to dating or pursuing other potential romantic interests.

There need not be any more reasoning that goes into it.

Simple as that.

6. Physically/Sexually Exclusive

A couple may become physically or sexually exclusive, meaning that they’re allow to go out on dates with other people but they agree to engage in sexual contact only with each other.

This is kind of an opposite type of exclusivity as emotional exclusivity.

7. Time-Bound Exclusivity:

Exclusive dating could have a specific time frame.

For example, a couple might agree to be exclusive for a certain period to see how the relationship develops before deciding on its future.

The Boyfriend/Girlfriend Label in Exclusive Dating

When it comes to exclusive dating, the use of labels can sometimes be confusing.

The term “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” can have different meanings for different people.

Generally, this label implies a committed, serious, long-term relationship between two people.

In many cases, people may consider being in an exclusive dating phase without using the boyfriend/girlfriend label yet.

This could be because they’re still in the process of testing the waters and getting to know each other better before committing to a more serious relationship.

In other cases, people might make the relationship official and define themselves as boyfriend/girlfriend at the same time they become exclusive.

The Future of the Relationship

As you explore the exclusive dating stage, consider the potential long-term trajectory of your relationship.

This might involve discussing moving in together, planning for future milestones, or simply identifying shared values and goals.

While it’s important not to rush, having an open dialogue about these factors early on can help you two figure out whether becoming exclusive is right for you and how best to date exclusively for a successful, long-term relationship.

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