Serious relationships, casual flings, casual relationships, exclusive relationships, you name it.
There are so many dating variations that I’ve lost track of them all and they still keep on coming.
If you’re having difficulties deciphering which relationship category you belong to, chances are you might be exclusive!
So, what is an exclusive relationship anyway?
It is a relationship where a couple decides to only/exclusively date each other.
An exclusive relationship is what happens in between casual dating and a serious relationship. I like to call it a bridge to a committed relationship.
Perhaps you met on dating apps and it all started with a first date, which is the first relationship stage.
After that, you might have decided to either keep dating other people or become exclusive (to only date each other).
There’s a thin line between a committed and an exclusive relationship.
The only difference is in the amount of time you spend together. In a committed relationship, you basically decide to commit your life to your significant other and it is more serious.
We usually enter a committed relationship stage naturally without much questioning.
Being exclusive is the first step to entering a serious, lifelong relationship and here are all the signs that you’re in one.
You don’t date others and you don’t have the desire to do so
One of the biggest signs that you’re exclusive with your significant other is the fact that neither of you dates other people because you don’t have the desire to do so.
Being exclusive is all about focusing on each other and spending as much time as possible together because you WANT to, not because you have to.
Your every date is filled with excitement and you’re still learning new things about each other.
You share your funny childhood stories, talk about the meaning of life, your friends, and everything you can think of.
You don’t date others because they are EVERYTHING you want in a partner, and that is how you know you’re totally exclusive with each other.
When you can’t wait to share with them all the details of your personal life and learn everything about each other – your preferences, flaws, and so on.
You know you want only them
Deep down in your heart, you know that you want only them and they want only you.
Because of that, you decide to take your online dating profiles down and you no longer care about Tinder or other dating sites.
You don’t text other potential romantic partners or send explicit photos because you know you’ve already found what you need and want, and that is what exclusive means.
Even if someone had to ask you on a date, you’d politely reject the offer because you know who you want: the one you’re exclusively dating.
All the other people become overshadowed by your desire to connect and create something more meaningful with your special person.
You no longer have the urge or desire to look for something else because you don’t think that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.
You focus on enjoying and making the best of what you have in front of you.
You talk about future plans
In a non-exclusive relationship, couples don’t really bother about future plans, but in a mutually exclusive relationship, couples talk about both minor and major future plans.
Minor plans include how you’re going to spend your weekend or birthday, whether you’re planning on attending a concert together, and the like.
Major future plans include making plans a year or more ahead, like moving in together, finding a new job so that you can be closer together, and so on.
The reason why you talk about future plans is because you know you want to be with that person today, tomorrow, in a few months, the next year, etc.
You know that you’re exclusive if you’re doing everything in your power to maintain your relationship and stay together because you couldn’t imagine your life without each other.
You know what they say: Where there is a will, there is a way.
When two people are ready and really want to be together in a committed relationship, they will find a way to make it happen.
But if they’re not, then you know it is just a casual fling or casual relationship.
You’ve met each other’s friends and family
They’ve met your friends and family and you’ve also met theirs.
You see, exclusive dating is not only about two people dating each other, but it is also about introducing your loved one to your close people.
You know that you’re exclusive if your family members and friends have added your special one on social networks or have their phone number.
Dinners, hangouts, and picnics with your friends and family have become a part of your dating regimen.
Indeed, meeting each other’s close people is a big step in every relationship.
You don’t introduce your partner to your friends and family if you know that you don’t want to be with them or that it won’t last.
But, if you’re sure you want to be exclusive with someone, you’re itching to show that special person to the rest of the world and brag about them. You can’t wait to make them feel even more special.
You both know who you’ll spend weekends with
Before, you’d think twice about your plans for the upcoming weekend, but now you already know that you’ll be spending weekends together.
Of course, you always find time for hanging out with your close friends, but weekends are specifically reserved for spending time with your bae.
When you’re in a new relationship and exclusive, they become a priority in your schedule.
You want to see that new movie with them, you want to cuddle A LOT and do all those fun activities for couples. Just aimlessly roaming around together sounds like a perfect date night.
You wait for every weekend with sheer excitement and butterflies in your stomach that multiply the moment you see them.
Even if you just sat in silence together, it wouldn’t be forced but an enjoyable experience because you would be sitting in a comfortable silence.
That means you have a powerful spiritual connection – yet another sign of being exclusive.
You can’t imagine your life without them
When you think of your life without them, you feel as if something was missing all this time and you didn’t know that it was actually them.
Now that you found your secret ingredient to true happiness, you can’t imagine your life without them.
You want to experience everything with them, share your tears and joy, and be their biggest support.
Your life used to be in black and white and now you have discovered all the other colorful shades you didn’t know even existed.
The math is simple here. You can’t imagine your life without them and that is why you want to be exclusive with them.
As a matter of fact, this is not something that you can influence.
Your heart and mind agree that this person is the one for you and you’re not even questioning your decision to become exclusive. It just happens.
You both said those three magic words
If you’ve both said I love you, there’s no need to ask yourself the question: What are we? It’s not just a hookup; you’ve entered the realm of monogamy and a serious relationship.
Let’s be real. Those three words are not easy to say; they are a sign of ultimate love for each other.
You don’t just express your affection on social media where you write romantic “I love you” captions, but you prefer saying it in person while looking into each other’s eyes.
You say those three words because you really mean it and you feel it with every fiber of your being.
Even though you probably aren’t a poet, you feel like you could easily write a romantic poem expressing your ultimate affection for them.
If that isn’t the sheer definition of an exclusive relationship, I don’t know what is.
Cuddling is your favorite hobby
Casual relationships are usually filled with passion and physical attraction, but they lack that meaningful connection.
Exclusive relationships are different because they encompass not just your body, but your mind and spirit too.
Both mental aspects and physical aspects are met. You know that you’re exclusive when you enjoy long cuddling sessions more than anything in the world.
You’re not solely focused on physical pleasure but on making things meaningful and connecting with each other in a deep, spiritual way. You could stare each other in the eye for hours and not get bored.
Just holding hands warms you up from the inside out and cuddling is your favorite hobby (especially on a rainy day).
If you add Netflix, ice cream, and pizza, there you have it – all the main ingredients of an exclusive relationship.
But, beware not to become too casual. Keep spicing things up with different activities and your togetherness will flourish into a happy and committed relationship.
You don’t have only one picture of the two of you on social media, but you have plenty of them. Why? Because you’re exclusive!
When you know that you don’t want to date others, you want others to know that too. You want them to know that you’re taken and interested in only dating your special person.
You want all your friends to know it and you want to share it with the rest of the world. In the virtual world, you post photos of the two of you, whereas in the real world you enjoy PDA (public displays of affection).
You hold hands and kiss each other in front of others. You basically look like a couple because you are one and you want other people to know it, too.
You help each other solve problems
This is another big part of an exclusive relationship. You don’t appear in each other’s lives only when it’s convenient for you.
I mean, anyone can do that. Instead, they’re always there for you when you need them and vice versa.
You know how to comfort each other and give helpful advice. You know that your problems are not only yours but that you can share them with your special one.
And, most importantly, you know that they will listen, give you a warm hug, and help you find a solution. Being exclusive means being able to always rely on each other, come hell or high water.
Your lifestyles complement each other
One of the best pieces of dating advice I’ve ever received is: If your lifestyles don’t match, chances are your relationship will be doomed.
If your lifestyles complement each other, then you know you’re in an exclusive, happy relationship. Partners who have totally different goals, habits, and overall lifestyle find it hard to connect and find a common language.
Your lifestyles should match to a certain degree; the rest is a matter of compromise.
Now, willing to compromise is closely connected with being exclusive because you’re no longer only focused on your own wants and happiness), you’re willing to adapt and compromise, which is the key to mutual happiness.
You maintain connections outside your relationship
You enjoy spending time together yet you also live your own separate lives. If you’re not ready to do that, then you’re not ready to be exclusively happy. That’s what every relationship expert will tell you.
You are there for each other always, but you don’t spend all of your free time together and you don’t text 24/7 when you’re apart from each other.
Sometimes you enjoy some alone time and in maintaining connections with your friends and family. Your relationship is important to you, but it’s not the only thing in the world for you.
If you have a similar lifestyle, you will be sharing the same morals and values, and this will be important to you if you’re exclusive. If you’re not, then you wouldn’t care much about it.
So, the fact that you’re on the same page when it comes to your core beliefs and principles speaks a lot about the future of your relationship.
There won’t be ghosting, constant arguments, and similar because you understand each other.
Spending birthdays and Valentine’s together
If you’re exclusive, you will know for sure when their birthday is and will celebrate it together with their friends because they’ve become your friends as well. The same goes with Valentine’s.
Romantic dinner, candles, and cute gifts are all part of your V-Day celebration.
You spend days and nights thinking about the perfect gift for your significant other and whatever you find, you think to yourself, “This isn’t good enough!”
But, deep down in your heart you know they’d be happy with just about anything as long as it’s from you. That’s how you know that their happiness is a reflection of your own. That’s how you know you’re exclusive.
You have personal belongings at each other’s places
Your toothbrush, clothes, and other little things are at their place and some of their stuff is at yours. Perhaps you have a special section in their apartment where you keep all these things.
You don’t mind if someone else is going to see that you have one extra toothbrush because you don’t intend on inviting other potential partners to your place.
Those who are not exclusive worry about those things (as you’ve probably seen in movies).
Also, having personal belongings at each other’s places is the first step to moving in together – the official beginning of a committed relationship.
If you’re still not sure whether you’re exclusive or not, just listen to your gut
An exclusive relationship is all about mutual respect, affection, connecting on a deeper level, and knowing you want only them. You cannot be exclusive if you both aren’t ready for it.
And in case you’re still not sure, just listen to your gut and you will find an answer buried in your heart.
We often seek answers to questions just because we want a second opinion, even though we already know the truth.