Making your relationship EXCLUSIVE - Mantalk
Being exclusive isn’t a good way to BEGIN a relationship.
7 Nov As stated above, an exclusive relationship is a mutual agreement between two people that neither one is romantically pursuing other partners. To me, the key word in this definition is mutual. It implies that both parties must do three things: 1. Acknowledge that they're in an exclusive relationship together. 2. If you're ready to settle down with your partner, they may ask if you're ready to be exclusive. But what does exclusive mean exactly? Here's how to know. While some people make their intentions known and agree to becoming exclusive at a certain point, others go with the flow with the hope that they'll become his or say “I love you” for sex, but if you're together five or more nights a week, talk and text every day, and they profess their love for you, chances are they mean it.
It's hardly news that conventional dating norms have gone out the window and, with them, so too have traditional dating labels. It is now expected that a couple will first hookup for a significant -- albeit unsubstantial -- period of time, only to then here their pseudo relationship with vague promises of monogamy.
Sounds like a girlfriend to me. And that's okay because, contrary to those bemoaning the supposed death of monogamyit's clearly not the monogamy that freaks him out, but rather, monogamy's prescribed terminology.
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Indeed, labels are often black and white, imposing undesirable norms upon huge swaths of people to whom rigid conventions cannot and should not be applied.
Labels do well, however, to simplify and clarify -- to provide boundaries and set expectations. But what about exclusivity itself?
It's a little more than just hooking up, but not exactly full-blown dating. With absolutely no parameters beyond "don't hookup with anyone else," how do those in exclusive arrangements know what to expect from their For instance, do you invite them to your holiday party?
Trends of 'exclusive'
And, if so, how do you introduce them? Meet Craig, my friend with whom I am consistently physical but don't yet call my boyfriend because I'm not percent convinced he's worth my time. Do you turn down other dating prospects? Or perhaps, keep your options open without ever letting things with someone else accelerate beyond flirtatious conversation? But then, what if they do? Does that count as cheating? Talk about shades of gray.
I mean, honestly, why is it such a big deal to call someone your boyfriend or girlfriend? Unlike married couples -- or even cohabitating, unmarried couples -- should a boyfriend and girlfriend breakup, there are few -- if any -- financial or familial troubles to navigate. Apart from some emotional anguish, there's really not much involved in terms of post-breakup fallout.
Times, Sunday Times Listen to our exclusive interview with Crystal on our website. Follow Rachel Ryan on Twitter: Talk about shades of gray.
It's funny to think that such innocent terms as "boyfriend" and "girlfriend," that floated so effortlessly around the halls of high schools, now imply some sort of deep, long-lasting, sticky commitment of the utmost seriousness. The fallout or perhaps, benefit from this aversion to labels remains to be seen.
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