- Step 1: Don’t assume anything Never make assumptions. According to one survey, 70 percent of men and 82 percent of women agree that a couple is not in an exclusive relationship unless they have discussed it together and agreed to it.
- Step 2: Don’t rush things Wait until you’ve been dating for at least two or three months before you broach the subject of exclusivity.
- Step 3: Think before you speak Reflect on the relationship so far. Are you sure you are ready to date this person exclusively? Don’t seek a commitment from them that you’re not ready to make yourself.
- Step 4: Pick a good time Pick a good time and place to have the talk—a day when you’re both relaxed, have ample privacy and time to chat, and—most importantly—sober.
- Step 5: Don’t tip your hand Don’t simply announce that you’re ready to be exclusive. Start by suggesting that it might be a prudent discussion to have.
- Step 6: Talk it through Be honest and upfront about what you want, but don’t make demands, and don’t issue ultimatums. Really listen to what the other person has to say.
- Step 7: Protect your feelings If the other person agrees to exclusivity, welcome to couple-dom. If they prefer to keep things casual, you can either end the relationship or continue as before, at least for a while. Before you decide, consider whether keeping things non-exclusive will make you crazy with jealousy, or interfere with your ability to date someone else.
- TIP: If you met your love interest online, and they agree to be monogamous, check to see if they’ve taken down their dating profile.
- Step 8: Don’t wait forever If you didn’t get the answer you were hoping for, suggest revisiting the issue in a couple of months. Your partner may be against commitment, or just need a little push. In any case, if they’re never going to date you exclusively, it’s better you know sooner rather than later.
- FACT: Couples who meet through internet dating sites tend to become exclusive faster than couples that meet in more traditional ways, according to one survey.
You Will Need
- A relationship of at least two months
- Good timing
- The courage to walk away