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Are We or Aren’t We? Having the Exclusivity Talk

9587659058_756de3d15fAre We or Aren’t We? Having the Exclusivity Talk

When someone cheats, it’s usually a sign that there’s a greater problem within a relationship, indicating there is some underlying dissatisfaction but no healthy outlet through which to convey it. But what if you’re one of the many people who isn’t exactly sure where on the spectrum of a relationship you fall? When a relationship isn’t define, we find ourselves in situations where we have to stop and ask, “Was that really cheating?” The way that dating has progressed has made it more and more difficult to really define what levels of commitment exist for each phase of a relationship, but defining these unknowns before someone gets hurt in the process is important. In order to do that, you’re going to have to have “the talk.”

No one really wants to be the one to initiate the ‘Are we exclusive?’ talk, but someone has to do it eventually. If you’re at the point where you feel like you’re ready for a little more, you’re suddenly not interested in seeing anyone else but him, and you’re uncomfortable with him seeing other people, then it’s definitely time to have that talk. If this has the potential to turn into an actual relationship, then communication is crucial. Instead of trying to guess what’s on his mind and how he feels about you, it’s always better to just ask, as nerve-racking as that can be. Up until this point, you and your potential partner have probably been keeping your options open and haven’t discussed your respective dating situations, but rather than continuing to assume one way or the other, it’s important to have an honest discussion about where you both stand.

It’s not only okay, but totally healthy, to ask your partner about the status of the relationship after a few months. Let’s face it, men need a little nudge sometimes. Saying something like, “I really love spending time with you, and I don’t want to see anyone else. What do you think?” can be a great way to start the conversation. He’s not going to think you’re crazy for bringing it up and assume you have marriage on the brain, but will likely appreciate your openness to talk about these things honestly.

Now, here comes the maybe not-so-great news. Just because you have the balls to initiate this conversation (you go, girl!), it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will hear what you want to hear. Your partner may say they are uncertain of their feelings or that they are unwilling to commit. If that’s the case, you’ll need to decide whether or not you’re comfortable with that much ambiguity moving forward. Do you really want to commit yourself to someone who isn’t sure about you? It could also be that he’s hesitant to commit in general and that it has nothing to do with you, in which case you’ll have to decide whether it’s worth it to wait it out and see if he eventually feels the same way you do. Just remember: if you don’t get the answer from him that you were hoping for, it may not be a relationship worth having anyways.

Regardless of whether this conversation leads to good news or bad news, you’ll definitely be glad you had “the talk” when you can be absolutely certain of where you stand in each other’s lives.

Photo credit: pedrosimoes7 / CC BY