It might seem daunting at first, but if you want to have an exclusive relationship, then it’s time to have the talk.
We talked to dating coach, Rick Soetebier, and psychologist and sex therapist, Dr. Rachel Needle, about how to bring up exclusivity with the person you’re seeing.
1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you’re looking for something serious, find out where the other person stands, so ask questions and lots of them. Soetebier suggests asking things like, “What kind of relationship are you looking for? Are you looking to just do casual dating or are you looking for a long-term relationship that will lead to marriage?” You want to ease into the conversation so you’ll know if you’re pushing in the right—or wrong—direction.
2. Make a date to have the talk. As Soetebier points out, after dating for awhile you’ll both be wondering where it’s going, so talking about it is just inevitable. He suggests that you and the person you’re dating actually set up a prearranged time to have the talk. In doing so, you avoid catching each other off guard.
3. Discuss your feelings. “Bring the conversation up beginning with your own feelings and thoughts regarding the relationship,” says Dr. Needle. “You can also share your feelings of enjoyment with the relationship and that you do not want to see other people anymore.” Discuss your expectations for the future of the relationship and how great your partnership is. It may make your feel vulnerable to put those feelings out there on the table, but in taking the chance your partner is more likely to take a chance too and what to go for it.
5. Get straight to the point. If you’ve already addressed your feelings, it’s time to take the plunge. Needle suggests just getting in there and asking the big question: “Something along the lines of ‘I love spending time with you and don’t want to date anyone else. How do you feel about being exclusive?’” Sure, it’s easier said than done, but honesty and frankness is what holds a relationship together, so if you’re feeling comfortable enough that you want to commit, then you’re probably comfortable enough to say it—you just might not know it yet.