Should I Have the “Are We Exclusive?” Talk?

It was cute in high school when the guy you liked finally asked you to be his girlfriend, but now that we are “adults,” does one person have to ask the other to be exclusive for you to be in a monogamous relationship?

What I’m referring to is the dreaded talk, something that has become so convoluted since the olden days of wearing his ring or going steady. “What are we?” “Where is this going?” “Are we exclusive?”…are the questions that no girl wants to ask for fear of seeming too desperate or needy, and the inquiries that no guy wants to hear. But at some point, your status must be established before the relationship morphs into that shady sort where one person thinks it’s one thing and the other thinks it’s something totally different. (Ex: Girl: We’re exclusive! Guy: We never talked about it, so let me date around!)

Another point of contention is: At what point in your relationship are you supposed to solidify your definition? How soon is too soon to start discussing whether or not you want to be in a committed relationship?

I’m fretting over this because I’m currently in an undefined twosome. My situation is this: I’ve been seeing this guy for about three months now and we aren’t labeled as anything yet. I’m curious about what we “are,” but I don’t know how to go about bringing it up without seeming awkward or off base.

The thing that really gets to me is that I think we’re exclusive…so will I seem even weirder if I ask? He takes me out on dates, we have a good time together and I don’t think he’s seeing anyone else. I’m not feigning for a title of boyfriend/girlfriend; I’d just like to know what’s going on in his head about us. In this day and age, how do I go about the talk? How do I solidify our status? And why does it seem like so many men, so many couples, go for so such a long time without establishing a status nowadays?

-Anonymous Staffer

GIRL TALK TIME: Help a sistah out here! What should our Staffer do? Have you ever been in a similar situation? How did you bring it up? Are there any “rules” today for this type of situation? What are they?

15 Comments

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  • Mugzy:

    It’s ok to ask. The key is the attitude you have. If you have the mindset “I need to be with him” then you are setting yourself up for trouble. You don’t want to be in a situation where you are doing things that you wouldn’t normally do (aka not being yourself) just to keep any person. Remember, there are tons of great people out there. If he appreciates you for who you are, then you are right for him. If he doesn’t, then you aren’t right for him, and so he isn’t right for you. It’s a two way street.

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  • JRD7431:

    Check out this site! http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/relationships/what-makes-a-man-want-exclusivity-with-you/

    I’m in the same situation and have taken this advice and used the comment provided ;)

    Figure…wth…I have nothing to lose and I want and am ready for that right relationship with that right person. If he is…he will stand up and take the appropriaate actions..if not..I’ll get it and move on to the next next door that is open. But I gaurantee..the right one will make himself known and treat me the way I deserve to be treated…adored, cherished and like the prize I am :)

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  • avatar
    blomsten:

    I’ve definitely been in this situation!!

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  • rachaelf:

    I think after 3 months you definitely have the right to ask. Maybe just word it in a way that doesn’t seem limiting to him. Instead of “you’re not going to see anyone else right?” say something like “I really like you and I’m not interested in dating anyone else. Do you feel the same?”

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  • avatar
    Pamela:

    I love LI’s advice!

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  • LI:

    I have a no sex before exclusivity policy and lay it on the table fairly early on. I told my most recent guy the following:

    “I wear my heart in my vagina and if you want it, you have to own it. With ownership comes great responsibility. ”

    We had a good laugh and then a serious talk about what we both want. He said he wants to own it.

    Anyway, my advice is to just be honest about how you feel to yourself first. If you find out that he is seeing other people still will it make you not want to be with him? Take care of your needs. Just be honest and he won’t get upset.

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  • HI:

    Yes, if youre a couple of months into it, ask, in a sweet way. Because I dated this one guy with no title for 6 months and he never want to be exclusive, he wanted his freedom to date other women. Listen to your gut, if u know nothing will come of this relationship, get out and dont waste your time..

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  • Sanriobaby =^.^=:

    A grown woman has no qualms in asking the questions she needs answers to. My only advice to do so in a non confrontational way and do so with honesty and respect to herself and the relationship.

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  • Jenna Rose:

    If you’re sleeping together, or thinking about sleeping with him, you should ask and you have every right to. Also, you usually have a gut feeling as to what is really going on so pay attention to that. It doesn’t seem clingy if you are straight forward and simply ask, “are you seeing anyone else?” Or, if you’re pretty confident about the relationship, “I know this might be a silly question but, you’re not seeing anyone else, are you?” But be honest and direct, most guys don’t catch our hints and signals. Ask the question, if the relationship is worth being in, than defining it will not ruin it.

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    1. Estee:

      this is spot-on advice! well-said!

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  • avatar
    Miss_Di:

    Just ask; not like a high school teen, but like an adult, seeking an adult relationship. If you want to be exclusive, or believe you already are, it’s best to make sure you are both on the same page. This will help avoid some messy misunderstanding in the future.

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  • Style Girl:

    I’ve been seeing someone for 5 months and I haven’t asked. I think we both don’t know how to ask but I’ve tossed some quips out and the response seems to go toward exclusivity but I can’t be sure until I ask right…? Would it be immature to say “hey..so are we seeing other people..because I was asked out by someone and the thought came up”?

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    1. diaznicole09:

      I’m in your same boat, but add about a few more months than you…. Everytime I try to bring up the conversation he avoids it like it he’s scared to be tied down. I’m getting a little tired and old keeping up with this.

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  • Crispy:

    Just ask!

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  • Cait Rohan:

    I really think you have to ask…I didn’t ask someone once and assumed we were still in that “let’s see other people stage.” He thought we were exclusive, and I almost blew a great relationship because I felt weird about asking!

    {Reply}

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