Exclusive Relationship? Be Careful Not to Just Assume So!

get him to commit

I’m sure you’ve heard that old saying “When you assume, you make an A%$ out of both U and ME”.

It’s an oldie but still a goodie.

And it’s certainly extremely accurate. It’s never a good idea to assume anything in life, because there’s nothing in it that is guaranteed.

You only set yourself up for a rude awakening, 9 times out of 10.

Advice on Dating…

But especially when you are dating a man, it’s important not to just assume you are an exclusive couple. When you assume that, it’s a quick road to heart break if your guy doesn’t feel the same way.

Dating someone new can be a giddy time, with both of you caught up in the romance, the physical attraction, the fun.

But men and women are wired differently and men can often be slower to commit to an exclusive relationship for a variety of reasons.

Maybe there are triggers that are turning that old heart light from green to yellow or red. (We talk about the meaning of the heart light and the “Magic Traffic Signals” to get him to commit here.)

Or maybe he’s just not the exclusive type and likes being free to date other women.

Does he want to be exclusive?

Heck, he could even be giving you all the signs in the world he’s not ready to be exclusive and you could just miss them altogether… it’s human nature to see only the things we want to see and ignore anything to the contrary.

Relational blindness seems to be a human foible that can definitely make life interesting!

Even if you feel like things are amazing, that you’re both at one with each other, and that you’re made for marriage and forever… not taking a moment to breathe, clarify where you both stand, and make sure it’s where you both want to be is just a bad idea.

There is absolutely nothing worse than skipping the “exclusive” talk altogether, relying on reading your man’s signals, and then getting it totally wrong.

Maybe his signals were mixed, maybe he’s confused… relying on those signals and then reading them inaccurately only makes you feel like you were cuckolded, or led on, even if that was never his intention.

Then comes the bad blood and hurt feelings between you both and any hope of salvaging even a friendship (should that be something that is important to you) is out the window.

Want to Be Exclusive? Initiate the Talk!

It’s important. Don’t skip it.

Talking about where you stand in a relationship can be scary and feel uncomfortable. But think how much more uncomfy it will feel if you assume you’re both exclusive and then call him up one day to hang out, and he’s busy with another woman.

Or maybe you show up at his house, thinking it’s cool, that’s just what you do… and he’s entertaining someone else. That will feel even more awkward. Not to mention painful.

So take stock of where you both are and the signals you are getting, and then choose a good time to just ask him.

Tips on how to become exclusive in your relationship:

  • Ask him how he feels about you.
  • Ask him if he’s dating anyone else.
  • Ask him if he is ready to be exclusive.
  • Or maybe keep it low-key and just ask him what he tells his friends about you.

What he tells his friends about you can speak volumes as to how he really feels about you. When a man is telling all his friends how awesome you are, how he wants to spend all his time with you, and how you’re pretty much the best thing since sliced bread… he’s probably not interested in other women.

Or you can crack a joke and take some pressure off. Crack a joke and ask him how many numbers he got at the bar with his buddy’s the other night… or how many girlfriends he’s got on his roster.

His response to jokes can tell you a great deal as well and it can be an easy transition into the exclusivity conversation.

How Do You Know When To Bring Up Being Exclusive?

Knowing when is probably the easier part of the equation. When you know you can call your guy up at any time of the day or night, and he will be happy to hear from you.

When you both call each other just because, to say you’re thinking of each other, or to say goodnight at the end of the day. When you’ve talked about meeting the parents or even better… met the parents!

There are exclusive dating signs there if you look for them that give you clues as to where you’re going. While you never want to assume you are reading all those signs correctly, if you are definitely seeing them… it’s time to validate them or negate them by being honest and just asking.

The worst that can happen is he’s not ready to be exclusive. Then the ball is in your court to either decide to wait and see what happens or move on to a man that is ready to commit to you and make you number one in his life.

You don’t deserve anything less.

Over to You: Have you made the mistake of assuming something about your relationships in the past? How did that work out for you? I’d love to hear your story in the comments below.

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Leave A Reply (15 comments so far)

  1. Sajan
    7 years ago

    Awesome…I’ve read many articles about this topic but I must say the above post is really mind blowint and very very informative

  2. michelle
    7 years ago

    I recently met a guy at a family friends annual birthday BBQ…he’s from out of town. He was attracted to me more than I was attracted to him at that time. To be nice we exchanged numbers and he followed up called me we established a friendship long distance decided to go away for 3 days had a great time. I found myself developing a physical attraction to him ..the intimacy was good the sex was average but we remained friends by email , text and phone calls. Then a few months after I found myself really questioning how I felt about him and wanted to know if he felt the same…so I assumed that we were not exclusive… and he got OFFENDED and had a texting argument over it and he hasn’t returned my call, text, or emails?

  3. Ms Almost Right
    7 years ago

    Had a 10yr LDR (mainly weekends with some fishing escapades thrown in, etc.) which I ended abruptly when I accidently ‘sprung’ the liar & cheat, in bed with another woman, one evening mid-week ! So much for the ‘exclusivity’ talk we had had…! This shocking experience devasted me for nearly a year…I even lost a couple of jobs because of my lack of concentration and/or purpose to immerse myself fully, at the time. Twenty years later, I discover that this Mr Not-So-Right is still single and ‘flinging’ about but without her or me! He is now in his late 50’s and finds it humourous, to say the least, that his mates now consider him ‘a dirty old man’. Personally, I think its all rather sad as he had the potential to be a Mr Almost Right, if not with me, then at least with a local woman. What does one make out of this type of behaviour?

  4. Nicole
    7 years ago

    hi, my relationship with my guy is moving forward and we have a beautiful daughter, she’s eight now. Our relationship has taken a lot of in and outs but he still comes back to me and I am grateful that my guy is forgiving and a traditional man. I believe that this is no joke and I thank God for this since 2002 when we met. He is not into any other women and we have had time over the years to work out our differences, sometimes we fought and people become upset and judgemental. He came back to me for my kids and our one daughter. I have just had the talk with him sorta speak and he came back. As for our situation right now we just have to give eachother space and he is the parental role model for our daughter right now. I see him as a good model for our child and I know this can be an emotional time for me to not know how he really feels but his actions prove that things in our relationship are moving in the right direction.

  5. p lexy
    7 years ago

    I dated a guy for close to eight months,did not really understand where the relationship was heading to. At several occasions I summoned courage to broach the subject but always lost it at the last minute. Finally the relationship picked up and I tot we were heading somewhere until one night when I came to his house unannounced and found him with another girl. I walked out of the relationship after that but the problem is that I still care about him even if I don’t want to. Thanks for your mails I just hope it will work for me too and I will have a reason to say thanks

  6. Faye
    7 years ago

    Yes i have made a mistake in the past and it is a relationship blower. I feel that a man has to show a woman that he is exclusive because talk is just talk.

    Showing by open honest communication, being emotionally available (not off with another woman and hiding it from you), taking you around and meeting his family and friends (but it must be a genuine gester not just showing you off to prove some point), in other words you will no when it’s exclusive because he will be in your life and you in his! No question about it!

  7. Michelle
    7 years ago

    “Or you can crack a joke and take some pressure off. Crack a joke and ask him how many numbers he got at the bar with his buddy’s the other night… or how many girlfriends he’s got on his roster.”

    Oooo, I like this angle, nice way to figure out if he’s willing to commit.

  8. lilian
    7 years ago

    My boyfriend sent an sms to me recently that he is passing through some challenges which requires his full attention. So I should give him time to put things to order. He has not been calling as he used to. Please I want to if he is walking out of d relationship or not. Advice me

  9. J
    7 years ago

    Lillian, I believe your man is putting you “on hold.” Whether there is another woman or not, he’s put you in a holding pattern until he’s ready to move forward. This is extremely painful for you. I suggest moving forward as if he is not your boyfriend, date others and have fun. By putting your attention back on yourself and showing him you’re not waiting around for him, you value yourself more and will not be a doormat.

  10. tay
    7 years ago

    Yes when I was 19 and so new to dating. I had no one to tell me how it worked I went in blind with an open heart. I thought when he wanted to go out with me and he spent lots of tie with e and we kissed that we were autmatically excluesive. After all I did not want to see or kiss anyone else.

    well imagine my heart break when i ran into him with someone else. I was heartbroken!!!! cried for weeks.

    So sad I wish I had had a mother or father who would have prepped me with the dating rules

  11. Cindi
    7 years ago

    I assumed a guy at a group was interested because he started asking questions about whether I planned to remarry, questions about sex, and gave a lot of compliments. He stared at me a lot and said its best to wait with sex. still had his attention, but no dates, texts, or calls. He said I probably wondered about his questions. I asked if he was wanting to know me and the brakes gripped! He stopped staring at me during church, etc. He still is very courteous and even asked me over for sex. I told him it was early for that. I feel like Im in deep yellow to red and don’t know how this interest died out. Was sex a man-trap I failed? I’m confused!

  12. Mara
    6 years ago


    how to read those signs that are so contradictory. even the calling to say good night or attention jesters? because there are serious relationships with the intuition to explore the situation further and those other warm nice and even sincere casual relationships?…. how to detect and how to break up the pattern of casual dating and be clear about yours and your partner intentions? to confront him or just leave it to see how the situation develops? of if he says that he is not sure that you are the One as yet?

  13. Cathy
    6 years ago

    Yes, I did have the talk with a man I met online about being “exclusive” and the word I used was “monogamous”. He said he was ready to be intimate and have sex and I told him that I was interested in that too, but only when he was ready to be monogamous. He said he was ready for it and that he was not a chase around guy, that he was looking for the right person and the only way he could be sure was to be intimate. So, fast forward a few days later, we made love. We both enjoyed it, but I’m sure him more than me as he had some erectile dysfunction going on. He called me every evening and made plans, but mostly for me to come over to his house or go to a not so public place. After a few weeks of this, I told him my needs weren’t being met and that I expected to spend some days together and go out on a “real” date. Prior to this conversation, I just went with it, to see how considerate he really was about me. So, we made a date for Saturday night. I called him Saturday morning and asked him if he would like to change the plans and meet earlier, as my roommate was going to be out for the day and he could come to my place to see it and we could go out from there. He said he had plans. So I asked him what he was doing on Sunday and he said he had plans all day and evening Sunday too. So, I point blank asked him if he was seeing someone else and he said yes, that he had been dating. Imagine how I felt, I was the one who was having sex with him, and he was “dating” other prospects. He quickly clarified that I was the only one he was having sex with. I should be thrilled about that??? He said “monogamous” meant having sex and did not mean “stop looking”. Well, clearly we had different definitions for the word. I cancelled the date with him and let him know I thought he was deceiving not only me, but the other women he was courting as well. Bet he didn’t tell them, he had a side thing going on with me. Crazy thing is that he wasn’t even a great looking guy OR a great lover. Really??? This is your dating pool, girls, age 60 and up.

  14. Jennifer
    6 years ago

    I am very curious to hear what you have to say about a guy who gives a misleading answer to this question. What do you say about a guy who says he wants a monogamous relationship but meets with other women and does not tell you about it? Are there circumstances where a woman should “forgive” a situation like this? I recently found out that my boyfriend of 5 years, we are living together now, was not exclusive in the first two years of our relationship even after the exclusivity talk. What are your thoughts?

  15. queen
    5 years ago

    I met dis guy on fb n we got talking n onething led to anoda we started dating.two weeks we started dating we had a little misunderstanding abt phone call cuz he called n I didn’t pick. Not after 8months he called n wanted me back. I gave him anoda chance but he neva mentioned anything abt wanting to settle down with me. We always make love,hangout n do things together but yet he will tell me to my face dt he will get married to a girl from another state cuz we r from desame state. He says he will not get married to agirl from my state.if I ask him for money to take care of mysef he will stop calling me n even if I call to remind him,he wud say I sound rude n worst of it all is dt he doesn’t bother calling or even chat with me on social media except on weekends he will call for me to come spend weekend with him n its just sex sex sex. I decided to walk out of the relationship n I realy feel hurt cuz from de very first day I met him I assumed he was my soul mate n decided its him I will end up with but dt wasn’t de case with him. With all dis I kept wondering if dis guy eva wanted me for keeps?or if at all he eva had it in mind to propose ever?.he even told me oneday dt he is not ready for marriage now because he wants to settle his brother first. So I will like to get ur advice on dis. What kind of person is he?