Exclusive Dating VS Relationship: Are They The Same?

Depending on the relationship and the individuals involved, exclusive relationships can take many different forms. People frequently define and accept terms that they define as “exclusive.”

When you and your date have gone on several dates and met each other’s friends, and yet you still don’t know where you stand because you haven’t discussed commitment, dating can be especially perplexing. We break down the different phases of dating and provide you with advice for each one, although that should undoubtedly be in your future.

Exclusive Dating: What Does It Mean?

The preliminary stage of a committed relationship is exclusive dating. You’re getting to know your partner well and determining whether you’re ready for a relationship by spending a lot of time together. Consider it a trial period before you are given a full-time position at that fantastic company. It’s a significant step and a necessary prelude to being in a healthy long-term relationship.

Signs You Are in Exclusive Dating

• You behave as though you already are: Your partner occupies a significant portion of your life, and you frequently consult one another before making decisions. Both you and your true interest in seeing other people are nonexistent.
• Your union is strong because you talk to each other, show respect to one another, set clear boundaries, and are generally content together.
• The thought of your life without this person makes you sad and upset, and you are eager to do everything in your power to prevent it from happening.
• If you want to be my lover, you gotta get with my friends, as the Spice Girls once sang. Making an effort to fit into each other’s lives is a pretty big sign of exclusive dating. Your friends have met and like each other.
• You discuss the future: Even though you haven’t had the “are we a couple” talk yet, talking about future plans, such as going to a concert or taking a trip together, comes naturally to you both.

Relationship: What Does It Mean?

Exclusive dating is still a significant step, but getting together as a couple is even more significant because they both expressly have the future in mind. You can envision a future with the person you’re dating—weddings, kids, rocking chairs on the front porch, the whole nine yards—which is a big part of why you decide to go from exclusive dating to an exclusive relationship.

Signs You Are in a Relationship

• You’re taken to be the additional person. If there is room at an event and your partner is invited, it is assumed that you will attend.
• You frequently speak with your partner’s family: Obviously, individual circumstances will vary, but it is not unusual for your partner’s mother or sibling to call for a chat or for you to be aware of his father’s birthday.
• You make specific plans for the future: Though nothing is finalized just yet, discussions about possibly moving in together or spending holidays with the family are not unusual.
• When your partner and friends interact on social media and discuss subjects other than you, is that social media friendship official? Without a doubt, you are a unit.
• Whether the news is positive or negative, the first person you want to tell is you. You immediately want to share it with each other.

Exclusive Dating VS Relationship: Are They The Same?

What does Dating Exclusively Look Like?

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of exclusive, at least in terms of dating, is to exclude others from the discussion. However, just because you and the person you’re dating exclusively have reduced yourselves to the two of you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re in a relationship. Furthermore, it does not assure that you will ever achieve that goal. It simply means that you two have decided to only date one another and have stopped dating other people.

“Being exclusive means that you are not seeing anyone else or proactively pursuing another person,” dating expert and According to Maria Sullivan, VP of Dating.com, Men’s Health “Being exclusive means you aren’t yet in a committed relationship, but it is still possible for it to do so in the future.”

Although some people might be considering intensifying their exclusivity, others might be content to continue exclusively dating. Once the word “relationship” is slapped on a couple, things can change. While feelings of obligation and commitment may have existed before, they did not feel as strong as they do now that the relationship label has entered the picture.

What Does Being in a Relationship Looks Like?

A relationship, however, looks and feels different. All of a sudden, there are things like looking toward the future together and making a commitment that is long-term rather than temporary.

“When it shifts into a relationship, there’s a focus on the longer term,” relationship expert and founder of According to Lisa Concepcion of Love Quest Coaching, Women’s Health. “Bigger life goals like housing arrangements, finances, family, professional aspirations, and anything else requiring genuine partnership are things that people want to agree on.”

More communication is required, as well as the joint construction of a solid foundation for the relationship. Additionally, dating exclusively is not without its own set of expectations. “[To be in a relationship means] having a title,” dating consultant and founder of byGeorge Tells EliteDaily, George Kong. “Everyone has different expectations associated with that title, but I do believe that it is about being supportive of one another, moving past the most basic carnal and sexual needs, and ultimately attempting to reach a place of vulnerability with one another.”

While it still might seem a little vague for some, as we all experience connections with people differently, at least knowing there is a difference between dating exclusively and a relationship can help you navigate what you’re doing with the person you’re seeing and where you want to take that “thing” you’re in. You can either take it somewhere else or leave it where it is.

Exclusive Dating VS Relationship: Are They The Same?

How to Move from Exclusive Dating to a Relationship?

It can occasionally feel like navigating a shark-infested sea when dating, especially when making the transition to a committed relationship. It can be intimidating to bring up the subject at all; after all, nobody likes to be rejected. particularly from close friends and family. But don’t lose heart—if you’re patient and open with each other, you’ll get there.

1. Transparency and communication are crucial. The nature of your relationship and its future direction must be agreed upon by you and your partner.
2. Consider going on a trip to meet in person if your relationship has so far only existed online.
3. If you two are in a physical relationship, you should, if you haven’t already, introduce yourselves to your family and friends.
4. Increase your efforts by letting your partner know how much you cherish and value them.
5. It may be obvious, but it’s time to delete those dating profiles and remove dating apps from your phone unless you and your partner have agreed to an open relationship.


Dating today is significantly more difficult than it was in middle school, as this article has shown. Who knew finding the one would raise so many questions? But in all seriousness, simply having a conversation with your significant other will reveal whether you are simply dating exclusively or in a committed exclusive relationship. If both of you agree, that’s fantastic! If you’re not already dating someone long-term, eHarmony is a great place to start.