It’s the million dollar question everyone wants the answer to: whenever I start dating someone, how do I end up dating them exclusively?
It’s the right question to be asking if you are serious about wanting a healthy, long-term relationship.
Which is why today you won’t just be hearing from me – you’ll be hearing from multiple Blush life coaches on how to attain the ultimate goal of dating exclusively.
So to kick us off, I’ll give you my take on how you can effectively reach your goal of dating exclusively early on in the “casual” phase of any relationship.
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Be Honest With Yourself
I know. This is bringing all of the cringies right down your back right now. But in order to set the tone that YES – you want a monogamous, serious relationship – then you just have to acknowledge it.
If instead, you decide to lean into your “cool girl” persona – the one who just goes with the flow and says things like, “I don’t catch feelings I catch flights” – then you’re going to attract people who ALSO subscribe to that mentality.
Instead of being concerned about scaring people away – be scared about attracting the wrong people in the first place.
If your declaration of wanting to develop an exclusive relationship down the road is terrifying to someone, then be relieved they decided to leave instead of jerking you around for months on end. You have to start weeding out the bad leads early so you don’t get emotionally attached to someone who cannot and will not give you what you want.
You deserve to date someone exclusively.
This is not a daunting request. Human beings like to settle down. In fact, we’ve been doing it for hundreds of years. So find the strength in yourself to honor your desires and speak your truth. Be PROUD of yourself that you have the confidence to decide, “yeah, I deserve 100% of someone’s romantic interest, and I’m going to go for it.”
Be Honest With Them
If you are interested in dating exclusively then that means that you are more than likely interested in marriage or a lifetime partnership with that person. You need to be completely honest about your feelings in the current relationship and where you see this relationship going in the future.
You also have to be specific about what you want.
Figure out what your non-negotiables are and your level of willingness to adapt if needed. That way you’re able to clearly articulate your expectations of the relationship. From there you can gauge if the other party is as invested as you are and if there is a need to continue the relationship by moving forward into exclusivity or to move in separate directions.
Many times we avoid having that conversation for fear of rejection or thinking that possibly we’re not on the same page.
But think about how freeing it is going to be when you gain a resolute understanding of your relationship status. If things don’t happen to work out then you’re able to redirect your focus onto other things or find someone who is more compatible with you. It will hurt initially, but the clarity you gain will bring you peace and open the door for wonderful opportunities.
Make Sure They’re Truly Available
Even though this might sound obvious, you’d be surprised how often it’s not. Judith Sills, Ph.D., talks about this in her book and she is absolutely right.
So first, please make sure the person you are courting is purely single. Plenty of people pursue dating when they are actively dating other individuals, when they are separated from their spouses and working things out, and unfortunately – even when they are currently in a committed marriage.
It’s sad, but it’s also reality. And you have to make sure you protect yourself from anyone who is not able to date exclusively.
Second, I encourage you to investigate whether someone is emotionally available as well. Those who may suffer from untreated mental health illnesses, addiction, or have unresolved traumas might present as “available” – but may not actually be.
It’s best to ensure people have done the work needed to be emotionally available before they jump into a relationship. The more informed you are, the more confident you will be in deciding whether to stay or go.
Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away
If you find yourself in a position where you want to be dating exclusively, but you’re getting the sense they don’t – RUN.
LOL just kidding.
Well…actually I’m being serious!
If you are ready to take the next step and are looking for a relationship and person to commit to, then my advice is to find someone who wants the same. I think that’s one of the biggest building blocks of a healthy relationship – wanting the same thing out of your partnership.
If you are ready to commit but you’re sticking around for someone who isn’t or who is emotionally unavailable, chances are, you’ll end up disappointed A LOT.
YOU’RE WORTHY of someone who would swim through shark infested waters to commit to you – don’t stop until you find that!!!!!!!!!!!
Ask the Right Questions
When you’re looking for someone who is ready to date exclusively, don’t shy away from asking the legitimate questions.
“What are you looking for in a long-term partner?”
“How long was your last relationship?”
“What do you want out of a relationship?”
These questions can help you navigate whether or not the person in question is ready for a serious, longterm, exclusive commitment.
The key is that the person you are dating should be ready for commitment BEFORE they meet you.
Now while it’s certainly possible that the magnificent person you are might inspire a readiness for commitment, there’s a risk that it will be short-lived because that person wasn’t truly ready.
Bottom line: ask about someone’s readiness for commitment and their interest in a meaningful, long-term relationship upfront.
And if they tell you that they are looking for casual, believe them.
Don’t Get Trapped in a Scarcity Mindset
Think about this: there are over 7 billion people in the world, and you think you deserve the person in front of you who won’t commit to you??
Using a scarcity mindset – or assuming that there is a limited amount of opportunity out in the world – is a dangerous place to be in when dating, especially if you want to be dating exclusively. Scarcity mindset is the little voice in your ear telling you to force something to work instead of having the courage to find something better for yourself.
Instead, use an abundance mindset. Tell yourself there are PLENTY of potential partners out there who you will find interesting, attractive, kind, and ready to commit.
Because trust me, there are.
I can promise you that if you put it out there, you will find someone who wants to commit to you. Never, ever beg someone for commitment.
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