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Match me Canada

by Rebecca Cooper-Traynor

Are We Exclusive? When It’s Time to Have The Exclusivity Talk

The exclusivity talk seems to come earlier these days, and there are loads of reasons why.

Before the pandemic, dating for a few months before discussing exclusivity was okay. But now, while we are trying to connect and build relationships with people while being mindful of the potential dangers of close contact, it’s important to have that talk with your match much earlier on.

It sounds crazy to think about talking exclusivity on date three, but you have to do it.

We’ve learned a lot in recent months. Specifically, we’ve seen that dating during a pandemic allows you to connect on a deeper level. You can take things slow and talk to each other on the phone for weeks before meeting. Once you feel good about taking the next step, you can move on to video calls first before in-person dates. There are so many options! It’s a massive opportunity to take things slow and really get to know someone before jumping in with both feet.

In Person Connections Come With Added Responsibility
If you are dating someone you’ve decided to meet in person and maybe ending the night with kissing, you need to talk about exclusivity.

Even if you haven’t met up with them yet, suppose you are feeling somewhat committed to them already and only thinking about meeting with them for the first time. In that case, you need to agree that if things become intimate at some point—even kissing—you must both be committed to not being intimate with anyone else.

We are in the midst of a global health crisis, and we want to keep ourselves and others safe. You’ve got to throw out all your previous notions of dating do’s and don’ts.These days, there is more at stake, and it’s essential to establish these boundaries, not just for your own sake, but for the safety of everybody in your life.

No Pressure! Starting the Conversation
When you start talking about exclusivity, you’ll want to make sure you take a thoughtful, no-pressure approach. It’s still early in your friendship, and you don’t want this person to feel like you are trapping them into a situation. How you frame the discussion makes all the difference.

Here are a few easy segues into the conversation:

“You know, I am really enjoying my time with you. I am interested to see where this might lead. I imagine we’ll get to a point where we may have to discuss exclusivity. I wouldn’t normally suggest this so early on, but given we are in a global pandemic, I think it’s something we need to consider. What are your thoughts?”

This is a gentle, non-committal way of easing into the conversation. Chances are they’ve been thinking about it too, but you don’t want to seem pushy, presumptuous, or confrontational.

Here’s another one:

“I didn’t think I would meet and connect with someone as well as I do with you. I wouldn’t normally suggest this early on, but I think, given we are in a global pandemic, we may have to discuss exclusivity if things keep going well. I feel a bit uncomfortable suggesting this so early, but I am sure it’s crossed your mind – how do we date safely during a pandemic?”

Framing your question this way opens up the discussion. Everybody has their own level of comfort with personal contact, and this is a way to gauge whether yours is aligned with theirs.

“I am enjoying our connection. I really like you and am excited to learn more about you. I feel very connected to you. I feel a bit strange suggesting this, but given the pandemic, do you think there will come a time where we should discuss exclusivity?”

That’s a no-pressure way to table the topic. It will also give you an impression of how they’re feeling about the direction everything is headed in and if you’re on the same page.

As always, being on the same page goes a long way to establishing a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship. Even if it’s not your forever match, you’re laying strong foundations, and it will be that much easier to talk about other, possibly more complicated topics in the future.

When you’re ready to start dating again, we’re here to help! Reach out today to learn more about how to get started.