(Everything early in dating is potentially useful information to know, if we can figure out which are the most revealing bits.) Different people have different needs for exclusivity when dating.
Sometimes this reflects enduring personality characteristics (e.g., a need for certainty versus a need for adventure), but it may also reflect situational factors (e.g., ready to settle down versus just wanting to date around after ending a long relationship).
On the other hand, it may be that you have legitimate concerns about this person as a potential partner or about your readiness for a relationship at this time.
Despite these differences, it can be easy to assume the other person has the same exclusivity needs as we ourselves do — or to talk ourselves into believing it, even though our eyes tell us otherwise.
Since asking the exclusivity question can be revealing about how invested you are in this person, or possibly bring up a conversation you’d rather not have, sometimes people try to sleuth it out indirectly.
Yes, that can feel risky, but guessing can lead you astray.
If you would like to be exclusive, then tell this new partner that you really like them and you want to see where things go, so you’re not going out with or talking to anyone else, then ask whether they are.
Sometimes the person isn’t seeing other people and really likes this one person, but worries that they might be seeing other people.
The risk here is that asking about exclusivity can be a loaded question. If so, what happens if your new partner doesn’t want to be exclusive?
When are you supposed to tell (or ask) a new partner about dating other people? Sometimes the person is struggling, because they are seeing other people and don’t yet want to be exclusive.
Dating apps make it really easy to be talking to and going out with multiple people at a time, so this question has become increasingly relevant over the last decade.
New relationships involve lots of questions, and many people struggle with this topic.
What about if you’re just talking to other people, but not actually going on dates with them?
OK, so you’ve navigated the world of online dating, read hundreds of profiles, sent countless messages, been on a handful of dates.