The millennials come up with new social terms on the regular, like extra, bae, turnt or low key. For good or bad, things just aren’t as simple as they once were, and it doesn’t seem like it will change. Everything has changed, from how we eat (documenting on social media with pictures) to even how dating, and keeping up with the changing times can be tough.
However, staying up-to-date is crucial. Dating apps and websites have forever morphed the landscape to where things aren’t as simple as boy meets girl, they like each other, and they end up being boyfriend and girlfriend. Things have gotten more complex now — there is even a difference between exclusive dating vs. relationship. So, buckle up and prepare yourself to learn what does exclusive dating mean, and some more interesting facts that may help you in the future.
Modern Dating Phases
Unlike the days of playground recess, a relationship now comes after a few stages of dating. Dating is no longer quite as simple and knowing the ins and outs can help you navigate and understand where you’re at in your current or future relationships.
There are three main phases for modern dating, and they are casual dating, exclusive dating, and the relationship. Each one of these phases comes with their own unique rules and expectations (details to be determined by you and your other) but here is where knowing the difference can help your outcome.
Keepin’ It Casual
Just as the name suggests, this is the easygoing, beginning stage of most relationships. Individuals who find themselves in this stage enjoy the luxury of freedom and fewer rules/expectations.
Most often, you may be going on first, second or even third dates with multiple people at the same time, and it is usually safe to assume that the people you meet are casually dating as well. This is where dating websites and apps come into the picture, to help you find great potential matches.
Exclusivity – What Does It Mean?
This is straightforward and usually has a unanimous definition for all people — both you and your other are not dating anyone else. So, unlike the casual dating phase, once you and your partner agree to be exclusive (usually stems from the talk referred to by most as “what are we?”) all other dates or potentials are forgotten. This is a big step and can be thought of as putting all your dating eggs into one basket.
Usually, most who reach this step have spent a significant amount of time with each other and want to make things more serious. While each partner is entitled to set their own rules and boundaries, some common defining features of this phase include meeting each other’s friends, get to know them better (i.e., likes, dislikes, goals, future plans, etc.) maybe do an overnight or weekend trip.
People often don’t stay in this phase for long because the do’s and don’ts can be tricky.
Congratulations! Making it to this phase with your partner means you’re serious enough to put a label on things, which, for many, increases the pressure. Before, in the exclusive phase, if things didn’t work out, parting was easier.
Now, being a boyfriend and girlfriend, you will probably introduce them to family, plan vacations or future events like going to weddings with them. Most everything will/should stay the same with regards to actions as the prior phase, so keep doing what you two were doing before!
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