When is it appropriate to bring up exclusive?

posted 1 year ago in Relationships
Post # 16
1891 posts
Buzzing bee

waitingforstripes :  ok so I did a TON of research on this reading articles etc, I myself dated guys on bumble and I have been with my current boyfriend who I met on bumble for 9 months. Here is what the dating experts recommend and I tested and found to work. 

1) don’t ever use the words exclusive. Being exclusive does not mean the same as being boyfriend and girlfriend. If you ask him if you two are exclusive he is winning and you lose. If he says yes you have now told him that you are no longer seeing any other guys and are only sleeping with him. He hasn’t earned that privilege until your his girlfriend. Trust me I did that twice and both guys didn’t take it the step further to relationship and it ended. DONT DO IT! 

2) Ok so you get to the end of your date and he tries taking it to the sex phase. You stop and say, hey I’m really crazy attracted to you but it’s not my style to sleep with guys who aren’t my boyfriend. That is all you need to say. If he doesn’t right there ask you to be his girlfriend you have your answer which is, he doesn’t like you enough YET to commit to that. You stop the sex and keep dating him. He now knows your standard and you know he isn’t ready just yet.

3) the cut off time you should give a guy to decide if he wants you to be his girlfriend or not is 3 months MAX. If in that time you are going on dates 2times a week than he knows by 3 months if he wants to commit or not. If by then he hasn’t asked you ask. 

4) use him being on bumble still as a reality check for yourself and your emotions. That is what I did with my now boyfriend I met on bumble. When you open the app you look at his profile. If his location changes you know he is still opening the app. I extensively looked this up. The app only updates your location each time you open the app, so If say in the AM his location is one town and a lunch time his location has changed to another town? Means he is still using the app. The reality check in that for you is, you haven’t locked him down yet. Use it to remind yourself that until he asks you to be his girlfriend he is clearly still playing the field. So keep your emotions in check, don’t get too attached. Remember he is still on the app and could be going on other dates.  This happened with me and helped me from assuming he was super into only into me. Kept me from emotionally investing more in him before we were serious. 

5) here’s an extra tip my friend taught me that works so well. Don’t name the puppy. Don’t put a name to his contact phone number in your phone until he is your boyfriend. Why? It’s odd I know but it helps keep you emotionally in control and not investing emotionally in the guy too soon. His name pops up when he calls or texts and you get an emotional rush from it. If it is just a number, even if you know it’s him, it doesn’t make you emotional as much. Trust me it’s super weird but it works. Good tip for those of us trying to keep ourselves from getting our hopes up too early. 

6) lastly, read the book, have him at hello. It’s on amazon and it’s incredible. Helps so much with how to date. This woman did thousands of “exit” interviews with guys who stopped seeing women and she wanted to know what the woman did to turn the guy off. It’s super eye opening and brilliant. 

Post # 17
630 posts
Busy bee

Him being on Bumble still isn’t necessarily a sign that he is still active on it or still using it. With some people, if they don’t go onto the app any more, they don’t think to delete it. I know I was like that with Tinder. That said, if you do decide to become exclusive, it is perfectly reasonable for you both to delete your Bumble account. See how willing he is to do that. That will tell you about how ready he is.

There are also other ways you can tell – the fact that communication has dropped off (I am assuming he has not been as communicative) signals some hesitancy. The fact that dates have dropped off in frequency is also a bit concerning… no date for 11 days? Hm. I know you were both busy, but being in an exclusive relationship means making time to see each other and talk to each other regularly. If you are not both ready for that, you might want to take it slow for a little while longer and hold off on the exclusive discussion.

Overall, I’m sensing a little bit of hesitancy from his side. Which is fine – it may not signal lack of interest, it might just be a bit of anxiety on his part. I agree with PPs that guys who want to be exclusive usually make that clear on their own. At the very least, they will not mind having a discussion about it. You would know better than we would – how do you think a conversation with him about exclusivity will go? Will he be on board or hesitant? How about you? Are you willing to continue like this for a few more weeks? Or do you need some clarity?

Personally, I think it’s fine (and a good thing) to take it slow in the beginning, but after 7 weeks and 10 dates, I’d want to know we weren’t seeing other people.

Post # 18
2917 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

ladyjane123 :  this seems like way too much work to date someone. 

Post # 19
8173 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

waitingforstripes :  

I ‘m with everybdoy else who says, if it feels right just ask , if  he’s into it he’ll agree if not he won’t and you can  take it from there.

However this 

“We have gotten very physical (oral), but haven’t had sex yet. I want to take it to the next level and sleep with him, but I don’t want to have sex if we aren’t exclusive because I know one I cross that line I won’t be able hold back emotionally ”  

kind of bothers me.  

For a start oral sex is sex and  I’m not sure how anyone can find it somehow less intimate or intense than p in v , but be that as it may…. I sort of fear it may be just you giving him blowjobs.  Nothing wrong with bj’s per se of course ,  I just hope it’s in a reciprocal sort of way .

Post # 20
1182 posts
Bumble bee

You’ve had more than enough dates to talk about exclusivity. No, they won’t be scared off, no it’s not pushy. If he is wishy washy, or try to make you feel bad about asking or is put off by the question, he’s not the one. Next! 

Don’t be afraid to “lose” someone you never really “had” to begin with.

When I was dating, I would ask about exclusivity when a) I wanted to be exclusive and b) before we have sex. Only then would I take my profile offline because I’m not closing off all my options before I knew this is going in the right direction.

To me that’s also not the same as being boyfriend and girlfriend. It means that things are going well enough that I wanted to focus on one person and see where it goes. I had a separate conversation later on just to confirm we were officially boyfriend and girlfriend which my fiancé was surprised by because he thought we already were lol… 

Truth is, if things are going well, you shouldn’t feel hesistant or afraid to ask the question. Maybe you’re hesitant because deep down you know the answer.

Post # 21
1891 posts
Buzzing bee

futuremrs2020 :  haha I know it is long but the rules I outlined are actually pretty basic and logical. Keep your options open until they commit. That kinda sums it up, it’s just helpful to have more detail for some people. Men value what they work for. So make them work for it!

Post # 22
685 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I told me fiancé on our second or third “date” that I considered myself not single anymore and that I’d prefer if he agreed. He agreed wholeheartedly. I know that was pretty quick but we’d chatted online a lot and met at a friend’s party which I don’t count as a date though.

He was still using okc at that point and so was I. I kept my account online for a while but set it to “Looking for friends”, he did the same. I eventually deleted the account, I think his is still open but since he basically spent all his free time with me, I know he didn’t meet anybody else. Whenever we weren’t hanging out together, he was online and talking to me ๐Ÿ˜‰

Post # 23
928 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I totally agree with the other bees that you should just come right out and ask.

I can understand you being nervous though. A lot of the scariness in it for me was thinking that the relationship could end and I’d be rejected if he didn’t feel the same. The good thing about ripping off the bandaid, so to speak, is that you’ll know where you stand once and for all. If he isn’t ready to commit, you’ll be freed up to see other people and invest your emotion eslewhere. 

I have gotten burned before when I said I didn’t want to have sex until we were exclusive, so I’d caution against tying those together so closely. I had a couple of guys say I was their girlfriend and then suddenly get distant after sex. I’m not saying that’ll happen with your guy, but the sheer fact that you’ve been seeing each other for so long is reason enough to ask if you’re his girlfriend. The whole sex/exclusivity thing is really about you being comfortable enough to have a great time with him—it’s not his reward for making you his girlfriend. 

Post # 25
1667 posts
Bumble bee

Don’t be so timid with it. You’re not asking him for a favor. Have confidence that being your boyfriend is a privilege. 

Post # 26
3093 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

waitingforstripes :  “if you aren’t ready for that yet, that is okay, I know everyone gets there in there own time. I just want a sense of where you are at?”

I would leave that part off. Keep it simple – state what you want and ask if he wants the same thing. By adding that “it’s ok if you don’t want to” bit you are devaluing yourself and suggesting to him that you’re asking him to give something up rather than gain something amazing.

Post # 27
83 posts
Worker bee

waitingforstripes :  “Hey, so I’ve been wondering lately what you are looking for out of this. Because I like you, I think you are funny and easy to talk to and I’m at the point where I don’t really want to see anyone else. I am wondering if being exclusive is something that you would like right now? if you aren’t ready for that yet, that is okay, I know everyone gets there in there own time. I just want a sense of where you are at?

Sorry, that’s too long. Too orchestrated and unnatural. Your fear of  him saying ‘no’ actually oozes from that. YOu want to appear confident and not like you’re begging him to do you a favour or rescue you by becoming your boyfriend.

Two sentences are enough in my opinion – something along the lines of ‘I really like you and would like us to be a girlfriend and a boyfriend, what do you think?’ If you say it in a light way with a smile it won’t feel desperate on your part and he won’t feel pressured into anything. If he says ‘yes’, then great:-) If he says ‘no’ or serves you some excuses etc. then you’d also have your answer.

Just a piece of advice: as you’re clearly at the stage where you’d like to be his exclusive girlfriend, I don’t think you should  carry on seeing him if he says ‘no’ in hope that he may change his mind later. That would only frustrate you, he’d sense your frustration and that would turn him off and the whole thing would spiral downwards. I just think that once a person gets to the stage where you are, things need to be  resolved, one way or another. Don’t wait in any limbo hoping things would improve (if he says no)….do yourself a favour a move on to pastures new. Fingers crossed for you that he says ‘yes’ though ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 28
83 posts
Worker bee

Btw I don’t know why my  comment above turned out to be in different colours, ooops ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 29
2839 posts
Sugar bee

Those are all great things to say, but I think you’re over thinking it a bit. You really don’t need to give him a speech, just ask him where he sees things going and if he’s interested in being exclusive. Don’t act like your needs are a burden or like it’s a big heavy conversation. Just lightly try to find out if you’re after the same things. 

Try not to invest too much in his answer or let it have anything to do with your self worth. If he is interested, great! But if he’s not, it doesn’t mean anything about whether you’re a catch or not – you could just be different or looking for different things. Dating shouldn’t feel like some kind of ego power battle, or a game where you have to trick them into loving you. It’s not about who’s better or worse, it’s just about finding someone who’s a good MATCH for you. If you’re honest about you want and he can’t give it to you, you can go get it from someone else.

Post # 30
3672 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

waitingforstripes :  Too long and too rehearsed, but you’re on the right path. I do the same thing where I script what I want to say beforehand, it helps me be more confident when I bring something up. I would advise against using the term “exclusive” because it means different things to different people. To me, it means we’re boyfriend/girlfriend, but to SO, it just meant that we weren’t seeing other people and he asked me to be his gf a week later (I thought we were on the same page until that convo!). Alternatively a friend of mine was was asked by her SO if they were “dating”, she said yes because they were going on dates. She didn’t view that as the “boyfriend/girlfriend” convo but I told her that was his intention and to him they were bf/gf. She didnt believe me so asked him and sure enough! She had a boyfriend and she had no idea lol. 

I would say “Hey, so I’ve really been enjoying spending time with you and would like to know how you feel about becoming my boyfriend”. That gives him freedom to say he’s not looking to become serious yet or to shout “YES! Finally!” haha. Be light about it and decide beforehand what you will do if he says he’s not ready yet. 

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