To not understand this trend for having to have an “exclusivity talk” when dating someone?

(324 Posts)
HeartsAndClubs Thu 25-Nov-21 15:32:13

I was always under the impression that when you started seeing someone you were seeing each other and that was that.

But more recently there seems to be an understanding that unless you’ve actually agreed to be exclusive, it’s pretty much open season and either one of you can continue to date whoever you want however you want.

How have we got to this point?

Why is it seemingly so difficult for people to date one person at a time? And how is it that people should seemingly be happy to be cut loose at any time in order for the other to be “exclusive” with someone else?

OP’s posts: |
Skyll Thu 25-Nov-21 15:34:13

It’s an online dating thing

Yummypumpkin Thu 25-Nov-21 15:35:01

Why would you stop meeting men for coffee because you had a coffee with one man who you barely know?

Is it actually a process. And is actually being in any relationship about communicating needs and expectations.

Is there a problem?

thecatneuterer Thu 25-Nov-21 15:35:29

Yep, it seems just so odd and something I have never done in my life.

HarrietsChariot Thu 25-Nov-21 15:36:20

I've always felt that if you go on a second date - or have had a first date and wish to have a second - then you are already "exclusive". You're either interested in a relationship with someone or you're not.

The concept of "exclusivity" is only necessary if someone wants a polyamorous relationship, OK if all involved are happy with that arrangement but the default option should be exclusivity is assumed and a discussion and agreement is needed if that's not to be the case.

CactusLemonSpice Thu 25-Nov-21 15:36:41

You have that talk so both aren't just 'assuming' different things.

rarge Thu 25-Nov-21 15:37:23

I became "exclusive" after meeting my now partner once. It was just an agreement that we were only interested in each other ", but too early to commit to being bf/gf.

Advertisement

thecatneuterer Thu 25-Nov-21 15:37:28

Yummypumpkin

Why would you stop meeting men for coffee because you had a coffee with one man who you barely know?

Is it actually a process. And is actually being in any relationship about communicating needs and expectations.

Is there a problem?

I was under the impression it is now considered a necessary thing even when you've been regularly shagging, being romantic and all the rest of it. That's not meeting a few people for coffee.

HeartsAndClubs Thu 25-Nov-21 15:38:06

We’re not talking about meeting people for coffee though are we?

We’re talking people having several dates,potentially sleeping with each other, and if it then transpires that one or the other has been seeing other people the question seems to be “well, did you have the exclusivity talk?”

If you’re being physical with someone then surely there shouldn’t have to be an exclusivity talk?

OP’s posts: |
Livelifeinthebuslane Thu 25-Nov-21 15:38:26

I was a bit bemused by the teens stages of dating, they had "talking" and "on it" before being properly in a relationship.

We used to get off with someone at a party and that was that (or not). No interview and probation period.

Lifewith Thu 25-Nov-21 15:39:56

This isn't a new thing

Boombastic22 Thu 25-Nov-21 15:40:00

I think that’s a very old fashioned view tbh. You don’t have to be dating someone to have sex with them…it can be very fun not to be!

Sparkletree Thu 25-Nov-21 15:40:36

When I did online dating I treated it like a second job, some weeks I'd have four dates with different men. If I was chatting online to or meeting up with only one person at a time it would have made the whole process much less efficient and I was really serious about wanting to find a relationship.
I had a rule that by the third date with someone I would either rule them out or stop dating other people though.

Lifewith Thu 25-Nov-21 15:40:52

HeartsAndClubs

We’re not talking about meeting people for coffee though are we?

We’re talking people having several dates,potentially sleeping with each other, and if it then transpires that one or the other has been seeing other people the question seems to be “well, did you have the exclusivity talk?”

If you’re being physical with someone then surely there shouldn’t have to be an exclusivity talk?

Not necessarily.

People have been doing this before online dating.

WorraLiberty Thu 25-Nov-21 15:41:15

Skyll

It’s an online dating thing

This was my first thought too.

I've never done online dating but it makes sense not to put all your eggs in one basket if you do.

fabricfanatic Thu 25-Nov-21 15:42:27

I think casual dating used to be more common, based on conversations with my parents. Back in the 60s and 70s, you might see more than one person, but the relationships weren't as serious.
My parents didn't think it was a good idea to jump right into a "monogamous"/"steady" relationship instead of dating a variety of people. I didn't really see their point at the time, but I do now. It's not a great idea, most of the time, to jump into a more serious relationship without testing the waters.

These days, people are more likely to have sex very early in the relationship, so the emotional (and sexual health) stakes are higher. I don't think casually seeing/dating multiple people at the same time is a bad thing, so long as everyone involved knows they're not in a committed relationship, but I'm too old-fashioned to like the idea of everyone sleeping together, just a different guy/girl every other night. In my ideal world, you can casually date without sex until you find someone you decide you like well enough to date exclusively.

HeartsAndClubs Thu 25-Nov-21 15:42:39

We used to get off with someone at a party and that was that (or not). No interview and probation period. quite. And if someone got off with more than one person at a party they were considered to be a bit of a player/twat.

I had a BF in school who before we actually got together kissed me a couple of times, and then afterwards declared “remember, there’s not actually anything between us..” He was definitely a twat,and if I’d walked away from him then I wouldn’t have been subjected to his twattery in the subsequent year we were together.

OP’s posts: |
PicaK Thu 25-Nov-21 15:42:55

It's just how things are now.

Snoopfroggyfrogg Thu 25-Nov-21 15:43:00

Its because of OLD- I suppose if you already know someone, even if only slightly from having met in a pub etc , then decide to go on a date then there is some foundation there for liking each other as you've seen and spoken to one another 'in the wild'. However with OLD, you are absolute strangers so it takes a bit longer to work out if you actually like one another, as first couple of dates are probably best behaviour territory. Chats fizzle out or people pair off with someone else, so it would be more risk in terms of time to invest in only one person. It makes sense to meet a few concurrently until you're sure you want to continue exclusively with one. I personally only want to sleep with one person at once so that would be the point to have the conversation.

Palavah Thu 25-Nov-21 15:43:27

Tbh this is just women realising that just because they'd slept with someone didn't mean the guy wasn't dating/sleeping with anyone else.

I don't think you should be expected to know after spending a few hours with someone that you want a relationship with them, to the extent that you're not going to go for coffee with anyone else. The first online date is basically to make sure someone hasn't stolen their photos.

Lifewith Thu 25-Nov-21 15:43:50

Just because you've slept with someone, doesn't mean you are in a relationship.
That's def not an online thing
Having the talk makes it clear what both parties want and are looking for.

valnevavaxx Thu 25-Nov-21 15:44:27

This isn’t a new thing at all!

Why would you close yourself off to other people after only meeting someone once or twice? You barely know them!

logsonlogsoff Thu 25-Nov-21 15:45:34

It’s not a new thing. Back in the dark ages when I was single and ‘dating’ I might meet a woman for coffee but not see her for a few weeks, what with work, social
Life etc. Having a drink or two with one person doesn’t mean you can have a drink with someone else or hook up with someone you meet at a party or through a friend or whatever.
It really depends on the kind of person you are.
I had been seeing someone for a few months when I met DW, realised she was the one , and ditched the other woman. Who was okay about it because these things happen… specially if your 20s.

Gottahavehighhopes Thu 25-Nov-21 15:46:25

It's a hard line
For example I joined online dating and got several messages all at once.
Lots of those fizzled out or weren't right in a first few messages (or were creeps). Sometimes those few messages happen over days, then sometimes the requests for dates drip in

Lots of people on here recommend coffee for a first date, would you stop talking to others as soon as you've arrange coffee? Or wait till its actually happened? For me a first date is a bundle of nerves and its a few dates in once you've slept together you have a much better idea. 3 dates might take two months if your meeting fortnightly

You'll seen on here that some people want to talk a lot before then in-between dates and others don't at all. Some people are really put off if someone disappears but then reappeared, some people cluster dates together and others really space them out.

The only person I know that only goes on one date with a person at a time via online dating is still single many years later and I feel like she wastes time not following others up because she's exclusive to someone who she's either not met or not even kissed

gogohm Thu 25-Nov-21 15:46:27

It's an online dating thing - think of initial dates being like auditions for a show, you get to know the director and some cast but both they and you aren't decided on whether you have the part until after 2-3 auditions.

I had multiple dates in a week lined up grin fun times

Actually I deleted the apps in the car park after meeting dp, he had before we even met in person.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in