So you're not a "10" in every which way. But you're probably pretty spectacular in some way, and definitely good enough in most areas of life. If ever there were a time to stop beating yourself up for being human, it is now. Verified by Psychology Today. Sex Matters. Posted Oct 30, Reviewed by Jessica Schrader. When are you supposed to tell or ask a new partner about dating other people?
After the first date?
After the third date? After sleeping with them?
Here's how to know if it's time to be exclusive with your partner
Or before? New relationships involve lots of questions, and many people struggle with this topic.
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. The risk here is that asking about exclusivity can be a loaded question. Are you asking because you want to be exclusive? You may feel not only disappointed, but also like you put yourself out there and were shot down.
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There can be a lot of ego on the line. There are some people who would say that you need to discuss exclusivity after certain thresholds e. And that people have different preferences for what they want and what they expect. As with so much else in sex and relationships, it comes down to knowing yourself well and communicating honestly.
If you are wondering about whether this new relationship is exclusive, why do you want to know?
If so, what is holding you back? Dating apps always offer the promise of someone better behind the next swipe, but at a certain point, we need to commit and see what this bird in the hand has to offer. Standing one foot in the relationship and one foot out makes it harder to find that out. On the other hand, it may be that you have legitimate concerns about this person as a potential partner or about exclusivity talk readiness for a relationship at this time.
Much angsting and polling of friends can be done about this question of exclusivity, but the only way to really know is to have the conversation.
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If you wait too long, feelings can be hurt if a misunderstanding went on much longer than it should have. This risk on both sides is part of the cost of doing business when it comes to dating, but may also be useful information to know about a new partner. 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.
Despite these differences, it can be easy exclusivity talk 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.
You’ve lost the urge to chat anyone up
For example, they may look to see if this person is still active on the dating apps. Or they may text them at a time when they might be out with someone else and see how long it takes to get a response. Exclusivity talk they could ask what they did over the weekend. Yes, that can feel risky, but guessing can lead you astray. Either way, being clear where you stand will make it easier for your new partner to be clear about where they stand. Too much of the drama in new relationships is about guessing, double-guessing, and triple-guessing what the other person wants, making both people feel crazy.
So use your words.
Ari Tuckman, PsyD, MBA, is a psychologist with a strong interest in helping individuals and couples create better sex lives and relationships. Back Psychology Today. Back Find a Therapist.
How long should you date before talking about exclusivity? experts say it depends
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On date 3 or so, you can have one of these four conversations:
Are We Exclusive Yet? It's normal to wonder about exclusivity, but it doesn't have to make you crazy. About the Author. Read Next. Sexuality in Polyamorous Relationships. Most Popular. Is Watching Porn Right for You? Get Listed Today.