When a connection is going smoothly, a lot of could-be couples get caught up on the whole “defining the relationship” conversation. Some folks may opt to not have the conversation at all, which lands them in the realm of a “situationship” at its worse and an “exclusive dating” scenario at its best. The holy grail of course, is real relationship status, so if that’s what you are aiming for, you should know the difference between each stage.
“People get so tripped up these days with ‘label aversion,’” Lisa Concepcion, relationship expert and founder of LoveQuestCoaching told Women’s Health. “They tiptoe around one another, wondering if they’re dating, dating exclusively, are in a relationship.”
Continuing, “Simply put, dating exclusively means both people are only focused on one another. They’re not juggling other people,” Concepcion said.
You and your partner are in a relationship after you establish the label and lay out long term potential and goals.
“When it shifts into a relationship, there’s a focus on the longer term,” Concepcion explained.
“There’s a desire to get on the same page about bigger life goals, such as living arrangements, finances, family, career goals, and anything requiring true partnership.”
This is why it’s important to know what your significant other wants during this season of life before you get too ahead of yourself. It’s important to establish early if you both are looking for something serious or light, otherwise, you may get caught off guard.
“A lot of people are great at dating exclusively but then get a bit freaked out when a relationship goes deeper with a focus on merging lives,” Concepcion said, but it could be fun.
“It can be made through a spirit of curiosity and collaboration.”