The Exclusive Question
A couple is exclusive when both parties decide and make a conscious effort to only be in a romantic relationship with each other. A couple may discuss becoming exclusive or the nature of their relationship may indicate that they are exclusive. For example, if a couple lives together, introduces each other as boyfriend and girlfriend, or spends holidays with each other's families, they are most likely exclusively dating.
Some couples have different definitions of exclusivity. It is important that both people in the relationship have the same definition of exclusive. For example, some couples may choose to be exclusive when they are together but not when they are apart, like in a long distance relationship. Other couples may permit certain behaviors in their relationship that some couples would not. Couples should define exclusivity for themselves, as this will ensure that both parties have a clear understanding of where the relationship stands.
If a person in the exclusive relationship steps outside the exclusivity by starting any sort of romantic relationship with someone else, the couple is no longer exclusive. If a person wants to see other people and he is in an exclusive relationship, he should not simply begin seeing other people but should discuss the current situation with his partner. He should make it clear he is no longer interested in dating her exclusively.
Making the Decision
A couple is exclusive when they decide to be. A couple can date for 10 years and choose not to be exclusive, or they can date for a week and decide to date exclusively. Many relationships evolve into exclusive ones, but discussing the exclusivity of the relationship with your partner is better than just assuming you are exclusive.
Why the One-on-One
Exclusivity is a natural step in building a serious relationship, and people choose it for different reasons. Being exclusive with someone generally means that both people are serious about the relationship and looking to deepen their intimacy and grow their connection. Many people opt for exclusivity because they are interested in building a future with someone and may be considering marriage. People make this decision because they want commitment and to take the relationship to the next level.