How to Tell Him You Want to Be Exclusive

November 7, 2012
How to Tell Him You Want to Be Exclusive

You’ve met the guy of your dreams. You want to be exclusive, but you don’t know if he does. OK, the “exclusive” conversation can be as loaded as a double-barrel shotgun. Before you have it, consider what your definition of exclusive actually is.

Are you expecting to move in together? A ring on your finger? A joint mortgage? These may all be questions that bubble up from having the conversation. Have your answers, and your definition, before you begin.

I imagine the stable door is hanging off its hinges regarding the physical aspect of the relationship, so withholding sex until he declares his intentions isn’t a useful strategy.

So what are the top tips to having the conversation?

1. Choose your time and location carefully.

Doing it in person (avoiding texts or emails) is important, but don’t start it when he’s dashing off to work or in a noisy bar. Pick a quiet place where you can have the heart-to-heart without interruption or distraction.


“Some relationships don’t

need to have this discussion.”

2. Have your question ready and ask it.

Finding the words isn’t difficult. “I want us to be exclusive. How do you feel about that?” Twelve simple words which leave the door open for a discussion.

Or you could shorten it down to get a simple answer: “I want us to be exclusive. Do you?” which funnels the outcome into a yes or no answer.

Think about how you’ll feel if the answer isn’t the one you want to hear, and be prepared to hear it.

3. Be ready to walk away if he’s not willing to commit.

Are you willing to hang around? You can continue the way things are, but knowing there isn’t an “exclusive” option may not sit well with you.

You may have to give him some time to process what you have asked. If he says he doesn’t know what he wants, then give him some space and time to think about it.

Don’t do the pushy salesman routine on him. Allow him to mull over what you are asking, and let him come to his own conclusions. Agree to meet up to an agreed timescale to discuss it further.

Some relationships don’t need to have this discussion, exclusivity naturally falls into place. We are all different so don’t feel as though you are “doing something wrong” if you feel you need to have the discussion.

Jonathan Welford is a dating and relationship coach, author of three relationship coaching books and regular columnist. He heads up a coaching and therapy practice specializing in dating and relationships. He lives in the UK with his husband and their English bulldog named Lola. Connect on Google+.

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2 Responses

    Not worth sticking around if he isn’t going to commit. Too many other fish in the sea. move on!!

    Completely agree, it depends on what each of the people in the relationship wants. But the core thing to remember is not to go in to change a person, if they’ve been up front at the onset that they don’t want a relationship and you thought they’d change, then that is your issue not the other person.

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