So you’ve been dating one special person for a few months now, but haven’t had the courage to have “the talk” about exclusivity.
While some people make their intentions known and agree to becoming exclusive at a certain point, others go with the flow with the hope that they’ll become his or her one and only, even before becoming Facebook official.
Here are 17 ways to tell if you’re exclusive without having to ask.
1. You’ve met each other’s friends and family. When someone is really into you and has made you their steady squeeze, they won’t be hiding you and will be proud to show you off. If your plans regularly include socializing with their friends and co-workers, it’s a terrific sign that you’re exclusive.
2. He refers to relationship as “we” when talking about future plans. When couples start to talk about vacations, holiday plans, or even booking theatre tickets months out and he says, “We should go to this,” then you’ll know you’re more than just a plus one for an office party.
3. Labels become a part of your relationship. Women generally love labels. Men don’t as easily. If he or she shakes at the thought of labels and won’t define your relationship as “girlfriend” and “boyfriend,” it’s a red sign that your relationship just hasn’t become exclusive yet and they might be keeping other options open. When your significant other stops introducing you as just a friend and it’s replaced with BF or GF publicly, chances are you’re the one-and-only.
4. You take your online dating profiles down. Why bother looking for someone else when you’re clearly off the market and you’ve won the prize? I call this digital housekeeping. If someone wants to make the relationship exclusive, they won’t be logging on while you’re asleep to stare at emails and photos of others.
5. You have a steady date for the weekends. When both of you know that you’ll be spending weekends together, or at least Friday and Saturday nights, you’re probably exclusive. When someone wants to date others, they’ll leave one of the weekend nights available. When you’re excited about being together every weekend, you should know that you’re the one-and-only.
6. You’ve whispered those three special words of “I love you” to each other. Most people don’t say “I love you” until they really mean it. Sure some people easily say “I love you” for sex, but if you’re together five or more nights a week, talk and text every day, and they profess their love for you, chances are they mean it.
7. He brags about you and introduces you to his female friends. It’s one thing for him to tell the guys about his hot date or GF, but when he tells his closest female friends all about you, he’s getting the vote of approval and wants to share his joy.
8. You spend nights curled up in each other’s arms. When you’re in an exclusive relationship, just being together cuddling, watching television, or spooning at night shows how comfortable he is in having you in his life.
9. You talk about the future. When he doesn’t look at you as temporary, he’ll let you know if his plans include possibly living together, marriage, and will want to make sure you know that you’ll be together for events and holidays months down the line.
10. Your Facebook page includes photos of the two of you. While some people aren’t quick to change their relationship status until they’re engaged or married, if their Facebook page includes multiple photos of the two of you embraced as a couple, it sends a message to friends and others that they are taken and proud of it.
11. You feel guilty if you hear from an ex BF or GF. When either of you hears from an ex and it makes you uncomfortable, you’ll both realize you’re not open to the possibilities with them and won’t want to lose what you’ve got. Rather than being sneaky about it, your guy will feel comfortable enough in your relationship to tell you about it, rather than sneaking into another room to respond to the text.
12. PDA is in the on position. If the two of you hold hands in public, even in front of business associates and family, signs of affection will show the world you’re taken.
13. He spends his birthday and Valentine’s with YOU. If he’s playing the field, all the ladies will know it’s his birthday and will want to be by his side. If he’s making plans with you for his birthday and Valentine’s Day, which are important days for women, you’ll know there isn’t anyone else but you.
14. They’re there for you when you’re sick. Not every day is filled with hearts, bells, and whistles. If you’re under the weather and this person at your side with chicken soup, flowers, and would rather nurse you back to health than hang out with their friends, it’s their way of saying that you’re a keeper.
15. You each have a drawer at each other’s place. From a toothbrush to an extra set of panties and makeup, when your sweetie carves out a place in his closet or bathroom for you and vice versa, you’ll know it’s serious. There’s no way he’d want another love interest noticing your presence in his home.
16. He lets his ex know he’s in a serious relationship. While some people make clean breaks with their ex, others still have occasional contact. When he’s ready to let go of her and move onto a meaningful relationship with you, he’ll let his ex know he has a GF, so respectable boundaries can be set. This conversation sends the message that the past will stay in the past and you’ve moved on.
17. He gives you a key to his home. When you exchange keys with enthusiasm he’s letting you know that you now have the key to his heart.
How many of these signs are you noticing in your relationship? About the Author: Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, like her at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.