Is exclusivity dead? Asking for a friend

By: Olivia Wile


Twitter: o_wile

With Valentines Day right around the corner, I thought to myself, ‘why not tackle a dating topic this week,’ especially amid my own personal struggles.

These days, dating is hard. With exclusivity becoming a dying trend and dating apps on the rise, it seems like relationships are more complicated than ever.

Though I swore on my own life, see last year’s edition of the Pulse, I would NEVER get a dating app, I finally caved. I also went through a brief period of time swearing off boys all together, but I caved again. Nonetheless, I have so many different questions about dating, relationships and everything in between, so, I wanted to do a little research. My burning questions are as followed:

What the H-E-double L is “talking”? Does this mean both parties need to be exclusive to one another? Are they free to still test the waters? Should the Tinder app go? Can it stay? Do people still ask one another out on dates or to be their girlfriend/boyfriend? Or is hanging out and casually talking the way to go?

There are so many questions, TOO many questions! When did things get this complicated? According to the Washington Post article, “The ultimate guide to having ‘the talk’ with the person you’re dating,” communication is the name of the game. The article quotes Dating Coach Laurel House as she states there is no timeline to discuss your intentions for a relationship with a potential partner.

“Sometimes it happens after a good first date. Sometimes it happens after a third or fourth date,” explained House. “Sometimes it happens after several months. It totally depends on the couple and it depends on the types of conversations you’re having on your dates.”

On the flip side, Thomas Edwards, founder of the Professional Wingman coaching service, says a “talk” is not always necessary.

“Defining a relationship is a milestone for sure that I think a lot of people reach, but it should never be forced,” said Edwards. “I think the most successful transitions with dating someone to being exclusive with someone happen naturally.”

As I was recently, and I guess still am, in a situation that relates to all of this, I have my own opinion on the matter. After about two months of “talking,” i.e. going out on dinner and ice cream dates, watching movies, frequently texting, FaceTiming and Snapchatting, with my dude who will not be named – he doesn’t go here either, no worries – I asked the big question, “what are we?” Though I admit I didn’t get the answer I had hoped for, I’m still glad I asked the question.

Though this is the way I handled my own business, I did want to ask some fellow University of Findlay students how they felt about the matter.

Julia Snell, a junior psychology major, agrees that though it should flow naturally, talking about exclusivity is a conversation that should be had.

“Obviously you’ll realize it when you develop feelings for a person and you want them to see only you and not other people,” explained Snell. “I think that it’s more of a natural flow, but it’s definitely for discussion.”

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