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How To Know If You Are In An Exclusive Relationship

Imagine yourself newly dating a really great guy--the type of guy who makes your heart skip a beat! The guy who meets all the criteria on your checklist and more.

The guy who has been taking you out to fabulous dinners, texting you daily, and sending flowers to your office. You can't wait to bring him home to mom and dad--until you realize you are going to have to wait! Because after stalking his Facebook page, you see the writing on the wall: He is dating other people! Horrified, you consider blocking him for good but instead send him a screenshot of the "evidence". (Caption. "WTF?? *Sigh* *Sad Face*)

You are hoping for some kind of explanation. Is this a joke? Did someone hack his account? Nope! When you ask him to spill it, he apologizes and accuses you of being "crazy". Mostly, you get the response from a man who thinks he did no wrong. "It's not like we are exclusive", he says. He's right. Sadly, he can date whoever he wants-whenever he wants-because the two or you never became an official couple. Sorry, girlfriend, you have broken the cardinal rule of dating: You can not assume you are exclusive unless a guy tells you they he wants to be exclusive with you.

Note: Unless he clearly states that he wants to be in a committed, monogamous relationship with you, assume that there's a good chance he's still seeing other women--as in talking to, dating, and sleeping with. One thing is for sure: If a man really wants to be in a serious relationship with you , he wants to lock it down. He wants to know that he's investing his time, energy, and money into a woman who is investing her own in him and him only. He doesn't want to compete for your affection anymore. He wants you to be his girlfriend. He wants to shout it from the rooftops or, umm, at least on social media. Ideally, you wouldn't have to ask him if he wants to be exclusive. Ideally, he'd leave no doubt in your mine. But even some good relationship-oriented guys are imperfect, afraid of rejection, and could use a little nudge. If this sounds like the guy you are dating and you want to take things to the next level, tell him.

Let him know your feelings but don't assume that you are exclusive just because you told him you want to be. The only thing you have to go by is his word. The moment he tells you he wants to be exclusive is the moment you know you're exclusive. And then you can start looking at his actions. Because they really do speak louder than words!

Who Is Your Author?

Rachel Russo, MS, MFT is a Matchmaker, Dating & Relationship Coach, Author & Speaker. She has a master’s degree in Marriage & Family Therapy from Iona College, a BA in Psychology from Rutgers University, and a certification as an Intentional Relationship Coach. Rachel is the founder of Rachel Russo Relationships-a NYC-based dating and relationship consultancy-and has worked as a matchmaker for eleven years. Rachel is the author of two books: A Fab Job Guide To Become A Matchmaker and How To Get Over Your Ex: A Step By Step Guide To Mend A Broken Heart Italian American Style. Rachel has pretty much earned her PhD in men—many thanks to a reality-date-a-thon in which she went on ninety-two dates in one year and blogged about them. For more dating and relationship advice, check out

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