Are dating and being in a relationship the same thing
This is how I see it also, however I didn't know if I'm alone in that viewpoint.
I think of bf/ gf as something more serious where exclusivity just means you're no longer exploring other people as an option. However, me being exclusive with someone means I'm taking it seriously and that we're on a path towards the bf/gf relationship title. If we are exclusive, we are boyfriend/girlfriend in my opinion.
I can't live without her but we're not married or engaged yet. It's very meaningless as the time line increases. If you become bf/gf you generally plan on staying that way in the foreseeable future, whereas with exclusivity, you’re still evaluating your compatibility.
I see exclusivity as an option to concentrate just on that one person and to only sleep with them. If it takes him awhile, I would estimate that to be in the 3 month mark.
If they aren’t comfortable with the term that’s fine, some folks are weird about words.
However as long as you both agree to be exclusive, well isn’t that what really matters to you?
It pretty much is a relationship, but without the title. You should know if you like someone after several dates, and if you do then be in a relationship, and if you don't then move on.
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When you feel good, feel that your partner is patient and true, treats you the same in public as he/she does at home, then you're on the right path. That is a sign of a controlling person and he/she will never treat you properly." — Tracy Malone, founder of Narcissist Abuse Support.