Who typically initiates the topic of exclusivity, or a relationship?

When you're dating someone, who typically initiates the topic of being exclusive, the guy or the girl. And how did you go about doing this? Answer based on your own experiences or the experiences of your friends.

  • The guy usually initiates it
    58% (76)51% (34)55% (110)Vote
  • The girl usually initiates it
    42% (56)49% (33)45% (89)Vote
And you are? I'm a GirlI'm a Guy

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Most Helpful Girl

  • My boyfriend asked me if I considered him my boyfriend and if it was OK for him to tell people that I was a girlfriend. It was really sweet.

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    • Aww that is so sweet :) How long had you been dating when he said that?

    • Thanks! We met two years ago but he was working on a coop in another state and I was doing my own thing (never knew he liked me) . We had been hanging out for about a month when he asked.

What Guys Said 12

  • It can go both ways. Some guys REALLY want a girlfriend and they'll push for that from pretty early on. Other guys really just want sex or FWB, and will say things like "just looking for some fun" or "I'm not looking for anything serious." Ultimately, most guys make their intentions pretty clear, it's just that girls are often reluctant or unwilling to accept what the guy is saying. Girls, on the other hand, half the time don't even know what they want, or lie to themselves about what they want, so guys tend to want to know what she's thinking before they take a stand.

    I recommend that girls be EXTREMELY up-front about what they are looking for, or what their rules about sex are. Meaning, if you only want a serious relationship, he should know that before you even go on the first date. And if you don't have sex outside of relationships, then he should know that before you even make out. Girls mostly set the rules here, and guys can either agree, ask for concessions, or look elsewhere. the biggest mistake a girl can make is to let things move in the wrong direction and not say anything about it.

    And because girls tend to get so emotionally attached so quickly, it's in their best interests to make their requirements known, because if the guy is going to break up with them or otherwise move on, it's much better if he does that at the very beginning, than to put it off until after she's totally hooked on him. Girls make that mistake all the time, and pay dearly for it in many ways.

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    • "Ultimately, most guys make their intentions pretty clear, it's just that girls are often reluctant or unwilling to accept what the guy is saying."

      ^^ this is SO true! Well said

  • The guy typically does, but I think what you also meant to ask was who "should" typically initiate the exclusivity or a relationship. The answer to that question would be either one. A girl doesn't have to wait around for the guy to make all the moves. If she's ready to take the next step, what ever that might be, there is no reason she can't be the one put things into motion.

    To the second part of the question, exclusivity has usually been implied by our new relationship status (not talking about Facebook). Once we recognize we are BF/GF, its assumed we are exclusive. Usually when I'm asking a girl to be exclusive, aka be my GF, I'll simply just bring attention to the fact that things are going well between us and will ask her about "making things official". To which she will say yes or no, or in one case ask what I mean, in which I will respond with "as in be my GF".

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    • Thanks, that was very clear! I guess I would not have a problem bringing it up in the right scenario, but I know guys are typically more afraid of the commitment than girls are. I don't want to come across as being pushy or ask too soon. I want to know that once we're committed, it's because he really wants to be and was totally ready.

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    • Depends on the guy, that stereotype of men fearing commitment isn't necessarily true. For instance in my group of friends, is all the guys who are looking for commitments and future wives where as the girls just want to have fun. If he doesn't see eye to eye on that, best to get that out in the open right away so you can stop wasting your time, no reason to try and keep a guy around who you don't really want to be with anyway because you don't share the same goals and values.

    • And no, I never have sex with a girl until we are offically BF/GF. I'm very old fashioned in this regard. I won't even kiss a girl typically unless it sort of just happens. Normally I keep things very PG until we are officially dating. Again, I'm a bit old fashioned in that regard, especially the kissing part, but either way, I don't care. It's my values and I stand by them and its worked out fine so far.

  • I think its a mutual discussion, from what I see with friends.

    When I was single, FWB was extremely rare. There were one night stands, or there was boyfriend/girlfriend sex. So if you started hanging out and fooling around on an ongoing basis, you were just a couple and that was it.

    I'm lead to believe it still works this way in some parts of the world, just not so much in north America.

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  • Is this a joke? It's the guy. Almost always. Guys are the ones who initiate the entire freaking relationship. Even science will back me up on that one.

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    • Really? To be honest, I'd rather it be the guy simply because I know younger guys are more afraid of commitment, or likely to want "FWB" than girls. If he asks me, then I know he really wants it and isn't feeling pressured. It seems like these days though, most guys never initiate the talk. They just keep going with the way things are, and down the road, the girls find out he never wanted anything serious, or she has to initiate it herself. Have you found this to be true?

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    • A guy who casually dates you for a while, acts like your boyfriend, then breaks up after a few months and says 'i wasn't looking for anything serious' was not a FWB. He was a boyfriend. The relationship just ended up not going anywhere. You didn't get lied to, it just didn't take off.

    • The difference being, the guys don't want to break up. They want to continue having sex, just not "anything serious." That says I was lied to.

  • i say more often...the guy initiates it, because buy these "gender roles", the guy is usually expected to initiate every step of the relationship.

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    • I agree, although I wish women would take action a lot more then they do.

  • i've never brought it up actually.

    last time I was gonna have a FWB, she said she wanted to be my only one.

    so, the girl.

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    • I would hate to end up in a relationship with a guy that only planned to have me as a FWB though...or a guy that didn't want anything at all. It just seems so much safer to let the guy do it so that I know for sure and am not deluding myself. With casual sex/FWB running rampant, girls are at a disadvantage here.

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    • You can do both - show interest AND be clear about what you're looking for.

  • Depends who wants the relationship.

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    • Well both should want it...but guys are typically the ones who don't want it, or want to wait longer. So it's probably safer to let the guy.

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    • Based on all these answers, that doesn't seem to be the case. I never have, but I wanted to see if that was typical. I don't want to "get" a guy to commit. I want him to want it.

    • That's how all my relationships have started. The girl always said something like, “so are you seeing anyone?” The answer to that question would then lead to the relationship. Women will indirectly say they want a relationship, then they will let the man do the heavy and direct questions. It's just like courtship.

  • Whoever wants it.

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  • I voted "A" because, if a guy really likes a female, does he not want her all to himself..usually?

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    • I'd totally agree with this! But it seems nowadays, its more common for a guy to act like he's in a relationship with sex and boyfriend acts, but not want to make that step. Do you think that's just the behavior of certain guys, and that a guy who really likes a girl will always push for that next step?

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    • That is fine then! You have my admiration and respect...I don't need a relationship to have sex but definitely prefer it...heh heh...married aren't I? For 17 years as of June 30...(:(:(:

    • No I think that the time to tell a guy is before the first date..just say that you want to date guys that are open to the idea of a relationship...obviously you will have to date a few times to know if the two of you are a "match" but I think you can head off some of the riff raff by saying that...that won't stop ALL players but might get rid of some who think that you owe them "sex for dinner" or those who think that "we're all going to get drunk & screw"...(:(:(:

  • I said the guy (me) usually initiates it when I ask I rarely get dates when girls ask me I usually get a date. so in my experience girls tend to have more success when they ask than guys.

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  • the guy since almost all girls expect the guy to do the approaching, starting conversations, asking out

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  • I do at the same time usually or maybe me ...not sure

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What Girls Said 18

  • I usually leave it to the guy, just because I am afraid of making him feel like I am pushing him before he is ready.

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    • How have guys brought it up to you before? And after how long of dating?

    • My current boyfriend brought it up after a few weeks. He actually wasn't all that clear about it, and if I could go back I would have discussed the topic better with him, but luckily I guessed right about what he meant.

  • the guy does - ALWAYS! if woman do it could back fire on them - let HIM do it he IS the man! that usually works BEST!

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    • How have guys brought it up to you before? And after how long of dating?

    • In most relationships I've had in the past, it was the guy that initiated the exclusivity. I feel so special hehe :-)

  • while guys are the ones to do it, you do have to consider this to be a lot in part due to most "dating advice" speculating that the girl should not bring the topic up unless she's ready to pull an ultimatum, so most women tend to avoid that topic in hopes of stringing a relationship along. (sorry ladies... just broke out our dirty little secret... ). Men tend to run away when a woman brings up this conversation too soon, so most of the time they keep quiet.

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    • disagree on guys running when you bring it up 'too soon'.

      Guys who don't want a relationship will bolt when its brought up, whether that's at two weeks or two years.

      You can't generally trick people into wanting more. You can just avoid finding out they don't want what you do by pretending not to want it either.

    • not saying that the guy who doesn't want a relationship won't bolt either way, BUT, women do tend to bide their time. Just look at the respective comments on here... even the one right bellow me is a good example of what I'm saying. When men are confronted by a relationship too soon, they tend to knot up emotionally and assume that their freedom is being restricted, hence more reluctance to partake in any.

    • i agree, I'm actually kinda like that myself. I've never had a boyfriend and the thought of comitting to one makes me choke up, even though I do want one. I have to spend awhile with a guy without any commitment before I really start wanting more with him. had guys show interest who made it clear upfront they were looking for a girlfriend, and I didn't want a thing to do with them. if they took me out or bought me things then it was like I'd be obligated to start going out with them or something.

  • The best way to go about it is to be up front from the beginning. When you're dating to say you're not looking for something casual and you aren't intimate with men unless you're exclusive. That way you're inviting HIM not convincing him or forcing him. If he's just interested in sex he'll back off. If he likes you, he'll keep pursuing you and have "the talk" just don't ever initiate that conversation. Men are hunters.

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    • Agree with this. Its actually ideal if you say it right from the beginning. Its not like you're trying to use it to bribe him to be a boyfriend, you're just like 'yeah, I'm looking for an exclusive boyfriend'. He's interested or he moves on.

  • i don't think there's any way in hell I'd bring up exclusivity. I've gotten shot down and hurt really badly by telling guys I had feelings for them, (not necessarily asking for relationship, just telling them I had a crush on them) and it happened with every single guy. I still have no problem showing affection and interest or initiating stuff, but the guy's gonna have to be the one to put a ring on it when the time comes.

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  • mi

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  • In my experience, exclusivity has always been a mutual agreement.

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    • Yes, but someone has to bring it up first usually. I doubt two people all of the sudden bring up the same topic at the same minute lol

    • Oh, I see what you mean. It's usually me because the guys I typically date get a little shy about relationships and whatnot.

  • I honestly think it's natural for a guy to initiate having the exclusivity conversation. Simply because I think it's a natural instinct for a guy to want to "claim his girl" so to speak. I know that sounds primitive, but I honestly think it's a natural instinct. It's like marking his territory, meaning he'd be willing to fight if another male tried to move in and take his mate.

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  • Of course it's the guy! Afterall, you don't see girls proposing to their man for marriage, therefore, it's often the guy that initiates the exclusivity. It just seems like the natural way to go

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    • Have you waited for guys before?

    • For exclusivity, no, (because I've never been in a relationship) but from my experience, it was always the guys that initiated making me know that they want to be more than friends, so it's from that that makes me assume that the guys are for the most part the ones that initiate the exclusivity

  • From my experience it's the guy. They always ask "Are you talking to any other guys?" then say they don't like it if I am.

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  • jus depends

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  • this similar to the ? I asked except I want to know when. I would think Guys because girls never want to seem to pushy on that subject

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  • I would think the guy would initiate it. But times have changed,so..

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  • i would have thought the girl because we like knowing 'where this relationship is going'

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  • girls bring it up, guys make it offical.

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  • I brought it up in my current relationship, but I do know that guys tend to initiate it more.

    My current boyfriend was happy being unofficial and then I asked if he ever thought of us just being official, and he was like, "Nah, I like it how it is. We know what we mean to each other, why label it?"

    I then pulled a bit of a bitch move (I admit it) and started talking to this other guy (just talking, mind you) and happened to mention it to my boyfriend (before we were official, remember) and he freaked out. I then played stupid and innocent and was like, "Well if we're not officially together, I don't see anything wrong with what I did."

    We were official after that. :)

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    • I don't think it was a bitch move. Most guys are OK with the unofficial thing because they plan to keep taking other girls if they want, but they assume the girl is only talking to him. Once they find out it goes both way...which duh, of course it does...they suddenly want a relationship. Tbh though, I'm not sure if I'd want a relationship under those circumstances, where he only wanted me because he realized I'd hook up with others.

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    • bam he got owned! you go girl!

    • Well played. lol

  • I think its the girl because when we like someone we tend to want to know if it will go anywhere. Whereas I think men will only bring up the topic if they want you to be with them and only them.

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  • first boyfriend - he initiated it

    same with the 2nd - 4th

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