What's the difference between 'dating' vs. 'in a relationship' vs 'exclusive'?

This guy I've been best friends with since August recently asked me out. We went on a handful of dates before he 'officially' asked me out. (We've gone to the movies, ice skating, rock climbing and we've gone out to lunch numerous times.) I said yes, but then it got me wondering what the difference between 'dating' and 'in a relationship' and being 'exclusive'. Are they the same thing? What does this mean in terms of levels?


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Dating: Still getting to know each other, just going on dates. (may also be dating other people)
    Relationship: Only dating each other, no one else.
    Exclusive: Can mean anything, friends with benefits , bf/gf, dating, as long as you're only doing it with each other.

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What Guys Said 1

What Girls Said 2

  • I think dating means that you are seeing each other, but are sort of free to see other people at the same time. If you're exclusive, then you're only seeing that one person and have stopped seeing anyone else. If you're in a relationship, then well, you're in a relationship!

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  • Dating usually means talking to different people (usually no sex) and going on dates but its not exclusive. They still openly see other people. Exclusive means you and the guy are only seeing each other. A relationship is a type of exclusive. In this case it is a romantic relationship in which both parties agree they are bf and gf and are only seeing each other not anyone else.

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