are you seeing anyone else?
April 25, 2008 9:51 AM   Subscribe

When do you ask the person you are dating if they are seeing anyone else, and how or when do you talk about or bring up the subject of being exclusive?
posted by likeapen to Human Relations (13 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
When you start doing things with her that you'd be uncomfortable with her doing with someone else. That was always my guide--could apply to sexual things, sure, but also to a broad range of other things. Of course, her list of things may very well be different from yours.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:00 AM on April 25, 2008 [5 favorites]

When you feel comfortable enough. Don't make it a big production, just be honest.

"You know, I really like you. I like spending time with you, and I'd like to just see you exclusively. What do you say?"
posted by canine epigram at 10:02 AM on April 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

This exact question has been answered many times on AskMe. Those links are just random examples from the first page of a Google search for this question.
posted by jejune at 10:05 AM on April 25, 2008

BEFORE you become emotionally attached.
posted by Koko at 10:16 AM on April 25, 2008 [4 favorites]

If you want to be exclusive you talk about it. There is no real downside. If a person wants an open relationship to the extent that they will stop dating you for merely bringing it up, you're better off ripping off the band-aid if you have any aspirations of exclusivity with that person. If a person wants to play the field for the moment but is open to the possibility of exclusivity depending on how things go, it's better you at least get your feelings out there. Of course if you're really focussed on exclusivity you are contending with how long you wait to see if they're coming around, but you're dealing with that anyway: if you bring it up it's at least open and honest. And if they want the same thing as you then you've cut through the crap and now you're on your way. There's no proper timeline. I've never been interested in casual dating so my timeline for knowing whether a person was single and interested in an exclusive relationship was always day one: it's not for everybody but again, I wasn't interested in dating everybody. I actually find the idea of dating a person and no knowing if they are seeing anyone else totally bizarre, but you know, different strokes. But I can't see why you wouldn't just ask if exclusivity is what you're aiming for.
posted by nanojath at 10:21 AM on April 25, 2008 [3 favorites]

My girlfriend said that if I had sex with her, she expected me not to have sex with anyone else. I wanted to have sex with her, and still want to have sex with her, so that's worked out pretty well.
posted by klangklangston at 10:34 AM on April 25, 2008

As soon as you want it. Usually the other person will be flattered, even if the answer they give you is no.
posted by randomstriker at 10:35 AM on April 25, 2008

As soon as you want to. I think all these 'rules' people attach to dating are pretty silly.
posted by chunking express at 12:39 PM on April 25, 2008

Yeah, as soon as you want to. People can be put off by the wrong presentation, though--don't say "I don't want you dating anyone else." Something like "So I was thinking the other day, and realized I don't really want to be seeing anyone else. What do you think?"
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:32 PM on April 25, 2008 [3 favorites]

My situation has always been more like that described by nanojath and klangklangston -- I've never wanted to date lots of people casually and simultaneously, so the "exclusivity" talk has always come very, very early. If someone is wanting to play the field and date around, that's totally cool but I'm not interested in being part of that. And I'm definitely not interested in having sex with someone who is having sex with other people.

The trickier conversation, for me, has not been "are you seeing anyone else?", but rather, "will you be seeing anyone else?" That is, finding out if we are exclusive in this moment is easy, but it's trickier to nail down if we are exclusive going forward -- are we "committing" -- at least for the time being.
posted by Forktine at 1:55 PM on April 25, 2008 [2 favorites]

2nd what pretty much everyone has said about no hard rules / when you feel ready.

Also, I would say most people take the first thing you ask "inquiring about anyone else" as a natural precursor to the second (requesting exclusivity.) To the point where bringing #1 up suggests #2 without even actually asking it, the partner should.
posted by oblio_one at 5:55 PM on April 25, 2008

If you're at a party without the person, do you miss them? Are you spending most of your time thinking about them rather than socializing? IMO, this is the point where I want to date the person exclusively. I've brought it up like so: "Hey, I really missed you last night when I was at Keith's party. I realized I want to date you exclusively, and I wanted to see how you felt about that." If they want to date exclusively, that's their chance to say so, and they should be honest if they are currently seeing others. If they hem and haw, you can take that as "I need more time" or "I'm too passive to say no," but you'd better find out which one it is pretty quickly.

I've found that some guys who are dating others are reluctant to break it off, not because the others are more fascinating than me, but because they don't want to hurt their feelings. If this drags on more than a week or two, break it off, because eventually you'll wonder if he's just sticking around to avoid hurting your feelings. (Women may do this too, but my dating experience with them is extremely limited.)
posted by desjardins at 11:01 AM on April 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

When you feel that you want to be do things that would make her want to commit, see you start taking her to dinner, you start seducing her by staring into her eyes and tell her "I am so glad you are here", as soon as you see yourself doing these things, and you see her response and you see that she is feeling you in that manner....You say i kinda see myself in this (insert type of relationship here) with you......what do you think? See in this manner you are not asking her, second you already know that she is "feeling" you because of her previous actions and you are just having a convo....My best advice to you (and all of you who are reading) is to never ask a person whether they feel a certain way or if they want to feel a certain have to make them feel in that manner....take charge...
posted by The1andonly at 7:37 AM on May 2, 2008

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