Written by our resident advice columnist
Dear One Love
I’ve been dating this great new guy for about three months and things are awesome. I deleted my Tinder after about a month of seeing each other. Recently, while we were hanging out I noticed he still had a few dating apps installed on his phone and I felt really awkward. We haven’t had a conversation about being exclusive– I kind of assumed it was implied since we spend so much time together. I don’t want to sound crazy like I’m forcing him to delete his apps but, I’m upset he hasn’t already deleted them on his own. How do you know when it’s time to delete your dating apps and make it official?
– Officially Dating or Deleted
Dear Officially Dating or Deleted,
Ah. The million-dollar question: when is it the right time to have the TALK about making your relationship “official?”
Here’s the thing, a lot of experts say that the 3-month mark is usually a good time to have the talk about becoming exclusive but there’s no hard and fast rule. It’s more important to go at a pace that feels comfortable to you and the person you’re dating because in a healthy relationship partners respect each other’s pace.
When you really like someone it sometimes feels easier and less complicated to assume that you are both on the same page especially if you’re spending a lot of time together. That said, your gut instinct to not pressure them into deleting their app is right on! In a healthy relationship, no one pressures their partner (or potential S.O.) to make the relationship exclusive before they’re ready. Likewise, you shouldn’t be guilted into deleting your dating apps just because the person you’re dating has. If and when you do choose to take these steps, you both should feel happy and excited about it—no mixed feelings.
Since you’ve deleted your dating apps, it sounds like you’re ready to talk to your partner about being exclusive. It doesn’t have to be a conversation you dread. Try to bring it up at a time when you’re both relaxed. Be clear and direct about what you want but try to leave your expectations at the door. There’s a difference between hoping they feel the same way and expecting them to feel the same way.
Saying something like “I’ve really enjoyed our last 3 months together. I’d love to see each other exclusively. What do you think?” or “How do you feel about that?” is direct and focused.
No matter the outcome, be clear about your boundaries moving forward: are you both deleting your apps? Are you agreeing to wait a bit to be exclusive? Does waiting mean you’re both still on dating apps? Practicing healthy communication can help you make a decision together and #lovebetter.
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