Poll: When do you consider yourself in a committed relationship?

I’ve heard people say that if she aint wearing a ring she’s single, and I’m sure the same could be said about the man too.
Will you continue to look around for a better match up until there’s a ring on the finger?

So, when do you consider yourself in a monogamous/committed relationship?
When you guys agree to be exclusive, or when you become engaged?
Or simply when you start sleeping together even though there has been no talk of exclusivity.
Excluding the obvious answer, marriage, where do you draw the line?

State whether you’re a male or female for the purpose of clarification please, and if you think it matters you may state your sexual orientation.

Straight female, 37 (somehow I think age will be a relevant factor here), and I consider myself to be in a committed, monogamous relationship when we’ve discussed it and agreed to such.

I just ask the other person.

“Hey, Unsquare Dude, are we together-together?” If the answer is yes, then it’s settled.

I must admit, I’m not much of a “shopper” when it comes to this sort of thing. If I start dating someone, it’s probably because I want to be with him permanently. I get into relationships because I want commitment. Still, I just ask about it, since I can’t really be sure the other person isn’t just shopping around.

ETA: Derrr, I am a female.

So at that point you would have to break up with that person to date another, correct? Or can you date others but not sleep with them?

Yes, that relationship would have to end in order for me to see other people. I have no interest in “dating other people but not sleeping with them”.

I would think “committed, monogamous relationship” would mean no dating other people. :confused: This kind of sounds like you’re thinking sex = relationship.

I think for some it does. Not for me, I’m in a committed relationship after the first kiss. I’m old fashioned that way.

The first time she farts in front of you and makes no effort to hide it, you’re in.

Then I’m golden.


Female, 33. Told my now serious boyfriend at the outset that no verbal contracts were to be implied, and that if and when he wanted me to stop seeing other people that it would require the actual words coming out of his mouth, not an assumption. He was good with that because he had been burned in the past with other girls assuming there was more of a relationship than he intended.

So, my answer is “when the words I want to be exclusive with you and only you and anything else would be considered cheating are said and agreed upon” or, as my boyfriend put it: when the deal is struck.

Ditto. Except I’m a gay male, 33.

When it’s discussed and agreed upon, of course.

However, I also think that rules-lawyering in a relationship is unattractive, and that it’s not cool to imply to your partner than it’s a committed relationship and then cat around because the other person didn’t specifically call keepsies on your parts. Sometimes people genuinely misunderstand each other’s assumptions and expectations, but people that repeatedly use such misunderstandings as justification for actions that hurt their partner (sexual or otherwise) reek of sophistry.

That’s why I said what I did when we started seeing each other. Any conversation that uses the phrase “but I thought we were just seeing each other” is never pleasant.

female 20. For my age group at least, the norm is that the relationship becomes exclusive when someone asks the other to be their boyfriend/girlfriend. Up until that point, dating others is generally considered acceptable.

Gay male, 63. We both knew, the first time we met . . . lord knows, we had both kissed enough frogs over the years, we knew a prince when we met one. We discussed it the following morning, and both felt the same way. That was over 21 years ago.

“So we’re together, right?”

“Yeah, what else would we be?”

Did it for us :slight_smile:

I don’t have a great deal of experience with this (well, I have almost a quarter century of experience being IN a committed relationship, but only that one relationship so far, so…)

With us, we met, we dated, we fell in love, we fucked, we both obviously assumed it was forever, no discussion required, went on to live together happily for 23 yrs and produce 2 kids. Yeah, I guess we were naive. :stuck_out_tongue:

Ended with widowhood, FTR.

I am currently single, duh, and more or less clueless about this sort of thing. Not yet dating but will, eventually, and I would imagine that barring another love at first sight/wanna be with you and only you forever scenario (which I gather is rather rare) I would not assume an exclusive situation unless it were discussed and agreed to.

But then, I guess I am old fashioned, too, in that imo by the time you sleep with someone, unless it is a clearly understood case of NSA, one-night stand sex, there is an implied committment there.

This is how it worked for me when I was single. Usually we would start out as friends, things would progress to more, then after a while, I’d ask, “Hey, are we exclusive or dating other people?” The answer was always exclusive - the guys I dated were of the same mindset I was and didn’t sleep around when in a relationship. I’m not sure whether it would have mattered or not if the answer was that we were dating other people. I have had several flings, but never at the same time, with absolutely no emotional attachment - it was all physical - and I would not consider those at all committed. I wouldn’t have been able to have those flings at the same time. Although there weren’t emotional strings, it would have been way too much work and I was really busy doing other stuff (like putting myself through grad school) at the time.

Ditto. Straight guy, 44, happily married for 18 years and counting.