What does it mean to be “exclusive” in the online dating world?

Portrait of a male tabby cat

Portrait of a male tabby cat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hola!  As I sit here exhausted from grocery shopping (partly because it’s 175 degrees where I live and partly because I just realized I forgot about 5 items on my list), I am trying to recall some fun times to get me out of my supermarket funk.  This of course brings me back to my sisters visit and a discussion we had.

When LBS was here, we got to talking about online dating and the whole exclusivity routine.  She had started dating someone she met online for the past couple of months and began to contemplate the lets get serious route. What do I mean by that?  Well, when you meet someone new the traditional way (I define traditional way to mean any way other than online), you generally date a few people at a time (not sleep with), at least for the first few dates, until you narrow down who you want to continue dating.  After a few dates or so, you both have “the talk“, in which you both agree to date only eachother until you break up, get married, or anything in-between.  The main rule in “the talk” aka “are we exclusive deal” is no one in the relationship is to date anyone else.  If they do, that constitutes cheating, no?

In the online world, I though it pretty much meant the same thing.  You meet and date several people online at the same time (again, not sleep with), until you eventually find someone you click with, have “the talk”, and date eachother exclusively.  Well, with online dating, one big other factor to consider is the other person’s online dating profile.  Naively, I thought that once the exclusivity deal (and yes I realize this sounds, not so coincidentally, a lot like a business merger), was agreed upon by both parties, online profiles were down and you only had eyes for eachother.  Apparently, some people out there do not share my viewpoint.  Some choose to keep their profile on and check emails as well as other profiles.  Why?  To see what else is out there, to see just how many people are interested in him/her, to create drama and excitement in their lives in case they get caught, or mere curiosity??  Your guess is as good as mine.  So after discussing and brainstorming with my LBS a bit on how to approach the subject, we came up with the following (to be addressed in a calm, semi-sober state):

Steps to online dating:

  1. Date multiple people
  2. Continue to date one person you dig above all the rest
  3. After a series of successful dates, belly laughs, and mutual googly eyes for one another, have “the talk”
  4. When negotiating the terms of your likeship (cause it’s too soon to use the word love), be sure to mention eachother’s virtual self (aka: online profile), and whether to take it down or not
  5. Don’t forget to define “cheating” (ie: does hooking up with a person in another state count)?…errrrr, yes!

Those of you online dating and thinking of having “the talk”, make sure you both agree upon taking down the other’s profile as well.  Otherwise, one of you is going to be in big trouble…remember, curiosity killed the cat…meow.

Do you think being exclusive in the online world means taking down your profile?  Why or why not?


5 responses to “What does it mean to be “exclusive” in the online dating world?

  1. Pingback: What happens after a GOOD fiirst date? | How to Online Date

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