Picture this: You’ve started seeing someone formidable, there’s a definite connection, you’re going on a date or two a week, the chat flows, the eye contact is lingering . . . You believe this partnership has the potential to be great and you’re ready to give this fledgling romance a decent chance to bloom and be exclusive.

But how do you know whether your partner is on the same page?

It’s time for The Chat. The all-important: Are we exclusive? Being exclusive means you’re ready to commit to your partner, maybe even call them your beau. Or your boyf. Sweet cheeks. Manfriend. Sugar-love . . . However you term your new-found suitor, you’re coming to the agreement that you will see only each other, forsaking all others. No, it’s not marriage, but it is a serious conversation in which you confirm your commitment to the relationship.

But you’re loved up already, isn’t exclusivity obvious?

It might seem obvious; you may well have Cupid flying at your shoulder and an Italian Aria playing every time you enter a restaurant together, but it’s best to have The Chat because if you haven’t, you’re not exclusive.

But opening up to this discussion doesn’t have to be intense. I believe we can keep it light and chatty, but still agree on a clear position. This is part of a cornucopia of conversations where we can talk about our expectations for the relationship. What do you want to gain from a partnership? How do you see yourself committing further down the line? Are children a possibility? You want to know whether you’re safe to make an emotional investment into the new partnership, so having the exclusive chat is a vital steppingstone on which to cross into mutual trust.

When to raise the topic?

It’s important to wait a good few dates in before having The Chat, thus allowing time to suss out who this person is.

Hopefully, you’ll get a natural sense of when to raise the topic – things are getting a little more intense, you’re in contact often, and you feel it’s time for the dialogue. If you don’t feel like this, if it feels a little forced, this might be a sign that it’s too soon. Having said that, don’t be shy of the conversation. As a matchmaker, I believe it’s vital we align on our goals, and the way to know this is to have discussions on the topic.

But as a general rule, from my professional experience, I’d say you want to be looking to have the exclusive talk by the fifth or sixth date.

What does having The Chat do for a relationship?

To give your relationship a decent chance at success, I believe we need to show our vulnerabilities and open up to our partner. As a matchmaker, I am often asked how we can establish trust, and committing a part of ourselves to our partner, exposing a side we typically keep hidden, will aid this. Once we’ve had The Chat, we can trust the other person is on the same page. This then enables us to let down some of those barriers many of us hold, especially in the early stages of relationships, and let the relationship blossom.

So don’t try to suss the exclusivity issue by looking for hints; just be honest. Set the bar for an emotionally open and honest relationship from the start and lay the building blocks for a respectful foundation from which you can both flourish. And remember, as matchmakers it’s our job to align you only with the candidates we deem most suitable, which should make the exclusive chat an easier conversation to have when the time is right.

At Maclynn International as matchmakers, we build relationships with our clients, and we work hard to find you a partner who will align on your goals. We vet our members and profile them using psychological principals to assess compatibility before an introduction goes ahead. Contact us today to begin your journey to an emotionally rewarding and committed relationship.