official significant others, and on the other you have your “romantic experiences” aka dates, crushes, and hookups.
You can’t confidently define these “romantic experiences” as negative.
But the research (and probably your best friend) says that you might not be.
Your relationship will go through a lot of different stages even before you’re considered to be in a real relationship. Being exclusive is a big deal This is especially true if you’re someone who doesn’t typically get into serious relationships. This can be a huge deal and that’s why it’s such a touchy subject for some.
Stephanie Amada, a faculty member in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University, told me that she sees being significant others with someone as entirely separate from being exclusive — because words.
“I don’t know if I can put my finger on what makes it different, but as someone who works with language, I think the words we use are really important,” says Amada.
Developed by Mark Knapp, the Relational Development Model (also aptly known as “Knapp’s Theory”) is the sort of theory that you know about without actually knowing about.
The talk always begins the same way then dives off in one of two directions. ” is the question I ask — the logical question to ask — when a male friend describes a woman he’s been seeing regularly and exclusively. Sometimes he says, “I don’t know.” It’s as though relationships are the same as good weather, something that just happens to you.
In a 2012 paper, young adults stated they considered “friends with benefits” (FWB) a good way to test drive a relationship — 25 percent of the men and 40 percent of the women hoped it would progress into something more committed.
But the authors also offered this caveat:“It is easy to argue that the patterns of behavior in FWB relationships may hinder the development of relationship processes deemed critical to healthy relationships, specifically the development of commitment.” I read that sentence to Bryn after asking him to define what the commitment levels of being exclusive are.
A man who has chosen to go anonymous but said I could refer to him as a “freelance lovemaker” thinks exclusivity and being significant others are one in the same. “When I’m exclusive with someone I like, it’s primarily my desire that I don’t need to worry about if she is being with other people,” says 25-year-old Bryn.
“If you’re only going to sleep with one person and you only want to sleep with that one person, that person is your boyfriend or girlfriend,” says FL. “When you’re not bf/gf’ there is less of a pressure to analyze that relationship in terms of having a defined future with them.