Dating exclusively is the step before being in a relationship. You're still undergoing the screening the process, but congratulations! You've beaten out everyone else who was in the running. You're no longer hooking up with other people, and you're essentially only emotionally invested in one another. When it comes to the difference between being exclusive and being in a relationship with someone, the lines are blurry. They're essentially just two different ways of saying the same thing you're. Reminder Exclusive dating is not a relationship. As bugging as it sounds, you need to keep reminding yourself that you are not in a relationship. This will keep you from doing any clingy girlfriend stuff and expecting to be treated like one. Dating exclusively is just a step towards commitment.