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As a professional matchmaker in the Milwaukee area, I get this question all the time.

You’ve been dating a while, 3-6 months, or perhaps even less. You feel that you should perhaps become exclusive, or that you already are. You don’t want to waste anyone’s time, especially your own, and you want to become exclusive. This person ticks a lot of your boxes.

When is the right time to become exclusive?

This is a difficult question to answer, but I will do my best. I believe that if you feel deep in your bones that this person is the right one, then you should focus just on them, but at least date them a few months before going down that route. Many experts feel that it should be at least a year. The reason is, there are milestones in our lives that we need to experience and experience them with another person. These milestones include the death of a friend, family member or a pet, going on a vacation together, getting into a fight and testing the resolution.

As many of us are on our best behavior for the first year, the layers of who the person truly is starts peeling away after about that long. We are on a dopamine high during this time and your true, crabby self isn’t shining through yet. You are still putting on a good face. What is imperative is to get to that authentic space and show the person who you really are because THIS person is the person they will be living with.

In this time, honesty is paramount. Being able to speak your mind and feel safe is imperative to the process. Letting go of worry about what the other person thinks is mandatory. After all, if you can’t be yourself, then there isn’t any reason to be exclusive with this individual.

Ask yourself if you are being your true authentic self in the relationship. Do you enjoy this person’s company, are you growing together and are you feeling this person supports what you need? Do you feel that this person is also being authentic? Are you able to ask this person anything without feeling shame or fear of judgment or repercussion? Is communication simple and easy without stress? These are all markers that one needs to keep in mind when becoming exclusive.

Lori Mendelsohn

Lori Mendelsohn is a matchmaker in the Milwaukee area. Her business is www.smartfunnysingle and she has over a dozen marriages under her belt with one engagement pending. She uses her intuition and knowledge of the human condition to match singles.