Pre-Exclusive Relationships that Define Your Situation
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Pre-Exclusive Relationships that Define Your Situation

When you are not yet in an exclusive relationship with anyone, it can be difficult to define who you are to someone. This lack of definition can be highly frustrating when someone inquires. Some people simply claim they are single, just because nothing has been defined. This pre-exclusive type of relationship can be tough for some to understand. To help, below are several definitions of pre-exclusive relationships to help title what you have.


One of the most popular pre-exclusive titles is friends with benefits. This definition is self-explanatory. They are friends with one another that occasionally engage in sex when it feels right. Honestly, these two people are not usually close friends, but the acquaintanceship is understood by both people. You may invite them over for a movie, but both know what is really happening. Unfortunately, this rarely ends well as one person falls for the other and chaos ensues.

Friends without Benefits

This one is pretty self-explanatory as well. In this case, one friend has feelings in the romantic capacity, but the other sees them as more of a sibling. The relationship remains friendly, but only one person wants to take it further. When the feelings are expressed, it gets awkward and can be difficult to salvage anything. It is possible to move back to the friend zone, but you must talk openly and honestly to reach a mutual conclusion. It is always better to have a friend than nothing.


This definition comes with a familiar phrase, “I like you, but I’m not looking for a relationship right now”. This is just a cop out because everyone will accept a relationship with the right person. When in a placeholder relationship, you are seeing someone who you do not have strong feelings for, but you are not ready for serious. The other person may be, but it is not going anywhere. Eventually, you need to be honest.

Booty Call

This one is clear, you want no relationship with this person, just sex and that is it, not matter what. This is an ongoing booty call. Some people may develop romantic feelings which will end this, but some can continue for years.

Just Talking

This one is like grade school all over. Two people meet and flirt relentlessly through text, email, and phone calls, yet no one makes the move to make anything official.

Sex with an Ex

This one is also common, usually after some drunk dialing is involved. You call your ex, go have some fun, and regret it in the morning, yet know you are likely to call again.

App Match

Apps are available for a dime a dozen and you have matches with someone on one. You may flirt and talk through the app forum, but have no real intention of ever meeting. This person is serving to help you feel wanted and desirable. It is nice, but not a relationship.

One Night Stand

You met, but do not really know this person. You went home with them, snuck out early, but apparently exchanged numbers. When this person is alone and wants some fun, they call, but you know it was a mistake.

The Rebound

You know the feeling; you just broke up and you are feeling vulnerable and worthless when someone comes in to sweep you off your feet. As time passes though, you realize the feelings were superficial because of your vulnerability and you now have someone you led on for a time. You embraced whoever was there, it really didn’t matter who at the time.

Its Text, Just Text

You have been texting for weeks, possibly months, but have never met in person. You may have met on a dating site and you may even be interested, but are still not sure about really meeting. This is a bit different from the app-match because you really want to meet, but are scared they will be different IRL.

Friends in Love

When you start saying things like, “We are not dating, just friends”, but act more like a couple than actual couples, you are more than friends. You may not have defined what you have as a relationship, but that’s what you have. Everyone sees it, but you. Sometimes these lead to exclusive relationships, but sometimes it stays confusing.

Though times and definitions are changing, one thing remains consistent, the only way to label anything is to talk to the other person openly and honestly. This may be a tough conversation and you may not get what you want, but it will be worth it.

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