Are you tired of lying down in bed at night and thinking to yourself how many dates before relationship can be talked about with your friends and family? Then keep on reading. The jury is divided on this one because everyone has a different approach to dating. No two individuals will be comfortable with the same pace. But like most things in the dating universe, it is important to have a benchmark to fall back on. And isn’t that why you are here figuring out how many dates before exclusive is on the table?
Like I said, the truth is that there is no magical number of dates before I love you does not freak your partner out. I mean, do you remember that scene from How I Met Your Mother? It took one date with Robin for Ted to say, “I think I am in love with you”. The best way to approach this is to get an idea of the pace you and your partner are comfortable with.
My advice to you is to not waste time looking for the right number of dates. Instead, spend time checking off important relationship milestones. If you would still like to have a numeric account for something, then have a look at the number of months you have been together. You should not be dating for a year and still looking for an answer on ‘How many dates before relationship becomes exclusive?’.
How Many Dates Before A Relationship Is Official? Rundown On Key Milestones
Before I start off, are you one of those who are a tad bit impatient and simply wishes to know on average how many dates before relationship is official? Then research suggests that 10 dates are the average. Now before I make a rundown on the key milestones to help you figure out how many dates before “I love you,” ask yourself if there is anyone else you are still attracted to. Before you involve another person in your life make sure you have moved on from any one-sided love with an ex.
This is important for both of you. Make sure that you are on the same page as your partner before you consider reading these relationship milestones. The easiest way to do that is to communicate with your partner about what you are looking for in this connection.
I know you feel excited about becoming an official couple, and it’s a natural thing to feel when you care a lot about them. And it does have its perks. I mean, it is easier to have a toothbrush at their place, instead of having to carry it each time you stay the night. Isn’t it?
So exactly how many dates before relationship talk doesn’t seem intimidating to either of you? You are about to find out through these milestones I have for you.
Related Reading: What To Wear On A First Date? (For Men)
1. Did you hear that click?
Ah, the much-awaited click! This is the first tell-tale sign of a relationship progressing towards becoming official. Tell me if this sounds familiar, you meet someone new and felt an electric charge of attraction travel through your body. You might be able to explain it but to you, it feels as if you’ve known this person for a long time.
It is telling you that there is a mutual attraction here. This spontaneous chemistry that you are feeling is an indicator of an immediate deep and meaningful connection with this person who is currently on your mind while reading this blog. *winks*
Unsure about what ‘clicking’ with a person feels like? Don’t worry I got you, ask yourself if being around them feels natural to you? Did you share a moment where you wanted to open up to them because it felt the right thing to do? These are your signs that you are comfortable being your most authentic self when you are with them and that you’ve ‘clicked’. You are simply vibing with your partner and the number of dates before the relationship becomes official is less relevant.
I personally go with my gut when it comes to making a decision about a person. It is futile to waste your time overthinking and spending sleepless nights in bed thinking to yourself “Was the click mutual?”. There are always signs that someone you are attracted to, likes you too. But there is only one way to be absolutely sure and it’s by asking this person out.
The first few dates are important because that’s what will help you to transition from two strangers who have recently met, to a lovely couple. Once you’ve been out on the first few dates, you will start to learn a lot more about each other. On average couples need at least ten dates before the relationship becomes official.
On these dates, you’ll find many ways to get to know each other better and this is what builds a strong foundation for your relationship. Sometimes it happens during a conversation, other times it can happen while checking out their social media; maybe a mutual friend drops some juicy information on them?
You can be in this stage for 2-3 months, depending on the pace of the relationship and the individuals themselves. Be in tune with where your partner is before making any decisions about the relationship and where it’s headed. Avoid having second thoughts about the relationship from here on and please don’t dismiss any differences you cannot tolerate by convincing yourself that it is ‘not a big deal’ or ‘they will change’.
Realted Reading: How Should A Man Handle Subsequent Dates?
2. Still wondering how many dates before relationship becomes exclusive? T for trust.
What are relationships built on? Contrary to the ‘situationships’ couples find themselves in; they are built on trust and comfort, not situations. I cannot emphasize this enough; this is the make-or-break point for your relationship. Rather than finding the right number of dates before exclusive talk seems appropriate. I need you to ask yourself this – have you both begun to let your guard down?
Building trust is a matter of commitment, and I don’t want you to make the mistake of expecting too much too soon. You can start by taking small steps and the simplest way to do this is by showing up on dates on time. If you are late, be honest about why. Constant lying, even if it is small or inconsequential, will make it difficult for your partner to trust what you say.
As the relationship progresses, you will notice how the trust grows naturally. These small steps towards commitment will put the two of you at ease when making bigger commitments because you now trust that your partner will come through. If you make promises you can’t keep, your partner will be in an uncertain place about them. So, say what you mean and mean what you say.
An important aspect of building trust is to be comfortable being vulnerable. You only rely on people you feel safe with. Yes, this does carry an inherent risk of hurting yourself or being let down, but that is how trust develops – when your partner has an opportunity to hurt you but chooses not to. Trust exercises are really helpful during this stage
While you might be wondering how many dates before I love you can be the new normal in your life. I want to point out that it is important to reciprocate in every way possible. Be open to giving as well as receiving. Communicate effectively about the levels of reciprocation you two are comfortable with and be consistent with it.
3. A preliminary checklist
I have a few preliminary checks to offer that are essential to have a healthy relationship. Feel free to customize this list according to what is important to you because every relationship has its own ebb and flow. We all want to be respected for who we are. This is of utmost importance in dating; your partner should respect what you’re all about. There are various elements to developing respect in a relationship.
In my current relationship, there are times when my girlfriend does not understand my gibberish about the stock market. Similarly, I may not understand why Socrates said what he said and why it is important, but we make sure that each feels heard. As individuals, we care about different things, but there is respect for what the other cares about.
When you’ve had a bad day, it is natural for you to want someone to cheer you up, if that can’t happen then at the very least you’d like to feel understood, right? Empathy is one of the most important signs of a positive relationship. You want your partner to put themselves in your shoes and understand what you’re feeling. When you care about your partner’s well-being as much as you care about your own, they should reciprocate with the same.
Another important thing is for them to prioritize time with you. Whether it’s inviting you to meet for a casual after work or spending a weekend with you, what is of importance here is the effort being made to spend time with you, because this shows they care about spending time with you. You don’t always want to be the one making plans after all?
A common factor that almost all failed relationships have in common is lack of equality. Now when I say equality I am not just talking about responsibilities. In a relationship, both of you should feel seen and each one’s interests and desires should be met to a reasonable extend. When decisions are being made each one of you should have an equal say in the decision.
There will be times when the two of you will want very different things, and this is where personal space comes into the picture. It’s important not to lose sight of the fact that you’re two separate individuals with different needs, some of which you may not share. There is a lot more to healthy relationship qualities, one essential one to me is being considerate of your partner’s boundaries. Appreciate the difference instead and open yourself up to the new perspectives and possibilities that the relationship adds to your life.
Related Reading: 17 Unwritten Rules Of Dating We All Should Follow
4. What does the Venn diagram of your relationship look like?
No two people are a perfect match for each other, but when you are more than casual dating, it is important to see eye to eye about things that fundamentally govern the quality and length of your relationship. All you have to do is pay a little bit of attention and you will start to see signs of compatibility between you and your partner.
Shared values define who you are as a couple. They can be tweaked as your relationship develops, but they cannot be changed. It is important for the two of you to have similar values, because in their absence you will start to resent each other, and everything will start to feel like a drag. The words ‘perpetual disappointment’ come to mind. *shudders*
Take a look at your lifestyle choices and then take a look at your partner’s. Does one of you enjoy your weekend by staying in with a good book and coffee in your comfy sweatshirt, while the other is out club-hopping? There is nothing wrong with either of them. It is a matter of personal choice, but in a situation like this, how far are you willing to compromise?
An important part of sustaining relationships is resolving conflict. No relationship has a smooth sailing at all times. This is where I will encourage you to think about how you handle conflict in your relationship. Say you bring up an issue that’s been bothering you. Does your partner hear you out? Do they work on things from their end? Or is your concern invalidated?
Another important shared value is spending habits, be aware that money issues can ruin a relationship too. If your core value is to save money for a rainy day and your partner is a reckless spender (by your standards) who believes in living life by the day. Then you may be in a bit of a situation. Financial compatibility is non-negotiable because it can have a significant impact on other areas of life.
So sit down with yourself and reflect on how compatible you are with your partner and take a mental note of all the things that naturally fit in the Venn diagram of your relationship, the more compatible you are from the get-go the less fuss you have to deal with as the relationship matures.
Is holding hands a natural thing to do when crossing the street with them? This will only happen between couples that truly care about each other and start to see themselves as a part of the other. This is one of the final milestones you need to hit. The physical barrier is blurring out.
By this point, you and your partner will truly open yourselves up to the passionate intimacy in your relationship. There are several stages and types of intimacy Once you reach this stage, you will stop looking at yourself as a separate being. The two of you will start to feel each other’s emotions on a deeper level, as if they are your own. Once you have reached this milestone you can stop questioning yourself “How many dates before relationship can have sex in it?”
Physical intimacy in a relationship is an essential milestone and it’s not just about sex. In my opinion, in its most natural state, physical intimacy is a form of communication. It can mean a lot of things, ranging from ‘I hear you’ when you hold their hand when they are upset about something, to a peck on the cheek when you are feeling loving. Touch has its own language, and when used properly, it leads to a greater sense of connectedness in the relationship.
Related Reading: 21 First Date Topics To Impress And Engage Your Date!
It starts with holding hands when you are out and about, for some, it starts with hugging or kissing. The best part is there is no order you have to follow, just let it happen organically. You will find yourself wanting to have sex at one point, get to know their sexual desires, and prioritize them. Have fun with it and be the one to initiate sex every now and then, especially if your love language is physical touch.
The touch is always relaxed and tender, in my experience during this stage touching your partner becomes an unconscious way of responding lovingly. Say you’re at a cafe and your partner leans forward and holds your hand, or tugs you closer to them because just. When you’re truly comfortable, it’s habitual.
Before I move on to the next point I want you to know it’s okay if you are not a touchy-feely person. Every individual requires and has their own threshold to how much they wish to be touched. There are different stages to intimacy. I will encourage you to talk to your partner about this if you feel there is an imbalance here. Be it cuddles, holding hands, or sex, talk about the amount you’re comfortable with, for each one if necessary and maintain a reasonable amount of physical intimacy in the relationship.
6. How you doin’?
You have now reached all the major milestones that are important in a relationship and that leaves you with one last thing to do. For this one instead of wondering how many dates before relationship can settle into something long-term and exclusive. Check in with yourself about how you think the relationship has gone so far.
Ask yourself questions like “How is this relationship contributing to my life?”. Once (and if) you have a fulfilling answer to that then take a look within and understand where you are in your self-love journey and here are some self-love tips which will help you enhance your journey.
Before you make up your mind about your partner, I need you to check in with yourself and see how you are doing in your personal life, away from the relationship. In order to have a loving and passionate relationship with your partner, you need to make sure the relationship you have with yourself is just as loving and happy.
Sit down with yourself and pay attention to how life has been for you, and then bring your partner into the picture and evaluate where you stand. When all is well, why wait?
By this time, you must have gotten a clear picture of where your relationship with your partner stands. I expect you to be smiling at your screen right now, thinking about how and when you plan to talk to your partner about becoming exclusive. If you have cleared all the milestones, I can tell you that you are now only a few dates before I love you on the calls becomes a constant.