Best Time for Becoming Official After Dating
So, you’re well into your, what– 2nd, 3rd, or 4th date now, and you want to make it official at this point. It’s just that you’re not sure if it’s the right time to bring “that” conversation up.
The beginnings of every relationship are fun, fantastic, flirty, and zesty. But it can also be awkward, confusing, and thrilling, especially if you don’t know where you guys are heading after a few dates in.
Being in an exclusive relationship is an exciting time for singles. So, how long should you date before becoming official? How long is normal to date before turning exclusive?
According to Dr. Racine Henry, a licensed marriage and family therapist, “It’s not like all of a sudden it’s date seven or three months have passed and that’s the time to figure it all out”.
This article covers all the signs you need on how long should you date someone before making it official (without being awkward).
Are You Emotionally and Mentally Prepared to be in an Exclusive Relationship?
You’re dating. So what? Dating doesn’t always mean you’re ready to be in a relationship. Plus, people go out on a date for several reasons.
Others just want to have a good laugh and meet new people to expand their social circle. Meanwhile, others go on dates because they are sexually attracted to the opposite sex and would like to (hopefully) get some action going. And the latter is not always the case for a long-lasting relationship.
You see, being in a serious relationship with someone isn’t all about giving. Relationships– specifically, long-term ones, is all about recognizing and learning how to value everything (including you) that’s a part of the relationship.
An emotionally and mentally prepared person can easily make decisions to strengthen partnership, intimacy, and a love that lasts. But a relationship with 2 people who are ready emotionally and mentally will add up to a romance. This romance will genuinely last as it passively feeds off a positive energy that strengthens both parties individually and collectively.
This is why being emotionally and mentally prepared matters if you’re looking to build a long-lasting relationship.
But how can you tell you’re ready? How long do you date before being in a relationship?
When you start to realize that change or difference does not mean worse, you’re mentally prepared to make it official. People often call the relationship between 2 organisms a symbiotic one, and by nature, it must change.
Individuals usually see problems in a relationship as a sign that something unhealthy is going on. But in reality, problems are part of a relationship that need to be taken as a challenge to build a stronger one.
You learn to respect and accept your differences. Falling in love doesn’t mean you don’t feel angry, disappointed, or offended. All these are normal feelings that must be relayed and understood. And if you see emotions as pieces that play a vital role in a relationship, you’re well on your way to being mentally and emotionally prepared.
Can You See Your Future with the Person You’re Dating?
It’s unlikely to be able to see yourselves together a few years into the future when you guys are just starting. But if you’ve recently thought about your future with the person you’re dating with, you’re more likely ready to make your relationship official.
The thought of including a person in your (future) plans is an indicator that you’re being serious about building a relationship with them. Eileen Fisher even told INSIDER that “if you choose to see where things go– even if it’s someone you never thought could be ‘the one’, you’re likely ready for a relationship.”
It’s fine if you had way too much fun on your first date that you’re looking forward to having seconds. That’s normal. But that doesn’t mean you’re thinking of building a future with them. Well at least not yet.
Look at the things you had in common, your hobbies, and both of your interests. Ideally, you’d want to think about what your jobs will be in the next 5, 10 or so years. Or maybe what kind of businesses you’ll both be starting together.
Have you asked yourself the guarantees of you guys achieving all of your dreams together? Are you compatible with each other based on these things?
Envisioning your future together with the person you’re dating is an important thing that determines whether or not you’re ready to take it to the next level. And if you’ve thought of these things and have all the answers you need, then you are ready to become exclusive with the person you’re dating with.
Can You Confirm that Both of You Are Compatible with Each Other?
Have you ever seen couples well into their 10th anniversary as couples but only met and dated a few days? What about couples who broke up the following day after they decided to make it official?
Knowing the person you’re dating with is one thing but to know whether or not you’re compatible with each other is another. It’s all about the chemistry that makes you comfortable with each other.
In some cases, people would realize they’re compatible with each other after a few days since first dated while it would take months for some to realize they’re compatible with each other after all. Finding out you’re perfectly compatible with each other on the first date is not too far-fetched, although it rarely happens.
Regardless, the idea is not to be hasty when you’re first dating. Enjoy the process of knowing the person and take all the time you feel needed before making any commitments. It’s a process that makes you understand and see if the person you’re dating attracts you.
When you’re comfortable enough with each other, then it might be the right time to bring up the DTR conversation. But fair warning before you do so, you must have a strong feeling that they’re more or less on the same page as you. Otherwise, this will turn out to be an awkward situation that you’ll likely lose the person forever.
There may be no exact amount of time, but waiting anywhere from one to three months before bringing the DTR conversation is the sweet spot for most dating couples to determine whether or not you’re ready for exclusivity.
But remember that in some cases, bringing up the DTR conversation can be as early as you feel like it so long as you’re both comfortable bringing it up into the conversation.
Treated as A Significant Other
Look more closely at how the person treats you. Instead of pondering how many dates it has already been, doing a quick check at how you’re being treated (so far) may be the answer to your question.
Are you guys constantly texting throughout the day, sharing dumb and nonsense things just to keep the conversation going? Have you ever considered “hinting” your thoughts and feelings with one another?
More specifically, are you guys unofficially acting as couples for all intents and purposes and have dated more than you should have as friends? If the answer to these is yes, then you’ve reached the point where you’re likely ready to make your relationship official.
Most people would refer to the number of days, weeks, or number of dates you’ve had as an indicator to safely bring out the DTR conversation. But in reality, there is no “perfect time” to ask because more often than not, “you just know” you guys are ready for the conversation.
But this still can’t be considered the norm because most people, even though they “just know” they’re ready to talk about it, will understandably want a little reassurance to avoid the “awkward” situation.
And this is most especially true for someone who had bad past relationships or other priorities in life outside of dating. In some cases, this could well be the main reason for the delay. It’s perfectly normal if you/they want to hold off the conversation for a while.
But if it gets to a point where you think you’re just being taken for a ride (hopefully not), you should just talk to them and know the truth early. It’s better than knowing later that they’re just making lame excuses while seeing other people at the same time.
Recommendations Before Final Decision
So, how many dates before relationship?
To sum up, there is no “perfect time” to determine if you’re ready to make your relationship official. But some things will help you identify if it’s safe to bring the DTR conversation into the picture, such as:
- Being emotionally and mentally prepared to be in an exclusive relationship
- Can see your future with the person you’re dating
- Can confirm that both of you are compatible with each other
- Treated as a significant other
If these conditions are met, then it might be time to bring up the DTR conversation. Remember, no two relationships are the same and each person is different. It all boils down to how both of you feel for each other to “know” if it’s the right time to bring that conversation up.