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How Many Dates Before a Relationship

by Albert Brown

You might find yourself wondering if there is an ideal number of dates you should go on with someone before committing to a relationship with them.

The truth is, there are many factors about the dates you have been on that will impact this decision. Although the number of dates can be very relevant, the other factors that you will read about should be considered.

How Long Have You Known the Person You're Dating?

There's a difference between knowing someone for a long time before you start dating them, and dating a complete stranger. When you've known someone for a while, you know more about them, you probably know who they really are. You won't be figuring out the good things about them, and their flaws, because you already know all of that. Therefore, going on a date with that person, is more so to explore a romantic possibility with them, and see if you are a good match for each other.

However, if you don't have a history of friendship prior to dating, you really want to take advantage of the dates you go on together to get to know them better. There are also a few different scenarios for this. If the person you are dating is someone you know because you go to the same school, or work in the same place, you might have a slight idea of what they're all about.

For example, if they are a friend of a friend, you can probably trust your friend's judgment and recommendation for you to go out with that person. However, if you've just met, perhaps through a dating site, going on dates is the only way you're going to really get a chance to know them before committing to a relationship.

Why the Kind of Dates You Go on Matters

The kind of dates you go to matters.
The kind of dates you go to matters.

The kinds of dates you are going on matters a lot, and there are many different types of dates you can go on. Find out what some of those are and why it matters below.

  • Going out to eat. This is the best date scenario because you have something to do while talking to the person, so your chances of awkward silence are slim. You can really get to know more about the person in a casual way.
  • Going to the movies. This isn't a great spot for a date unless you have been dating for a while. It doesn't give you the opportunity to talk very much, but it does give you time together while doing something entertaining. If you only go on movie dates, you should try doing other things to better get to know the person before starting a relationship with them.
  • Group dates. These are good dates to go on occasionally because you can meet each other's friends and see what the other person is like in a social situation. However, only going on group dates will eventually start to feel like they're not really dates and just hanging out in a group setting, so be cautious of that.

Should the Amount of Dates Determine Timing for a Relationship?

Is this really important? Should the amount of dates be the deciding factor for starting a relationship? Although it could be an important deciding factor because there is a difference between going on one date and going on ten dates, the quality of the dates is what really matters.

Perhaps you've been on many, many dates, but they were all at places where you couldn't talk very much, or you were always with a group of people. That's not really a quality date because you don't get much chance to get to know the other person.

However, if on most of your dates, be it a few or many, you've gotten the chance to dig deep into who the person you're interested in really is, then perhaps it doesn't matter if there haven't been many dates.

Is It Too Soon, or Has It Been Too Long for a Relationship?

Any time you're jumping into something unprepared, it is likely that it is too soon. It's okay to be spontaneous and want to try new things, but you can still be prepared while doing so.

On the flip side, if you've gone on many, many dates with that person and neither of you is taking the next step to begin a relationship, you might want to think about the situation. Ask yourself if you enjoy only dating without the commitment of a relationship, or if what you really want is to take that next step, and why it's not happening.

5 Things to Remember Before Jumping Into a Relationship

If you're going on several dates and you're beginning to ask yourself if you should be in a relationship with that person, remember these things:

  1. Quality is better than quantity. The kind of time you spend with the other person is more valuable than the amount of time you spend with them. So if you've gone on a few dates, but the quality of the date was great, that matters more than going on 10 mediocre dates. A quality date will allow you to connect with the other person on a deeper level.
  2. One-on-one dates are important. It's fun to hang out in group settings, but having time for just the two of you is important too. The time you spend with just each other will show you the other person's true identity and who your potential significant other will be in the relationship.
  3. Going places where you can really talk is key. There are many places you can go for a date, but they're not all ideal talking places. If it's too crowded or too loud, you won't be able to comfortably and calmly talk with each other, so this is an important factor to keep in mind.
  4. Get to know the person before committing to something more. You want to make sure you know who you're about to start a relationship with. Not all relationships have to be serious and lead to spending forever together, but you want the time you spend with the other person to be enjoyable and unproblematic. Relationships aren't perfect, but if you get to know the person beforehand, at least you know what you're stepping into.
  5. Make sure the timing is right. Timing is important because if the other person just got out of a relationship, they might not have the right mindset to start a new one just yet, for example. Make sure the timing is right for both of you before committing to each other.

Rules Before Starting a Relationship

Rules before a relationship.
Rules before a relationship.

Before starting a new relationship, it's important to consider the following rules and ask yourself multiple questions to see if it's a good idea.

  1. Know each other's values. Assuming you would like the relationship to last with this person, you want to ensure their values align with yours. Partners who don't share similar values don't usually make it in the long run. And if you don't have the same values, or disagree on certain aspects, as long as you can respect each other about those things, that will go a long way.
  2. Share similar goals. This goes hand in hand with sharing values. You obviously don't have to have the same exact goals, but you want to make sure you both want the same things for bigger life decisions. If you don't want the same things, ask yourself if what you both want can fit well together anyways. That will help you decide if it'll be worth it or not to pursue a relationship despite having different goals in the grand scheme of things.
  3. Lifestyle. Does their lifestyle align with yours? Does your lifestyle align with theirs? Remember, a relationship is 50/50, and you have to align with each other for things to go smoothly. In a relationship, you will likely be spending significant time together and sharing your lives. This is why it's important to see if your lifestyles will mesh well together.
  4. Time. Do you both have the time and energy for a relationship at the moment? Being with someone requires you to balance yet another thing with what you already have going on. Your partner will need your time, and you will need theirs. So ask yourself if you both have the time required for a relationship before jumping in.
  5. Location. Long-distance relationships are possible, but is it something you're willing to do from the start? Long-distance relationships can bring many concerns and problems to a fresh relationship because there isn't a lot of trust established yet. There will likely be frequent ups and downs. Ask yourself if you can handle the emotional rollercoaster you are about to embark on if you decide to be in a long-distance relationship.

In conclusion:

Everyone is different, and everyone's situation is different, so there isn't a 'right' time to go from dating to relationship status. It could be after five dates, or it could be after twenty dates. Have fun going on dates, and try to get to know the person as best as you can to see if you really click before making any important decisions. Keep in mind all of the suggestions mentioned above when deciding if you are ready to pursue something more serious, like a relationship with the person you have been dating.