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How Many Dates Before a Relationship

Is the number of dates before starting a relationship important? Let's find out.

Albert Brown By Albert Brown Reviewed by Lea Bennet

If you’re wondering about the ideal number of dates to go on with someone before committing to a relationship, it’s important to consider several factors that can impact this decision.

While the number of dates is certainly relevant, it’s not the only factor to consider. Other factors, which we’ll discuss below, should also be taken into account.

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

There is a significant difference between dating someone you have known for a long time and dating a complete stranger. When you have a history with someone, you already have a deeper understanding of who they are as a person. You are not in the process of discovering their qualities and flaws because you have already gone through that. In this scenario, going on a date is mainly to explore the possibility of romance and see if you both make a good match.

On the other hand, if you do not have a pre-existing friendship with your dating partner, it is important to take advantage of the time you spend together to get to know them better. This can happen in different situations. If you and your partner share the same school or workplace, you may have a general idea of what they are like.

For example, if they are a friend of a friend, you can trust your friend’s recommendation and judgment about going out with that person. However, if you meet someone through a dating site or any other way, going on dates is the only way to get to know them before deciding to commit to a relationship.

Why the Type of Dates You Go on Is Important

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, 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 one of the best date scenarios as you have an activity to engage in while talking to your partner, which reduces the chances of awkward silence. You can get to know the person in a casual setting.
  • Going to the movies. This isn’t an ideal spot for a date unless you have been seeing each other for a while. It doesn’t provide much opportunity to talk, but it does give you a chance to spend time together while enjoying an entertaining activity. If you exclusively go on movie dates, you should try other things to better understand the person before committing to a relationship.
  • Group dates. These can be good dates to go on occasionally because you get to meet each other’s friends and see how your partner interacts in social situations. However, only going on group dates may feel like just hanging out in a group setting and not actual dates. Therefore, be careful not to overdo it.

Does the Number of Dates Determine When to Start a Relationship?

Should we really worry about how many dates we go on before starting a relationship? The number of dates might matter a bit because there’s a difference between going on just one date and ten dates. But, what’s more important is the quality of those dates.

Imagine going on lots of dates, but you couldn’t talk much, or you were always with a group of friends. These dates don’t help you get to know the other person very well.

Instead, if you’ve had good conversations and got to know the person you like during most of your dates, even if there haven’t been many, that’s what counts. In the end, it’s all about connecting with each other and feeling ready for a relationship.

Is It Too Early or Too Late for a Relationship?

Jumping into something unprepared can make it too early for a relationship. It’s okay to be spontaneous and try new things, but it’s important to be prepared.

On the other hand, if you’ve been on many dates with the same person but neither of you is taking the next step to start a relationship, it’s worth considering the situation. Ask yourself whether you’re content with only dating without any commitment or whether you want to move forward and why it’s not happening.

5 Things to Consider Before Starting 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 quality of time you spend with the other person is more important than the amount of time you spend with them. A few great dates are better than 10 mediocre ones because a quality date allows you to connect on a deeper level.
  2. One-on-one dates are important. While group settings can be fun, spending time alone with your potential partner is essential. It reveals their true personality and who they are in a 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 for talking. Too much noise or crowds can make it difficult to communicate, so keep this in mind when choosing where to go on a date.
  4. Get to know the person before committing. Ensure you know who you’re about to enter a relationship with. Not all relationships need to be serious, but you want to ensure that the time spent with the person is enjoyable and trouble-free. Knowing the person beforehand can help you make a better decision.
  5. Consider timing. Timing is critical because starting a relationship at the wrong time can create problems. For example, if the other person recently ended a relationship, they may not be in the right mindset to start a new one. Before committing, make sure the timing is right for both of you.

5 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 want the relationship to last with this person, ensure your values align. Partners who don’t share similar values typically don’t make it in the long run. If you don’t share the same values, as long as you can respect each other about those things, it can go a long way.
  2. Share similar goals. This goes hand in hand with sharing values. You don’t have to have the same goals, but make sure you’re working towards something that complements each other. If your goals don’t align, ask yourself if they can still work together.
  3. Lifestyle compatibility. Determine if your lifestyle matches your partner’s. In a relationship, you’ll be spending significant time together and sharing your lives. Ensure your lifestyles mesh well.
  4. Time commitment. Consider whether both of you have the time and energy to invest in the relationship. Relationships require effort, so ensure you’re willing to make the commitment.
  5. Location. Long-distance relationships are possible, but is it something you’re willing to do from the start? They can bring many concerns and problems to a fresh relationship because trust isn’t yet established. Consider if you can handle the emotional rollercoaster before deciding to embark on a long-distance relationship.

In conclusion, there isn’t a ‘right’ time to transition from dating to relationship status since everyone’s situation and preferences are unique. It could happen after five dates, or it could take twenty dates to determine that you want to take the relationship to the next level.

Enjoy going on dates and take the time to get to know the person to see if you truly connect before making any significant decisions. Remember to keep in mind the suggestions mentioned above when deciding if you’re ready to pursue something more serious, such as a relationship with the person you’ve been dating.

About the Author

Albert Brown Image

Albert Brown is a talented content creator with a passion for storytelling and a knack for answering readers' questions. Previously a journalist for BuzzFeed, WomensMag, and Cosmopolitan, Albert holds a degree in Communications and decided to bring his talents to our platform. Currently residing in San Francisco with his dog, Mr. Peggy, Albert enjoys writing content in various coffee shops throughout the city. On the weekends, he can often be found hiking and biking in the great outdoors.