It can be hard to know how long it takes to really get to know someone you’re in a relationship with.
Some people seem like complete strangers after just a few weeks, while others feel like they’ve known each other for years after the same amount of time.
So what’s the right answer? Is there a set timeframe?
Here are what experts say, along with some tips to get to know your partner better:
Martha Aguilar, LMFT
Mental Health Therapist and Coach, Terapia Nepantla
It takes an average of 2 years to begin to have a clearer understanding of who you’re dating
Although it can be challenging to define the exact time it takes to know someone in a relationship, there are factors, variables, and patterns that have been identified to help understand how we get to know one another when dating.
The phases of love
Several models outline various stages of relationships, and although there is validity to each of these models, I consider Dr. John Gottman’s “3 Phases of Love” helpful in exploring how we get to know each other while dating and what is involved in building these relationships.
Dr. Gottman is the leading expert on love, with over 40 years of research backing his treatment models and wisdom on love and relationships. I find that his “3 Phases of Love” highlights trust as a bridge between love and commitment.
The phases are as follows:
Phase 1: Falling in love
Oh, those blissful (or sometimes scary) feelings of meeting that person who makes your heart race, excites your curiosity and ignites your sexual desire. These responses are intoxicating as your systems become flooded with feel-good chemicals and hormones (possibly the fear of rejection).
With all this bio-chemical activity going on, it is no wonder that our judgment can be impaired at this phase. We see our partners with “love goggles,” meaning they can almost do no wrong.
Related: What Does Falling in Love Feel Like?
In less favorable situations, this may also mean we ignore or cannot see red-flag behaviors and justify or forgive behaviors we usually wouldn’t.
If there are disagreements or concerns in this phase, they may be handled with more patience, understanding, and grace as we are under the influence of love and infatuation.
Phase 2: Building trust
As we get to know each other more, we may become disillusioned that the person we once held on a pedestal isn’t measuring up to our expectations or assumptions.
As one of my favorite drag queen Delta Work says, “You can’t expect you from other people.”
Sadness, frustration, and even rage may begin to percolate when the person we are dating isn’t behaving the way we think they “ought to.” Fights may become more frequent and detailed.
For others, this time of disillusionment can bring us closer to the person we’re dating as we now see them in a more realistic light as well-rounded human beings.
If the flaws we see add more depth to them and do not cause concern for red flags, then this is when a genuine relationship can begin.
In this phase, the matter of trust moves closer to the forefront. As differences arise, how we fight contributes to building trust, and we are faced with going our separate ways or trying to resolve conflicts to stay together.
Along the way, we are learning about our ability to trust ourselves and trust others.
Phase 3: Building commitment and loyalty
If the relationship continues, a commitment to love or resentment is made in this phase.
If the power in the relationship is balanced, we are more able to commit to love and experience gratitude and understanding when disagreements and misunderstandings arise.
If the power in the relationship is unbalanced, we will likely see a commitment to resentment at what is missing and feel betrayed. It is here in phase 3 that we may have a clearer understanding of who we are in a relationship with or gain clarity on who they are not.
The importance of trust
Getting to know our partner occurs throughout all three phases of love. For this reason, I believe getting to know someone in a relationship is less about time and more about trust.
To know someone means to pay attention to who they are showing themselves to be. There has to be some level of trust (either in ourselves or others) to show others who we are. How long it takes to show one’s true self depends on how much trust is present.
Based on personal and professional experience, I believe it takes an average of 2 years to begin to have a clearer, more grounded understanding of who you are dating.
By this time, if there has been regular contact, the intoxication of love has waned, and we sober up. This allows us to see who we are dating and who we are in the relationship.
When getting to know someone, our feelings for them can smudge the window and make it difficult to see who they are (even if they are showing us who they are).
The following tips are reminders for navigating the “getting to know you” process, especially in the early stages of the relationship:
Believe what you see, not what you’re told
The old adage “actions speak louder than words” exists for a reason. We all present our best selves when first meeting someone, and we may talk a good game, but what we do reflects more of who we are despite good intentions.
Does the person we’re dating say, “Let’s hang out tomorrow,” then go silent for days only to return with excuses? Although you may not know precisely why this happened, you can stay aware that follow-through may likely not be one of their strengths.
Know that your brain is under the influence
As mentioned above, your brain is influenced by love chemicals and hormones. Just as you wouldn’t drink and drive, don’t place too much on those strong feelings that arise during the honeymoon phase. Knowing this may help you to slow down.
It is perfectly okay to go as slow as you need before taking a relationship to another level (especially if you’re chomping at the bit to go faster).
Know your green flags and red flags
How familiar are you with your relationship red flags (deal breakers) and green flags?
Some examples of red flags include:
- lack of follow-through,
- and excessive drinking.
Some examples of green flags include:
- asking you questions about yourself,
- remembering what you like,
- and respecting your boundaries.
What else would you include in these two lists?
Believe your gut
Red flags are often overlooked in the early stages of a relationship. Notice your reactions to behaviors you normally would not allow.
If you find yourself justifying or minimizing these behaviors, there’s a good chance you’re still wearing your “love goggles” and need more time to really know who you are dating.
Know the signs of abuse
Types of abuse include:
- and neglect.
All too often, the first signs of abuse are minimized; however, more often than not, abusive behavior continues even after a period of absence.
Get to know the signs of relationship abuse and leverage resources such as the National Relationship Abuse Hotline (1-800-799-7233).
Get to know who you are
Although it can be exciting getting to know someone new, remember that you are worth getting to know as well. Allow yourself to spend time alone and with friends to gain a broader understanding of who you are and what you like and don’t like.
Are you feeling secure enough to show a potential partner who you really are? The answer could tell you more of what you need to know to proceed. Getting to know yourself and others is a lifelong process. We are not static beings, and as we age or have life-changing experiences, we change as well.
It is hard to know someone or allow others to know us if trust is absent.
This is why Gottman’s “3 Phases of Love” can be a helpful map in identifying where you are in a relationship, not only in regards to trust but also in knowing who your partner is.
It takes a lifetime of giving, taking, and learning
I’ll begin by waxing philosophically. “You never really know anyone.“
In that group, I include you yourself. Let me explain. When I was sixteen, I overheard my parents talking to one of their friends about what to do concerning their partner’s cheating.
As a naive sixteen-year-old, I wondered what the issue was, just get a divorce and move on. Ten years later, when I found myself in the same situation, the answer wasn’t so clear-cut. There were so many emotional entanglements to be considered.
I realized then that I didn’t really know myself. What I believed about myself had changed. First, things are rarely what they seem. There is almost always more than meets the eye.
Secondly, over the years, I have learned more about the realities and complexities of relationships. It’s easy to imagine what you might do in a specific situation. It’s even easier to be flippant about things you believe will never actually happen to you.
What do we know?
Most people don’t really know themselves, just as I didn’t. We simply can’t conceive of all the interlocking pieces of the puzzle that is life. This leads to “do as I say and not as I do.”
We think we know how we will act or react in a certain situation. However, when reality strikes, all the best-laid plans of mice and men go straight out of the window.
Suddenly you find yourself not following, or worse, contradicting your own advice. It was so easy in my mind, yet so difficult in my heart.
Additionally, too many of us never take the time to get to know one another. We keep things shallow. The fact is that our day-to-day lives don’t give rise to exploring our own feelings or beliefs, much less the feelings or beliefs of others.
We are too busy making ends meet to be able to slow down and smell the roses. How can you get to know someone else when you’ve never even taken the time to get to know yourself? And, if you don’t know yourself, how can anyone else possibly know you?
Related: How to Get to Know Yourself Better
Then there is the fear of knowing too much. That may seem an odd thing to fear, but it is real, nonetheless. You may be thinking, “What if I, or they, find out something that we don’t like?” What then? Are you ready, willing, and able to know?
To quote the famous line from the movie “A Few Good Men,” maybe “You can’t handle the truth!“
What do we need to know?
Too many of us don’t know how to approach learning about one another or what it is essential to know about each other.
Is it important to know things about someone else that will never materialize? I know all sorts of trivial and insignificant things that are just taking up space in my head—none of which will I ever need for a healthy relationship.
I don’t really need to know if you squeeze the toothpaste tube from the bottom or the middle. The reason that becomes a problem later is that there are things we don’t know about each other but want to. Or there are things we do know about each other that we don’t like. It’s a symptom, not the disease.
Thinking that we know it all
Another problem is the opposite situation. It is thinking that we know someone so well that there is nothing more to learn. This leads to taking others for granted, creating complacency and boredom.
People are often shocked when the person they thought they knew so well does something that seems entirely out of character. Is it truly out of character, or is it that you didn’t know them as well as you thought you did?
The only sure way to know more about one another is by sharing
Getting to know yourself and one another is what makes a good relationship and transforms it into a great one. The only sure way for you to know more about one another is through sharing. You can’t know what isn’t shared.
Sharing is mutual—it is the act of both giving and taking. There is reciprocity to sharing. If you only give or only take, that is not sharing.
Getting to know one another and fostering strong, healthy relationships is why I created my Good Together Game app. It encourages open exchanges through short, fun interactions. The relationship partners explore and get to know the connection between them.
So, how long does it take to know someone? It takes a lifetime of giving, taking, and learning. It is a never-ending journey.
You never stop getting to know your partner
If a person is “real,” you never stop getting to know them because every person changes and evolves. I’ve been with the same man for thirty-five years, and I still find out new things. And it’s not because we don’t talk, but because we change all the time.
When life’s changes happen, we react to them. Sometimes those changes may be:
- a move,
- new job,
- becoming homeowners,
- having a heated argument,
- or dealing with a financial matter
Any one of these (and actually, any change of the status quo) can trigger some fear or upset from your past—maybe even a leftover something from as far back as your childhood.
Some events, like the birth of a child, a health crisis, or the death of a friend or parent, change us in ways we don’t expect. As a result, we see things from new perspectives and become more (or less) understanding.
Change is one of the hardest things for most people to accept. We like not having to think. It’s why we have our morning ritual, drive to work the same way, and celebrate holidays with the same people. It’s easy.
However, people are complicated. Getting to know someone—your best friend, your mom, your boss or co-worker, your new love—is neither simple nor fast.
That constant state of flux is why, when the subject of marriage came up with my then live-in boyfriend, I couldn’t make that “until death” commitment. It made no sense to me.
That’s when I created the “Five-Year Marriage.” I wasn’t interested in the ’til death stranglehold of traditional marriage. Instead, built into the marriage is the understanding that, like it or not—both people will change.
So, every five years, the couple gets to rethink, renegotiate, and restart their marriage based on the couple they are today, not who they were five years ago. It’s both a brilliant and badass way to do marriage (I’ve been married seven times to the same man for just five years each time!) It’s a marriage that makes sense for today’s smart couples.
Here are three things that will tell you volumes about a person in the “getting to know you” process. They are the same three things that you want to check in with each other from time to time, and definitely every five years:
Do you share the same values? Values always win in life, so knowing your and your friend’s or partner’s values will give you awesome insight into who they are.
Values seldom change over a lifetime, but they can shift priority. At thirty, love might be top of the list, and health is lower on the list. At fifty, health may take the top spot.
- Do you talk to each other about what’s happening in your world (work, money, downtime)?
- What about what’s going on in your community or the world?
- Do you share your feelings?
- Can you have an actual face-to-face, no devices, conversation?
If you can’t, then you could be “making up” what a person is thinking or feeling, which is a recipe for relationship disasters.
The ability to communicate your thoughts and feelings is a skill that takes time to learn but pays off in big dividends.
How do you each like to relax? Are you team sports or group play people (e.g., card games), or do you prefer video games or reading a novel?
Knowing how a person plays helps you understand how that person fits in your life. If you need people to play, but you’re paired up with a “loner,” that could get old quickly.
If you start with just these and watch how each shows up in your life and the relationship, you’ll know more about each other than the average two people.
You’ll get a good idea of their personality within six months or a year of living together full-time
The longer you spend time around a person in various situations, the better you’ll get to know them.
Watching how they interact with their other long-term friends, coworkers, neighbors, and family is also good. This is how you vet someone out: over time.
Acting long-term takes a lot of energy. When people can’t take a break away from you, this energy will run out. The more time you spend around someone, the harder it is for them to hide their true self.
No one knows someone better than people they’ve lived with
When you live together, this is where you see someone’s true side come out. This is why you know your family’s secrets better than anyone. You see the side of them they hide from the rest of the world.
This is especially true if you share a bedroom and interact daily. There is literally nowhere to hide. You see them all the time, bad moods and all. You see all the weird habits they may have never told you about.
You see what they dedicate their time doing, not just what they tell people they do. Whether it’s watching TV, talking on the phone, playing computer games, or working on their favorite project, you get to know them quickly.
If you have to share household chores, see if they’re willing to pitch in and work as a team. Or if they expect you to do all the work. You can see all their belongings and how they treat their stuff and your stuff.
You can also get a preview of how they spend their money. This includes how they expect the finances to be split. Maybe they are generous; perhaps they are stingy.
They can talk all they want, but when it comes down to it, you’ll see the actions they take when you live together.
The exception is if you are rarely home at the same time. For example, if one of you travels all the time for work or you work opposite schedules. Then you are really only seeing each other part-time. It’s like you are visiting each other on weekends.
Within six months or a year of living with someone full-time, you’ll get a pretty good idea of their personality.
Note about toxic people
A lot of times, toxic people can hide their true selves if you only see them sometimes. They want you to eliminate all your other options when you live with them.
Ladies, a toxic man may want you to throw away all your stuff. That way, you are totally dependent on him, and it’s harder to leave because you got rid of your own belongings.
He also doesn’t want your stuff in the house because he wants more room for his. But he doesn’t offer to get rid of any or much of his stuff. This is a one-sided request. If someone requests you do this before moving in together, don’t do it!
Gentlemen, a toxic woman may not want to live together full time because she knows her true personality will come out. She may live part-time elsewhere or work opposite schedules as you until you’re married with kids. This way, she knows it’s harder for you to leave by the time you see her true personality.
Related: Can Toxic Relationships Be Healed?
Combining finances is a good way to know how someone spends their money and how they treat your money. If you want to do this, each contributes an agreed-upon amount into a joint bank account each month. It can be an equal amount or percentage of each of your incomes.
But either way, keep your own money and bank account. You don’t want the money to disappear suddenly, and now you’re stuck, just in case, things go south.
A toxic partner wants you to depend on them only and not have your own money. To guard yourself against this, keep your own accounts with only your name on it.
Some people are in a lot of debt or have secret spending problems. You won’t know this until you see all their finances. They may dress well or live in a nice house, but they have a problem with overspending. You don’t want to give this type of person free reign on all your money.
Traveling together is a way to get to know someone better without moving in. Not just a day or two. But really go somewhere for a week or two together.
Why so long? You’re both in a new place, so it takes more of your energy. This makes it harder to put on an act. Traveling can also cause stressors, such as:
- car breakdowns,
- plane delays,
- getting lost,
- and other weird mishaps.
You’ll get to see how they react in these situations.
It’s easy to be nice when you’re in the comfort of your own environment, and everything is going right. But when choosing a life partner, you want to know if they can think straight and see how they’ll treat you under stress.
- Are they good planners and logical problem solvers?
- Or do they not plan ahead and run out of money or pairs of underwear?
- Do they complain and sulk when things go wrong or go into a solution-finding mode?
By the end of the trip, you’ll get to know a different side of them, guaranteed.
A note on living together
Living together is an excellent way to get to know someone. And it’s a great thing to do before marriage. Traveling together long-term is the next best option.
Either way, always have your own money and other options if things go south. Remember, you can always leave. You are not stuck—marriage and kids make it more complicated, but you always have options.
If you’re still unsure if you know your partner well enough or if they are right for you, I recommend finding a relationship coach. The right relationship coach can help you see things you may be missing and will always be in your corner.
For a lower-cost option, relationship books can help you figure out if you know your partner well enough.
Relationship Coach | Creator, The Millionaire Marriage Club
After about a year, you should really know your partner
Ultimately the question is, how vulnerable are you willing to be? Very near the beginning of the relationship, be truthful about what you’re looking for.
Do you want to find a lifetime partner? Then say so:
“I’m looking for someone with the same values and desires as mine. I want a lasting relationship where we are partners in love and life. I hope to have a family someday. Are you open to these ideas?“
If the answer is “yes,” then explore each other’s likes and dislikes. Plan to meet each other’s family. If any red flags show up, ask questions about behaviors that concern you. Such as, “You’ve had enough to drink tonight that I’m not comfortable with you driving me home. May I drive? If not, I’ll call a ride.”
Later, talk about that event and your feelings when you noticed too much alcohol being consumed. If your date speaks disparagingly about a family member or friend, ask, “What is the reason for your judgment toward them?”
Ask questions and then listen carefully to the answers.
- “What are your professional goals?”
- “How important is it to you to own your own home?”
- “How do you feel about debt?”
- “What kind of relationship do your parents have?”
- “What do you wish they had done differently?”
These don’t have to be addressed like an interrogation—all in one sitting.
But if your goal is to be in a stable, long-term relationship with a dependable person of high integrity, don’t be afraid to ask and answer the tough questions.
And do not take the verbal answers alone as proof. Words are easy. They are only the starting place. See if that person’s words are confirmed by their habitual, consistent behaviors.
With these goals in mind, you should begin to get to know this person within about three to five dates, enough to decide if you want to really know them more intimately.
Then, through subsequent meaningful experiences together, you’ll discover what’s inside. How you both deal with:
After about a year, you should really know this unique human being. But wait! Don’t stop there! The thrill of discovery should by no means be over. For a happy, lasting relationship, never stop getting to know each other.
Katie Ziskind, BS, MA, MFT, LMFT
Licensed Holistic Marriage and Family Therapist | Owner, Wisdom Within Counseling
At least a year and a half to two years
Getting to know someone in a relationship takes time. New relationship energy is high that develops in the first few weeks of a relationship and can last up to 16 months for some couples.
You need to know someone for at least a year and a half, if not two years, to know who they are and let new relationship energy fully subside.
Couples on social media might make it seem like you can trust someone in two weeks and get married three weeks later, and have a perfect life. However, this is just not the case at all.
Genuine relationships take time to develop, and the energy of those people is committed, playful, and enjoying the process of deepening love. You learn new things about someone every day, and a person is changing each season.
You want to know how someone reacts when they are not their best, and someone will be giving you their best for many months when you first meet them.
You’ll want to know how they react when they feel angry, exhausted, or jealous and how they release these feelings, ideally in a healthy way.
You want to get to know someone because if you’ve just met someone on a dating app, you really don’t know anything about them. You want to see their family and how they are around their family versus around friends.
You also want to ensure this person is someone who:
- is a positive influence in your life and won’t drag you down,
- won’t need you to take care of them all the time,
- and can truly give back to you as a person in the relationship.
At about a year and a half into a long-term relationship, you will probably have experienced some level of conflict or disagreement. Small conflicts are a healthy part of every relationship and allow couples to evolve, share emotions, and grow together.
Couples who do not have disagreements typically aren’t emotionally connected. It is okay to have different viewpoints and perspectives on your partner.
Getting to know someone means being with them through thick and thin and taking the time to be aware of what commitment and responsibility mean within yourself too.
You also want to take the time to grow as a person so that you can bring your best, most authentic, and genuine self to your relationship rather than feeling like you need to keep a secret or be dishonest, as that will always create trust issues in your relationship.
Overall, take the time to get to know someone by doing various outings, activities, and sleepovers and beginning to intertwine your lives together.
Continue to talk about different emotions you experience, from anxiety to fear, and if you need help, work with a relationship or couples therapist to help you through the tough moments.
Author | Inspirational Speaker | Spiritual Teacher | Wellness Consultant
It depends on where each is at in their attunement of themselves
The concept of time
People are usually at their best when starting a relationship, so it’s essential to be mindful of this. With that said, there are no hard and fast rules regarding how long it takes to ‘know’ someone as the concept of time can be misleading and is different for each person.
The amount of hours spent with one another does not necessarily equate to knowing the other.
So, it’s crucial that the time spent is “quality” time—quality above quantity. That’s not to negate the importance of quantity, as this also has a role to play in certain instances.
An attuned vulnerability
Being attuned to self opens a greater pathway to getting to know others. It’s the kind of attuned vulnerability that gives way to being emotionally available, which can be a leading factor in the length of time it takes to get to know someone.
Asking and responding to open-ended questions from varying perspectives is likely to keep an insightful dialogue going, thus offering greater connection to each other—having fun and laughter with it too.
In conclusion, depending on where each is at in their attunement of themselves, getting to know each other can take anywhere from months to years.
It’s important to be patient with this process, which can only add richness to the relationship
It depends on the couple and the depth of their connection
How long does it take to get to know someone in a relationship? This can be a difficult question to answer as it depends on the couple and the depth of their connection.
Some couples may feel like they know everything about each other after just a few weeks, while others may take years to truly get to know one another.
Ultimately, it is up to the couple to decide how much they want to share with each other and how deep they want their connection to be.
However, there are some general tips new couples can follow and have an idea of how long it might take to know each other.
One crucial factor to consider is the amount of time you spend together. If you’re only able to see each other a few hours a week, it will take longer to get to know each other than if you’re together all the time.
Another factor is the level of communication in your relationship.
- How much do you talk?
- How open are you with each other?
- Do you share your thoughts and feelings easily?
The more you communicate, the faster you’ll get to know each other.
Tips on getting to know your partner better:
There is no set amount of time that you need to spend with someone before you can deem them your significant other. However, there are some things that you can do to speed up the process and get to know someone better at a deeper level.
Spend more time together
To get to know someone, you must spend quality time with them. If you want to accelerate the process of getting to know your partner, set aside some time each day or each week specifically for this purpose. This way, you can focus on learning more about them without distractions.
This can be done in various ways, such as:
- going on dates,
- spending time together at home,
- or even taking a weekend trip together.
The important thing is that you choose an activity you both enjoy, allowing you to learn new things about each other.
Ask important questions
Another great way to get to know someone is to ask them questions. This is a great way to get to know a new romantic partner as it can be done in person, over a phone call or video chat, and by texting.
There are various methods to communicate regularly, allowing new couples to foster connection even while they’re apart.
Questions about their:
- and childhood experiences
are generally great conversation starters and will allow two people to get to know each other on a deeper level.
Practice active listening
It’s essential to practice active listening while you’re asking thought-provoking questions. Ensuring that you are present while conversing with someone shows your partner that you genuinely care about what they have to say and thus, creates a stronger bond between both parties.
Listen to their stories, thoughts, and feelings. This can help you understand them better and build a stronger connection with them.
Allow your relationship to develop naturally
Getting to know someone takes time, and it’s essential to be patient throughout the process. It’s best to allow your relationship to develop naturally.
Allow yourselves to grow and learn more about one another at a comfortable pace. Remember that dating should be an enjoyable experience.
Though there is no guaranteed magic number of days or weeks that you will know everything about your new partner, following these tips should help get you started on discovering more about them.
By spending quality time together, asking essential questions, practicing active listening, and being patient, couples can give themselves the best chance of success in their new relationship.
Professional Coach for Single Women | Founder and CEO, Love by Design
You will quickly know your partner through personality typing system
I absolutely love this question. This is exactly why using the personality typing system that I based my flagship program on is so important, powerful, and effective—because you can quickly determine somebody’s personality type, and you can do it within a few minutes just by looking at someone’s profile.
When you get a lot of practice—in your first initial communication exchange, and definitely by the end of your first date—you will know a man’s personality type on a basic level. Then you will know instantly what their mission is.
In other words, you will know:
- their purpose,
- what they can and can’t do,
- their biggest values,
- their level of identity,
- and basically who they are.
There are different personality types. One person’s growth and strengths and getting to that next level are very different from someone else’s. Our mission determines what’s really easy for us.
- For somebody who wants stability—or building and keeping systems—being consistent and logical is going to be very easy.
- For somebody who values freedom, they’re going to be creative, spontaneous, and flexible. You can know all of that immediately when you know their personality type.
You will also know their weaknesses. When they have specific strengths—like being easy-going, spontaneous, flexible, and creative—he will not be very good at being consistent, structured, or even logical. They’re two completely different personalities.
That is the beauty of knowing exactly what their preferences and needs are—including their subconscious needs.
When you see a particular personality type, you know exactly what they think they want and what they really need and appreciate.
So literally, with personality typing, when you practice it a lot, you’ll do it within a few minutes of seeing somebody’s online presence—their photos, height, body, eyes, face, and how they communicate—their messaging.
Ideally, exchange a few messages with a man to confirm your hypothesis. And 90% of the time, it’s accurate. Definitely for my students, by their first date, they know. And when you know somebody’s type, you know exactly how they will show up in situations of conflict and stress because it’s one of the criteria we use.
Different personality types consistently show up in a specific way. You’ll know precisely what they lack and want from their partner. You’ll learn the extreme sides, what can be the worst, and the darker sides of their personality type.
You’ll know what matters to them the most in determining their professional career—why they’re inclined to do this, and what they prefer regarding their free-time interests and passions.
There is a reason why, for a North type of man, keeping a system will be his routine for years. Every morning at seven, he will be cycling with his friends—the same people at the same time, same day, and in the same activity.
He never gets tired of it. You will know that right away. He likes to have the same breakfast at the same time every day—and it’s going to be healthy; it’s going to be efficient.
However, an East type of man will show up differently in everything, including his lifestyle. For the East type, it will be something different every day.
Like now, I’m going to be vegan—it’s different, it’s trendy. Or now I’m going to do kite surfing. That’s freedom—something unique. It’s something original, aligned with his mission to:
- be free,
- be creative,
- and do different things.
And then, a month later, the East man is already doing something else; he’s no longer vegan. He’s now on a keto diet, and now he’s no longer kite surfing—it’s going to be yoga, rock climbing, or something else.
I’m giving many examples just to illustrate how powerful this personality typing system is. By the end of your first date, you can know everything—even if you just got into a relationship.
Knowing this system will also determine your type, and their type will determine your level of compatibility. And if you’re not compatible, imagine what kind of challenges you will have.
So imagine a North type of man who is structured and wants to schedule everything, and an East type of woman who is a free spirit and wants to go with the flow; they’re gonna have issues—even about planning the date. It’s going to be a challenge.
Diana Maria Indries
CEO and Creator, Better Topics
It depends on the maturity of the partners involved in that relationship
Let’s start with the beginning: Every relationship should start with the partners knowing or at least having an idea of what they want.
Why do they want to be in a relationship? Why now? What does the ideal partner look like? And so on. These are questions that most of us should answer before even thinking about a relationship.
This will help them make better decisions from the start and know better what to ask, and they would also have better chances of meeting someone on the same wavelength.
How long it takes to know someone in a relationship really depends on the maturity of the partners involved in that relationship.
Let me explain.
When we’re in our late teens or early twenties, it might take a bit longer to know someone in a relationship, especially as we’re still trying to figure ourselves out, never mind someone else entirely.
By the time we hit our 30s, we already have an idea of what we want and like and who we would be more compatible with. Also, our confidence is a lot higher, and we are not afraid of asking even difficult questions like:
- What do you want in a relationship?
- What are your plans?
- What are your definite non-negotiables in a relationship? and so on.
So my exact tips would be these:
Decide what it is that you want in a relationship. And I mean what emotions and experiences you want out of it. It is ok if this changes over time. As we learn and get wiser, we can always tailor our list.
When you’ve met someone you’ve clicked with, once you both agree that the attraction is mutual, it is the best time to have those much-needed deep conversations. Maybe not all at once but take one topic at a time.
We don’t want to scare the partner off, but we also don’t want to spend 6 to 12 months guessing where this relationship/situationship going.
Relationship Expert, Sameera Sullivan Matchmakers
Getting to know someone can take more than 100 hours over three months
Although simply spending time with someone doesn’t guarantee a long-lasting relationship, spending more time with them boosts your chances of getting to know each other genuinely.
According to studies, men take an average of 88 days (roughly three months) to tell their partner they love them, while women take an average of 134 days (four and a half months).
However, some people may reach the knowing stage earlier depending on how much time they spend with each other and how well they complement one another.
If you want to know someone, it is best to spend time with them and see how they react to particular things in life. If you’re confused, it is always best to introduce them to your friends and see how they react.
It is also wise to pay attention by listening to their answers and how they respond to your questions. With that said, don’t bombard them with questions. Take it slow but show genuine interest by being honest with them. Give it some time and see where it takes you.
Relationship Expert | Founder, Everlasting Occasion
It depends mostly on how you approach the relationship
How long it takes to get to know someone in a relationship is context-dependent; it depends mostly on how you approach the relationship.
For example, I only really got to know my husband once I moved in with him. For us, this was around the three-year mark. However, I could imagine this would have been accelerated should we move in earlier.
It is only when you live with someone do you see all aspects of their:
- approach to life
My tip for getting to know someone in a relationship is to live together but to rent first. That way, should the relationship not work out, it would be much easier to split amicably without the stress and pressure of finances and a mortgage.
Monica Miner, LMHC
Lead Therapist, Future Now Detox
It can take anywhere from a few weeks to years or even decades
The time it takes to know someone in a relationship varies depending on the person but can take anywhere from a few weeks to years or even decades.
Here are good signs that they are compatible for the long term:
- If you feel like your partner is someone with whom you share similar values and interests
- If they have similar ideas about family and children
- If your partner shares your love for travel or adventure
Knowing your partner is a lengthy procedure even married couples are processing the deeper phase of getting to know each other as husband and wife, but still, as long as you know how to accept it is ok.
I remember what my mom always says “You can never know the real attitude of a person until you live under the same roof.“
Blogger and Founder, Divorced Parents Club
By one year, you know one another very well
When first dating, it often takes up to 60 days before a woman will become comfortable being exclusive. Men being more visually-oriented, often get to the stage of wanting to be exclusive first.
Women take longer, generally, as they need to feel it, rather than primarily going off the visual appeal. And at this stage, it’s also not uncommon for the couple to start to say, “I love you.“
However, there will still be a lot the couple doesn’t know about one another. So, it’s important not to move in together yet, get engaged, or do other things that lock the couple in prematurely.
It typically takes 90 days for couples to really see one another’s:
- character flaws
- level of integrity
- communication styles and challenges
By this point, the façade that many of us present when dating is gone, and we become more comfortable being ourselves. It’s not until this point that we start to get to know the person beyond a superficial level.
They’ve also likely had an argument or disagreement or two and seen how they each respond to that and how easily they can work through those challenges.
By six months, a couple has likely been exclusive for some time. They have probably gone on a vacation or long weekend together and tested how compatible they are from being around one another for an extended period.
They have also likely met all their partner’s close family and friends (if they haven’t, that is a red flag). Seeing the type of people their partner spends time with should give additional insight into their character.
As Jim Rohn says, “You’re the average of the five people spend the most time with.”
By one year of being together, a couple has stood the test of time, weathered several storms together, and knows one another really well.
They may have moved in together or even gotten engaged. Moving in together allows a couple to fast-track, really getting to know all the minutia of each other’s personas;
- childhood baggage, etc.
There is also relatively little that the couple doesn’t know about one another at this point.
Tips to speed up getting to know your partner
It’s essential to look at your partner’s actions more than their words. Many of us know the right things to say. But our actions don’t always align with our words, especially if there was childhood trauma, abuse, or neglect.
Also, ask open-ended questions to get them talking about themselves. Questions such as “tell me about your favorite memory growing up” or “what do you most look for in a romantic partner?”
Lastly, be 100% honest and transparent about feelings, history, likes/dislikes, and preferences. Partners know when we’re holding back, which will encourage them to hold back as well, which will delay developing genuine connection and emotional intimacy.
Having said all that, it’s crucial, especially for guys in heterosexual relationships, to not try and rush this process too much.
Women need time and space for their romantic feelings to grow, and men tend to rush the process of falling in love and can sometimes make women feel smothered or pressured to enter a committed relationship too quickly.
Real chemistry and really knowing someone takes time.
Owner and Author, Journey.Discover.
Two years is a good ballpark figure to feel they know each other on an intimate level
How long it takes to get to know someone in a relationship is a hard thing to calculate due to so many variables.
For any relationship that starts without a preluding friendship, two years is a good ballpark figure for when people start to feel like they know each other on a deeply intimate level. This will allow you to learn much about your partner, including by not limited to the following:
These include, but are not limited to:
- their emotional development and maturity,
- their chemistry, quirks, and habits
- and their cultural and moral standpoints.
Chemistry is that spark you feel when you’re with someone and the ease at which you can talk and laugh with them.
It’s fundamental to all relationships and the thing that allows them to progress, but it isn’t necessarily everlasting, so if the chemistry dies, getting to know someone becomes significantly harder and less enjoyable.
But if it does continue, it can be the beginning of a long, meaningful relationship, and it’s where people start feeling comfortable with each other and can start expressing themselves more freely.
Time can only see whether the chemistry will endure or not, but it is the fundamental basis for getting to know someone.
Sense of humor
Another thing that allows people to get to know each other is humor, as it’s a key ingredient to keeping a relationship and one of the most revealing.
Being able to banter and joke with your significant other brings so much joy and is great for deepening bonds. But it can also show a person’s heart and their shortcomings.
It tends to unveil their true nature, insincerities, and moral compasses like whether they are racist, sexist, homophobic, and so on.
And as the relationship progresses and the people involved feel more comfortable with each other, and the quips get more risque, it’ll come to light whether the jokes are good-natured and fun or at the expense of others.
Speaking of morals, as couples explore each other’s mindsets more intimately, they’ll come to understand what they stand for and what they morally and ethically oppose.
Even if someone is pretty forward with what direction their moral compass aligns to, it still takes time to understand why they see the world the way they do and whether you are comfortable with them having those views.
Quirks, habits, and routines
As highly complex, individual beings, humans come with a range of quirks, habits, and routines, and when people are in a relationship, they don’t present themselves all at once.
Some will appear naturally, while others are carefully concealed for fear of being judged.
As partners get to know each other more, they will feel more comfortable exhibiting their unique qualities. And then there are ones they have no control over, like snoring or sleeptalking.
Holidays and living together are particularly notable times when these quirks appear fully fledged. While they are often cute or tolerable at the beginning, as more life is experienced between two people, they may feel certain personality traits aren’t so endearing anymore.
Emotional development and maturity
In the beginning, partners will generally treat each other nicely to get in their good books, but as time passes and issues and arguments arise, their true natures unveil themselves. That’s when their maturity and emotional development start showing.
- Are disagreements handled calmly and respectfully, or does it erupt into something disrespectful and highly argumentative?
- Are they being nice in front of the people you disagree with but rude and condescending behind their back? Perhaps there are no holds barred, and they go at it like that to their faces.
- Are they able to be emotionally available, vulnerable, and comfortable with each other when something upsetting arises?
- Are they accepting of each other’s reaction or appalled and embarrassed?
- And are they respecting each other’s boundaries?
As the “honeymoon” phase wears off, they can begin to gauge whether the other is a keeper or is too emotionally immature, damaging, or disrespectful and need to keep walking.
Relationships are highly complex and based on a lot of variables. No two people are the same, neither are their relationships, so how long it takes to get to know someone isn’t an exact science.
However, a ballpark figure of two years is generally enough time for folks to communicate with each other and learn about who they are as an individual, what they stand for as a person, and whether that’s worth sticking around for.
Founding Partner, Espresso Translations
2 to 3 months is enough to have an overview of your partner
Now that you have made it official and crossed over from dating your partner, you want to know how long it will take to know much better about them.
The thing is this: Having someone you love who also loves you back is beautiful. Living with that feeling and that assurance for the rest of your life is blissful.
Across the globe, it is a living truth that people want to be loved. The hugs, the arms locking, holding hands, the blushes, smiles, and all other body language speak volume. Even without having to speak with our mouths, we can send signals and also pick signals.
Related: Why is Body Language Important?
So we follow our hearts and choose for ourselves a partner. Then as we continue in the relationship with our partner, we get to know one or two things about them. Our partner subconsciously shows:
- and even responses and reactions.
All of this adds up in our register about our partner. We can’t even hide ours; I can’t hide mine. To make a relationship work, the people in it must be open. And you don’t even need to stalk your partner to know much more about them.
There can never be a one size fits all answer. Because people are engineered differently, we can exhibit questionable characters that are very strange to patterns peculiar to us.
Notwithstanding, 2 to 3 months is enough to submit an overview of your partner. You will know what:
- they like,
- things they tolerate,
- their rules,
- things they like to talk about,
- places they want to visit,
- their philosophy about life,
- goals and aspirations, etc.
All of these become ingrained in our register about our partner. We then know our way around our partner with a very rich understanding. But you should never stop being interested in learning about your partner more. Being close together and living under the same roof will help you both.
Tips to help you know your partner better in the relationship:
Do not stalk your partner
Stalking your partner will mean you are an insecure person. If your partner is not free around you or hides things from you, just give it time; everything will submit to you.
Have constant communication
We can know our partners through constant communication. The mouth speaks what the heart harbors. True talking, you get to know the true nature of your partner.
Pay attention to how they react when you say some things and how they respond to your comments and jokes. You will know who you are in a relationship with.
Long distance relationships won’t help
Several reasons explain why partners in a relationship are far from each other—jobs, i.e., where our partner works. And to keep in touch with our partner, we do video calls, chats, and audio calls. But these are not enough to help you know who your partner is.
Be interested in knowing your partner’s friends
Show me your friend, and I will tell you who you are. The kind of activities your partner’s friends engage in may be inherent. Try to bring your partner’s friends closer. You will know more.
Knowing our partner so-so is different from knowing our partner fully.
I have been privileged to meet couples and attend family programs organized in churches, marriage seminars, forums, etc. On several occasions, some couples agreed you can’t know each other fully and that it takes an everyday effort because the human heart is invisible to us.
Senior Editor, Tandem
You will always learn about each other
Even though I have been with my husband for 19 years, I feel like I learn new things about him on a regular basis. Maybe it’s a city he previously lived in or food he doesn’t like, but there always seem to be new things to learn.
Some might wonder, “How Long Does It Take to Know Someone in a Relationship?” I often wonder that myself.
When you are in a new relationship where the parameters haven’t been established, you will spend a lot of time getting to know each other.
Whether this is done via messenger on your favorite social media app or if it’s talking in person, you will certainly learn the most important things about your new love interest within the first few weeks.
During your conversations, you’ll find out their type of work, favorite sports teams, and other important information. This is also when you would “weed out” the bad and keep dating the good.
After being with someone for a month or two, this is what I refer to as a budding relationship.
You are still in that “getting to know you” period, but you know enough about the person to understand that you still want to spend time with them. By this point, you have already learned many of the essentials, but you also tend to delve a little deeper.
Now you know their education or career and retirement goals, what they like to do for fun, and what types of friends they have.
If you haven’t met any of their friends by this point, make it a point to do so. People’s friends often say, even without words, a lot about a person. You want to learn as much as you can in this stage.
At a point when you have been with someone for about six months (give or take), now it starts to hit what many would consider the point of being serious.
Depending on your age, you might consider:
- moving in together,
- having kids,
- or getting married sometime soon.
At this point, if you haven’t already found out, now is when you need to ensure that your goals align with your partners. If your goals are too far off, you’ll need to determine if there are changes that either of you can make or if you should be going your separate ways.
Once you have passed the 6-month mark and determined your relationship path, you might think that you know the other person in your relationship. You would be wrong. That’s not a bad thing.
It’s just, well, something to contend with. You will always learn about each other, which keeps relationships fresh and intriguing. I know I enjoy regularly learning new things about my husband, and I hope he also likes learning new things about me.
Co-Founder and Designer, Neutypechic
It depends on the person
I’ve been in a relationship for three years, and it took me about two years to really know my boyfriend.
In the beginning, we were just two people hanging out and having fun—but after a while, you start to get to know the other person as more than just a partner.
You get to see what they’re like when they’re stressed, excited, happy, or sad. You learn whether they can handle a joke or whether they take things too seriously. You find out what makes them tick and how they tick best.
And then there are the little things: whether they like to be called sweetie pie or if they’d prefer you call them by their first name instead of “Mister” (or worse).
How they act around their friends and family tells you a lot about them—and let’s be real: nobody wants to date someone who doesn’t get along with their parents.
It takes time for all these things to come together so that you can really know someone—but when does? It’s worth it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some signs that you’re getting to know someone in a relationship?
There are several signs that you’re getting to know someone in a relationship. Some of these signs include:
• Feeling more comfortable and at ease around the person
• Being able to communicate more openly and honestly with each other
• Developing trust and respect for the other person
• Feeling a deeper emotional connection or intimacy
• Understanding each other person’s likes, dislikes, and values better
How can knowing someone well benefit the relationship?
Knowing someone well in a relationship can benefit the relationship in many ways, for example:
• Building trust and respect
• Enhancing communication and understanding
• Strengthening emotional intimacy
• Improving conflict resolution skills
• Creating a stronger sense of partnership and teamwork
Can a long-distance relationship affect how long it takes to get to know someone?
Yes, a long-distance relationship can affect how long it takes to get to know someone. The physical distance between partners can make it harder to spend time together and communicate effectively.
However, technology can help bridge the gap and make it easier to maintain a strong connection.
Should you worry if you feel like you don’t know your partner well enough?
It’s natural to worry if you feel like you don’t know your partner well enough, but it’s important not to jump to conclusions. Everyone moves at their own pace when it comes to building deep connections with someone.
Talk to your partner about your feelings, and together find ways to deepen your understanding of each other.
Can it be bad to know someone too well in a relationship?
Knowing someone too well in a relationship can be bad if it leads to boredom or complacency. However, if you develop a deep understanding and connection with your partner, it can lead to a stronger and more fulfilling relationship.
How important is it to continue to get to know your partner even after being in a relationship for a long time?
It’s incredibly important to continue getting to know your partner even after being in a relationship for a long time. Here’s why:
People change: Over time, people’s interests, goals, and personalities can change. By continuing to get to know your partner, you can keep up with who they’re and what they want in life.
Relationships evolve: Relationships are constantly evolving, and it’s important to keep up with these changes. By continuing to get to know your partner, you can adjust to new challenges and experiences together.
Avoiding complacency: If you stop making an effort to get to know your partner, it can lead to complacency and taking them for granted. This can ultimately be detrimental to the relationship.
Building intimacy: Intimacy is more than just a physical connection. It’s also about an emotional connection and getting to know the other person on a deep level. By continuing to get to know your partner, you can build and maintain that emotional intimacy.
Can there be too much emphasis on getting to know someone in a relationship?
Although getting to know each other is important in a relationship, it’s possible to place too much emphasis on it. Here are some examples of when this can happen:
Over-analyzing everything: If you’re constantly analyzing everything your partner says or does, it can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety in the relationship.
Focusing on the past: While it’s important to understand each other’s past, focusing too much on the past can prevent you from building a future together.
Ignoring the present: If you’re constantly trying to get to know your partner without enjoying the present moment, that can also be a problem.
Avoiding vulnerability: While it’s important to respect each other’s boundaries, avoiding vulnerability can prevent you from really getting to know each other.
The key is to find a balance between getting to know your partner and enjoying the relationship in the present moment. Remember that relationships are a journey, and getting to know each other is a process that takes time and effort.
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