How Many Dates Before Making Your Relationship Official?

You’ve been dating someone special for a while now, and you’re wondering when is the right time to make it official.

You don’t want to wait too long and seem like you’re not interested, but you also don’t want to move too fast and scare the other person away.

So, how many dates should you wait before making your relationship official?

A combination of dates and in-depth communication helps determine your status

It’s not about having a certain number of dates so much as how long it takes for both people to decide they have something special and want exclusivity.

Each person has their own mate selection screening process and must-haves list. Each person has their own red flags, boundaries, and “deal breakers.”

combination of dates and in-depth communication helps them determine if they meet each other’s exclusive dating criteria is vital. This generally entails discovering if there is: 

  • mutual attraction, 
  • chemistry, 
  • compatibility, 
  • shared values, 
  • a similar sense of humor, 
  • and a desire for a relationship.

Related: Signs He Wants to Date You Exclusively

It’s possible for two people to go out on several dates, such as seeing movies, a play, concerts, and dancing, without having meaningful conversations.

You could also have a scenario where the prospective couple lives a two-hour drive apart from each other and have only had two or three dates in a month. However, they text and email one another throughout the day and have lengthy heart-to-heart verbal phone conversations most evenings.

The latter scenario will likely consist of two people becoming more emotionally invested in each other. Communication is the GPS for relationships.

Last but not least, physical intimacy generally plays a major role. In the modern dating era, most people have sex before committing to exclusivity.

Casual dating for some people means one is free to date and have sex with multiple people since they are not in an exclusive relationship. Others believe that exclusivity is a requirement once they have sex with someone, at least in the bedroom, even if they are not officially a couple.  

Once you realize you are becoming emotionally invested in someone, you should probably initiate the talk.

Often, you have women in this situation who are afraid of coming across as being clingy, so they patiently wait for the man to define their relationship. In the meantime, they conduct themselves as if they are already in an exclusive and committed relationship when one does not actually exist.

These are often the people who get hurt the most if, in the end, they learn the other person is seeing others, things don’t work out, or they’re rejected or ghosted.

Don’t be a passenger in your own life. Take the wheel! 

Initiate the talk the minute you realize you are falling for someone. You are entitled to know where you stand with this person, especially if you’ve been dating them for a couple of months.

By not doing so, you could easily find yourself slipping into a long-term “situationship” instead of being in a committed relationship.

When someone does not want what you want concerning being a couple, it means they are not the right person for you. For them to be “the one,” they would have to see you as being “the one.”

As Oscar Wilde puts it, “Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.” 

Amy Andersen

Amy Andersen

Dating and Relationship Expert |  Founder and CEO, Linx Dating

Look for promising signs instead of counting the number of dates

If you’re wondering how to get him to commit, you’re asking the wrong question. The right man for you—an individual who is ready for a serious relationship—will show you that he is worthy of your time and affection. 

I firmly believe you need to see some promising signs before making your relationship official. So, under this theory, the actual number of dates doesn’t matter. 

Instead, look for signs that the individual you are spending considerable time with is showing you that he’s a good person and making you feel like the beautiful, intelligent woman you are. 

Here are a few signs that the person you’re dating could be worthy of making your relationship official: 

Can you rely on him for anything? 

Being able to rely on your partner for support is a big part of a sustainable relationship, and he will want to show you that he can handle one. 

The wrong guy will duck out and run when times get tough or very stressful. The right guy who might be worth getting serious with and sticks by your side through thick and thin. 

While he might be stressed when life throws curveballs, he knows nothing is perfect, and things can be messy. He’s in this incredible journey called life with you no matter what. 

Does he make you feel good about yourself? 

Your man wants you to feel your best. He gives you affirmations about his feelings and isn’t afraid to express himself verbally. When you are around him, you feel good about yourself. He lifts you and makes you shine more than not. 

Compared to other relationships you’ve had or men you’ve encountered, this individual brings fun to your life. You are better with him. 

Does he make you feel safe? 

When a man is seriously interested, he wants to make you feel safe—physically and emotionally. 

In large crowds, he will help navigate you. If someone appears aggressive, your man is on alert. He’s an extra pair of eyes and ears, prioritizing your physical well-being.

If you have considered this framework and can confidently say yes to most, or ideally all of them, this strongly indicates that you’re ready to elevate your relationship to the next level. 

Have the talk and be very clear about what you want out of a relationship and ensure you’re actively listening to his needs and wants. Once you have “the talk,” go exclusive and enjoy life in technicolor! 

Susan Trombetti

Susan Trombetti

Matchmaker and CEO, Exclusive Matchmaking

Three months is generally the make-it-or-break-it point in a relationship

When it comes down to making your relationship official, this is something people do over and over again way too soon. 

As a matchmaker, I can definitely say aside from first date dating mistakes, this has got to be the biggest actual dating mistake that people make across the board. They go official, lock it down, and then it’s over before it starts. 

Most people, of course, turn down other dates and people when taking themselves off the market and miss out consistently on other great opportunities only to start again. You could be in a perpetual cycle of being off the market with the wrong one. 

There is not a certain number of dates you have to have before making it official. You can’t rush it or assign a certain number of dates. It’s more about a length of time that allows you to truly see the person. 

I will give it my average of three months time frame, though, because three months is generally the make-it-or-break-it point in a relationship. If you get past that time, it’s fine to go facegram official, announce it to your family and friends, and shout it from the mountain tops. 

My clients will call it my “90-day rule”, but I just say, “do not make a relationship official before three months.” It takes approximately three months for you to clearly evaluate someone to make sure they can meet your needs and for you to see who they are. 

Three months is about the amount of time it takes for: 

  • the truth to come out about someone, 
  • the new shine to start to wear off, 
  • and to have your first disagreement. 

If you make it official too soon, you will blind yourself to your needs not being met and any reality you don’t want to face if you have already made it official. You have jumped with your heart and not your head. 

Also, I find that narcissists and serial cheaters tend to rush you to make something official way too soon. Everyone practically does it, and it’s common, but at least you can avoid a narcissist or playa if you give it time. 

Related: 35+ Signs You’re Dating a Narcissist

Make it official when:

  • You know this person possesses character traits such as loyalty, integrity, and honesty.
  • This person can commit, and you can see they are committed to their job and family and show up on time for your date. 
  • They have demonstrated to you they can meet your needs
  • You have started to see someone consistent with who they say they are.
  • The attraction has developed and continued, and it’s mutual
  • They have something to offer you in a relationship. They need to bring something to the table. 
  • You sense that you are fully invited into their life, and they are ready to share. 
  • You can both communicate effectively about any disagreements you have and solve issues. 

Natalie Fry

Natalie Fry

Dating Expert and Matchmaker, It’s Just Lunch

Consider the quality rather than the number of dates

Daters should consider the decision to make a relationship official based on the quality of the dates the couple has had, rather than a specific number of dates. 

A dater can feel like they’re still struggling to get to know the other person after 12 dates but then feel a strong connection with someone else after only three or four dates.

It can feel frustrating to talk and go out on dates without any real definition for the relationship, but it’s essential to remember that the early months of dating are about assessing each other to determine if they’re a good match.

Daters should use this time to have fun getting to know each other and see if there’s a connection.

The best way for daters to determine if they’re a good fit is to have quality conversations on their dates and do things that match their values. They should make sure they’re asking questions and having conversations that can show who they are as a person.

I always recommend to my clients that they think about their values when it comes to dating.

Related: What Are Core Values and How Do They Control My Life?

If being healthy is important to a person, try doing something active like a walk or bike ride for a date to see how it goes. A brewery might be a good place for a date if they enjoy going out with friends in their spare time.

Singles should also shake things up for their dates so they see each other in different situations. Going out for dinner is a great way to have conversations, but it’s tough to see how they’ll interact when they’re not sitting at a restaurant together. 

As daters are trying to learn about each other, seeing each other in different circumstances can either move things forward or help them decide that it’s not the right match.

As the dates progress, people shouldn’t be afraid to talk about how it’s going. If a person is getting to the point where they want more, have a conversation about it, even if it’s hard. 

It can feel scary for daters to make their feelings known to someone else. They can start the conversation by saying they’ve been dating for a while and are looking for something more serious. Then ask how the other person is feeling about the situation. 

It may be hard to hear that the other person isn’t ready to take that next step, but both should realize they’re on different pages. 

On the other hand, having that conversation can also lead to realizing they’re both enjoying how it’s gone so far and are ready to move into a committed relationship.

Rachel Brandwene, LCSW

Rachel Brandwene

Licensed Therapist and Relationship Coach

Reflect on how you’re feeling between dates three to six

Before discussing the number of recommended dates to make a relationship official, it’s crucial to first understand that every relationship is different, and some timelines will look different than others. 

However, what you can look out for is by date number 3, you should have a pretty good sense as to whether or not you’d like to continue seeing this person long-term. 

Between date three and date six, it is highly recommended that you take a moment to reflect on how you’re feeling in the relationship so far. 

  • Do you and this person have the same values? 
  • Have you had a conversation about what each of you is looking for? 
  • Do you feel like you are on the same page? 
  • Do you talk about the future together? 
  • Have you met each other’s friends? 
  • Is this person emotionally available? 

If you don’t have a clear answer to these questions by dates 4-5, then this is worth a conversation so that you can make an informed decision about whether to pursue this.

How to effectively communicate what you want and where you like the relationship to be

If you’re stumbling on how to have a conversation this way, here are some tips to effectively communicate what you want and where you would like this relationship to go. 

Begin the conversation by describing the facts of the situation without judgment. This can be a brief statement about how many dates it’s been and how you look at the relationship. 

Related: How Many Dates Before You Become a Couple

Then express how you have felt so far in this relationship, making sure to use “I” statements, such as “I have been enjoying our time together, and I see this going somewhere.” 

Follow this statement by clearly asserting what you need and want. Such as “I’d like for you and me to be official and would love to get a sense of what you’ve enjoyed and experienced so far in this relationship.” Make sure to be kind and compassionate while stating this. 

Lastly, appear confident and remain mindful of the other person’s response. This will allow both of you to have a productive conversation with open honesty and transparency. 

If the other person does not wish to make it official be respectful of their answer and discuss whether this is something you are willing to negotiate on or whether it’s best to move on.

Massimo Stocchi Fontana

Massimo Stocchi Fontana

Sexologist, Sex Coach, and Couples Therapist

Have as many dates as possible before becoming intimate

The initial stages before you and your partner become intimate are the courtship phase; this is the beautiful dance of feeling whether someone is investable in. 

However, the moment penetration (coitus) takes place is where there needs to be a mutual responsibility with one another that the relationship is now official. This is to say that neither of you has spoken about the official nature of the relationship. 

The courtship phase should be focused on having as many dates as possible before becoming intimate with your soon-to-be official partner. 

This is where we: 

  • explore communication,
  • iron out any red flags, 
  • and understand how you can harmonize with one another. 

This is the space where difficult and yet critical questions come into play, such as what are your expectations, needs, desires, and wants—knowing how the individual acts out potentially sabotage a good relationship or success. 

The moment penetration takes place, there is an immediate exchange of history between two bodies—epigenetically speaking. 

And we cannot deny that this exchange in the deliciousness of making love is one of the many parts of a beautiful union, bringing together two souls that need consciousness and decision so that sex is not seen as flippant and wasteful. 

Many relationships begin with desperation to connect sexually, and on one level, there is nothing wrong here. But I have seen many of these types of relationships end up with one or both parties disappointed due to sex being the primary focus rather than building a solid and consciously loving relationship. 

At the end of the day, a relationship becomes official when both parties decide to step in with both feet and make a conscious and adult decision to work through the tension that comes with any relationship, rather than running away from responsibility.

Judith Aronowitz, RN, LCSW

Judith Aronowitz

Clinical Social Worker and Therapist

The amount of time varies widely among couples

Maybe you have begun dating someone and find yourself thinking a lot about them. You’re communicating more often and enjoying the time you spend together. Should you think about making things official? 

There really is no set time frame or the number of dates that one can universally rely on. It’s unique to each couple. It takes time to see if the ingredients are there to stop dating others and focus on this relationship exclusively. The amount of time varies widely among couples.

You should have an interest in getting to know the person more deeply. You want to pay attention to feeling safe enough to talk about how you feel. Are you enjoying what you know, or are you looking forward to spending time together? 

Being vulnerable with a partner isn’t easy, but it should feel worth the risk. Honest and open communication helps couples feel at ease and safe enough to share deep parts with themselves. Feeling seen and heard are essential components of building trust and safety.

Think about your value system

Growth is important in relationships. 

  • Does this person share similar values to you? 
  • Are there enough commonalities between the two of you? 
  • Are there things you admire about this person? 
  • Can you share and learn from each other? 
  • What does your intuition say? 
  • Is there mutual respect for each other? 

These traits help infuse vitality in relationships and prevent boredom and stagnation. Relationships often involve some risk, but some components tell you it’s worth jumping into the deep end.

Dating and relationships can be daunting. Making a relationship official shouldn’t be hard work. Be present with your own thoughts, listen to your inner voice, and have that conversation.

Dr. Caleb Jacobson, PsyD, PhD

Caleb Jacobson

Clinical Psychologist and Sex Therapist | Host, Sex Therapy Podcast

The key is to never put unnecessary rules on yourself

The truth is there is no answer as to how many dates before making a relationship official because each person and each relationship is different. 

This means that some people could know immediately, on the first date, that they want to be in a relationship with the other person. However, this same person could be on a date with someone else, and it takes a few weeks before they reach the same conclusion. 

There are many reasons for this. Perhaps the person you are on a date with has been hurt in the past. So it is much more difficult for them to be vulnerable and open on the first date. 

It may take a few meetings before they are comfortable enough to open and share with you. While you may enjoy spending time with the person, you don’t feel it’s the right time to consider the relationship official. 

Other times you maybe go out with the person a few times, and things just don’t click, so the relationship never becomes official. 

The key is to never put unnecessary rules on yourself. You and your relationship are individual and unique. Treat it as such. 

You don’t have to model your new relationship based on what your friends are doing or your past relationships. Doing that only sets your relationship up for failure, no matter when it becomes official. 

So regardless of whether it is the first or the one-hundredth date, do what you feel is right for you and the person you are spending time with.

Connell Barrett

Connell Barrett

Dating Coach, Hily | Author, “Dating Sucks, but You Don’t

The six dates is a good guideline

Six dates is a good guideline for how long, minimum, before you make a relationship official, but there are exceptions to that rule. 

Let’s say you’re friends with this person first, and you’ve already gotten to know each other. In a case like that, the 3-date mark is an acceptable milestone for having the “should we be official” talk. 

Take the “relationship bridge”

If six dates are too fast for you to get into an official relationship, don’t worry. Take the “relationship bridge.” This is when you and your new S.O. make it clear that you’re not seeing other people. 

While still a commitment, it’s not as much of a commitment as declaring, “We are now official.” If you like to move slowly, you can say, Hey, just so you know, I’m not seeing anyone else, and I want to see how close we can get.” 

This gives you a little breathing room not yet to be an official couple, but you’re giving that person the clarity of knowing they’re the only one for you right now. 

Stop counting dates and try the slow burn

For some people, the 6-date rule is very fast. There’s nothing wrong with a slower burn, where you stop counting dates and give both of you six to eight months to let an exclusive relationship happen slowly and organically over time. 

Whether it’s six dates or six months depends on your and your new partner. As long as you’re both traveling at the same rate of speed on the “Relationship Highway,” you’re doing it right

Treva Brandon Scharf

Treva Brandon Scharf

Life Coach | Dating Expert

The number of dates doesn’t determine or define your relationship status

In my experience, your relationship doesn’t become official after a certain number of dates, nor does it become official after having sex for the first time or after meeting each other’s friends and family. 

Your relationship doesn’t become official just because you post a happy couple photo on Instagram or update your relationship status on Facebook. 

These things are part of dating and courtship, they’re symbolic benchmarks for getting to know each other and becoming closer, but they don’t determine or define your relationship status. 

You could be dating someone for months on end, having a great time, being all over social media, and still not knowing whether you’re an item or not. 

Making your relationship official is a moment of truth. In my many years of being single, becoming “official” wasn’t a subtle assumption; it was a conscious choice that required an honest conversation between me and the person I was dating. 

Sometimes the conversation (“The Talk“) was difficult and didn’t end the way I wanted. But sometimes it did, and it immediately made us official. 

As much as I hate having “The Talk,” it does serve its purpose. It clarifies and spells out exactly where you both stand. Either you’re:

  • hanging out, 
  • casually dating, 
  • or in a real relationship. 

Related: What’s the Difference Between Dating and Being in a Relationship?

If you can sit down with someone, look at them directly, take their hand and ask, “Are we a couple?” and if the answer is yes, then you’re ready to make your relationship official.

Rakhi Oswal

Rakhi Oswal

Life Coach | Founder, Edrio

It cannot be bound by a time frame or a set deadline

I feel a relationship cannot be bound by a time frame or a set deadline, as emotions should be allowed to flow freely

The turning point of your relationship is not a fixed number of dates but the time when you feel that both of you are on the same page. Look for signs that the one has the same feelings towards you and is ready to commit. 

If you are serious about someone you are seeing and want to make it official, look for the level of comfort and understanding in your relationship. You should discuss your partner’s plans and find out whether you are a part of his future or not.

Being in love is beautiful, and when you meet someone right for you, do not hesitate to build a serious relationship. But before making it official, you should be comfortable in the relationship. 

If you are still facing the fear of being judged by your partner for your views and choices, give the relationship some time and wait until you have made the bond stronger

Being yourself and understanding and respecting each other when in a committed relationship is essential. 

  • Spend more time with each other
  • Understand his beliefs
  • Learn about his past to know his personality and mindset 

Once you understand each other and are ready to commit, you can take the plunge.

Further, making it official means no guesswork is involved in the relationship status anymore. So, I advise people dating to discuss what they expect in a serious relationship. 

In the present world, most people have clear privacy boundaries in different aspects of life like: 

  • financial transparency, 
  • fidelity, 
  • passwords, 
  • and making the relationship public. 

Keeping expectations and boundaries unclear may result in disagreement in the future. 

The two individuals involved must have a clear conversation to decide how they see their committed relationship, as no set rule defines a love relationship between two people.

Kassondra Glenn, LMSW

Kassondra Glenn

Mental Health Writer | Psychotherapist, Diamond Rehab

The quality of connection is far more important than the number of dates

There is no universal rule for the number of dates we should go on before committing to a relationship. 

For some, the process may be shorter, and for some, it may be lengthier. The quality of connection and conversation is far more important to consider than the number of dates. 

Questions to ask ourselves include:

  • Do I like who I am when I am around this person? 
  • Is this person consistent in communication and action? 
  • Does my nervous system respond to this person with a sense of calm? 
  • Do I share compatible life goals with this person?
  • Have this person, and I addressed our perspectives on important topics?

Sameera Sullivan

Sameera Sullivan

Relationship Expert, Sameera Sullivan Matchmakers

Most couples go on five to six dates before talking about getting together

Although there is no fixed rule for when a relationship should become official, most couples go on five to six dates before talking about getting together, and others go even further. 

If you’ve had a few dates, don’t worry about it. It fits with the typical person’s timeframe of one to three months.

As a general guideline, two months should be sufficient time to discuss the matter. 

However, because every relationship is unique, if something feels right early on, go for it. You may take specific actions to prepare yourself for the talk if it doesn’t feel right at that point.

Monica Miner, LMHC

Monica Miner

Lead Therapist, Future Now Detox

It is up to your feelings

It is important to ensure that you are not rushing things and are not making decisions impulsively. When dating, it is crucial to take your time and ensure that the person you are dating is right for you. 

The date should not be a race; it should savor the moment. As you enjoy the date, you are likely to start taking in more and more of your surroundings and notice things about the person that make you happy.

Therefore, there is no official number or count when you will make your relationship official because it is up to your feelings, emotions, and beliefs.  

Kathryn Kosmides

Kathryn Kosmides

Founder and CEO, Garbo

There is no right number

Every relationship journey is unique — some people get happily married after a week, while other relationships may blossom over the years. 

This is to say that there is no “right” answer — but there are things you should acknowledge in the relationship journey as you make your way to being official. 

In the early stages of any relationship, you should work on getting to know each other’s beliefs, values, and general background information. If someone is totally closed off at this stage, or the opposite and sharing a bit too much, this could be an early dating red flag. 

A few relationship milestones can be good general guidelines for determining if a relationship is progressing to being a committed, official relationship. 

Things such as: 

  • meeting their friends, 
  • holding hands in public, 
  • and sharing images on social media 

can be positive signs that things are progressing towards an official relationship.

What you don’t want to happen is to find yourself in a “situationship”—a relationship with no clear intentions or end goals between partners. 

So, as long as you feel like during each date : 

  • you’re getting to know the other person more
  • you can clearly express your needs and desires 
  • you are having fun 

then there is no right number!

Jade Chang Sheppard

Jade Chang Sheppard

Founder, Scarlet Society

The number of dates depends on your individual situation 

I started dating again at 40 after a divorce and have young kids. It’s fun and exciting because, at 40, we can have more confidence and life experience and be unapologetic about what we do and don’t want. 

I was done having kids, so not having the pressure of wanting children meant that I could just concentrate on having fun and finding a partner for me. 

Also, since my career was established, finding someone to provide wasn’t an issue either. I could provide for myself; I was looking for someone to enjoy my time with. 

Ultimately, finding someone on equal footing that I enjoy spending time with leads to an “official relationship” versus the number of times I’ve seen them. 

The kid factor

Having kids definitely leads to a couple of extra “dates” and a longer time until I make things “official.” I’m pretty careful to leave my children out of my dating life until a relationship develops into something more significant

It has been fun dating men who are also fathers. It’s cute, and the idea of a blended family means that there are more people to love in your life.

Carol Gee, MA

Carol Gee

Author, “Telling Stories, Sharing Confidences

Four dates were enough for me to know he was a keeper

Meeting when we both served in the Air Force and were married for over 49 years, my relationship with the airman who would become my husband took only four dates. 

On our first date, we had driven into the small Idaho town, gotten food at one of two fast food restaurants, and entered the base gates. I had forgotten the warning by the other female airmen. 

To be careful whom I dated as some of the guys (about 200 men to 20 females) weren’t honorable or respectful to women female airmen until later. He and I had a nice time. Escorting me to the female dorm, he kissed me on my forehead and left. 

Date number two ended the same way. At the end of the third date, and his leaning over to do that forehead thing, I asked what was with the forehead kisses that I had lips. He explained he wanted to be respectful and was waiting for a signal from me. 

On our fourth date, he took me shopping in Boise, roughly 50 miles from the base. Back then, I never knew he didn’t really like shopping. Seeing and liking two outfits while he waited patiently

Unable to afford both, he paid for the other one saying he knew I liked both and wanted me to have both. 

By then, his respect for me, holding the door for me at buildings and car doors (something he still does), his overall sweetness, and so much more four dates were enough for me to know that he was indeed a keeper.

Laura Herman

Laura Herman

Consultant and Writer, Seniorstrong

Most people require 5-6 dates or more to make it official

It’s never been apparent when you should have “the conversation.” 

At first, you want to check whether: 

  • you have anything in common, 
  • you enjoy each other, 
  • and if you are attracted to each other. 

Getting to know a person takes time. Then it goes deeper, you begin to reveal more personal, emotional information, and you want to check if the other person has the same emotional depth as you.

You can’t have these discussions after the first few dates or after a few weeks. After all, it takes time to determine whether a relationship has the potential to develop into something more serious.

Most people require 5-6 dates to make it official. Every relationship is different, but if you’ve been on 3-4 dates and are concerned that you aren’t officially engaged, don’t be

Before discussing a relationship, most couples go on 5-6 dates, and others go on even more.

AJ Silberman-Moffitt

AJ Silberman-Moffitt

Senior Editor, Tandem

There is no one correct answer

If you read UpJourney’s article, you know I am one of those who moved in quickly with her significant other. You also know that, 19 years later, we are still together. So if you were to ask me, “How many dates before making your relationship official?” I admittedly would be stumped.

When I moved in with my then-boyfriend, we weren’t saying, “I love you.” I just knew that I felt comfortable in my relationship and that moving in was not the equivalent of being married. 

If it didn’t work out, we could each go out separate ways and lose a few dollars, such as from our security deposit. I was already divorced once, as I had separated from my ex-husband six years prior and officially got divorced three years later.

How is it, then, that we moved in so quickly together? Wouldn’t you think that by that point, our relationship was official?

To answer how many dates until you make it official, I think it’s important to note that there is no one correct answer. The right answer for me will not be the correct answer for my friend, my friend’s friend, and so on. 

In fact, if I were someone else, and someone told me my origin story, I would listen in disbelief. Who moves in with someone they met less than two months prior?

Knowing when you should make it official needs to be a mutual decision. Just because you are ready to take your relationship to the next level doesn’t mean your partner is also ready. 

Talk to your significant other if you are ready to take the next step. You might find that they feel the same way. The important thing is you won’t know until you discuss it because communication is key.

Elena Zimmerman

Elena Zimmerman

Content Writer, Love & Lavender

It’s a “moving target” depending on how they relate to sex and commitment

The number of dates that transfer a couple from dating to relationship status can be seen as a moving target. As anyone who has ever been on a blind date, awkward first date, or fantastic first date knows well, all dates are most certainly not equal.

There is also the “3 date rule” concerning when to have sex for the first time with a new partner. Does this play into how many dates equate to a relationship as well?

To address the “3 dates=sex rule” first is ridiculous. Three dates are hardly enough time to really get to know someone, and it is entirely possible that by the end of a third date, neither person feels a particular connection or spark with the other. 

In this case, it is simply idiotic to feel pressured to have sex with someone you do not feel attracted to for the first time. 

This “rule” is more of a tasteful guideline, indicating that if things have been going well and the desire is there, it is no longer considered slutty by conventional society to jump into bed with the current target of your affection.

So assuming three dates have passed and the happy couple has hopped into bed together, is the couple now considered in a relationship? Again, this is a moving target depending on how the members of this couple relate to sex and commitment. 

For many people, sex can be casual and fun and does not need to indicate any higher level of commitment than that. For others, this act carries much greater weight. 

In any case, after about three dates, and especially after sex, it is probably a good time to check in with yourself and the other person you are seeing to check if your expectations and feelings are on the same page. 

It can then be discussed further if you both want to be in a committed, probably monogamous relationship or if it would be better to see other people and play the field a bit more.

Sai Blackbyrn

Sai Blackbyrn

CEO, CoachFoundation

Let the woman bring it up first

The ideal tactic is to wait until she initiates the conversation about relationships before ever bringing it up. 

She will stir up being with each other, exclusive, and all that when she is comfortable. Do not, however, bring it up yourself; let the woman bring it up first.

In most cases, dating takes a month or a month and a half. Unless you think it is—which I’m not sure how you would think it is—then just be willing to wait for her to bring this up. That’s the best way to avoid turning her off and to become engaged precisely when she asks you to. 

Until then, proceed to have to relax and play dates with no desires. Let her fall in love with you at her own rhythm.

Mo Mulla

Mo Mulla

Founder, Parental Questions

At least have a good idea of what the other person is like

There’s no magic number of dates, but if you’re ready to make things official, you should feel like you’ve gotten to know each other well. 

You don’t need to have every detail figured out, but you should at least have a good idea of what the other person is like—both the good and bad

If you’re still getting to know each other and aren’t quite sure if you want to make things official, it’s perfectly fine to take things slow. Just enjoy getting to know each other, and don’t worry about labels. 

When you’re ready to make your relationship official, have a conversation with your partner about what you’re both looking for. Be honest about your intentions and be open to hearing what they say. 

If you’re on the same page, go ahead and make things official. If not, you might want to hold off until you’re both on the same page. There’s no rush—take your time and enjoy getting to know each other.

Dan Farrant

Dan Farrant

CEO, Hello Music Theory

Most folks nowadays prefer 8-10 dates

Honestly, there is no recipe for a “perfect love story.” Each couple is different, and individuals are destined to find love in their own time. 

Though the acceleration could be given in the form of engaging dates, few meetups can hardly help someone decide whether or not they have found the ‘one.’ 

Most folks nowadays prefer 8-10 dates before finally deciding whether or not to make it official and become exclusive with one another. Many people might feel more comfortable in amicable interaction for 1-2 months before deciding whether to become serious or not. 

It entirely depends on the preferences and passions of both the people involved. Different couples might enjoy different dating duration before putting labels on their relationship. 

For example, when two friends fall for each other, they might wait for a couple of days to one week before announcing their minds as they already know each other and do not require much time to go through the process of dates. 

On the contrary, two people who are acquaintances need time to become comfortable in each other’s company before moving to the next step. 

So this varies from couple to couple and their perspective of “how much to wait” before finally making it official.

Leslie Radka

Leslie Radka

Founder and Hiring Manager, Great People Search

Ten dates are enough

If you are confused about how many dates are enough to make your relationship official, then here is a guideline. 

Significantly, you need around ten dates before making your relationship official. Moreover, 10 is not just an arbitrary number, but it also has some scientific facts behind it.

Obviously, in today’s world, most people are doing full-time jobs to improve their lives. So if you and the person you’re dating are doing full-time jobs, then it’s apparent that you both can see each other on weekends. 

It means you both can meet once a week. So two and a half months is ideal for dating before you make your relationship official. 

Benefits of ten dates

On ten dates, you can: 

  • get to know each other well, 
  • get knowledge about each other’s likes and dislikes, 
  • see more people, 
  • can know each other’s level of understanding and many more things.

Thus it is best to go for ten dates before making your relationship official. 

Kris Silvey

Kris Silvey

Owner and Writer, Elevated Coffee Brew

It was four dates before we laid our cards on the table

My wife and I had both been engaged previously and knew what we were looking for. We were honest from the start with our feelings, so it was probably only four dates before we really laid our cards on the table. 

We dated for almost seven weeks before I popped the big question, and she was crazy enough to say yes!

First date

After we met, our first date wasn’t for a few days, but she couldn’t wait (she’s still not good at waiting, ha). So, she invited me to the movies with her and her mom. 

Pretty crazy to meet her mom on the first unofficial date, but it was great. We saw a romantic comedy, and it made her laugh and cry.

Second date

The second date was a little more traditional. We met at Conner’s Steakhouse. I dressed up in a nice button-up and some khakis while she wore a light, flowing summer dress. I told her to order whatever she liked, so she got the salmon. I, being a bit frugal, just ordered the chicken finger plate.

After the meal, we walked around for hours and window shopped. She showed me some of her favorite stores, and I showed her that I was willing to just spend time with her no matter what we were doing.

Third date

The third date took a little longer. She had to go out of town on a business trip for a few days, so we didn’t meet up until about ten days after our last date. 

But, when we did, we went low-key. We rented a movie and ordered pizza. We were exhausted from our busy weeks, so we cuddled up on the couch and watched TV all night. It was perfect.

Michelle and Bill Morton

Michelle and Bill Morton

Entrepreneur | IT Director

There is no magical number—it is all in your heart

When I met my husband, we instantly knew that we were attracted to each other because when our eyes met, it was something that we both “felt.” 

We had a long-distance relationship at first and spent most of our time talking on the phone to get to know each other. We never made our relationship official in the sense of saying it was official. We just knew we wanted to be together and started spending our free time driving back and forth to see each other.

Related: How to Stay Emotionally Connected in a Long-Distance Relationship

It ended up getting to a point where we did not want to be away from each other, so we talked about moving in together. We sure did and hadn’t looked back. We are getting ready to celebrate 24 years of marriage!

Michael Campbell

Michael Campbell

Co-Owner, Throw Deep Publishing

When you know, you know

Every relationship is incredibly unique, and the onset of any official relationship is no exception. Different people are at different points in their lives, so it’s really something that you and your prospective partner have to agree upon and feel comfortable with.

For example, my partner and I were at a place in our lives where we were comfortable settling down and committing to each other long-term. It only took three dates for our relationship to become official, and we had talked about it multiple times before that decision. 

For others, though, who aren’t super ambitious to make their relationship official, it may take longer and even be an “on and off again” type thing until they eventually decide. 

There is no one size fits all answer to this question because everyone is unique in some way, and so are their views and ideas on relationships and defining what they have with another individual. 

This situation can become complicated if one partner feels one way and the other feels their own way in making their relationship official, but this is why communication and sharing your feelings with one another is so important. 

To avoid unnecessary conflict or upsetting the other person’s expectations that either will or won’t be met, it’s crucial to outline what your intentions are in that relationship.

Tyler Sellers

Tyler Sellers

Senior Coach, Total Shape

Make it official when it’s clear that the relationship works out well

First of all, before making a relationship official, we need to make sure whether the person whom we are dating is interested in getting into a relationship. 

Making a relationship official isn’t an easy task as it takes so much time to get to know a person. First, we need to understand the person and the likes and dislikes, interests, and priorities that might be matched with us.

It could be made official when it is clear that the relationship works out well with the person. Without knowing the other person’s consent, we cannot jump into making decisions. 

In order to get to know well, we should go on several dates with that person until we know them better. After learning the person well, we could proceed with the action of declaring it officially.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if we’re not sure we’re ready to make it official?

It’s perfectly normal to feel unsure about making your relationship official. Take some time to think about why you feel this way, and then talk about it with your partner.

Is the commitment something that makes one or both of you uncomfortable? Open and honest conversations are important to understanding each other’s comfort and expectations.

Having a clear idea of what you both want from the relationship can make the decision of whether or not to make it official much easier.

How can we deal with pressure from friends or family to make our relationship official?

Wise counsel from trusted friends and family members can often help us understand each other better and make an informed decision about whether to commit or take more time to prepare.

But sometimes, friends and family can unconsciously put pressure on us to enter into a relationship. It’s important to remember that the relationship is your own and that only you know what is best for you.

If others overstep their boundaries, politely let them know you value their opinion, but ultimately it’s up to the two of you to decide.

How can we celebrate making our relationship official?

Celebrating making your relationship official can be a fun way to mark the occasion and show your partner how much you love them. Here are some ideas to celebrate:

Plan a special date or a weekend getaway. You can go to a place you’ve always wanted to visit or go to a place that is special to both of you.

Cook a romantic dinner at home. You can create a special menu and enjoy a candlelit dinner together.

Exchange loving gifts or write love letters to each other. This way, you can express your feelings and show your partner how much you care.

Host a small celebration with friends and family. You can host a dinner party or get together with a small group of friends to celebrate your new relationship status.

Create a scrapbook or photo album of your time together so far. This is a fun way to reminisce and create a keepsake that you can look back on in the future.

Whether you decide to have a big event or a quiet evening at home, the most important thing is that you enjoy each other’s company and cherish your new commitment to each other.

How can we keep the spark alive after we make our relationship official?

Keeping the spark alive in a committed relationship can be challenging, but you must continue to prioritize your relationship and make time for each other. Here are some tips to help you keep the spark alive:

– Continue to have fun and try new things together.
– Make time for date nights and romantic gestures.
– Show your partner that you appreciate them and are committed to the relationship.
– Communicate openly and honestly with each other about your feelings and expectations.
– Keep the romance alive by, for example, writing love letters, surprising each other with small gifts, and regularly expressing your affection for each other.

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