Dating can be a lot of fun, but it can also be frustrating if you don’t know what to do or how often to talk to the person you’re interested in.
Is there a right or wrong amount of talking? Is there a rule for this, or does it vary from person to person?
According to experts, here are ways to figure out the right balance on how often you should talk when you first start dating.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Owner, The Happy Therapist
Communication should be consistent as well as flexible for both partners
Facts do not always include feelings.
The fact is that some people can feel vibes with communication once a week and others once a month. On the other hand, someone may think that if one does not speak to their partner, there is little to no interest on their end.
Meeting someone for the first time often leads to the honeymoon phase of dating. You’re super interested and can possibly stay on the phone/text all day. But the reality is that it usually dies down after about two weeks which addresses the “feelings” you are both new to one another, so “spill all the tea.”
After the two-week phase, you kind of get a sense of who you’re dealing with and now decrease the amount of time you engage on the phone.
This means communication may determine if you will have a long-term relationship.
Communication should be consistent as well as flexible for both partners. In fact, the two should discuss their communication needs in the beginning. This will allow both partners to understand one another’s “expectations.”
Communicate 3-4 times a week
I believe speaking to a person of interest should be 3-4 times a week. That communication can be via text, phone, and in person.
Let’s dig into the text messages: Although this has been one of the easiest forms of communication these days, you can ghost someone via text, play busy, and respond fairly quickly.
Text messaging has its pros and cons. The pros of text are:
- You can do it at work (without getting caught by your boss for not being productive)
- Quickly respond
- Say things you may not feel comfortable saying verbally
Unfortunately, when texting, our thoughts can be shadowed by perceptions that are not actually true. Texting can also mean disengaged or poor verbal communication skills.
It may also mean that person may have some underlying issues that make them hesitant to hold a conversation verbally.
How many times have you texted someone, and it has been taken out of context? Exactly! For some, communication is a big part of their love language, and it can vary from person to person.
Learn one another’s communication expectations
Some key components of dating are asking:
- What are their expectations for communication?
- How often do you see us talking?
- What times work best for you?
- What does non-verbal communication mean to you?
Yes, I know it sounds so much like an interview or therapy. However, it is much needed. The biggest mistake that we take for granted and underutilize is communication.
Both verbal and nonverbal communication is imperative for a healthy relationship. The lack of communication is, in fact, interpreted by the receiver and can often be misread.
Let’s learn one another’s communication expectations in the beginning, and we will get a better understanding of how often one should talk while dating.
Christian Bumpous, MA, LPC, LMFT, CDWF
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Owner, Therapie
While it can be a very exciting time when you first start dating, it can also be a time in your life when you can have increased anxiety because you want to do the dating “just right.”
Often when I meet with my clients, they come to me wondering just how often they should talk to their new partner.
Don’t listen to the rules; listen to yourself instead
Because they’re fearful about messing up and that if they get it wrong, the partner will not be interested and eventually leave them.
It doesn’t matter if you are male or female. There seem to be a lot of rules and beliefs around just how often you should talk to someone you just started dating and how often is too often.
The fear is that you’d come across as needy if you talked too often. Suppose you are not talking enough; the fear is that you’d come across as cold.
There’s great anxiety about finding that sweet spot, and clients often ask me about the right amount of talking to each other when dating.
My answer is always the same: don’t listen to the “rules” and “numbers” that friends and family have for you—listen to yourself, instead.
It depends on how much trust and vulnerability are in your relationship
In a way, the topic goes back to the idea of vulnerability, boundaries, and trust-building.
Ask yourself, “how do I currently feel about our relationship, and how much trust do I have in you?” And, based on that, “how much am I willing to share with you?” And so trust and vulnerability really go hand in hand and are built at the same time.
A good way to understand and clarify how much you should talk to your partner depends on how much trust and vulnerability are present in your relationship.
An answer to that question will likely give me a good idea of how often and how much the two of you should be talking.
Moreover, here are two common pitfalls that we should avoid:
Even though we just started dating and haven’t built a lot of trust in our relationship, I’m sharing my deepest and darkest secrets with you, hoping that they will increase our connection.
Brené Brown talks about the idea of “hotwiring connections.”
You may feel like you have a lot in common, and to even further solidify the bond, you overshare something that your partner has not earned the right to hear about just yet.
And that can be the most profound fear or a vulnerable pain point or trauma you’ve experienced.
Not sharing enough
On the other hand, sometimes people tell me they really want to connect with their partner, but they’re getting feedback from their friends telling them to hold off and “play it cool.”
They believe that you will come across as needy if you text right back after the date and share how great it was and how much fun you had.
That feedback might lead to them not reaching out, even though they would love to share their feelings with their partner, and it would be in alignment with where the relationship is at.
The trouble here is not sharing when you feel like it portrays you as someone you are not. Hiding part of yourself will really prevent the other person from getting to know you or for you to be seen in the relationship and ultimately feel connected.
My number one tip is to listen to yourself and ask yourself:
“When it comes to trust and vulnerability, where’s our relationship at? And am I reaching out in alignment with that?”
The answer to that question can only come from you and not friends or family. They may have thoughts and feelings about it, but they don’t know the state of the relationship and where the two of you are at.
Any number they throw out will likely not be helpful.
Life Coach | Dating Expert
A once-a-day phone call or a text is normal
When you first start dating, communication requires a light touch, a slow reveal, and some restraint.
It also requires picking up cues from your date. If you’re wondering how often to call or text when getting to know someone, ask yourself the following questions:
Am I being too eager?
It’s exciting when you like someone. You’re curious and want to know more. You want to talk all the time and text all day, but you can’t because it’ll come off as obsessive.
- Enthusiasm is endearing
- Overeagerness is a turn-off
- Obsessiveness is creepy
Don’t be in a hurry; take a breath. All will be revealed in time.
A once-a-day phone call or a text exchange in the first few dates is normal, shows interest, and moves the relationship along nicely.
Am I being too needy?
Is your need to talk all the time, text incessantly, or feel connected coming from a place of insecurity or self-doubt?
If you’re frequently calling or texting your date because you need reassurances that they like you, that’s your sign to put the phone down and find your self-worth somewhere else.
If you like who you are and know what you have to offer, that’s all the confirmation you need.
Am I picking up cues from my date?
If your date has a big job or is busy during the day and can’t talk—respect that.
Listen to what they tell you, and respond accordingly. Save your calls/texts to the end of the day, or wait for them to reach out to you. When you match their effort, communication becomes more collaborative and enjoyable.
When it comes to communication in the first few dates, here’s a rule of thumb: Leave them wanting more. A little mystery and pacing go a long way.
Relationship Expert and Matchmaker, Exclusive Matchmaking
It usually occurs naturally
When you first start dating, how often you should talk is up to you. It usually occurs naturally without anyone thinking about it.
Some people can’t get enough of the other person and want to talk all night till the crack of dawn as if just soaking the other person in.
Others are content to talk after 1-3 days at first, depending on how fast they are taking this relationship.
Some need constant texts that seem like a dream but can come off burdensome and stalkerish to some.
Read on for my thoughts and tips:
- Don’t force communication in the beginning because it might come off awkward. You don’t want long pauses because you don’t know what to say. Let it go at what seems to be a normal pace.
- Don’t expect to talk every night or day. However it happens, it happens. Conversation can be an intimate thing at first, so expecting it on the regular at nightly intervals can also come off awkward if you don’t have a lot to talk about. At this stage, you might not be sharing everything because you just don’t know each other well enough.
- Be positive when just starting to date. This isn’t the time to dump your bad day on this person. They are just getting to know you, and you aren’t in a serious relationship yet.
- Try to keep your conversations via text or facetime short and sweet if they are more than once a day. This can grow tedious and be hard to keep up with. It should’t come off as an obligation.
- Do talk flirty sweet nothings, and don’t worry about always being serious. Whether in person or text, flirty banter can help grow the relationship and bond. Don’t miss it.
Dating Coach and Matchmaker
Listen 80% of the date and talk only 20%
After doing nothing but listening for nearly an entire conversation, the social guru, Dale Carnegie, was told that he was the most interesting conversationalist.
Upon hearing this, he thought, “An interesting conversationalist? Why I had said hardly anything at all. All she wanted was an interested listener, so she could expand her ego and tell about where she had been.” Take a note from the best conversationalist and listen more than you talk.
To be exact, listen 80% of the date and talk only 20%. As Dale can attest, people love being listened to. Not only listening but being genuinely interested in the words coming out of your date’s mouth is the easiest way to endear yourself to them.
Related: Reasons Why Listening Is Important
But not everyone has an easy time being quiet, and not all dates want to chat about themselves. Make this process easier by asking probing questions to get your date talking.
Ask questions that not only peel back the layers but are stimulating. Make them feel comfortable sharing by smiling, refraining from judgment, and asking follow-up questions.
Pro-Tip: Read the news before every date. If you’re struggling with topics to talk about, chances are you can ignite the conversation by talking about current events or an interesting story you just read.
Alisha Powell, PhD, LCSW
Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Amethyst Counseling and Consulting
Talk about the preferred frequency of communication
Dating someone new can be an exciting time. You’re open to possibilities, and you’ve decided that you’re ready to get to know them.
However, the dating process can bring up specific questions and increase your anxiety about doing something “wrong.”
You don’t want to have unrealistic expectations, but you also want to talk to the person you’re dating on a frequent basis. But how much is too much? The answer to these questions depends on what you discuss with your partner.
Have a conversation about the preferred frequency of communication.
- Do you prefer texts or phone calls?
- Would you instead check-in at the end of the day with a video chat?
Take some time to consider how much effort and emotional energy you have for this blossoming relationship.
Remember that quality time can be just as important as large quantities of time. Share your expectations with your partner and ask for their feedback as well as their preferred communication vehicle.
Be open to finding a solution that works for you both but also talk about contingencies and communicate about upcoming stressful events that may distract you or impact your ability to be responsive.
Counselor and Adventure Lead, The Ohana Addiction Treatment Center
It depends on the couple
How often you communicate when you first start dating depends on the couple. There is no right or wrong answer to this question.
People communicate in different ways, and that is okay. The more important thing is that both partners are compatible when it comes to communication style.
Some people are fine talking once a day, and others like to speak with their partner multiple times a day. So if you like talking to your partner multiple times throughout the day, you should look for a partner who also enjoys communicating in the same way.
If you like to talk all day, and your partner doesn’t need to send a text every day, it could cause problems in the relationship. You may feel like you aren’t getting what you want out of the relationship, while your partner may feel irritated.
You need to discuss this with your partner when you start dating. It’s essential to establish your boundaries and expectations for the relationship when you first start dating.
Part of this includes discussing your communication preferences and style.
Senior Editor, Tandem
Talk enough to get to know each other
As an extrovert who met her introvert husband online, I have some insights into how much you should talk when first dating.
When referring to “talking” at the beginning of a relationship, this doesn’t have to be the spoken word. Talking can refer to any form of communication that you are doing with the person you are newly dating.
At the beginning of any relationship and throughout the course of it, it’s crucial to find out the things about your partner that are important to you.
This could include items such as:
- If your mate wants or already has children
- Where do you want to live
- What your career goals are and more
If you don’t discuss these towards the beginning of your relationship, you may find yourself falling in love with someone who is on a different trajectory than you are.
I met my husband online, and it should be no surprise that most of our communication during the first week was via email or online chatting (this happened well before cell phone texting was the norm).
Our online profiles served a great purpose. Our profiles were similar, as they both said we didn’t want kids, we lived in the same county, and we were about the same age.
Other personal tidbits helped open up our conversation and allowed us to get to know each other more quickly. We talked frequently:
- Asking and answering questions
- Learning our quirks
- Enjoying each other’s company
My now-husband, being an introvert, doesn’t like to talk if he doesn’t have to. However, if he is passionate about a subject, he can compose a novel (as he often does in online forums.)
For this reason, we got to know each other more through the written word than we did verbally. A week after we met, I took him to a bar to meet some of my friends. When I walked away to use the restroom, I found out how little he spoke.
My friend found me and said, “We’re asking him questions, and he doesn’t talk! He just gives yes and no answers.” I shrugged my shoulders and replied, “I don’t know…he talks to me.”
There is no one right or wrong answer to answer how much you should talk when first dating. Talk enough to get to know each other. Don’t talk so much that you talk over the other person.
Most importantly, when you are talking, you need to be yourself. Don’t edit your words so much that you aren’t you. Then the words you hear back from your partner will let you know if the fit is right.
Relationship Expert, Sameera Sullivan Matchmakers
You and your partner’s personality are vital in deciding how often you talk
Dating is a highly pleasurable and enjoyable experience but dating in the initial stages, including how you behave initially and the boundaries you set at first, affects your relationship in the long run.
If you have just started dating an individual, communication and effective communication are two things you hope to focus on, but several factors decide its frequency.
For instance, you and your partner’s personality are vital in deciding how often you talk, and most of the time, it is not how often you speak; it is how effectively you talk.
There are certain things you can do to make sure you make a lasting connection:
- Avoid yes or no questions when talking.
- Use more open-ended questions
- Present the happenings of your day by categorizing the high and the low points, then invite your S.O. to do the same.
- Above all, be a good listener and show them that you listen.
Health and Wellness Psychologist, Loxa Beauty
Talk 2-3 times a day
As a relationship expert, I advise that you should talk 2-3 times a day when you first start dating. Here, texting or calling can be a tool for making dates and planning for the next date.
Although most people think talking every day when they start dating is a brilliant idea, it does not imply the relationship is on the right path.
Talking too much may only help if you have made a solid connection in real life. In other words, without a solid real-life connection, talking too much weakens your young relationship rather than strengthening it.
Here are tips on how to keep your conversation flowing when you first start dating:
- Ask each other questions.
- Ask about each other’s favorites, including food, sports team, interests, passion, or hobbies.
- Keep away from religion and politics
- Do not talk more about yourselves. This can turn your dates into therapy sessions, which is not good.
Figure out what your partner wants
The first days of dating are a crucial and sensitive phase of a couple’s relationship. Some people like a long talk or contact with a partner during the first date, while others do not.
As a relationship specialist, I can tell you that there is no right or wrong choice when it comes to how frequently you should talk on the first few dates.
When it comes to this, everyone has a distinct preference. It’s fine for some people not to constantly chat with their dates since they value their own time.
My main piece of advice is to figure out what your partner wants so you can show them what they love.
Founding Partner, Union Law Firm
Be polite, be a gentleman and listen
The first couple of dates you go on, take a back seat in the conversation. Be polite, and let your date tell you all about her, her life, and how she views the world.
And while she’s talking, listen. Take note of everything that she says, and don’t interrupt her.
If you think that there’s a future in the relationship, and you want to see where it’ll take you, find out as much as you can about the person you’re dating by listening to everything they tell you about themselves.
Their stories, likes, and dislikes all matter, and every detail is important, so let your partner talk and just listen.
Speak when spoken to, and don’t dominate a conversation
That’s a good question, and whenever there’s a lull in the conversation or your date asks about you, that’s when you should respond to their question and go into as much or as little detail as you think the subject warrants.
Remember, gentlemen speak when spoken to and don’t dominate a conversation.
By all means, begin and lead a conversation if necessary, but whenever possible, listen. Everyone has a story to tell, and more often than not, the anecdotes that your date shares with you will help to propagate and fuel the topics you can and should talk about.
A date isn’t about you; it’s all about the person you’re with and ensuring that they feel special.
Content Marketing Manager, Collato
Talking comes easily when you have true chemistry
I played the dating game for years before I met my husband. You meet someone, exchange numbers, wait for them to text first, make them wait a few hours before responding, and always keep it aloof.
Guys who wanted to text too much were red flags—too needy, insecure, not attractive.
When I met my husband, all those rules went out the window. Talking comes so easily when you have true chemistry with someone that it doesn’t feel weird to text back straight away or go on three dates in a row, back to back.
We even had a language barrier—I didn’t speak a word of German, and he only had grade-school level English. But we were so connected that talking all the time felt as natural as it would with a best friend.
We talked every day, round the clock, and it never felt one-sided or needy, or suffocating. It was just fun, and we had a lot to say to each other! That’s how I knew he was the one.
My tip: Go with your gut, and throw the rules out the window!
If it feels natural to talk all the time, that’s when you know you’re with the right person. If you feel like you have to play a game, chances are, you’re wasting your time.
Founder and CEO, Gibson Hill PC
Let the conversation flow naturally
The real issue with dating in the digital age is that there are so many imaginary rules and “dos and don’ts” that it’s easy to become bogged down by an endless list of things you can and can’t do while on a date.
The conversation shouldn’t even feature on that list. But all too often, we obsess about topics that are off-limits and need to be avoided at all costs. And that obsession can often make it difficult to gauge how often you should talk to your prospective partner.
Don’t be limited by guidelines or an imaginary chart
The rule for how much you should talk while on a date is there is no rule.
Let the conversation flow naturally and talk to your date as if she, he, or they were an old friend. Don’t feel like you need to be limited by guidelines or an imaginary chart; just talk normally and naturally with whoever you’re out with. It really is that simple.
Maria A. McDowell
There is a need for constant communication to keep the feelings fresh
The importance of communication in a new relationship cannot be overemphasized. Communication helps partners in a relationship to connect, bond, and know more about each other.
It allays fears and builds trust in a new relationship.
When you start a new relationship, there is a need for constant communication depending on both parties’ availability.
When I started dating my partner, he had a work schedule that couldn’t allow us to communicate as much as we would have loved, which affected us.
Although we seized every available moment to talk to each other, the lack of constant communication had us stagnated at a particular phase of the relationship.
It is important to communicate often when you start dating to keep the feeling fresh. It is easier for both parties to get tired at the beginning of the relationship if they are not talking as often as they should.
CEO and Founder, 1Energy Systems
Every person has a different relationship so is their dating time. Talking and establishing a bond takes a lot of time. It depends on person to person, on how much talking is helpful.
While it is debatable how much you should talk to while you start dating, both less and more talking have equal contributions to it.
Talk more in the beginning
Some couples enjoy talking a lot. They love to share everything with their partner—starting from getting up to how their day ended.
They are constantly connected via messages or calls and take regular updates. All this can be the foundation of building a strong relationship and is appreciated by many.
Talk less to partners who want to maintain privacy
Meanwhile, the other group of people is not open at the start of their dating period. They tend to maintain their privacy and not let their partner intrude. Though the practice of talking less is good, such kinds of people take a long time to build their relationships as compared to others.
In the end, it all depends on the chemistry and bond you share with your partner. Try to understand each other well, be it in any possible way.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can you tell if your communication style is a good match for your partner’s?
This can take some time and experimentation to figure out, but here are a few things to look for:
You feel comfortable and relaxed when communicating with your partner, and you both seem to enjoy the conversations you have.
You respect each other’s boundaries and communication preferences, even if they’re different from your own.
You’re able to communicate effectively and resolve any misunderstandings or conflicts that arise.
You feel that your communication contributes to your relationship’s overall health and growth.
What should you talk about when you first start dating?
When you first start dating someone, you’re often under much pressure to talk and keep things interesting. Here are a few topics of conversation to consider:
Hobbies and interests: Ask your partner about their hobbies and interests to get to know them better and find common ground. You may discover common interests you can explore together or learn something new and interesting about your partner.
Family and friends: Talking about your family and friends can help you better understand each other’s background and values. You can share stories about your childhood, talk about your relationships with your parents or siblings, or introduce each other to important people in your lives.
Goals and aspirations: Sharing your goals and aspirations can help you understand each other’s values and motivations. You might discuss your professional ambitions, travel plans, or personal goals and how you can help each other achieve them.
Favorite movies, books, or TV shows: Talking about your favorite media can be a fun and lighthearted way to get to know each other’s tastes and personalities. You can share recommendations, discuss your favorite characters or plots, or debate the merits of different genres.
Travel experiences: If you or your partner enjoys traveling, talking about your travel experiences can be a great way to get to know each other and learn more about each other’s perspectives. You could share stories about your favorite trips, discuss your dream destinations, or plan a future trip together.
How long is a normal talking stage?
The length of the talking phase, or the time it takes for two people to get to know each other before they officially start dating, can depend on various factors, such as each person’s preferences, schedule, and life circumstances.
However, there is no set time frame or several weeks or months that are considered normal for the talking stage.
Many people prefer to take things slowly and not rush things.
During the talking stage, it’s common to feel each other out and see if the connection is deep enough to move to the next level.
Some people feel confident enough to enter into a relationship early on, while others prefer to take things slowly and get to know each other over a longer period.
If things are going well and both parties are happy and comfortable, then it’s okay to take things at whatever pace feels right. The most important thing is that you communicate openly and honestly about your intentions, needs, and boundaries so that you’re both on the same page.
What if you don’t hear from someone?
Sometimes you may reach out to someone you’re dating but get no response. Here’s what to do:
Don’t panic. It’s easy to jump to conclusions and assume the worst, but there can be a million reasons why someone doesn’t respond right away. Don’t jump to conclusions without more information.
Don’t bombard the person with messages. If you don’t get a response right away, you mustn’t flood the person with messages or phone calls. This can seem desperate or intrusive.
Give them some time. If you don’t get a response, it’s okay to follow up once or twice, but then giving the other person some space is important. If they want to talk to you, they’ll get back to you in their own time.
Move on if necessary. If you don’t get a response after several attempts to reach a person, it may be time to move on. Don’t waste your time and energy on someone who isn’t interested or doesn’t care about your relationship.
What are the red flags in the talking stage?
Lack of communication: If your partner is constantly hard to get in touch with, takes a long time to respond to messages, or doesn’t seem interested in talking to you regularly, it could be a sign that they’re not as interested in a relationship as you are.
Inconsistency: If your partner’s words and actions don’t match, or if they seem to be hot and cold at times when it comes to their interest, this could be a sign that they’re not sure what they want or that they’re not being honest with you.
Disrespectful behavior: If your partner makes rude or condescending remarks, belittles your interests or opinions, or has no regard for your feelings, this is a sign that they may not be a good match for you.
Moving too fast: If your partner pushes for more intimacy or commitment than you’d like or makes big plans for the future without asking you first, it could be a sign that they don’t respect your boundaries or take the relationship as seriously as you do.
Dishonesty: If your partner lies or withholds important information from you, it’s a sign that they’re not being completely open and honest with you. This could indicate deeper problems with trust and communication in the relationship.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to trust your instincts and talk openly with your partner about your concerns. If they’re unwilling or unable to address your concerns, it may be a sign that the relationship isn’t meant to be.
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