How many dates before a relationship? Here’s what you need to know

Have you ever been dating someone and found yourself wondering when you could start calling it a relationship? You are not alone.

This is something both men and women wonder about, especially when asked by friends and family about their relationship status.

After all, if you have been on 3 or 4 dates, are you technically allowed to be seeing someone else without being in violation of some relationship rule that you think is unspoken?

Good question. How many dates before calling your relationship a relationship?

Follow the 10 date rule.

Image credit: Shutterstock – By View Apart

If you are wondering how many dates you need go on with someone in order to classify the relationship as such, it’s about 10 dates.

This isn’t just arbitrary number though. There’s some science behind it. Let’s consider the facts.

Based on the fact (or hope!) that you and your love interest are both working full-time jobs, it’s likely that you won’t be able to get out for a date until the weekends, right?

That means that you will likely only see each other once a week to start. By that math, you are looking at about 3 months of dating someone before you can call it a relationship!

That seems like a really long time.

Let’s say, then, that perhaps you have ramped up your dating because you are definitely interested in pursuing a relationship with this person.

Let’s be generous and say you are dating this person twice a week. That’s still a month and a half!

If you are seeing someone else at this point, it might be advisable to stop and decide which avenue you want to continue to pursue.

Five weeks of someone’s time is a lot of time to “waste” if things aren’t working out. But if you are seriously thinking that this could be a relationship you want to be in, then there’s no rush anyway, right?

Ten dates is a good number because it gives you plenty of time to do different things, see people in a different setting or number of different settings, perhaps you’ve been to each other’s homes, and even met some family members.

If it’s been a struggle to get those ten dates under your belt for anything other than scheduling conflicts, it’s probably not worth pursuing. You’ve heard of the book-made-movie “He’s Just Not That into You”, right?

It’s a real thing and it works both ways: Men and women alike skip out on things all the time because they don’t want to make others feel bad.

But what do those dates have to do with whether or not you’ll actually be in a relationship at the end of the ten dates?

happy couple
Image credit: Shutterstock – By Peter Berni

Well, there are a number of things you can consider during the ten or so dates you engage in.

For example, if your dates are always on the couch watching Netflix binges, you probably might want to reconsider that relationship before it ever gets going.

If, of course you like being in on a Saturday night, then all the power to you.

Other things to consider include whether or not you’ve met his/her friends and how they acted around their friends.

Are they totally different or are they just themselves and you fit into the group well?

Has your partner been keeping up regularly between dates or does he or she just call the day of and expect you to be available?

That might be a sign of things to come so consider that you might not want to be at someone’s beck and call in a relationship. Those days are over.

Pay attention to the language of the relationship, or potential relationship.

Does your partner include you in their plans, do they use “we” language or do they continually refer to the amazing life they are going to lead…without you by their side.

Does your partner ask about your life and seem interested in what you do and like to spend your time doing?

Do they get angry for you when your boss is being a tool or do they feel sad when you’re not happy?

All of these things can go a long way to helping people realize that they may not want to be in a relationship with someone, even if they make it passed the 10-date rule.

And when you both decide that moving forward in a relationship is what is right for you, don’t put a lot of pressure on the situation.

If you are happy just hooking up or being together when the mood strikes you, that is okay too.

And if you decide that you aren’t happy after 11 dates, well that’s just life. You can move on at any time.

The great thing about relationships is that they evolve overtime and so do the people in them.

If you find your relationship is getting stale and you are bored, think back to your ten dates and ask yourself if you felt that way before?

It might help you avoid making the same mistake again in your next relationship!

Lachlan Brown