Relationships are straightforward. That applies to the topic of exclusive dating. But how and when you get there. That is the question many of us have. How many dates before the relationship? How long should you wait before you put that exclusive tag on your relationship?
You can look at different surveys, for example, one from the Global market research and consulting firm Ipsos. But at the end of the day, it boils down to your gut feeling. If you want to hear from Ipsos, their survey found out that 39% of Americans believe three months into dating is an acceptable time frame to discuss exclusivity.
And if you like to do the math, let’s say you go on one date per week. That is 10 to 12 dates before you establish exclusivity. With that in mind, we will discuss several different dating rules today. Bear with us.
Are Couples Becoming Monogamous Too Fast?
There are two extremes to the question of how many dates before you enter a committed relationship. The first extreme is waiting too long. And the second is jumping into bed and becoming exclusive from the get-go. So, the question is are couples becoming monogamous too fast.
With so many dating applications like Tinder and similar dating apps, you can find a sex partner easily. The problem is, online dating apps do not help you find a potential partner for life. At least that is not the reason most people use them.
While it is easy to jump in bed with someone, should you become exclusive? The problem is we have started mixing love with lust. So, when the sex is great, you think, OK, this is it.
The Middle Ground
We do not want you to get to any of the two extremes. You should definitely not wait too long. Why? Because your partner might say, heck, I need someone who is ready to commit. And you should not commit too soon, because you do not know that person well enough.
According to the latest dating survey by Time Out, the best time to be exclusive is after six dates. That survey asked 11,000 people worldwide. On average, people declare a couple after nine dates but decide to be exclusive after six dates.
If you want to do the math, one month and six dates can turn into an exclusive relationship if you spend three to four hours on a good date. Six dates, assuming no sleepover, is that you have spent almost 24 hours together.
Speaking about that same survey, the average time for people to jump into bed and enjoy sex together is 3.5 dates. After just two dates, people are ready to kiss, but sleeping requires a bit more.
What is the 3-Date Rule?
When you want to talk about how many dates before a relationship, you have to take a look at a couple of unofficial rules. And the first one is the 3-date rule.
According to the three-date rule, you have to withhold sex until at least the 3rd date. At this point, any couple can have sex without worrying about being abandoned or considered too loose.
Fun fact: women use this rule more than men. The problem with this date number rule is that women who do not conform to it are judged through offensive and sexist words.
With that in mind, the 3-date rule exists more as a result of peer pressure. The idea behind the rule is that sex on a first date could give a man what he wants. That is why it is not a good idea to sleep with a man on the first date. It removes the possibility of an actual loving relationship. Then you have the second date, also considered too early to get someone interested in you or a healthy relationship.
Thus, the third date is the way to go. This gives a woman a better chance of keeping his interest, while it gives a man sex soon enough to keep his interest in the woman he chases.
While it is often considered an accepted form of dating, the rule has no scientific, emotional, or psychological backing. Whether you should follow it or not comes down to you.
What Is The 5-Date Rule?
New research suggests that people should ditch the three-date rule and wait a bit longer. According to the latest research, the average single girl is not prepared to have sex with a new partner until the fifth date.
The reason is the typical woman needs four dates to judge the suitability of a potential new boyfriend. During that period, women need to tick off a ten-point checklist. That includes questions like do we click, can he make me laugh, is he trustworthy, and so on.
Before a woman gets into bed, she expects 12 text conversations, five long phone chats, and ideally a bunch of flowers. Also, before sexual intercourse, women expect to see three movies with you, share seven passionate kisses, and share four meals together.
During the pre-sex period, a woman will assess whether her potential suitor is a gentleman and whether he will stick around after things progress to the bedroom.
More importantly, here are the major turn-offs: body odor, no chemistry, looking at other women, being rude to the staff in restaurant or bar, not interested in conversation, selfish talker, poor listener, talking about exes, awkward silences, texting during a date, and seeming needy.
The 10 Date Myth
Here is another dating rule we have to discuss regarding dates before an exclusive relationship. According to this rule, men do not see women they are dating as potential girlfriends or wives until they have spent quality time with them 10 times. So, do not expect him to have feelings for you before that. You should not catch feelings for him before that as well.
The pros of the 10 date rule seem like they benefit men. But the concept is great for women as well. If you wait before the 10th date to emotionally invest in the new relationship, you can rationally think about the prospect of a future healthy relationship. You can think with a clear head and see whether you want things to progress or not.
The flip side is that 10 dates are a lot. You might end up waiting for a long time, and end up high and dry in the end. Think of this for a moment. By the 8th date, you know things are not going well. You might not even get to the 10th date, and you have already invested so much time.
The Exclusion From The Rules
No matter which dating rule you consider the best, there are always exceptions. The big exclusion is when you get constant physical and emotional connection instantly. Behaviors that connect us faster and more frequently to the people we meet include feelings of support, great communication, instant chemistry, feeling happy after the date, positive anxiety, and so on.
The increased communication and great physical intimacy can jumpstart your relationship in ways you cannot imagine.
Yet, remember, move fast, but not at warp speed. When it comes to dating and sex, we all have had good and bad judgments. We have jumped into bed with the wrong person. We have ditched the right person. And we have waited way too long for someone good and trustworthy. There is no perfect answer. It all comes down to your feelings.