When dating someone you love, you may feel anxious to make things official as soon as possible.
You are probably already daydreaming about your future together and crave to turn your casual relationship into a real and enduring one.
But before you upgrade your relationship status with Facebook, it is vital to understand how many dates it takes before your relationship becomes official.
You want to avoid the ongoing casual relationship at all costs. Is there a certain amount of time to pass to have a true “relationship talk”?
Is there a magic number of dates you need to have had to sit down with the person you’re dating and make it exclusive?
Keep reading to uncover seven secret dating milestones and how long you need to date before a relationship.
How many dates before your relationship is official?
According to a 2015 dating survey conducted by Time out of 11,000 people worldwide, most couples go on 5 to 6 dates before discussing a relationship, and some take even longer. On average, people need 5-6 dates to make it official.
Don’t worry if this number seems meager or excessive- the value significantly varies. It depends on the situation and your unique romantic connection with your partner.
How long should you casually date someone, and when does dating turn into a relationship?
The magic number
No magic number tells how many dates before a relationship should become official.
I know it’s not exactly what you want to hear, but it’s reality. Each person is different, and there are no two identical relationships. The best approach must be right for you and the person you are dating.
Some relationships become official after only a few dates, while others yield results after a few months.
While it seems premature to want to be official and exclusive with someone after just one date, some people think that more than having six or seven dates is needed before deciding to become a couple.
According to Time, such people mostly agree with the 10-date rule. They believe the 10-date rule prevents you from getting hurt and falling in love with someone who does not reciprocate your feelings.
No matter what category you fall into, you need to know how long it’s enough to “talk” and how many dates you need before your relationship becomes official.
What is the 10-date rule?
The 10-date rule refers to the general idea that relationships become official only after you’ve dated at least ten times.
When you wait till your 10th date before emotionally investing in yourself, it allows you to think about the relationship prospect rationally. You can think clearly about how you want the relationship to turn out.
It also allows you to study your partner critically and understand whether you are compatible. The 10-date rule helps you tell whether your long-term relationship will work out.
This could be a great sign if you both speak about your relationship frequently. Talking about how great you will be as a girlfriend or boyfriend is a perfect example here.
At such times, that person is trying to show you he is ready for commitment.
They understand how interested you are in the same course. At this point, the good question is, “Are you happy?” This would signal readiness and give you a clue about how many dates you need before your relationship becomes official.
2. You only wish to hang out with each other
In brief, you both need to be at a stage where you value each other. If this isn’t the case, thinking about a formal relationship is unnecessary.
When they’re exclusive to you, It’s a big sign that they’re ready to be in a relationship. If they tell you they’re not seeing anyone else and they don’t want to, it’s safe to bring out the relationship buzz. They are most likely waiting for you.
If you both implicitly trust each other and neither wants to see anyone else, then it may be time for you to establish your relationship as official.
3. They seek relationship opinions from you
If they’re asking you how you feel about relationships and what you think about certain aspects of them, they want to be in a relationship with you. They’re trying to find out as much as possible about how you picture the relationship. This sign should help you understand how close you are and how many dates before your relationship is official.
When a person expresses their interest in meeting someone special and having some emotional intimacy, this may signal that they would like to take things to another level.
On the other hand, if someone tells you that they don’t know what they want in a relationship, it indicates that that person is not ready for anything formal. The same applies to a person recovering from a previous breakup.
4. They bring it first
This is an obvious signal. If they ask you if you want to be in a relationship or if they call you their boyfriend or girlfriend, they want to have a relationship with you.
Now it’s up to you to decide if you’re ready to join them. You should wait a little longer.
A major issue at the heart of every relationship is whether the two people see each other together in the future. If this is different, there might be better ideas than committing to an official relationship.
5. They introduce you to family and friends
This is the closest sign to helping you understand how many dates you need before making your relationship official.
If they introduce you to their family and friends, talk about traveling with you, or even how your children would look, it is obvious that having a relationship catches them off guard.
Family is always something special for everyone; we all appreciate and want to protect. So, if he takes you to his house and introduces you to his family, it’s a good sign that he wants you to be part of his family.
6. You are treated as if you are already in a relationship
One major factor you should always consider when asking yourself how many dates you need before your relationship becomes official is how your partner treats you.
If you are both constantly communicating and sharing your feelings throughout the day, you may have reached the point where making your relationship official is imminent.
If they are comfortable enough to talk to you about their feelings, plans, and thoughts, it’s okay to prepare your speech to move your relationship to the next level.
Remember that a relationship is about two people. If you notice a balanced scale, it could be a good time to make things happen.
7. You are best friends
You tell each other everything. If there is gossip or good news, you are both excited to share your thoughts. If you consider each other your best friends and have a strange emotional bond, then you owe your friendship a stamp of approval.
You’ve now figured out how many dates you need before making your relationship official, and the big day is here. So, what next?
It can be a bit uncomfortable to be the one to start the “where is this going” conversation. But discomfort is a small price when you compare it to the indefinite uncertainty of having no idea about your status.
Making a relationship official should be a manageable task. You’ll know it’s right for you without reading between the lines.
“Making it official” means both of you agree on the “nature” of your relationship. It also means putting aside assumptions and guesswork. This is important to help you understand what a “serious” relationship looks like and what to expect from the opposite partner.
You can ask, “Where do you think this relationship is taking us?”
A direct question like “Will you be my girlfriend” can also be used.
The number of dates before your relationship becomes official is totally up to you. Only you can tell what action is most suitable. Some dating rules may be a good idea if you fall in love with others, but you can also find yourself easily hurt.
However, if you are usually very cautious with your feelings, then there is no need to have a set number of dates before establishing an official relationship.
If you still feel uneasy and unresolved about how many dates you need before making your relationship official, consulting a relationship therapist is the best way to go.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.