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How Many Dates Before It’s a Relationship

A girl kissing her date and wondering how many dates before it's a relationship.

They say you know when you know, but despite the access we have to meeting people through dating apps, there is often a gray area when it comes to defining a relationship. Are you seeing each other, dating someone, exclusive, or just hanging out? With so many ways to describe the early stages of dating, you may find yourself trying to figure out what exactly is this ‘thing’ you’re in with another person is.

For those of you who are wondering how many dates you should go on with someone before it’s time to start thinking of this ‘thing’ as a relationship, try thinking about the 10 date rule. The 10 date rule not only gives you time to get to know a person before getting too emotionally attached, but it also allows you to make a more confident decision about your future together.

By not rushing into a relationship you’re taking the time to get to know a person and giving your partner the chance to know you. This will only benefit you both in the long run. However, there is no real proven number that dictates when a relationship should begin, but there are signs you can look for.

Here are a few things you can ask yourself when deciding if you’re ready for a relationship:

Can you be yourself?
Are you being true to who you are when you’re with your partner? If you’re struggling to be authentic with the person you’re dating, you may want to take a step back and figure out what’s  holding you back from opening up to them. The same goes for your partner and if they’re unwilling to open up to you.

Can you trust each other?
Trust is one of the most important aspects of a relationship. Without trust, the chances of being in a relationship that’s healthy and constantly evolving for the better are slim. You should make sure that you’re with someone who is dependable and true to their word before committing to them for the long haul.

Can you communicate?
Communication is key. Like trust, communication is an essential part of any healthy relationship and will help both parties feel more willing to take the next step together. If you can communicate in a clear, mature, and open way with one another then you’re on the right track.

Do you have chemistry?
It’s best to figure out sooner rather than later that you’re compatible with your partner in all forms. Is the flame there for both of you? This is pretty cut and dry because if there isn’t chemistry in the beginning, it’s not likely to appear later on.

Do you see a future together?
This question is the most important to ask yourself because no matter how much fun you have with a person, that isn’t the only basis you should go off of. It’s important and necessary to have a good time with your potential partner, but can you see past that? Maybe you’re not sure about marriage, it’s a little soon for that, but you should be able to see yourself with this person and picture how a life together would work. It’s ok, if things are a bit hazy, not everyone knows where they’ll be in five years. But if you think about where you’ll be in one year and you just can’t picture this person in your life, it may be worth pausing and thinking about whether they’re for you or not.

Part of dating is making it through the complicated and uncertain feelings, without feeling like you’ve rushed into something you may not be ready for. No matter how many times you’ve seen yourself through these feelings, there is nothing that compares to the excitement in realizing that you are spending time with a person who you truly want to be with.

When you find that feeling, the number of dates won’t matter so much. Do you feel excited at the thought of seeing them? Do you want to be part of their daily life? Do you want them to be a part of yours? Do you have a hard time seeing yourself with anyone else? If you said yes to any of these, you’re likely ready to move on from casually dating.

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