How Many Dates It Takes For A Guy To Get Serious About A Relationship (2023)

We've all heard stories of people who slept together on the first date and it turned into a happily ever after.

How often do you think that happens? Honestly, it's not nearly as often as you might think — about one in every million one-night stands.

Those odds aren't great, so how can you improve the chances of your forever after in the age where casual dating is the vibe?

How many dates before a guy likes you and you become exclusive?

Global market research and consulting firm Ipsos surveyed roughly 1,000 adults over the age of 18 in a recent poll to determine the number of dates singles should go on before becoming exclusive. The poll found that about 39% of the participants thought three months was a good time frame before becoming exclusive.

If you go on one date per week, that turns out to be around 10 to 12 dates in that period of time. If you've been going out for a few weeks and are on date number 9, for example, one or both of you may be anticipating becoming something more serious and having the DTR (define the relationship) talk.

Though some people agree three months is an acceptable time frame, you should go on as many dates as you need to see if you want to make that decision of commitment, no matter what a survey says.

If it's date 14 and you still aren't sure, then don't ask — and probably start seeing other people at that point. You might want to have a conversation just so you're both on the same page.

RELATED:This Is How Long Men Want To Date Before They Define The Relationship As Boyfriend/Girlfriend

How many dates until you are in a relationship?

This is tricky because everyone has their own time periods and rules in the dating world. It depends on the people in the relationship, and where they are in their emotional and physical connection, as well as the amount of time they spend with each other.

Some daters go by the 3-date rule, a dating rule that dictates that both parties withhold sex until at least the third date. This gives the impression that neither will have to worry about being abandoned after being intimate.

Others use the 5-date rule, which has two interpretations. Either the woman will withhold sex until the fifth date, or the fifth date is where exclusivity is brought up. However, the fifth date doesn't mean putting pressure on your own situation; it may not be time for that conversation.

As long as you have a connection and a spark, see where things go without rushing it.


(Video) How to DATE for a Serious Relationship | Tom Bilyeu & Lisa Bilyeu

What is the 10-date rule?

Similar to the 3- and 5-date rules, the 10-date rule indicates how many dates to go on before getting a girlfriend or boyfriend. However, this isn't a time clock saying you have to fall in love in only 10 dates.

The 10-date rule merely states that men are most likely to seek relationships with women they've dated at least 10 times. These are real dates, not hangouts or coffee meet-ups. They are dates in which you go and do something together in public.

Men want connection, true connection, as much as women do. In general, they're a little slower at forming that connection than women are, and 10 dates is a good rule of thumb. A man is not going to continue asking you out if he's not interested, and if he asks you out on 10 dates, he's into you.

It all makes sense when you think about it. Why would a guy (or a girl) rush into a relationship without testing the waters first? The 10 dates normally happen over the course of several weeks to a couple of months. That's being prudent and taking things as they come.

Of course, sex typically happens sometime during the 10 dates, but if you sleep with a man too soon, it's hard to tell if he was in it for the conquest or was seeking a relationship, no matter how intense the chemistry was.

Take your time and have sex when you are ready and can handle whatever happens afterward. (Yes, he could dump you after sex on the 10th date, but if he's just out for a conquest, he's not likely to last that long without sex.)

RELATED:5 Important Things To Talk About Before Becoming 'Exclusive'

How many dates should you go on before you make a decision? If you can keep your cool for those 10 dates and not let your heart take over, you'll see him clearly and objectively, and can make a decision whether you want him as your boyfriend.

You do the choosing, not the men. Staying calm and collected during those dates will help you make a good decision instead of being ruled by chemistry. And you can weed out the good guys from the players.

But how do you read the signs? Is there a way to tell on date 5 if he's good boyfriend material? After all, you don't want to waste time if you don't have to.

Here's how to tell if he's seeking a relationship and not a conquest:

1. He takes you out on dates instead of always staying in.

2. He stays in regular contact between dates.

3. He introduces you to co-workers, friends, and family.

4. He says "we" and "our."

5. He can wait for sex until you're ready, with no pressure.

(Video) How Many Dates Should You Go On Before Making A Relationship Official/exclusive?

6. He takes an active interest in your life.

7. He tries to fix things for you, whether it's a leaky faucet or an issue with a coworker.

8. He posts about you on social media.

9. You aren't the only one to initiate a date, he steps up often.

All of these actions are more likely to happen if you're following the 10-date rule, but each person and couple is different Most men will not act like this with a one-night stand or a woman he just wants as a friend with benefits.

RELATED:10 Signs Of A Good Man You Should Look For In Any Guy You Meet

What things should you consider before making the relationship official?

1. If this person is right for you.

When deciding if you should pursue a relationship with this person, ask yourself if they make you happy, support you, are interesting to you, and are desirable.

You need to decide if you want to keep this person in your life long-term before pursuing a relationship with them. Also think about whether or not this is a person you can see yourself falling in love with.

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2. If they are still using dating apps.

Before becoming exclusive, find out if they are still on dating apps. If they are still curious about what's out there and you want to be exclusive, things may turn sour or there might be infidelity in the future. Unfortunately, this is the reality of online dating.

Also consider if he's dated a lot of women in the past, whether it was before or during you two dating. That can be a sign of his curiosity or immaturity.

3. If you're happy being with them.

Think about how this person makes you feel. Are you happy when you're around them? Do they make you a better person in all the right ways?

Consider those questions, as well as what each of you would bring to a potential relationship, before committing to each other.

4. If they have true feelings for you.

Find out how he truly feels about you before locking him down. Is he serious about the emotions he has for you, or is he just saying that to get something from you?

Check to see if he's emotionally mature enough to handle an official and exclusive relationship.

5. If you share the same values.

Do your values and dreams match up or do they clash? Does he support or complement your core values? Are you both on the same page when it comes to life and how to live it? If they don't, these can indicate major problems down the road.

Don't be in a hurry when it comes to dating, and don't let your heart run away with you. He's out there and if you stick by these rules, you'll create the relationship you want almost effortlessly.

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Jonathon Aslay is a coach, speaker, mid-life dating and relationship coach, and author of two books. Visit his website for tips, teleclasses, and coaching for daters looking for better relationships.

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This article was originally published at Jonathon Aslay. Reprinted with permission from the author.


How long should you date a guy before getting serious? ›

“The best way to truly learn about another person is to take the time needed to truly get to know them before making a commitment to them.” While there's no exact right amount of time, she says you should wait anywhere from one to three months before making the relationship exclusive.

Is it serious after 3 dates? ›

The bottom line: The third date isn't some monumental milestone that should be a make-it-or-break-it, event for a potential relationship. If you have a gut feeling one way or another about a person, listen to it. Otherwise, let yourself enjoy the ride...and a fourth yummy dinner with, at the very least, good company.

How many dates does it take for a guy to like you? ›

Three dates is a good rule of thumb.

This isn't a hard and fast rule, but let's say you spend two to three hours together on each date, with some emailing, texting, or phone time in between. That's a pretty fair amount of time together. If you're not feeling any sense of chemistry or attachment, it's OK to give up.

At what point does dating become serious? ›

In the most basic sense, a serious relationship is one in which you're completely committed to your partner; you're totally open and honest with one another; you trust each other deeply; and you're on the same page, not only in terms of your values and ethics but about your future together as well.

How long should you wait for a guy to commit? ›

There is no perfect time for a man to commit. That's because timing varies depending on the situation, time period in life, and person. You can assess it yourself if the timing is right for you. Therefore, how long you will wait depends on your goal.

How long should dating last before a relationship? ›

As a rough rule, two months in should be a safe amount of time to broach the subject, Stott said. But every relationship is different, so if it feels right earlier, go for it. If it doesn't feel right at that stage, there are a few steps you can take to build yourself up for the conversation.

How many dates until you are dating? ›

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.

How long is too long between dates? ›

The first several dates should be spaced close together in an effort to keep the momentum going. The second date should not take place more than two weeks after the first date. If the first date went exceptionally well, the best thing you can do is lock in a second date soon after.

How many dates counts as dating? ›

According to a 2015 dating survey conducted by Time Out of 11,000 people worldwide, people decide to go exclusive and stop seeing other people after six dates — which, for many, falls in line with the one- to two-month mark. They officially declare themselves a couple after nine dates, on average.

How many dates before exclusivity? ›

If a couple goes on one date a week, that's anywhere from 10 to 12 dates before they establish exclusivity, according to the survey. Say, schedules allow a couple to see each other more than once a week, that means it could even take 24 dates before exclusivity.

What does a guy think after 3 dates? ›

If you've made a third date together, he probably likes you to some extent. Most men won't keep dating you if they aren't the least bit interested or if they think you're boring, rude, or just incompatible.

How do you progress from dating to a relationship? ›

If you feel confident at this point that you want things to be serious, go ahead and tell them that you're ready to move from a casual to a committed relationship, says Trespicio. "Explain what kind of relationship you want and why, defining what commitment means for you without giving an ultimatum," she suggests.

What are the signs that a guy wants a serious relationship? ›

25 Undeniable Signs He Wants A Relationship With You
  • There's No Chasing. Save. ...
  • He Opens Up To You. ...
  • He Respects Your Boundaries. ...
  • He Plans Dates For You Two. ...
  • He Doesn't Shy Away From Labels. ...
  • He Thinks About A Future With You. ...
  • He Introduces You To His Family And Friends. ...
  • He Is Honest With You.
Dec 12, 2022

How do you know if dating is progressing? ›

  • Your time together is a sure thing. ...
  • You drop the formalities. ...
  • You begin to develop rituals. ...
  • Your sex life is evolving. ...
  • You know each other's inner circle. ...
  • Caring about each other is an open priority. ...
  • You can handle disagreements and conflicts. ...
  • You two can openly talk about the nature of your relationship.
Jul 17, 2019

What are the 5 stages of dating? ›

Whether you're at the start of a blossoming relationship or been with your significant other for years, every relationship goes through the same five stages of dating. These five stages are attraction, reality, commitment, intimacy and finally, engagement.

What triggers a man to commit? ›

“A man will commit when he feels a deep connection with a woman that he doesn't feel with anyone else; when he finds a lover who is also his best friend that makes him feel special and unique,” Tripp says.

Should I wait for a guy who is not ready for a relationship? ›

Waiting Lets Your Partner See How Much You Care

Maybe they've just come out of a long-term relationship, or they simply don't move as quickly as you do. By giving your partner time to make their decision, you're not only respecting their wishes, but you're also showing them they're worth waiting for.

Can a guy like you but not be ready for a relationship? ›

Relationships are all about timing. It's not uncommon to find yourself in a position where you want to take it to the next level, but your partner isn't ready. They may have strong feelings for you, care about you deeply, and potentially see a future with you, but they're just not ready for a serious commitment.

How quickly should dating progress? ›

Most couples go on 5-6 dates before they start discussing a relationship, and some take even longer. Don't sweat it if you're a few dates in. This lines up with the 1- to 3-month timeline for most folks. That's 1 date every weekend on the fast side, and 1 date every 2-3 weeks or so on the longer side.

What should you not do in early stages of dating? ›

The experts weigh in.
  • Coming on too strong. ...
  • Being too rigid in what you want. ...
  • Performing for them. ...
  • Not learning from past relationships. ...
  • Moving too fast. ...
  • Ignoring red flags. ...
  • Posting too much online. ...
  • Not establishing clear boundaries early on.
Nov 19, 2019

What are red flags in dating? ›

Red flags in a relationship include excessive jealousy and frequent lying. You should also be wary of a partner who frequently criticizes you or puts you down. Another major red flag is an unwillingness to compromise — relationships shouldn't be one-sided.

How many dates before you start falling in love? ›

The bottom line? Falling in love can happen relatively quickly — some say they feel it on a first date, while most agree it takes at least eight weeks.

What is casual dating vs serious dating? ›

Probably the biggest difference between casual dating and serious dating is the level of commitment and exclusivity. In casual dating, there is little to no commitment. No expectation of consistent texting, no expectation of anything at all. Especially monogamy.

Is 3 Dates enough for a relationship? ›

While waiting three dates or more to become intimate has been a popular guideline in the past, the best way to decide when you're ready to take this step is by doing what you feel is right. You may feel comfortable having sex after the first or second date, or you might want to wait ten or more dates before having sex.

Should you talk everyday between dates? ›

Text each other a few times a day until the next date. It's not necessary nor a rule to text every day. It's always a good idea to keep a little mystery in between dates as opposed to pouring everything out on text from what you had for breakfast, lunch and dinner to when you walked your dog.

How often should you text after 3 dates? ›

Two or three times a week if you're keeping it casual.

If you've only gone on a couple of dates so far, it might seem like you're coming on too strong if you text every day. Try to check in when your partner isn't busy, like in the evenings or on the weekends since they'll probably reply sooner.

How often should you hear from a guy? ›

It varies, but 1 to 3 texts per day is common.

The important part of a new relationship is getting to know each other in person. Texting is fine, but you'll probably make a deeper, more lasting connection if you save the deep talks for your face to face meetups.

How many dates does the average man go on? ›

Men, on the other hand, average about 10 sexual partners, eight dates, six one-night stands, eight kisses, and six long-term relationships. So, more all around generally, but perhaps that has to do with 88 percent of men surveyed subscribing to the notion of "true love," compared to 94 percent of women.

What does healthy dating look like? ›

Healthy relationships involve honesty, trust, respect and open communication between partners and they take effort and compromise from both people. There is no imbalance of power. Partners respect each other's independence, can make their own decisions without fear of retribution or retaliation, and share decisions.

How do you know if you're moving too fast in a relationship? ›

A sure sign that a relationship is moving too quickly is if you have trouble making decisions without your partner early on. It's not uncommon for people to lose themselves in their relationship, and over time couples find themselves dressing, speaking and even acting in a similar manner.

What are the 3 date rules? ›

When you start dating someone new, there is always the looming question of when you'll sleep together for the first time. In popular theory, that moment is the third date. The three-date rule, as firmly practiced by Charlotte York, stated that the third date was the appropriate time to have sex with a guy.

What is the 3 day rule in dating? ›

Say, for example, the three-day rule. Popularized by the romcom, the three-day dating rule insists that a person wait three full days before contacting a potential suitor. A first-day text or call is too eager, a second-day contact seems planned, but three days is, somehow, the perfect amount of time.

How long should you date before becoming exclusive? ›

If you know they're seeing other people and you'd like them to stop, knowing when to ask to be exclusive can be more complicated. While there are no firm rules, experts suggest waiting at least three months after you start dating someone.


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