Dating is very exciting, but also quite complex to navigate. When you meet someone you’ve connected with, you don’t want to jump the gun but you also don’t want to take too long to decide if you’re a match. Finding that sweet spot can be difficult, but in the end, it’s all about how long you’ve known them.
Of course, how long you should know someone before dating is a very personal thing. It also depends on how often you’ve been seeing them, how open you’ve been with each other, and how well you’ve gotten to know each other during that time.
So how long should you wait before you start dating someone new?
There’s no way we can accurately answer this question for you, but we can say you shouldn’t overthink it. Whether you’ve known this person for 1 or 6 months, if you feel like you two are good together, you should make your move and see what happens.
The worst case scenario is they ask for more time to decide or they say they just want to be friends. In the best-case scenario, you start a new relationship and see what comes out of it. Either way, you’ll know for certain what to do after you make your move.
But, how can you tell if you’ve known someone long enough to make that move? Well, there are a few things you should know about this person before that.
What you should know about someone before you start dating them?
1. How’s their relationship with their ex?
This is a very important thing to determine before you consider making a move. You don’t want to get involved with someone who still has feelings for their ex. More importantly, you can learn a lot about a person by the way they talk about their ex or the relationship they had.
Consider it a red flag if the ex is described using very unpleasant or negative adjectives. A mature person shows respect and doesn’t badmouth their exes, even if things didn’t end on a good note. If they’re emotionally mature, they will say that things didn’t work out, maybe explain why, and be clear about what kind of contact they have, if at all.
2. What kind of plans do they have for the future?
You don’t have to ask too many personal questions right from the start. However, you do need to get a general idea of what this person plans for their future in the short term. It will help you determine if you’re on similar paths and heading in the same direction, and this will be a good determinant of whether the relationship can work.
So, what kind of relationship do they want to have? Do they want to stay put or do they have plans of moving? Are they dating for fun, for a committed relationship, or for marriage? What do they aspire to in the next year? You should have an idea of what matters to them and where their life is heading before you consider dating.
3. Where do they stand on things that matter to you?
It’s very difficult to find someone who agrees with you on everything, but that’s not what you want either. Being with someone who challenges your views sometimes or helps you see a different perspective can help you grow as a person.
However, it’s important to agree on things that matter, so you should talk about the things that you deem important to this person you want to date and see where they stand. For example, do they like pets? What do they think about having kids? What’s their take on fidelity? What are their political views? What about religion? How do they feel about social media? And so much more.
4. How active are they?
It may not seem super important, but if there’s a huge difference in physical activity from one person to another, and with that dating can get complicated. It’s not about the way either of you looks, or how fit each one of you is. It’s more about how you spend your free time together. For example, if they’re a gym rat and you’re not, it can lead to frustration for both of you.
If you’re willing to change your lifestyle, then it won’t be a problem. But if the gym is not something you enjoy, you shouldn’t force yourself. You can find a compromise, though. For example, taking walks together, hiking, playing a sport, or anything else you can both enjoy.
5. What kind of relationship do they have with their family?
Figuring out what kind of relationship a person you’re seeing has with their family is not too difficult. Plus, you don’t have to make super intrusive questions. You can tell a lot by observing and listening. For example, do they talk about their parents positively or negatively? Do they treat them with respect or do they use insulting or repulsive language when they disagree or argue with them?
Do they call each other a lot? Do they seem too dependent on their mother? For instance, calling or texting mom often is not a big deal. However, if they rely too much on their parents financially or on other important aspects then you have to consider what may happen if that support got interrupted or if things changed. You don’t want to find yourself stuck in a relationship where someone you recently started dating becomes a financial liability.
On average, it takes about 3 months to get to know all of the things listed here about someone. But, of course that’s with the assumption that you’re meeting every single day or talking on the phone for hours while still meeting often.
In the end, it all depends on how things move along, the quality of the conversations you have, and how much time you get to spend together. If you feel like you know enough about them to start dating, take the leap!