You’re probably reading this because you’ve had a crush on someone for a while, and you’re hoping to make things official.
Problem is, you don’t know if “having the talk” now will be acting too soon, or they’ll move on to someone else if you wait too long.
By the way, how long is too long for the talking phase in a potentially romantic relationship? How long should you talk to someone before dating them? Is there a set timeframe before defining your relationship?
Like everything romance-related, it is difficult to fit everyone into one box.
As frustrating (and maybe annoying!) as that may sound, this is one of those questions that can only be answered with “it depends.”
Every committed relationship is unique because no two individuals are exactly the same. The talking phase in a new relationship will depend on how intense things are between you, how often you see each other, and whether there’s enough chemistry to take things to the next level.
That said, most people (including a relationship expert) tend to recommend waiting at least two months before making things official and having an exclusive relationship.
Why two months?
That’s a fair amount of time to gauge the general character of the person you’re talking with and whether you’re compatible with a romantic relationship.
If you see the person once a week, that’s eight times in two months. And if you meet up about thrice weekly, you may not need to wait two months to define your relationship.
Things to Keep In Mind When Deciding the Ideal Talking Phase Duration
Dating might lead to a long-lasting relationship, so you want to be sure you’ve got the right person on your radar to reduce repeated heartbreaks.
Consider the following when determining the right time to “have the talk.”
Time Is Not the Most Important Factor
How long should you talk to someone before dating them ― eight weeks, six months, a year? Time is really not the best determining factor when it comes to being exclusive with your crush.
Some people only start treating their relationship more seriously after talking for a year, while others might click instantly and become exclusive within a couple of weeks.
It all comes down to what each person wants and their most comfortable pace. For example, someone from a happy home might trust easily and become exclusive in two months or less.
On the other hand, if your crush has difficulty trusting others, probably because their previous relationship ended badly, they might take longer to build trust.
Here’s the bottom line.
Go with the timing that feels right for you. But don’t pressure yourself with a strict timeline because you might end up with the wrong partner and lots of disappointments.
Your Crush Should Be Interested in Having a Relationship With You
Flirting feels great ― you are the object of someone’s attention, and they seemingly enjoy hanging out with you.
However, flirting isn’t a surefire sign that the person is interested in building something serious or meaningful with you.
If the person is not ready to be exclusive, it is unwise to manipulate or force them into dating. Perhaps they like you but are not just ready yet. If you like them, you should wait a while to see if they come around.
Be Mindful of Red Flags
You will likely ignore apparent red flags when you rush into dating because you’ve had a crush on someone for a while.
Of course, no one is perfect, and you shouldn’t look for the perfect guy or girl.
However, you want to pay attention to behaviors, habits, and beliefs that are deal-breakers. Don’t let puppy love blind you to incompatible qualities.
Important Questions to Ask Yourself Before Defining Your Relationship
The talking phase can seem excruciatingly long, especially if you’re head over heels for the person you have a crush on. Still, you want to slow down a bit and honestly answer a few questions before making things official.
You need to decide whether the person is a good fit for a committed relationship and be sure you are ready to be exclusive with them.
Before you rush into dating someone, ask yourself these questions:
- Am I ready to be exclusive? Be sure you are physically, emotionally, and mentally ready to accommodate someone else in your life before you commit to being exclusive.
- Do we share a similar life vision? Indeed, dating is not marriage but can set the stage for a long-lasting relationship. For this reason, you should have a general idea of what your potential partner wants to make of their life. Beyond that, ensure their goals align with yours to avoid major conflicts down the line.
- Do we have a similar worldview? Compatibility goes beyond instant chemistry. Ensure your crush shares your morals and ethics and can stand your views on religion, spirituality, politics, or other topics you consider very important.
- Do I enjoy being around this person? Don’t convince yourself to date someone who gets on your nerves. It is simply not worth the stress. You’re better off alone than putting up with someone whose behavior annoys you. Besides, calling it quits at the talking phase is less likely to hurt than breaking things off when you’re official.
- Do I trust this person? There’s no getting around trust in relationships, especially romantic ones. Be sure you can trust the person to a large extent if you want to be exclusive with them. It is best to allow things to end at the talking phase if you notice something to make you doubt their integrity and honesty.
- What do my family and friends think of this person? I’m a strong proponent of living your life as it pleases you, regardless of what others think. That said, sometimes we are neck-deep in love that we can’t see all the red flags right in front of our noses. This is why you should listen and rethink your stance if your family or close friends have doubts about the person you want to start dating.
- What’s my gut feeling telling me? If something feels off about the person you’re hitting on, it is best to take a step back and re-evaluate them. When it comes to matters of the heart, you want to pay close attention to your intuition because it is usually right.
Ditch the Time Factor; Ask When You Feel It’s Right
How long should you stay in the talking stage before dating? The truth is, there’s no definite answer that works for everyone or every new relationship.
Remember that time isn’t the primary metric when considering making things official with your crush. Compatibility, chemistry, and mutual interests are among the top factors to consider.
Of course, asking your crush if they want to make things official can be nerve-racking, even for the most confident people. Showing your cards means being vulnerable, and the new person you’ve been talking to might not feel the same way about you or share the same emotional connection.
Still, you’ll never know if you don’t ask, right?
Thankfully, asking yourself the above questions can help determine if your crush is a potential match for an exclusive relationship.