Roll of the dice: How long do you date someone before the decision to become a couple is made?

You see it daily on Twitter and Instagram feeds. Complaints and sly commentary from men and women about who seems to think who is a fool, who’s doing whatever they want, who needs to know “they are too”…and blurbs about being “single” or avoiding it. 

Aside from the contradicting public displays of singledom and being boo’d up; privately, people aren’t really discussing what they’re doing . Usually because nobody wants to seem like the one who is rushing into a full blown…*gasp*…relationship.

But who knows what’s really going on??

No one. That’s who. No one knows what’s really going on, because everyone is busy avoiding the elephant in the room and the risk of seeming too into someone. Sounds ridiculous, right? Well…step back and take a gander, because it may be the exact situation you‘re in.

What to do, what to do?? Here’s a crash-course timeline:

Week 1-3:  Getting to know each other. No need to bring up the future and babies and picket fence and his/her sinks and cars that you may or may not be fantasizing about-just yet. 

Month 1-3  Getting a little closer. You both may still be “dating other people”, but it’s too soon to discuss exclusivity ( or babies). Chill.

Month 4-6: At this point, you’re making some memories. You may have made a day trip or a weekender-I’m not talking Fiji, but more like the tourist-attraction in the next city or state. You’ve met at least a few of each other’s friends…and it’s time to have “the talk”.  No. Not the talk about whether you want to marry them, but the exclusivity talk. At this point in your romantical timeline, it’s best to get this (relatively difficult) topic knocked out and discussed. At the 6 month mark, you’ve made some sort of connection. 

DISCLAIMER: If you haven’t made some sort of connection you’re both still dating other people and have no plans or desires to be in a relationship, disregard this and carry on- just be sure you’re both on the same page.

But back to the  lovesick. The connection you’ve made by now is officially an investment. You’ve got to make sure you’re on the same page to be exclusive (or not), so neither of you wastes any more of your time. Period. You at lease owe that to each other-as human beings. Kapish?

Month 7-9:  Stop playing. If you’ve put off the discussion this long, you’re playing games and might be in denial. What’s worse, is you could be leading someone on that you’ll end up hurting. Think about it. By now you’ve eliminated your sideline players and have been focusing your energy on one person. Same goes for them. Whether you want to admit it or not, you’re in a relationship. Communicate and act accordingly.

Listen, the reality is that everyone is going to have a different timeline of connection. That’s why people run off and get married after knowing each other for two months. It happens, and sometimes it works out. But in the grand scheme of things, you’ve got to pay attention to the time you’re giving and getting in this dating game. You should absolutely date numerous people at the same time. That doesn’t mean you are (or should be) sleeping with them all; and that’s if you have the energy to remember everyone’s story and get the dates in order/eliminate the risk of running into date 4 while you’re out with date 2. Dating is fun, and we should date it up. However, once you realize you accomplished your dating mission and have found one person you’d prefer to give your attention to- and they seem to feel the same way-you should discuss it. Even if it’s a sly exchange of “hey, are you seeing anyone else?”…just make sure it’s at the right time. Pay attention to the signs, body language and even calendar. But have a talk. It won’t hurt…it may help more than you know.

Until next time lovers, friends and followers, 

Peace, love and heart-shaped candy boxes for all!