How Long Should You Casually Date Someone Before Defining The Relationship?

While casual dating has its benefits such as enjoying yourself without worrying about where things are going (which can be such a drab), this fun, dreamy feeling can’t last forever. Sooner or later, if you really like the guy, you’re going to want to know what you guys are actually doing and where you’re headed. Defining the relationship too quickly can backfire, though. How long should you casually date someone before you DTR? Here’s the lowdown.

  1. Consider the eight-week rule. Right, there’s a rule out there that states you should date someone for about eight weeks before you define the relationship. This makes sense because it’s two whole months of spending time with someone and getting to know them. You’ve probably also had deep conversations by now (hopefully) that have increased your emotional intimacy.
  2. It’s got to feel right. You should never blindly follow the dating rules. If it just doesn’t feel right to define the relationship after two months of dating, don’t do it! Some people define the relationship around the two-month mark, while others only do so after three or four months. Honestly, it depends on the people involved. Every relationship follows a different path and journey, and people will hit those dating milestones at different times, so do what feels right.
  3. Do it from a positive place. One of the most important things to bear in mind when deciding if you should talk about your relationship or not is to try to get a feel for what’s going on. Do you know that he likes you? How do you feel about him? Does it feel like things are progressing between you? If you feel positive and you’re keen to DTR from a place of feeling good about the relationship, give yourself the green light.
  4. Don’t do it out of fear. If you’re keen to DTR because you’re afraid or insecure about where the relationship is going, that’s a huge red flag. You shouldn’t go ahead with negative feelings spurring you on because it’ll fall flat. You need to think about why you’re feeling those emotions and if making a relationship official is actually what you need right now. You might actually need more time to figure things out.
  5. Don’t rush in. If you’ve been dating for much less than two months, such as two weeks, and you’re tempted to talk to the guy about defining your relationship, it’s a good idea to hold back a bit. Yes, even if if feels right. Listen, how much do you really know about him? Have you seen him on his worst and best days? What do you really have in common?
  6. Ask him important things before you DTR. To help you figure out if you should DTR, you should first ask the guy you’re dating a few important questions. Find out what they think about relationships and commitment in general, as this will give you good insight into where they’re at and what they want. Hey, this might even give you the answers you need without having to start a serious conversation.
  7. Let your gut take the lead. Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve been dating a guy for several weeks and you feel like you should DTR even though your gut’s telling you something different? Your gut has to override your feelings here! If you steamroll through your doubts and hesitations, you could regret it later. Your whole approach will flop, because you’re clearly not ready or it’s not right for you. And that’s okay.
  8. You might not even have to do anything. Instead of waiting for the right time to DTR, another train of thought is not to do anything. If things are going to happen between you and the guy, then things will happen. If you want to go the natural route and see what happens without having The Talk, that’s also okay. Just make sure you guys are on the same page and you notice any red flags that indicate you shouldn’t be wasting your time.

Don’t want to casually date someone anymore? Here’s how to shift things

how long should you casually date someone

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If you want to define the relationship so you know exactly where you stand with the person, there are some important tips to bear in mind so that the chat goes smoothly.

  1. Have the chat in a calm, quiet place. A wild club when you’re both drunk and can’t hear each other over the pounding music shouldn’t be the location for The Talk. You want to be able to talk to each other properly, so choose a calm, quiet setting. You also want to remember the conversation the next day.
  2. Do it in person. You don’t need a shaky internet connection to derail when you try to DTR via video chat. Similarly, you don’t want to try to chat about where things are headed via WhatsApp. Imagine being left on read now? Ugh. Make sure you always have the talk in person so you’ll get the answers you need right away.
  3. Never say you need to talk. Telling the person you need to talk to them is sure to set off sirens in their head. Rather try to start talking about things during a natural conversation. It’s all about finding the right moment, so be patient.
  4. Share how you feel. Don’t ask them point-blank what they want or how they feel about you. It’s helpful to start by sharing how you feel, such as by telling them how much you enjoy their company or what you’re hoping to gain from a relationship. This enables you to ask them where they’re at.
  5. It might be good to do it before meeting the folks. Everyone knows that when you meet each other’s families, it’s usually a sign that you’re getting a bit more serious. It might help you to have The Talk before this event happens, especially because your loved ones are going to be wondering, or asking you directly, what’s up with you guys.
  6. Prepare yourself for their response. It helps to think about the worst-case scenario, such as that the person could tell you you’re not their type or they’re “not ready” for a relationship. Working through how this would make you feel can help you to prepare and figure out what that would mean for you moving forward, such as if you’d want to remain friends with the person or not.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.