How Long Does It Take To Get To Know Someone When You First Start Dating?

Updated November 14, 2022 by ReGain Editorial Team

As human beings, we like to know the timing of things. We want to know what age we'll be when we get married, how long it will take to find a job, what time we'll finally feel like we've grown up.

But the truth is that timing is so subjective. This is especially true when it comes to relationships. Getting to know someone depends on how much time you spend with them, along with how truthful they are when they talk with you. It's possible to feel like you know someone only for them to do the one thing that makes you realize you don't know them at all. It's also possible to feel like you haven't spent a lot of time with someone, and yet you feel like you've known them for years, or feel as though they might be your best friend. One of the easiest ways to actually know your friends more is to ask them getting to know you questions that are intentional and open-ended.

Every person is different. Every relationship is different. It's more important to focus on how you will get to know someone than how long it will take to know them fully. For those who feel that relationships are not time-bound, the subject of how many dates before relationship is declared formal is irrelevant, since when you are passionate about something, time period in dating does not matter.

When Meeting Online

Getting To Know Someone New Can Be Difficult

You start communicating through messages, so it might feel easier to ask some bigger questions while hiding behind a screen. Additionally, depending on which site or app you are using, their profile might have important information that you need to know about them before you start dating. For instance, you might come across a profile of an attractive and interesting person, but they are vegan. You very much like to eat meat, and you know that going out to dinner would be hard for you both. So, you decide to swipe left on that profile.

Getting to know someone online first might help you to get to know them a little quicker. People who get into online dating because they want to get married, for instance, aren't going to beat around the bush when it comes to finding a relevant match. This type of couple will be more open and honest and want to spend a lot of time together to determine if they are a good match. And if you use a site where you have to pay for matches, you might be more intentional about meeting someone who is a good match, and not just looking for a good time.

When Meeting In Person

Organic and chance meetings leave a little more up to fate. But that doesn't mean that it's automatically going to be a slow process to get to know someone. It will also depend on how busy you are, how often you want to see them, and how interested you are and attracted you are to them. If you want to spend a lot of time with this person, you will do everything you can to get together. But maybe you are super busy and can only get together once a week. Going on four dates in a month isn't a lot. How much can you get to know someone when you don’t often spend time with them?

You ultimately have the power to decide how well you want to get to know a person. Going on one date doesn't automatically guarantee a second. If you think you know enough about a person that you don't want to get to know them further, then leave things on the first date. But if you decide you are interested in this person and want to get to know them better, do what you can to make more dates happen. The more time you spend together, the better you will get to know each other. Remember that it's also important for your date to get to know you as well. While you are learning about your date, let them learn more about who you are and what makes you special and interesting.

Make Sure You Really Pay Attention

When you are getting to know someone, it can be easy to miss the red flags and other signs if you are already smitten. Rose-tinted glasses can keep you from seeing bad habits, poor treatment, and loads of other deal-breakers that would make you want out of a relationship. You should get to know someone for long enough that the rose-tinted glasses come off. Introduce this person to your family and friends. Allow them to see how you interact so that they can get a sense of who your date is. They may be able to see something that you can't. And this goes both ways. They might see that your date isn't good enough for you, or they might see how crazy your date is about you. Your family and friends want what is best for you. They probably will be biased and tell you when they think something is up, even if they misinterpret the situation. But even if your family or friends are wrong about what they see, make sure you go into any relationship with eyes wide open -- it’s important to determine if this is the type of person you want in your life, even in the relatively short term.

Ask A Lot Of Questions

The perfect way to get to know someone to ask them a lot of questions. There are so many lists available online with suggestions on the kinds of questions you should ask your date. These are questions like what is your dream job? A lot of those lists will have silly questions that seem innocuous or unnecessary, but even the most surface level questions can tell you a lot about a person, and they can be a good way to progress beyond small talk; while you might want to jump to the deep questions right away, it can be just as valuable to talk about something relatively banal, like where their favorite place to vacation is, what their best piece of advice is, or what their ideal date looks like.

Additionally, be willing to ask follow up questions to what your date says. Not only does it make you seem friendly and present in the conversation, it can really help you to learn more about your date beyond shallow anecdotes. The more open you are in conversation, the more you will get to know them.

Questions are a good way to figure out compatibility, as well. If your date answers a question in a way similar to how you would, great! But if the answer to a question sends up a red flag, you might want to evaluate how important the issue is. Opposites can attract, and sometimes great relationships are born because two people push each other to be better with their differences.

However, be forewarned -- there is such a thing as too different. If your beliefs, your values, and your lifestyle don't match well, it's hard to maintain a relationship.

Give It Time

There is a difference between dating and being in a relationship. If you've been going on dates for about 2-3 months and you feel like you're ready to take your relationship to the next level, that is an appropriate time to start a conversation about it. However, this is just a general rule of thumb. Three months might mean a lot of dating time, but it also could mean that you've only been on a couple of dates, depending on interest and availability. You could have this talk sooner or later in your dating relationship, and it's perfectly okay. Because there's no specific timeline, use your judgment and follow where your heard and head lead.

Figure Out What You Want

Getting To Know Someone New Can Be Difficult

As you are getting to know someone, it's important to know what you want out of a relationship. You have to know what kinds of things are relationship deal breakers, and what kinds of things are must-haves. If you are religious or spiritual, do you need to be with someone of the same faith? If you are a runner or love exercise, is it important that your partner loves to exercise too? These are questions that only you can answer for yourself, and often the answer comes from trial and error. You might think you can handle some differences with a partner, only for the relationship not to work out. Or, you could think something is a total deal-breaker only to fall in love with someone who has the deal-breaker, and it's not a big deal. Spend some time looking inward and thinking about what you want out of a relationship. And not just want you to want right now, but what you will want for the long term. What kind of partner could you see yourself going the distance with?

Dating can feel like a full-time job at times. When you're looking for a partner, you have to open up your schedule to searching for people online or going out to places where you might meet someone. You have to go on dates, open up about yourself, and evaluate if you want to spend more time with them. Sometimes dates go well, and sometimes they end in disaster. It's easy to get discouraged, but remember that there is always hope.

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