How Long Does It Take To Get To Know Someone When You First Start Dating?
As human beings, we often like to know the timing of things. We want to know what age we'll be when we find our person, how long it will take to find a job, and at what age we'll finally feel like we've grown up. The truth is that timing can be very subjective, especially when it comes to relationships. Getting to know someone usually 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. In many cases, it can be more important to focus on how you will get to know someone rather than question 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 a relationship is declared formal may be irrelevant, since when you are passionate about something, time in dating might not matter.
How Long It Takes: When Meeting Online
When meeting someone online, you start the process by 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, usually aren't going to beat around the bush when it comes to finding a relevant match. This type of couple can often display more openness and honesty and want to spend a lot of time together to determine if they are the right match. If you use a site where you have to pay for matches, you might be more intentional about meeting someone who is an ideal match, and not just looking for something casual or short-term.
How Long It Takes: 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 can also depend on how busy you are, how often you want to see them, and how interested and attracted you are to them. If you want to spend a lot of time with this person, you will often do everything you can to get together. However, if you are super busy and can only get together once a week, it may be difficult to develop an understanding of who this person is. Spending more time with an individual can one of the surest ways to get to know them more deeply.
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, you can leave things on the first date. If you decide you are interested in this person, though, and want to get to know them better, do what you can to make more dates happen. The more time you spend together, the more you can 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.
Pay Close 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 other deal-breakers that could make you want out of a relationship. Try to 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 typically want what is best for you. Keep in mind that they may be biased and tell you when they think something is up, even if they misinterpret the situation. Even if your family or friends are wrong about what they see, continue to go into any relationship with eyes wide open – it can be 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
One of the most effective ways to get to know someone is by asking them a lot of questions. There are many lists available online with suggestions on the kinds of questions you can and should ask your date. These are questions like “what is your dream job?” A lot of these lists have silly questions that can seem innocuous or unnecessary, but even the most surface level questions can tell you a lot about a person, and they can be just one 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, try to be willing to ask follow-up questions according to what your date says. Not only can it make you seem friendly and present in the conversation, but it can also help you to learn more about your date beyond shallow anecdotes. The more open you are in conversation, the more you can get to know them.
Questions can be an efficient way to figure out compatibility, as well. If your date answers a question in a way similar to how you would, it could be a sign that you two could get along well. However, if the answer to a question sends up a red flag, you might want to evaluate how important the issue is. Sometimes successful relationships are born because two people push each other to be better with their differences. If your beliefs, your values, and your lifestyle don't match well, though, it can be 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 some time and you feel like you're ready to take your relationship to the next level, it could be an appropriate time to start a conversation about it. Defining the relationship can be important to avoid hurt feelings or unmet needs and expectations. Every relationship can run on a different timeline. 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. Since there's no specific timeline, use your judgment and follow where your head and heart lead.
Figure Out What You Want
As you are getting to know someone, it can be important to know what you want out of a relationship. Think about what kinds of things are relationship deal breakers, and what your must-haves are. 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 deal-breaker only to fall in love with someone who has the deal-breaker and find it’s not as big of a deal you as you once thought. Spend some time looking inward and thinking about what you want out of a relationship; and not just what you want right now, but what you want for the long term. What kind of partner could you see yourself going the distance with? Of course, not everyone wants a long-term relationship, and that’s acceptable and natural as well.
Dating can feel like a full-time job at times. When you're looking for a partner, you must open up your schedule to searching for people online or going out to places where you might meet someone. You must 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 don’t. This is all part of the process of finding what you want in a partner and out of life.
Online Counseling With ReGain
The dating process can look different for everyone and bring various stressors depending on the individuals involved. Coping with new and difficult emotions can be challenging, and sometimes it can be helpful to have someone to confide in about how you’re feeling. ReGain allows you to get connected with an online therapist who specializes in the area you’re needing help with. Whether it’s dating, a toxic relationship, or infidelity, you can get support and mental health care during your most dire moments and from anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection.
The Efficacy Of Online Counseling
Online counseling has been shown to be an effective treatment option for those experiencing a variety of mental health concerns. Entering the dating scene may mean experiencing emotions like anxiety as well as sensations like racing thoughts, tension, and sweaty palms. This can be especially true for those with social anxiety disorder. In one study, researchers found that internet-delivered cognitive therapy improved symptoms of social anxiety in those participating in the intervention. These results were on par with face-to-face interventions for the same concerns.
“Sarah has been comforting to me through a very difficult transition. She has helped me to regain confidence and listen to my intuition. She is a great listener and has encouraged me to rediscover and use my voice.”
“Sessions with Natalie are very insightful and give practical advice on implementing new habits and changes. Be prepared to engage and be challenged to think in a different way. I know that my partner and I can already see improvements in our relationship and feel more positive about working through our issues together.”
Everyone enters into the dating scene for different reasons. For many people, the dating process is a way to assess one’s compatibility with different types of people for a longer-term relationship. Every relationship moves at different speeds, and it can take more or less time than it might take others to get to know someone new. The important part can be being on the same page with the other person you’re dating. Navigating dating and relationships can be challenging, but online counseling can provide advice and support through the process of finding someone you connect with.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
How do you get to know a person?
We all have different (and often highly variable) stories of how we met our best friends, significant others, or anyone else that occupies a significant place in our lives. However, how we actually got to know them often remains constant: we spent a significant deal of meaningful time with them.
Most intimate bonds take some time to develop. These relationships are usually not so much about sheer proximity – after all, you might have friends that you’ve known since you were born who don’t know you as well as, say, your spouse, who you might have only known for a few years – but also about active and earnest attempts to get to know them. It’s a process that involves gradually earning someone’s trust by showing a real interest in their lives in addition to proving that you deserve to know that information.
If you want to get to know someone in your life better, such as a coworker or acquaintance, consider making consistent efforts to spend time with them in a casual setting. Ask them questions about their life and their opinions and be interested in what they have to say. Be patient, however, with how your friendship progresses – some information you can and should only be privy to once you’ve demonstrated that you are a trustworthy, non-judgmental, or like-minded person; you may have to start with small talk to lay a foundation for a real friendship, as barreling ahead without a basic sense of who you’re talking to can be somewhat invasive. Additionally, some people are particularly guarded about their personal lives, and it may take a significant deal of time to develop a level of comfortability and vulnerability that can lead to real intimacy.
What are some good questions to get to know someone?
There are any number of fun, cute little lists online of good icebreaker questions, but here’s a compilation of some of the hits (ranging in level of intimacy, depending on if you want “small talk” or “deep conversations”):
What’s your favorite color?
What’s your favorite TV show?
What’s your favorite musical group or artist?
What’s your favorite movie?
What are some of your guilty pleasures?
What’s your biggest irrational fear?
What is your favorite family tradition?
If you could go back in time, what piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
What’s your favorite holiday?
What’s your favorite place in the whole world?
Who’s your favorite fictional character?
Do you have any recurring dreams?
Do you have a bucket list, and if so, what’s on your bucket list?
If you had the opportunity to be immortal, would you take it?
What’s your favorite type of pet?
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
What’s the best pizza topping?
What’s your idea of a perfect vacation?
Would you rather give a gift or receive a gift?
Is it ever okay to re-give a gift?
What’s the best piece of art or project you’ve ever created and maintained?
What was the most embarrassing moment of your life?
How long does it take to get to know someone?
There is no static timeline for when you will progress from “well acquainted” to “emotionally intimate” – some people are simply more guarded with who they are and may take a while to reveal themselves. Even people who are relatively open books may not make everything about themselves readily apparent. Additionally, time spent together in professional or large group settings may breed less intimacy than casual or one-on-one conversations. However, it’s probably safe to say that you know someone decently well if you have spent a consistent amount of time together.
What should I ask in 20 questions?
If you’re playing 20 questions to simply have fun, consider asking questions that are playfully controversial, or ones that might spark a conversation. It can be fun to learn that the two of you disagree on something like the best genre of movie, or to see if you’ve both been to each other’s favorite National Park. If you’re playing in order to be vulnerable with someone else, assuming the two of each other know each other well, consider asking some deeper questions that make both of you pause and think – you may even find yourself questioning some of your preconceived notions about the world.
What is a deep question?
Deep questions are the kinds of questions that might force an individual to think about or confront the sorts of things that we don’t always have the time or emotional energy to talk about. They go beyond basic questions and into the realm of one’s personality, preferences, and beliefs. Deep questions can help someone realize where their priorities might lie. Additionally, the vulnerability involved in asking a deep question can require a level of trust and vulnerability that can strengthen bonds between individuals – or, for people who already know each other well, it can prove the bond that you’ve created and maintained.
Some examples of deep questions might include asking the other person for their thoughts on philosophical quandaries (Do you believe in God? Can society function without laws?), to questions about love (Do you believe in soulmates?), to questions about moving or emotional aesthetic or personal experiences (Have you ever cried over a piece of art?).
What are personal questions?
Personal questions are questions about someone’s life or thoughts that might be somewhat vulnerable or intimate. They’re not the type of questions you should ask someone right off the bat, unless you sense that they are relatively open and that they might be okay with answering them – otherwise, these sorts of questions can come off as invasive or prying. There are lots of things in many of our lives that aren’t necessarily secrets, but that we also wouldn’t go around telling strangers.
How long does it take for someone to show their true colors?
If someone is trying to put on a front, as they might early on in a relationship to impress their new partner or friend, it may start to falter after a few months together – either because they have grown comfortable enough with the other person to realize that it’s not necessary, or because they have simply grown tired.
For many of us, however, our “truest” character traits may not be revealed unless we are put into situations that test us or make us uncomfortable. While it’s not totally fair to judge someone’s character for a mistake in a bad situation, they can also be significant reveals of character. Many of us operate every day with highly practiced behaviors and familiar thought patterns – when we don’t have that to fall back on, we may show our real temperaments or personalities.
An effective way to identify someone’s “true colors” might be by paying close attention to their actions rather than their words. For example, it can be easy for someone to tell stories in which they appear as the hero, but much harder to live with bravery and empathy. Therefore, it can be wise to spend time with a person, because you see them in a variety of situations. With time, you can see how this person reacts in stressful situations, moments of grief, moments of financial instability, moments of vulnerability, and moments of loss. This can give you a well-rounded idea of who this person is, not just at their greatest moments.