Is Dating Only for Couples? Exploring the Math Behind It

Find out how five or six dates can turn into an exclusive relationship by exploring the math behind it! Learn more about dating vs relationships.

Is Dating Only for Couples? Exploring the Math Behind It

If a month seems like a surprisingly short time to contemplate a monogamous couple, you should know that for a lot of people, it really isn't. So how can a month of five or six dates turn into an exclusive relationship? Let's do the math. People usually spend at least three or four hours on a good date (and that's a conservative estimate), meaning that after five or six dates (assuming there are no pajama parties), you'll have spent almost 20 to 24 hours together. Six dates may not seem like enough to build intimacy, let alone spark a conversation of exclusivity. But depending on how physical those appointments are, they can.

According to the Time Out survey, the average time it takes for people to get to the sexual part is 3.53 dates; while Groupon respondents reported waiting an average of 8 dates before having sex. Previous surveys have estimated that we're willing to kiss and sleep with someone after just two to five dates. That means that after six short dates, twentysomethings are sure to kiss, have sex several times, and spend an entire day with the person they're just starting to date. These texts, no matter how full of emojis they are, are shortcuts to intimacy. In a small study on texting and relationships, Amanda Klein from Towson University found that, during the early stages of a relationship or in casual dating scenarios, texting is an ideal mode of communication, as it helps reduce uncertainty and decrease anxiety, according to the Huffington Post.

This increase in communication, plus physical intimacy, is boosting relationships in a way not seen before. In the early to mid-20th century, young daters were likely to keep their options open and “play on the field”.According to 1960 University of California Press surveys, 51.6% of children in their last year of high school went on two dates a week, while less than half “maintained stable relationships with someone”. Again, these decisions are incredibly personal and vary from person to person. Ultimately, much of this timeline boils down to how your own relationship is progressing, how you feel, and the vibrations you're picking up. Data can't tell you everything or make important decisions for you.

In fact, it's important to note, as Healthline points out, that much of the data on the number of dates people have before having sex (or even before having the talk about exclusivity) are cis-heterocentric and are collected using a limited view of what constitutes sex and dating. In short? If you want to become monogamous, you and your partner will need to have an open conversation at some point and it's fair to say that after five or six dates, spending time with that person becomes a substantial investment; so it's not unreasonable to want to start evaluating whether to move on or actually commit. There is something special and free in the open air. Pack some food, drink and some alcohol, find a place and have fun. Take some time to go for a walk while you bond.

Walk for a long time while holding hands, laughing, hitting shoulder to shoulder. You don't need money for this. One of the main differences between dating and relationships is having your own idea about what the two of them are. While relationships are based on mutual agreement and trust, dating isn't the same thing. For some, casual dating isn't mutual.

The idea of exclusivity with someone may differ. Some people like to date each other exclusively, while others like to date other people and don't want to commit to just one person.

Kathy Alliance
Kathy Alliance

Hardcore zombie expert. Proud burrito aficionado. Proud pizza nerd. Evil bacon fan. Extreme web lover.

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