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Yesterday we talked about how many potential suitors you should meet before you start getting serious with one. Now you're getting answers to other common dating questions! If you haven't asked yourself these "how long" questions, you should.
How long before I get to say "no thanks" to additional dates?
You've decided to keep dating someone, but how many dates should you give this person before you decide it's not a match? Well, one thing's for sure. If you know it's not going to work out, don't hesitate to talk about it openly. Hopefully there won't be any hard feelings involved. The answer to the question, though, is elusive. Some suggest the "3 date rule." Others, like an E Harmony blogger, say it's impossible to come up with a single number. Two things are commonly suggested. First, try not to hurt anyone's feelings. Don't date someone 15 times, start holding hands, singing each other to sleep, etc. only to find a new person and dump the old one. That's not nice. Second, trust your gut. When you know, you know. And the more time you spend, the better you'll know. The rest of the questions have numerical answers, I promise.
How long should I wait before we..uh..take it to the bedroom?
Numbers don't lie. Only 1.4% of married couples reach that level of intimacy within two days of meeting each other, according to the National Opinion Research Center. You should probably wait longer than two days. A recent Time Out poll found that the average person in the world waits 3.5 dates before getting naughty. Waiting longer still wouldn't hurt, however. The most intimate of behaviors (you know what I'm talking about) can result in a powerful attachment to someone you're becoming fond of. So, as we all know but don't like to admit, it's better to wait as long as you can when great potential is there. If there's no long-term potential and you don't care to remember his/her name, you just want to take advantage of an aroused mood, be careful.
How long should we date before getting engaged?
There's a huge range of time couples give themselves before they decide to let a ring represent their commitment to each other. For some, it's just weeks. For others, it can be a decade or more! You might be wondering what the magic number is. Randal Olson once researched happily married couples, and his answers were reported by The Atlantic. Couples that waited at least three years before their engagement were 39% less likely to get a divorce than those who got engaged within a year of becoming romantic. Those who waited between 1 and three years were 19% more likely to be divorced than the 3+ year group, and slightly less likely than the group that waited less than a year. Certainly, there are other factors involved in the success of a relationship, but why not try to wait a couple of years? There's no rush, is there?
Have other questions been bothering you? Tell us in the comments below.